With only one more week of teams on a bye, the end of the fantasy football regular is in sight. For most fantasy leagues, playoffs start in Week 14, so there are officially only three weeks left in the regular season. Teams will be awarded the coveted asterisk indicating they've clinched a playoff spot... and other teams are officially out of it and looking ahead to baseball season. But for those that are looking to analyze Week 10 and look ahead to Week 11, read on. Here are this week's thoughts, ponderings and observations.
What is the Chicago Bears backfield going to look like once Matt Forte returns?
When Jeremy Langford stepped in for Matt Forte in Week 9 and had 142 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, most people thought it was because the matchup wasn't that tough. The St. Louis Rams, however, should provide more of a challenge. Langford responded with 182 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. That's great, and if Forte were out for the year, fantasy owners would be thrilled.
However, Forte is expected back in Week 11 in what seems to be a tough matchup against the Denver Broncos (although Charcandrick West just put up 161 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns). Will Forte jump back in as the every-down back? Will the Bears ease him in and give Langford half the carries?
Before getting injured, Forte only had three touchdowns on the year (Langford currently has five). He's been good, but not great. The factor that has kept him in the RB1 discussion was the volume of touches he was receiving. If Langford shares carries with him, Forte drops to a RB2. Langford is a RB3.
Also, keep in mind this is likely Forte's last year as a Bear. He's a free agent in 2016 and now that the Bears know they have a starting running back in Langford, they can afford to let Forte go. How does this play into this scenario? Well, the Bears have nothing to lose by throwing Forte out there as much as possible. If they want to win (which they should as they aren't eliminated from a wild card spot in the playoffs yet), they'll run Forte into the ground as long as he's healthy. This is good news for Forte owners; bad news for Langford owners.
How good will Danny Amendola be in Julian Edelman's absence?
After breaking his foot in Week 10, Edelman will be out for the rest of the fantasy season. After the Patriots lost Dion Lewis in Week 9, this is another blow to Tom Brady and the passing offense. James White didn't really step up as a pass-catching running back, as LeGarrette Blount just ran away with all of the carries. Edelman was used in short routes, as usual, but seemed to fill in a bit of the Lewis role.
Now, Danny Amendola appears to be the next man up in line for these opportunities. He had a team-high 11 targets in Week 10 and he caught 10 of those for 79 yards. Brandon LaFell will still have a role as the second wide receiver, but Amendola has to step up in Edelman's role. Look for Rob Gronkowski, LaFell and Amendola to lead the Patriots receiving corps for the rest of the season.
Amendola is just over 20 percent owned in ESPN.com leagues, so pick him up in all formats. In PPR, he becomes a high WR2; in standard leagues, a low WR2. He only has four games this season with five or more receptions, but in those five games, he has 309 yards and two touchdowns.
How impressive has Carson Palmer been this year?
The matchup was daunting: going into Seattle to face a Seahawks team that needed to win to stay alive in the playoff race. Yet, Palmer threw for 363 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He's has six games this year with over 300 yards. He has 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year. For comparison's sake, in 2013, when Palmer played all 16 games, he ended the season with 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.
Palmer is on pace to throw for 41 touchdowns this season. In 2005, he threw for a career-high 32 touchdowns. In that year, he threw for 3,836 yards. In 2015, he has 2,749 passing yards in nine games; on pace to throw for almost 4,900 yards. He's only thrown over 4,000 yards four times in his career. Barring injury, it should happen again this year. Palmer proved in Week 10 that he is matchup-proof. Start him with confidence.
More Burning Questions
Is Karlos Williams going to score a touchdown in every game he plays?
Is Eric Decker going to score a touchdown in almost every game he plays?
How hurt is Allen Hurns?
What happened to Justin Forsett of 2014?
What's wrong with Aaron Rodgers?
What does Mark Sanchez likely starting this week mean for Jordan Matthews?
Should Lamar Miller owners be nervous about Jay Ajayi?
Is Johnny Manziel a serviceable fantasy quarterback?
What happened to DeAngelo Williams?
Will Dallas win once Tony Romo is back?
Who is going to be the running back in Tennessee?
Is Cam Newton a solid QB1 for the rest of the season?
Can the New Orleans Saints' defense get any worse?
Did you start Kirk Cousins in Week 10?
Why didn't the Chiefs tell us about Charcandrick West when we were all drafting Knile Davis?
Is Peyton Manning really too injured to play or is this a move of saving face?
I thought Marshawn Lynch wasn't going to play (again)?
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.