Jeffery has a great matchup and should have a great Week 11
As Week 11 is approaching, fantasy owners are likely only still reading this if they are in the playoff hunt. The 2-8 teams have given up and while they may still be doing the right thing by setting a lineup, the desire to win and research and hope for the best may be gone. For those that have already clinched a playoff spot (congrats) or those that are still in the hunt, now is the time to win.
Look at your team. Really look at it. If there is a player who has been sitting at the bottom of your roster, and you’re waiting for him to break out, drop him. The breakout isn’t going to happen at this point. Find a handcuff on waivers. Pick up a defense/special teams to stream this week. Make your team as good as it can be with what is available. And then start the best guys. That’s it. That’s how you win.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide. You also can see how my Week 9 calls turned out at the bottom.
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, New York Jets, San Francisco
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
On paper, the matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars is a tough one. It’s in Jacksonville, which does not bode well for Roethlisberger, who typically plays better at home. However, a deeper look shows that in the past two games, the Jags have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for at least 285 yards and three touchdowns. Big Ben will be throwing the ball, and fantasy owners shouldn’t shy away from him this week. He’s ranked No. 17, but he should exceed that.
Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The Cincinnati Bengals are in the top five for fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. While there is concern of the Bengals stacking the box and challenging whoever is at quarterback to throw the ball, Collins should still do well. The Ravens are coming off their bye, and it doesn’t seem that Ty Montgomery will have a role in the offense just yet. Collins has yet to have a 100-yard game, but this may be his week. He is ranked No. 20 but should exceed that.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Jeffery has performed well in good matchups and he’s struggled in tough matchups. He has three of each so far this season. In Week 11 the Eagles face the New Orleans Saints, and this should be a good matchup for him. He has three touchdowns in three good games and less than 50 yards in each of the three poor games. He’s ranked No. 14 in what should be a good game for him in Week 11.
Maurice Harris, WR, Washington Redskins
After catching 10 passes in Week 9, Harris only had five receptions for 52 yards (on five targets) in Week 10. With Jamison Crowder still out with injury, Harris will play in the slot. He’ll get the targets and should get plenty of yards as well. Alex Smith only completed 19 passes in Week 10, which means that Harris had over a quarter of his completions. He’s a decent flex option in PPR formats, and should fare better than his No. 51 ranking.
Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints
Yes, Watson was in the 5 Up last week as well. Yes, he had one reception for one yard, which made it a bad call. However, now Drew Brees is back at home, where he plays the best. The Eagles have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but they haven’t faced many good tight ends this year. The Saints/Eagles game is likely going to be a high-scoring one, which means Watson should be involved. He should exceed his No. 17 rank.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
The Bears' defense is middle-of-the-road against opposing quarterbacks, but Cousins has been struggling lately. Adam Thielen is still banged up coming out of the bye, and he is Cousins’ main weapon. In the past five weeks, Cousins has thrown for more than 300 yards twice, but he’s also had one game with fewer than 200 yards. He has seven touchdowns and three interceptions in that span. He’s been ok, but not great. He’s ranked No. 14 this week, and isn’t a QB1 against the Bears' defense.
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
After scoring touchdowns for three games in a row, Howard had a disappointing Week 10. It seemed like this would have been a good Howard week, but Tarik Cohen was the running back with the fantasy points. The Minnesota Vikings struggle to cover pass-catching running backs, and that is where Cohen shines. This game will likely stay close, which usually is more of a Cohen game than a Howard game. The two are ranked back-to-back, but Howard at No. 23 is less likely to achieve his ranking.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon was on the 5 Down list last week because of the matchup against the Saints (and he did not live up to his No. 8 ranking). However, he makes the list again this week as the Ravens give up the fewest points to opposing running backs. Mixon showed up on Thursday’s injury report with a knee injury that limited him in practice. Between the injury concerns and the matchup, he should finish below his No. 12 ranking. He’s a RB2 for this week, but fantasy owners should be aware this may not be a great game.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
The Denver Broncos have done a good job shutting down receivers on opposing teams. It seems they choose a guy to shut down and allow another receiver to have a good day (Tyreek Hill was shut down twice, but Sammy Watkins had two touchdowns in Week 8). Allen is clearly the best receiver on the Chargers, so if someone is going to be shut down, it will likely be him. He’s ranked No. 11, but should finish below that.
Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Yes, Ebron scored three touchdowns in Week 10. However, in the past two games, he’s only had three targets. He’s caught all three of those targets in each of those games, but at some point, when the touchdown isn’t there, a 3/37/0 stat line isn’t going to cut it. Jack Doyle is back and healthy, and Ebron’s usage is dropping. The Tennessee Titans allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Ebron is ranked No. 10 but likely won’t hit TE1 status.
Full Disclosure from Week 10
5 Up (3/5 correct)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ranked: 9, Actual: 20)
Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Cleveland Browns (Ranked: 28, Actual: 19)
Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ranked: 71, Actual: 45)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers (Ranked: 40, Actual: 35)
Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints (Ranked: 17, Actual: outside the top 20)
5 Down (4/5 correct)
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams (Ranked: 7, Actual: 11)
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Ranked: 7, Actual: 4)
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (Ranked: 8, Actual: 27)
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (Ranked: 14, Actual: 37)
Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders (Ranked: 8, Actual: 15)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.