At this point in the fantasy season, there is enough data to accurately gauge matchups. Some teams are notoriously bad at defending certain positions (Arizona Cardinals vs. tight ends, for example). These are matchups to exploit as much as possible. However, other teams have proven to be very good at defending positions (New England Patriots vs. wide receivers). This is a matchup to avoid. The rankings don’t always reflect the good or bad matchups, so be sure to pay attention as much as you can.
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.
Teams on bye: Green Bay, New York Giants, Seattle, Tennessee
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
After Goff's abysmal performance in Week 10, it seems odd to have him on the 5 Up list. However, it's been proven this year that Goff is much better at home than on the road. He is at home this week and faces the Chicago Bears. The Bears are a tough matchup for quarterbacks, but in the past three weeks, they have allowed quarterbacks to throw for at least 200 yards and a touchdown. Goff is ranked No. 16, but he should exceed that ranking.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 10 should have been a tough week for Mixon, but he was given 30 carries. He had 114 yards, his highest yardage total of the season. In Week 11, the Bengals face the Oakland Raiders, who just allowed both Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon to score in Week 10. Mixon is essentially the only offense that the Bengals have, and based on volume alone, he should exceed his No. 18 ranking.
J.D. McKissic, RB, Detroit Lions
Ty Johnson is in the concussion protocol, and it's not clear if he will be available for Week 11. If he sits, McKissic's value is much greater than his No. 31 ranking. McKissic is a pass-catching back, and he's someone that Jeff Driskel will have to look toward in order to move the ball. In Week 10, McKissic had seven targets. He caught six of them for 19 yards. The Lions face the Cowboys who struggle at defending against running backs.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
Imagine if Sutton was on a team with a great quarterback? His crazy, athletic catch gave him a touchdown in Week 10 and helped his 5/56/1 stat line. Sutton has continued to look good no matter who is at quarterback, the sign of a great player. He faces the Minnesota Vikings this week, who actually allow the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. He should exceed his No. 15 ranking.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
While Doyle has only had three receptions in each of the past two games, he also has a touchdown in each of them. Meanwhile, Eric Ebron doesn't have a touchdown in that span. In the past two games, the Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends. While it doesn't necessarily mean that a touchdown will go Doyle's way, it certainly is possible. The one negative is that Jacoby Brissett will be back and neither of Doyle's touchdowns in the past two games came from Brissett. He's ranked No. 10, and if he can find the end zone, he will exceed that.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Just as Jared Goff is much better at home, so is Brees. In Week 11, Brees travels to Tampa Bay. Not only is he not at home, but he's not on turf. While it shouldn't matter as much to a quarterback, Brees of 2019 isn't the Brees of the past. Whether it was the injury or his age, Brees didn't throw a touchdown in Week 10. Move him out of the comfort of the Superdome and he's not going to get to his No. 3 ranking.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
In the past two games, Gurley has had 10 and 12 carries. He did score a touchdown in Week 9, but it's been hard to trust Gurley this year. He's definitely been more of an RB2, but even that has been questionable at times. The Rams face the Chicago Bears, which is a decent matchup. The problem is the team isn't giving him the work. This game looks like a Cooper Kupp bounce-back game, not a Gurley running game. He's ranked No. 17 but should finish below that.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Hopkins is ranked No. 2 for Week 11 so odds are that he will finish lower than that, but the rationale is because of the matchup. The Texans face the Ravens, who only have had just three wide receivers post more than 100 receiving yards against them. They have allowed six WRs to score a touchdown, but Hopkins only has four touchdowns on the season, two of which were back in Week 1. He's had five games with less than 70 receiving yards; this looks to be another one of those games.
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Kirk just had the best game of his career in Week 10 with six receptions for 138 yards and three touchdowns. It's highly unlikely he's going to repeat that success in Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have not allowed a wide receiver to score more than one touchdown and they've only allowed six to score against them this year. Kirk is still a WR3, but just not at his No. 26 ranking.
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard scored his first touchdown of the year in Week 10. However, it was against the Arizona Cardinals, who are absolutely terrible at defending tight ends. In Week 11, Howard faces the New Orleans Saints. It’s not a tough matchup, but it's not the Cardinals. Howard does not have a game with more than four receptions. He has one game with over 50 yards. He's a TE2; not the No. 12 tight end that he is ranked as for Week 11.
Full Disclosure from Week 10
5 Up (3/5 correct)
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans (Ranked: 15, actual: 10)
David Johnson, RB, Cardinals (Ranked: 35, actual: not in top 50)
Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys (Ranked: 18, actual: 11)
Darius Slayton, WR, Giants (Ranked: 45, actual: 2)
Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins (Ranked: 18, actual: 35)
5 Down (2/4 correct)
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (Ranked: 12, actual: DNP)
Damien Williams, RB, Chiefs (Ranked: 22, actual: 17)
Kalen Ballage, RB, Dolphins (Ranked: 30, actual: 31)
Davante Adams, WR, Packers (Ranked: 11, actual: 16)
Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens (Ranked: 5, actual: 1)
— 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.