Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 11: Marcus Mariota and Other QB/DST Start/Sit Fantasy Advice

Plus why you might want to reconsider starting Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins this week

From a fantasy football standpoint, the NFL made a great decision in moving the Chiefs-Rams Week 11 "Monday Night Football" game from Mexico City to Los Angeles. The change in location (from Mexico City's altitude to more familiar Southern California) just increases the chances that Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff finish the week ranked as QB1 and QB2 in fantasy scoring.

 

Then again, if you have Mahomes or Goff on your fantasy team you were going to start them already. I don't need to tell you that or I shouldn’t need to tell you that. But what about guys like Marcus Mariota or Mitchell Trubisky? They have been hot lately, but can you trust them this week? And what about Ben Roethlisberger on the road in Jacksonville, is he worth starting if you really need a win this week to stay in the fantasy football playoff hunt?

 

Those questions and more (don't forget about defense/special teams!) will be answered below. But first, let's see how my Week 10 start/sit advice turned out.

 

Good Calls for Week 10...

Start Marcus Mariota (21.1 fantasy points) – Mariota has regained his confidence and now has a true No. 1 target in Corey Davis.

 

Sit Tom Brady (10.76 FP) – Brady was due for a bad game, and it came on the road against one of the NFL’s best defenses in the Titans.

 

Sit Andy Dalton (6.92 FP) – In what should have been a shootout at home, Dalton was terrible against an improved Saints defense.

 

Bad Calls for Week 10...

Sit Mitchell Trubisky (36 FP) – Trubisky is really coming into his own as the season has progressed and is now a top-12 fantasy QB.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, New York Jets, San Francisco

 

Quarterbacks

 

START THESE QBS...

 

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI (vs. MIN)

Trubisky and the Bears host a Vikings defense that is still a top-10 unit despite some lackluster performances, but Minnesota is fourth in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average metrics against the rush (-19.1 percent) and 10th against the pass (-0.2 percent).As you can see, the pass value is 10th but average and should be Chicago’s avenue of attack, especially considering 2018 Jordan Howard epitomizes “below average” as a runner. And if Trubisky's WR trio, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen can’t get open, Trubisky has scored a rushing TD or topped 45 rushing yards in six of nine games. His running ability makes him a safe play this week.

 

Marcus Mariota, TEN (at IND)

Mariota entered Week 10 averaging just 180 passing yards per game. However, in his last two games, Mariota has thrown for 468 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Remember, Sean McVay protege Matt LaFleur is the Titans' offensive coordinator. Tennessee had injuries early in the year, but the offense is coming together. Mariota is a strong play this week against a Colts defense allowing 268 passing yards per game.

 

Dak Prescott, DAL (at ATL)

Prescott has turned things around in recent weeks, scoring 20-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games. If you are in need of a quarterback to stream this week, Prescott is a great choice, as he'll face a Falcons defense that's allowed almost 30 fantasy points per game and a 113.5 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks on their home field this season.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Eli Manning, NYG (vs. TB)

At this point in his career, Manning's potential production does rely on his opponent. Three out of the four games in which Manning has finished in the top 15, has come against opponents in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to the position. That is good news for Manning owners this Sunday, as the Giants will take on a Buccaneers defense that is allowing the fourth-most points to QBs. His schedule isn’t so favorable the rest of the way, but in Week 11, there is still a little bit of fantasy value left in the tank.

 

SIT THESE QBs...

 

Kirk Cousins, MIN (at CHI)

Cousins and the Vikings have to face Chicago’s No. 1 DVOA defense (second against the rush, fourth vs. the pass) on their home field. The Bears have given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs and Khalil Mack’s Week 10 showed the time off was just what he needed. While Cousins has held up well while facing pressure thus far and he should get Stefon Diggs back, you don’t want to rely on him on the road against the new-look Monsters of the Midway.

 

Andy Dalton, CIN (at BAL)

Dalton put up a real stinker last week against the Saints, throwing for 153 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Don't expect a rebound on Sunday in Baltimore. The Ravens are allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Dalton had a good game versus the Ravens in their first meeting this season, throwing for 265 yards and four touchdowns. But three of those went to A.J. Green, who won't be playing on Sunday.

 

Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. CAR)

Stafford hasn't generated more than 20 fantasy points since Week 4, and he may now be facing a Carolina defense without Marvin Jones Jr. The offensive line is a mess in Detroit and the Panthers will milk the clock, keeping Stafford and company off of the field. He still has plenty of ability, but there's just not enough around him to make a difference in fantasy football. Carolina was a mess in Week 10 against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, but this matchup should be different. The Panthers should be able to generate some pressure, which will alleviate some of the concerns regarding the secondary.

 

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at JAC)

Roethlisberger is coming off of a Week 10 showing that goes up there with his career-best performances, but now he goes from a 14:3 TD-to-INT ratio at home to a 7:4 ratio on the road. Laugh at the Jaguars and pick apart Jalen Ramsey’s tweets all you’d like, but they’ve still given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs.

 

Defense/Special Teams (DSTs)

 

START THESE DSTs...

 

Baltimore Ravens (vs. CIN)

Baltimore DST has been bad in recent weeks, scoring a combined zero fantasy points in the last four games, even though this supposed to be an elite fantasy defense. But the Ravens are a must-start this week getting the A.J. Green-less Bengals at home.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (at JAC)

The Steelers are coming off of a monster performance against the Panthers last Thursday night. The DST scored 15 fantasy points, including a pick-six and five sacks.  You can roll out the 2018 edition of the Steel Curtain again this week as opposing defenses have averaged 10 fantasy points per game against Blake Bortles and company.

 

SIT THESE DSTs...

 

Los Angeles Rams (vs. KC, Mon.)

The Rams' defense has had its issues throughout this season regardless of opponent, but now it's an entirely different kind of challenge. The Chiefs are the most explosive offense in the league and don't lack for playmakers, starting with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It figures to be a long night for both defenses in SoCal, so this is not the best week to expect Los Angeles' defense to turn things around.

 

Denver Broncos (at LAC)

Believe it or not, 65 percent of the Broncos DST's fantasy points this season have come in just two games. Denver is not worth starting this week against the Chargers, as opposing DSTs have averaged fewer than five fantasy points per game against Philip Rivers and crew.

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

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