For Week 11, only four teams are on a bye, just like in Week 10 (the Dolphins and Buccaneers are playing this week instead of having their bye week) so fantasy owners shouldn't have too hard of a time filling out their lineups. It is getting closer and closer to the playoffs and wins are even more critical now. While some players seem like easy starts, depending on match-p, they may be worth sitting... if you have better options on your team. Some matchups are worth exploiting; others are daunting. Those are the players to consider benching.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Indianapolis, New York Jets, San Francisco
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Filling in for Jameis Winston, Fitzpatrick looked lost against the Jets. Perhaps his old team knew how to defend against him, perhaps he missed Mike Evans, but it wasn't pretty. He's ranked No. 19 for Week 11, which seems to make sense given his 187-yard performance in Week 10. However, he has a great matchup against a Miami defense that was embarrassed this past Monday. Fitzpatrick gets his No. 1 WR back and he's had another week to practice as the starter. He's a solid option in two-quarterback leagues.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Even with the No. 10 ranking, Coleman is on the "up" list. In PPR formats, he should exceed that ranking. He does face a tough Seattle defense, but the Seahawks can be beaten (and are starting to feel the pain of several key injuries). Coleman will take over for Devonta Freeman and be involved in the running and passing attack. Based on volume alone, Coleman should fare well. Given his ability to break a big play and get into the end zone, he is a top-10 option for Week 11.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
Even though Damien Williams is listed as the starter, the back to own for fantasy purposes is Drake. He's clearly the better runner and in time, the Dolphins will likely give him more work. In Week 10, he had seven carries, but he turned them into 82 yards and a touchdown. Williams had nine carries that he turned into 19 yards. Who should the Dolphins use? Drake is ranked No. 23, but is a RB2 and should exceed that ranking.
Bruce Ellington, WR, Houston Texans
Will Fuller went down in Week 10 with a rib injury and the team has already confirmed that he will miss Week 11. The next man up is Ellington (3 percent owned). In Week 10, Ellington had nine targets (second to only DeAndre Hopkins). He caught four of them for 41 yards and a touchdown. He's shown Tom Savage that he can be trusted, and with Hopkins being matched up with Patrick Peterson, Savage may go for the safer option in Week 11. Ellington is ranked outside the top 50, but has WR3 potential.
Vernon Davis, TE, Washington Redskins
In Week 10, Davis led all tight ends in targets. With Jordan Reed out over the past two weeks, Davis has had 13 receptions for 148 yards. Kirk Cousins looks for his tight end, and if Reed is out, Davis is the beneficiary. While Reed's status for Week 11 is unknown, it doesn't look promising. He's yet to return to practice after saying he suffered a setback prior to Week 10. Even if he is active, he will be limited if he's still playing through an injury. Davis is ranked No. 10 but could finish even higher.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
With back-to-back 300-yard games, Goff seems to be an easy top-10 fantasy quarterback. He has seven touchdowns in the past two games and is ranked No. 10 this week. However, he's taken advantage of good matchups. Goff has a much tougher test this week against Minnesota. The Vikings allow the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They have allowed two quarterbacks to throw for 300 yards, but have not allowed more than two TD passes.
Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants
Darkwa's stats from the past two weeks are similar: 16 and 14 carries for 71 and 70 yards and two receptions for minimal yardage. These are not the numbers of a No. 16-ranked back for Week 11. He could reach that ranking if he found the end zone, however, he's only done that once this season. The problem with Darkwa — and the Giants — is they are likely going to be playing from behind. Darkwa isn't involved in the passing game. It's going to be tough to trust him even as a RB2 this week.
Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The problem with Allen is simply that there are too many backs for the Ravens. Alex Collins has been acting as the No. 1 back with Allen coming in on the passing downs. However, Danny Woodhead is expected to be back and active this week. When Woodhead played before injuring his hamstring in Week 3, he was a favorite target of Joe Flacco. Woodhead's return will cut into Allen's work. While it is unclear what kind of role Woodhead will have this week, Allen should be left on the bench. He's ranked No. 39 but he really isn't in flex consideration.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
While Bruce Ellington made the "up" list, Hopkins is on the down list. This is mostly because of his matchup with Patrick Peterson. Tom Savage isn't a great quarterback and he's not going to be able to easily get the ball to where Hopkins can get it. He may force it to him, but Hopkins isn't going to reach his No. 11 ranking. He has seen more than a third of Savage's passes, but if Peterson is on Hopkins, it's going to be tough for him to make those catches.
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills
In his return from knee surgery, Clay had two receptions for 13 yards on three targets. Not so impressive for what could be a TE1. However, it's hard to predict what will happen in Week 11. Tyrod Taylor, who looked for Clay in the red zone, has been benched for Nathan Peterman. Perhaps Peterman will look to dump the ball off to Clay. Or, perhaps, the matchup will scare him off: the Chargers allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Only one tight end has scored against them: Rob Gronkowski. Clay may fall below his No. 14 ranking.
Full Disclosure, Week 10:
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (Ranked: 10, Actual: 29)
Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants (Ranked: 16, Actual: 20)
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots (Ranked: 44, Actual: 11)
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Ranked: 47, Actual: not in top 50)
Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions (Ranked: 14, Actual: 6)
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (Ranked: 6, Actual: 22)
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (Ranked: 2, Actual: 9)
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (Ranked: 29, Actual: 35)
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (Ranked: 7, Actual: not in top 50)
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys (Ranked: 11, Actual: 18)
— 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.