Welcome to Week 11’s start/sit column. Each week throughout the regular season, I will go over a few players at each major position and tell you whether you should make room in your lineup for them or pull them out of a starting spot. Players labeled “starts” are non-obvious options that either have a good matchup or are trending in the right direction, ranking higher for me than consensus this week. Players labeled “sits” are ones I have concerns about leading into the week but are in a significant amount starting lineups. This article is most helpful for those in full- or half-point PPR leagues.
As always, you should make the final call on all of your lineup decisions. This column is intended to be a piece of your research puzzle and/or a resource to highlight some specific names that may have been overlooked in my weekly rankings. Remember, the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers are on bye this week.
Without further ado, here is Start/Sit for Week 11:
START: Matt Ryan (QB - ATL)
While the Saints aren’t a great matchup for fantasy quarterbacks, they’re not as stout as you may think. They rank 20th in the NFL in average fantasy points allowed to the position, and Ryan is in a good spot to take advantage of his division rival coming off the bye. Over his last four games against New Orleans, Ryan is averaging 311.3 passing yards per game with 11 passing touchdowns and four interceptions—that’s an average of exactly 23 fantasy points per game if you also include his fumbles and modest rushing totals. He’s also averaging nearly two passing touchdowns per game on the road against the Saints since 2010. With the potential return of Calvin Ridley looming, as well as some possible short fields thanks to Jameis Winston turnovers, Ryan is a top-10 quarterback this week.
START: Ben Roethlisberger (QB - PIT)
The schedule turning in Roethlisberger’s favor has done wonders for the veteran quarterback. He’s coming off his two best games—fantasy and real life—of the season against the Cowboys and Bengals and has the Jaguars on tap this week. Jacksonville is allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, only behind the two beacons of fantasy production allowed in Seattle and Atlanta. After back-to-back 300-plus yard games with seven combined touchdowns and no turnovers, there’s no reason to believe Roethlisberger can’t put up top-half of QB1 territory numbers in Week 11. That’s why he’s ranked there as my QB6 this week.
SIT: Carson Wentz (QB - PHI)
It’s understandable if you feel like you have whiplash from the wide swings of excitement and misery that surround Wentz nowadays. After two bad weeks to start the season, Wentz looked like a decent fantasy option from Weeks 3-7 before bottoming out in his last two games with 8.62 and 8.72 fantasy points, respectively. While the Browns—a team allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season—are a good matchup, Wentz simply can’t be trusted. The return of Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery did absolutely nothing to boost Wentz’s game and you can’t risk a sub-10-point game this time of year to chase perceived upside. Wentz barely makes my top 20 at the position this week.
START: Damien Harris (RB - NE)
While the possible return of Sony Michel scares me a little bit because Belichick gonna Belichick, Harris looks like he’s more than capable of successfully operating as New England’s lead back. He has three 100-yard rushing games this season and two in his last three outings. Harris is running at a 5.54 yards per carry clip this season and is averaging more than 17 carries and 98 rushing yards per game over his last three weeks. If he had a couple more touchdowns, his fantasy hype would be through the roof. The Texans have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs this season and have the worst rushing defense in the NFL—they’re allowing 10 yards per game more on the ground than the second-worst team in the league (Dallas) and 25 yards per game more than the third-worst squad (Detroit). Harris should feast in this matchup if he continues to see the same workload he’s gotten since Week 8.
START: Chase Edmonds (RB - ARI)
Even with Kenyan Drake back, there’s room for multiple running backs to be successful in Arizona’s offense. The majority of Edmonds’ value this season has come as a pass-catcher. He had seven catches for 81 yards the last time the Seahawks and Cardinals met (Drake played in that game as well), finishing with 145 total yards and 21.5 fantasy points. There’s no reason to believe he won’t have a similar workload (and production) on Thursday Night Football this week. Edmonds is averaging 13.85 fantasy points per game over the last six weeks and only has one game without double-digit fantasy points. He’s playable as a low-end RB2 in Week 11.
SIT: Darrell Henderson (RB - LAR)
We’re back to the three-headed monster in the Rams backfield, which suppresses everyone’s fantasy value. Henderson got into the end zone last week to save his fantasy day, but had only eight touches and 32 total yards against the Seahawks after having just nine touches and 58 total yards against the Dolphins before the bye. Now, Los Angeles goes up against the stingiest run defense in the NFL, as the Buccaneers allow only 76.6 rushing yards per game. Splitting a workload in a bad matchup equals a bench spot for all Rams running backs this week.
START: Diontae Johnson (WR - PIT)
I was quite surprised to see Johnson starting in only about 55% of fantasy leagues last week despite the great matchup. If you’re someone who sat him in Week 10, don’t make that mistake again this week. The Jaguars are allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season and Roethlisberger is on a roll right now. Johnson has been a stud since returning from injury four weeks ago. He had a bad outing against the Ravens in Week 8, but is averaging 22.2 fantasy points per game in the other three contests. He’s a borderline WR1 in my rankings this week.
START: Jamison Crowder (WR - NYJ)
With the Jets coming off of their bye and Joe Flacco starting again this week, it’s easy to forget about Crowder, especially after having only two targets against the Patriots in Week 9. But aside from that game, Crowder has been a target monster this season. In his two other games with Flacco as the starter, Crowder received a whopping 23 combined targets, catching 15 of them for 164 yards and a score—plus, he was averaging 11.5 targets per game in general prior to the New England game. He hasn’t scored fewer than 10 fantasy points in any game in 2020 and ranks as the WR9 in average fantasy points per game this season. He’s matchup proof for PPR leagues.
SIT: Marquise Brown (WR - BAL)
I get it if you still want to roll the dice based on the matchup and Brown’s big-play ability, but the Ravens’ passing offense is an absolute mess right now. Brown is averaging only 4.3 targets per game in Baltimore’s last three since coming out of the bye and has a combined 17.5 fantasy points. If you’re a major underdog in your matchup and just need a Hail Mary, the Titans’ defense could answer your prayers, but for those in tightly-contested matchups with playoff seeding on the line, there are plenty of safer options at the position.
START: Hayden Hurst (TE - ATL)
Hurst is really putting together a nice season. In his last four weeks leading into Atlanta’s bye, Hurst was averaging 6.5 targets, 5.5 catches, 60.3 yards, and 13 fantasy points per game. He has only one real disastrous game (Week 5, Carolina) on his resume this season and gets to face off against a Saints team that ranks in the bottom eight in the league against fantasy tight ends this season. I’ve already discussed Ryan’s success against New Orleans above. Hurst will be third in line to benefit from that production in Week 11.
SIT: Robert Tonyan (TE - GB)
Tonyan is still rostered in 50% of leagues and that’s 50% too many. His run from Weeks 2-4 was nice, but he has only one game with even seven fantasy points since. He’s not a consistent part of the passing game and faces a Colts team allowing just 8.0 fantasy points per game to all tight ends this season. Sit him, drop him, move on.