Fantasy Football: 20 Thoughts Recapping Week 11

Photo: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 was… weird. Fun, but weird. We saw Taysom Hill start at quarterback but finish as the No. 1 tight end. We saw the Panthers start P.J. Walker and all of his weapons thrive. We saw several rookies dominate across the league. We also saw the unfortunate ending of No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow’s season. 

Before we turn the page to Monday Night Football and then the start of Week 12 (happy early Thanksgiving!), here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with the final note after Sunday Night Football.

  1. JOE BURROW: As Burrow was carted off the field early in the third quarter with a left knee injury, it appears his sensational rookie season has come to an abrupt end. We will not see Burrow again in 2020 due to a torn ACL. Coming into Week 11, Burrow was the QB15 in total points and QB18 in average fantasy points per game this season. Hopefully he’ll be ready for the start of next season—with some more offensive line help—so he can be a high-end QB2 in 2021 fantasy drafts.
  2. ANTONIO GIBSON: Touchdowns have buoyed Gibson’s fantasy production over the last two weeks since his breakout game against Dallas, but the rookie ran with intensity and success on Sunday. He finished with 94 rushing yards on 16 carries (nearly six yards per carry) with a touchdown. Gibson has been hanging around low-end RB1 territory the last couple weeks and will remain there on Thanksgiving day against the Cowboys. He’s a top 15 running back the rest of the way even with only two more bye weeks left around the league (TB/CAR, Week 13).
  3. PANTHERS: Despite quarterback Teddy Bridgewater being inactive for this game, all of Carolina’s playmakers had solid-to-great fantasy days. D.J. Moore had the best real-life game of the bunch with seven catches for 127 yards, but Curtis Samuel’s 8/70/1 was the top fantasy performance. Mike Davis (79 total yards and a score) and Robby Anderson (seven catches for 46 yards) also had solid performances. It’s a good sign if you roster any of those players, especially since it’s not a guarantee Bridgewater plays in Week 12. If it’s P.J. Walker again next week against the Vikings, you can confidently start all the names above in their usual roles for your team.
  4. LIONS RBS: As expected, Detroit’s backfield sans D’Andre Swift was a fantasy wasteland. Neither Adrian Peterson nor Kerryon Johnson did anything of note—even if the game script late wasn’t in their favor. If Swift can clear protocol in time for Thanksgiving, he’ll be a low-end RB1 against Houston. But considering how late in the week we found out about Swift’s head injury, it would not be surprising if he sits out another week with some extra time to rest between Weeks 12 and 13.
  5. CHASE CLAYPOOL: The rookie out of Notre Dame is on a historic touchdown pace after catching his 10th of the season against the Jaguars on Sunday. He finished with 4/59/1, becoming the fourth wide receiver in NFL history (and first since 1960) to score 10 or more touchdowns in their first 10 career games. Claypool was a top-20 wide receiver coming into Week 11 and only solidified that status this week. He’ll be hanging around that WR2/3 cutoff line against the Ravens on Thursday night, but if JuJu Smith-Schuster’s foot issue keeps him out, Claypool is a true WR2. 
  6. DIONTAE JOHNSON: In Johnson's last six healthy games, he's averaging 80.3 receiving yards per game—and that includes one dud performance where he had only three receiving yards against Baltimore. In all other games in that stretch, he's averaging 95.8 receiving yards per game. He's a near lock for double-digit targets on a weekly basis and is the true No. 1 wide receiver in Pittsburgh’s offense. In great matchups like this, he’s a WR1; he’s a WR2 in all others.
  7. DAMIEN HARRIS: I’m baffled by Harris’ usage against the worst rush defense in the NFL this week. Harris had five carries and a touchdown on the opening drive and seven carries in total in the first quarter. Then they pretty much never used him again—Harris had only four carries for the remainder of the game. Given this baffling usage, the likely return of Sony Michel next week, and Bill Belichick’s maddening history with fantasy running backs, Harris will be hard to trust as anything more than a low-end RB2 in the short term.
  8. DUKE JOHNSON: It’s time to get off the Duke Johnson train. I was willing to give him another chance after last week, but he’s nowhere near as involved in the receiving game as I anticipated. He was never going to be a high-value runner, but he only has six total targets in his two games as a starter. He averaged 1.5 yards per carry on 10 carries in this game, while catching three of those five targets for 20 yards. He will be ranked as a risky flex play against the Lions, a team you can very much run on, for the Thanksgiving opener. 
  9. COREY DAVIS: This is your weekly reminder that Davis is a weekly WR3 that needs to be in your lineup most weeks. His 5/113/0 game was his third 100-yard game of the season. It was also his seventh game this season (out of eight) with at least 11.9 fantasy points. A.J. Brown is the star (and his go-ahead touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was one of the plays of the year), but Ryan Tannehill is looking to Davis more often and he’s having the best season of his career.
  10. J.K. DOBBINS: Did we finally, finally see the Ravens commit to the most talented running back on the roster? Dobbins had 70 rushing yards and a score on 15 carries. But the headline here is that no other running back had more than three carries with Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram combining for only five carries. Dobbins had the best game of his young career against the Steelers in the last meeting and he’ll get them again in four days. It’s hard to trust given that team’s tendency over the last couple years, but I’m hopeful we start to see a significant workload shift in favor of the rookie going forward.
  11. TRAVIS FULGHAM: Despite how great of a story he was earlier this season, it’s probably time to relegate Fulgham to the bench until further notice. He ended up with seven targets, but if you watched the game you know he wasn’t much of a factor at any point against the Browns. He had just one catch for eight yards for the second straight week. I wouldn’t rush to drop him yet (although you can in a pinch), but he can’t be in your starting lineup next week.
  12. JARVIS LANDRY: Before you rush out to drop Landry, I want to wait one more week. “Why, he’s only averaging 6.5 fantasy points per game since Odell Beckham Jr. went down?” Well, the Browns have also played three straight games in bad weather and chose to run the ball like crazy. They’re going to be a run-heavy team with Kevin Stefanski and two great backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. However, we haven’t seen what this passing offense looks like without Beckham under normal weather conditions. Landry is more like a high-end WR4 next week, but I think he’ll return to double-digit fantasy points and could earn a spot in my sneaky starts column this coming Thursday. 
  13. TAYSOM HILL: The ESPN cheat code finished with 24.42 fantasy points, likely finishing as the TE1 regardless of what Travis Kelce does on Sunday Night Football—and likely a top-five quarterback as well. Hill was erratic as a passer, but had 51 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. With the Broncos and Falcons on tap over the next two weeks, Hill will be a top-two tight end and a top-15 quarterback for each of the next two weeks. 
  14. MICHAEL THOMAS: Thomas benefited greatly from Hill getting the start at quarterback. The undisputed overall WR1 coming into the fantasy season had his best game of the year with nine catches for 104 yards on a team-high 12 targets. This performance, even against Atlanta, is great news for Thomas’ fantasy managers. It proves he can be highly productive without Drew Brees, who isn’t expected back before Week 14 or 15 (at the earliest). Thomas can safely stay in WR1 territory.
  15. SALVON AHMED: The return of Matt Breida didn't eat into Ahmed's workload too much, as the running back finished with 74 total yards on 17 touches (including five catches). A matchup with the Jets next week makes things interesting, but with no teams on bye and some uncertainty at the quarterback position, Ahmed will be ranked right around RB30. Still, he's clearly the Miami running back you want while Myles Gaskin is on IR. Breida can stay on waivers.
  16. JONATHAN TAYLOR: This was the matchup to attack and it was exciting to see the rookie get the lion's share of the workload after his production fell off in recent weeks. Like Dobbins, the biggest takeaway was the amount of touches Taylor had compared to his teammates. Taylor led all Colts with 22 carries, 16 more than any other Indianapolis running back—Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines combined for 10 carries. Let's hope this trend continues going forward, especially against the Titans next week. Still, proceed with a bit of caution, as Taylor isn't back to being a must-start yet.
  17. EZEKIEL ELLIOTT: We were all very curious to see how Elliott was going to perform coming off the bye week, and so far so good. He had his first 100-yard game of the season, finishing with 103 yards on 21 carries. He also had two catches for 11 yards and a touchdown in the receiving game. It was by far Elliott's best game since Dak Prescott went down with his season-ending injury. He'll get a chance to string a couple great games together in a few days on Thanksgiving, but this performance allows Elliott to return to RB1 territory.
  18. AMARI COOPER/CEEDEE LAMB: Aside from Elliott, those who are rostering Cooper and Lamb breathed a sigh of relief with the return of Andy Dalton. Both Cooper (6/81/0) and Lamb (4/34/1) had solid fantasy days and are back to being fantasy-relevant in the post-Ben DiNucci/Garrett Gilbert world.
  19. ADAM THIELEN: After an early-November lull, Thielen has put together back-to-back two-touchdown games. He had his best game of the season in Week 11, finishing with eight receptions for 123 yards and two scores. The Minnesota passing attack is potent again and Thielen is riding the wave all the back into weekly WR1 territory.
  20. CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: It was nice to see another big CEH game, as the rookie ended the day as the RB2 overall with 20.7 points. He had 77 total yards on 15 touches to go along with a pair of rushing touchdowns. It was his best game in more than a month and reminded everyone of how dynamic he can be when the Chiefs commit to giving him more than the 8.7 touches per game he averaged in his last three outings.

Written By:

Jaime Eisner

Managing Editor

Managing Editor of The Draft Network. He’s a former editor for Sports Illustrated, FanRag Sports and Arizona Sports. He’s the co-host of the TDN Fantasy Podcast and has an extensive background covering fantasy sports and sports betting.

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