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Fantasy Football Week 11 Start/Sit Advice

  • The Draft Network
  • November 18, 2021
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Let’s get bold. You may be surprised to see some of the players in this week’s start/sit column. After all, some of them earned relatively high expectations prior to the season. Well, let this be a lesson in fantasy football: Expect the unexpected. That quickly became my motto when writing this column. 

Too often, fantasy managers fall in love with what they think a player can do based on what they’ve done before. Yes, while the best indicator of future success is past success, you shouldn’t expect a player to automatically bounce back because “he’s done it before.” Situations change. Keep that in mind when setting your lineups, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain on a player. 

With that said, let’s jump right into the column! And if you have any more fantasy questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @ZachCohenFB and follow TDN Fantasy @TDNFantasy.

QUARTERBACKS

Start: Tua Tagovailoa at NYJ 

The stars have aligned beautifully for my quarterback ‘start’ of the week. He may not be the most electric option out there, but in four full starts this season, Tagovailoa posted 16.2, 21.4, 26.5, and 15.2 points, respectively. His last performance came against the Bills’ top-rated defense. Meanwhile, the Jets are ranked 24th in fantasy points allowed (FPA). That doesn’t even consider how atrociously bad New York’s defense has been. They’re dead-last in points allowed per game, points allowed per play, and touchdowns allowed per game. If Tagovailoa can score 20+ fantasy points against the Jaguars and Falcons, he should certainly match that against the Jets. Expect another 20-point performance from him this week.

Other Players to Consider: Derek Carr vs. CIN, Mac Jones at ATL

Sit: Russell Wilson vs. ARI

I know what you may be thinking, and no, I’m not crazy. Let’s think about this. Could one of the top quarterbacks in football drop another 20-point performance on the Cardinals? Of course he can. I just think there’s too big of a chance he doesn’t. Wilson was shut down in his return to action in Week 10. While no one should expect him to score 5.6 points again, he still may need a week or two until he—and the Seahawks’ offense—get back into a groove. Besides, the Cardinals have allowed the sixth-fewest points to quarterbacks this season. Only three passers have scored more than 16 points against them, though the mighty Aaron Rodgers was close with 15.7 in Week 8. Arizona’s surprising success on defense paired with Wilson’s uncertainty makes the gunslinger a shaky starter in Week 11. 

Other Players to Consider: Carson Wentz at BUF, Jimmy Garoppolo at JAX

RUNNING BACKS

Start: A.J. Dillon vs. MIN

It’s finally time to unleash the beast! If you drafted Dillon, all those weeks of stashing him on your bench are finally paying off. After Aaron Jones left the game with an injury, Dillon scored twice en route to a monster 26-point performance. Did it help that Green Bay was facing Seattle’s horrendous run defense? Sure. Does Green Bay get that luxury against Minnesota this week? Not really. The Vikings are pretty average in terms of FPA to running backs. But it doesn’t matter for Dillon, who should see roughly 20 carries. He’s a solid RB2 this week with legitimate RB1 upside based on touchdown volume and extended work as a receiver.

Other Players to Consider: Mark Ingram at PHI, Rhamondre Stevenson at ATL, D’Onta Foreman vs. HOU

Sit: Bills RBs vs. IND

Zack Moss or Devin Singletary? Devin Singletary or Zack Moss? Or maybe Matt Breida? The correct answer: None of the above. Perhaps in another universe, one of Buffalo’s running backs breaks out and becomes a superstar. Until then, we’re stuck in this reality with no way of knowing who to start each week. There is no pattern nor data to suggest Moss should start over Singletary or vice versa. The best advice I can give? Unless your Spidey Senses are telling you otherwise, just avoid the situation entirely. Besides, only four running backs have scored 10+ points on the Colts since Week 4. I don’t like the chances of a Bills running back becoming the fifth or sixth member of that group.

Other Players to Consider: Michael Carter vs. MIA, Eagles’ RBs

WIDE RECEIVERS

Start: DeVonta Smith vs. NO

Smith may not have the floor of Rashod Bateman or Jaylen Waddle, but it’s hard to choose a receiver who’s been playing better over the last two weeks. He’s the WR1 in that span thanks to back-to-back games of 22.6 points. While Smith only saw six targets in each game, he still managed to score against the Chargers’ No. 1 defense and the Broncos’ No. 16 defense in FPA to receivers. Again, normally I choose more consistent players who also see more targets, but Smith has been too good to keep on your bench. He should be a good WR2 against a Saints’ defense that’s 29th in FPA to wide receivers.

Other Players to Consider: Rashod Bateman at CHI, Elijah Moore vs. MIA, Jaylen Waddle at NYJ

Sit: Terry McLaurin at CAR

I told you I was getting bold today. But hey, what is life without taking some risks? And speaking of risk, that’s exactly what McLaurin, D.J. Moore, and Mike Williams are this week. I chose McLaurin, though, for a few reasons. The first and most obvious reason is he’s a liability on fantasy rosters. On the surface, 15.3 points per game is pretty solid, but that doesn’t tell the full story. Since Week 5, McLaurin has eclipsed nine points just twice: Week 7 (25.2 points) and Week 10 (11.9 points). McLaurin is also averaging 9.3 targets per game, yet he’s only averaging 5.4 catches. Clearly, Taylor Heinicke isn’t doing his receivers any favors since McLaurin is only credited with two drops this season. Now, McLaurin did produce a couple of 10-point performances at the start of the season where he didn’t find the end zone. However, he has yet to consistently replicate those games. In other words, if you start McLaurin, you’re hoping he scores. A scoreless-ceiling of 10-11 points isn’t bad, but McLaurin’s only done that once since Week 5. Meanwhile, Carolina has allowed just three touchdowns to wide receivers in that span. It all makes McLaurin a very risky start in Week 11 and beyond.

Other Players to Consider: D.J. Moore vs. WAS, Mike Williams vs. PIT, Marvin Jones vs. SF

TIGHT ENDS

Start: Dan Arnold vs. SF

Can I just copy/paste what I wrote last week? Or are we past the point of no return with Arnold as a weekly starter? In the last five games with the Jaguars, Arnold has been a beacon of consistency. Excluding a down week in Week 6, Arnold has four games of 10+ points, including three consecutive ones. He’s also seen more than seven targets in each of those four games. But wait, there’s more! Arnold has seen the fifth-most targets among tight ends since Week 5 and is the overall TE8 in that time. In case it didn’t resonate last week, get Arnold in your lineups from now on.

Other Players to Consider: Hunter Henry at ATL, Tyler Conklin vs. GB

Sit: Zach Ertz at SEA

Ertz looked like a solid pickup on fantasy rosters following his trade to Arizona, and while he definitely deserves to still be on them, there’s no need to start Ertz this week. His production over the last three weeks hasn’t been too good.

  • Reception range: 3-4
  • Target range: 4-6
  • Yards range: 27-46
  • Points range: 5.7-8.6

He did score 16 points in Week 7 thanks to a touchdown, yet he hasn’t found the end zone since. If you start Ertz, you’re banking on a touchdown. The chances of that happening are slim, and not just because DeAndre Hopkins may return to action. The Seahawks have allowed just three tight ends to score more than 10 points this season. On top of that, Seattle’s also surrendered just three touchdowns to the position, too. You can do better than Ertz this week—start Hunter Henry or Tyler Conklin instead.

Other Players to Consider: Cole Kmet vs. BAL, Gerald Everett vs. ARI

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