Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 11 lineups.
Sit: All Lions but D’Andre Swift
Start in DFS: Nick Chubb ($32)
The Browns have allowed the second-fewest yards per play at home this season and will be facing a winless Lions team with Tim Boyle expected to make his first career start at quarterback. The undrafted Boyle got an almost unfathomable 4.5 YPA with a 1:13 TD:INT ratio in college, so even T.J. Hockenson is tough to start this week.
This obviously depends on Chubb returning from the COVID list, but he’ll be a DFS option if good to go. The Browns are double-digit home favorites against a Lions defense that just played five quarters and has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Cleveland’s elite offensive line has gotten healthy, while Baker Mayfield will be playing at less than 100% (as will the team’s receivers), so Chubb should be the center of the Browns offense this week with Kareem Hunt still out. If Chubb is unable to return, D’Ernest Johnson ($25) would become extremely popular in DFS.
San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Jimmy Garoppolo, Dan Arnold
Garoppolo has gotten 9.5 YPA with six total touchdowns and one turnover over the last three games (with two games against top-10 pass defenses), and the 49ers surprisingly have the No. 3 offense in DVOA this season. Jimmy G can be considered a top-15 fantasy QB this week against a pass-funnel Jacksonville defense that’s stingy against the run (even shutting down Jonathan Taylor over the final three quarters last week). Elijah Mitchell is banged up with a pin recently inserted into his fractured finger, and SF’s receivers are healthy together for once, so the team’s game plan could lean more pass-heavy than usual Sunday. The 49ers have gained the second-most yards per play on the road this season, so San Francisco is a sneaky DFS stack while having extremely concentrated targets.
Arnold is getting as much consistent usage since getting traded to Jacksonville as almost any tight end in the league. It’s too soon to worry about Trevor Lawrence, but he’s struggled mightily while sporting the second-worst completion percentage above expectation in the NFL (only Zach Wilson is worse). While Lawrence ranks 39th among quarterbacks in EPA/dropback — one spot behind Sam Darnold, Arnold is still a top-12 fantasy TE given the volume.
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills
Sit: Carson Wentz
Start: Dawson Knox
Wentz’s up-and-down season includes a current stretch in which he’s failed to surpass 5.8 YPA in three of his past four games. He now gets a strong Buffalo defense that’s yielded the fewest yards per play at home and the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Look elsewhere this week.
Facing a pass-funnel Colts defense that ranks No. 2 versus the run in DVOA, Buffalo’s passing attack has a nice setup. Cole Beasley is battling a rib injury that limited his snaps last game and his practice this week, so Knox should see more targets during his second game back from injury. He gets a Colts defense allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Start: Myles Gaskin
Sit: Elijah Moore
Miami’s offensive line may limit his upside some, but Gaskin is in a smash spot against a Jets defense allowing by far the most fantasy points to running backs this season; in fact, they’ve somehow given up 15+ fantasy points to 13 running backs over nine games. Gaskin has totaled 75 touches over Miami’s last four games while acting as the team’s feature back, and he should benefit from a positive game script in a matchup between Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Flacco.
Gaskin is a top-12 RB on my board this week.
Moore is a future star but remains a risky fantasy start while splitting routes with Keelan Cole and Jamison Crowder playing the slot. Moreover, Joe Flacco is now his QB, and Miami’s secondary is healthier and playing better than their season-long stats suggest.
Washington Football Team @ Carolina Panthers
Start: Football Team D/ST, Panthers D/ST
Washington’s defense just lost Chase Young but had been playing better lately. WFT could be a sneaky start this week against a Carolina team with a shaky offensive line and Cam Newton making his first start of the season while trying to quickly learn a new offensive system. Newton is a fantasy option thanks to his rushing, but his ability as a passer is a big question mark right now.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed the second-fewest yards per play this season and enter with DVOA’s No. 2 ranked pass defense. Taylor Heinicke has taken 11 sacks, thrown five picks and fumbled four times over four road games this season, and this is a thin offense with Curtis Samuel, Terry McLaurin and its top two tight ends all banged up (only McLaurin is likely to play Sunday). Conversely, Carolina’s defense is loaded and has a strong argument to be ranked as fantasy’s No. 1 D/ST this week.
Baltimore Ravens @ Chicago Bears
Start: Rashod Bateman, Cole Kmet
Bateman’s status should be monitored after he missed practice with an illness, but he’s an intriguing start if healthy against a Chicago pass-funnel defense that’s ceded the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers this year. With the Ravens RB issues, Marquise Brown battling a thigh injury and Sammy Watkins completely face-planting during his return last week, Bateman could be a big part of Baltimore’s offense Sunday. The impressive rookie wideout is plenty capable of taking advantage of the opportunity.
Kmet’s role in Chicago’s offense was expanding before the team’s bye, and he’ll benefit from Justin Fields’ continued growth. Baltimore has yielded the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Allen Robinson (hamstring) looks iffy to play, so Kmet can be considered a top-12 TE this week.
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles
Start: Adam Trautman, DeVonta Smith
Trautman is tied for the team lead in targets over the last three games, and he gets an Eagles defense that’s been gashed for the most fantasy points by tight ends this season. More targets should also be available with Alvin Kamara likely to sit again too (Tre’Quan Smith has emerged as New Orleans’ WR1 and is another flier this week).
The Eagles’ offense ranks first in points per drive over the last three games, and Smith has seen his usage increase dramatically over the last month. Philadelphia has become the most run-heavy team in football, but the Saints enter with the No. 1 rush defense in DVOA and allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to receivers, so Smith should see plenty of targets Sunday.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
Start: Brandin Cooks, D’Onta Foreman
The Titans have a pass-funnel defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to receivers this season. Cooks ranks first in air yards share and should benefit greatly from a healthy Tyrod Taylor coming out of the bye. Cooks’ ECR is the WR25 this week, but I have him ranked as a top-10 fantasy receiver.
Foreman may not dominate Tennessee’s backfield work, but he has more upside than a 36-year-old Adrian Peterson, and Jeremy McNichols is highly questionable to play this week. With the Titans double-digit home favorites against a Houston defense allowing 4.5 YPC, Foreman is a fine flex option.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Start in DFS: AJ Dillon ($20)
Sit: Kirk Cousins
Dillon is a Derrick Henry clone and the new three-down workhorse for the Packers with Aaron Jones (and Kylin Hill) sidelined. The Packers face a run-funnel Vikings defense allowing the third-most YPC (4.7) in the NFL, so it’s hard to pass on Dillon in DFS (and to tackle the running back).
Green Bay’s defense has been playing terrific, holding Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson to just 5.5 YPA with a combined one touchdown and four picks over the last three weeks. Cousins is also likely to start losing more touchdowns to his running back moving forward, as Dalvin Cook has been tackled at the 1-yard line a league-leading five times this season.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Las Vegas Raiders
Start: Joe Burrow, Derek Carr
The Bengals have gone from run-heavy early in the season to pass-heavy over the last five weeks, and Burrow has excelled when facing Cover 3 — a defensive scheme Las Vegas has stubbornly stuck to this season.
These defenses have been two of the most favorable to fantasy quarterbacks this season when adjusting for opponents, and this game is indoors with one of the highest totals on the slate (50.5 points). I have both Burrow and Carr as top-10 QBs this week.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Start in DFS: James Conner ($31), Tyler Lockett ($21)
Seattle is a run-funnel defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season, and Conner remains Arizona’s workhorse with Chase Edmonds out (and Eno Benjamin also hurt). Conner’s DFS roster percentage may not be overly high coming off a disappointing game, and he’s looking at a bunch of touches this week with a limited Kyler Murray (or Colt McCoy) at QB and possibly no DeAndre Hopkins again.
Lockett keeps racking up air yards and looks like the wide receiver most due for positive regression moving forward. Arizona isn’t an ideal matchup, but Seattle won’t be able to run the ball against the Cardinals, who’ve been middling against fantasy receivers this season. Lockett is averaging 97.3 yards at home this year, and hopefully, Russell Wilson will be able to do more now further removed from finger surgery (last week’s disastrous shutout can be partly blamed on Seattle being forced into pistol formations with Wilson’s finger preventing him from going under center).
Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs
Start in DFS: Everyone
Here’s the DFS matchup of the week, with an over/under of 56 points featuring two fast-paced teams. Dak Prescott ($37) gets a KC pass-funnel defense that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to QBs, while Patrick Mahomes ($36) (who’s suffered more from drops than any QB this year) and Tyreek Hill ($34) should both benefit from Dallas’ man coverage (and Randy Gregory being out). Michael Gallup ($15) dropped a slant that suppressed his stats last week, but he’s going to have some big games down the stretch. Gallup’s return moved CeeDee Lamb ($28) to the slot, where he’ll be simply unfair trying to guard.
OK, maybe don’t start everyone in this game, as my guy Mecole Hardman ($11) was finally demoted last week.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers
Start: Pat Freiermuth, Chargers D/ST
Freiermuth saw his snap% drop with Eric Ebron back but still saw nine targets last week and will continue to benefit from Chase Claypool’s (and JuJu Smith-Schuster’s) absence. The Chargers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to receivers yet the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, so Freiermuth may be busy Sunday night with Pittsburgh near touchdown underdogs.
It will be either a rusty Ben Roethlisberger playing without practicing the last two weeks or more Mason Rudolph. The Steelers just played five quarters last week, when Rudolph managed an anemic 4.8 YPA at home against the winless Lions (Detroit’s allowing an NFL-high 8.5 YPA this season). The Chargers are dealing with a COVID outbreak on defense, but they are still a strong fantasy start this week.
New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Start: Daniel Jones, Leonard Fournette
Jones will finally have healthy weapons in Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney available, and he faces the league’s premier pass-funnel defense Monday night. Jones’ ability to add rushing stats helps, and he’s gotten 8.3 YPA on the road this season. The Bucs’ secondary is dealing with a bunch of injuries (and Vita Vea is out on the line), so Jones is worth starting this week.
Calling Fournette a “start” is obvious, so let me say he’s a top-eight RB on my board. He saw nine targets last week when Ronald Jones played one snap. The Giants have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs this season, so Fournette ($23) is also a sneaky contrarian “Superstar” option in DFS.