Welcome to “Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em” for Week 11! We’ve got our last 6 team bye of the season (BUF, MIA, NE, NYJ, CLE, SF) and we know there are a lot of roster spots open due to the bye and injuries as well. We’ll help you fill those lineups here!
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN @ IND
Turning in consecutive QB7 and QB6 finishes the last 2 weeks, Marcus Mariota looks to be rejuvenated now that he is healthy. Mariota has typically been a 2nd half performer, so it seems as though he’s turned the corner here after the nerve damage in his throwing hand. He’s clearly throwing the ball better and running the ball well. I’m trusting him as a quality QB1 this Sunday inside the dome in Indianapolis.
RB Kerryon Johnson, DET vs. CAR
Even on what was supposed to be a down week for Kerryon Johnson last week in Chicago, he still managed 2 touchdowns and 89 yards from scrimmage on 20 total touches. Against Carolina, every back who has gotten 14 or more touches has come away with either a touchdown or 95 yards from scrimmage. That looks like a pretty safe bet for Johnson here as the Detroit offense continues to balance out the run/pass. High end RB2 this week.
RB Alex Collins, BAL vs. CIN
With the rumors swirling about who will play quarterback for the Ravens this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, who will play running back could be the key to that game. Alex Collins has scored 4 touchdowns in his last 3 contests, and with possibly a new quarterback under center , the reeling Ravens could get back to their winning ways via the run game. Collins has struggled a bit this season with a 3.7 YPC, but I feel like leaning on the run game against an inferior defense could get the Ravens back on track. I’d trust Collins as a mid-range RB2.
WR Amari Cooper, DAL @ ATL
Amari Cooper should continue his Cowboys rejuvenation in Atlanta against the shoddy secondary of the Falcons this week. He’s been full involved, averaging 9 targets in his two games since being acquired from Oakland. He should have had a touchdown last week when Dak Prescott overthrew him last Sunday night, but he should bless your lineup this Sunday with a dose of fantasy goodness. I like Cooper as a mid-range WR2 and his involvement balances out the offense for Dallas.
WR Kenny Golladay, DET vs. CAR
Based on volume and opportunity, Kenny Golladay should be in all lineups this week. Marvin Jones is likely out this week, so a large number of targets will be heading his way against a Carolina team that was torched by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers last Thursday night. I’m firing up Golladay as a mid-range WR2 with potential for more as this could be a sneaky shootout.
TE Vance McDonald, PIT @ JAX
With the Jaguars having to focus their attention on the run game with James Conner and the outside receivers in Juju Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown, they could let a target slip by, and for me, that would be Vance McDonald. As bad as depth has been in fantasy football at the tight end position, Vance has been lying in the weeds in that fringe TE1 territory. Last week, he caught his first touchdown pass since Week 3 and now gets to travel to Jacksonville. Some may remember him torching the Jaguars in last year’s playoffs for a 10-112 line on 16 targets. Not expecting that line at all, but McDonald has to be thinking about that game and is future prospects this Sunday.
QB Kirk Cousins, MIN @ CHI
A tough matchup in Chicago? Check. Hasn’t thrown for more than 2 touchdowns in his last 5 games? Check. Had only been higher than QB16 once in his last 5 games (QB10 in Week 8)? Check. Facing a tough defense on the road in prime time? No, I don’t “vike” that. Check and mate. With Kirk Cousins, look elsewhere for your QB this week.
RB Jordan Howard, CHI vs. MIN
In what could be a defensive battle, the touchdown dependant Jordan Howard will be hard to trust this week against a tough Minnesota defense that has only allowed two running backs to find the end zone. Howard needs a touchdown to return any sort of value to your team and I’m not so sure he can provide that reliably. In two goal line opportunities last week against Detroit, the rushing touchdowns went to Tarik Cohen and Mitchell Trubisky. At this point, Howard can only be trusted as a mid-range flex option with the hope he falls into the end zone.
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @ WAS
Lamar Miller, even with a great game vs. Miami a couple weeks ago (18-133-1), he’s been ceding touches to Alfred Blue. In fact, the touches have been split pretty evenly (32 for Miller, 30 for Blue in the last 2 games). Add in the fact that Washington has been a stout run defense, allowing the 5th least rushing yardage per game this season, and that’s a recipe to leave Lamar Miller on your bench this week.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR @ DET
With Darius Slay potentially returning to action this weekend, Devin Funchess’ prospects fall further, but to be fair, they were already trending downward. In his last 3 games, he’s put up 3-27, 4-44, and 3-32 for a combined 10-103 in that stretch. This can be correlated to Greg Olsen’s return and getting back into offensive flow, the emergence of playmakers around the offense like Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore, and the upswing of Christian McCaffrey. Simply put, Funchess hasn’t been relied upon as heavily and is a very tough start right now in fantasy.
WR Calvin Ridley, ATL vs. DAL
More of this “touchdown dependent” stuff, but Calvin Ridley has truly been that this season. In his last 5 games, he’s had one touchdown, with a 6-71-1 game on 9 targets. The other 4 have been 4-38, 3-47, 5-43, and 3-37. He’s a desperate flex at this point and can’t be trusted at this point in your lineup.
Frankly, at the tight end position, considering how shallow the position has been all year, you’re starting anybody that has a pulse… at least I hope so.
Stay tuned on Sunday morning starting at 11AM/10AM CST as I’ll be answering your lineup questions, trade advice, and roster decisions on Twitter, @ktompkinsii right up until kickoff! Good luck this week and as always, stay up to date with my latest PPR rankings through the week!