You might assume that the starting QB on the team that leads the NFL in pass attempts would be owned in every fantasy league, but no. This year, that guy isn't even owned in a quarter of Yahoo! leagues.
Entering Week 11, the Detroit Lions were averaging 43.4 attempts and 266.7 passing yards per game, yet quarterback Shaun Hill(notes) was only 23 percent owned. That seems a little light, considering his circumstances.
Hill threw the ball 47 times against the Cowboys, playing catch-up, and he finished with 289 yards and two scores. He always seems to deliver that line, or something close. In every game that Hill has started and finished this season, he's thrown at least one TD pass and topped 220 yards. That's really not such a bad fantasy floor.
For our purposes, Hill's setup is almost ideal: His receivers are excellent, Detroit's running game is nonexistent, and the Lions occasionally trail by a touchdown after player introductions. He's about to face the Patriots in a short week, and the game figures to follow the usual script. New England's defense ranks 30th in terms of passing yards allowed; they gave up nearly 400 to Peyton Manning(notes) on Sunday.
I'll take the Pats for the real-life win, but give me Hill in the imaginary game.
It's not a clinic at all times with Hill, but the fantasy totals are more than useful. Add him where you can, even if you're only playing keep-away. Let's get this ownership percentage to a respectable level.
• If we're going to promote Shaun Hill ownership around here, then we should probably deliver another dose of Jon Kitna(notes) propaganda, too (seeing as how Kitna's team just beat Hill's). Kitna again took advantage of the crazy-talented weapons at his disposal, passing for three touchdowns on just 24 attempts. In his last two games, he's put the ball in the air 46 times and come away with six scores. We'll remind you, as we seem to do in every post, that Dallas will face Washington and Arizona during the fantasy playoffs, Weeks 15 and 16.
It's possible that Tony Romo(notes) (collarbone) will return for the end of the season — he's reportedly throwing again. But the Cowboys likely won't make all the risk/reward calculations on Romo until they've faced both New Orleans and Indianapolis. The schedule really isn't so friendly in the weeks ahead.
• If you're looking for Brett Favre(notes) discussion, I'll refer you to Shutdown Corner. The guy is hardly fantasy relevant anymore (Favre, not MJD), so he can't possibly be our lead item. The Vikings' passing game has a nice match-up at Washington upcoming, and Sidney Rice(notes) just returned to the field (3 REC, 56 yards). But it just might be Tarvaris time.
• Jason Campbell(notes) will reportedly get the start for Oakland in Week 12, versus the Dolphins. "There is no issue there," says coach Tom Cable. Campbell was pulled in favor of Bruce Gradkowski(notes) in the 32-point loss at Pittsburgh, but neither QB directed a touchdown drive, and both were intercepted.• Christopher Ivory(notes) hit the fantasy radar way back in August, after an insane run in the fourth quarter of a game that didn't matter, so he's not exactly an unknown. Ivory received the biggest workload of his NFL career on Sunday, rushing for 99 yards and a score on 23 carries. Clearly he benefited from the fact that Reggie Bush(notes) and Pierre Thomas(notes) were again inactive, and Julius Jones(notes) is Julius Jones.
Both Bush and Thomas are reportedly improving — Bush was a game-time call this week — but it's tough to imagine that the Saints won't find a use for the bulldozing rookie, even when the backfield is at full strength.
• In Peyton Manning's postgame press conference, he may have used the word "sickening" as many as 20 times when describing his third and final interception. And it really was kind of sickening, considering the game situation (inside field goal range, final minute, trailing by three). Still, Manning's owners appreciate the 396-yard, 4-TD effort. Blair White(notes) caught two of the scores, following the Austin Collie(notes) re-injury (details below). Donald Brown(notes) gained 108 yards on 20 touches, but he didn't cross the goal line. Because he never seems to cross the goal line. He dreams of being Danny Woodhead(notes) (69 rush, TD, 4 REC).
• Mike Goodson(notes) accounted for 151 of his team's 270 total yards on Sunday, reaching triple-digits for the second straight week. He's the only Carolina skill player currently on the approved list for fantasy owners; DeAngelo Williams(notes) (foot) is on IR and Jonathan Stewart(notes) remains concussed.
• Vince Young(notes) began the day fifth in the NFL in passer rating, but he's ending it at the bottom of the depth chart for his team. Or possibly beneath the bottom of the depth chart. He broke up with his head coach today, reportedly storming out of the locker room, muttering expletives. And his right thumb is injured. The Titans have a pair of outstanding match-ups on the schedule in Weeks 12 and 13 (at HOU, vs. JAC), but sixth-round rookie Rusty Smith(notes) will likely be under center. Rusty looked to Randy Moss(notes) immediately after entering the game, but without success. Smith finished 3-for-9 with an interception; Moss finished without a catch. Chris Johnson, prepare yourself for 30-plus carries next week. Javon Ringer(notes), get ready for whatever CJ2K can't handle.
• Just in case there was any question about whether or not Arian Foster(notes) was match-up proof, check Sunday's box score. That's a big line against the Jets, or any other team. (Posted at 10:05 pm ET)
Early waiver plays for Week 12…
QB Shaun Hill vs. NE (23 percent)
QB Jon Kitna vs. NO (28 percent)
QB Matt Hasselbeck(notes) vs. KC (18 percent)
RB Christopher Ivory at DAL (14 percent owned)
RB Mike Goodson at CLE (29 percent)
RB Keiland Williams(notes) vs. MIN (36 percent)
RB Willis McGahee(notes) vs. TB (35 percent)
WR Nate Burleson(notes) vs. NE (18 percent)
WR Blair White vs. SD (4 percent)
WR James Jones(notes) at ATL (19 percent)
TE Benjamin Watson(notes) vs. CAR (38 percent)
Third Quarter• The Colts and Patriots rarely disappoint the fantasy community, and they've given us another useful half of football in Week 11. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady(notes) combined for 342 passing yards and four scores in the opening quarters, as New England held a seven-point lead at the break.
Manning threw a pick on Indy's opening series, but he's been almost flawless since the turnover (19-for-26, 211 yards, 2 TDs). Wes Welker(notes) caught an early TD pass for the Pats, his first since Week 2. Brady later connected with rookie Aaron Hernandez(notes) for another score; six of his last seven touchdown passes have gone to tight ends.
Indianapolis receiver Austin Collie returned from his concussion, catching five balls for 60 yards. But he may have been re-concussed, as team personnel hid his helmet in the second quarter, preventing him from entering the game. Rough news for the player, obviously. He's reportedly done for the day.
• The quarterback stats aren't quite as impressive in St. Louis, but Matt Ryan(notes) and Sam Bradford(notes) aren't too shabby. Both players have thrown touchdown passes, and neither has taken a sack or turned over the football.
• We never really know who's going to get the fantasy points for New Orleans in a given week, but we can be reasonably sure they're coming. Undrafted rookie running back Christopher Ivory scored his first TD for the Saints, going over the top on a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter, but he later went to the locker room for shoulder maintenance. (Eventually, he returned). Marques Colston(notes) caught two of Drew Brees'(notes) three touchdown passes, and Robert Meachem(notes) nabbed the other. Brees connected with eight different receivers in the first half. Redistributionist.
• Following Tennessee's overtime loss to Washington, Jeff Fisher declared that Vince Young had lost his starting job, regardless of his health status. Young tore a tendon in his right thumb, then threw a tantrum when Fisher didn't allow him to return to the field. Fisher told reporters that VY tossed half his uniform into the stands. Thus, he's in timeout. Kerry Collins(notes) is sidelined with a calf injury, so the Titans will apparently roll with Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic legend. (Posted at 6:00 pm ET)
Second Quarter• Well, that looked easy. Green Bay demolished Minnesota in the dome, 31-3, and Aaron Rodgers(notes) passed for an easy 301 yards and four TDs. James Jones caught one of the touchdowns, and Greg Jennings(notes) snagged everything else. Jennings finished with seven receptions for 152 yards. He was a yards-after-catch monster against the overmatched Vikings' secondary.
Brett Favre was a mess for Minnesota, completing just 44.7 percent of his passes and throwing this brutal pick (after which he received a lecture from his coordinator). Green Bay's defense has now allowed just 10 total points in their last three games, so it's not as if Favre had an easy match-up. The home fans fired Brad Childress today, not for the first time.
Your move, Zygi.
• Mike Shanahan chose to keep Donovan McNabb(notes) on the field in a two-minute scenario at the end of regulation, rather than relying on end-game specialist Rex Grossman(notes). Curious. McNabb led the 'Skins into field goal range, but Graham Gano's(notes) 47-yard attempt traveled no more than 45 yards. The kicker later connected on a 48-yard game-winner in OT, however. Tennessee fell to 5-5, wrecking a thousand confidence pools in the process. Clinton Portis(notes) aggravated his groin injury early in Washington's win, so Keiland Williams finished with 29 touches (95 yards).
• Just when you think Shonn Greene(notes) is about to take charge of the Jets' backfield, he coughs up a devastating fumble. Of course he did. On the next game's next play, Matt Schaub(notes) connected with tight end Joel Dreessen(notes) on a 43-yard score. Houston eventually took a late lead against the Jets, but Mark Sanchez(notes) and Santonio Holmes(notes) connected for a game-deciding score, again. Sanchez finished with 315 yards and three passing scores, which is basically a typical day for any QB who gets to face the 2010 Texans. Holmes had seven catches for 126 yards and two scores. Namath approves.
• With all due respect to Michael Vick(notes), the person who's having the best year in the NFL is clearly the CBS producer who assigns Gus Johnson's game. Delightfully, Johnson was in the booth for the Buffalo-Cincinnati shootout, one week after drawing the Mike Thomas(notes) miracle game in Jacksonville. The Bengals surged to a big halftime lead, 31-17, but the Bills scored 35 unanswered points in the final two quarters (one defensive score, one Fred Jackson(notes) run, three Steve Johnson(notes) TDs. There's no reason to ask sit/start questions about Johnson at this point. He's in the every-week club. He's also entered the ranks of receivers who plan their post-touchdown celebrations in advance, which is awesome).
• In the Detroit-Dallas game, Ndamukong Suh(notes) was flagged for a horse-collar tackle on a play where he brought down Marion Barber(notes) by the hair. Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz exploded, because by definition that penalty must involve a tackle via collar. (Or via horse). The Cowboys earned their second win in as many weeks, as Jon Kitna put up another huge fantasy number. He threw for three TDs (two went to Miles Austin(notes)) and ran the naked bootleg (best play in intramural football) for another score.
• Vince Young was sidelined by an injured thumb on his throwing hand, so sixth-round rookie Rusty Smith replaced him. Smith came out gunning, looking for Randy Moss. A long Moss touchdown reception was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty; Randy clearly shoved DeAngelo Hall(notes) near the goal line.
• Despite losing a fumble and tossing an INT, Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) delivered a huge fantasy line against the Browns: 132 rushing yards, 87 receiving, TD. Check out the tackling clinic on MJD's 75-yard catch in the fourth quarter. No idea what Sheldon Brown(notes) was trying to accomplish there. (Posted at 4:45 pm ET)
First Quarter• If you're planning to use single-coverage against Dez Bryant(notes) on the goal line, when he's the only receiver on his side of the field, um … well, good luck. That won't usually end well. It didn't work out so well for the Lions on this play. Dallas quarterback Jon Kitna made a quality throw right there; Dez will basically always win that battle, no matter who's on him.
• Minnesota's opening series went like this: Rush for no gain on first down, incompletion on second down, then a false start flag, then a sack on third down. And the Vikings punted away. That offensive line appeared to lose every battle.
• Most of us expected the Baltimore-Carolina game to be a massacre, and those two teams followed the script in the early minutes. TJ Houshmandzadeh(notes) scored Sunday's first touchdown, beating two defenders on a 58-yard bomb from Joe Flacco(notes). The Panthers' defense entered the week ranked fifth in the league against the pass, but they never pass the eye test (unless Todd Collins(notes) is the opposing QB).
• Donovan McNabb just overshot Santana Moss(notes) on what should have been a 59-yard first quarter TD. The drive eventually ended in a punt … and Tennessee's Marc Mariani(notes) returned the boot for an 87-yard score. You'll rarely see a punt coverage team look as slow, sleepy and disinterested as Washington's did.
McNabb bounced back with a touchdown drive, punctuated by a 5-yard pass to Moss. With the 'Skins in the red zone, Clinton Portis was seated on the sidelines talking to trainers (about groins, no doubt). Keiland Williams ultimately dominated the first-half carries, 12 to 5.
• Dwayne Bowe(notes) had little trouble extending his TD streak to six games, as he caught a 1-yard score at the 13:35 mark in the second quarter. The score was set up by Bowe's 37-yard reception, so it's only fair that he got the points.
• The Bengals punished the Bills in the early minutes, opening a three-touchdown lead when Jonathan Joseph pick-six'd Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes). (As soon as Joseph made the INT, Gus Johnson's voice reached a frequency that only dogs can hear). Cedric Benson needed only 13 carries to reach 80 rushing yards against the league's worst run defense (166.9 YPG), but he's been sidelined with an eye injury of unknown severity. Questionable to return. Bernard Scott(notes) took the end-of-half carries.
• Peyton Hillis(notes) scored his weekly touchdown early in the match-up against Jacksonville, catching an 11-yard TD. The degree of difficulty on the play was low for Hillis, but fairly high for quarterback Colt McCoy(notes). Check the tape. That was a ridiculous escape from pressure by McCoy.
• Mark Sanchez missed a wide open Santonio Holmes on a potential long score, but the drive nonetheless ended in a passing TD to Braylon Edwards(notes). I haven't made a habit of starting Sanchez in the pretend game, but he was clearly a strong play at home against Houston, facing a defense that's allowed 301.3 passing yards per week.
• As a fantasy owner, you learn to live with the occasional turnover. But when one of your running backs throws a pick, that's particularly bad. Sorry, MJD owner.
• Ben Roethlisberger(notes) broke the plane on a 16-yard rushing TD, on a play where most NFL quarterbacks would have been content to step out-of-bounds after reaching the first down marker. Ben puts himself at risk from time to time, but there's often a fantasy payoff.
• Reggie Bush is expected to be INACTIVE this afternoon. Take evasive action, as needed. Julius Jones should draw the start for the Saints against his former employer. Elsewhere, Colts receiver Austin Collie will reportedly be ACTIVE against the Pats. (Posted at 2:45 pm ET)
Welcome to Sunday Scene, everyone. This is a potential elimination week for many of you, so we promise to give 100 percent today on every blurb. The entire Roto Arcade team had a good week of practice, a good week of film study, and we feel good about today's matchup.
(Pounds chest thrice, points to sky, flexes).
If you're looking for last-minute advice from fantasy professionals, please stop by the chat window at Fantasy Football Live. We open for business at noon ET. If you're merely looking for Week 11 position ranks, go here. For the end-of-week injury wrap, try this link.
Go get a win, gamers. And check back with us later in the day for actionable fantasy news and notes.
Photo via Getty Images (Steelers fan), AP Images (Rodgers) and US Presswire (Dez, Manning/Bledsoe, Hill)
- Peyton Manning