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NFL Skinny: Week 11 preview

Brandon Funston
Yahoo Sports

I've officially hit my crazy season, that time of year when I get tasked with coordinating a fantasy baseball magazine production effort right in the middle of an already manic fantasy football season – and, of course, right in the middle of the holiday season. For this reason, I'll be rolling out a Skinny Lite for at least the next two weeks. All that means is that the "What to watch for" section will be reduced to a quick comment. But, as a trade off, I'm including defensive fantasy points allowed by position for each team instead of the usual YPC and YPA stats. …

Alright, no more byes. We're back to a full slate. So let's get to it …

Week 11 Preview
A snapshot of each Week 11 matchup

CHICAGO BEARS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
BEARS (1 = most; 32= least): 30 21 28 28
FINS (1 = most; 32= least): 23 20 23 25

What to watch for: MIA QB Tyler Thigpen(notes) is better in fantasy than in reality. When he was the KC regular a couple years ago, he'd often pad his numbers with 30-40 rushing yards. He's got that Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) X-factor ability, so consider him at least a sleeper against a tough CHI defense.

Jay Cutler(notes), Johnny Knox(notes), Miami Defense, Brandon Marshall(notes)
Matt Forte(notes), Greg Olsen(notes), Chicago Def., Ricky Williams(notes), Ronnie Brown(notes), A. Fasano
Devin Hester(notes), Earl Bennett(notes), Davone Bess(notes)
Sleeper: Tyler Thigpen
Key Injuries: MIA QB Chad Henne(notes) (knee); MIA OT Jake Long(notes) (shoulder); MIA LB Cameron Wake(notes) (hip); S Chris Clemons (knee); MIA S Yeremiah Bell(notes) (toe)
Prediction: Miami 22, Chicago 17
BUFFALO BILLS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
BILLS (1 = most; 32= least): 15 4 26 2
BENGALS (1 = most; 32= least): 29 16 22 18

What to watch for: CIN has been brutal on opposing QBs and Ryan Fitzpatrick has been falling back to Earth the past few weeks. BUF RB Fred Jackson(notes), especially with RB C.J. Spiller(notes) out, feels like the only Bill you can really trust. … The green light for CIN TE Jermaine Gresham(notes) has everything to do with the BUF FAN PPG allowed numbers against TEs, and Gresham's huge performance last week.

Cedric Benson(notes), Terrell Owens(notes), Fred Jackson, Jermaine Gresham
Steve Johnson(notes), Carson Palmer(notes), Chad Ochocinco(notes), Cincinnati Defense
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lee Evans(notes), Buffalo TEs, Buffalo Defense
Sleeper: Bernard Scott(notes)
Key Injuries: BUF RB C.J. Spiller (hamstring); BUF DE Spencer Johnson(notes) (hamstring); CIN PK Mike Nugent(notes) (knee); CIN QB Carson Palmer (shoulder)
Prediction: Cincinnati 24, Buffalo 17
DETROIT LIONS @ DALLAS COWBOYS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
LIONS (1 = most; 32= least): 16 2 19 30
BOYS (1 = most; 32= least): 5 19 4 16

What to watch for: We thought last week would be a reemergence for DET RB Jahvid Best(notes) against BUF. It didn't happen. He hasn't scored or reached 100 YFS in seven straight games. It's time to sit him down until he forces your hand again.

Jon Kitna(notes), Miles Austin(notes), Shaun Hill(notes), Calvin Johnson(notes), Dez Bryant(notes), Jason Witten(notes), Felix Jones(notes)
Brandon Pettigrew(notes), J. Best, Marion Barber(notes), Nate Burleson(notes), Dallas Def., Detroit Def.
Roy Williams
Sleeper: Tony Scheffler(notes)
Key Injuries: DAL CB Mike Jenkins(notes) (neck)
Prediction: Dallas 26, Detroit 23
OAKLAND RAIDERS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
RAIDERS (1 = most; 32= least): 21 7 29 13
STEELERS (1 = most; 32= least): 17 31 12 6

What to watch for: PIT has been floundering against the pass, but that's been against much (much) better QBs than Jason Campbell(notes). I expect OAK to cater almost entirely to RB Darren McFadden(notes) and TE Zach Miller. … Obviously owners of WRs Hines Ward(notes) and Mike Wallace(notes) will want to closely follow the ankle injury of OAK CB Nnamdi Asomugha(notes). If he can't play, it's all good. But there is the potential of a double whammy if Asomugha does play and Ward, who is dealing with a concussion, isn't cleared to play. That would be the worst case scenario for owners of both WRs.

D. McFadden, Zach Miller, R. Mendenhall, Ben Roethlisberger(notes), M. Wallace, Pittsburgh Def.
Louis Murphy(notes), Heath Miller(notes), Hines Ward
Jason Campbell, Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes), Oakland Defense, Michael Bush(notes)
Sleeper: Mewelde Moore(notes), Marcel Reese
Key Injuries: PIT WR Hines Ward (concussion); PIT DE Brett Keisel(notes) (hamstring); PIT LB Lawrence Timmons(notes) (hip); PIT OG Chris Kemoeatu(notes) (knee/ankle); PIT OT Max Starks(notes) (neck); OAK CB Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle); OAK WR Louis Murphy (chest); OAK TE Zach Miller (foot); OAK WR Chaz Schilens(notes) (knee); OAK WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring); OAK QB Bruce Gradkowski(notes) (shoulder)
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Oakland 13
HOUSTON TEXANS @ NEW YORK JETS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
TEXANS (1 = most; 32= least): 1 13 3 1
JETS (1 = most; 32= least): 13 32 10 21

What to watch for: I'm giving all members of the Jets receiving corps a yellow light, because it's impossible to predict which player(s) from that unit will emerge from week to week – and because the Jets run so much, it isn't likely they'll all go off. But if I owned any of those players (Keller, Holmes, Edwards), this is as good of a matchup as any of them will encounter. Consider them all chartreuse.

LaDainian Tomlinson(notes), Arian Foster(notes), Shonn Greene(notes), Mark Sanchez(notes), Andre Johnson(notes), Matt Schaub(notes)
Dustin Keller(notes), Santonio Holmes(notes), Braylon Edwards(notes), Kevin Walter(notes), NY Jets Defense
Houston Defense, Jacoby Jones(notes), Houston TEs
Sleeper: –
Key Injuries: HOU TE Owen Daniels(notes) (hamstring); NYJ WR Jerricho Cotchery(notes) (groin); NYJ G Matt Slauson(notes) (quad); NYJ CB Dwight Lowery(notes) (head); NYJ S Eric Smith(notes) (ankle)
Prediction: NY Jets 27, Houston 19
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
RAVENS (1 = most; 32= least): 28 26 11 31
PANTHERS (1 = most; 32= least): 25 11 30 3

What to watch for: With CAR, easily the worst offense in the league, now likely down to No. 3 QB rookie Tony Pike(notes), I'm not touching a single Panther this week. CAR RB DeAngelo Williams(notes) solidified his Bust of the Year frontrunner status by landing on the IR with a foot injury. If CAR had a remote chance of competing for the playoffs, this probably doesn't happen.

Ray Rice(notes), Todd Heap(notes), Baltimore Defense
Anquan Boldin(notes), Joe Flacco(notes), Derrick Mason(notes)
Carolina Offense
Sleeper: Willis McGahee(notes)
Key Injuries: CAR RB DeAngelo Williams (foot); CAR RB Jonathan Stewart(notes) (concussion); CAR QB Jimmy Clausen(notes) (concussion); CAR G Travelle Wharton(notes) (toe); CAR WR Brandon LaFell(notes) (concussion); BAL WR Derrick Mason (finger)
Prediction: Baltimore 27, Carolina 10
CLEVELAND BROWNS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
BROWNS (1 = most; 32= least): 7 26 7 6
JAGS (1 = most; 32= least): 3 12 1 6

What to watch for: JAC is an opposing QB and WR's dream, but the caution flag is as good as it gets when you're talking about the CLE passing game.

Peyton Hillis(notes), Benjamin Watson(notes), Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), David Garrard(notes), Marcedes Lewis(notes), Mike Thomas(notes)
Mike Sims-Walker(notes), Colt McCoy(notes), Mohamed Massaquoi(notes)
Cleveland WRs (not named Massaquoi), Jacksonville Defense, Cleveland Defense
Sleeper: Evan Moore(notes), Zach Miller
Key Injuries: CLE G Billy Yates(notes) (bicep); CLE LB Scott Fujita(notes) (knee); CLE CB Sheldon Brown(notes) (neck); CLE WR Josh Cribbs (foot)
Prediction: Jacksonville 20, Cleveland 17
WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ TENNESSEE TITANS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
SKINS (1 = most; 32= least): 2 13 2 18
TITANS (1 = most; 32= least): 17 18 25 9

What to watch for: If you're somebody who plays Randy Moss(notes) without fail, you've now been disappointed more times than not this season. This week is a great matchup for Moss, but that'll probably play more to WR Nate Washington's(notes) favor, as you can still expect Moss to draw the extra attention. … I'm expecting RB Keiland Williams(notes) to once again be the man in the WAS backfield. If RB Ryan Torain(notes) plays, downgrade Williams and consider Torain the green light instead. Although, in a game where WAS is going to have to throw the ball a fair amount, I like Williams in a featured role more than Torain.

Chris Johnson, Nate Washington, Keiland Williams, Chris Cooley(notes), Tennessee Defense
Vince Young(notes), Randy Moss, Bo Scaife(notes), Donovan McNabb(notes), Santana Moss(notes)
Washington WRs (not named Moss); Washington Defense
Sleeper: Justin Gage(notes)
Key Injuries: TEN QB Kerry Collins(notes) (calf); TEN QB Vince Young (ankle); WAS RB Ryan Torain (hamstring); WAS RB Clinton Portis(notes) (groin)
Prediction: Tennessee 28, Washington 20
ARIZONA CARDINALS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
CARDS (1 = most; 32= least): 8 1 8 9
CHIEFS (1 = most; 32= least): 9 13 14 26

What to watch for: KC RB Thomas Jones(notes) has a combined 102 rushing yards and 0 TDs in his past three games, which were against three of the seven most generous defenses in the league to opposing RBs (DEN, OAK, BUF). This is a good matchup for Jones, once again, but he can no longer be trusted for slam dunk production. … I sat KC WR Dwayne Bowe(notes) last week (in favor of Thomas Jones). Never again.

Jamaal Charles(notes), Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Defense, Larry Fitzgerald(notes)
Matt Cassel(notes), T. Jones, Steve Breaston(notes), Beanie Wells(notes), Tim Hightower(notes), Tony Moeaki(notes)
Chris Chambers(notes), Arizona Defense, Derek Anderson(notes), Arizona TEs
Sleeper: –
Key Injuries: ARI RB Beanie Wells (knee); ARI RB LaRod Stephens-Howling(notes) (hamstring); ARI RT Brandon Keith(notes) (hamstring); KC G Brian Waters(notes) (groin); KC TE Tony Moeaki (concussion); KC RB/WR Dexter McCluster(notes) (ankle)
Prediction: Kansas City 30, Arizona 17
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
PACK (1 = most; 32= least): 20 30 24 15
VIKES (1 = most; 32= least): 26 22 21 18

What to watch for: Anyone else tired of seeing concerning injury reports about MIN WR Percy Harvin(notes)? I've been leaving a lot of points on my fantasy bench because of the "maybe he'll exit the game early" factor. That's a habit I plan to kick, starting this week. … If GB WR Donald Driver(notes) can't play, consider WR James Jones(notes) with chartreuse-colored glasses.

Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Aaron Rodgers(notes), Greg Jennings(notes), Green Bay Defense
Brandon Jackson(notes), Donald Driver, James Jones, Brett Favre(notes), Visanthe Shiancoe(notes)
Minnesota Defense, Green Bay TEs, Minnesota WRs (not named Harvin)
Sleeper: –
Key Injuries: GB WR Donald Driver (quad); GB LB Clay Matthews(notes) (shin); GB DL Ryan Pickett(notes) (ankle); MIN WR Sidney Rice(notes) (hip); MIN WR Bernard Berrian(notes) (calf); MIN WR Percy Harvin (ankle); MIN C John Sullivan(notes) (calf); MIN QB Brett Favre (shoulder)
Prediction: Green Bay 26, Minnesota 21
ATLANTA FALCONS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
FALCONS (1 = most; 32= least): 10 28 5 17
RAMS (1 = most; 32= least): 22 24 17 27

What to watch for: I'm of the mind that you never sit RB Steven Jackson. But I'm leery about injuries to his offensive line which could be problematic for the STL running game, especially given how tough ATL is in ground defense.

Michael Turner(notes), Roddy White(notes), S-Jax, Matt Ryan(notes), Tony Gonzalez(notes), D. Amendola
Sam Bradford(notes), Atlanta Defense, St. Louis Defense, Brandon Gibson(notes)
Atlanta WRs (not named White), St. Louis TEs
Sleeper: Jason Snelling(notes)
Key Injuries: STL OT Rodger Saffold(notes) (ankle); STL C Jason Brown(notes) (knee); STL RB Steven Jackson (finger); STL FB Brit Miller(notes) (head); STL WR Danario Alexander(notes) (knee)
Prediction: Atlanta 23, St. Louis 21
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
HAWKS (1 = most; 32= least): 14 6 6 29
SAINTS (1 = most; 32= least): 32 17 32 14

What to watch for: NO RB Reggie Bush(notes) is back, and he gets a SEA defense that has allowed a lot of production to RBs in the passing game. I'm expecting NO to waste little time getting him back in the swing of things. … I like SEA RB Justin Forsett(notes) more than RB Marshawn Lynch(notes) this week given the likelihood of the Seahawks playing catch-up.

Drew Brees(notes), Marques Colston(notes), Reggie Bush, Lance Moore(notes)
Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Chris Ivory
Matt Hasselbeck(notes), John Carlson(notes), Deion Butler, Seattle Defense, Jeremy Shockey(notes)
Sleeper: Robert Meachem(notes), Julius Jones(notes)
Key Injuries: SEA WR Mike Williams (finger); SEA QB Matt Hasselbeck (wrist); SEA OT Russell Okung(notes) (ankle); SEA DT Colin Cole(notes) (ankle); NO RB Reggie Bush (fibula); NO RB Pierre Thomas(notes) (ankle); NO TE Jeremy Shockey
Prediction: New Orleans 29, Seattle 17
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
BUCS (1 = most; 32= least): 24 5 16 22
49ERS (1 = most; 32= least): 11 25 15 23

What to watch for: You'll find Cadillac Williams among the sleepers below because of the healthy receiving production that SF allows opposing RBs. For RB LeGarrette Blount(notes), this game sets up like the ATL matchup a couple weeks ago … I don't think SF WR Michael Crabtree(notes) has huge upside this week, but I'll now go green with him more often than not given how spectacular he is around the goal line, holding penalties or not.

Frank Gore(notes), Vernon Davis(notes), Mike Williams, Michael Crabtree
Josh Freeman(notes), Kellen Winslow(notes), L. Blount, Troy Smith(notes), SF Defense, TB Defense
Michael Spurlock, Josh Morgan(notes)
Sleeper: Arrelious Benn(notes), Carnell Williams(notes)
Key Injuries: SF PK Joe Nedney(notes) (knee); SF G Adam Snyder(notes) (shoulder); SF OT Joe Staley(notes) (leg); SF QB Alex Smith (shoulder)
Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, San Francisco 23
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
COLTS (1 = most; 32= least): 19 10 17 31
PATS (1 = most; 32= least): 4 9 9 12

What to watch for: I like IND a lot this week, but owners of Colts know that it's all about the injury report. Big games could be had by RB Joseph Addai(notes), WR Austin Collie(notes) and TE Jacob Tamme(notes). Or they could all sit out because of various ailments. The rule of thumb is simply to play whichever Colts end up suiting up and starting on Sunday. … NE TE Rob Gronkowski(notes) is often listed here as a sleeper because of his red zone attraction. But, despite his 3 TDs last week, he's far from a sure thing this week – note the Colts' FAN PPG allowed to TEs.

Peyton Manning(notes), Reggie Wayne(notes), Austin Collie, Jacob Tamme, BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes), Tom Brady(notes)
Donald Brown(notes), Pierre Garcon(notes), Danny Woodhead(notes), Wes Welker(notes), Deion Branch(notes)
Aaron Hernandez(notes), Brandon Tate(notes), Indianapolis Defense, New England Defense
Sleeper: Rob Gronkowski, Javarris James(notes)
Key Injuries: IND TE Jacob Tamme (back); IND WR Austin Collie (concussion); IND FS Bob Sanders(notes) (biceps); IND RB Joseph Addai (shoulder); IND RB Mike Hart(notes) (ankle); NE OG Stephen Neal(notes) (shoulder)
Prediction: Indianapolis 30, New England 27
NEW YORK GIANTS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
GIANTS (1 = most; 32= least): 27 29 19 23
EAGLES (1 = most; 32= least): 11 8 26 4

What to watch for: This game feels like an aerial shootout to me, and I'm only slightly cautious on WRs Jeremy Maclin(notes) and Mario Manningham(notes). Lump them with the other chartreuse tweeners this week. … NYG TE Kevin Boss(notes) has a sore back. Given the production that PHI has allowed to TEs, you'd have to feel good about the NYG TE this week. If, because of injury, that's not Boss, then jump on the Travis Beckum(notes) bandwagon.

Michael Vick(notes), DeSean Jackson(notes), LeSean McCoy(notes), Hakeem Nicks(notes), Ahmad Bradshaw(notes), Eli Manning(notes)
J. Maclin, M. Manningham, Brandon Jacobs(notes), Philly Def., NY Giants Def., Kevin Boss
Brent Celek(notes)
Sleeper: Travis Beckum
Key Injuries: PHI DL Juqua Parker(notes) (hip); PHI RB LeSean McCoy (shoulder); PHI LB Ernie Sims(notes) (ankle); NYG WR Steve Smith (pectoral); NYG WR Ramses Barden(notes) (ankle); NYG LB Jonathan Goff(notes) (elbow); NYG TE Kevin Boss (back)
Prediction: Philadelphia 28, NY Giants 24
DENVER BRONCOS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

DEF. FAN. PPG ALLOWED QB RB WR TE
BRONCOS (1 = most; 32= least): 6 3 12 9
BOLTS (1 = most; 32= least): 31 23 31 4

What to watch for: Like the Colts, SD is all about the injury report. WR Malcom Floyd(notes) sounds like a for-sure returnee. But TE Antonio Gates(notes) and RB Ryan Mathews(notes) are still iffy. The matchup is great for SD starters this week. If reports for Mathews and Gates turn glowing by week's end, bump up their status. But I'm leaning towards caution with them at the moment.

Philip Rivers(notes), Malcom Floyd, Mike Tolbert(notes), Kyle Orton(notes), Brandon Lloyd(notes)
A. Gates, R. Mathews, Patrick Crayton(notes), K. Moreno, San Diego Def., Jabar Gaffney(notes)
Denver TEs, Denver Defense, Eddie Royal(notes)
Sleeper: Randy McMichael(notes)
Key Injuries: SD RB Ryan Mathews (ankle); SD TE Antonio Gates (foot); SD WR Malcom Floyd (hamstring); SD RB Ryan Mathews (ankle); SD WR Legedu Naanee(notes) (hamstring); SD LB Brandon Siler(notes) (foot); DEN S Renaldo Hill(notes) (neck)
Prediction: San Diego 34, Denver 23
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