Week 11 Rankings

Patrick Daugherty
November 17, 2013
Week 11 Rankings
Patrick Daugherty takes a look at Alfred Morris' quietly huge season while breaking down all of Week 11's top plays

Updated 11/17/2013 at 3:10 PM ET. Peyon Hillis removed from ranks and Brandon Jacobs inserted at Hillis' No. 55 spot. Greg Jennings removed from ranks. 

Here’s what you might know about Alfred Morris’ 2013: Roy Helu scored three touchdowns in Week 7, and Darrel Young scored three touchdowns in Week 9. What you might not know is that only LeSean McCoy is averaging more yards per game, and that Morris’ 5.2 yards per carry leads all running backs.

Morris is the RB1 nobody seems to be talking about, though more are taking notice each week. That tends to happen when you clear 120 yards rushing in back-to-back games. Not that Morris had been slacking before that. Morris has totaled at least 90 yards on the ground in four straight contests, 80 in five straight and fewer than 70 only once all season. That happened all the way back in Week 1, where the Redskins got ambushed by the Eagles.

So perhaps it’s fitting that Morris is getting his second crack at Philly right as people finally seem to be realizing just how good he still is. This is, after all, a player who finished as the No. 5 fantasy running back as a sixth-round rookie last season. How does a player who ran a 4.68 40-yard dash and fell to No. 173 overall in the draft manage 2,438 yards rushing and 4.93 yards per carry through his first 25 career games? By maximizing his ability in a system he’s perfect for.       

Morris is quick, but doesn’t hurry. He hits the hole the very second it’s created, but is patient enough not to slam into brick walls. Particularly on Washington’s zone-blocking runs, Morris follows his blockers like he’s connected at the hip, but uses his quick feet to separate at the exact right moment — the one cut in a one-cut system. Morris leans forward when he runs, but does so with remarkable balance. This is one of the reasons he creates so many missed tackles, and grades out third in Pro Football Focus’ “Elusive Rating” despite having limited long speed. Only Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch shed more tacklers in 2012, while Morris is fifth in the statistic this season.

Morris follows his blockers, doesn’t leave yards on the field, gains some extra ones and stays both within the system and within himself as a runner. As a one-cut virtuoso for the one-cut master Mike Shanahan, Morris is in the right place at the right time. It’s why the concept of “Shananigans” is little more than nostalgia when it seemed like it would be a permanent nightmare in 2011, and why Morris is piling up more yards than almost anyone else in the NFL. The Helu and Young three-touchdown games? Just minor absurdities along Morris' path to what will quite likely be another top-five finish.  

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $7,500 Fantasy Football league for Week 11. It's just $10 to join and first prize is $1,500. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

Week 11 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Drew Brees vs. SF -
2 Peyton Manning vs. KC Probable (ankle)
3 Matthew Stafford at PIT -
4 Philip Rivers at MIA -
5 Russell Wilson vs. MIN -
6 Andrew Luck at TEN -
7 Robert Griffin III at PHI -
8 Nick Foles vs. WAS -
9 Cam Newton vs. NE -
10 Tom Brady at CAR Probable (shoulder)
11 Case Keenum vs. OAK -
12 Andy Dalton vs. CLE -
13 Colin Kaepernick at NO -
14 Ben Roethlisberger vs. DET -
15 Matt Ryan at TB -
16 Ryan Tannehill vs. SD -
17 Josh McCown vs. BAL -
18 Jason Campbell at CIN Probable (ribs)
19 Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. IND -
20 Carson Palmer at JAC -
21 Alex Smith at DEN -
22 Eli Manning vs. GB -
23 Joe Flacco at CHI -
24 Mike Glennon vs. ATL -
25 Geno Smith at BUF -
26 Christian Ponder at SEA Probable (shoulder)
27 E.J. Manuel vs. NYJ -
28 Chad Henne vs. ARZ -
29 Scott Tolzien at NYG -
30 Matt McGloin at HOU -

QB Notes: Drew Brees has a tough matchup, but so does nearly the entire top 10. Besides, there’s really no such thing as a “tough matchup” for Brees in the Superdome, where he’s averaging 367 yards, and has posted an 18:2 TD:INT ratio and 74.4 completion percentage over five games. It’s perhaps worth noting that Brees got the Niners in New Orleans a season ago, going 26-of-41 for 267 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. This is an entirely different team, however, while it’s never worth betting against Brees on his home turf. … Peyton Manning’s right ankle is the most scrutinized body part in America this week, but all signs point toward him suiting up against undefeated Kansas City. The Chiefs represent easily Manning’s toughest defensive challenge of the season thus far, but to illustrate how matchup proof Manning has been in 2013, consider: He’s yet to be held below 295 yards. He’s thrown for at least three touchdowns in seven of nine games. The two times he didn’t, he still managed two scores. Maybe this will be the week someone finally cracks the code — Chiefs coach Andy Reid is a famously good game-planner coming off of bye weeks — but the reasons to start Manning as you normally would far outweigh the reasons to worry.

Just one touchdown shy of his 2012 total of 20, Matthew Stafford enters Week 11 as fantasy’s No. 3 quarterback. The matchup is tough, but throwing to Calvin Johnson has a way of mitigating forbidding foes. A poor man’s Kurt Warner in the way he’s willing to attempt — and usually make — any throw, Stafford should hold steady behind Manning and Brees going forward. … Philip Rivers has posted fewer than 18.7 fantasy points in just two of nine starts this season. That’s a number he cleared only seven times in all of 2012. Playing exceptional on the road, Rivers is going to present major problems for a Dolphins team that’s in disarray. … Only the Cowboys are allowing more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Vikings. That’s good news for Russell Wilson, who’s gunning for his fifth straight two-touchdown afternoon, and fifth in six games. Wilson’s slow start is a distant memory. … Quietly fantasy’s No. 6 quarterback on the season, Andrew Luck is coming off a nightmarish performance where he still managed to post 23.4 points. Nevermind the Colts’ talk of running the ball more. Luck is simply too good not to be in your lineup every single week. … Robert Griffin III has been up-and-down this season, but it’s easy to envision him remaining “up” in what will almost certainly be a shootout with the Eagles. Philly has allowed the fourth most rushing yards to enemy quarterbacks.     

Much has been made of Nick Foles’ 16:0 TD:INT ratio, but let’s not kid ourselves: There’s been a little luck involved. Not one, but two of Foles’ Week 10 scores should have been intercepted, while he benefitted from some truly horrific Raiders defense in Week 9. Foles deserves credit for taking advantage of his matchups and opportunity, but this is not a player who’s suddenly figured it all out. Nevertheless, he has another plus matchup in the Redskins, while the two players nipping at him in the ranks — Cam Newton and Tom Brady — have prohibitive ones. Foles is obviously capable of monster games, and could very well have another one on Sunday, but don’t be surprised if he eventually settles into the 12-14 range. … Coming off his worst fantasy effort of the season, Cam Newton gets a Patriots defense allowing the 12th fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Newton’s upside is as immense as ever, but he’s unlikely to tap it against Bill Belichick and company. … As for the man Newton is facing, Tom Brady, he’s coming off by far his best fantasy performance of the season, a four-score, 432-yard dismantling of the Steelers. Brady appeared more than ready to move on from his slow start before the Pats’ Week 10 bye, but is returning to a road matchup against the league’s stingiest defense. Brady very well might be back, but it could be hard to tell on Sunday.     

Case Keenum is fantasy’s No. 7 quarterback since bursting onto the scene in Week 7, but it hasn’t been all roses. Keenum is completing just 55.9 percent of his passes, and is coming off a game where he averaged only 4.67 yards per attempt. He’s had a tendency to fade after halftime. Then again, he’s thrown for seven touchdowns in three games, five of which have gone to Andre Johnson over the past two weeks. The rest of the league is formulating a book on the swashbuckling first-year starter, but it’s unlikely to matter much against a Raiders team allowing a 67.6 completion percentage and 7.8 YPA. … The real Andy Dalton has stood up after going into hiding for Weeks 6-8, but this is still a player averaging 286 yards per game. Dalton has thrown for multiple scores in four of his past five starts. A better fantasy than real-life quarterback, Dalton is on the QB1 borderline for Week 11. … One of the reasons Colin Kaepernick’s fantasy output has been so sporadic this season? The 49ers haven’t had a shootout since Week 1, where Kaep carved up the Pack. They might finally have another one Sunday in the Superdome, but there’s also the matter of the Saints’ stingy pass defense, which is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to enemy passers. Rob Ryan’s unit is fresh off holding Tony Romo to 124 yards. As usual, Kaep’s upside is high for Week 11, but so is the downside.

Ben Roethlisberger has a decent matchup in the Lions, but has thrown for more than one touchdown exactly twice all season. Through and through, he’s a QB2. … Matt Ryan is getting a bit of a break in a Bucs defense he carved up in Week 7, but the owner of a 3:7 TD:INT ratio over his past three starts, No. 16 might be a bit generous. Ryan could fall further if Tony Gonzalez (toe) can’t suit up. … Line problems and all, Ryan Tannehill is a perfectly-fine QB2 against a Chargers defense allowing a league-worst 68.4 completion percentage. … Nothing if not a gamer, Ryan Fitzpatrick should be able to generate some points against a Colts pass defense that’s shown signs of slippage in recent weeks. … There’s no matchup that makes Alex Smith inviting, even a potential shootout with the Broncos. … Playing horrendous football of late, Terrelle Pryor (knee) is going to have a rough go of it against the league’s top pass defense (by yards) if he’s active for Week 11. … Scott Tolzien performed admirably in Week 10, but as a No. 3 quarterback making his first NFL start, he’s as risky as it gets for a fantasy option.  

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Week 11 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 LeSean McCoy vs. WAS Probable (hamstring)
2 Jamaal Charles at DEN Probable (knee)
3 Adrian Peterson at SEA Probable (groin)
4 Marshawn Lynch vs. MIN Probable (knee)
5 Reggie Bush at PIT Probable (knee)
6 Alfred Morris at PHI -
7 Matt Forte vs. BAL -
8 Knowshon Moreno vs. KC Probable (knee)
9 Frank Gore at NO Probable (ankle)
10 Eddie Lacy at NYG -
11 Stevan Ridley at CAR -
12 Danny Woodhead at MIA -
13 Andre Brown vs. GB Probable (leg)
14 Rashad Jennings at HOU -
15 Chris Johnson vs. IND -
16 Le'Veon Bell vs. DET -
17 Giovani Bernard vs. CLE -
18 Andre Ellington at JAC -
19 Ryan Mathews at MIA Probable (hamstring)
20 Ben Tate vs. OAK -
21 Fred Jackson vs. NYJ Probable (knee)
22 Lamar Miller vs. SD -
23 Darren Sproles vs. SF -
24 Chris Ivory at BUF Probable (knee)
25 Ray Rice at CHI -
26 C.J. Spiller vs. NYJ -
27 Pierre Thomas vs. SF -
28 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. ARZ Probable (knee)
29 Brian Leonard vs. ATL -
30 Steven Jackson at TB Probable (toe)
31 Trent Richardson at TEN -
32 Rashard Mendenhall at JAC Probable (toe)
33 Donald Brown at TEN -
34 Bernard Pierce at CHI Probable (knee)
35 Shane Vereen at CAR Questionable (wrist)
36 Bilal Powell at BUF -
37 Jonathan Stewart vs. NE -
38 BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. CLE -
39 DeAngelo Williams vs. NE Probable (quadriceps)
40 Jacquizz Rodgers at TB -
41 Joique Bell at PIT -
42 Mike Tolbert vs. NE -
43 Willis McGahee at CIN -
44 Shonn Greene vs. IND -
45 Mark Ingram vs. SF -
46 Bobby Rainey vs. ATL -
47 Montee Ball vs. KC -
48 Chris Ogbonnaya at CIN -
49 Daniel Thomas vs. SD Probable (ankle)
50 James Starks at NYG -
51 Roy Helu at PHI -
52 Kendall Hunter at NO -
53 Dennis Johnson vs. OAK -
54 Bryce Brown vs. WAS -
55 Brandon Jacobs vs. GB Questionable (hamstring)
56 Robert Turbin vs. MIN -
57 Fozzy Whittaker at CIN -
58 Michael Bush vs. BAL -
59 LeGarrette Blount at CAR -
60 Ronnie Brown at MIA -
61 Felix Jones vs. DET -
62 Anthony Dixon at NO -
63 Brandon Bolden at CAR -
64 Denard Robinson vs. ARZ -
65 Jason Snelling at TB Sidelined (knee)
66 Jordan Todman vs. ARZ -
67 Marcel Reece at HOU -

RB Notes: LeSean McCoy shook off his slow Weeks 7-9 by stinging the Packers for his third 150-yard effort of the season. McCoy’s fluky touchdown rate has him just sixth in average fantasy points, but he continues to lead the league in yards per game. He’s squaring off with a Redskins team he shredded for a season-high 184 yards in Week 1. … The Broncos’ run defense is stingy — it’s allowing a miniscule 3.45 yards per carry — but matchups don’t matter for Jamaal Charles, whose season low in yards from scrimmage is 96. Charles has been held out of the end zone only twice in nine games. He’ll be a legitimate MVP candidate if he and the Chiefs keep up at the rate they’ve been at. … In theory, the Seahawks are a forbidding matchup for Adrian Peterson, but 1. Obviously AD is as matchup-proof as any player in football. 2. The Seahawks may have held Steven Jackson in check last week, but let Zac Stacy and Mike James run all over them in Weeks 8-9. Peterson has come back to the pack after being alone at the top in 2012, but is still No. 1 in Pro Football Focus’ “Elusive Rating,” and leading the league in yards after contact. Throw in AD’s league-leading nine touchdowns, and you have a player well positioned for another No. 1 overall fantasy finish.   

Coming off back-to-back 125-yard games, Marshawn Lynch should match Adrian Peterson blow for blow at CenturyLink Field. No. 2 to Peterson in PFF’s Elusive Rating and yards after contact? Beast Mode. … No team is allowing fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than Baltimore, but held below 90 yards from scrimmage only once all season, Matt Forte is one of the most reliable players at any position. … Any doubts about Knowshon Moreno’s role were erased in Week 10. Although Montee Ball is still liable to get a call or two around the goal-line — neither player did in Week 10, as the Broncos were never in position for a one- or two-yard plunge — he remains little more than a breather back. Moreno is locked in as the Broncos’ No. 1 early-down banger, and exclusive passing-down back. Moreno has had weeks where the rushing yardage wasn’t there, but makes up for it with touchdowns and receptions. He’s one of the league’s safer RB1s. … Although the Saints have allowed “just” eight rushing touchdowns, no team is allowing more yards per carry (5.0). Fresh off going 16-82 against one of the league’s top run units, Frank Gore is going to get his in New Orleans.  

The unquestioned focal point of opposing defenses in the absence of Aaron Rodgers, times will be a little tougher for Eddie Lacy until his quarterback returns, but locked into voluminous workloads, his fantasy points should remain near steady even if his yards per carry falls. … The matchup is imposing for Stevan Ridley in a Panthers’ run defense allowing just 82 yards per game and 3.78 yards per carry, but Ridley has earned a longer leash than his fantasy owners might realize. With six touchdowns over his past four games, Ridley enters Week 11 as fantasy’s No. 1 back over the past five weeks, and averaging 4.75 yards per carry since Week 4. Although some will fret about the return of Shane Vereen, he’s not a real threat to Ridley’s early-down supremacy, and will likely be on a snap count for his first game since Week 1. The Patriots have a way of throwing curveballs at fantasy owners, but Ridley has earned his No. 11 ranking, even in tough matchups. … I’d be lying if I said having Danny Woodhead so high didn’t make me a little nervous, but only the Cowboys are allowing more fantasy points to enemy runners than Miami, while Woodhead has quietly produced as a top-20 back in standard leagues. With his role in the passing game holding steady, Woodhead is a legit RB2 for Week 11.

The reality with Andre Brown? Stuck behind one of the league’s worst run-blocking lines in one of its worst offenses, his upside isn’t nearly as high as it appeared in Week 10. The odds are against him averaging 20 touches per week, let alone the 31 he ripped off against the Raiders. Alas, the matchup is right against a middle-of-the-road Packers defense in a game that figures to be a slugfest. More weeks than not, Brown should find himself in the 20-25 range, but he can be trusted as an RB2 for Week 11. … Not only does Rashad Jennings have more 100-yard games than Darren McFadden (3-2), he has more yards from scrimmage (520-437) on 19 fewer touches. The way to beat Houston is on the ground, but Jennings will still be able to contribute through the air if need be, as he has nine catches for 93 yards over his past two games. This will likely be the last time Jennings is ranked this high, but he’s earned it with his performance in DMC’s absence. … Which Chris Johnson will show up Thursday evening? Flip a coin. Working in CJwhateverK’s favor is an Indy defense allowing 126.6 rushing yards per game. … Andre Ellington’s usage remains a sore spot, but even 10-12 touches should be enough to produce a big day against a Jaguars’ run defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points to rival RBs.

As it is for Woodhead, the matchup is right for Ryan Mathews, but that was also the case in Week 9, where Mathews managed only seven rushes for 34 yards in a game that went to overtime. … Ben Tate (broken ribs) is one hit away from a multi-week absence, but is an every-week RB2 until further notice. … Lamar Miller’s seven-carry, two-yard Week 10 is a tough pill to swallow, but this is still a player playing much better football of late. He deserves another week in fantasy lineups. … With the Jets finally recommitted to the ground and pound, Chris Ivory has nowhere to go but up. … In theory, the Bears’ crumbling defense is a welcome respite for Ray Rice and his 2.51 yards per carry. Of course, the inverse is also true. Rice is lucky to be ranked as high as he is. … C.J. Spiller is capable of a three home run game every time he takes the field, but is even more boom-or-bust than usual against the league’s top run defense. … Brian Leonard’s role in the passing game gives him the fantasy edge over Bobby Rainey in Tampa’s committee. … With the Ravens hinting they’re open to a “hot-hand” approach, Bernard Pierce should be rostered in all formats. … The Panthers’ backfield remains one to avoid.     

Week 11 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Calvin Johnson at PIT Probable (knee)
2 A.J. Green vs. CLE -
3 Brandon Marshall vs. BAL -
4 Demaryius Thomas vs. KC -
5 Andre Johnson vs. OAK -
6 Pierre Garcon at PHI -
7 DeSean Jackson vs. WAS -
8 Antonio Brown vs. DET -
9 Josh Gordon at CIN -
10 Wes Welker vs. KC Probable (ankle)
11 Alshon Jeffery vs. BAL -
12 Keenan Allen at MIA -
13 T.Y. Hilton at TEN -
14 Victor Cruz vs. GB Probable (neck)
15 Vincent Jackson vs. ATL Probable (knee)
16 Jordy Nelson at NYG -
17 Eric Decker vs. KC Probable (toe)
18 Torrey Smith at CHI -
19 Cecil Shorts vs. ARZ Probable (groin)
20 Danny Amendola at CAR Probable (groin)
21 Larry Fitzgerald at JAC -
22 Steve Smith vs. NE -
23 Golden Tate vs. MIN -
24 Riley Cooper vs. WAS Probable (knee)
25 Hakeem Nicks vs. GB -
26 Kendall Wright vs. IND -
27 Harry Douglas at TB Questionable (knee)
28 Marques Colston vs. SF -
29 Mike Wallace vs. SD Questionable (hamstring)
30 Emmanuel Sanders vs. DET Sidelined (foot)
31 DeAndre Hopkins vs. OAK -
32 Dwayne Bowe at DEN -
33 Aaron Dobson at CAR -
34 Roddy White at TB Probable (shoulder)
35 Marvin Jones vs. CLE -
36 Brian Hartline vs. SD -
37 James Jones at NYG -
38 Jarrett Boykin at NYG -
39 Anquan Boldin at NO -
40 Doug Baldwin vs. MIN -
41 Santonio Holmes at BUF Probable (hamstring)
42 Rueben Randle vs. GB -
43 Percy Harvin vs. MIN Probable (hip)
44 Rishard Matthews vs. SD -
45 Michael Floyd at JAC Questionable (shoulder)
46 Denarius Moore at HOU -
47 Kris Durham at PIT -
48 Kenny Stills vs. SF -
49 Mike Brown vs. ARZ Probable (ankle)
50 Brandon LaFell vs. NE -
51 Eddie Royal at MIA Questionable (foot)
52 Leonard Hankerson at PHI Questionable (knee)
53 Marlon Brown at CHI Questionable (knee)
54 Greg Little at CIN Probable (shoulder)
55 Mario Manningham at NO Questionable (knee)
56 Marquise Goodwin vs. NYJ Probable (hamstring)
57 Ted Ginn vs. NE -
58 Donnie Avery at DEN -
59 Jason Avant vs. WAS -
60 David Nelson at BUF -
61 Vincent Brown at MIA -
62 T.J. Graham vs. NYJ -
63 Rod Streater at HOU Probable (hip)
64 Nate Washington vs. IND -
65 Julian Edelman at CAR -
66 Davone Bess at CIN -
67 Stephen Hill at BUF Probable (foot)
68 Cordarrelle Patterson at SEA -
69 Darrius Heyward-Bey at TEN Probable (ankle)
70 Lance Moore vs. SF -
71 Tiquan Underwood vs. ATL -
72 Andre Roberts at JAC Probable (knee)
73 Jerome Simpson at SEA -
74 Justin Hunter vs. IND Sidelined (concussion)
75 Mohamed Sanu vs. CLE -
76 Dexter McCluster at DEN Probable (ankle)
77 Jermaine Kearse vs. MIN -
78 Jerricho Cotchery vs. DET -
79 Jacoby Jones at CHI -
80 Griff Whalen at TEN -
81 LaVon Brazill at TEN -
82 Markus Wheaton vs. DET -
83 Andrew Hawkins vs. CLE -
84 Chris Hogan vs. NYJ -

WR Notes: Calvin Johnson is averaging nine more receiving yards per game than any player in football. He leads in raw fantasy points despite missing one game with injury and being limited in another. … A.J. Green has reeled off five straight 100-yard games, but will be doing battle with Joe Haden on Sunday, who held him to 7/51/0 in Week 4. … Producing with both Jay Cutler and Josh McCown under center, Brandon Marshall has been held below 75 yards only twice all season, and has five touchdowns over his past four games. … Not only does Demaryius Thomas continue to lead the league in yards after the catch, he now leads in receiver quarterback rating. Peyton Manning has posted a 134.4 QB rating when targeting his YAC machine. … Second to Thomas in yards after the catch? Pierre Garcon, who finally exploded in Weeks 9-10 after hinting at it for weeks. Garcon’s 14/291/1 line over his past two games has him up to 10th in yards per game (89.2). He’s going to stay scorching against an Eagles defense allowing more fantasy points to enemy receivers than any other team in the league.

Trying to match Garcon on Sunday will be DeSean Jackson, who gets a Redskins defense allowing the sixth most fantasy points to receivers. No. 2 in both receiver quarterback rating and yards per pass route run, D-Jax remains well on pace to set new career highs across the board. … Averaging a weekly seven catches for 89 yards, Antonio Brown should do work against a Lions defense that’s been getting burned by the pass all season long. … One of only 10 receivers averaging at least 12 fantasy points per game, Josh Gordon nevertheless continues to be treated like a middling WR2 by a majority of his owners. Gordon should never be benched, but particularly against a Bengals defense adjusting to life without Leon Hall and Geno Atkins. … Fantasy’s No. 8 receiver on the season, Wes Welker should continue his slow but steady slide into WR2 territory as his unsustainable touchdown rate continues to slacken. Without his nine touchdowns, Welker’s weekly 6/64 wouldn’t have him anywhere near the top 10. … It seems hard to believe, but Chicago’s offense has been big enough for the two of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Both players are averaging more than 81 yards per game, while Jeffery has cleared 100 in four of his past six starts.     


Keenan Allen is coming off his worst game since Week 2, but this remains a player you trust as a WR2. Allen’s 76.0 catch percentage (he’s nabbed 38-of-50 targets) is fourth in the NFL. … Straight up beasting since Reggie Wayne went down (14/251/3 in two games), T.Y. Hilton continues to trend toward WR1 status. The Titans represent a daunting matchup — no team is allowing fewer fantasy points to receivers — but capable of consistently beating single coverage, Hilton is a big-game threat no matter the opponent. … With the Giants scaling back Eli Manning’s role — and therefore his opportunities to make mistakes — Victor Cruz has felt the burn, averaging just five catches for 58 scoreless yards over his past five games. Cruz’s talent is the kind you never bet against, but it’s quite likely he’ll continue to fade further from WR1 status. … The temptation to bench Jordy Nelson during Aaron Rodgers’ absence is understandable in theory, but not in practice. This was a receiver playing as well as anyone in the NFL until his quarterback went down. He didn’t disappear in Week 10 (6/56), and should fare better in Week 11 with Scott Tolzien getting an entire week of preparation.     

No. 18 is probably a bit harsh for Eric Decker, but he’s still the least consistent of Denver’s Big 3. He’s an every-week threat to blow up, but equally capable of 5-50. He can never be benched, but owners should be used to taking the bad with the good. … Cecil Shorts’ 2/42 afternoon in his first game as the Jags’ unquestioned No. 1 receiver was disappointing, but not a sign of things to come. Shorts’ history of production is over a season long by now, while he’s one of the league’s most targeted wideouts (he has as many looks as Dez Bryant). Even against an opponent like Patrick Peterson, he’s an every-week WR2. … Danny Amendola should be as healthy as he’s been all season coming off New England’s bye. This is a player who finds the crevasses in the middle of every opponent’s defense. If — and it’s a big if — Amendola can stay healthy, he’s going to reward fantasy owners as a high-end WR2 down the stretch. … With Percy Harvin certain to be on a snap count in his 2013 debut, he’s not yet a threat to Golden Tate’s newfound WR2 status. Only Demaryius Thomas and Pierre Garcon have more yards after the catch than Tate, while he leads the league with 8.9 yards after every grab.

Having Riley Cooper this high is really harshing my mellow, but what choice do I have? His numbers in Nick Foles’ four starts — 18 catches for 449 yards and six touchdowns — speak for themselves. It’s possible this will go down as Cooper’s rankings high-water mark, but it’s not impossible that he keeps forcing his way higher. … Kendall Wright’s fantasy numbers continue to be hurt by his lack of touchdowns, but when a player averages six catches for 71 yards — as Wright has done since a slow Week 1 — you want them in your lineup as a stabilizing WR3. … Mike Wallace comes off Revis Island into a good matchup with San Diego, but the one-dimensional deep threat remains a good bet to continue disappointing in an offense trending the wrong direction. … Revis Island’s new occupant? Roddy White, who might finally re-emerge as a viable WR3 in Week 12. … Marvin Jones has predictably slowed since his four-score Week 8, but his nose for the end zone is a nice tiebreaker if you’re deciding between shaky WR3 options. … There have been worse reasons to add players than Rishard Matthews’ 11/120/2 Week 10, but he still needs to be treated as a WR4 until he shows more.

Week 11 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski at CAR Probable (hamstring)
2 Jimmy Graham vs. SF Probable (foot)
3 Julius Thomas vs. KC Probable (ankle)
4 Jordan Reed at PHI -
5 Antonio Gates at MIA -
6 Jordan Cameron at CIN -
7 Vernon Davis at NO Questionable (head)
8 Tony Gonzalez at TB Questionable (toe)
9 Martellus Bennett vs. BAL -
10 Greg Olsen vs. NE -
11 Tim Wright vs. ATL -
12 Charles Clay vs. SD -
13 Coby Fleener at TEN -
14 Heath Miller vs. DET -
15 Garrett Graham vs. OAK Probable (thigh)
16 John Carlson at SEA -
17 Rob Housler at JAC Probable (groin)
18 Scott Chandler vs. NYJ -
19 Brandon Pettigrew at PIT -
20 Jermaine Gresham vs. CLE -
21 Zach Miller vs. MIN -
22 Delanie Walker vs. IND -
23 Tyler Eifert vs. CLE -
24 Marcedes Lewis vs. ARZ Probable (calf)
25 Jeff Cumberland at BUF Questionable (concussion)
26 Anthony Fasano at DEN Probable (knee)
27 Andrew Quarless at NYG -
28 Zach Ertz vs. WAS -
29 Brandon Myers vs. GB -
30 Brent Celek vs. WAS Probable (hip)
31 Kellen Winslow at BUF Probable (knee)
32 Joseph Fauria at PIT -
33 Ed Dickson at CHI -
34 Dallas Clark at CHI -
35 Mychal Rivera at HOU -
36 Chris Gragg vs. NYJ -
37 Brandon Bostick at NYG -
38 Logan Paulsen at PHI -
39 Ladarius Green at MIA -
40 Luke Willson vs. MIN -
41 Levine Toilolo at TB -
42 Sean McGrath at DEN Probable (knee)

TE Notes: It’s like Rob Gronkowski never left. Gronk is averaging 3.42 yards per pass route run, a gargantuan number. … Jimmy Graham’s Week 10 usage was eyebrow raising, but ultimately not concerning. The team insists he didn’t suffer a setback, and that his limited playing time (33-of-83 snaps) was part of a “pre-determined plan.” It’s extremely odd — read: not terribly believable — that the Saints’ “pre-determined plan” included Graham skipping so many snaps in the red zone, but we digress. Even at 35-40 snaps, Graham is fantasy’s No. 2 tight end, but we’d guess he’ll be in for a bigger workload in what should be a far more competitive game this weekend. … Tied for second in the NFL in touchdowns, Julius Thomas just keeps on chugging. His 74-yard sprint down the sideline for a touchdown last Sunday also erased any doubts about his ankle. … Although some seem to believe Vernon Davis (concussion) is in the midst of a disappointing season, he remains third in tight end points per game, and fourth in raw points despite missing a decent amount of time with injury. The Saints have been stingy against tight ends, but matchups don’t really matter for Davis when he’s healthy.

One of this season’s true breakout stars, Jordan Reed is on the short list to be the No. 3 tight end off the board in fantasy drafts next summer. … Antonio Gates hasn’t topped 7.4 points in any of his past five games, but gets a Dolphins defense allowing the seventh most points to enemy tight ends. … Jordan Cameron has slowed since his monster start, but is still fourth in tight end points per game. Coming off their bye week, the Browns should have a few tricks up their sleeve as they look to get Cameron back to his proper place in the offense. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be Jason Campbell’s No. 2 option behind Josh Gordon. … As of Thursday afternoon, we don’t have a real bead on Tony Gonzalez’s (toe) Week 11 status. If anyone can play without practicing, it’s Gonzo, but right now it appears things could go either way. Owners need to have a backup plan. … Coming off a rare slow game, Tim Wright remains a safe, if low-upside, TE1.  

John Carlson is unlikely to come close to equaling his 7/98/1 Week 10 down the stretch, but has the potential to vault himself to the top 11-12 range with another solid game this week. … Coming off arguably his best game of the season, Rob Housler is beginning to show why he was hyped over the summer, but remains more a of Dynasty-league prospect than re-draft option. … Scott Chandler remains an acceptable plug-and-play TE2, but don’t be surprised if seventh-round rookie Chris Gragg eventually starts stealing some of his value. … Marcedes Lewis has done little of note — his 3/39/0 Week 10 was his best game of the season — but he’s a deep sleeper for Week 11 against a Cardinals team allowing the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. … Facing a team that bleeds points against tight ends, Zach Miller isn’t the worst bet for a random touchdown. … What little value Brandon Myers had is officially gone. … Zach Ertz is little more than a weekly hail mary.   

Week 11 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski at CAR -
2 Matt Prater vs. KC -
3 Steven Hauschka vs. MIN -
4 Nick Folk at BUF -
5 Mason Crosby at NYG -
6 Adam Vinatieri at TEN -
7 Justin Tucker at CHI -
8 Ryan Succop at DEN -
9 Nick Novak at MIA -
10 Robbie Gould vs. BAL -
11 Garrett Hartley vs. SF -
12 Blair Walsh at SEA Probable (hamstring)
13 Shaun Suisham vs. DET Probable (hamstring)
14 Alex Henery vs. WAS -
15 Dan Carpenter vs. NYJ -
16 Jay Feely at JAC -
17 Phil Dawson at NO -
18 Caleb Sturgis vs. SD -
19 David Akers at PIT -
20 Kai Forbath at PHI -
21 Graham Gano vs. NE -
22 Mike Nugent vs. CLE -
23 Sebastian Janikowski at HOU Probable (ribs)
24 Rob Bironas vs. IND -
25 Matt Bryant at TB -
26 Randy Bullock vs. OAK -
27 Josh Brown vs. GB -
28 Billy Cundiff at CIN Probable (quadriceps)
29 Rian Lindell vs. ATL -
30 Josh Scobee vs. ARZ -

Week 11 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Seahawks Def/Spec Team vs. MIN -
2 Cardinals Def/Spec Team at JAC -
3 Texans Def/Spec Team vs. OAK -
4 Bengals Def/Spec Team vs. CLE -
5 Bills Def/Spec Team vs. NYJ -
6 Jets Def/Spec Team at BUF -
7 Packers Def/Spec Team at NYG -
8 Broncos Def/Spec Team vs. KC -
9 Panthers Def/Spec Team vs. NE -
10 Colts Def/Spec Team at TEN -
11 Bears Def/Spec Team vs. BAL -
12 Browns Def/Spec Team at CIN -
13 Chiefs Def/Spec Team at DEN -
14 Patriots Def/Spec Team at CAR -
15 Saints Def/Spec Team vs. SF -
16 Giants Def/Spec Team vs. GB -
17 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. ATL -
18 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team at NO -
19 Lions Def/Spec Team at PIT -
20 Ravens Def/Spec Team at CHI -
21 Chargers Def/Spec Team at MIA -
22 Falcons Def/Spec Team at TB -
23 Eagles Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
24 Titans Def/Spec Team vs. IND -
25 Dolphins Def/Spec Team vs. SD -
26 Raiders Def/Spec Team at HOU -
27 Redskins Def/Spec Team at PHI -
28 Jaguars Def/Spec Team vs. ARZ -
29 Steelers Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
30 Vikings Def/Spec Team at SEA -