Fantasy football analyst Sal Vetri will use this space to deliver his keys to victory every week of the 2023 NFL season.
Finding No. 1: Ty Chandler is an RB trending up
Alexander Mattison was able to pass the concussion protocol and play in Week 11. Despite this, Chandler still posted 110 total yards on just 14 touches and he continues to be the most efficient back in Minnesota, averaging 5.7 yards per touch this season.
The best part is he only played 31% of the snaps. If he keeps producing like this it’s only a matter of time until he earns more playing time. Chandler will face the Bears 30th-ranked defense next. He remains a FLEX option in Week 12.
Finding No. 2. The best RB spot of the week belongs to Kyren Williams
He’s expected to return from IR this week and take over the Rams backfield. Williams averaged 88% of the snaps and 20.4 opportunities per game in five games as the Rams' clear starter this season. This is elite usage.
He’ll return against the Cardinals’ 28th-ranked run defense. We last saw Williams in Week 6 when he put up 158 rushing yards against this same Cardinals defense. With Cooper Kupp injured, expect an even larger red-zone role for Williams in Week 12.
Finding No. 3: It's not what it seems with Josh Downs
He returns from the bye week and is surprisingly available in 43% of Yahoo leagues. Downs hasn’t produced in a month but that needs more context. He left with injury in Week 9 after running just five routes. Downs then missed practice all week before being heavily limited in Week 10.
But now he’s healthy coming out of the bye week. Over his last four healthy games, he averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 targets. This week he’ll face a Bucs secondary that allows the second-most yards per game to receivers.
Finding No. 4: The pick-up-and-play of the week is Tutu Atwell
Cooper Kupp left in Week 11 with a low-ankle sprain. Kupp will play, but he won't be at 100% capacity. That means Atwell is a viable flex option.
Atwell has played four games this season without Kupp. In these games he averaged 11.7 fantasy points on 8.8 targets. Atwell is walking into an ideal matchup, too. The Rams face the Cardinals’ 25th-ranked secondary that allows the fourth-most explosive plays to receivers.
Finding No. 5: George Pickens is a WR trending down
He earned just 5.8 points in Week 11 on six targets. Pickens has struggled to produce over the past month and it directly correlates with the return of Diontae Johnson. Since Johnson returned in Week 7, Pickens has earned just 20% of the Steelers’ targets. This is down from his 30% share in four games without Johnson.
Pickens now averages just seven points per game with Johnson active. We’ve seen his route tree become less versatile and now the Steelers are considering a QB change. One positive for Pickens is he has a top-10 fantasy playoff schedule against the Colts, Bengals and Seahawks.
Finding No. 6: The Bears' backfield is a situation to monitor
Khalil Herbert returned in Week 11 and went right back to being the Bears’ lead back. He was limited to 44% of the snaps but still earned 19 opportunities. Herbert was on his way to being the clear workhorse before he suffered his ankle injury in Week 5. In Week 4, he played 79% of the snaps and earned 23 opportunities.
Three backs earned at least 25% of the snaps in Week 11 for Chicago, but only Herbert saw more than six touches. Expect his snaps to increase moving forward, and he’ll face the Cardinals’ and Packers’ poor run defenses to end the season.