NFL Week 11: Optimal Flex Plays

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Another day, another dollar and another football week out of the window. We are entering the “down the stretch” portion in our fantasy leagues. What are we going to do now that our precious Cooper Kupp is now on a bye week? How do we go on? Kupp may be so good that you can actually leave him in your starting lineups and still get production out of him in Week 11. Matthew Stafford, on the other hand, may need three bye weeks to return to form. You need to dig deep this week, make the right plays and of course nail your flex spot! The further down the road we get, the more important it is to cash in on these flex plays. Last week a couple of players in this column (J.D. McKissic and Devonta Freeman) failed to give us the boom that we needed despite the stars aligning. Jamal Agnew and Hunter Renfrow however, both touched pay dirt to give us ultimate flex play value. With several high over/unders in Week 11, you should be able to look mostly at the wide receiver position for solid flex plays.

Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills
Beasley may not get the vaccine, but he’s always getting targets. Week 10’s two-target, two-catch, 15-yard performance against the Jets should be considered an outlier. Including that game, Beasley has still averaged 8.75 targets, 6.75 catches and 61.5 yards over the past four contests. The Bills got ahead comfortably against the Jets and there was no need to press the issue with the pass game -- Josh Allen attempted just 28 passes in the win. In Week 11 against the Colts, who have an offense that actually works, the Bills may find themselves in a back and forth battle. Defensively the Colts will trout out the fourth-worst unit in fantasy against wide receivers. Beasley will get back in his bag and elevate your PPR rosters in Week 11.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns
With Baker Mayfield at quarterback, we know the Browns want to run the ball as much as humanly possible. In the sport of football, however, you have to throw sometimes. Peoples-Jones should be a main beneficiary of that in Week 11. Peoples-Jones was in for 85% of the snaps in Week 10 when the Browns got smoked by the Patriots (highest of any Browns receiver). This is not a volume play. You will play Peoples-Jones with the hope that he can cash in on one of the deep balls Mayfield throws with his eyes closed. Peoples-Jones averages a whopping 20.6 YPR in 2021. His Week 11 opponent, the Lions, give up the second most YPR at 12.8. Peoples-Jones will be on the field enough to make plays vs. a not-so-good Lions secondary.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Tennessee Titans
This one is tough I must admit, but I’m digging deep here. Seeing as how Adrian Peterson carried the ball 18 times for 42 yards so far in his Titans tenure, this flex play doesn’t seem encouraging. What should give you hope is his opponent. The Texans are the sixth worst in terms of defending running backs in fantasy this season. While it’s been a rough start for the future Hall of Famer, he’s still getting his feet wet and he’s out-carried D’Onta Foreman so far. The Titans are 10-point favorites against the Texans and a positive game script could work in favor of Peterson. Let's be clear, the Titans backfield is a full-blown RBBC, but any opportunity near the goal line should have Peterson managers foaming at the mouth. “All Day” could be your unexpected hero in Week 11.

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Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals
The Bengals are fresh off of a bye week and their leader in targets per game is ready to roll. You read that correctly, Higgins comes into Week 11 averaging 8.4 targets per game to Ja’Marr Chases’ 8.1. Higgins is also a player you’d want on your fantasy team down the stretch. Higgins has averaged over 70 yards in his last four games. While the Raiders are one the better defenses against receivers in fantasy, The Bengals are the ninth best in total passing yards. Put that together with the fact that the Raiders are fourth in total passing yards and the over/under is 49.5, you have a shootout on your hands. Derek Carr and Joe Burrow are both gunslingers and all receivers in this game should benefit. Fire up Higgins.

Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
I feel like Pollard got his groove back in Week 10 against the “Fraud” Falcons. Pollard saw 17 total touches and made 98 yards out of it. Of those 17 touches, six were receptions and that could come in handy against the Chiefs. In a game sporting an over/under of 55.5, Pollard looks to be the best start that's not obvious. If this game turns into a track meet, you can expect Pollard to be used often in the game plan. Ezekiel Elliott will do what he does near the end zone, but Pollard will provide that pop that you need. I had Pollard in this column a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t pan out. This week, the Cowboys will need their ultra-efficient back to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and company.