Week 10 surprised us all! Nick Chubb was the top RB for the week. Christian McCaffrey and Ezekial Elliot both had absolutely stellar weeks in difficult matchups. Eric Ebron scored a rushing touchdown (and two more through the air). Finally, Austin Hooper returned for a great week. Too bad he was on your bench.
The beginning of week 11 has been interesting after Thursday nights entertaining game. I sincerely hope you started Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, and Doug Baldwin! Your week is off to a good start, if you did!
And how about the upcoming Monday night game? I think my grandmother could see a snap in this game and walk away with 7.5 fantasy points (PPR, of course). Neither grandmother is with us anymore, so obviously I still believe they could get 7.5 points in that game.
Running Back: Start ’em
Alex Collins (Baltimore Ravens)
The Baltimore Ravens travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. The same Bengals who have been absolutely skewered by Running Backs all season long. The Running Back position averages 32.8 points when facing the Bengals with almost 1600 total yards and 13 touchdowns. But wait! There’s more!!
Who will be under center on Sunday afternoon? If it’s Joe Flacco, he will be even MORE immobile than he is on a normal Sunday while nursing a hip injury. Necessity will force the Ravens into using their Running Backs. If it’s Robert Griffin III then they will want him controlling the ball. Take away his rookie season SIX years ago and you’re left with a TD:Int ratio that is almost 1:1. Against this Bengal defense, they won’t need him throwing the ball recklessly. Finally (and hopefully), they might go with Lamar Jackson. Again, they will need the youngster to control the ball and utilize the run game. I would love to see this dynamic and exciting QB get a chance against a suspect defense.
No matter who is “throwing” the ball, Alex Collins will have a career day. At worst, he will be an RB1.
Doug Martin (Oakland Raiders)
Speaking of defenses who are weak against the run, the Raiders travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals. Let’s think back to week 5 when the Cardinals let Alfred Morris look like a fantasy relevant Running Back. They have allowed approximately 1500 yards and 13 touchdowns to the Running Back position during this season.
Let’s not mince words, the Raiders are a train wreck. They’re going to lose this game. They are the odds on favorite to secure the 1.01 in the 2019 NFL Draft. HOWEVER, the Cardinals are in the same ballpark when considering team ability this year. The result? A close game filled with LOTS of running back scoring (Hello, David Johnson, and welcome to another stellar game!). Since the Raiders won’t be playing from too far behind, Doug Martin will see his fair share of work. He is averaging 13 attempts and almost 5 yards per run in the last 3 games. Throw in a few passes per game and you have yourself a decent fantasy week.
Running Back: Sit ’em
Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears)
Which Jordan Howard will show up this week? The one who scored 4 touchdowns over 3 games in weeks 7-9? Or the one that ran for 1.9 yards per carry and possibly lost weeks for his fantasy owners in week 10? He is so talented. I am quite confused by his usage. But the Bears are doing well either way, so we’re at that point where we won’t know HOW they will use him.
As if all that wasn’t bad enough for a fantasy week, the Bears are at home against a Minnesota Vikings defense who have been incredibly stingy to all Running Backs not named Alvin Kamara or Todd Gurley. I hope you aren’t going to argue that Jordan Howard is in the same tier as those two. (Psst, he’s not.)
Sit him. I’m sorry that you spent a second or third round pick on him.
Eagles Backfield (Philadelphia Eagles)
Josh Adams is emerging as the best back in Philadelphia, but it’s still a committee. In their last three games, the Eagles have used the three running backs in a 33.3/33.4/33.3 split, with Adams getting that slightly higher number of touches. (For the record, Wendall Smallwood appears to be the passing down back.) Based on this information, we couldn’t really trust one of them specifically in week 11. But wait! There’s more!!
Whether through necessity because they are playing from behind or strength of the opposing defense, Running Backs facing the Saints have not done very well. There are a couple of exceptions (Saquon, Gurley, Latavius), but the Saints have held opposing Running Backs to only a few points. This game won’t be any different. They’re playing in New Orleans and the scoring will likely be high. Both are a recipe for tempered expectations for the Eagles backfield.
Tight End: Start ’em
Vance McDonald (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Throughout the season, the Jaguars have been beaten through the Tight End position, particularly in the red zone. Vance McDonald has been getting a decent target share lately and has normally done well with it. If he can continue to be targeted 6 times per game against this defense who is on a decline, he might find the end zone. And in this 2018 Tight End position for fantasy, that’s all you can really hope for if you don’t own Kelce, Ertz, Kittle, or Ebron. (Let’s be honest though, Touchdowns are the reason Ebron is in the top Tight End discussion.)
Note for 2019, draft one of the top 3 or 4 Tight Ends early or don’t draft one until your last pick. I’d rather spend draft capital on the DEF position at this point. I’m exaggerating there, but Tight Ends are frustrating and almost impossible to predict.
Ricky Seals-Jones (Arizona Cardinals)
Speaking of impossible to predict……
I’m throwing RSJ into the mix because his role in the Cardinals offense has improved since Byron Leftwich took over at OC. His snap counts have increased. In week 10, he was targeted 9 times! And now, we’re reminded of the fact that the Cardinals are facing the Raiders. The Raiders defense is like Oprah: “You get a touchdown! You get a touchdown! You get a touchdown!” You could certainly do worse than selecting RSJ. Kittle is on bye this week, you might be forced into playing Ricky Seals-Jones. You’re allowed to be nervous.
Tight End: Sit ’em
CJ Uzomah (Cincinatti Bengals)
The Bengals are imploding. They just hired Hue Jackson. Finally, they’re facing the Ravens in a divisional battle. There is not much more to say when considering any Bengals pieces in week 11.
On the positive side, AJ Green is out. Therefore, CJ Uzomah could see his targets increase. Plus, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, Tight Ends that I place in the “Sit ’em” category tend to go off and have stellar games.
To sum it up, I hate the Tight End position.
Good luck to each of you in week 11! Unless you’re facing me. In that case, I hope your relatives from out of town have arrived and that you’re spending time with them instead of paying attention to your lineups.