The dreaded bye week is almost a thing of the past for fantasy football owners.
This weekend, 30 NFL squads will take the field, giving fantasy managers more options at their disposal. Those with Dallas Cowboys on their roster will have to fill a void or two, but gamers will not be counting on a St. Louis Ram other than the burgeoning Zac Stacy.
That means this week’s rankings should be more prominently filled with stars occupying the top spots. Gone are the days of pressing Keenan Allen into top-10 duty.
Who will be Week 11’s top fantasy performers? To the ranking tables we go!
|1||Drew Brees||San Francisco 49ers|
|2||Peyton Manning||Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||Russell Wilson||Minnesota Vikings|
|4||Philip Rivers||at Miami Dolphins|
|5||Robert Griffin III||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|6||Matthew Stafford||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|7||Nick Foles||Washington Redskins|
|8||Cam Newton||New England Patriots|
|9||Ben Roethlisberger||Detroit Lions|
|10||Tom Brady||at Carolina Panthers|
Do Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have particularly promising matchups? No. Are you still insane for even considering benching one of them? Absolutely. (Unless you have both, but in that case, how? And why?)
Russell Wilson is this week’s fringe fantasy starter who volts into top-five quarterback territory due to his appetizing matchup against the Vikings, who allow 399.3 total yards per game. A returning Percy Harvin would sweeten the pot even more.
Starting any quarterback against Carolina is risky business, but it will take a strong-minded individual to sit Tom Brady after burning the Pittsburgh Steelers for 432 yards and four touchdowns.
The Lions allow 275.6 passing yards per game and will force the Pittsburgh Steelers to fire away through the air. Ben Roethlisberger compiled a combined 789 yards against the Vikings and Bears earlier in the season, so consider using him against another defensively challenged NFC North squad.
|1||LeSean McCoy||Washington Redskins|
|2||Jamaal Charles||at Denver Broncos|
|3||Marshawn Lynch||Minnesota Vikings|
|4||Adrian Peterson||at Seattle Seahawks|
|5||Frank Gore||at New Orleans Saints|
|6||Knowshon Moreno||Kansas City Chiefs|
|7||Reggie Bush||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|8||Alfred Morris||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|9||Matt Forte||vs. Baltimore Ravens|
|10||Eddie Lacy||at New York Giants|
After Dallas, Washington allows the most fantasy points per game to running backs at 21.6, according to ESPN. LeSean McCoy earned 184 rushing yards and a touchdown during their earlier meeting.
The Chiefs lead the league in defensive sacks and takeaways, but they also surrender 5.0 yards per carry. Don’t shy away from Knowshon Moreno this Sunday.
Against the Saints, who ran third against the pass but 23rd against the run, don’t be surprised if Frank Gore gets the ball 25-30 times for a San Francisco team that records the league’s least amount of passing yards.
Not included above, Andre Brown is now the undisputed No. 1 back for the Giants. Chris Ivory should receive another heavy workload against the Bills, and Andre Ellington will have a monster game if the Cardinals just give him the darn ball.
|1||Calvin Johnson||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|2||Andre Johnson||Oakland Raiders|
|3||DeSean Jackson||Washington Redskins|
|4||Brandon Marshall||at Chicago Bears|
|5||Pierre Garcon||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|6||A.J. Green||Cleveland Browns|
|7||Vincent Jackson||Atlanta Falcons|
|8||Antonio Brown||Detroit Lions|
|9||Demaryius Thomas||Kansas City Chiefs|
|10||Victor Cruz||Green Bay Packers|
I don’t know—are you guys really sold on this Calvin Johnson guy? Yes? Fine, I’ll give him a shot against Pittsburgh, who allowed 55 points to the Patriots during Week 9.
Exhibit A on why you never let touchdowns guide your decisions: After starting the first seven games of 2013 without a touchdown, Andre Johnson has scored five times in the past two games. The targets and production were always there, so naturally, the end-zone trips followed. Kudos to those who bought low on the star wideout.
Denver’s trio of receivers have a tough secondary awaiting them, but they’re too good to bench. The same goes for A.J. Green, who should be followed by Joe Haden all day.
I endorsed Big Ben, so some receiver has to reap those rewards. Enter Antonio Brown,who has caught at least five passes in every game this season.
|1||Jimmy Graham||San Francisco 49ers|
|2||Rob Gronkowski||at Carolina Panthers|
|3||Antonio Gates||at Miami Dolphins|
|4||Jordan Reed||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|5||Julius Thomas||Kansas City Chiefs|
|6||Jordan Cameron||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|7||Tony Gonzalez||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|8||Vernon Davis||at New Orleans Saints|
|9||Greg Olsen||New England Patriots|
|10||Timothy Wright||Atlanta Falcons|
The Dolphins have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points per game (8.8) against tight ends, so expect a nice effort from Antonio Gates. He hasn’t scored in his last five games, but the big man has averaged 8.4 targets during that stretch.
The Eagles have the only defense playing in Week 11 that yields more than 300 passing yards per game. That makes Jordan Reed one of many Washington skill players worth starting on Sunday.
Jordan Cameron is no longer praised as a fantasy deity after totaling a subdued 240 yards and a touchdown in his last five games (including a four-yard dud last weekend), but he’s still a top talent who caught 10 passes the last time he faced the Bengals.
|1||Seattle Seahawks||Minnesota Vikings|
|2||Arizona Cardinals||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|3||Cincinnati Bengals||Cleveland Browns|
|4||Houston Texans||Oakland Raiders|
|5||Carolina Panthers||New England Patriots|
|6||Buffalo Bills||New York Jets|
|7||Chicago Bears||Baltimore Ravens|
|8||New England Patriots||at Carolina Panthers|
|9||New York Jets||at Buffalo Bills|
|10||New York Giants||Green Bay Packers|
The Texans still lead the league with 280.0 yards allowed per game. They’re going to eventually figure this out, and Oakland is as good of an opponent as any to start against.
With 32 sacks and 16 takeaways, the Bills are a sneaky, good fantasy defense. Take a chance on Geno Smith increasing his 16-turnover tally.
Over the past three games, the Giants have collected eight turnovers and were responsible for just three touchdowns. Their opponents have guided this turnaround, but Scott Tolzien isn’t Aaron Rodgers.
Although the Chiefs have been far and beyond the best fantasy defense this season, it’s not safe starting them against the Broncos. But if the decision boils down to use them or dump them, hope for the best against a battered Peyton Manning.
|1||Steven Hauschka||Minnesota Vikings|
|2||Matt Prater||Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||Nick Folk||at Buffalo Bills|
|4||Nick Novak||at Miami Dolphins|
|5||Justin Tucker||at Chicago Bears|
|6||Alex Henery||Washington Redskins|
|7||Robbie Gould||Baltimore Ravens|
|8||David Akers||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|9||Stephen Gostkowski||at Carolina Panthers|
|10||Graham Gano||New England Patriots|
The Jets have the perfect offense for a kicker’s fantasy value. They can move the ball but not prolifically enough to find the end zone with poise. Nick Folk has converted six field goals of 40 yards or more during their last three games.
Graham Gano has made five 50-yard field goals for a team that feels little need to force the issue with such a stout defense backing it up.