Coach’s Office: Fantasy Football Start Sit – Week 11

This entry is part 11 of 17 in the series Fantasy Football: Coach's Desk



START – Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers

SIT – None

For the most part, you should never sit future hall of fame QB’s in their prime. Even though both defenses are top ten versus opposing passers I would still start both confidently. The only thing that gives me pause is both teams newfound love of the running game and defense. If you have another great option sitting on the bench I may briefly give them consideration. One example of this is I should have sat Tom Brady this week for Mitch Trubisky but rolled with the ageless one. Tom Terrific looked every bit his 41 years Sunday.

Running Back

START – Aaron Jones, Chris Carson (if he starts)

SUB – Rashaad Penny

SIT – Jamaal Williams, Mike Davis

After being held back by questionable coaching and his early season suspension it finally appears that Jones is the unquestioned RB1. He has now entrenched as the lead back with his 172 yards from scrimmage the exclamation point. Jones is now top 12 at his position and should be treated as such. He is exactly what the Packers need and can help elevate the entire offense. Seattle is a league average run defense and Jones is a stud. Green Bay is a bottom ten run defense, making the Seattle run game a start this week. The difficulty becomes figuring out who will carry the ball the most. Carson has been the most consistently successful back on the Seahawks once he started getting workhorse level carries. And with those huge carry numbers, Carson started to get banged up. Davis has lingered as a guy who has produced when Carson is out due to injury but is a low usage option otherwise. Penny is the wild card as the highly drafted stud who was injured in the preseason and outplayed by the vets early in the season. After his 108 yards on 9 yards a carry his time will come soon. Push Penny and Davis up to start and sub, respectively, if Carson sits.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

START – Davante Adams

SUB – Marquez Valdes Scantling, Tyler Lockett

SIT – Randall Cobb, Doug Baldwin

With almost 800 yards to go with nine scores, Adams is on pace to crush his career bests in every receiving category. He is a matchup independent every week WR1. Scantling is a tantalizing option as Aaron Rodgers entrenched WR2 but I’m nervous about his Week 10 matchup with the new Legion of Boom. Lockette is a TD or bust option who has scored in all but two games. All Baldwin does is disappoint his managers who put him in their starting lineup.

TITANS @ COLTS – Ciriaco


START – Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck

SIT – None

Now that Mariota can finally feel his fingers on his throwing hand the team is beginning to not look like the most boring team on earth. Amazing how some fantasy managers don’t realize how much playing injured can negatively affect a QB’s performance. After beating up on two teams who’s fan refer to as America’s team, the Cowboys and Patriots, Mariota find himself in another inviting matchup. Bottom nine versus the pass, the Colts are still in the middle of rebuilding their defense. Indy has some young studs on the defense but should not be able to slow down the Titans hot play. With three or more scores in six straight games, Luck and his rebuilt shoulder may be playing career-best football. It is a great feeling seeing Luck once again becoming matchup proof after many believed Luck would be forced into early retirement.

Running back

START – Dion Lewis, Marlon Mack

SUB – Derrick Henry

SIT – Nyheim Hines

Lewis and Mack (is that a basketball arena) both have both recently taken a huge boost in production as they have taken a stranglehold in their respective backfields. Both also had unproductive games Sunday in winning efforts. Lewis and the entire Titans offense has struggled with poor blocking efforts leading to a lot of plays broken up in the backfield. The Colts, who will force the Titans to score, below league average defense will present a lot of opportunities, on the ground and through the air. I’m not too excited about Mack’s matchup but he will get plenty of opportunities to break off big plays and score. Henry’s current role is the short yardage back used situationally near the goal line and third/fourth and a yard or less. If he does not score he will sink your squad with little usage. Hines is safe to drop.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

START – Corey Davis, TY Hilton

SUB – Jack Doyle, Chester Rogers

SIT – Tajae Sharpe, Eric Ebron

Did Davis break out, again, versus the Patriots? Or is that just the one matchup he will always smash? I’m leaning toward breakout as he has had the opportunity all year as his 76 targets can attest to. With his schedule opening up with some juicy matchups he is a strong buy. Start him Sunday as Mariota gets better as his health improves. Hilton has been a huge disappointment to his managers in 2018. With only one 100 yard game and four games with 50 yards receiving or less, he has sunk many teams who drafted him to be their WR2. He also missed two games with an injury. I believe Sunday could be TY’s time to shine as the Titans are tough on TE’s, allowing the least amount of scoreless yards to the position. That is why I’m lukewarm on starting Doyle Sunday. Ebron,  scoring at an unsustainable rate, will be playing limited snaps against a team yet to allow a tight end score. Start him at your own peril.



START – Eli Manning

SUB – Ryan Fitzpatrick

SIT – None

Now, this is an interesting matchup between two quarterbacks holding onto their starting jobs for dear life. Eli has looked washed up time and time again this season only to be trotted out as the starting QB every single week. His offensive line does him no favors allowing him to be sacked 32 times in nine games. He also does the line no favors by going through his progressions slowly and falling to the ground at any hint of pressure. In a matchup against a non-existent secondary, I expect Eli to be a low-end startable option. Fitzmagic has more lives than a cat. He has continually had the same pattern of replacing a starter, playing well for a game or two, imploding shortly thereafter, getting released, and finding a new team quickly.  Rinse and repeat the same scenario over and over again. He has already been benched once already and it could happen again at any moment. He is a reckless gunslinger and will put up yards, with multiple scores in five out of seven games. Or he could throw multiple picks in the first half and get benched. He is the definition of the word “risky.”

Running back

START – Saquon Barkley

SUB – None

SIT – Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones

Arguably the most talented RB in the league, you should never sit Barkley. The Bucs running game is awful and should never be counted on. The Bucs need to rebuild their whole offensive line and running back corps.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

START – Mike Evans, OJ Howard, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard

SUB – Evan Engram, Chris Godwin

SIT – Desean Jackson

Despite having no production his last two games I would still confidently start Evans in this matchup. The Giants are stingy against opposing receivers as evidenced by their top eight ranking in both catches and yards given up. Janoris Jenkins is a tough matchup so I would temper expectations but never would Evans leave my starting lineup. The Giants are an average defense at defending the TE so I expect emerging star Howard to exploit the Giants linebackers in coverage. The Bucs defense has to have OBJ and Shepherd managers excited about the huge games they have in store. The Bucs secondary gives up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers. Engram has all of the talent in the world, he is just gets an inconsistent target share. He only has two games of more than five targets in six games. He and Godwin are just “hold your breath flex’s” Sunday. I don’t trust Jackson at all in this matchup.



START – Ben Roethlisberger

SIT – Blake Bortles

SUB – None

The 2018 fantasy football season has delivered plenty of surprises. Among those is Ben Roethlisberger being very good on the road. In previous years, when the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled, Big Ben was usually a sit. However, he’s delivered at least 21 fantasy points in each of his last three road games. And the Jacksonville Jaguars defense is not the feared unit it was last season. While Roethlisberger takes his place as a start, Blake Bortles remains on the bench. There simply are far too many inconsistencies in his game to trust in the lineup, even with six teams on a bye.

Running Backs

START – James Conner, Leonard Fournette

SIT – Carlos Hyde, Jaylen Samuels

SUB – T.J. Yeldon

After missing most of the season with hamstring issues, Leonard Fournette returned to be the guy many hoped to get when they drafted him in the first or second round of fantasy drafts. His workload figures to be massive each week, and his talent makes him a threat to be the RB1 each time out. His backups are split, however. Carlos Hyde does not really have a role in the offense and can safely be left on the bench with Fournette healthy. T.J. Yeldon, on the other hand, can be a nice PPR flex option. While Fournette sees plenty of carries and a good amount of targets, Yeldon has a secure role as a pass-catching back who should see a few targets each week. With the Steelers a threat to blow the game open, Yeldon could end up being busy if the Jaguars are playing from behind. For the Steelers, James Conner is a start and is in line to clear concussion protocol sooner rather than later. Conner dominates the snaps and touches, and while backup Jaylen Samuels is worth a roster spot, he’s not someone to plug into the lineup in this one.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Dede Westbrook

SIT – D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole, James Washington

SUB – Vance McDonald, Donte Moncrief, James O’Shaughnessy

Steelers receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster are must-starts each week. There’s simply too high of a ceiling for both to ever consider sitting them. Of their teammates, tight end Vance McDonald offers some streamer or bye week fill-in potential against what are still solid linebackers in coverage. For the Jaguars, Dede Westbrook makes an appearance on the start list as a PPR flex option. He saw 10 targets last week against the Indianapolis Colts in what likely was a similar game script to the one expected this week. It’s hard to pass up on a chance to plug in a flex receiver who has a shot at double-digit targets. Donte Moncrief also has some potential this week, though he’s likely to draw Joe Haden in coverage, which spells trouble for his fantasy value. Those desperate for a tight end can turn to James O’Shaughnessy if the waiver wire is bare.



START – Cam Newton

SIT – None

SUB – Matthew Stafford

For those who tuned in to last week’s Carolina Panthers’ game, or should I say shellacking, could be shying away from some Panthers in fantasy this week. For several options, this could be a mistake. Cam Newton is solid QB1 each week with potential to deliver a rushing score. After Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears torched the Detroit Lions secondary last week, Newton is certainly trustworthy in this game. Matthew Stafford has potential as a streamer this week, as the Panthers can be vulnerable a bit through the air. However, with a defensive-minded coach and coming off a terrible outing last week, the Panthers could be poised to rebound well this week, putting Stafford in a bit of jeopardy from a fantasy standpoint.

Running Backs

START – Kerryon Johnson, Christian McCaffrey

SIT – LeGarrette Blount, Cameron Artis-Payne

SUB – Theo Riddick

The Kerryon Johnson breakout appears to be happening down the stretch this season. The Lions are giving the rookie plenty of carries, and he was even involved in the passing game last week even while Theo Riddick was healthy. Johnson can be trusted as an RB2 again this week, even with a somewhat difficult matchup. Speaking of Riddick, he has some PPR flex appeal this week. He still factors into most passing situations and with the Panthers being a threat to get out in front on the scoreboard, there could be some catchup time for Riddick to excel in. LeGarrette Blount, meanwhile, is a sit. He doesn’t see enough carries and isn’t efficient enough with the ones he does get to offer any fantasy value. Even if he scores a touchdown, he’s likely only finishing with single-digit fantasy points. In order to offer solid fantasy value, Blount would need to score twice. That’s a tall order to expect from any running back. For the Panthers, it’s still the Christian McCaffrey show. He’s a must-start. In some news on the backfield in Carolina, C.J. Anderson was waved, leaving Cameron Artis-Payne as the backup for the Panthers.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Kenny Golladay, Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen

SIT – Luke Wilson, Curtis Samuel, T.J. Jones, Brandon Powell, Jarius Wright

SUB – D.J. Moore, Marvin Jones

The pass-catchers in this matchup are a little more difficult to project than the running backs. However, big-bodied receivers Kenny Golladay of the Lions and Devin Funchess of the Panthers make the start list. On the field for most of the snaps, each player offers a solid opportunity for a healthy number of targets as well as looks in the red zone. Panthers tight end Greg Olsen also fits this model. Each team’s No. 2 wideout has appeal as a lineup option, but each has concerns. D.J. Moore of the Panthers has not shined the last two weeks in an expanded role with Torrey Smith out with an injury. The potential is there, but the results may not be. Speaking of injuries, the Lions’ Marvin Jones suffered a knee injury last week and may not be ready to go this week. Hobbled a bit and a boom-or-bust type WR3 in fantasy as it was, Jones is a risky flex play this week.



START – Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott

SIT – None

SUB – None

In what could be the second-best fantasy football matchup of the week, the Atlanta Falcons host the Dallas Cowboys. While Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Cowboys signal-caller Dak Prescott don’t offer the same Wild West shootout potential as the Monday night matchup out West, there still should be plenty of success to be had targeting this game in fantasy. Both quarterbacks make the start list, as Ryan has put up at least 27 fantasy points or more than 375 passing yards in each of his home contests this season. Meanwhile, the Falcons defense is giving up more than 23 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Prescott could easily take advantage of the opportunity to put up a solid stat line.

Running Backs

START – Ezekiel Elliott, Tevin Coleman

SIT – Rod Smith

SUB – Ito Smith

Ezekiel Elliott is a must-start each week and could easily make a run as the top-scoring fantasy running back this week. The Falcons defense is not good. After rookie Nick Chubb piled up 209 total yards and two scores on the Falcons last week, Zeke is poised for a monster game in Atlanta. In the Falcons’ backfield, Tevin Colemen remains the back to trust more. He has received double-digit carries and at least five targets in each of the last two games, making his volume something to target even against a solid Cowboys defense. Ito Smith is more of a risky option. While Smith has put up double-digit PPR points in two of his last four games, the volume isn’t there for him to produce consistently, keeping him as a touchdown-dependent low-end flex option.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Julio Jones, Amari Cooper

SIT – Allen Hurns

SUB – Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley, Geoff Swaim, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley

For a matchup expected to deliver some solid fantasy performances by both quarterbacks, there sure are a small number of dependable fantasy pass-catchers in this matchup. The Cowboys offense has a solid receiver starter in Amari Cooper, but who else could emerge is a mystery. Allen Hurns has such a limited role that he can’t be trusted in a lineup, and Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley could be nice plays but the success of one figures to put a damper on the ceiling of the other. Because of that, it’s a risk starting either Gallup or Beasley, but one of them should put up decent numbers. There’s just no way to project which that will be. Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim also returned to action last week, and he hauled in all three of his targets. He has appeal as a low-end streamer with his high snap count. On the Falcons’ side, Julio Jones is a must-start, but he’s the only bird that can be let out of the cage with confidence. The Cowboys have given up the second-fewest PPR points to receivers this season, and even with Ryan’s likely success, there may not be room for more than one other pass-catcher to make a solid fantasy impact. Tight end Austin Hooper could be that guy, as the Cowboys are vulnerable to tight ends despite the excellent play of their linebackers. As for receivers, either Calvin Ridley or Mohamed Sanu could turn in a decent line operating underneath the over-top coverage. Or one could easily shake loose in a secondary that will undoubtedly be focused on Julio. But just as with Gallup and Beasley, it’s difficult to envision both Ridley and Sanu turning in solid stat lines.



START – None

SIT – Andy Dalton

SUB – Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III

Is there ever a good time to be missing A.J. Green? It’s defiantly not when a struggling Bengals team is playing Baltimore this deep into the season. The Ravens defense is one of the best in the NFL and I see nothing but trouble for Andy Dalton this week. Dalton will have to throw the ball to someone, but if you can roll with others on your rosters not named Mixon, that might be the best call this week. In Week 10 against the Saints, Dalton finished with 153 yards on 20 attempts, two interceptions, and one score. Joe Flacco is dealing with a hip injury and might sit allowing Lamar Jackson or RG3 to start. All QBs are worth consideration if owners are in a pinch because the Bengals defense is horrible, and that is saying it nicely. Let me put it this way, the Bengals defense is 31st in points allowed per game just beating out Tampa Bay.

Running Backs

START – Joe Mixon, Alex Collins

SIT – None

SUB – Giovani Bernard, Javorius Allen

Joe Mixon is still Joe Mixon last I checked. Yes, the Ravens boast one of the best run defense in the NFL, but most owners can’t get away from Mixon. I would imagine Joe will be catching a few extra passes out of the backfield to make up for the possible absence of A.J. Green. The same reason can be argued for Gio this week. If Green is out these two will need to help drive production. Alex Collins and Javorius Allen have the potential for a nice Sunday. Last week Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram ran for 160 yards and two rushing touchdowns combined. I’ll take Collins first.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Michael Crabtree, John Brown

SIT – Alex Erickson,

SUB – Tyler Boyd, C.J. Uzomah, John Ross, A.J. Green, Mark Andrews, Willie Snead

Hey, have I mentioned how bad the Cincinnati defense is? I am very interested in playing Crabtree this week especially in PPR leagues.  John Brown and Willie Snead are flex plays in this game because again the Bengals are terrible on defense. I am hopeful that A.J. Green will miss this week to get healthy. Even if Green plays I would still try to find another fill in on Sunday. All other Bengals are flex plays at best, but it does feel like John Ross will catch a long bomb for six.



START – Deshaun Watson

SIT – None

SUB – Alex Smith

Deshaun Watson and the Texans are having a nice stretch winning their last six games and are in charge in the AFC South. Watson has tossed for six touchdowns in the past three games and will continue adding to his stats against a Washington defense that allows 270 passing yards per game this season. Please just get away from Alex Smith, unless it is in two QB leagues. Houston will give up yards in the air, but Smith has lost most of his starting offensive line and is down a few skill players. I would look to play someone like Josh Rosen in Week 11 instead of Smith.

Running Backs

START – Lamar Miller, Adrian Peterson

SIT – None

SUB –Kapri Bibbs, Alfred Blue

Both teams have respectable run defenses allowing less than 100 yards per game on the ground. Lamar Miller and Adrian Peterson are both RB2 at best this week but with Bye weeks its tough sitting semi-reliable running backs. Chris Thompson is likely to miss this game, enter Kapri Bibbs. Washington could be chasing points so he and AP will be catching some passes. Blue is a SUB and is a flex at best. Miller could fall off at any point and Blue could get some run. In Week 9 Blue out touched Miller 15 to 12 out of the backfield.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryius Thomas, Maurice Harris

SIT – None

SUB – Josh Doctson, Keke Coutee, Jordan Thomas, Jordan Reed

Are you going to make me say it? Fine, DeAndre Hopkins is good to start him always. The interesting play this week is Demaryius Thomas. Drew Dougherty of the Texans’ official site is reporting that Thomas will be more involved this week. He should be a WR2 in most leagues. I would steer clear of Keke Coutee unless in a deep PPR league. Jordan Thomas is the only TE in this game owners should “trust” if in a pinch. He has scored three times in the last two games. Maurice Harris is a great PPR play but he and Josh Doctson are both flex plays at best. Finally, Jordan Reed is a SUB by default because the TE market is ROUGH. I do not expect much out of him and if Jeff Heuerman or Ricky Seals-Jones is available on waivers I would play either before a TE in this game.



START – Josh Rosen

SIT – Derek Carr

SUB – None

I am looking down the barrel of starting Josh Rosen this week in a deep dynasty league. After changing offensive coordinators, the Cardinals and Rosen have been a more effective offensive unit but they are still having turnover issues. Play Rosen in deep leagues or two QB leagues with the expectation that he might not exceed 20 fantasy points. Now to the Raiders. Rebuilding is a tough thing to watch. Derek Carr has the chance to throw it on Arizona, but who is going to toss it too? As you will see below, his only “good” option is either a running back or Jared Cook.

Running Backs

START – David Johnson

SIT – None

SUB – Doug Martin, Jalen Richard

Thank goodness for Byron Leftwich. In Week 10 David Johnson racked up 98 rushing yards on 21 carries which was the second time this season DJ eclipsed more than 20 carries. DJ is a stud and is back. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard are actually both decent flex plays and possibly low-end RB2 in Week 11. The Cards are in the bottom five for yards allowed to running backs in the league.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Larry Fitzgerald, Ricky Seals-Jones, Jared Cook

SIT –Jordy Nelson, Brandon LaFell, Seth Roberts, Dwayne Harris, Marcell Ateman

SUB – Christian Kirk

To be quick and easy, Jared Cook is the only pass catcher worth starting on the Oakland side of the field. Cook is currently leading the team in yards with 546 on 42 receptions this season. Larry Fitzgerald has 10 targets in Week 10 pushing Christian Kirk and other wideouts for fantasy production. The Byron Leftwich factor has brought Fitz back to fantasy relevance once again. Ricky Seals-Jones should be started in all leagues as Oakland is terrible against defending tight ends. Christian Kirk is a deep league flex play. His targets are dropping off, but it is Oakland, everyone has a good shot at scoring.



START – Philip Rivers

SUB – Case Keenum

SIT – None

While Denver’s pass defense has held it’s own of late against the likes of Pat Mahomes, Jared Goff, Josh Rosen, and Deshaun Watson, it’s still allowed 20+ fantasy points to opposing QB’s in every week except two. Factor in that Rivers has scored 20+ points every week and we’ve got a pretty solid start on our hands. The Broncos are coming off a bye and they’ll be keyed up to stop Rivers so his ceiling might be a little lower than normal but still pretty decent. A good day for Rivers likely means Denver will have to play from behind in this one and that should force Keenum into enough pass yards and TD’s to be a passable sub on most rosters if you need someone. I’m not dying to trot him out, but there are worse options.

Running Backs

START – Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay

SUB – Royce Freeman, Austin Ekeler

SIT – Devontae Booker

Gordon is a must-start back who is rewarding fantasy owners weekly with Top 5 returns this year. There are few backs who find pay dirt as regularly as he does, whether through the air or on the ground. Lindsay, despite not being the outright starter and loan workhorse much of the year, has amassed 10+ points every week this season except for one – he was ejected in the first quarter of that game for throwing a punch. As long as he can avoid getting into more boxing matches, the rookie sensation is a solid start. Freeman is returning from an injury and game script is likely to be against him in this one. I think Denver eases the big bruiser back into action but if you are desperate for a RB then Freeman is talented enough to get 6-10 points somehow. Ekeler is another guy you can sub in if you’re desperate, but only in PPR formats. The young speedster has seen inconsistent usage and has become supremely dependent on the big play to return fantasy value.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Emanuel Sanders, Keenan Allen, Courtland Sutton

SUB – Tyrell Williams, Mike William, Jeff Heuerman

SIT – SD Tight Ends

Sanders and Allen should be in your lineup. Unless you’re in a two WR format and you have three studs, both these two are weekly must-start options. Sutton, on the other hand, is a guy I’m pegging for a breakout performance this week. The Broncos will be 2 weeks removed from the departure of Demaryius Thomas and have had a bye to get things sorted out, it’s time for the big rookie to take flight. The Chargers have given up a few big fantasy days to WR’s this season and the game script may create more opportunities for Sanders and Sutton. There’s a couple of good subs here if you’re looking for some help this week. Both Williams could post solid starts in this one and the only reason I have them listed as subs is because I don’t know which one to bet on. There’s a little risk with either of them and some reward there too, you could do worse. Heuerman broke out in Week 9 with 10 catches and a TD. Denver has been in search of an answer at TE and Ohio State product has flashed before. With an increasing lack of TE options, this could be an emerging asset down the home stretch.



START – Drew Brees, Carson Wentz

SUB – None

SIT – None

Pretty easy calls here. Brees keeps waiving at Hall of Famers as he flies past them on the all-time leaderboards and he’s a lock for elite QB production the rest of the way. Since Week 4, Wentz has posted 25+ points in every matchup and he should continue to produce with a bevy of receiving options and no run game. Fire away with both Top 10 QB’s.

Running Backs

START – Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram

SUB – Josh Adams

SIT – Wendall Smallwood, Corey Clement

NFL coaches around the league have to wonder what they need to do to have a guy like Ingram show up halfway through the season and still be on pace to eclipse 1000 total yards and a half dozen TD’s – in addition to Kamara. The Saints have built the Thunder and Lightning run game in a way most teams have dreamed up since the days of Lendale White and Chris Johnson. Kamara is a Top 5 fantasy back and Ingram is Top 15 and both should be in lineups weekly. If the Saints backfield is gold, the Eagles is weeds and alfalfa. Adams is the only guy showing any signs of life and even that has been lackluster at best. Philly is going to be a pass-first offense but if you’re desperate, you can roll the dice and Adams and hope he’s earned more touches.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Michael Thomas

SUB – Ben Watson, Golden Tate, Nelson Agholor, Tre’Quan Smith

SIT – Dallas Goedert, Brandon Marshall, Jordan Matthews

What they lack in running backs, they more than make up for with pass catchers in Philadelphia. Ertz is the #1 fantasy tight end in the land and I don’t care what they say in Kansas City. He’s clearly Wentz’ safety blanket and a total matchup nightmare. It’s not always easy to pick out which of the other Eagles receivers will join him as a locked in start but Alshon is due for a big game and the Saints pass defense can be beat. At some point, Tate will be given a bigger workload but that shouldn’t impact Jeffery’s role as a red-zone target and big-play threat. Until Tate, Agholor, and Matthews figure out who is #3 I would avoid starting any outright, but if you needed a sub you can go with Tate or Agholor. Smith is another name you can consider as a bye week sub and a guy who could breakout any week. The Saints need a #2 option in the receiving game and that could be Smith or the big TE Watson. Watson simply can’t stay consistent but at a thin position like TE, you could do worse.



START – Mitchell Trubisky, Kirk Cousins

SUB – None

SIT – None

Since Week 4, Pat Mahomes has 18 TD passes and 7 INT, in that same span Trubisky has 17 TD and 4 INT. Quietly, the Bears signal caller is emerging as a top-tier fantasy asset and he’s still available in a crazy number of leagues. I understand the hesitation to trust a guy who looked completely lost the first two weeks of the season, but the UNC product is delivering and he has a solid supporting cast to work with. He’s a must start on a weekly basis and arguably as good as Cousins. Cousins actually has fewer fantasy points than Trubisky this year and laid a stinker against the Lions just prior to his Week 10 bye. Still, the Vikings offense is loaded and Cousins can toss the rock so keep him in your lineups.

Running Backs

START – Dalvin Cooks

SUB – Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard

SIT – Latavious Murray

He’s baaaaack. Rightfully so, fantasy owners were reluctant to trust Cooks in Week 9 coming back from his injury yet again, but he was brilliant going for 89 yards on 10 carries and contributing a couple of pass catches as well. With two full weeks off since that game, he is primed to resume his role as a horse on what should be a top end fantasy offense down the home stretch. While the backfield picture in Minnesota is coming into focus, the Bears running back situations only gets murkier. Howard has been a victim of game scripts instead of a driver of them and that’s infuriated his fantasy owners. The power runner simply can’t get it going and that keeps Cohen even more in the mix than he probably should be. Both backs can be started, but neither is an ideal lineup anchor. Of the two, I lean toward Cohen and his big-play ability a bit more.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton

SUB – Anthony Miller, Kyle Rudolph, Taylor Gabriel

SIT – LaQuan Treadwell, Josh Bellamy, Kevin White

It turns out, Thielen is a mere mortal, after all, scoring ONLY 12 points in Week 9. Bum. Expect a rebound to elite status here and similarly productive outings for Diggs and Robinson. Minnesota’s defense has been much improved but they’re still short-handed in the secondary and ARob is more than capable of beating the Vikings 3rd string corner. Burton is a must-start TE given the scarcity of talent at the position and his big game upside. When the going gets tough, and it should against the Vikings defense, Trubisky is going to look for Burton. He may also look for the emerging Miller who has 3 TD in his last 5 games and 10+ points in each of his last three. There are worse places to look for a spot start than the talented slot man, particularly in PPR formats. Some of Miller’s production was due to a lack of Gabriel usage, but both receivers could find starting value in a game that will probably see the Bears throw more often than not.  Rudolph fits the “there’s no other options and I need a TE” bill and that’s about it. He’s feast or famine, but as good a dart throw as any most weeks.



START – Pat Mahomes, Jared Goff

SUB – None

SIT – None


Running Backs

START – Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt

SUB – None

SIT – Spencer Ware

Double Duh.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

START – Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins

SUB – Gerald Everett, Josh Reynolds

SIT – Chris Conley, Tyler Higbee

Triple duh… oh wait, there’s more to this one. Hill, Kelce, Cooks are all obvious and really, with Kupp out, Woods is a weekly must start as well. Watkins’ fantasy star has flickered at times this year but Mahomes trusts him and he’s well on his way to 1000 yards. He’s a solid start in a game that may turn into quite the shootout with two less than stellar pass defenses. To be sure, Gurley and Hunt will get their share of touches but this has all the makings of a glorious fireworks display making all five of these players strong bets this week. If you’re in the market for a potential second-half tight end asset, Everett might be your guy. With Kupp down many bets are on Reynolds to pick up some of those targets and he may, making him a reasonable sub option this week, but the Rams want to get their young tight end going too. Finding a threat out of the TE position is the final piece of McVey’s offense and Everett could be that guy. I’m not as high on Reynolds as most, his only production has been three TD catches and not very many targets even when Kupp was out before. He’s a former 4th round pick with some talent, but the Rams would do better to feed the ball elsewhere. If you’re desperate, he’s an OK dart throw, and he could go off – he’s a true 50/50 guy for me.


START – Greg Zuerlein, Harrison Butker, Wil Lutz, Jake Elliott, Giorgio Tavecchio, Graham Gano

SIT – Mason Crosby, Dan Bailey, Cairo Santos

The start list for kickers is rather large this week, and there are a few names that should even be added to this list. The reason is simple: Week 11 is filled with expected high-scoring games in either fair-weather cities or in domes. The Los Angeles Rams (Greg Zuerlein) battle the Kansas City Chiefs (Harrison Butker) in sunny L.A., the New Orleans Saints (Wil Lutz) host the Philadelphia Eagles (Jake Elliott) in a dome, the Carolina Panthers (Graham Gano) are in a dome, the Atlanta Falcons (Giorgio Tavecchio) are in a dome, and the Indianapolis Colts (Adam Vinatieri) take on the Tennessee Titans (Ryan Succop) in a dome. It should be a great week for fantasy kickers. But it’s not all easy kickins this week, as Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers) makes the sit list on the road on a short week. Joining him on the sit list are Dan Bailey (Minnesota Vikings) and Cairo Santos (recently signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).


START – Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens

SIT – Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos

All of the dome and fair-weather games that are expected to see plenty of points on the board may be great for fantasy kickers, but they are making it tough for fantasy defenses this week. In some cases, it may not be a bad idea to bench a defense in favor of a zero rather than risk negative points. But there are some defenses that should fare well this week. Those include the Houston Texans on the road against Washington, the Chicago Bears at home against the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. Defenses to avoid this week include the Jacksonville Jaguars (how far the mighty hath fallen), the Green Bay Packers (road team on Thursday night – beware) and the Denver Broncos on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Series Navigation<< Coach’s Office: Who to Start and Who to Sit – Week 10Coach’s Office: Who to Start and Who to Sit – Week 12 >>

Ben Stecker

ProFootball Free Lance Writer at
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport or a bourbon I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy

Andrew Liang

ProFootball Free Lance Writer at Sports Talk Line
Lucky Husband, Fantasy Football wannabe expert, and travels for food. Colts fan, NFL fan, fan of life. Been playing Fantasy Football for 15 years.

Joshua Cook

Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Fantasy enthusiast armed with whit, sarcasm and some knowledge, too. The Fantasy Sports Chef is a Fantasy Free Lance Writer for


Writer Fantasy Football Desk at SportsTalkLine
I'm a budding writer who's passion is for fantasy football. I love every NFL team but especially the Browns and what that franchise is creating on offense. I'm have two kids who I absolutely adore.

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