What an ugly weekend it was for fantasy owners fighting for a playoff spot, with the losers list looking more like a Pro Bowl roster. On the other side of the coin, the winners list is littered with fantasy bench players who were likely not even in the starting line-up.
We all know that anything can happen on any given Sunday, but that statement was never more true this Sunday Jameis Winston, Brock Osweiler, T.J. Yates were worth starting, while Devonta Freeman, Justin Forsett, and Danny Woodhead were more harm than good to their owners. It just goes to show you that no player is without fault, or hope.
In injury news, the Ravens lost both Joe Flacco (torn ACL) and Forsett (broken arm) for the rest of the season. The Ravens are now without QB (Flacco), RBs (Forsett & Lorenzo Taliaferro), WRs (Steve Smith, Brashad Perriman, Michael Campanaro, Cam Worthy, & Darren Waller), TEs (Dennis Pitta & Allen Reisner), C (Jeremy Zuttah), LB (Terrell Suggs), and DBs (Will Davis, Julian Wilson, & Matt Elam). There are injuries to every NFL team, but would someone please sprinkle some Holy Water around the Ravens facility before they start combing the CFL for replacements!
Cam Newton – Panthers: It was not really a surprise that Newton and the Panthers beat up on the Redskins in Week 11, but I am not sure anyone expected Newton to throw for 5 touchdowns in the process. The fact that he only threw for 246 yards, and ran for 16 yards, shows just what kind of field position the Panthers had every possession. It's great to see Newton using his arm to win games for fantasy owners!
Jameis Winston – Buccaneers: There is no better confidence builder for a rookie QB than playing a lifeless team on the road, and beating them 45-17. That is exactly what Winston did on Sunday as he racked up 246 passing yards and 5 TDs in Philadelphia. The Bucs looked sharp on both offense and defense, and you could tell early on they were locked, cocked, and ready to rock.
Thomas Rawls – Seahawks: Rawls drew the start with Marshawn Lynch once again out with an abdominal injury, and oh my did he ever make the most of his chance this week. Rawls was a one-man band this week, running the ball 30 times for 209 yards, catching 3 passes for 46 yards, and scoring 2 TDs at home. While I will say he did this damage against a helpless 49ers team, all you can do is play the teams that are on your schedule. With the Seahawks playing the late game, and Lynch listed as Questionable, but expected to play, only owners of both Lynch and Rawls got to make the switch and reap the rewards of his big day.
Doug Martin – Buccaneers: Martin was a man on a mission this weekend, and he accomplished his mission in near record-breaking fashion. Martin ran the ball 27 times, and gained 235 yards, coming just 16 yards short of his franchise single-game record of 251 yards. I'll be honest and say I haven't been overly impressed with Martin this season outside of Weeks 4, 5, & 7. But, his confidence has got to be sky-high heading into Week 12 against the Colts. He is going to be an early favorite for low-end RB1 value in that match-up.
James Jones – Packers: There has been another James Jones sighting, this time in Minnesota as the Packers faced the Vikings on the road. Jones hauled in 6-of-11 targets for 109 yards and a TD on Sunday. Jones is a boom-or-bust fantasy WR, and one that is going to disappoint more often than not since his value is directly tied to his ability to score. Jones is a risky play, no matter the match-up.
Devin Funchess – Panthers: Funchess saw a season-high 8 targets on Sunday, and managed to snag 4 of them for 64 yards and a TD. Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said after the game Funchess was very "Kelvin [Benjamin]-esque" in going for the football, which is going to make a lot of people mark him as a must-add player this week. My problem is the 50 percent catch-rate he had in his best game of the season. Funchess should be added, but I'd be aware and beware on playing him.
Kyle Rudolph – Vikings: It's almost that time of the year to start hearing about Rudolph and his band of reindeer. This week however there was a different Rudolph sighting, in the form of a Vikings TE. Rudolph found his way clear of the Packers defense all day long, and he was able to turn those openings into 6 catches for 109 yards and a TD. Next week the Vikings take on the Falcons, and Rudolph will be a decent streaming TE option for Week 12.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs showed off just how well they know their inner-division rivals this week by holding the Chargers to just 3 points, while racking up 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 recovered fumble, and 1 defensive touchdown. There is something to be said for Philip Rivers looking like he is playing on fumes this season, but the Chiefs stopped him nevertheless. Next week the Chiefs host the Bills, putting them as a mid-range streaming option on defense.
Derek Carr – Raiders: The Raiders had the perfect chance to rack up stats against a Lions defense that gives up the 4th most fantasy points to QBs this season, but that type of production just wasn't in the cards for Carr on Sunday. Carr managed to throw for just 169 yards, run for 8 yards, and didn't find the endzone once on the day. The lack of numbers left the Raiders QB as the 2nd worst fantasy QB for Week 11.
Philip Rivers – Chargers: It just wasn't a good week for California fantasy players, as Rivers had one of the worst games of his career at home against the Chiefs. Rivers finished the game with 178 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. The interception was enough to put him just below Carr for dead last in the fantasy QB rankings for Week 11.
Devonta Freeman – Falcons: Fantasy football beast Devonta Freeman was well on his way to another monster game, gaining 43 yards on just 3 carries against the Colts. However, Freeman's day came to an end when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit and was knocked out of the game with a concussion. It's hard to see any player get hurt and be mad about it, but in fantasy football we are a stat-oriented group who only cares about production. Freeman will have to be cleared through the league's concussion protocol before he can play again, so keep an eye on the Falcons injury report this week.
Justin Forsett – Ravens: Forsett is another player whose day was ended because of an injury, but his was far more severe than Freeman's as he broke both bones in his forearm and is out for the rest of the season. Because of the injury and early exit, Forsett managed just 26 yards on 4 carries for his fantasy owners. Javorius Allen will step in as the Ravens lead-back, and is worth an add in 12-team formats.
Amari Cooper – Raiders: When your QB makes the losers list, it is almost unavoidable for his No. 1 WR to stay off it. Cooper had a horrible game on Sunday, managing just 1 catch for 4 yards, and the lone catch wasn't even a touchdown. The worry with Cooper now becomes if his increasing rate of drops starts to effect his confidence as we hit the fantasy playoffs. Cooper is still a must-start WR2, but we will all have to keep an eye on his drops as we go forward.
Jordan Matthews – Eagles: The problems Matthews has is grounded in the problems the Eagles have at QB. It doesn't seem to matter if it is Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez, the Eagles QB situation is a disaster at this point. Matthews did reel in 4-of-4 targets on the day, but managed to gain just 13 empty yards off them. I'd consider Matthews a bubble guy when setting my starting line-up each week. And, I'd probably lean towards sitting him until I see something better than we've been seeing from the guy they stick under center each week.
Eric Ebron – Lions: There couldn't have been a better TE match-up on paper than that of Ebron taking on the Raiders in Week 11. I put my full faith in Ebron this week because the numbers said to (Raiders give up the 2nd most fantasy points to TEs), and he rewarded my faith by going 0-2 on targets, thus putting up a big fat zero (0) on the fantasy scoreboard. Looking back on it now, I can see how it was foolish to trust Ebron even though I want nothing to do with his QB (Mathews Stafford). The shortcomings of the Raiders defense blinded me to the shortcomings of the Lions offense.
Philadelphia Eagles defense: There isn't a single facet of this week's game the Eagles won't watch on film and see room for improvement, and that includes BOTH sides of the ball. The Eagles defense is owned in nearly every fantasy league out there, but they finished dead last in fantasy points for defenses this week by giving up 39 points to the Bucs, and only netting 1 sack and 1 fumble recovery on the day. It was a terrible showing from a defense that had consistently been in the top 10 rankings for fantasy defenses this season. After what I saw on Sunday from them, I'm not going to trust them again until I see a fire lit under them!