Fantasy Football Rankings: Week 11 Matchups to Consider
We’re finally to the point of the fantasy season where it feels like every matchup, every add and drop, every lineup feels magnified more than ever! There are just four games left in most fantasy regular seasons and the reality is the teams who are gearing up for a title run will begin to show themselves over these next month of football! That’s exactly why I’m here looking through a handful of matchups at each position to help you make those final lineup decisions for the week!
Russell Wilson (DEN) vs Minnesota
While it hasn’t been the resurrection of a season that many thought it might be for Russell Wilson, 2023 has been much better from a fantasy perspective. Wilson has nearly matched his top-12 QB finishes from last season through just nine games and has the Broncos riding a three-game winning streak with wins over the Chiefs and Bills in consecutive weeks. What’s been noticeably different with Wilson this season has been his ability to add yards in the rushing game like he did when he last finished as the QB6 in 2020. Currently, Wilson is averaging 25 rushing yards per game, and while that isn’t the game-changing running we see from some QBs, it’s another element from the Russell Wilson of the past that we’re seeing again which is encouraging.
The once-targeted matchup of the Minnesota defense is a thing of the past, and I’ll credit defensive coordinator Brian Flores with that turnaround. Over their last seven games, the Vikings’ defense hasn’t allowed a fantasy QB to score more than 20 points and just one top-12 QB over that same stretch. For fantasy managers considering relying on Wilson this week, it may be a week to find another streaming option.
Kurt would prefer to play: QB16 – Trevor Lawrence vs Tennessee
Kyler Murray (ARI) at Houston
The return to the field was a solid fantasy outing for Kyler Murray in Week 10. While Murray failed to find the end zone through the air, the most encouraging part of Murray’s return was the 33 yards he added on the ground. The running game that Kyler brings to the table could turn him back into the cheat code at fantasy that helped him finish as the QB7, QB2, and QB10 in his first three seasons. We should only see Murray finding his groove down the stretch of the season as he gets his feet back under him in the new Arizona offense.
What has been one of the worst matchups for QBs because their defense is so poor against the run, this season has improved for QBs against the Texans. Over their last five games, the Texans have allowed a top-10 QB on four different weeks, including back-to-back QB7 finishes in their last two games. There should be plenty of points scored in this game with the highest over/under of the week, so Murray should be in lineups for fantasy managers.
Kurt would play Murry over: QB8 – Brock Purdy vs Tampa Bay
Isiah Pacheco (KC) vs Philadelphia
After a summer full of concerns that Isiah Pacheco could be supplanted in the Kansas City backfield, it’s been quite the opposite through the Chiefs’ first nine games. Pacheco has only seen less than 50% of the snaps at RB for Kansas City in two games, one of which was their blowout win against the Bears in Week 3. What’s been a pleasant surprise for Pacheco has been the consistent work he’s seen in the passing game where he’s averaging nearly three receptions per game.
Continuing his strong run as the current RB20 for the Chiefs will be tough this week against the best run defense in the league in Philadelphia. The Eagles have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league by more than 100 yards and the fewest rushing TDs. There have been five different weeks where Philadelphia’s defense has allowed less than 10 points to the opposing team’s RBs and they have only allowed more than 20 points to the position once on the season. It may be difficult but could be the best choice with such a tough matchup.
Jerome Ford (CLE) vs Pittsburgh
It’s been a surprisingly hot start to the season for Jerome Ford after Nick Chubb was lost for the season in Week 2. Ford has been one of the more consistent RBs for fantasy managers, finishing inside the top 24 on six different weeks already this season. The biggest problem going forward for Ford will be the QB change from Deshaun Watson to Dorian Thompson-Robinson. In the one week where DTR was the starter for the Browns, Ford finished with just 45 total yards. There’s a chance that Thompson-Robinson can be more prepared for the starting role this week, but it definitely has to make the ceiling for Ford come down significantly.
If Ford is going to continue his top-24 RB streak in Week 11, it will need to be a volume play against the Steelers. In every game that Ford has seen at least 10 carries, he’s been at least a RB2 on the week. Pittsburgh has given up a top-24 RB finish in three of their last four games to RBs with 17, 24, and 18 carries. Fantasy managers who need to rely on Ford this week should temper expectations until we see a functional offense led by their new QB for the remainder of the season.
Kurt would prefer to play: RB26 – Rachaad White at San Francisco
Ty Chandler (MIN) at Denver
The name of the game is opportunity for Ty Chandler heading into Week 11. Chandler may be the last man standing in the Minnesota backfield after Alexander Mattison left their Week 10 win with a concussion. The 2022 fifth-round pick made the most of his opportunities, finishing with 45 yards and a TD on just 44% of snaps last week. If Chandler is the main option for the Vikings out of the backfield, he could be a volume play to a top-24 finish this week.
While the year-long stats look gross, the Broncos have been a much better defense as a whole over the last month. Still, Denver’s defense is allowing opposing fantasy RBs to have strong finishes against them, allowing five top-24 RB finishes in their last five games, including two last week to the Bills. If Chandler can take advantage of the chance ahead of him, fantasy managers should be able to consider him a low-end RB2 or better until Mattison makes his return.
Kurt would play Chandler over: RB29 – Jaylen Warren at Cleveland
Jayden Reed (GB) vs LA Chargers
There was plenty of hype heading into the season about the sophomore WRs in Green Bay taking the next step forward, but rookie Jayden Reed has managed to work his way into a very crowded receiving room. Reed has been on the field consistently for the Packers, but since their bye in Week 6, he has been averaging four receptions for 52 yards per game. Over that stretch, he also added two TDs. Fresh off a WR10 finish in Week 10, Reed could be becoming the consistent target that Jordan Love needs for this offense to take steps forward.
If there’s a defense you want to match up with to see your passing offense succeed, the Chargers are going to be high on that list. L.A.’s defense has allowed the second-most passing yards in the league and the highest yards per attempt. Over their last five games, the Chargers have allowed a top-24 WR in four games including the WR4 finish just last week. If Reed can continue to be a consistent target in the Packers’ offense, he could be a reliable flex play for fantasy managers this week.
Kurt would play Reed over: WR44 – George Pickens at Cleveland
Tyler Boyd (CIN) at Baltimore
It may be a short window of opportunity, but Tyler Boyd will have every chance to be a significant contributor to fantasy rosters again this week with Tee Higgins out for the Bengals in his second-straight game. Boyd finished as the WR12 in Higgins’ absence last week with his first 100+ yards receiving game since Week 7 of 2022 and without a TD. The Bengals’ offense has been looking much more like what everyone expected it to this season, so Boyd playing an elevated role couldn’t come at a better time in the fantasy season.
A matchup with Baltimore for pretty much any position group has been tricky this season, but especially for QBs and WRs. The Ravens have allowed just seven TDs through the air this season, and allow just 4.7 yards per attempt which is the best in the league for both metrics. For fantasy though, Baltimore has allowed a top-24 WR in each of their last four games so there is still room for WR production to be had for fantasy managers. The biggest question here is whether there’s enough of the passing pie for Boyd to warrant being in lineups this week since he’ll be a secondary option to Ja’Marr Chase.
Kurt would rather play: WR37 – Jakobi Meyers at Miami
DeAndre Hopkins (TEN) at Jacksonville
All the thoughts that DeAndre Hopkins was back as a legitimate fantasy option at WR after his WR2 finish in Week 8 may be losing steam. Since his three-TD game against the Falcons, Hopkins has a total of 87 yards and two finishes outside the top-24 WRs. There’s plenty to be excited about with the change at QB in Tennessee to Will Levis, but any consistency in the passing game hasn’t presented itself outside of that one big game leaving Hopkins as a flex option with upside at best.
Luckily for Hopkins, the Jacksonville defense has been one to target this season. The Jaguars have allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the league and have recorded the seventh-fewest sacks. The biggest issue for the Titans over their last two games was giving Will Levis enough time to make throws downfield to his WRs, but there’s hope that Hopkins should be able to see more work against the AFC South rival. If the Titans can find a way to get Levis time in the pocket this week, fantasy managers could see another vintage performance with Hopkins in their lineups.
Kurt would play Hopkins over: WR15 – Garrett Wilson at Buffalo
George Kittle (SF) vs Tampa Bay
After a slow start, George Kittle has strung together the TE4 season so far for fantasy. Kittle has been a TE8 or better in five of his last seven games, including a TE2 finish just last week. What’s been most impressive about Kittle’s consistency has been the weeks he’s been a strong TE option without getting into the end zone. Whenever Kittle is producing for fantasy, he’s averaging 21.2 yards per catch. Among TEs with at least 20 targets on the season, Kittle ranks second in average depth of target, just behind Kyle Pitts.
If there’s a way to attack the Buccaneers’ defense, it’s been through the air this season. Tampa Bay has given up big days to opposing fantasy TEs in their last trio of games, allowing a TE1 and TE7 finish. As long as Kittle can continue seeing targets downfield, he should be locked into lineups with a top-tier TE finish a possibility again this week.
Kurt would play Kittle over: TE10 – Jake Ferguson at Carolina
Evan Engram (JAX) vs Tennessee
A hot start to the season for Evan Engram has cooled down considerably over the last five games. Engram started the year with top-10 TE finishes in each of his first four games but hasn’t been able to break into the top 12 since Week 5. During that stretch, Engram’s receiving numbers have been practically identical to how he started the season, averaging six receptions for 42 yards per week. The biggest difference has been that Engram hasn’t been able to find the end zone and the rest of the TE landscape has actually started producing.
If Engram is going to get on track, Week 11 might not be the week to bet on him doing so. For as good of a matchup as the Titans are against opposing WRs, they’ve put the clamps on opposing TEs for fantasy. So far this season, opposing team’s TEs have only scored more than 10 fantasy points against Tennessee’s defense once this season. In fact, the Titans haven’t allowed a TE to score a TD on them all season. Fantasy managers may need to wait and see the production happen on their bench first before getting Engram back into their lineups.