Ten Things We Learned In Week 11 (Fantasy Football)
Week 11 is wrapping up, and we are another week closer to the fantasy playoffs and chasing those coveted Foot Clan titles. We now have three weeks to prepare for the playoffs, so everything counts, and we have to look at all options to help us win the title. Every year we have players show up and become league winners. Between injuries and new opportunities for backup players, everything becomes essential this time of year to gain an edge on your league mates. Let’s look at the major storylines from this week and what we learned from them.
1. Cooper Kupp‘s Injury Won’t Boost Other Rams Receivers Production
In the Rams’ first game without Cooper Kupp, there was no primary beneficiary from his absence. Tyler Higbee led the team in targets with eight, and Allen Robinson and Van Jefferson tied for second on the team with five targets each. Nobody was going to replace Cooper Kupp, but it doesn’t seem like any of the Rams’ wide receivers will see a significant uptick in volume. For fantasy purposes, they all likely remain just as they were when Kupp was healthy, as it seems the ball will be spread around.
2. George Pickens Is Becoming Easier To Trust Than Diontae Johnson
Diontae Johnson re-signed with the Steelers this off-season and has had plenty of volume in the passing game, but he has yet to turn that into fantasy production. Johnson has seen a downgrade in volume in the last two weeks, with only five targets in each game. Johnson only has double-digit fantasy points in half-point PPR leagues in 2-of-10 games this season. He is not a trustworthy fantasy asset and is a liability on fantasy teams. George Pickens had a solid Week 11 performance catching 4-of-6 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown. Pickens seems to be developing into a solid wide receiver and is likely the better play from now on, although both options may need to be avoided if possible.
3. Russell Wilson Is A Liability To Fantasy Teams
Per JJ Zachariason, Russell Wilson is the first quarterback not to throw a touchdown against the Raiders this season. The Raiders had allowed top-12 performances to quarterbacks in 9-of-10 games this season, and now Russ joins Andy Dalton as the other quarterback to fail to post a top-12 performance against them. To give Russ some credit, he did finish as the QB3 in Week 4 against the Raiders. However, he only has three top-15 performances in nine games this season. On paper, Russ has a great upcoming schedule, yet he will still be hard to trust for fantasy purposes, and if there are other options, it may be worth starting them.
Russell Wilson is the first quarterback to not throw a touchdown against the Raiders this season. Entering the week, Vegas had allowed a QB1 (top-12) performance in 9 of 10 games. Russ is currently QB16.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) November 21, 2022
4. Treylon Burks Has Arrived
The Tennessee Titans had their first-round rookie wide receiver return to action in Week 11, and he had a breakout performance. Treylon Burks caught 7-of-8 targets for 111 yards and looked great. Burks led the team in targets, receptions, and yards. He will likely be a big part of the offense, as the Titans need him. He is still more of a top-36 option, but he has the potential to be much more than that and be a significant producer for fantasy lineups.
5. The Bills Have Been Confusing With Their Desire To Get A Pass-Catching RB
The Bills were determined to acquire a pass-catching running back this off-season. They were linked to J.D. McKissic before he changed his mind about signing with the Bills and returned to the Commanders. James Cook fumbled on his first-ever NFL touch and did not see the field much since then. Cook saw his first double-digit touch game in Week 11, rushing for 86 yards on 11 carries. He was also targeted twice but did not have a reception. The Bills’ organization talked Cook up in the off-season as a pass-catching weapon, but he has not been used as one. To make things more confusing, the Bills traded for pass-catching specialist Nyheim Hines before the deadline, which many thought would be the nail in the coffin for Cook. Hines has barely seen the field in his time with Buffalo, so it seems that Cook is still the backup to have in that offense, but things could change quickly. Either way, neither back has seen many targets in a strange development.
6. Jamaal Williams Is A Touchdown Machine
Jamaal Williams was supposed to have a backup role to D’Andre Swift in 2022, but Williams has had a significant role in the offense due to injuries to Swift. Williams has 12 touchdowns this season and is on his way to a high-end RB2 season. We don’t know if or when Swift will be fully healthy or utilized in a more significant role, so Williams can be rolled out as a solid RB2 option in fantasy lineups until proven otherwise. He has the goal line job down, and the Lions have been playing well enough for Williams to have many opportunities to score.
7. Wan’Dale Robinson‘s Breakout Was Cut Short
The rookie wide receiver had a breakout this week, catching 9-of-13 targets for 100 yards. Unfortunately, Robinson tore his ACL and is done for the season.
8. Trey McBride Will Have An Opportunity To Produce In Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals drafted Trey McBride as the first tight end off the board with their second-round selection in the 2022 NFL draft. Yet to make an impact, McBride now has an opportunity with Zach Ertz set to miss the rest of the season. Rookie tight ends typically don’t perform well in their first season, but he is still worth a flyer if available in leagues. Ertz had a solid season and was the TE3 overall before the injury. McBride may not see Ertz’s volume, but McBride has upside as we enter the season’s final few weeks. You might be able to add him on Monday before Monday Night Football if you are desperate for a tight end and can drop players who have already played.
9. The Commanders Will Likely Continue With Taylor Heinicke At QB
A report emerged on Sunday that the Washington Commanders would continue with Taylor Heinicke as their quarterback after winning 4-of-5 games as the starter. Per a report from ProFootballTalk, the Commanders would only have to give up a third-round pick if Carson Wentz plays less than 70 percent of snaps and would have to pay a second-round pick should he play more than that. Either way, neither quarterback will likely be fantasy relevant. However, Terry McLaurin was the WR39 in PPG in half-point PPR with Wentz at quarterback in Weeks 1-6 and WR22 with Heinicke in Weeks 7-11. I’ve noted in this series before that Heinicke favors McLaurin and targets him more frequently than Wentz does, and should he remain the starter, McLaurin should have a nice finish to the season.
10. Demarcus Robinson Emerges As Ravens’ WR1 In Week 11
We all know that Mark Andrews is the best pass-catcher on the Ravens’ offense, but it seems Demarcus Robinson has emerged as the best wide receiver. In Week 11, Robinson caught 9-of-9 targets for 128 yards. He led the team in targets (28.1% target share), having one more than Andrews, while Devin Duvernay only had one target. The Ravens have looked to find someone to fill Rashod Bateman‘s spot as the team’s WR1, and Robinson may be that player. He will remain a risky play in fantasy lineups as this could be a one-week wonder type of thing, but he also could become an impactful player in this stretch run to the playoffs. If he is available, he is well worth a pickup and a spot start if you don’t have any other options.
Gotta do an update and delete #7 as Robinson is out for the year with a torn ACL. It’s a shame because he looked great. Maybe replace it with “Kadarius Toney is all hype but can never stay healthy.”