Ten Things We Learned in Week 11 (Fantasy Football)

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Week 11 is now in the books, and while some of the games were super painful to watch, we also had some exciting finishes. The Lions and Browns were one of the painful games to watch, especially with the quarterback play. According to ESPN, Baker Mayfield had a QBR of 8.6, and Tim Boyle had a QBR of 6.7. Luckily, games such as the shootout between the Packers and the Vikings helped balance it out. For fantasy purposes, we had some big performances and also some duds. Let’s go ahead and take a look at what we learned in Week 11 and some of the major storylines.

1. Jonathan Taylor is in Elite Company

The Colts dominated the Bills 41-15 in Week 11, and Jonathan Taylor led the way with 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Taylor also had 19 yards receiving and a touchdown reception. Since 2000, only four other running backs have reached five total touchdowns in a game, with the last being Alvin Kamara on Christmas Day last season. The other runningbacks to accomplish this would be Jamaal Charles (2013), Clinton Portis (2003), and Shaun Alexander (2002). Taylor has reached elite running back status and is debatably the most valuable fantasy asset this year. Taylor has scored a touchdown in eight straight weeks, and he is locked and loaded as an elite RB1 option every single week.

2. Joe Mixon is Living Up to the Workhorse Role

Joe Mixon is proving to be one of the more valuable picks in fantasy drafts this year. Mixon has stayed healthy and has earned a lot of volume on an explosive Bengals offense. He gets almost all of the rushing work and is also worked into the passing game from time to time. In Week 11, Mixon rushed 30 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He did not get targeted in the game, but he still had 24.30 fantasy points in half-point PPR leagues. Mixon has now hit at least 20 fantasy points in four of the last five games. He has scored a touchdown in 7-of-10 games and has back-to-back two-touchdown games. Those that trusted in the talent and situation are reaping the rewards so far this season.

3. Elijah Moore is Nearing Must-Start Territory

The breakout rookie season for Elijah Moore continued in Week 11. Moore caught 8-of-11 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. Moore now has a touchdown catch in each of the last three weeks and has scored 20+ fantasy points twice in the last three weeks. Moore had a 31.4% target share in Week 11 and now leads the team in targets. With a consistently high target share in recent weeks, and the production that has come along with it, Moore is now entering must-start territory. Moore also has a friendly schedule during the fantasy playoffs and could be a great asset to have during that time.

4. Patriots’ Runningbacks Will Cap Each Other’s Upside

In an unsurprising development, we saw that Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris will be risky plays going forward. Both runningbacks looked good against the Falcons. Harris rushed for 56 yards on ten attempts, and Stevenson rushed for 69 yards on 12 attempts. Harris looked primed for a breakout season, but due to Stevenson’s recent play, it seems this will be a committee that will be hard to predict. They will likely be RB2’s for the remainder of the season.

5. The Titans Flop Against the Texans

In one of the most surprising upsets in recent memory, the Texans beat the Titans 22-13 to earn their second win of the season. Ryan Tannehill had another rough day, throwing four interceptions. A.J. Brown struggled to stay on the field and missed time throughout the game with multiple injuries. The lone bright spot for the Titans’ offense was wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who caught 7-of-8 passes for 107 yards. The Titans rookie wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick caught a touchdown pass, which was surprising because he was cut before the season started. The fourth-round draft pick had a bad off-season and camp, but the Titans brought him back in Week 10, and he made some plays in Week 11.

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6. Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ Offense are Falling Apart

For only the third time in Matt Ryan‘s 14 year career, he failed to throw a touchdown pass in back-to-back games in Weeks 10 and 11. Ryan has also failed to reach more than five fantasy points and has thrown two interceptions in each of the last two weeks. The Falcons have only scored three points in the last two weeks and have been outscored 68-3 in those games against the Cowboys and Patriots. Ryan is not startable until proven otherwise unless you are just desperate.

7. Cam Newton Takes the Starting Job

Last week, we talked about how Cam Newton was back for the Panthers. This week, Newton completed 21-of-27 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns. He also had ten rushing attempts for 46 yards and another touchdown. Since returning, Newton’s impact on the offense has been very evident. Robby Anderson has now seen two of his better games on the season, and D.J. Moore ended his touchdown drought, in which he hadn’t scored since Week 4. Newton may not be what he once was, but he has looked good. He will be fantasy-relevant and will elevate the Panthers’ skill position players as well. In what may be one of the craziest stories of recent memory, Newton has a real chance to make a playoff push and keep this starting job.

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8. Jaylen Waddle Isn’t Being Used as a Deep Threat

When the Dolphins traded up and drafted Jaylen Waddle, the deep-threat specialist from Alabama, it was assumed that he would have a similar role in the NFL. Per PFF.com, Waddle averaged 19.21 yards per target in his final season at Alabama, but currently, Waddle only averages 6.69 yards per target in the NFL. While we knew he wouldn’t reach the same numbers as he did in college, the 6.69 YPT seems lower than it should be for someone with Waddle’s skillset. Waddle also averages 9.15 yards per reception. According to ProFootballReference, Waddle’s 9.15 YPR would be ninth out of 14 receivers with a YPR of 10 yards or lower and had at least 68 receptions.

9. Russ Still Isn’t Cooking

It may only be Russell Wilson‘s second game back from injury, but he has struggled to get it going so far. For only the third time in his ten-year career, Russ did not throw a touchdown pass in back-to-back games. Russ has never finished outside of the top-12 quarterbacks for fantasy football, but he may just break that streak this season. He has less than 10 points in each of his last two games, and obviously, the injury held him back, causing him to miss three complete games. The schedule for Russ seems to get a little easier with quarterback-friendly matchups, so he may get back to cooking really soon.

10. Justin Herbert Blows Up Again

The 2021 season has been up and down for Justin Herbert when it comes to fantasy production. Week 11 was another blow-up week for Herbert, as he scored 40 points in leagues with six points per passing touchdown. Herbert completed 30-of-41 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Herbert also ran for a career-high 90 rushing yards on nine attempts. Herbert seems to either score about 15 fantasy points or 35+ points, with hardly anything in-between. He has scored 35+ points in 4-of-10 games. The good news is that the volume is there with the Chargers being a passing team, which helps his floor stay in the 15 points range, and he can blow up in any matchup and help win your week for you.

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