The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 11
Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s (almost) football time!
We’re hot on the heels of another Thursday Night Football, where we saw the Seattle Seahawks grit out a narrow victory over the Arizona Cardinals to claim the NFC West throne. It was surprisingly a struggle for both teams to generate any real-life and fantasy points, but perhaps we’ve been ungratefully spoiled by the normally scorching-hot offenses led by superstars Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson. By the way, kudos to whoever started Carlos Hyde or Larry Legend.
With another TNF on the books, we’re eager to move on to an exciting new slate of games in Week 11 of the National Football League!
As a reminder, this article is a weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
With that out of the way… let’s go!
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (vs NYJ)
Not Tua Tagovailoa. Not even #1 pick Joe Burrow. No, it is instead Oregon sensation Justin Herbert who finds himself as the only rookie on the ‘Ballers’ top-12 rankings as their consensus QB4. Since taking over the helm in Week 2, Herbert has thrown for 300+ yards and/or scored three or more total TDs in EVERY game. As a rookie. That’s incredible. The scintillating hotshot gets to continue his amazing rookie season with a mouth-watering matchup against the winless New York Jets and their 29th ranked defense. He not only has a phenomenal matchup this week, but has the BEST playoff schedule to look forward to. Herbert’s a lock to produce this week, making him a must-start and a great DFS play to boot. Unless he’s turns out to be a modern-day Samson, lock him into your lineups and enjoy the ride.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (@ CLE)
Can you believe that it’s only been two years since the Eagles miraculously won the Super Bowl? The former second overall pick — who was in the MVP discussion during their 2018 championship run — has now had repeat dud games where he finished as the week’s QB24. That’s even more disappointing when you consider that he finally got his weapons back in Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, and Dallas Goedert, yet somehow looked worse from it. He’s now had more QB2 games than QB1 ones. His shambled O-line is partially to blame as he’s absorbed 35 sacks — the MOST in the league so far.
With the NFC East still up for grabs the @Eagles look to take a commanding lead behind the arm of @cj_wentz ,there's been many highs and lows this season but Wentz still has capabilities to be deadly accurate at times. @gregcosell explains! pic.twitter.com/ogCP5LSCi7
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) November 13, 2020
But here’s the rub. All of his down weeks were either against divisional opponents or shutdown defenses (Steelers and Rams). He has an advantageous matchup next where he should be able to score multiple times. The Browns’ are an even more favorable opponent as their rankings are skewed due to back-to-back low scoring games in horrendous weather conditions, plus they might not have world-class DE Myles Garret there to attack Wentz. The ‘Ballers have him ranked as their consensus QB13, but Wentz is a sneaky dice-roll contender to finish in the top-12. It won’t be pretty, and it may all happen in garbage-time, but Wentz has a decent shot at proving his many doubters wrong with a strong performance. Then again, he could just as easily fail spectacularly and be benched for rookie Jalen Hurts.
Running Back Rankings
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (@ BAL)
It’s been a brutal stretch for Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. He’s had to face a murderer’s row of elite defenses like the Bears, Colts, and Steelers. Since Week 7, he’s only averaged 12.4 half PPR points per game, which is a far cry from the stellar numbers most fantasy managers expected when they drafted him early in the first round. Things won’t be any easier this week against Baltimore’s menacing defense. But this is King Henry we’re talking about here. Last week against the Colts’ impenetrable defense, he still managed to rack up 103 yards. He also embarrassed the Ravens in last year’s AFC Divisional round, carrying the rock 30 times for 195 yards and even catching two passes for seven more yards.
Nearly 200 yards rushing and…a passing touchdown?
That was @KingHenry_2 vs. the Ravens in the playoffs last year. 💪
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2020
Make no mistake, it’ll still be tough sledding for him this week without OT Taylor Lewan’s protection. But Lewan’s absence is somewhat negated with injuries to the Ravens’ DE Calais Campbell (calf) and DT Brandon Williams (ankle), who are both crucial elements to the team’s stout D-line. Once Henry gets past his remaining difficult matchups, he’ll enjoy the league’s EASIEST playoff schedule, making him an ideal trade target if you were able to pull it off. The clichés are all true: winter is coming, and so is Henry’s upcoming reign as the king of RBs. Grab your coats and hot chocolate because it’s yeti season, baby!
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers (vs DET)
What happens when a stoppable force meets a movable object? You get an RB1 performance… probably. Panthers backup RB Mike Davis started off hot in relief of injured stud Christian McCaffrey, notching three weeks straight of top-1o production. He’s never come close to that mark since. A crucial factor to his dwindling numbers is from a large decrease in touches. Davis averaged 23.3 opportunities during his RB1 weeks, but only 13.4 in the following weeks. This could be attributed to facing stiffer run defenses, as well as WR Curtis Samuel‘s quiet emergence.
But this is a get-right week for Davis as he faces the porous Lions defense, who has given up the MOST points to RBs. He’s not only the squad’s consensus RB10, but also Andy’s “Taking It Up To 100” player of the week. While he may continue to siphon carries to Samuel and lose targets to standout receivers D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, he should still have enough opportunities to rack up the points. And speaking of Robby…
Wide Receiver Rankings
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (vs DET)
Panthers wideout Robby Anderson is currently the ‘Ballers’ consensus WR21. This ranking is one that Anderson has been unable to hit in the past five weeks. He hasn’t scored since Week 1, which was also the last time he finished in the top-12. But could this be the week that he’ll finally reach that echelon again? He has a great matchup against a forgiving Lions secondary. QB Teddy Bridgewater is nursing an MCL sprain on his right knee and is a game-time decision, though his ex-XFL backup P.J. Walker is a fun replacement that has already played extensively with Anderson at Temple under coach Matt Rhule’s rule.
Robby Anderson being recognized as simply a deep threat is a mispercieved notion. He can and will be used all over the offense in CAR. Some clips of Robby and Panthers new backup QB PJ Walker balling together at Temple. Matt Rhule used Robby all over the field with his 4.36 speed pic.twitter.com/uIeL6YCqyE
— RotoLounge Fantasy Football (@RotoLounge) May 24, 2020
Yeah that’s right, we got us a good ol’ fashion “shower” narrative in play. It’s a silly narrative, but what isn’t silly is that Anderson commands the team’s largest target share and averages the ninth most targets per game among ALL WRs. He currently has the fifth MOST receptions AND receiving yards in the league. The only thing holding him back is the lack of TDs, but it’s not for lack of trying as he leads all Panthers wideouts with Red Zone targets. Anderson may not have the upside needed to rank as the WR1, but he certainly has all the elements to finish as a WR1.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ JAX)
The 9-0 Steelers have been phenomenal on both sides of the ball. They just have so many weapons everywhere, with Diontae Johnson breaking out in intermediate routes, rookie wonder Chase Claypool dominating at the Red Zone, and JuJu Smith-Schuster gobbling up passes underneath. Their offense is so lucrative that all three wideouts profited last week by racking up the scoreboards in a blowout victory over the Bengals. But not everyone was fed, as lead back James Conner left the game with a scoreless 48 all-purpose yards.
This week’s matchup in Jacksonville presents another gargantuan opportunity for ALL three WRs, as they’ll face the 25th ranked defense against receivers. Claypool had the hardest projected matchup against impressive rookie CB C.J. Henderson, but he was just recently placed on IR due to a groin injury. All the stars are aligned for another slaughter by the only undefeated team in the league.
However, there’s a chance that they’ll let Conner run wild against the Jaguars, who’ve allowed the seventh most points to opposing RBs. If Conner is utilized in the end zone as the preferred goal-line option, that could be detrimental to Claypool, who’s fantasy success heavily relies on TDs. Claypool is currently ranked as the gang’s consensus WR11, while Smith-Schuster and Johnson are close behind at WR13 & WR14, respectively. If you have the option, I’d prefer to play the latter two rather than Claypool, simply in fear of having TDs vultured by Conner. By the way, Smith-Schuster is Jason’s Start of the Week. Nevertheless, Claypool is always dangerous as a downfield threat and could surely break loose for a colossal play at any given moment. All it takes is one.
Tight End Rankings
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (vs ATL)
This is admittedly a “cheat” to put him here, but the sometimes-QB/sorta-RB/not-really-TE Taysom Hill is eligible as a TE for this week only in ESPN leagues. So strap on your seatbelts, cause we’re going on the Taysom Hill ride. After it was announced that Hill — not Jameis Winston — would be the starting QB for the Saints after Drew Brees sustained fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, fantasy Twitter went wild as those in ESPN leagues would have an unfair advantage by playing a starting QB on a prolific offense in the TE slot.
But what if coach Sean Payton is, to say it politely, full of poop? What if Hill does indeed start, but is then replaced by Winston in the following drive? Or the following snap? If Winston is benched the entire game as solely a backup, then wouldn’t they just rely on their elite run game to kill time and protect their $21 million special teams ace? And it begs the question, just what kind of blackmail does Hill have over Payton? Obviously you should play him as your TE (or even Flex) if you can, especially considering how barren the TE landscape has been. But with all these uncertainties, you’re better off playing it safe by not starting him in the QB slot, even if he has a cherry matchup against a weak Falcons defense. Hill is currently the gang’s consensus QB17.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs TEN)
Believe it or not, Ravens TE Mark Andrew was last week’s TE4 with only seven catches and 61 scoreless yards. That’s how bad it’s been for TEs. Basically, it’s been Kelce, Waller, or bust. Andrews, meanwhile, opened the season with a BANG, but has been a huge disappointment since. But after fellow TE Nick Boyle suffered a gruesome knee injury, Andrews should see increased looks and become even more of a key piece for QB Lamar Jackson‘s offense. That’s just what happened last week, as Andrews saw nine targets, the most he’s seen all year and much higher than his 5.9 average. He hasn’t scored in over a month, though he should resume being Jackson’s preferred Red Zone target.
But while the Titans have been mediocre against TEs, they’ve been pummeled by opposing RBs, which is not promising for Andrews when the Ravens have a four-headed rushing MONSTER in Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins, and Jackson himself. Unless you have a better option (and you probably don’t), you’re still starting Andrews, who is Andy’s TE2 but Jason’s TE5 and Mike’s TE4. The latter two ‘Ballers both have Lions TE T.J. Hockenson ranked ahead of Andrews this week. Putting faith in Andrews is putting faith in Jackson’s passing game, which has been troubling this year. But I’m a believer… are you?
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 11 Podcasts
Monday (Week 10 Studs & Stinkers + Andy Returns, Hoptimus Prime!)
Jason jumpstarts this episode with a beautiful intro from “sponsor” Bill O’Brien, before the squad fawns over the absolutely breathtaking, last-second catch made by DeAndre Hopkins, who is apparently not “the best WR in football this year.”
The Best WR in Football?…😂 pic.twitter.com/T0psP3QMcB
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) November 17, 2020
They proceed by sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:05. Next is a recap of last Sunday’s games on the Weekly Rewind at 04:55. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 12:10, before commiserating on the Stinkers of the Week at 31:35.
Tuesday (Week 11 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Legal Cheating)
In this episode, the gang starts off with a recap of the lackluster Monday Night Football game between the Bears and Vikings at 04:45, before moving on to the News & Notes at 07:35. We then come to the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 11 Waivers at 19:10. We wrap up the episode with their choices for DST Streamers (Dolphins, Vikings, and Chargers) at 45:30 and QB Streamers (Kirk Cousins, Ben Roethlisberger, and Jameis Winston, though the latter recommendation has since been retracted) at 49:00.
Wednesday (Week 11 Buy or Sell, Vendettas, TNF Preview)
A safely distanced and possibly pantless crew starts this episode with the Buy or Sell segment at 02:50, debating intriguing players like Mike Davis, Michael Thomas, and Tom Brady. They move onto the News & Notes at 10:45, discussing various injuries for key players. Next is the Thursday Night Breakdown at 18:25, before concluding the episode with a substantial Mailbag segment at 30:10.
Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 11 Breakdown, Upside & Pain)
Thursday’s episode tragically starts with a missed “It’s Football Time!” intro as Mike is remoting in and sadly can’t hear the audio. But our beloved crew moves forward by segueing to the Taking It Up To 100 segment at 04:00, where the guys plant their flag on Mike Davis, Brandin Cooks, and the Miami DST, who they’re all expecting to go off this week. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 07:10, then a thorough discussion on the upcoming Week 11 slate in the Fantasy Forecast at 14:20. We then get to the meat & taters of the episode at 48:55 — the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 59:30!
Friday (Week 11 Matchups + Staying Water, Taysom Hill News)
The ‘Ballers kickstart this podcast with a TNF Recap at 01:15, followed by the FootClan Friday segment at 05:10. They then channel their inner Ross from Friends by discussing their Start of the Week Pivots at 05:55, where Andy pivohhtts off Matthew Stafford due to his thumb injury, and Mike pihhvuuoohhtts off a now inactive D’Andre Swift as he deals with his concussion. Next up is the News & Notes at 09:50, where the crew tries to make sense of the breaking news that Taysom Hill will start in Drew Brees‘ absence. The gang next details the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 11 matchups at 19:20. The episode culminates at 01:08:25 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!
Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 11 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s live stream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!