So I have had another pretty solid week making these pick up and plays. I had 4 well within the “hit category” (see last week’s column) and 4 more right on the periphery. My only two real misses were Chris Herndon and Adam Humphries, but even then it wasn’t by a lot (at least in Humphries’ case). Here we are again, with what I often consider the sexiest week each season, if you’re in a 12 team league. Week 11. Most 12 team/3 division leagues have division games weeks 1-3 & 12-14 oftentimes making week 11 the final non divisional game of the season until week 15’s playoffs. And this year, it sees 6 teams on bye. That really raises the stakes IMO. So let’s get to it and start your playoff push on a hot note.
Teams on Bye: Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, New York Jets & San Francisco
Dak Prescott, DAL: we’ve seen his upside in action although it’s been a few years. And YES the Cowboys have been a hot mess lately, but the addition of Cooper cannot be understated I’d say. Although on the road this week, he matches up agains the terrible Falcons which really should be taken advantage of, especially this week with so many QBs on a bye. He has 6 TDs in his last 4 games to go against a single interception. That’s a nice upward trend that should continue this week.
Ownership: Yahoo 35%; NFL 23% & ESPN 30%.
Blake Bortles, JAX: so he’s now gone 3 straight games without throwing an interception, and the return of Fournette appeared to help this past week as well. Pittsburgh is actually a good matchup this year for QBs. We all know he’s a middle of the road guy generally speaking when he’s on, with an occasional flash of better than average. No, that isn’t a ringing endorsement, but in week 11 of 2018 I think he’s a solid pick up and play.
Ownership: Yahoo 22%; NFL 20% & ESPN 20%
Mike Davis, SEA: he had a split workload with Rashaad Penny last week and didn’t have the ye popping ypc Penny did but he still cracked the top 20 for the week. As noted when I selected him in last week’s column, the Seahawks are the most run heavy team in the NFL, and can support 2 starting RBs. I take Penny below as well for this reason, so this is really a dealer’s choice for you who to take. I think they are both safe picks against the Packers on this short week of theirs.
Ownership: Yahoo 50%; NFL 20% & ESPN 46%.
Rashaad Penny, SEA: see above. Its hard to tell if his success is freshness or he just got a few blocks Davis didn’t. Regardless they were both top 20 backs last week and are widely available right now. Pick your Seahawk, I don’t think it’ll go wrong either way.
Ownership: Yahoo 16%; NFL 50% & ESPN 13%.
Jaylen Samuels, PIT: here’s an injury to watch: James Connor’s concussion protocol. If he isn’t cleared, then Samuels moves up into the starter spot. They’ll have had ten days to work him in, and he hit double digits touches last Thursday and scored on a reception. An out of nowhere guy this time of year, but it doesn’t make him any less valid as a starter, again, if Connor doesn’t play.
Ownership: Yahoo 1%; NFL 1% & ESPN 1%.
Anthony Miller, CHI: well here’s the highly touted Bears rookie! I tend to shy away from the Bears since they’re my team but let’s face it: they have all the signs of being that 5-11 team one season that makes the playoffs the next. I’m not calling THAT just yet, but they are in the mix and are looking really good on both sides of the ball. Miller certainly benefitted from Trubisky’s surge in play recently, and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue.
Ownership: Yahoo 14%; NFL 2% & ESPN 13%.
Danny Amendola, MIA: since Parker went down he’s the 19th ranked receiver (weeks 8-10) in fantasy. What more do you want this time of year? Hey – here’s a solid WR2 for you to start who’s on the wire in week 11. What more do I have to sell you on?
Ownership: Yahoo 44%; NFL 24% & ESPN 44%.
John Ross, CIN: here is a volume play on a guy many have been waiting on (including me in a dynasty league) that gets coupled with perhaps the game’s fastest set of legs. With AJ Green out, he finally found some life last week by scoring a touchdown. Against the Ravens he is a classic boom or bust play. But Green is already a scratch for this week
Ownership: Yahoo 17%; NFL 3% & ESPN 18%.
Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI: in one of the more significant yet under the radar moves this season, Byron Leftwich became the Cardinals’ OC a few weeks back. Thus far, it looks like it will help Larry Fitzgerald end this season (career?) on a high note AND Seals-Jones went off for his best game of the year by a long shot coming out of the week 9 bye with a
Ownership: Yahoo 14%; NFL 5% & ESPN 14%.
Arizona Cardinals: sorry Raiders fans. I’m chasing your team in this category as much as possible the rest of the season. Calling them a dumpster fire is an insult to dumpster fires right now. They’ve checked out and what’s more Gruden could give two laughs since he wants a higher draft pick. Easiest pick of the week.
Ownership: Yahoo 15%; NFL 10% & ESPN 15%.
Week 10 Ranks:
QB – Alex Smith, WAS: 22nd
QB – Baker Mayfield, CLE: 9th
RB – Duke Johnson, CLE: 19th
RB – Ito Smith, ATL: 40th
RB – Mike Davis, SEA: 15th
WR – Maurice Harris, WAS: 33rd
WR – Adam Humphries, TBB: 49th
WR – Marquez Valdez-Scantling, GBP: 34th
TE – Chris Herndon, NYJ: 21st
Team Defense – Los Angeles Chargers: 4th