Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football
Fantasy Football

Week 11 of the fantasy football season featured plenty of notable performances. What should we make of them? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft are here with analysis on the biggest performers – and duds – of the week.

Lamar Jackson’s historic pace

Rinse, repeat. Jackson’s 33.5 fantasy points gave him a fifth game with 30-plus this season, tied for the second-most 30-point games in a single season in history behind only George Blanda’s six in 1961 – and bear in mind that Blanda’s came in the AFL and he was a placekicker in addition to playing quarterback. With it, Jackson has now totaled 271.1 fantasy points through 10 games this season, the third most by any quarterback in history through his team’s first 10 games of any year, trailing only Tom Brady’s 277.2 in 2007 and Aaron Rodgers’ 272.3 in 2011.

You read that right: Jackson, through 10 Ravens games, has more fantasy points this year than Patrick Mahomes had through 10 of his record-setting 2018. Mahomes, through 10 games, also had only four games of 30-plus fantasy points. – Cockcroft

Deshaun Watson has a game to forget

For the first time in his 33-game NFL career – including his relief-appearance debut in Week 1 of 2017 – Watson was held under five fantasy points, scoring just 4.0 in a disastrous performance in his first matchup with the Ravens. He was intercepted once, lost a fumble and failed to score either a passing or rushing touchdown, the scoreless day his first at the NFL level. Watson was started in 72.4% of ESPN leagues in Week 11, letting down a significant number of fantasy managers, but bear in mind that the Ravens’ defense graded a bottom-eight matchup for opposing quarterbacks, whether using full-season or past-five-weeks statistics. – Cockcroft

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I’m not going to get too down on Watson after a poor day versus the Ravens’ defense. That unit is nasty, and Baltimore should be in the discussion with New England when it comes to breaking down the top secondaries in the NFL. Those guys in the back end can cover, and I believe we saw that impact on Watson today. The throwing lanes were minimized, which allowed the pressure to get home. Look for Watson to bounce back next week versus the Colts. – Bowen

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DJ Chark Jr. has upside

Anytime there’s a quarterback change, fantasy managers of their corresponding receivers tend to get nervous, worried about either game strategy or chemistry between passer and receiver. There’s apparently no reason to fret with Chark Jr., who scored 30.4 PPR fantasy points in Nick Foles’ return to action on Sunday, the second most of his career. Chark has now scored 42.6 points in 63 snaps working with Foles, or 0.68 per snap, compared to 0.31 per snap while Gardner Minshew II was his quarterback. – Cockcroft

Tristan, I really think we are seeing No.1 wide receiver traits with Chark. Yes, he is a little tight-hipped, but the speed pops, the route running has improved and the volume with Foles today (15 targets) should keep Chark in the WR2 range. He can erase defensive angles after the catch, like we saw today on his first touchdown, and the body control/frame allows him to make plays on 50/50 throws. Upside here with Foles back in the mix. – Bowen

John Brown’s breakout day

Brown was up in our WR2 ranks this week in both PPR and non-PPR formats because of the matchup versus Miami. He feasted on that Dolphins secondary, racking up 137 yards receiving and two scores on nine receptions. It was a breakout game for Brown, who saw a season-high 14 targets and topped the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time since Week 1. Brown roasted the Dolphins on a rocket throw from quarterback Josh Allen to beat Cover 2 for his first score. Mesh that with the isolation routes in this Bills system, and I have no question that he is a prime fit for what Buffalo wants to do in the passing game. Plus, the volume has spiked, as he has seen 25 targets in the past two games. Even with some tough upcoming matchups, Brown should be viewed as a weekly WR3. – Bowen

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With his career-high 34.7 PPR fantasy points on Sunday, Brown is now the No. 11 wide receiver in PPR fantasy points for the season – with Sunday’s 4 p.m. and night games as well as Monday night’s game left to play. Brown is also the first Bills wide receiver to score as many as 162.1 PPR fantasy points through 10 games of any season since Stevie Johnson had 178.8 in 2010, performing for a team that isn’t traditionally known for big games from the position. – Cockcroft

Deebo Samuel makes the most of his opportunity

For the second consecutive week, Samuel garnered double-digit targets and scored at least 19 PPR fantasy points, his 21.4 setting a new personal best. He’s 16-of-21 catching his targets the past two weeks while filling in for injured receivers George Kittle (knee, ankle) and Emmanuel Sanders (ribs). Samuel shouldn’t be expected to enjoy a 79% rate of the 49ers’ offensive snaps played or a 23% target share every week, with those his numbers on Sunday (he exceeded both in Week 10). However, he has presumably carved out a larger role even with those receivers back, and might yet have some utility in future games against the Saints, when Marshon Lattimore (if healthy) probably covers Sanders, and the Falcons in Week 15. – Cockcroft


Jamison Crowder: Rostered in 69.7% of ESPN leagues, and started in just 37.6%, Crowder has now caught 13 of 17 targets for 159 yards with two scoring grabs in the past two weeks. Sure, those numbers came against defenses from Miami and Washington. But given the really poor offensive line play with the Jets, the quick passing game has to be at the top of the call sheet for Adam Gase. I anticipate the volume to continue for Crowder in Week 12 versus the Raiders’ defense, which puts him in the WR3 range. – Bowen

Bo Scarbrough: If you’re looking for a roster add in deeper leagues, then maybe you give Scarbrough a shot. At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, Scarbrough is straight-line, downhill runner. Like a freight train on the tracks. He’s not going to give you much in the pass game, but someone has to run the rock in this Detroit offense. Scarbrough led the Lions with 14 carries on Sunday in the loss to the Cowboys, rushing for 55 yards and a score. There’s some volume here, and possibly some non-PPR value if Scarbrough continues to see carries – especially inside the 10-yard line. – Bowen

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Mark Andrews: I think we are at the point where we should lock in Andrews as a top-five tight end every week. The scheme fit is there, the play-action throws are high-percentage for Lamar Jackson and the seam balls in the red zone cash in for fantasy managers. Andrews caught 4 of 4 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Texans on Sunday, plus he has seen at least seven targets in eight games this year. – Bowen

Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey’s 30.1 PPR fantasy points made it the fifth time this season he has reached the 30-point threshold, and gave him 302.6 points through his first 10 games of 2019. That is the third most by any player through his team’s first 10 games of a season since at least 1950, trailing only LaDainian Tomlinson’s 329.8 in 2006 and Priest Holmes’ 304.0 in 2002. McCaffrey’s 243.6 fantasy points using non-PPR scoring, meanwhile, are the ninth most by any running back since at least 1950. – Cockcroft

Zach Ertz: In his past two games, Ertz has caught 18 of 22 targets for 197 yards and a score. And I’m not that surprised given the lack of perimeter speed/playmaking ability at the wide receiver position in the Philly offense. Ertz has the route-running chops to work the middle of the field, and his formation versatility allows the Eagles to flex him outside. With a Week 12 game against the zone-heavy Seahawks next Monday night, Ertz should continue to see pretty steady volume. He’s the best option right now in Philadelphia’s pass game. – Bowen

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