Week 11 was a wild week of fantasy football with the Texans and Jaguars taking the fantasy stage and combining for 80 points and over 1,000 yards of total offense in an overtime shootout. To recap the week 11 action and to help you get your team ready for week 12, we turn to our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope.
To give you all the heads up on the injury front: X-rays showed that Rob Gronkowski has a broken forearm and it will cost him 4-6 weeks, if not longer.
Winners (by James Morris)
Chad Henne – QB Jaguars: Blaine who? Henne took over for Gabbert and amassed and impressive 354 yards passing and 4 TDs. Dolphins fans know exactly who and what Henne is, so take this game with a Bearing Sea sized grain of salt. Let someone else run to the waiver wire and deal with the Jaguars offense going forward.
Matt Schaub – QB Texans: We all knew the Texans were going to beat the Jaguars, but I didn’t expect Schaub to throw for 527 yards and 5 TDs while doing it. He did throw 2 INTs, but I will take the 42 fantasy points he put up in NFL.com leagues any day of the week.
Marcel Reece – RB Raiders: Reece makes the winners list because he put up 193 total yards (103 rushing, 90 receiving) on Sunday. While he didn’t score, the 4 catches and 193 yards made him a worthwhile play in a week where fantasy RBs came up lame across the league. This is just proof that touchdowns, or the lack thereof, can be deceiving when looking at fantasy value.
LaRod Stephens-Howling – RB Cardinals: The Hyphen put together 127 yards rushing and a TD, which oddly enough was good enough for #1 in RB scoring for week 11. These numbers would be RB1 stats most weeks, but not typically make him the leader of the pack. Not to take anything away from him as I would take those stats each and every week from my RBs and be just fine with them.
Bilal Powell – RB Jets: Wasn’t Bilal the character Martin Lawrence played in House Party 1? Eeven though Powell ran for just 42 yards and caught just two passes for 18 yards, he scored 2 rushing TDs on the day. And, we all know that TDs are king in fantasy football. The guy is owned in just 0.3 percent of all NFL.com leagues, which means he is owned in only the deepest of leagues. And, it should remain that way going forward.
Andre Johnson – WR Texans: Johnson is already a stud, but he went straight up Beast Mode on the Jaguars as he hauled in 14 passes for 273 yards and a TD. Johnson is an every week starter already, and I normally don’t put someone of his stature on the winners list because he is supposed to do well. But, stats like these deserve to be recognized.
Justin Blackmon – WR Jaguars: Blackmon went toe-to-toe with Johnson on Sunday and finished with an impressive 7 catches for 236 yards and a TD. Blackmon was highly touted by many of the big-box websites heading into the season, and now they can finally brag about their pick… 11 weeks later.
Garrett Graham – TE Texans: In a weekend where we all expected the Texans’ passing attack shined, Graham sure wasn’t someone that I was remotely considering mentioning. But, he ended up as the #2 fantasy TE with his 8 catches for 82 yards and 2 TDs on Sunday. This was a fluke and he is not someone you should be looking at as a waiver wire possibility next week.
Washington Redskins defense: The Redskins held the Eagles to just 6 points on Sunday, and racked up 4 sacks, 2 INTs and 1 recovered fumble. All totaled they finished with 17.00 FP and a #4 ranking for fantasy defenses for the 6.6 percent of people that were brave enough to own them in NFL.com fantasy leagues.
Losers (by James Morris)
Matt Ryan – QB Falcons: This is one of the rare cases where a QB can throw for over 300 yards (301), but put up just 2 points in NFL.com standard scoring leagues. How is that possible you ask? Matty Ice was red hot when it came to hitting Cardinals players as he was intercepted 5 times on the day. The Cardinals did a great job at getting pressure on Ryan and he was off his game from the get-go. Chalk it up as a bad game and move on.
Nick Foles – QB Eagles: The guy that many Eagles fans are hoping is the answer to Michael Vick didn’t look good on Sunday as he threw for just 204 yards with 2 INTs. Look, the Eagles have more problems that even Vick can overcome, and Foles isn’t going to make this team perform any better than he Vick did. I would go ahead and cut Foles loose and return to whomever you had before him.
DeAngelo Williams – RB Panthers: The risk in owning a guy like Williams is that he is no longer the focus of the running game, so his fantasy stats will be solely reliant on scoring each week. This week he managed to run for just 18 yards and no endzone visits, which means he ranks out in the #50 range for RBs despite being owned in 70.3 percent of NFL.com leagues still. The ONLY way Williams will have fantasy value is if Jonathan Stewart gets hurt.
Rashad Jennings – RB Jaguars: One would hope that in a game where 80 points were scored, that Jennings would have gotten a little piece of that pie. But, that is not what happened as Jennings ran for an impressive -1 yards on 3 carries this week. He lost the starting job to Jalen Parmele and that means fantasy owners will want to cut bait RIGHT NOW, like I told them to do weeks ago. And, Parmele is only a fantasy option in deeper leagues where you need a flex play for one week.
Larry Fitzgerald – WR Cardinals: There was a reason why I marked Fitzgerald as a sell candidate weeks ago when I traded him for Falcons TE, Tony Gonzalez. Fitzgerald hauled in just one pass (on 7 targets) for 11 yards on Sunday, which remarkably enough isn’t even a season low (1 catch for 4 yards in week 2). You are stuck with the rollercoaster ride that is the Cardinals offense for the rest of the season if you didn’t sell him like I did.
DeSean Jackson – WR Eagles: And one of the most overrated fantasy WRs in the entire NFL is… DeSean Jackson. He managed to reel in just 2 passes for 5 yards in week 11, stats certainly not worth the WR1 some owners drafted him as. It doesn’t help that LeSean McCoy sustained a concussion on Sunday, which means now the Eagles are down to a rookie QB and a rookie RB (Bryce Brown) if McCoy can’t get cleared in time for the week 12 matchup with the Panthers.
Antonio Gates – TE Chargers: Gates embodies everything that a fantasy TE is, boom or bust. This week he was a bust as he finished with just 17 yards on 2 receptions, good enough for 3.70 FP in NFL.com PPR scoring formats.
Houston Texans defense: The Texans are ranked #2 overall for fantasy defenses right now in NFL.com scoring, but in week 11 they managed to break even (0.00 FP) after giving up 37 points and getting just 2 sacks and 1 recovered fumble. It doesn’t help that CB Jonathan Joseph pulled his hamstring, and that could be a big problem with Calvin Johnson next up next. The Texans are no longer a must-start defense heading into week 12.
Week 12 Waiver Wire (by Jon Cope)
Ronnie Hillman, RB Broncos (owned in 1.1% of NFL.com leagues)- With news breaking on Monday that Broncos starter Willis McGahee will miss 6-8 weeks with a torn MCL, Hillman becomes the feature back for the Broncos. Hillman will be set-up for success playing on the Peyton Manning led offense that has scored at least 30 points in each of their past five games. Another reason to add Hillman is a very favorable schedule for the Broncos down the stretch, including a Week 12 matchup against the Chiefs.
Marcel Reece, RB Raiders (owned in 36.4% of NFL.com leagues)- We wrote about Reece last week, and after the big Raiders back delivered over 190 yards in total offense against the Saints, he is a must-add in all leagues until Darren McFadden and/or Mike Goodson is healthy for Oakland.
Bryce Brown, RB Eagles (owned in 0.2% of NFL.com leagues)- As if Philly’s season couldn’t get any worse, their star running back LeSean McCoy sustained a concussion late in Sunday’s lopsided loss to the Redskins. If McCoy isn’t cleared for the Eagles Monday night game against the Panther, Bryce Brown should take on the feature back role in the Philly backfield. Brown, a name familiar to University of Miami fans, has shown an impressive burst when given the opportunity this year and has a favorable matchup against a very mediocre Panthers run defense.
Jalen Parmele, RB Jaguars (owned in 0.0% of NFL.com leagues)- Parmele, an NFL journeyman and former Dolphins 6th round pick in 2008, emerged as the #1 back in Jacksonville on Sunday with 80 yards on 24 carries against a normally stout Texans defense. Parmele, who took over for an ineffective Rashad Jennings, faces a much friendlier matchup in Week 12 when the Jaguars host the Titans, one of the worst run defenses in the league. If you’re desperate for a back, Parmele could be a solid option until Maurice Jones-Drew returns for the Jaguars.
Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, WRs Jaguars (owned in 50.0% & 8.8% of NFL.com leagues respectively)- A lot of Jaguar love in this blog and why not after their 37 point outburst in Houston. While Blackmon had the eye-popping numbers of 7 catches for 236 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, Shorts contributed 3 catches for 81 yards and a score, his 3rd TD in the past 5 games. Shorts has been the more consistent producer between these two this year, but Blackmon could be on the verge of a monster 2nd half of the season. Both of them are solid fantasy options because the Jaguars defense is quite porous, and the team will be forced to throw often down the stretch to keep up with opposing offenses.
Danario Alexander (4.2% owned) & T.Y. Hilton (7.4% owned), WRs- Grouping these two together because they are two receivers that I’ve mentioned in the past. Alexander had over 90 receiving yards and a score for the 2nd straight week and is quickly becoming Philip Rivers’ favorite target in the Chargers passing game. Meanwhile, Hilton had 100 yards for the 2nd time in 3 games and is a very good start in Week 12 if Donnie Avery is unable to play after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR Steelers (owned in 20.1% of NFL.com leagues)- With Antonio Brown still sidelined with a high ankle sprain, Sanders is the Steelers clear #2 WR. In Week 12 against Cleveland, I’d expect for the Steelers top target, Mike Wallace, to face Browns lockdown corner Joe Haden. This should pave the way for plenty of opportunities for Sanders, who lead the Steelers in targets on Sunday with 8.
Arizona Defense/Special Teams- (owned in 23.3% of NFL.com leagues)- The Cardinals are an opportunistic bunch of defense as evidenced by them forcing 6 Falcons turnovers on Sunday. In fact, the Arizona defense has forced 22 turnovers on the season, 4th most in the NFL. I like their matchup in Week 12, hosting a very average Rams offense. Also, with the Cardinals, you get the added bonus of the possibility of a Patrick Peterson return touchdown, a feat he accomplished twice against the Rams in 2011.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a Week 12 fantasy Q & A.
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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.