Week 11 has come and gone for all but one game, and by now most of you know whether you are in or out of the fantasy playoffs that start in 14 for most. Hopefully you are one of the faithful readers here and thus in the playoffs, while your friends go to one of those big-box websites for their info and are either clinging to the final playoff spot, or out of them all together.
The one thing that I do want to talk about is Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins as they did what nobody gave them a chance to do on Sunday, win! Mike Pouncey missed the game after spending time in the hospital with kidney/gallbladder issues, and that caused many around the sports world to outright dismiss Tannehill as a viable starting QB given the change within the O-Line the last few weeks. All Tannehill did was go out and throw for 268 yards with a TD and an INT, stats good enough for the #14 ranking on NFL.com for QBs in their standard scoring format. Tannehill finished above guys like Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Colin Kaepernick, and even Drew Brees this week. Charles Clay continued his rise to fantasy glory this week as he was able to haul in 6 of his 7 targets for 90 yards and a touchdown.
If this game doesn’t earn Tannehill some respect in fantasy and in reality, I don’t know what will.
Carson Palmer – QB Cardinals: As my emails and social media questioners know, I was big on Palmer as a fill-in QB for those who had questions at the position this week. I wanted to put him on the start list, and should of ahead of Case Keenum, but that is a woulda, coulda, shoulda situation. Palmer went out and torched the seemingly helpless Jaguars for 419 yards passing and 2 touchdowns Sunday. Palmer has played better the last couple of weeks and has a solid fantasy playoff schedule with the Rams and Titans in weeks 14 and 15. The Cardinals face the Seahawks in week 16, so I’d cut him loose before that game.
Matthew McGloin – QB Raiders: Only in Oakland could a guy throw for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns against a somewhat solid defense and have the coach refuse to name him the starter over a guy that has thrown twice as many INTs as he has TDs! With that being said, McGloin finished 6th on NFL.com for fantasy QBs this week and is sure to be an interesting QB2 next week against the Titans. I wouldn’t put too much faith in him just yet, but a speculation add is certainly not a bad move.
Bobby Rainey – RB Buccaneers: Well, one player in the Bucs backfield solidified himself a job while the other watched his role slip away. Rainey was the winner, and Brian Leonard was the loser as it were. Rainey finished #1 overall this week on NFL.com thanks to his 163 yards rushing and 3 TDs. However, fantasy owners need to understand that this is a lock to go down as his career-high in both yards and touchdowns as the Bucs don’t play the Jaguars this season, and he will enter next season as a roster bubble player in camp. As for this season, I’d put Rainey in the flex range next week against the Lions, and a full sit ‘em the following week against the Panthers.
Donald Brown – RB Colts: The Colts have a way of making RBs look very average, no matter who they are. They traded for Trent Richardson and now there are rumors of Donald Brown supplanting him as the starter after Brown finished with 94 total yards and 2 TDs on Thursday night. I’ve seen WAY too many fantasy owners running to the waiver wire and picking up Brown since Thursday night, which by the way is a textbook example of chasing fantasy points. No Colts official has said that there will be a switch on the depth chart, and even the Colts beat writers are not saying anything about a switch coming. Brown finished as NFL.com’s #4 ranked RB this week, but I would let him be someone else’s headache going forward. And, let’s be honest, if Donald Brown is looking like a great pick-up off the waiver wire, you are already out of the fantasy playoffs and it doesn’t matter anyway.
Michael Floyd – WR Cardinals: Floyd came into this week with a shoulder injury that worried some, but not me. You see, I firmly believe that you can basically play whomever the Jaguars play against and be right more times than you are wrong. Floyd had a career day as he finished with 6 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown. Floyd is really more of a boom-or-bust player than a true fantasy starter, so play him only in the right match-ups to finish out the season.
Jarius Wright – WR Vikings: Wright drew the start in place of Greg Jennings (Achilles) and made a name for himself as he made the most out of his start by reeling in 3 passes for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns. While the 2 TDs are nice, the 3 catches tell you all you need to know about Wright and his fantasy value. Jennings is expected to take the field for week 12, pushing Wright back to the bench. Wright is virtually unowned in NFL.com leagues, but I am positive I will hear from at least 10 people who say they started him this week!
Garrett Graham – TE Texans: Graham put up his best game of the season as he was targeted 13 times which resulted in 7 catches for 136 yards a touchdown. He did lose a fumble, but with TE being an all-or-nothing position anyway, Graham was still able to finish as NFL.com’s #1 fantasy TE.
Buffalo Bills defense: I got more than a few emails and social media comments saying I was crazy for picking the Bills defense considering they are ranked #16 this season on NFL.com and owned in just 10.8 percent of their leagues. However, the Bills finished as NFL.com’s #2 ranked defense this week after racking up 4 sacks, 3 INTs, 1 recovered fumble, scoring a defensive touchdown and holding the Jets to just 14 points. The Bills are on a bye next week then face the Falcons in week 13, so I wouldn’t hold on to them unless you have people in your league that hoard defenses.
Drew Brees – QB Saints: While Brees did hit the 300-yard mark (305), he only threw for a single touchdown while also throwing an interception. While that isn’t exactly terrible, the -1 rushing yard and lack of multiple TDs really hurt him on NFL.com and he finished as their 16th ranked QB this week. You might think that it was just NFL.com and some fluke scoring system that put him that low, but on Yahoo.com he finished ranked #14 in their vanilla standard scoring format.
Peyton Manning – QB Broncos: Peyton Manning is mortal after all! While he did throw for 323 yards Sunday night, he only managed 1 touchdown and lost a fumble, resulting in a #13 overall ranking for week 11 at the QB position. Remember, yards and fine and good, but touchdowns are usually king when it comes to QBs, and Manning didn’t throw enough of them to be worth starting in standard 12-team leagues this week.
C.J. Spiller – RB Bills: Spiller continued his enormous fantasy bust season in week 11 as he finished with 13 carries for 6 yards (0.5 YPC) and 2 catches for 10 yards. Thankfully the Bills have a bye next week and that will force fantasy owners to do what they should have done weeks ago, bench him. You can’t cut him because the waiver wire is a baron wasteland at this point, and you can’t trade him because your league’s trade deadline has most likely passed. So, chalk him up as a bust and move on.
Andre Eillington – RB Cardinals: It is looking more and more likely that Ellington saw his value peak in week 8 against the Falcons as he was held to just 3 yards rushing and 10 yards receiving on Sunday. The Jaguars actually did a good job getting to Ellington and wrapping him up before he could do any damage. Ellington isn’t worth playing at the moment with Rashard Mendenhall in the mix and getting the redzone touches.
Percy Harvin – WR Seahawks: Remember when I said on Friday not to play Harvin this week? Well, he showed why on Sunday as he finished with a single catch for 17 yards and no endzone visits. The good news is that the Seahawks have a bye in week 12, meaning Harvin shouldn’t be on any snap-count in week 13. He looked good handling kickoffs this week and moved without any problems when on the field, so I have no problems saying right now that he will be on my Start ‘em list for week 13.
A.J. Green – WR Bengals: The bad fantasy game happens to every player in the NFL at some point in every season, and it happened to Green and Andy Dalton in week 11 of this season. Dalton was picked off twice in the 1st quarter by Browns CB Joe Haden (one was a 29-yard pick-six), which obviously threw him off his game on Sunday. Because of the coverage, Green was held to just 2 catches for 7 yards and no touchdowns. The Bengals have a bye next week and should come out firing against the Chargers in week 13, making Green a top tier WR play.
Jordan Reed – TE Redskins: The list for fantasy busts at TE could go on and on for week 11, but Reed tops the list. Reed suffered a somewhat mysterious concussion and left the game early, thus finishing with just 1 catch for 12 yards. I said mysterious because I didn’t see him take any hits that would cause a concussion, and he wasn’t on the ground after a play was over. Either way, Reed will have to get cleared before he can play in week 13, so check back throughout the week to see what his status is.
Kansas City Chiefs defense: The Chiefs are no longer undefeated, and their defensive fantasy owners got a taste of that medicine Sunday night as they allowed 27 points to the Broncos and managed just a single fumble recovery for defensive stats. The Chiefs sit as the #23 ranked defense for week 11 with the Panthers and Patriots still left to play, so they could very well be pushed even further down this week after the Monday Night Football game. I warned you, so hopefully you listened.
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.