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NFL Fantasy Help -- Week 11

eagle eye

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I know Week 10 isn't quite in the books yet but there is some important QB news.

1. Just a few days after earning a 3 year contract extension Carson Palmer is done for the season after tearing his ACL. The best record in the NFL fall now on the back of backup Drew Stanton.

2. Marc Sanchez is looking like a genius pickup by the eagles. You know Eagles head man, Chip Kelly, knew all about Sanchez since he faced him in the PAC 12 while Kelly was at Oregon State and Sanchez was the QB of the USC Trojans. Tonight, the Eagles with Sanchez at QB is demolishing the Carolina Panthers 38-7 and there's still almost 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter! To say Sanchez is now a must have is an understatement. If Sanchez plays this week every week Eagles fans will be saying, "Nick, who?". (That's Foles, BTW.)


One item of note, I have two fantasy games in the balance tonight needing Jeremy Maclin to blow up. Bottom line? Sanchez is throwing to everybody BUT Maclin. He's got 2 catches for 29 yards. This won't do, Marc. He keeps throwing the ball to rookie WR Jordan Mathews from Vandy. Mathews has 6 balls for 120 yards and a TD. Maclin numbers. It doesn't help one bit that Mathews jersey is 81. Right numbers but wrong order, Maclin is 18. It's incredible, I can't buy a break during the Cowboys 6 game winning streak and the two games Dallas lost I could do nothing wrong. Now, with Dallas back on the winning side of the ledger my fantasy teams are struggling. Sheesh.

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Boy, it's a rough week for quarterbacks! The next man up on the chopping block was Rams QB Austin Davis who has shown a spark from time to time but the rest of the time he's been ineffectual or throw picks. The Rams have announced that Shaun Hill will be the starter this week as the Rams face the Denver Broncos. Hill started in Week 1 but he injured his thigh during the game and Austin came in and finished the game and started the next 8. The Rams are currently 3-6 so far this season and under Austin the offense has not been able to get the job done consistantly. Hill was ready to come back in Week 3 but at the time the Rams were willing to see what Austin could do. Both Austin and Hill are getting their chance because Sam Bradford tore his ACL again in preseason. It looked at times like Bradford's job might be in jeopardy but Austin's poor play cemented Bradford's return next season. Now, keeping Bradford healthy is another thing all together.


The Bengals may have to rely on Jeremy Hill again this week as Giovanni Bernard missed practice today. Hill blew up two weeks ago against the Jaguars but he was far from impressive last Thursday against the Browns. This week the Bengals square off against the Saints who have been giving up big chunks of yards to RBs lately.


It looks like the Broncos will be without Ronnie Hillman for a few weeks due to a mid foot strain. This happened in the first half of the game vs the Raiders last Sunday which opened the door for C J Anderson who looked damn good in relief of Hillman. Hint, hint.


Matt McGloin is out in Tampa and Josh McCown is in after last week's performance by McCown who threw for 301 yards, 2 TDs and 2 picks against the Falcons. The next two weeks Tampa faces 2 weak pass defenses in Washington and Chicago so if you need a bye week QB maybe.............


Speaking of the Buccaneers don't rely on the running backs. Charles Sims may be the most dynamic and he did okay in his first NFL game last Sunday but he did fumble once. Bobby Rainey was not sharp or effective. Doug Martin could return this week but there's no guarantees there. Sims is the most intriguing and he had 10 touches but the one fumble was near the end of the game that set Atlanta up for the go ahead score. Martin if he's in, Sims otherwise.


Terrence West rose up and had the most touches for Cleveland last week with 26 carries but Ben Tate added 10 while Isaiah Crowell had 12. One thing for sure, Cleveland wants to run the ball, they have attempted 300 runs vs 276 passes so far this season.


One last item for now. Buffalo's RB situation was clouded a bit because Anthony 'Boobie' Dixon got the most carries last game against the Chiefs but it was also Fred Jackson's first game back in several weeks. Jackson should be the starter but maybe it takes a little patience. What I'm saying is I'm sorry if you are depending on either guy this week.

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This week fantasy team owners got lousy news. Arian Foster, the leading rusher in the AFC and the team leader in TDs with 10 won't be playing in what is the most important game so far this season with the Texans busting out their brand new starting QB in Ryan Mallett. Did you guys forget about Mallett? What is a new QB's best friend? A good running game. The Texans will be hoping for Alfred Blue to step up and be that man who takes a big chunk of the heat off the first start in one of the hardest places to play in the NFL against one of the best offenses in the NFL. Fantasy owners, good luck.


11-16-14 - Oops, I have been so focused on beating the Colts I convinced myself the Texans were playing them. This week of course Houston plays Cleveland but this ain't the same ol' Browns. They are the 6-3 AFC North division leading Browns. Not only that but they are playing in Cleveland--outdoors--in the cold. The high today in Cleveland is going to 35. The wind isn't supposed to be bad, 11 mph or so but there's a chance of snow all day and it will definitely be snowing when Houston is getting on the plane to come home. Not the best of circumstances for a first time starter. This would be a heckuva win if they can manage it.


So, Reggie Bush won't be on the field this week either after reinjuring his ankle last week. Theo Riddick is a name to remember for the Lions. I know Joique Bell is the main guy but Riddick is also going to get a lot of touches playing the Reggie Bush role in the Lions offense. Don't say I didn't tell you.


The Browns will be without TE Jordan Cameron because he has not passed the NFL concussion protocol. Jim Dray is the next man up for Cleveland but maybe Travis Benjamin may have his breakout game against the porous Texans defensive backfield. That's what makes fantasy football fun, right?


Giovanni Bernard will miss again this week. Let's hope Jeremy Hill owners don't have to bite the big one again this week. A lot depends on if Andy Dalton can come back from a horrendous game against the Browns a week ago Thursday.


Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin is out again this week too making us think that Charles Sims is going to get another shot. He had only 10 touches last week but he flashed potential. He did fumble once but he hasn't had much practice time until lately. I'm thinking Sims is a nice sleeper play this week.


This is some solid news. Kansas City WRs A J Jenkins and Donny Avery are out as well as Anthony Fasano being quite questionable. Travis Kelce is definitely a play this week.


The Giants have been depending on Andre Williams for past several weeks with limited success. This week is going to see the return of Rashad Jennings but Williams should see his share of carries because the Giants had to put RB Peyton Hillis on injured reserve due to a concussion suffered against Seattle last week. It's Hillis' second concussion in the past 12 months and both were against Seattle. Hillis has had terrible luck with injuries in his career.


The Chargers will get RB Ryan Mathews back after missing several weeks. If he comes back in the same form he was in before his injury it should be a big shot in the arm for the Bolts ground game. Mathews broke out last season, his first healthy season of his career and he had taken up right where he left off before he suffered an MCL sprain. The Chargers could have brought him back 2 weeks ago but opted instead to wait until after last week's bye to put him back in the lineup. Mathews missed a total of seven games plus the bye week and he is said to look really good in practice. The Chargers face the run-defense challenged Oakland Raiders. Brandon Oliver will still be in the mix as a third down back but it's Mathews' show going forward. Oliver will assume the Darren Sproles role as he has shown he is a factor in the passing game.


All you guys who rode Ronnie Hillman for several weeks don't despair. He will only miss 2-3 weeks with a foot injury. Now, if you've got Montee Ball waiting in the wings it's finally time to break him out. The Bleacher Report stated that Ball is trimmer and quicker than he was prior to his injury and he's definitely got fresh legs. He will likely split carries with C J Anderson who broke out against the Raiders last week. The fact that Anderson flashed so brightly should give Ryan Mathews owners a little twinkle. But, I digress. We're talking Broncos. Ball is the primary and Anderson is the backup. Both are probably worth at least a flex option.


The Vikings are going to have Jerick McKinnon in the lineup this week against the Bears and as bad as the Bears have looked lately McKinnon might run for 200 yards. More importantly TE Kyle Rudolph will be back after being out since Week 3 when he injured his groin/abdomen. Rudolph gives rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater even more of a comfort zone. He'll need it playing in frigid Chicago. These old Black and Blue Division foes have a long history of playing in weather you wouldn't allow your dog outside in but this is a new generation of Vikings who have been playing in a dome for years. No matter, Chicago has been just awful and there's no reason to believe they will get healthy after just one week. A week, I might add, that saw them humiliated by the Packers.


The Saints will not have RBs Khiry Robinson or Pierre Thomas again this week so it will be the Mark Ingram show again with a guest appearance or two by Travaris Cadet. The Saints are back in the friendly confines of the Super Dome where they are damn near unbeatable. Couple that with a Bengals team reeling from a smack down by Cleveland last week. It's almost certain that Andy Dalton won't suck as bad as he did at home in the elements in Cincy but the Who Dat's are tough at home.

Edited by eagle eye
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I will tell you where I was right and where I was wrong which is to say Week 11 was a real head scratching week and it's not really even over. We still have one more game left to play.


Where EE was right.

> I was right about Alfred Blue carrying the load for Houston. I didn't see him gaining 156 yards on the day facilitating a win in Ryan Mallett's first start.

> Brian Hoyer couldn't get the job done to win the game but he was a real good fantasy start with 20/50 for 330 yds and a TD and a pick.

> I was absolutely right about Jeremy Hill rebounding from a bad loss in Week 10. 152 yds on 27 carries makes fantasy owners happy. What I was also right about was how Cincy needed Andy Dalton to be better and he was. What all that meant was a win for Cincy in the Thunderdome in New Orleans where the Saints just don't lose--but they did this week.

> I was right about Charles Sims being the main man at RB for Tampa. He didn't blow up stat-wise but he got the most touches of the RBs and a minor contribution in the passing game. As a runner he had 10 totes for 38 yards and as a receiver he had 3 receptions for 8 yards. The real catalyst for the Bucs win was a breakout game by rookie WR Mike Evans who just went off for 209 yds receiving on only 7 catches and 2 TDs.

> The big game by Evans was due to the work of another of my picks, Josh McCown. McCown threw for 288 yards and 2 TDs. This is two weeks in a row McCown has been a good fantasy option. It may be the Lovie Smith system is starting to sink in and it's happening with a guy Smith wanted from the git-go.

> I was right about the return of Montee Ball but what nobody could know he would be that he would be out of the game before halftime reinjuring his groin.


Where EE was wrong.

> Detroit RB Theo Riddick was not a good flex option. Of course even all fantasy players like Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson had a disappointing game against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has emerged as the best team in the NFC and they shut down a high powered offense in Detroit and they were able to score just enough to win a hard fought game.

> Kyle Orton was not good vs the Miami Dolphins for Buffalo or for fantasy owners. Miami is now the 2nd best team in the AFC East behind only New England.

> Neither TE Jim Dray or WR Travis Benjamin had a good game vs Houston. Go figure. The receivers who did have a good day for the Browns were Andrew Hawkins who returned from injury this week and Taylor Gabriel. I don't know if it was the cold weather or what but as good, or maybe efficient is a better word, as the Browns were against Cincy in Cincy they were equally inefficient against the Texans.

> I was right about KC's Travis Kelce being important to the Chiefs attack but in a game where Alex Smith threw for a meager 108 yds Kelce wasn't going to be a fantasy option. So, I was wrong to steer people toward Kelce. He was the leading receiver for the Chiefs catching 3 balls for 37 yds and he was the Chiefs leading receiver but he was definitely not a fantasy cash cow.

> I was right about Minnesota's Jerick McKinnon being the guy for the Vikes but who knew on a frigid day in Chicago the Bears would find their defense. And their offense too. Jay Cutler didn't suck and the Bears played like people have expected them to since day one of the season. McKinnon's numbers were pedestrian at best but where I was really wrong was about TE Kyle Rudolph who was coming back from injury. He didn't record a catch. Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford combined for 2 catches for 11 yds that accounted for all the TE production by the Vikings.


All in all it was a schizo week in the NFL. The Broncos held to a single digit score in a weird loss to the RAMS. If I told you Peyton would throw for 389 yds and a score you'd say the Broncos won but in this oddball week but with the loss of Montee Ball (groin), Julius Thomas (ankle) and Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) the Broncos couldn't get a thing going against a Rams team that seems to have remembered how to play defense.

What about the true smack-down the Packers put on the Eagles. The Eagles came back and scored a total of 20 points but the game was over by halftime with the Packers up 30-6. This was supposed to be a shootout between these two teams but Marc Sanchez looked more like the Jets QB rather than the guy who lit up the Panthers but it appears that it was the Panthers ineptitude more than Sanchez' excellence.

The Chargers can't run the ball. They showed that sending a fresh and healthy Ryan Mathews against the 25th ranked Raiders defense and he finished with a by-the-skin-of-your-teeth win with Mathews running for 70 yds with Brandon Oliver contributing 36 yds. Phillip Rivers got banged around and you wonder what happened to the Bolts because they have looked so bad the past 3 weeks.

The last 6 weeks of the season are going to be very interesting to watch unfold.

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