In the world of fantasy football, it’s never too early to look ahead at who you should consider starting or sitting in your lineup. With elite fantasy options like Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Taylor, and Bijan Robinson on a bye, let’s take a closer look at some of my start and sit candidates for Week 11 of NFL action.
Start ‘Em Picks for Week 11
Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Allow me to take you back to Week 14 of last season when San Francisco 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy made his NFL starting debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In a game where he would face off against Tom Brady on the other side, Purdy registered three total touchdowns against the Bucs defense in a blowout win.
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In turn, his performance was a preview of some serious future success. Well, after facing some adversity by throwing five interceptions over a three-game losing streak, Purdy came out of the bye week and responded with a clean 296 passing yards and three scores against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tampa Bay may have had some success against Tennessee Titans rookie QB Will Levis on Sunday, but they may revert to some of their struggles against opposing passing attacks with a fully loaded San Francisco offense.
De’Von Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins
Fantasy football managers who enjoyed De’Von Achane’s historic production from a three-game stretch earlier this season have likely been eagerly awaiting his potential return to the fantasy lineup in Week 11.
While we don’t have a guarantee at this moment that Achane will be activated for their contest against the Las Vegas Raiders, all reports point towards that being a strong possibility.
If Achane is active, he needs to be in your starting lineup. The Raiders give up an average of 22.2 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and the Dolphins offense could face a favorable, run-heavy game script if they get out in front against Las Vegas rookie QB Aidan O’Connell.
While many fantasy managers are likely skeptical about Achane’s hot start — averaging an absurd 12.11 yards per carry through his first 38 rushing attempts of his career — few RBs will give you the type of fantasy ceiling Achane offers your fantasy lineup in Week 11.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Detroit Lions
Speaking of elite-level upside rookie running backs, the return of Detroit Lions back David Montgomery did very little to derail the recent fantasy breakout performances of rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs in Week 10. Gibbs’ 14 carries with Montgomery in the lineup was a season-high, and a very encouraging development for Gibbs came in the form of a pair of one-yard rushing scores.
Gibbs saw more carries than Montgomery for the first time all year in a game where they were both active, and he still managed to see five targets in the passing game. If this type of usage pattern holds for Gibbs, he is certainly in the low-end RB1 conversation in this potent Detroit offense.
Brian Robinson, RB, Washington Commanders
Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson continues to find the end zone despite his volume in the rushing game trending in the wrong direction. Against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Robinson produced a career-high 119 receiving yards on six receptions, which included a 51-yard catch and run for a score.
Unfortunately, he saw fewer than 10 carries for the third time in the last six games, which makes his fantasy floor a bit tricky to trust. However, that floor should be raised when they face off against a New York Giants offense that will have to rely on rookie QB Tommy DeVito to sustain drives, which could manufacture a picture-perfect game script for Robinson to see plenty of work on the ground.
Rashee Rice, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
The Super Bowl LVII rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles features a mostly returning cast of characters. However, there is one new face who could make a big difference for the Chiefs offense in a supporting role … his name is Rashee Rice.
Rice has scored in three of his last six games while seeing his snap percentage increase for five consecutive contests. The Eagles’ defense is giving up the most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs in the NFL through the first 10 weeks of the season. If this turns out to be a high-scoring affair, then Rice should see plenty of work against a struggling secondary.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers offense returned to form against the Jaguars on Sunday, which led to Aiyuk’s first touchdown since the season opener. Well, Aiyuk could be in for another big day against a Buccaneers secondary that is allowing an average of 33.5 fantasy points per game.
If the Bucs attempt to speed up Purdy by trying to bring pressure, that will leave Aiyuk isolated against the Tampa Bay corners, who have struggled to slow down receivers all season long. Expect some big plays from Aiyuk and the Niners passing game in this contest.
Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans
Houston Texans rookie WR Tank Dell has posted career highs in targets in consecutive weeks. Fortunately for fantasy managers, Dell was able to produce while seeing 25 targets over the last two games. He followed up his 114-yard and two-touchdown performance in Week 9 with six receptions for 56 yards and a score against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Whether or not Nico Collins returns for Sunday’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Dell’s role seems to be secure, which means he should be in your starting lineup against Arizona.
Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals
Speaking of the Cardinals, the return of Kyler Murray under center immediately benefited Trey McBride, who produced eight receptions for 131 yards on nine targets against the Atlanta Falcons. His 21 fantasy points in PPR formats marks the second time he has hit the 20-point threshold in two out of the last three games.
If Murray’s one game is an indicator of things to come for the remainder of the 2023 season, then McBride is entering top-10 TE consideration every week moving forward.
Sit ‘Em Options
Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos
On one hand, Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson has thrown a touchdown pass in every game this season. On the other hand, he has failed to top 200 yards passing in four straight.
Something has to give against a Minnesota Vikings defense that blitzes more than any other defense in the league.
Wilson has been sacked 26 times this season and leads the league in pocket time among QBs with more than three starts, which is the average time a quarterback has the ball between the snap and either throwing the ball or being pressured.
When looking at this matchup, I could see Wilson struggling against this hyper-aggressive Vikings defensive unit.
James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills
Heading into the Buffalo Bills’ Monday Night Football matchup against the Broncos, James Cook’s usage has been heading in the wrong direction, with just six carries for 20 yards against the Bengals last week. The recent addition of veteran RB Leonard Fournette could also negatively impact Cook’s weekly usage if his role ends up being bigger than we expect.
Ultimately, Cook has been effective, but not spectacular in his expanded role in this Bills backfield in 2023. Cook’s fantasy ceiling doesn’t feel all that high against a New York Jets defense that held him to 46 yards in the season opener.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears
A short week likely prevented a return to the field for Chicago Bears starting RB Khalil Herbert in Week 10, but perhaps you should hold off on putting him back into your starting lineup this Sunday when he faces off against the Lions.
Detroit’s defense is only allowing an average of 14.6 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs this season, which is problematic for a running back seeing his first game action in over a month.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
After posting fantastic back-to-back outings heading into the Week 10 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Diontae Johnson had his worst game of the season with just one reception for 17 yards on four targets.
Well, the task won’t get any easier for Johnson in Week 11 when he faces off against the Cleveland Browns defense. Even if the target share jumps back up, the efficiency is unlikely to be there in this specific matchup.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans WR DeAndre Hopkins’ three-touchdown performance back in Week 8 already feels like an eternity ago. He caught just three passes for 27 yards against a vulnerable Bucs secondary on Sunday.
While the rookie QB has plenty of arm talent, he’s still very much a work in progress and will have games where he struggles as he did on Sunday. Those struggles could continue against a Jacksonville defense who were just torched at home.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
The Browns’ passing offense is tough to trust right now. Quarterback Deshaun Watson got banged up again on Sunday but managed to battle through it to get the win against the Baltimore Ravens.
If Watson isn’t 100% heading into their matchup against the Steelers in Week 11, then I’m not exactly thrilled about his fantasy outlook against a defense that is only giving up an average of 6.7 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season.
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