As we move ever so closer to the end of the fantasy football regular season, making start ’em or sit ’em decisions begin to carry even more weight as teams separate themselves from the pack. With not all matchups being equal, here are our top start ’em and sit ’em plays for Week 11 of fantasy football.
NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 11: Quarterbacks
While the focus in the majority of fantasy leagues falls on skill positions, quarterbacks — in most cases — consistently bring the highest weekly total. Which QBs are must-starts, and who should remain on the bench in Week 11?
Start ‘Em | Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
It’s like when you see a long-lost friend and just smile because it’s good to see them again. Welcome back, Cam Newton. He wasted no time getting to work Sunday despite the glue holding up the nameplate on his locker still not dry. Newton completed 3 of 4 passes for 8 yards with a touchdown while also rushing 3 times for 14 yards and another score.
That’s what he does. The rushing upside offsets the lower passing floor. But this is not the same Carolina offense he knew the last time he was here. Joe Brady is running an entirely different offense, and Newton has an incredible accompaniment of weapons in Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Terrace Marshall Jr.
Newton also gets a reunion this week against his former coach, Ron Rivera, who is the head coach for the Washington Football Team. It also just so happens that no team in the NFL allows more fantasy points per game to QBs and just lost its best player in Chase Young (ACL).
Newton is getting the first-team reps this week and is expected to start. If you are streaming QBs and want a potential big-time splash, Newton is known to deliver in big ways for fantasy.
Sit ‘Em | Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are struggling — that might be putting it lightly. I don’t see that changing its week when they take on the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. Not only is Calvin Ridley out (personal), but Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) is likely out for Week 11 and potentially multiple games. Outside of Kyle Pitts, is there anyone on the Falcons worth starting in fantasy?
I don’t think so, and this includes Matt Ryan, who has not played all that bad in fairness. He’s completing nearly 68% of his passes and has over 280 yards in five of his nine games. But last week, we might have seen the bottom fall out of this offense. With Patterson sidelined, the offense could do nothing. Ryan posted a season-low 117 passing yards and 2 interceptions in a game that should have been nothing but garbage-time stat-padding.
The Patriots are No. 2 in points allowed to QBs (13.8), and Ryan brings no rushing upside to offset the lack of weapons. I would sit Ryan in Week 11 and find an alternative option for your fantasy team.
While these RBs found themselves with adjusted roles following injuries to surrounding players and poor play from others, they are on opposite sides of start/sit debates for Week 11. Let’s look at the top start and sit from RB committees around the league.
Start ‘Em | AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers
Is this an obvious one? Yeah, probably so. But it’s Monday, and I’ll take a soft-toss home run when I can get it. With Aaron Jones (sprained MCL) expected to miss 1-2 weeks, it’s more than likely we do not see him until Week 14 following the Packers’ bye week. Until then, consider Dillon a weekly must-start who has RB1 upside.
He is a bruising RB who bounces off tackles, and while he does not have the pass-catching ability of Jones, he does not have hands of stone either. He already has 16 receptions for 196 yards and a TD on the season. Dillon has 20-touch upside and is on an offense firing on all cylinders, even if Aaron Rodgers looked like a guy who had missed some time.
While the matchups are not ideal (Minnesota and Los Angeles Rams), Dillon needs to be started and added in every league possible. Even when Jones comes back, he will still have a role in this offense.
Sit ‘Em | Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles
It’s been a good run for Jordan Howard. Since he was called up from the practice squad, Howard has rushed 41 times for 211 yards with 3 touchdowns. In two of his games (Weeks 8 and 9), he was a top-15 RB in fantasy (15.4 average).
But that is coming to an end this week. There is the pending return of Miles Sanders to the backfield, but the matchup isn’t great either. The New Orleans Saints are No. 3 in points allowed (18.66) and No. 1 in rushing yards allowed per game (53.6). Howard brings no value in the passing game, and even if they opt to bring Sanders back slowly, he is likely to struggle on the ground in Week 11. Howard’s run as a flex-worthy player ends this week.
NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 11: Wide Receivers
The WR position is the deepest in fantasy football, with a plethora of quality starting options to choose from every single week. As matchups can be the final deciding factor, here are some of the start ’em or sit ’em recommendations for Week 11.
Start ‘Em | Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
You’d think I would get sick of writing about Rashod Bateman. Well, I hate to break it to you, but I am not (and not sure I will be anytime soon). While it was frustrating watching the Ravens play Sammy Watkins over him to start the game, Bateman’s skills won out, and he ended Week 10 as Baltimore’s top receiver.
Bateman was tied for No. 2 in targets (8) and led the team in yards with 80. In his four games with the team, Bateman draws a target in roughly 20% of his routes run, has 6+ targets in every game, and has finished as a WR3 or better in his last three outings.
He is second on the team in receiving yards since making his debut (241) and seems only to be getting better. His route running is creating separation, which is something rookies tend to struggle with, let alone someone four games into their career. This week, the Ravens take on the Bears, who enter as the No. 28-ranked team in points to WRs (39.7), and have allowed 17 different WRs to score double-digits against them this season. Start Bateman with confidence this week.
Sit ‘Em | Marvin Jones Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
Early in the year, Marvin Jones Jr. was a fun ride for fantasy managers. He was one of my favorite signings of free agency and started the season as hot as anyone. But the arrival of Dan Arnold in September and the emergence of Jamal Agnew has demolished Jones’ numbers as of late.
Since Week 3, Jones is averaging 3.5 receptions and 40 yards per game. He has scored 1 TD since Week 2, and Jones has one game (Week 6) where he recorded more than 35 receiving yards. The veteran has finished outside the top 50 WRs in five of his last six games. Outside of a healthy James Robinson and Arnold, I can’t advocate starting any other Jaguars player in fantasy.
It’s notoriously hard for fantasy managers to find consistent production from the tight end position. In Week 11, start ’em or sit ’em decisions could mean the difference between a win or a loss as the margins are razor-thin.
Start ‘Em | Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
Nothing Hunter Henry does is overly flashy, but he continues to produce. He only has 4 receptions for 37 yards on Sunday (4 targets), but he scored 2 touchdowns. That’s 7 TDs in his last seven games. For context, he is scoring a TD once every 3 receptions.
At some point, this will regress. But right now, Mac Jones is playing solid football and relies on Henry when they get inside the red zone. Henry has finished as a TE1 (top 12) in six of his last seven games and should again in Week 11 as the Patriots take on the Falcons.
Sit ‘Em | Evan Engram, New York Giants
I just can’t do it. The minute you begin to trust Evan Engram is when he lets you down. It’s like that ex you think has changed, and the minute you believe them and start trusting them again, they go and empty your bank account that you didn’t even know they could access.
He has scored in back-to-back games and wants you to believe in him. The Giants are coming off a bye and are the healthiest they have been since Week 3. But that right there might be the issue: Engram’s teammates are getting healthy.
Saquon Barkley is looking like he will return. Plus, they have Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, and Kadarius Toney. There’s a chance Sterling Shepard (quad) is able to play as well. So, where does Engram fit in now? I get Tampa Bay is a team you throw against, but Engram feels pretty far down the totem pole. Unless you are banking on a third consecutive game with a TD, I would sit Engram in Week 11.