Welcome to your Week 11 fantasy start/sit advice. Week 10 showed us just why we both love and hate fantasy football in equal measure. Christian Kirk and Darius Slayton were the two top-performing wide receivers while a healthy Cooper Kupp was held to zero points. Patrick Mahomes took less time returning from a dislocated kneecap than I take returning from the store. Both he and Lamar Jackson continued their dominance, but Daniel Jones was able to force his way between them as the second-highest scoring quarterback.
With the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennessee Titans on a bye in Week 11, you might find yourself going back and forth with lineup decisions. So why not let us help you out, letting you know just who to start and who to sit this week.
START: Derek Carr vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Derek Carr didn’t set the world alight with his performance against the Los Angeles Chargers, but his three previous games were his highest-scoring performances of the season. He’s going up against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has been torched by quarterbacks all season, allowing the third-most points to the position. The offense will naturally run through Josh Jacobs, as it always does, but Carr is in prime position for a good performance in this favorable matchup.
START: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Arizona Cardinals
The good thing about divisional rivals squaring off is we have a sample of what players can do. Jimmy Garoppolo scored 28.9 points, finishing the week as the QB2 when these two teams faced each other in Week 9. The San Francisco 49ers receiving corps looks as if it could be heavily depleted with injuries to George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders, but the Arizona Cardinals have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Who would be surprised if this game was another shootout?
SIT: Carson Wentz vs. New England Patriots
Despite Lamar Jackson doing whatever he wanted to the New England Patriots defense, they’ve still shown that they’re one of the best units in the NFL. Bill Belichick has had the bye week to prepare for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles and will no doubt have put together a game plan to limit his undeniable talent. The Patriots are allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, and with Alshon Jeffery’s status uncertain, it would take a Herculean effort from Wentz to justify a start.
START: Damien Williams vs. Los Angeles Chargers
I wasn’t expecting to be back here after Damien Williams’ underwhelming start to the season, but he’s clearly established himself as the top option in the Kansas City Chiefs’ backfield these last two weeks. He’s played 73% of the offensive snaps in each of the last two games, and the Chiefs had enough confidence in him to make LeSean McCoy a healthy scratch in Week 10’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
Williams has performed well since increasing his workload, producing 237 yards and a touchdown on 38 touches in his last two games. Lead running backs in high scoring offenses are the holy grail of fantasy football, and when you add in an opposing Chargers’ defense, which has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs this season, it makes it all the more enticing.
START: Brian Hill vs. Carolina Panthers
If you’re like the most of us, then you’ve been struggling to find production from the running back position. It’s then possible that Brian Hill could be the answer to all of your prayers. Ito Smith’s injury earlier in the season left a vacancy as the backup running back in Atlanta, and he did roughly what you’d expect with a handful of promising plays on limited touches. It was the injury to workhorse back Devonta Freeman last week, however that has those with a high waiver priority excited to see what Hill can bring for the rest of the season.
Hill looked comfortable with the increased workload against a New Orleans Saints’ defense that has been among the league’s best against running backs this season. This week, he gets the opportunity to go against a Carolina Panthers’ defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to the position. Rookie Qadree Ollison could see an increased opportunity, but this is Hill’s backfield.
SIT: David Johnson vs. San Francisco 49ers
Those who invested a high draft pick in David Johnson may just have to accept it as a sunk cost, unfortunately. The once-dynamic feature back has been outplayed by both Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake this season and didn’t look anywhere close to 100% in his return to the lineup last week. Going up against a 49ers’ defense allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs is one of the least-likely “get right” games imaginable and other options should be explored.
START: D.J. Moore vs. Atlanta Falcons
D.J. Moore is continuing his frustrating habit of not finding the end zone (he has only three touchdowns despite totaling 1,669 yards in his career), but he’s beginning to look like the top tier receiver that the Panthers drafted him to be. The Atlanta Falcons’ defense didn’t give Drew Brees a moment’s rest last week but have generally struggled this season, and their inexperienced cornerback group will have growing pains. Moore has double-digit targets and 100+ receiving yards in each of his last two games and is in a great spot to extend that streak.
START: John Brown vs. Miami Dolphins
In a similar vein to Moore, sometimes we just have to hope for touchdown regression. John Brown has established a comfortable floor in the Buffalo Bills’ offense with 50+ receiving yards in every game this season. He’s on pace for over 1,200 receiving yards but has just two touchdowns through his first nine games of the season.
This week, he faces off against a Miami Dolphins’ defense that is, remarkably, allowing only 10 catches per game to opposing wide receivers. They are, however, allowing a touchdown every 6.9 receptions and it’s still a favorable matchup. Brown and running mate Cole Beasley will hope that their struggles continue.
SIT: Kenny Golladay vs. Dallas Cowboys
Marvin Jones could have just as easily been slotted in here, but he looked as if he had more chemistry with Jeff Driskel than Golladay did. Matthew Stafford’s injury doesn’t look as if it’s going to resolve itself, and while Driskel certainly didn’t kill the Detroit Lions’ offense, he’s a clear downgrade. The Dallas Cowboys are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, and Golladay could see a lot of cornerback Byron Jones, who has established himself as one of the better coverage players in the league.
START: Jared Cook vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Say it with me, ladies and gentlemen. Tight end is a wasteland. That said, Jared Cook looks to have come back rejuvenated from his month off, kicking off his return with six catches for 74 yards against the Falcons. This week he gets the opportunity to go against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense that is allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position.
START: Gerald Everett vs. Chicago Bears
You’re scared about Jared Goff against the Chicago Bears’ defense. You’re not alone. But Gerald Everett has been a consistent part of this offense, even leading the team in receptions last week. The Bears have quietly struggled against tight ends, allowing the seventh-most points per game to the position, and Everett is a reliable option in a tough week.
SIT: Mike Gesicki vs. Buffalo Bills
Mike Gesicki has emerged as a trendy option on the waiver wire for teams struggling at the tight end position. He’s an athletic, high-upside pass catcher with a quarterback who is happy to target him, but the Bills have effectively erased tight ends this season, allowing the second-fewest points to the position.
Are you looking for a player who wasn’t in our Week 11 fantasy start/sit? Check out our Week 11 rankings for more information!
Andy Gallagher is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @AndySGallagher on Twitter.