Week 11 is upon us and another heavy bye week for us to manage with 6 teams on bye. Luckily, week-12 is the last of the byes with just two teams off.
Only one new name to talk about this week, but we’ll touch on a couple of repeat offenders that are worth updating. Since it is a light week, I start you with a few nuggets heading in to your playoffs. Let’s win you a championship or at least some money if your league pays more than first place.
All of you fall in to one of the following buckets: playoff spot locked up, fighting/jockeying for a final spot, or no chance at all. If you are fighting to lock up a playoff spot, you need to win now and dominate your weekly matchups. The focus is on finding every extra fantasy point you can grab. Is there a better defensive matchup for you to stream? What about a kicker? Maybe even a better QB matchup if you are juggling middle tier QBs on your roster. I’ve seen players like Marcus Mariota, Carson Wentz, Russel Wilson and somehow Mitchel Trubisky pop on waivers as league-mates manage byes. Dak Prescott has a couple of nice matchups down the stretch. If you have a bench warmer that has not or will not hit your starting lineup this season then you should not hesitate dropping him. If it means getting better for a one week matchup then make the move. This needs to be your mentality as we head down the stretch. Scratching and crawling for every point to lock up your final playoff spot.
If you are lucky enough to have a playoff spot locked up then you need to take advantage of the luxuries that come along with it. Do not fall asleep at the wheel. You have worked your tail off to get to this point. My nuggets for you– grab your handcuff now and pick up a defense with a juicy week 14, 15, or 16 matchup. If you know you are getting a bye then only focus on the weeks you will be playing. Even if it is just a nice one week matchup. Don’t worry about having a defense that has a sweet matchup this week. Does it really matter if you finish 3 or 4th seed if you know you are going to make it either way?
Here are a couple of defenses that have plus matchups: Steelers vs Oak (WK14,) Texans vs Jets (WK15), Bills vs NYJ & DET (WK14,15), Titans vs NYJ, JAX, NYG, & WSH (WK13-14-15-16). I really like the Titans D heading down the stretch and they are on waivers this week with a matchup against Andrew Luck and the Colts.
If you fall in the last bucket and have no chance, don’t give up. It is your goal to ruin someones playoff hopes. Is anything more demoralizing than finishing last in your fantasy league? Do you have an embarrassing punishment for finishing last? Don’t let that be you.
I will wrap this up and get to your names. As noted before, reviewing your leagues transaction history is crucial. Look ahead to your playoff schedule and defensive matchups. Can you leverage a trade to bolster a weak spot on your roster come playoff time. This is the last week for trades in most leagues. Drop dead weight and pick up your handcuff.
Boom, let’s go! Here are your week 11 Bad Boyz…
- Elijah McGuire- I initially started with Elijah to pump a few numbers at you showing why you should scoop him up, as many dropped him with the Jets on bye this week. Yes, he is sliding right in to Bilal Powells old role. He is out snapping and touching Isaiah Crowell, 52% to 37%. Also, McGuire was the 2nd highest targeted player in the receiving game, racking up 6 targets. It all sounds nice and convincing. A lot of pundits are mentioning his name, but I am not here to tell you what everyone else is saying if I don’t believe it. The other component in fantasy football to consider besides opportunity is matchup. His defensive matchups down the stretch are brutal. He faces some of the toughest run defenses down he stretch- TEN, BUF, HOU (WK13-14-15). He is a desperation play against NE (WK12) in PPR formats as the Jets will most likely be playing from behind. I understand if you are desperate but if you are picking him up just to sit on the bench I would recommend looking elsewhere.
- Giovani Bernard- Alert!! Joe Mixon popped up on Thursdays injury report with a knee issue. He was a late week addition after practicing in full on Wednesday. Late week additions are always scary and for Mixon, given his knee issues earlier this season. This could be strictly a precautionary move for the Bengals and the Friday practice report is one to keep an eye on. Add Bernard now before it is too late. He is the handcuff to own in Cincinnati. I won’t waste my time with Mark Walton.
- Josh Adams- Reports coming out of Philly this week talk about Adams emerging as the lead back for the Eagles. He flashed last week against a tough Cowboys run D and as Philly struggles to find balance in their attack, Adams is the one to benefit from this situation. A deep league add as we head down the stretch. I’m okay not owning any stock in the Eagles backfield but Adams is the only one with upside right now.
- Rashaad Penny- Penny is a great handcuff stash for Chris Carson owners. More than likely Mike Davis is already on someones bench in your league. Penny racked up 1TD and 108 yards on the ground in week 10 with Carson out. He averaged 5.8ypc against the Packers last night. Carson has a history of injuries that comes along with his aggressive run style. Keep in mind, his value is strictly tied to Carsons health and availability.
- Ty Montgomery- Another one like Elijah McGuire. I know we are scratching the bottom of the wire but you are okay passing up Ty for your stars handcuff. Ty is a speculative add and might not return any value heading in to playoffs. Alex Collins started to heat up down the stretch last season and he will have a nice opportunity against the Bengals this weekend. The Ravens still have Javorius Allen and he has served as the primary pass catching back, which is the role Ty is supposed to bolster. I do not see the Ravens completely abandoning Buck while Ty is still picking up the playbook. Buck Allen is almost worth getting released and is merely a pure handcuff play. If Collins struggles against a putrid Bengals run D then Ty and Buck might have some value down the stretch.
- Rex Burkhead- This is a play that will come to fruition during your playoffs. It is speculated that Burkhead has the chance to return in week 13. If you are a Sony Michel owner, you need to add Sexy Rexy immediately as your handcuff. Sony has been struggling with multiple knee injuries dating back to the pre season. If you have the flexibility on your bench or have a playoff spot already locked up then Burkhead is worth looking at. If you are still clawing your way to the playoffs then Burkhead provides no value down the stretch.
Leave your questions and comments below, I respond to everyone. Follow me on twitter for last minute injury updates. Good luck!