Fantasy football playoffs in many leagues will begin in 4 weeks — where do you stand? What do you need to make your last playoff push? Trade deadline should be approaching even sooner — time to take stock of of what your team is and isn’t good at — and perhaps even more importantly — what do your league mates need that you have an abundance of? The best owners have been tracking who their future playoff competitors have been suffering through and how they can take advantage.
Four teams on a bye week in week 11: Panthers, Colts, Jets, 49ers. Not a lot of fantasy points lost by those four teams not playing, but three of my favorite punching bags are now not targets for waiver adds.
Blake Bortles, JAX, 15.4% owned: No this isn’t a joke, DAD Blake Bortles has a good matchup against the Browns in week 11. The Browns have allowed the second most passing TDs in the league and are averaging 18.1 fantasy points allowed to QBs. Bortles to his credit hasn’t been a complete disaster — he’s averaging almost 16 points over his last three games. If you’re in a 2 QB league or are in complete desperation mode — try Bortles against the Browns.
Teddy Bridgewater, MIN, 5.8% owned: We all like a good backup making it big story, but this is Teddy’s team and Teddy is the future. Bridgewater was my one lock that I had set for my QB section of this article. Then, Case Keenum goes and throws for over 300 yards and 4 TDs against Josh Norman and the Redskins. I think in week 11 Case will start against the Rams, but Teddy will finish the game. If you’ve been suffering through different QBs since Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson went down — take a chance on Bridgewater.
Mitch Trubisky, CHI, 5.1%: I’ve been wanting to recommend Mitchell Trubisky since he was named starter in week 5, but the mood just hasn’t been right. He had four tough matchups in a row to start his career and was nothing more than an old-school Alex Smith game manager. All four of his opponents were in the top 13 in pass defense. In week 10, the training wheels were taken off and Trubisky responded with 297 passing yards and a TD for 15 fantasy points against the Green Bay Packers who are 12th in most-passing yards allowed. Now, for week 11 he gets the Detroit Lions who are 10th in most-passing yards allowed. I’m always rooting for young QBs to reach their full potential.
Drew Stanton, ARI, 4.4%: Don’t be too afraid of Stanton’s week 11 opponent the Texans. They allowed 19 fantasy points to of the Indianapolis Colts in week 9, 35 points to Russell Wilson in week 8 and 25 points to Alex Smith in week 5. In his two starts since taking over for the injured Carson Palmer, Stanton has scored a pair of 14 fantasy point games. One against the 49ers (easy) and one against the Seahawks (not so easy.) Santon is another low-end QB who can help you in a pinch.
Rex Burkhead, NE, 11.7%: Other owners are going to be rushing out to buy stock in Dion Lewis since he lead the Patriots in rushing attempts and rushing yards in week 10. You, the smarter owner, are going to look at the Patriots week 11 opponent, the Raiders, and see that they have allowed the 7th most receiving yards to RBs and know that Burkhead is the bigger threat. Yea, Lewis is a great grab too — but just don’t forget about Burkhead.
Austin Ekeler, LAC, 1.9%: I’ll admit that I don’t really believe Ekeler will be much of a fantasy threat for the rest of the season, but since is going to be in every expert’s waiver article this week — I figured I might as well get on board the hype train. Yes, Ekeler had 26 fantasy points and 2 receiving TDs in week 10, but before that he only totalled 38 fantasy points in the Chargers first eight games. As a handcuff, change-of-pace, catch-passer Ekeler is a good piece to own — but you’d have to be in REALLY big trouble in order to input him in your starting lineup.
Jamaal Williams, GB, 2.3%: Aaron Jones is set to miss 3-6 weeks with a knee injury and Ty Montgomery hasn’t exactly been a beacon of health all season himself so welcome Jamaal Williams to the fold! He lead the Packers with 67 rushing yards on 20 attempts. QB Brett Hundley might be injured as well, which could lead to even more opportunities for Williams. He is a strong buy going forward.
Dontrelle Inman/Joshua Bellamy, CHI: Along with wanting Trubisky to be successful, I’ve been wanting a Bear WR to step up and help him. The Bears receiving team is only averaging 224.1 yards per game — and take away the 349 receiving yards acquired by the Bears TEs and that number falls to 185.3 — worst in the NFL. Inman had 6 receptions for 88 yards, while Bellamy had 2 receptions (7 targets) for 57 yards and 1 TD. Check out Mitch Trubisky’s blurb above to see why I like him (and these two guys) against the Lions this week.
Roger Lewis, NYG, 4.3%: Lewis has done jack since becoming the accidental WR1 for the Giants after Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard all went down in week 5. Week 10, however, was an okay showing by Lewis — 3 receptions, 33 yards and a TD catch. In week 11, the Chiefs are coming to town who have allowed the most TDs to opposing WRs and the 3rd most receiving yards. Another double-digit scoring game is in store.
Corey Davis, TEN, 34.4%: The #5 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft is starting to get more involved in this Titans offense. He lead the Titans with 10 targets in week 10 and as his rapport grows with Marcus Mariota — those targets will only go up further. Now looking at his schedule he has a tough week 11 opponent in the Steelers who are #26 in receiving yards allowed to WR, but he then faces the Colts (#1), the Texans (#6), the Cardinals (#8), the 49ers (#5) and then ends your fantasy championship with the Rams in week 16 (#20.) Okay — so admittedly that last one isn’t that great, but he could help lead you to your championship — he might not help you win it in that last game though.
Jermaine Gresham, ARI, 1.4%: The Cardinals have been essentially playing without a TE all season. Gresham was their leading TE receiver with only 163 yards. Gresham, however, has scored a TD in each of his last two games. Hopefully this is the start of something new for Gresham. In week 11 he’ll face the Texans who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing TEs.
Marcedes Lewis, JAX, 2.9%: If you’re truly desperate in the deepest of leagues, Marcedes gets to battle the Browns next week who have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing TEs. While we can’t expect another 3 TD game like Lewis had in week three against the Ravens who have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing TDs, I think 1 TD and maybe 40+ yards could be in store.
Kansas City Chiefs vs NYG, 60.9%: The Chiefs might’ve been given the bye week boot in your league. If so, grab them as they face off against my NY Giants who have tied for 28th in points scored per game and are 25th in total yards per game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. MIA, 7.1%: You know who has an even better matchup than the Chiefs? The Bucs! They face the Miami Dolphins who are averaging the fewest points per game AND the fewest yards per game. The Bucs are fresh off a 15 fantasy point scoring game against the Jets so maybe they’ve put something nice things together.
Brandon McManus, DEN, 13.0% owned: McManus and the Broncos have a showdown with the Bengals who have allowed the second-most field goals in 2017. The Bengals defense has been surprisingly adequate so there might be some stalled drives that allow McManus to shine. McManus is 3/3 in field goals in both of his last 2 games and has double-digit points in both of those game as well.