Fantasy Feedback: Week 11

  • Roddy White seemed to enjoy a lack of Julio Jones on the field Sunday. Atlanta’s No. 1 receiver looked the part, catching seven passes for 147 yards. Even though he didn’t score, he was back to being Matt Ryan’s top target. We’ll see what happens next week against Minnesota if Jones is back in action.
  • It’s too early to say definitively, but Titans QB Jake Locker and WR Nate Washington look to have a rapport. Locker threw his first two career NFL touchdowns, both to Washington. If Matt Hasselbeck’s injured elbow keeps him out next week against Tampa Bay, Washington could be a worthy pickup and/or start in Week 12.
  • In a game that had almost no impact on anything between Seattle and St. Louis, Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch was the lone fantasy bright spot with 88 rushing yards and a touchdown. Lynch has started to pick it up in the past few weeks, scoring in his last six games. Keep him in your lineup with the Redskins next on the schedule.
  • Until the Cardinals find a consistent quarterback, Larry Fitzgerald’s value will continue to sink. He caught a touchdown from Richard Bartel in the fourth quarter, but Fitzgerald has recorded four or fewer catches in five of Arizona’s 10 games this season. Along those lines, Beanie Wells isn’t the fantasy option he was at the start of the year, either. He logged just 33 yards on eight carries and lost a fumble. Things get slightly better for the Cards next week with St. Louis on the schedule, but at this point, it’s time to temper expectations.
  • Alex Smith continues his ascension among the ranks of fantasy QBs. Sunday, he threw for 267 yards and two TDs and did it by spreading the ball around. Yes, Michael Crabtree had 120 receiving yards, but six different players caught a pass from Smith. He’s not a weekly must-start player, but can certainly be a worthwhile matchup-based start.
Observations from the early games
  • The Michael Bush-Darren McFadden competition is heating up after Bush ran for 109 yards and a touchdown Sunday. In his last four games, Bush has run for no less than 96 yards and has scored in each of his last three starts. Both players could see significant carries when McFadden eventually returns.
  • Reggie Bush is creating a legitimate running back controversy in Miami. His yardage totals were unimpressive (66 combined yards), but he scored a TD for the third straight week and looks more impressive each week. Daniel Thomas did run for 50 yards, but his status as the team’s No. 1 RB isn’t as clear-cut as it was earlier in the season.
  • Aaron Rodgers has been good about spreading the ball around most of the year. Today, it came at the expense of Greg Jennings, who caught just two passes for six yards. Right now, there’s no reason for concern. Similar to Calvin Johnson, we’re just chalking it up as “one of those days”.
  • Apparently, Josh Freeman isn’t totally done. He threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, overshadowing the two interceptions he threw. It certainly helped that the Buccaneers put together a balanced attack, allowing LeGarrette Blount to run for 107 yards and a TD. If coach Raheem Morris was paying attention, there’s a recipe for success in there — for both the Bucs and fantasy owners.
  • Cam Newton nearly provided a throwback to the start of the season with 280 passing yards, 37 rushing yards and three combined TDs. If it weren’t for those four interceptions it would have been a stellar day. The question now is: Have opposing defenses figured out how to defend Newton? Next week, the Panthers visit Indianapolis, so that might not be the best week to judge.
  • After a poor start, Matthew Stafford caught fire, throwing for 335 yards and five touchdowns. That’s great news, unless you owned Calvin Johnson, who didn’t catch any of Stafford’s touchdown tosses. Don’t fret, it just happened to be one of those weeks. Megatron remains the go-to guy in the Lions’ offense. Kevin Smith might have snatched a starting job away from Maurice Morris after a combined 201 yards (140 rushing) and three TDs.
  • As if the Browns RB situation wasn’t screwy enough, Chris Ogbonnaya ran for 115 yards and a TD. What happens when Montario Hardesty or Peyton Hillis returns? It will be quite interesting to watch.
  • With A.J. Green out of action, Jerome Simpson stepped up in a big way with 152 receiving yards on eight catches. When Green returns, he’ll go back to being the top receiving threat, but Simpson has shown he can be worthy of a No. 2 or 3 WR spot in the right matchup.
  • When the Ravens succeed, it’s usually because Ray Rice played a large role in the offense. Sunday, Rice rushed for 104 yards and two TDs while adding 43 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Torrey Smith continues to force his way into the game plan, today grabbing six passes for 165 yards and a TD. Lee Evans was active for Sunday’s game, but has probably officially lost his job to Smith.
  • With Jahvid Best still out of action, Kevin Smith look to be taking over for Maurice Morris. Just before halftime, Smith has a combined six touches for 100 yards while Morris has four carries for just two yards.
  • Through the first couple of quarters, there’s not much of a timeshare between DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones. So far, Murray has 10 carries to just two for Jones. Whether this continues when Jones gets back into game shape remains to be seen. If Murray can’t muster more than the two yards per carry he’s averaging now, those touches will start to go away.
  • Midway through the second quarter, Bills WR Stevie Johnson is missing in action. Ryan Fitzpatrick has only completed five passes and four of them have been to Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Scott Chandler is the only non-running back to catch a pass.
  • Bad news for Adrian Peterson, he was carted off and is considered questionable to return with a left ankle injury
  • The Panthers’ D/ST is having a huge first half. First, they force three Detroit turnovers. Then Kealoha Pilares returns a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. If you had the guts to start them, you’re being rewarded.
  • As the Bills continue to crumble, Matt Moore is the latest to take advantage. Early in the second quarter, he’s already thrown two touchdown passes and Reggie Bush has scored a rushing touchdown for the third straight week.
  • Adrian Peterson needed help getting off the field after a short run. Stay tuned for updates.
  • #Shanahanigans aside, there is currently no value in the Redskins’ offense. They’ve scored just one touchdown in their last 38 possessions after the first quarter of Sunday’s game. Neither Rex Grossman nor John Beck can move the offense and the running back situation is a disaster. Until further notice, avoid all of them.
  • The struggles continue for Matthew Stafford. After throwing two early interceptions Sunday, he now has six in his last five quarters.

– Marcas Grant

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