Salary cap advice: Amid injuries, splurge on passers for Week 11
With bye weeks still in play and so many quarterbacks hurt, spend freely on a QB
San Diego's Danario Alexander and Indianapolis' Donnie Avery are risk/reward
The Atlanta defense is a great Week 11 play against one-dimensional Cardinals
Injuries took a toll on starting quarterbacks in Week 10, as the 49ers, Bears, Eagles, Jaguars and Steelers saw their signal-callers hit the sidelines with varying degrees of injuries. That makes this, the final week on the schedule with byes, the most scarce for passers this year. Therefore, there's no reason to try to get cute behind center: Spend on one of the sure things and hope he escapes injury.
This position-by-position look at some of the best bargains entering Week 11 is based on current prices in FanDuel 10-team leagues. If you're looking for a salary cap challenge, test your skills by going head-to-head with SI's Peter King in the Peter King Fantasy Challenge.
Quarterbacks: The priciest thrower on the board is 2011 MVP Aaron Rodgers, who threw four touchdowns last time out against the Cardinals. In seven career starts against Detroit, Rodgers has surpassed the 300-yard mark five times and has thrown at least two touchdowns in six of those contests. A better deal, however, is Matt Ryan. He passed for 414 yards last week in the Falcons' first loss of the season and will look to get the team back on track against the same Cardinals Rodgers lit up last week. Oh, and he's the same price as Matthew Stafford. Those forced to go with a budget friendly option should look at Sam Bradford, who is home against the Jets and has his favorite target, Danny Amendola, back at full strength. Carson Palmer, who faces the porous Saints, is another great sleeper play.
Running backs: Nobody is hotter right now than Doug Martin, who has averaged an NFL-leading 171.6 yards from scrimmage over the past five weeks, nearly 15 yards more per game than the second-best, Adrian Peterson. In those five games Martin has scored seven touchdowns, also best in the league. He'll continue his special season this week against the Panthers. Among the low cost options, take a look at fellow rookie running back Daryl Richardson, who faces a Jets team that has been very vulnerable to the run all year long. Finally, target Chris Ivory, who has scored in his last three games (dating back to last season) and faces a Raiders team that has surrendered an amazing seven rushing touchdowns in the past two weeks.
Wide receivers: The usual pricey options are all good choices this week, but users can just as easily save some dough by looking down the list a bit. Danario Alexander has been a revelation for Philip Rivers and the Chargers, and despite a tough matchup against Denver he's priced low enough to justify the risk. Donnie Avery, who like Alexander is a former Ram making a name for himself on a new team, is also a risk/reward play. He'll be on the receiving end of plenty of Andrew Luck passes in Foxborough Sunday. The Raiders' duo of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore, meanwhile, should have a big day against the Saints' league-worst secondary.
Tight ends: The best matchup of the week is Antonio Gates against a Broncos defense that has struggled to keep opposing tight ends off the scoreboard. Also worth considering: Carolina's Greg Olsen against the Bucs, Dallas' Jason Witten against the Browns, New Orleans' Jimmy Graham against the Raiders and even Philly's Brent Celek, who'll be Nick Foles' outlet receiver against Washington.
Kickers: Nobody gives up more kicking points per game than Carolina, and Connor Barth scored 10 points on opening weekend against the Panthers. He's the best buy-low candidate this week. A few more great options are Garrett Hartley against the Raiders, Shaun Suisham against the Ravens and Mike Nugent against the Chiefs.
Defense: The Falcons have been much better against the pass than the run this year, and the Cardinals have little to no running game to speak of, leaving John Skelton holding the bag and making the Falcons the value pick of the week. Costing slightly more but also worth considering are the 49ers, who will face the Jason Campbell-led Bears. And give the Bengals a look, since they be facing the lowly Chiefs.
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