Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em (cont.)
Eagles -- LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin: Foles showed enough to feel all right with keeping McCoy and the receivers active, especially against the second-worst team in fantasy versus receivers. Foles, Brent Celek (facing the second-worst team in fantasy versus tight ends), Alex Henery and the Eagles' D/ST are options, too, albeit a bit less intriguing that most starters in standard leagues. There is a chance Andy Reid's West Coast offense functions a bit more impressively with a quicker decision-maker and blitz-recognizer. We will see if Foles is indeed that in place of Vick.
Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris: The Eagles' defense is mostly middle of the pack, but these are the only two Redskins anyoney missed during their bye a week ago. The Redskins' D/ST might be a sleeper play for the desperate, facing a rookie quarterback and already sitting as the worst in fantasy against D/STs. Only one team has allowed more sacks, only two teams have lost more fumbles, only seven teams have thrown more interceptions and no team has allowed more defensive scores than the Eagles (five).
Eagles -- None: While we wouldn't necessarily trust Foles and any of the inconsistent Eagles, it is tough to find fault with any of them in this matchup either.
Redskins -- Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Logan Paulsen, Kai Forbath: Someone needs to step forward as a trustworthy target for RGIII. That could be Garcon if he plays. If he does, consider him a sleeper. The uncertainty should force you to avoid all the other targets, especially since only the Jets and Chiefs (surprisingly) have given up fewer receptions to wide receivers this season than the Eagles secondary.
Jets -- Shonn Greene: The Rams rank in the middle of the pack against everything from quarterbacks to D/ST, but the only Jet worth considering in fantasy lineups in any week is Greene, who is a decent bet to have one of his better weeks here. The Jets remain committed to the run, and the only weeks they didn't face an elite run defense, Greene rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns (against the Colts in Week 6) and 94 yards and a score (against the Bills in Week 1). In the other weeks, Greene and the Jets have faced defenses ranking the following against running backs in fantasy: First (Texans), second (Niners), fourth (Seahawks), fifth (Steelers), seventh (Dolphins twice) and 13th (Pats and he scored a touchdown against them, which is the only reason they are not in the top 10). Greene is a must-start in all matchups less than elite, seriously.
Rams -- Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola: Jackson showed well against a better run defense last week in the 49ers, so keep him active against a decent Jets run defense that is actually sixth-worst in fantasy against running backs because of how teams play against them. Teams stick to the running game without fear of falling behind because the Jets' offense is so bad. Amendola also proved healthy and a must-start last week, even if the Jets are third best in fantasy against receivers. Kicker Greg Zuerlein and the Rams D/ST are options to score some fantasy-relevancy here, but the gut tells this writer the Jets could play one of their best games of the season.
Jets -- Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens, Dustin Keller, Nick Folk, Jets D/ST: Sanchez and the weaponless passing game have been so bad, even viable fantasy options like Keller, Folk and the Jets defense have been rendered worthless. Watch them for a rebound here, but the first 10 weeks of the season have offered little reason to trust them.
Rams -- Sam Bradford, Daryl Richardson, Brandon Gibson, Chris Givens, Lance Kendricks, Rams D/ST: As bad as the Jets have looked without Darrelle Revis, they are still sixth-best in fantasy against quarterbacks and third-best against receivers. Despite the stigma of a train-wreck of a season, this is still a defense you don't want to load up against in fantasy.
Saints -- Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham, Garrett Hartley: If the Raiders gave up 42 points to the Bucs and 55 to the Ravens, how many points will the Saints (fourth-best offense overall and second-best passing) put up? It should be exciting to see. Heck, even Darren Sproles might play with a cast on his broken hand, so he and Chris Ivory or Mark Ingram can be viable options against a Raiders defense that has been fifth-worst in fantasy against running backs. Start as many Saints as your fantasy lineup will allow here.
Raiders -- Carson Palmer, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers, Sebastian Janikowski: If anything good has come out of this season, it is that Palmer has at least proven to be viable starting quarterback in this league again. Start him and all of his primary weapons against a Saints defense that is the worst in fantasy versus quarterbacks and receivers and second-worst versus running backs. Reece figures to get plenty of touches, especially as a receiver (for PPR formats), in place of Darren McFadden (ankle). Also, Myers practiced and probably will play. He should be kept active as one of the top-12 fantasy tight ends now.
Saints -- Pierre Thomas, Devery Henderson, Saints D/ST: Thomas appears to have lost a step and his hold on the starting job, while Henderson has disappeared for weeks on end. As for the Saints' defense, it is improving, particularly against the run with the return of suspended interim head coach Joe Vitt, but it still remains too suspect to consider in fantasy.
Raiders -- Taiwan Jones, Raiders D/ST: Jones might be a game-breaker for his speed, but he just doesn't get a big enough piece of the game plan to own in fantasy. Nothing needs to be said about the Raiders defense at this point.
Chargers -- Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, Nick Novak: The Broncos' defense is mostly middle of the pack and the fact that their offense figures to run at a good pace at home should mean a solid day for the Chargers' primary offensive options while playing catch-up.
Broncos -- Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Matt Prater, Broncos D/ST: Like the Broncos, the Chargers' defense is mostly middle of the pack. Manning and the Broncos are hot, particularly on defense, which draws the eighth-worst team in fantasy versus D/STs. Keep these guys active in all leagues with confidence.
Chargers -- Ronnie Brown, Danario Alexander, Eddie Royal, Robert Meachem, Chargers D/T: Alexander might seem like he's a good play now that he's found some success with Rivers, but the Broncos are the fifth-best team in fantasy versus receivers. Save for Floyd and Gates, don't trust Rivers' other targets because of their inconsistent production. And forget about the defense against one of the fantasy's 10-best teams against D/STs.
Broncos -- Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball, Knowshon Moreno, Brandon Stokley, Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme: The Chargers are the seventh-best team in fantasy against tight ends, so avoid the Broncos' options there, especially because they share targets so often. As for the backup running backs amid McGahee's fumbling ways, the rookie Hillman cannot run with the same power, Ball can't run with the same speed and Moreno has been a healthy inactive for seven consecutive weeks.
Colts -- Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery: The Colts and Luck are a much better team at home, but the Pats are third-worst in fantasy versus quarterbacks and eighth-worst versus receivers. Luck and Wayne are must-starts, while Avery is a viable sleeper. T.Y. Hilton might be, too, along with tight end Dwayne Allen, who draws the third-worst team in fantasy against the position.
Patriots -- Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots D/ST: The Colts are eighth-worst against running backs and fifth-worst against receivers, so backups Danny Woodhead and Brandon Lloyd might be threats to score, in addition to must-starts Ridley and Welker. Don't be overly concerned with Gronk against the No. 1 team in fantasy versus tight ends, but it might make you think twice about a still gimpy Aaron Hernandez (ankle), if he even or plays after being limited again in practices.
Colts -- Donald Brown, Vick Ballard, Adam Vinatieri, Colts D/ST: Indy's running backs are in a full timeshare right now, and the Pats are ninth in the NFL against the run, so avoid Brown and Ballard both, if possible. Also the Pats are the toughest team in fantasy against D/STs and eighth-best against kickers. Only the Falcons and Chargers have allowed fewer field goals and only the Chargers have allowed fewer FG attempts.
Patriots -- Shane Vereen: This is a start-all game for the Pats, but Vereen lost some steam in fantasy lineups because of the usage of Woodhead last week in the red zone. Starting Vereen is a risk not worth taking.
Ravens -- Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Justin Tucker, Ravens D/ST: This figures to be a classic defensive struggle, especially with the Steelers expected to play ultra-conservative with Byron Leftwich at quarterback at home. Smith is the only real risk among these options because the Steelers are No. 1 in fantasy versus receivers, but he remains a top-25 fantasy wide receiver to start in all matchups. Only the Bengals' Green and Packers' Jones have more than Smith's seven receiving touchdowns among wide receivers.
Steelers -- Heath Miller, Steelers D/ST: Big Ben's injury and Rashard Mendenhall's (Achilles') expected return makes a complete mess of the Steelers in fantasy. Miller should be all right, while the D/ST should still rate as a top-12 option at home even if the Ravens are seventh best in fantasy versus D/STs.
Ravens -- Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson: The Steelers' defense was already No. 1 in fantasy versus quarterbacks and wide receivers, fifth against running backs and top 10 against tight ends without Big Ben pushing the offensive pace and the scoring. Without him, and playing at home, expect the defense to tighten the screws, even if Troy Polamalu (calf) is still out. Avoid these marginal fantasy starters in this difficult division matchup on the road.
Steelers -- Byron Leftwich, Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Shaun Suisham: We would suggest you start one of the Steelers backs if we could be in the team's meeting rooms this week. There is no way to gauge which back will carry the load. Sure, the Steelers said it would be Mendenhall when he is healthy, but healthy enough to suit up is not healthy enough to start and star. Look at Redman last week: He started, fumbled and was left on the pine for the bruising Dwyer. We would say start Dwyer, but that Ravens' run defense will surely be geared to stack the box against the Steelers with a backup quarterback under center. That makes Wallace and Sanders definitely risky plays as well.
Bears -- Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Bears D/ST: This was going to be a bad week for the Bears even with Cutler. Without him, it will heighten the stress. Forte and Marshall will be counted on heavily against the still-rugged 49ers defense, while the Bears defense is clearly good to go against an offense potentially led by a backup as well.
49ers -- Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, 49ers D/ST: These guys aren't performing up to expectations, but they still rate among the fantasy-worthy starters at their positions even in this most unfavorable of matchups. The Bears are third best versus running backs and 10th-best versus tight ends, so bench them if you have viable alternatives. The defense should post one of its best weeks against a quarterback that has struggled to get the ball down field his entire career.
Bears -- Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Michael Bush, Alshon Jeffrey, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Kellen Davis, Robbie Gould: Starting Campbell is just as much bad news as facing a 49ers defense that is second against running backs, fourth against quarterbacks and wide receivers and sixth against tight ends. Bush might be a slight consideration if you're trying to overthink things, because the 49ers have given up some 100-yard rushers, but Bush is only good for touchdowns, and the 49ers have allowed just two on the ground.
49ers -- Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Kendall Hunter, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, David Akers: Even if Smith (concussion) is cleared to play, the Bears' defense is much like the 49ers': third versus quarterbacks and running backs, eighth versus receivers, 10th versus tight ends and fourth versus kickers. This is a good week to jump off of Akers are your starting kicker. He has been a disappointment this season and might get shutout here.
If you play in those weekly salary-cap leagues, here are some of the players who a decent values relative to their prices this week:
QB -- Drew Brees and Carson Palmer
RB -- C.J. Spiller and Arian Foster
RB -- Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Shonn Greene
WR -- Reggie Wayne and Marquis Colston
WR -- Danny Amendola and Denarius Moore
TE -- Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis and Jermichael Finley
FLEX -- Any of the above RBs or WRs
K -- Connor Barth and Mason Crosby
D/ST -- Texans, Bears, Cowboys and 49ers
Have a better idea? Challenge me with it. I'm on Twitter @EricMackFantasy.
Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. Track his weekly starts and sits every Thursday, his last-minute Cheat Sheet on Sunday mornings and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).
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