Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Plenty of points in Lions-Packers duel
Packers and Lions combined for most passing yards in a game last time they met
Cam Newton could have a good day against a Bucs team that's poor against QBs
Without Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers and Ravens will likely play defensive game
Here is the silver lining of having so many starting quarterbacks on the injury report in Week 11: You probably should have avoided many of these guys anyway.
So, naturally, the same goes for their significantly less-promising backups. Ignore them en masse.
Jay Cutler (concussion), a marginal fantasy starter in standard leagues anyway, would have faced the 49ers, the fourth-best team in fantasy against quarterbacks. Michael Vick (concussion) has been, well, a has-been. Even if he was facing the Redskins, the second-worst team in fantasy versus quarterbacks, would you have started him amid his run of fantasy ineffectiveness?
The real loss -- and it could be for awhile -- is Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, rib), of course, but he was going to be facing the Ravens, who are the ninth-best team in fantasy versus quarterbacks, and he didn't look all that productive before getting hurt against the Chiefs last Monday night.
Save for rookie Nick Foles, perhaps, who faces a suspect Redskins secondary, none of the replacements rate in the top 15 of fantasy starting quarterback options for Week 11. Don't dare consider the unknown likes of Colin Kaepernick, Jason Campbell and Byron Leftwich.
The week ahead even offers a respite from the struggling Eli Manning. He and his Giants are on a bye, along with Minnesota, Seattle and Tennessee. In addition to finding fill-ins for your quarterbacks, replacements are needed for weekly starters Ahmad Bradshaw, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Lawrence Tynes, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Blair Walsh, Vikings D/ST, Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks D/ST and Chris Johnson.
We help you find those replacements in SI.com's Week 11 fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em:
Buccaneers -- Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Connor Barth, Buccaneers D/ST: The first two here are obvious in their breakthrough campaigns. Barth has become a pretty decent fantasy kicker, and the Panthers are the worst team versus kickers, giving up a league-high 25 field goals. Also, the Panthers are eighth-worst against opposing D/STs, so consider the Bucs unit a good streaming option.
Panthers -- Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen: The Bucs' defense has been gashed by the pass this season, so Newton should continue to be resurgent for his disappointed fantasy owners. The Bucs are fourth-worst against quarterbacks and third-worst against wide receivers, so consider Brandon LaFell a potential sleeper here, too. The Bucs are also 11th-worst against tight ends, so Olsen should have another standout week.
Buccaneers -- Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Dallas Clark: These guys are borderline options this week despite some promising production of late. The Panthers' defense doesn't get any credit, but it is quietly 10th-best against quarterbacks, sixth-best against wide receivers and in the top half against tight ends. This might wind up being a run-heavy game for the Bucs, but LeGarrette Blount should be far, far away from fantasy rosters by now.
Panthers -- Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Justin Medlock, Panthers D/ST: We know you're praying for the day the Panthers figure out how to run their backs, but Stewart faces a top-10 unit in fantasy against running backs here. This doesn't figure to be a week to throw these guys in there.
Browns -- Trent Richardson: The Cowboys should be ready to go, but Richardson is a good start against a defense that is in the bottom half of fantasy against running backs. Also, the Browns' D/ST has played better of late and the Cowboys are always good for some turnovers, so consider their defensive unit if desperate. The Cowboys are fifth-worst in fantasy against opposing D/STs. Kicker Phil Dawson is viable as a low-end starter, perhaps, but we could also see the Browns getting shut out here, too.
Cowboys -- Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey, Cowboys D/ST: While the Browns are playing better defense, they still rank 10th-worst against quarterbacks and running backs and sixth-worst against wide receivers. Witten has been hot, so don't worry too much about him facing a defense that is actually third-best in fantasy versus tight ends. This is a start-all game for the Cowboys, even the resurgent Jones, who remains the feature back with DeMarco Murray (foot) out.
Browns -- Brandon Weeden, Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Ben Watson: The Cowboys are one of the elite pass defenses in the NFL. Only the Bears, 49ers and Ravens have given up fewer passing touchdowns (eight) to date than the Cowboys (nine). The Cowboys are fifth-best in fantasy versus quarterbacks and tight ends and 11th-best against wide receivers. This looks like a bad game for Weeden and his shaky receivers.
Cowboys -- DeMarco Murray, Kevin Ogletree: Murray is probably going to be held out one more week and Ogletree hasn't justified being owned all season.
Packers -- Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Mason Crosby, Packers D/ST: The Lions' defense is better than it has shown and its numbers aren't bad, but the Packers are a bad matchup for anyone, particularly with Nelson (hamstring, ankle) back practicing and expecting to play. Cobb, more than Jones, should be downgraded some by Nelson's return, but all three are top-25 fantasy starts this week with Rodgers scorching. As for the kicker and defense, the Lions are third-worst in fantasy versus both positions.
Lions -- Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Hanson: The Packers' defense is hardly as forgiving as it was a year ago, and the Lions have shown more offensive spunk after their poor start. Consider all of your primary Lions options solid plays in a game that figures to feature a pretty fast pace. The last time these teams got together, they set a record for passing yards in a single game -- and that was with Matt Flynn under center for the Packers. That is enough to consider Titus Young and even Ryan Broyles sleepers as needed.
Packers -- James Starks, Alex Green, Jermichael Finley: The Packers' running game was bad when it featured one back. With Starks and Green fully in a timeshare and facing the Lions (sixth-best in fantasy versus running backs), it's not safe to trust either in starting lineups this week. Finley is a potential sleeper against the 10th-worst team in fantasy against tight ends, but he has been mostly asleep the entire season. His shoulder got more rest, but it's best to stash Finley until he proves healthy and productive. He might be available on waivers, so pick him up and start him if your other tight end is marginal anyway.
Lions -- Joique Bell, Kevin Smith, Tony Scheffler, Lions D/ST: Green Bay's run defense is better than its numbers, and Bell and Smith don't get enough carries to be viable anyway. The defense should be avoided because when the Packers are going as well as they have been, they don't allow sacks or turnovers and the put up mind-numbing yards and points.
Jaguars -- None: Bueller? Bueller? Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) has been ruled out for Week 11 and the Jags look like they should be ruled out of the NFL right now. The only possible consideration is Cecil Shorts because he has been going well and there might be some garbage time for him. That would require starting him with a shaky quarterback and against a defense that is seventh versus wide receivers, though.
Texans -- Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham, Texans D/ST: Against the Jaguars' defense, all of these guys are great options. Even Daniels is healthy enough to practice, and therefore, play, this week. If you need sleepers, look here. Matt Schaub and Kevin Walter are decent ones. Heck, if Ben Tate (hamstring) is active, you might consider him, too, against the fourth-worst team in fantasy against running backs. If Tate isn't active, even seldom-used Justin Forsett might get some garbage-time points for a desperate fantasy owner.
Jaguars -- Blaine Gabbert, Rashad Jennings, Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Marcedes Lewis, Josh Scobee, Jaguars D/ST: The running game is all this team had going for it and it blew it against the suspect Colts over a week ago. Don't dare start Jennings against the No. 1 team in fantasy versus running backs. The passing game is just as suspect with Gabbert and the fact that the Texans are seventh-best in fantasy versus quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Texans -- None: If you own a Texans player, start him. The Jags are second-best in fantasy against tight ends, but Daniels gets too many targets to sit.
Cardinals -- LaRod Stephens-Howling, Larry Fitzgerald: The Falcons are in the bottom half of fantasy against running backs and LSH has earned feature-back duties. This figures to be a game where the Cardinals throw from behind, so expect LSH to get some receptions out of the backfield, too, when coverage has Fitzgerald blanketed.
Falcons -- Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Bryant, Falcons D/ST: The only question mark among these is Jones, who missed some of last week's game and practices this week because of a leg issue. Jones should play and should be active if he does. The rest of young primary Falcons are all good to go, even if the Cardinals are eight-best in fantasy versus quarterbacks, ninth-best versus wide receivers and fourth-best versus tight ends. Defensively, the Falcons are a great streaming option against John Skelton and a team that has been sixth-worst in fantasy versus D/STs.
Cardinals -- John Skelton, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd, Todd Heap, Jay Feely, Cardinals D/ST: The Falcons are a bad matchup for wide receivers (ninth-best), kickers (second-best) and D/STs (sixth). And despite the hope for garbage time, Skelton and Heap just plain stink for fantasy production.
Falcons -- Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas: The Falcons need to fix their running game after being grossly ineffective against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last week (New Orleans). Expecting them to be able to produce running back points against the ninth-best team in fantasy versus running backs is a bad move. And after Turner's poor Week 10, some owner will have to find a new weekly starter for him.
Bengals -- Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent, Bengals D/ST: The Chiefs are coming off a surprisingly spunky game Monday night against the Steelers, but the Bengals are coming off an even more impressive blowout of the defending champions. Even if the Chiefs play well at home here, that might be even better news for the Bengals to post fantasy points. Dalton and BGE are the only questionable fantasy-quality starters of these here, but they are the ones facing a defense in the bottom half against quarterbacks and running backs.
Chiefs -- Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe: There still isn't much reason to trust that the Chiefs will get the ball in the hands of these two playmakers, because the Bengals are seventh-worst in fantasy versus running backs. Matt Cassel at least has been effective in doing one thing -- throwing to Bowe enough to make him a steady fantasy starter. Keep these two, and only these two, active.
Bengals -- Cedric Peerman, Andrew Hawkins, Mohamed Sanu: These guys have shown flashes, but they aren't yet consistent enough to trust, especially with the Chiefs defense having already shut down a better Steelers offense on the road.
Chiefs -- Matt Cassel, Jonathan Baldwin, Tony Moeaki, Ryan Succop, Chiefs D/ST: We can't imagine anyone owns these guys, much less starting them, but the Bengals actually rank around the top-10 in fantasy versus quarterbacks and wide receivers. They are actually suspect against tight ends (seventh-worst), but Cassel and Moeaki have shown little consistency thus far this season.