Week 11: Buh-bye bye weeks! We won’t miss you!
What I learned last week:
Vikings’ TE Kyle Rudolph actually has value if WR Percy Harvin doesn’t play. But I won’t pick him up after cutting him last week. After the bye, I expect Harvin to be back and Rudolph to return to mediocrity.
Play the man:
Steven Jackson. I wrote him off a few weeks back because of the emerging time-share with Daryl Richardson. Then, the Rams decided to feed him the ball 29 times for 101 yards and a TD against — how does this make any sense? — the vaunted San Francisco defense. Jackson is alive and should be in your starting lineup against the Jets.
Put him on the pines:
Ravens QB Joe Flacco. At Pittsburgh, you don’t really think he’s going to do even half of what he did last week against Oakland, do you?
SUPER-LONG QUESTION (AND ANSWER) OF THE WEEK
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger has been ruled out, Chicago’s Jay Cutler and Philly’s Michael Vick are doubtful, and San Francisco’s Alex Smith is questionable for their Week 11 games. How do you rank the Fantasy Football value of their respective backup QBs if they’re forced into action — Byron Leftwich, Jason Campbell, Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick?
First, let me say, I wouldn’t pick up any of them.
That said, the first one I’d begrudgingly take is Foles. He gets to face the pathetic Washington defense, and he has enough weapons around him to take advantage of opportunities the Redskins will present.
After that, all of the matchups are bad in terms of the defenses they’re facing.
But, I think Leftwich is the best of a miserable bunch. The Ravens’ defense isn’t the force it’s been in recent years, and even with Terrell Suggs back, Baltimore’s pass rush hasn’t been getting to QBs. That means Leftwich, even with his long throwing motion, can get some passes off to the capable likes of Mike Wallace and Heath Miller. Plus, Leftwich has the advantage of home cooking.
Then, I like Kaepernick’s ability to run, so he can pad his stats with rushing yards and possibly a TD on the ground if the Bears, who allow the fewest fantasy points to
QBs, aren’t allowing him much through the air.
The last one to go with is Campbell. The hope with him is that he can hit a couple deep balls, possibly for a score. Otherwise, don’t expect much from him against the Niners’ defense, which allows the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Maurice Jones-Drew is still out, and his backup, Rashad Jennings, has underachieved. The Jaguars are are in Houston this weekend. Do you start Jennings or hit the waiver wire?
Tim: I want to say find any breathing RB other than Jennings, but then I’m reminded of the way a disappointing Chris Johnson broke out against the Texans. If you don’t have other options, play him and hope for a minor miracle.
Ben: I’ve rolled the dice on Jennings the past two weeks. Not going to do so with him against a tough Houston D, which of course means Jennings will have a career game.
Who will need to have the bigger game in order for their team to win: the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant or Philly’s DeSean Jackson?
Tim: Neither. LeSean McCoy needs to have a big game for the Eagles to take the pressure off rookie QB Nick Foles. If I have to choose a receiver, though, I say Jackson.
Ben: I want to say Jackson, but Philly is in a world of trouble and has failed to recognize McCoy’s presence or the fact he had a gazillion TDs last year. So, I’m going with Bryant. Dallas has more to gain with a win.
Green Bay TE Jermichael Finley has had another disappointing season. Will he ever turn it around?
Tim: After an OK start to the season, he’s been a bucket of yuck and will remain so. Green Bay’s backup — Crabtree, Appletree or whatever -tree he is — has been the better bet to score.
Ben: At this point, you’d have more luck with Greg Jennings ... who isn’t playing.
Speaking of disappearing tight ends, will the Niners’ Vernon Davis down the stretch look more like the one who had the awesome start or the one whose driven fantasy owners crazy for the past month?
Tim: After being slowed by some decent defense, his remaining schedule is a mixed bag. A couple excellent matchups and a couple of awful matchups. So, expect a roller-coaster ride.
Ben: I hate roller coasters, and I ain’t about to get on the one Davis is currently on.
San Diego’s Danario Alexander and Jacksonville’s Laurent Robinson have had a couple of good games in a row, which WR do you like more going forward?
Tim: Robinson by default. I don’t trust any Chargers’ receiver to be consistent. Robinson should be a steady if not spectacular producer, especially in PPR leagues. Just don’t expect TDs, given the offense he’s stuck in.
Ben: This one is tough because Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert is just downright awful right now and Rivers, well, he is up and down. If I had to choose one, I’d go with Alexander simply because Rivers is a seasoned QB.
Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman at Carolina or Oakland QB Carson Palmer at home against New Orleans — who do you start?
Tim: Palmer. He faces the porous Saints’ pass defense, while Carolina is so bad against the run, Freeman won’t need to throw much. Freeman’s numbers should be OK, but not spectacular.
Ben: Palmer should shred the New Orleans D, period.