This post is from 2009!
Click for the 2010 Week 11 Start em, Sit em picks
I knew that if I stuck with Jamaal Charles long enough that he would come through for me; and come through he did. Not that it should be all that surprising, but Charles carved up the Raiders’ D for 100+ yards and a touchdown.
The question now becomes whether or not Charles is a must-start on a go forward basis. Most weeks he may be, but you certainly have to wonder about him this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers on the schedule.
I’ll tell you one guy I wouldn’t question in Week 11: Ricky Williams. He should be a guy you’re playing most weeks anyway, but with Ronnie Brown’s status in doubt for Thursday night, Ricky’s value skyrockets.
As I try to do every week, I’ll make my best attempt to steer you in the right direction about Charles, Williams, and a host of other players. That’s what this post is all about, so let’s get to it.
As has become our custom for these start ‘em, sit ‘em breakdowns, here is a little love for one of our favorite content sponsors, Sadler’s Smokehouse:
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And now, a quick look back at the hits and misses from Week 10:
- Start ‘em hits: Brett Favre, MIN; Jamaal Charles, KC; Calvin Johnson, DET; John Carlson, SEA (thanks to his TD!); Baltimore Ravens D/ST
- Start ‘em misses: Calvin Johnson and John Carlson weren’t great, but I think they did enough to stay out of the miss category. But just so you know, I know they weren’t slam dunks.
- Sit ‘em hits: Julius Jones, SEA; Austin Collie, IND; Fred Davis, WAS; Indianapolis and New England D/ST units
- Sit ‘em misses: David Garrard, JAX;
Okay, time to jump right into the Week 11 start ‘em, sit ‘em picks. Remember that the byes are over, so everyone is fair game for a start…unless they play for the Browns.
(Random thought: since the Lions and Browns are playing this week, does it actually make someone not named Calvin Johnson playable? Tempting right?)
Week 11 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice
Week 11 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Quarterbacks
Start ‘em: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at Denver Broncos)
My affection for Philip Rivers continues to grow by the week. He was brilliant in Week 10 against Philadelphia, going 20-25 for 231 yards, two TDs, and no interceptions. On the season, he’s averaging 275.1 yards per game and almost two TDs per game, while only tossing six INTs thus far.
So then why does Yahoo have Rivers listed as only the 10th best QB for Week 11? And behind Eli Manning? Really?
The reason is probably the matchup, which comes against Denver and its 5th rated defense. And while the Broncos will provide a greater challenge than Rivers’ last four opponents (Eagles, Giants, Raiders, Chiefs), I don’t think it’s enough that it should scare you from starting Rivers.
Consider this: Champ Bailey has been in Denver for a long time; still, Rivers has a career QB rating of 110.7 against Denver, throws for almost 250 yards per game, and has thrown 13 TDs against only four INTs in eight career games against the Broncos.
By this point, unless you have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, I think Philip Rivers has to be a weekly must-start. Don’t blow it and outthink yourself just because Denver’s on the schedule. Rivers has succeeded against Denver before, and he’ll do it again this week.
Philip Rivers Week 11 fantasy projection: 260 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Other start ‘em QBs for Week 10
- Matt Schaub is back and going against one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses in Tennessee. He has to be in your lineup.
- The Chicago Bears have given up the 5th most TD passes in the NFL. Donovan McNabb is already licking his chops for Sunday night; start him!
- Ben Roethlisberger was slowed by Cincinnati on Sunday and did not look good, but he should get back on track against Kansas City. In 12-team and other deeper leagues, Big Ben makes a good start.
Sit ‘em: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at New York Giants)
I love Matt Ryan long-term (even for later on this season) and he’s my starting QB in a couple of leagues. I just won’t have him starting this week.
The reason is that Ryan is really struggling right now. He has thrown eight INTs in the last four games against only five TDs. Granted, he’s faced some pretty good pass defenses, and three of them on the road (@DAL, @NO, WAS, @CAR), but something still feels off. At this point, I want to see him have a solid outing before I trust him enough to throw him out there in a 1-QB league.
Now, you might wonder if the Giants present a good matchup for Ryan. Yes, they have given up 15 TD passes this year (7th worst) and are on a huge slide. However, they are at home, coming off of their bye week, and getting CB Aaron Ross back.
In a week that is make-or-break for many of us, there are about 15-16 QBs I’d rather have starting this week than Matt Ryan. Hopefully you have one of them.
Matt Ryan Week 11 fantasy projection: 215 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INT
Other sit ‘em QB for Week 11:
- Tony Romo has only thrown one TD pass in each of his last two games and faces Washington’s top-ranked pass D this week.
- Jay Cutler is playing a prime-time game. Uh oh…
- David Garrard is facing Buffalo, a team that cannot stop the run but that is pretty good against the pass. Good week to sit David.
Week 11 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Running Backs
Start ‘em: Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins (vs Carolina Panthers)
This one should go without saying considering Williams’ nose for the end zone this year (6 TDs) and the fact that Ronnie Brown is unlikely to play Thursday night, but I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Ricky is averaging 5.3 yards per carry on the season and is coming off a tremendous 20-carry, 102-yard effort last week against Tampa Bay. He also has a nice matchup this week as Carolina is only 25th against the run (128.1 yards per game) and has given up 9 rushing TDs.
We know that Miami is committed to the run and committed to Ricky as being a major part of their attack. With Ronnie Brown out, Ricky should again get 20+ carries and should grab at least one TD. Start him with confidence.
Ricky Williams Week 10 fantasy projection: 105 yards, 2 TDs, 3 rec, 25 yards
Other start ‘em RBs for Week 11:
- Steve Slaton. Surprised to see him here? Call it a hunch. Gary Kubiak says he will base playing time on how his guys practiced during the bye week. With Slaton’s 2008 draft classmate Chris Johnson coming to town Monday night, I have a feeling Slaton will be a little extra motivated to get out there and play well.
- Beanie Wells is averaging 5.3+ yards per carry the last two weeks and scored two TDs last week. He’s also getting 13-16 touches per game. With St. Louis on the Week 11 docket, it’s a good time to start Wells.
- LeSean McCoy will most likely be starting this week with Brian Westbrook likely out with another concussion. This guy plays well when he starts. I think he should be in your lineup.
Sit ‘em: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Pittsburgh Steelers)
But let’s repeat who the game was against. Say it with me now: the Oakland Raiders.
This week, Charles gets to walk into a stirred-up hornets nest. The Steelers are coming off a loss to the Bengals that dropped them to 6-3. Mike Tomlin was not happy and something tells me Pittsburgh will be fired up and ready to go.
The Steelers give up only 69.3 yards per game on the ground, which is almost 15 yards less than the 2nd best team. For KC to have any chance, Matt Cassel is going to have to take advantage of Troy Polamalu’s absence and get it done through the air.
While Charles does provide some value as a receiver (seven catches the last two weeks) it is not enough, nor is Charles proven enough, to be a start against Pittsburgh.
Jamaal Charles Week 11 fantasy projection: 35 yards rushing, 4 rec, 20 yards, 0 TDs
Other sit ‘em RBs for Week 11:
- I am not a big Cadillac Williams fan this week. He is averaging less than 50 yards per game, less than 4.0 yards per carry, and has scored only 3 TDs. Plus, he is facing New Orleans this week, which means the Bucs will likely be behind and forced to throw.
- Felix Jones remains an emphatic sit as he has all of seven touches the last two weeks. So much for my preseason sleeper.
- Justin Forsett had a great week last week against Minnesota, but I’m wary. The Vikings have a great defense and the Seahawks have to go to Minnesota. I’d rather wait a week and see if Forsett can repeat his Week 10 success.
Week 11 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Wide Receivers
Start ‘em: Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers (vs San Francisco 49ers)
If you’re like me, a Jennings owner, this has been a frustrating season for you. After scoring 21 TDs the last two seasons, Jennings has scored a whopping two this year. The main reason why is that his yards per catch has gone from 17.4 in 2007 to 16.2 in 2008 to 14.3 this year.
I think, however, that this weekend could be a breakout of sorts of Jennings. Call it wishful thinking if you like, but there are numbers to back it up.
San Francisco is outstanding against the run, giving up only 87.7 yards per game and allowing just 8 rushing TDs on the season. Against the pass, however, San Francisco is 29th in the league (248.3 yards per game). More importantly, they have given up the 7th most plays of 20+ yards and the 9th most plays of 40+ yards.
That means there could be some big plays available for Greg Jennings, if Aaron Rodgers can get some protection and get rid of the ball in a timely fashion. San Francisco is only 21st in the league in sacks, so Rodgers very well could find the going a bit less rough this week.
Greg Jennings Week 11 fantasy projection: 6 rec, 110 yards, TD
Other start ‘em WRs for Week 11:
- Lee Evans continues to be undervalued. He has 15 catches over the last four games, but more importantly has four TDs during that span. Jacksonville is susceptible to the deep ball.
- Sidney Rice has at least 136 yards receiving in three of his last four games. He has a whopping 786 yards receiving on the season. Start him, without question, as the TDs will be coming.
- Kevin Walter is coming around…finally. He has nine catches over his last two games and gets Tennessee’s woeful pass D this week. If there’s a matchup to start him, this is it.
Sit ‘em: Bernard Berrian, Minnesota Vikings (vs Seattle)
It is pretty clear that Bernard Berrian is no more than the third option on the Vikings’ offense (behind Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice). He may even be the 4th option considering the production the Vikings have gotten from Percy Harvin this season. And around the goalline, as we know, Berrian is barely even an option, and certainly nowhere near the option that Visanthe Shiancoe is.
So do you really want a 4th or 5th option starting for you at WR? Even for a team as good as Minnesota, in a matchup as good as this week’s against Seattle, I want to see some production from Berrian before I feel comfortable starting him.
Remember folks, this is Week 11. For many of you, it’s boom or bust this week in terms of the playoffs. I don’t want to put one of my spots in the hands of such a boom or bust player if I can help it. Find someone more consistent.
Bernard Berrian Week 11 fantasy projection: 3 rec, 45 yards, 0 TD
Other sit ‘em WRs for Week 11:
- I’m not buying Roy Williams. I know his numbers have been up the last two weeks, but the Cowboys are facing Washington next week and Wade Phillips already said that they relied too much on Tony Romo last week. Back to the running game (and more Miles Austin, I bet).
- I know that Terrell Owens had 85 receiving yards in Week 10, but he still only has one receiving TD on the year. Don’t be fooled into starting him.
- Michael Crabtree remains a sit until he proves he’s a red zone threat, which is what I’ve said about him all along. His receptions have dwindled over the last two weeks (three and four in weeks 9 and 10, respectively).
Week 11 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Tight Ends
Start ‘em: Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs New Orleans)
It is clear that K2 is a favorite of rookie QB Josh Freeman. Over the last two weeks, since Freeman took over the starting QB job, Winslow has 11 catches, 159 yards, and a TD.
With New Orleans coming to town, the Bucs will likely be down early and down a lot, forcing Freeman to take to the air. That is a terrific recipe for Kellen Winslow to have a successful week.
(And you all know that I don’t like Kellen Winslow, so you know I really mean it to put him here.)
Kellen Winslow Week 11 fantasy projection: 6 rec, 85 yards, 1 TD
Other start ‘em TEs for Week 11:
- Greg Olsen remains a guy you have to start. 12 receptions and 146 yards over the last two games.
- I know that Visanthe Shiancoe’s reception and yardage numbers aren’t great, but 13 TDs over the last 25 games are pretty nice. Seattle should provide plenty of opportunities for Minnesota to score.
Sit ‘em: Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens (at Indianapolis Colts)
If you’re starting Todd Heap, you are doing so based on reputation only. He has only six TDs since the beginning of the 2007 season and has to face Indianapolis this weekend. You can find better options at TE.
Todd Heap Week 11 fantasy projection: 3 rec, 21 yards
Other sit ‘em TEs for Week 11:
- Zach Miller has to be a sit. I know there is the potential there for a big week every now and then, but you have to wade through 1-catch efforts like last week to get to it. Not worth it.
- John Carlson is talented, but has only 12 catches over the last four games and will undoubtedly be used more as a blocker this week to slow down Minnesota’s pass rush.
Week 11 Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Picks: Defense / Special Teams Units
Start ‘em: Green Bay Packers D/ST (vs San Francisco)
The Packers would have had a shutout last week against Dallas were not for a garbage TD late. I know that the Packers’ O has struggled at times this year, and that their D has given up points at times, but this D has playmakers (namely, Charles Woodson) and is still worthy of starting most weeks.
A matchup this week against San Francisco is very advantageous. Sure, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis scare you, but I’ll take my chances against a team quarterbacked by Alex Smith.
Green Bay Packers D/ST Week 11 fantasy projection: 17 pts or less, 3 sacks, 2 INTs
Other sit ‘em D/ST units for Week 11:
- I’d feel bad stating the obvious and telling you to start Cincinnati (@Oak), Pittsburgh (@KC), and New Orleans (at TB) this week because it seems too obvious…but start ‘em all.
- Don’t you have to like Philly’s D knowing that they are going up against Jay Cutler in a primetime game? Get ready for some INTs!
Sit ‘em: Miami Dolphins D/ST (vs Carolina)
Miami has a solid defense, but they are missing the impact that Joey Porter made last year. Also, Carolina has its running game rolling again and Jake Delhomme is starting to protect the football. I think that these two strong running teams could put up more points than you might expect this Thursday.
Miami Dolphins D/ST Week 11 fantasy projection: 21 pts or more, 2 sacks, 1 INT
Other sit ‘em D/ST units for Week 11:
- I’m also not a big fan of Carolina. They are much better at stopping the pass than they are at stopping the run.
- Sit the Jets until further notice. They are really struggling defensively and now face the Patriots. Not a good mix.
Good luck in Week 11 everyone. I may get behind answering questions early in the week, but I promise to try my best to be totally caught up by Friday.
Thanks to everyone for their support of our fantasy content. It’s fun to write on a weekly basis, and hopefully it’s helping your teams into the playoffs.
* – Jamaal Charles photo credit: Top Fantasy Football
* – Ricky Williams photo credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images via About.com