Fantasy Football Week 11 Start Em’/Sit Em’
Image: Rob Carr/Getty Images
By: Dustin Dietz
QB – Carson Palmer vs. New Orleans Saints
I have used many adjectives to describe how awful the New Orleans defense is. So, I feel using another one is rather redundant. The fact is the Saints cannot play a lick of defense. Despite knocking the Falcons from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, the Saints allowed Matt Ryan to pass for 408 yards. New Orleans has given up the 3rd most TD passes in the league, and has had the 5th most points scored against them. Carson Palmer might be becoming a geriatric statue in the pocket, but he has been superb the last three games as he has thrown 8 touchdowns passes and has averaged 330 yards passing. Oakland probably will not win the game, but scoring points against New Orleans will not be an issue.
RB – Marcel Reece vs. New Orleans Saints
With running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson unavailable to play last week due to injuries, Reece received the lion’s share of the touches against the Ravens. Reece was actually productive as he gained 106 total yards with a career high 13 carries and 7 catches in the 55-20 blowout loss. If McFadden and Goodson are again both sidelined, and they should be due to high ankle sprains, start Reece as he should experience success against a defense which allows the second most fantasy points to running backs.
WR – Donnie Avery vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots pass defense is abysmal as they are in the bottom 5 in the NFL in yards passing and touchdown passes allowed. They are giving up 285 yards passing per game, and with rookie stud Andrew Luck and the Colts coming in this week, I envision Indianapolis imploring an aerial assault. The Patriots will double team Reggie Wayne most of the afternoon, which should allow Avery to see one-on-one coverage and score his first touchdown since Week 1.
TE – Brent Celek vs. Washington Redskins
Michael Vick will be out this week with a severe concussion, and many feel he will not play another down with the Eagles. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles takes over the Eagles offense and will rely heavily on Celek as the check down receiver when his pocket will undoubtedly collapse due to the Eagles poor offensive line being unable to block pass rushers. Washington has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Pick up Celek off of the waiver wire and enjoy at least 10 points.
K – Connor Barth vs. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to kickers, and the Buccaneers have scored the 3rd most points in the NFL, including 36 points per game since their bye week. If one has Blair Walsh on a bye week, pick up Barth.
Defense/Special Teams – Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals defense has forced a turnover in their last 8 games, including 4 last week against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Cincinnati averages 3 sacks per game, and this week they face a 1-8 Chiefs team which has scored the 3rd fewest points in the NFL. The Chiefs have turned the ball over multiple times every game except one, last week against Pittsburgh. Kansas City is dreadful and is the leading candidate to finish with the worst record in the league.
QB – Philip Rivers vs. Denver Broncos
Rivers has been described as the “Tony Romo of the AFC,” by many pundits. When one looks into the statistics, it is hard to argue with them. Rivers has thrown an interception in every game except two, including two last week against Tampa Bay in which he made awful decisions. The last time the Chargers played the Broncos, Rivers scored zero fantasy points and turned the ball over 6 times. Denver has been on a roll lately as they have won four consecutive games and their defense has caused 10 turnovers in those four games. Avoid Rivers this week.
RB – Rashad Jennings vs. Houston Texans
The Texans are 3rd in the NFL against the run and have allowed the fewest touchdowns on the ground. Jennings has been very pedestrian and can be considered a disappointment to owners who claimed him last month after Maurice Jones-Drew went down with an injury. The former Liberty Flame has averaged 41 yards on the ground in his four starts this year. After gaining a miniscule 27 yards on 11 carries last week, Jennings is in danger of losing carries.
WR – Brandon Marshall vs. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers defense is not quite as dominant as they were last year, but they still allow the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. With Jason Campbell taking over at quarterback this week for an injured Jay Cutler, chances of Marshall producing are rather ominous. If one has better options at receiver, I suggest using them this week.
TE – Owen Daniels vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Daniels missed the game last Sunday against Chicago, but has returned to practice. Despite the fact Daniels has caught a touchdown pass in 5 of the last 6 games he participated in, he is not a good option this week. I know this might be rather surprising information, but only one team has not allowed an opposing tight end to catch a TD, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars also allow the fewest points scored to opposing tight ends. I know, I am perplexed as well. Even if Daniels was healthy, I would suggest other options.
K – Justin Tucker vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers and Ravens usually play in ferocious, hard-hitting slug fests with minimal amounts of scoring. Pittsburgh allows only 12 points per game at home, and has the number one overall defense in the NFL. The scoreboard will not be lighting up this Sunday night in one of the more anticipated games of 2012.
Defense/Special Teams – Green Bay Packers
The Packers defense has allowed the 9th fewest points, and is in the middle of the pack in turnovers forced. However, the Lions have scored 23 points per game in their last five and possess the best passing offense in football. The Packers have difficulty defending the pass, and if they are unable to pressure Matt Stafford, it could be a long day for the Green Bay defense. The last time the Packers and Lions played was in Week 17 last year when Matt Stafford threw for over 500 yards.
Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18