It’s coming down to it; we’re about three weeks from the start of most fantasy football playoffs. How are you doing? Are you in need of a win the next couple of weeks? This week, hopefully, you’ll find that much needed win to get you into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at how we did in week 10, before checking out the bold predictions for week 11.
Week 10 Fantasy Results – Hot Sauce
Blake Bortles – 202 yards passing, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 3 rush yards. BURNED
LeGarrette Blount – 19 touches, 124 total yards, 0 TDs. ON FIRE
Jonathan Stewart – 19 touches, 39 yards, 1 TD. BURNED
Michael Thomas – 5 catches, 68 yards, 0 TDs. BURNED
Cameron Meredith – 4 catches, 49 yards, 0 TDs. BURNED
Week 10 Fantasy Results – Weak Sauce
Derek Carr – 295 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT. BURNED
Jay Ajayi – 19 touches, 84 total yards, 0 TDs. Mild Sauce
Mark Ingram – 10 touches, 75 total yards, 0 TDs. Mild Sauce
Jordy Nelson – 3 catches, 29 yards, 1 TD. ON FIRE
Jordan Matthews – 5 catches, 59 yards, 0 TDs. ON FIRE
How We Stand
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Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns vs New York Giants
Josh McCown isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but the Cleveland Browns are a better team with him in the game. Sure, the Browns are still winless, but McCown did lead them to two 20-point games in weeks two and eight.
In week two they lost by five to the stout Baltimore Ravens defense, and in week eight, they lost by three to the New York Jets. Those were his only two starts of the season, and in those games he managed quarterback ratings above 70.
McCown has the ability to make some plays in the passing game, and if he is able to get any time this week against a New York Giants pass defense that allows 262 yards passing per game, then he has a chance to lead the Cleveland Browns to their first win of 2016.
With Andrew Luck in the concussion protocol and Jay Cutler likely out for the season, McCown is a solid stream option in 12-team or deeper leagues.
Flavorful Forecast: 270 yards passing, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans Saints
Boy has it been a tough season for a running back who was drafted in the top five overall in most fantasy football leagues. Todd Gurley just hasn’t been able to get going in 2016 after a tremendous rookie season.
Only twice during the 2016 season has Gurley carried the ball for more than four yards per carry. This week in New Orleans, he will have a good opportunity to break out, and if it is ever going to happen, this is going to be the week.
Los Angeles has the defense to be able to keep the game close enough for Gurley to get some carries and New Orleans is tied for second with the most rushing touchdowns allowed (13) in the NFL.
Flavorful Forecast: 22 touches for 96 yards and 1 touchdown.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers
The Philadelphia Eagles have been decimated by injuries to their running back situation, but even before that, Wendell Smallwood was carving out a nice role for himself in the Philadelphia backfield. Over the last couple of games, Smallwood saw 13 carries per game and last saw as many as 17 touches.
Philadelphia’s offense has been struggling to get anything consistent going for the last several months, but Smallwood has some big-play ability. Against Green Bay’s poor defense that just saw Rob Kelley run for 137 yards and three touchdowns, Smallwood is a must-start for me in week 12.
Flavorful Forecast: 20 touches, 100 total yards, 1 touchdown.
Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins
Cole Beasley continues to keep his career-setting pace. In all but two games this year Beasley has seen at least six targets and is averaging 5.3 catches a game and 59 yards. He’s been good for five touchdowns in 10 games and continues to show strong chemistry with Dak Prescott.
This week against Washington, it’s likely that Dez Bryant gets the Josh Norman (pass interference) treatment leaving the secondary options like Cole Beasley.
I’d expect Beasley to turn in another solid performance and will have a chance to find the end zone as well.
Flavorful Forecast: 7 catches for 77 yards, 1 touchdown.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins vs San Francisco 49ers
I may be a little late to the party on DeVante Parker, but he has started to break out the last couple of weeks. In the last two games, Parker has led the Miami Dolphins with 8+ targets and had either 100 yards or a touchdown.
The San Francisco 49ers are the second worst team in the NFL having allowed 23 touchdown passes over their 10 games. Miami should be able to do whatever they want to against a poor 49ers defense that is giving up 250 yards passing per game.
Look for Parker to continue his strong second half of the season.
Flavorful Forecast: 6 catches, 90 yards, 1 touchdown.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys
Kirk Cousins is certainly on a roll at this point in the season. He has been playing good football, posting a passer rating of 97 or better in his last four games and 106 or better in three of his last four. Washington has won six of their last eight (one loss and one tie mixed in there) after losing their first two games of the season.
On a short week against a Dallas Cowboys defense that has done a pretty good job in coverage this season, I’m expecting Cousins to have a flop of a game.
Dallas is in the middle of the pack in passing yards allowed and net yards/attempt, but they’re in the top-five in scoring defense, having only allowed 18.7 points per game. Washington may be able to move the ball, but they aren’t going to score against the Dallas Cowboys this week like they did Green Bay in week 11.
Flavorless Forecast: 240 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans vs San Diego Chargers
Lamar Miller isn’t having a bad season. He’s actually been pretty good for the Houston Texans. Unfortunately, for someone who was drafted in the late-first or second round, his production has been a bit lacking, especially in the touchdown department.
With only three touchdowns in nine games, he isn’t having the season that many predicted after going to a run-heavy offense where he would be the featured back.
This week he faces the San Diego Chargers, who have been pretty good at keeping running backs from getting a lot of yards as they rank fifth in total rushing. Oddly, though, they’ve allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL with 14.
So what are we to make of a team that only allows 3.9 yards per carry but the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL? That San Diego is good against the run between the 20’s, but when it gets down to the red zone, they don’t hold.
With Brock Osweiler having his struggles at quarterback, I’m not sure the Houston Texans are going to get the ball into the red zone often enough to give Miller a chance to score touchdowns.
Flavorless Forecast: 20 touches for 70 yards.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans @ Chicago Bears
DeMarco Murray has resurrected his career since being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Tennessee Titans. The former Dallas Cowboys running back has been absolutely dynamic after being placed in a power running scheme again.
This week though, he’s looking at a Chicago Bears defense that has become a brick wall.
Since the Dallas Cowboys rushed for 199 yards against the Bears in week three, Chicago has only allowed three teams to rush for more than 80 yards in the last seven games. That’s pretty solid, if you ask me.
With Murray facing a team that allows only 3.7 yards per carry, I’d be concerned about his production this week.
Flavorless Forecast: 18 touches, 68 total yards.
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings
The Detroit Lions are in first place in the NFC North, which has a lot to do with their offense finding a rhythm over the last several weeks of the season.
One reason for that has been Golden Tate, who had been mostly absent over the first five weeks and then erupted in weeks 6-9.
Over that four week stretch, Tate saw 43 targets and caught 31 passes for 379 yards, and two touchdowns. He fell back down to earth against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 11 only posting three catches for 27 yards on four targets.
The Minnesota Vikings are much better against the pass than the Jacksonville Jaguars and have a better pass rush as well. Look for Tate to come up empty in the box score this week against a Vikings team that is desperate for a win.
Flavorless Forecast: 4 catches for 35 yards.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Seattle Seahawks
Aside from Mike Evans, there isn’t a whole lot to like about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense.
They’ve struggled to keep running backs healthy, and their wide out core doesn’t have much to scare a defense like the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle will very likely look to take Evans away and make the rest of the Buccaneers offense, led by Jameis Winston, beat them.
Seattle has only allowed eight passing touchdowns this season and have intercepted opposing quarterbacks nine times in their ten games, while only allowing on average about 230 yards passing.
Tampa Bay isn’t able to do much unless they throw the ball, and they are going to have a difficult time doing that this week.
Flavorless Forecast: 4 catches, 60 yards, no touchdowns.
Waiver Wire Adds For Week 12
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams – Yep, I’m gonna go there. The bye weeks are over, so you don’t need him as a fill in, but if your QB1 has a bad matchup and you need a boom or bust play, you could do worse than Goff facing the New Orleans Saints who have not been great on defense this year.
Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks – In the off chance that Rawls is available on your waiver wire, he is the top priority this week. He’ll get volume in the Seattle Seahawks offense. Add him at all costs.
Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles – The Philadelphia Eagles backfield just took a turn with potential long-term injuries to Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews. Smallwood is going to get a huge opportunity against a Green Bay Packers team that is not very good against the run.
Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills – We did this dance a few weeks ago, but Gillislee becomes another important add as feature back LeSean McCoy had surgery on a broken thumb Sunday night. With no time table in place for McCoy’s return at the moment, Gillislee looks to have a decent opportunity for run-heavy Buffalo.
Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears – Langford still sits behind Jordan Howard on the Chicago Bears depth chart, but Langford saw 11 touches and was able to score a touchdown through the air.
Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals – LaFell is the most experienced receiver on a Cincinnati Bengals team that is now decimated by injury with the loss of AJ Green and Giovani Bernard. Saw nine targets in week 11.
Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots – With Chris Hogan ailing, Mitchell turned five targets into 98 yards and a score against the San Francisco 49ers in week 11. As he gains the trust of Tom Brady, Mitchell will see an expanded role.
Tight Ends of Note – If you lost Zach Miller for the season like I did yesterday, you might be looking for some options off of the waiver wire. At this point in the season you aren’t going to find much, but you want to look for players with opportunity. To me those players are Vance McDonald (SF), Lance Kendricks (LA), and Charles Clay (BUF), in that order. They aren’t great options by any means, but they are the best available in my opinion.