Our Week 11 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is an in-depth look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they will impact your lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Our list of Week 11 quarterback starts and sits features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup, or fail to meet expectations due to the strength of their opponent.
Like many others, I’ve conditioned myself for weeks to prepare for the imminent retreat back to Earth for Marcus Mariota’s gawdly numbers. Yet, it hasn’t happened. Instead, Mariota has blossomed into an elite fantasy quarterback. I know, just writing that sentence is awkward in general. That being said, it’s time to officially put all the Mariota naysayers to rest with some cold-hard facts. Mariota has generated 17 + fantasy points in eight of ten games this year and ranks fourth in fantasy points for quarterbacks. He’s thrown 21 passing TDs which also ranks fourth on the year, behind only Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers. Mariota has a fantastic chance to keep it rolling this week against a Colts secondary allowing the second most passing yards in the NFL. Unless he hits a rough patch in the waning weeks of the season, Mariota should be viewed as the real deal in terms of returning QB1 value to owners everywhere.
Despite receiving my “sit” label in last week’s column, Kirk Cousins turned in a solid 18 fantasy point performance vs. the Vikings defense in Washington’s Week 10 victory. This week, I’m not taking a chance of making the same mistake. After Mariota absolutely dismantled the Packers pathetic excuse of a pass defense last week, Captain Kirk will be hungry to avenge last season’s playoff loss to Green Bay. After a slow start to the season, Cousins has been consistently productive and has managed to limit his number of mistakes. The Packers are battling a number of defensive injuries and are currently an easy target to pick-on. Cousins owners should be revving their engines up this week. Start ’em!
What do Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, and Tyrod Taylor all have in common? Well, besides the fact they all most likely went behind Cam Newton in your drat, they’ve also managed to score more fantasy points than the reigning NFL MVP. Despite the massive disappointment from Newton and the Panthers this season, there’s still a few signs of life. While Newton hasn’t thrown more than 1 TD since Week 6 and more than 2 TDs since Week 2, he looked more comfortable scrambling and added his first rushing touchdown since Week 6. Newton has a great chance to explode back onto the scene when the Panthers host the Saints and their 32nd ranked pass-defense. As the Panthers look to hang onto dear life for their playoff hope, look for Newton to come out firing on Thursday Night.
After starting out the season red-hot, Matthew Stafford has taken it down a notch, at least from a fantasy perspective (he’s still leading game-winning drives). Staff has only thrown 4 TDs over this last three contests and gets a Jacksonville defense that sneakily ranks fourth against the pass this season. With Marvin Jones doing his best Houdini act over the past few weeks, it has made it increasingly difficult on Stafford and the Lions offense to unleash the aerial onslaught. I don’t expect this one to be a shootout, so I think it’ll be difficult for Stafford to post big numbers this week vs. the Jaguars. Sit ’em!
Averaging 20 fantasy points over his last four games, Jameis Winston is starting to round into the quarterback the Buccaneers and fantasy owners thought he could be after a promising rookie campaign. While he still projects to be a useful QB1 the rest of the year, this week he’ll get a more difficult test. The Bucs travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in what will be a hostile environment. The Chiefs defense is coming off an impressive performance in last week’s win over the Panthers and I think this will shape up to be more of a middling start for Jameis and the Bucs offense. Winston will be closer to 15 than 10 in the qb rankings for Week 11.
One could say that the Bills’ Week 9 loss in Seattle was pretty emblematic of their season. Lots of bad luck with officiating and too little, too late for a team that could boast a better record than 4-5. That being said, Tyrod Taylor has managed to string together a solid season in spite of missing the services of Sammy Watkins for the last seven games. This week won’t be any easier on T-Mobile and the Bills, as they travel to Cincinnati in a showdown of two teams that absolutely need a win. With Shady McCoy that much healthier off a Bye, look for the Bills to deploy a run-dominant approach this week. I wouldn’t be shocked if Taylor attempted less than 25 passes. Sit ’em!