5 Fantasy Football Stars to Start or Sit on Sunday, Week 11
We already took a look at some Week 11 players to start or sit, including Alfred Morris and Michael Turner. We also took a look at some of the biggest sleepers from this week, including Carson Palmer and Owen Daniels. But there's many more questions to be answered; consider us your own personal Ken Jennings.
If you're looking for the full list of who we recommend for this week, head to our Week 11 Projections Page, but for some more in-depth analysis of this week's cut line guys, read below. Find out why a certain Jets back might make others Greene with envy this week and why trusting the Niners' passing attack might not be the best idea.
Fantasy Football Best Starts/Must Sits, Sunday Week 11
Shonn Greene - New York Jets
Week 11: 9.56 Projected Points (#14 Ranked RB)
Percent Started: 56%
Verdict: Start Him
Ignore all the hoopla that's going on at the quarterback position, and you'll notice that, hey, Greene's actually turning into a pretty good fantasy running back candidate. And it's all due to - who would have thought - the Jets actually giving Greene the ball like they planned to in the beginning of the season.
Greene now has registered four straight games with at least 15 carries; he had only two such games in the Jets' first five. And while he may not have the big fantasy point total from the past two weeks, he's still been effective: he's combined for 4.5 yards per carry in those last two games.
Perhaps most important is the matchup. The St. Louis Rams provide both the key points you look for in an opposing defense for a running back: a weak yards per carry average, and the unlikelihood of turning this game into a pass-filled shootout. The Rams have allowed at least 15 FP to opposing backs in each of their past two games.
Darren Sproles - New Orleans Saints
Week 11: 7.06 Projected Points (#26 Ranked RB)
Percent Started: 44%
Verdict: Sit Him
Coming back from injury, you may be tempted to instantly re-insert Sproles into your starting lineup. If you're in a PPR league, that's probably not a bad idea. But for the rest of you brave Sproles-owning souls, I would not expect the consistency from Sproles this week.
The emergence of Chris Ivory as a running option muddies a backfield even further that was already attempting to juggle Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Sproles. While I don't believe Ivory will cut into Sproles' catches (3.62 projected receptions) too much, we project Sproles to only have 6.51 carries this week with the rest of the options in the backfield.
The 26th overall Oakland defense provides a solid matchup for Sproles this week, but not a good enough one to make any particular Saints running back a great option this week. I see the Saints looking more like Week 10 opponent Baltimore (throwing the ball up and down the field) rather than Week 9 opponent Tampa Bay (when the Muscle Hamster could crawl through the holes his offensive line gave him).
Denarius Moore - Oakland Raiders
Week 11: 9.83 Projected Points (#14 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 55%
Verdict: Start Him
Denarius Moore may hold a pathetic 49% catch rate and no single game above five receptions so far this season, but man the Raiders keep trying. In every single game Moore has played in this season (that is, every single Raiders game since Week 1), he has received at least eight Carson Palmer targets. His current 10.1 targets per game ranks in the top 15 in the league.
And it's resulted in solid execution for Moore. He has posted at least six FP in every single game he's played in this season, and while the touchdowns have been there (his five leads the Raiders), hitting 60 yards in seven of his nine games may be even more impressive.
When the Saints come marching in, his prospects shoot up even higher. numberFire's #32 opponent-adjusted defense should allow Moore plenty of open looks, and his catch rate for a single game may even peek above 70% for the first time in a while. (Well, maybe, I don't want to get ahead of myself here.) But no matter what, he's still an excellent play this week.
Malcom Floyd - San Diego Chargers
Week 11: 8.23 Projected Points (#30 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 41%
Verdict: Sit Him
I've recommended Floyd as a must-start candidate plenty of times in this space, so it may come as a surprise that I'm reversing course this week and recommending the Chargers receiver to ride the pine. But if there's one thing I've learned in my life (and I haven't learned much), it's that the numbers and matchups don't lie.
The struggling San Diego offense takes on a Denver defense that has been more efficient than their points allowed would let on. Denver currently holds numberFire's fourth-best opponent-adjusted defense this season, holding teams to 31.84 points under expectation so far this season. That makes them one of only seven NFL defenses that has allowed fewer points than the situation typically allows this season.
And it's likely that Floyd will be caught in the crossfire. With the emergence of Danario Alexander as another receiving threat, Floyd's looks have taken a hit in the past two weeks. He only combined for 11 Philip Rivers targets over the past two weeks; he hasn't finished a game with more than seven looks since Week 6. If he doesn't catch a touchdown (and we have him at only 0.35 projected TDs this week), he has very little upside with the amount of yards he'll gain.
Michael Crabtree - San Francisco 49ers
Week 11: 7.77 Projected Points (#34 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 40%
Verdict: Sit Him
I'm not quite sure who exactly out there is tempted to start a Niners receiver on a normal week, let alone against the Bears' stellar defense. But Buster Posey's MVP must have made people think that San Francisco athletes can't fail, because Crabtree is currently being started in two-fifths of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Let's make this as simple as humanly possible: don't do it. The Bears have given up 94.61 points less than expectation so far this year, an average of over nine points per game, meaning that Crabtree's touchdown opportunities will be extremely limited. And while Crabtree has been the leading target-getter for the Niners in each of the past three weeks, that hasn't meant much with the amount Alex Smith has been throwing the ball. Crabtree hasn't topped six targets in a game since Week 5 against the Bills.
Sure, there may be some points where you use Crabtree in a spot situation down the road. Just next week, we currently project 9.25 FP for him against New Orleans. But this is not that time unless you have a fantasy death wish (the worst kind of death wish). Run away quickly while you still can.