Week 11 is almost in the rearview mirror and it wasn’t a smooth ride for some of us. Our team of Pulitzer prize-winning* fantasy football analysts has pulled together a few things we learned in week 11 and no, it wasn’t to start Austin Ekeler. If you have to question that one week to week, fantasy football may be the wrong hobby for you.
Miles Sanders is still good, but it may not matter. Sanders returned from injured reserve after missing 3 games and rushed 16 times for 94 yards, including a 25-yard run. He did put the ball on the ground twice which is a concern, but hey, we’ll chalk it up to game rust. The real concern for Sanders is two-fold. One, in his absence, Jordan Howard resurrected his career and in spite of Sanders’ return, Howard still took 10 carries yesterday. This pattern probably won’t change going forward. Second, and this is the big one, Jalen Hurts hurts, no kills, Sanders in fantasy football. Hurts ran the ball a team-high 18 frustrating times and scored 3 rushing touchdowns. We like 16 rush attempts for Sanders, but unless he breaks a carry from outside the 10-yard line and runs for miles and miles for a TD, his fantasy upside is limited. Consider Sanders flex-worthy, however, since the running back landscape is a dumpster fire and not many running backs get 16 carries. Update: 4for4.com is reporting that Jordan Howard is most likely out week 12 with a knee sprain. This news does make us feel a little better about Sanders against the Giants.
Get on board with the Jets’ wide receiver Elijah Moore. I told you all about my dumbass reasons for sitting Moore this week, but it looks like he is the real deal. Yesterday he exploded for 8 catches, 141 yards, 1 TD, and 25.6 fantasy points. Since week 8 the Jets’ buffet of quarterbacks has targeted Moore 31 times for 24 receptions, 336 yards, and 4 TDs. That is a 77% catch rate and 14 yards per catch. His fantasy points over this 4 game stretch are 10.1, 23.9, 11.9, and 25.6. Yes, Moore is a Jet, but hold your nose, play him, and enjoy the ride.
Brandon Aiyuk is out of the Kyle Shanahan doghouse. In the 49ers’ first 6 games, Aiyuk was targeted 16 times or 2.7 times a game, and word on the street was that Aiyuk found a home in the Shanahan doghouse. In weeks 8-11, those targets have climbed to 26 or 6.5 per game along with 2 TDs. While Deebo Samuels is the alpha dog receiver on the 49ers squad, Aiyuk deserves a chance to play with the big dogs. Let’s go, Brandon!
Myles still has gas in the can. I personally drafted Gaskins, affectionately called Gas Can in our league, but after a poor start, I poured the gas out. In the first 6 games, Gaskins handled 63 total touches or 10.5 per game. That is utter frustration for a fantasy football manager. Then beginning week 7, Miami started filling up the Gas Can. In weeks 7-11, he has touched the ball 104 times, or 20.8 times a game, double his early rate. In the last 2 out of 3 games, the number is 26 touches. Gaskins crossed the goal line only 3 times in this 5 game stretch, but more touches lead to more opportunities. The Dolphins, on a 3 game winning streak, have the Panthers, Giants, and Jets coming up, a schedule that scares no one. Positive game scripts result in more run plays. It’s time to strike the match and light up the Gas Can. And if you read between the lines, go get the Miami defense.
It’s sad to say, but Russell Wilson may belong on your bench. Granted, he did miss 3 games with a finger injury, but Russ just isn’t cooking. In his 2 games back, Russ is 34 for 66 (51.5%), no touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 2 fumbles. His fantasy points are 5.64 and 8.48 in this stretch. In the meantime, New Orleans backup QB Trevor Siemian has thrown 41 completions on 74 attempts and 2 interceptions but has 5 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD. His fantasy points are 19.92 and 24.16 over the last 2 games. If you’re keeping score, Trevor beats Russ 44.08 to 14.12 and he’s available in almost 94% of ESPN leagues. So this point may be just as much about Siemian as it is Wilson. One of the biggest mistakes in fantasy football is to get stuck on brand names. The numbers don’t care about our preferences. Sometimes the bargains are the best deals.
Is it possible that the Kansas City Chiefs defense is actually good? The Chiefs absolutely throttled the high-scoring Cowboys yesterday 19-9. Coming into the game, the Cowboys led the NFL in scoring with 31.6 points a game, but the Chiefs knocked the Cowboys off their high horses and didn’t allow a single TD. They sacked Dak 5 times, intercepted him twice, and recovered a fumble. Considering how bad the Chiefs D was early in the season, it’s easy to overlook this one game as a bit of good luck or just a bad day at the office for the Cowboys. But the Chiefs D has actually scored double-digit points over the last 3 games and has held their last 4 opponents to a total of 47 points (11.75 per game). This number is a stark contrast to the 28 points a game allowed to their first 7 opponents. One caveat is that the Chiefs have a bye in week 12 and come back in week 13 against Denver. Denver isn’t scary, averaging 18.5 points a game over their last 4.
That’s it for week 11 and a few things we learned. Good luck in week 12!
Kendall “The Hexorcist” Lowman contributed to this article.
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