Stars of Week 11

QB: Jared Goff, LAR: 31-49, 413 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs (4 carries, 6 yards, 1 TD)

RB: Saquon Barkley, NYG: 27 carries, 142 yards, 2 TDs (2 catches, 10 yards, 1 TD)

WR: TY Hilton, IND: 9 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs

TE: Travis Kelce, KC: 10 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD 

Several NFL storylines emerged in Week 11, including the Rams and Chiefs putting on the best regular season game of all time, the Saints continuing to proclaim their alpha status as the league’s top team notwithstanding the MNF participants, the Colts showing that they may be playoff ready in 2018, Alex Smith suffering a gruesome leg injury, and not unrelatedly, the Cowboys emerging as the favorite in the NFC East.

In the fantasy world, we’ve got household names earning top honors this week. Jared Goff won the historic duel with Patrick Mahomes, and he’s become a top 5 fantasy QB, Saquon Barkley has Giants’ fans rightfully excited for the future. Barkley ate against the Bucs, and he’ll be a top five pick in next year’s fantasy drafts. A healthy Andrew Luck has the Colts eyeing a playoff spot, and Luck’s progress to form has brought TY Hilton back to the forefront of the top fantasy WR discussion. Hilton scored two TDs against the Titans and surpassed 150 receiving yards, catching all nine of his targets. Hilton resumes his perch as a WR1 with a healthy Luck in place. The Chiefs need to be represented as well. Travis Kelce did Travis Kelce things, which means lots of catches, covering lots of yards and finding the end zone. Kelce has become the number one tight end in fantasy football.

Week 11 Takeaways – A Closer Look

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Lamar Jackson, QB – BAL: 13-19, 150 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT (27 carries, 117 yards, 0 TDs)

Analysis: With Lamar Jackson starting in place of an injured Joe Flacco, we’ve now had each QB selected in the first round of the 2018 draft start a game. From that group, Jackson has the largest learning curve in terms of developing as an NFL passer, so it was no surprise that much of his debut was geared towards running the ball. Did anyone anticipate Jackson carrying the rock 27 times though? Not a chance. Well, we learned from his performance against the Bengals that Jackson can indeed create excitement as a runner, but is nowhere close to being ready as a passer. The timing for Flacco’s return from a hip injury is uncertain, but looking at the Ravens’ upcoming schedule, they’ve got the Raiders next, followed by the Falcons, Chiefs and Buc. You couldn’t really ask for better matchups for Jackson for the next month, so if Flacco remains out, then Jackson makes for an exciting play at QB. I would expect to rank him in the 10-15 range, and he’ll blow up in at least one of those games. So if you need a QB, Lamar Jackson can provide help if Flacco remains out.

- Gus Edwards, RB – BAL: 17 carries, 115 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: So who is Gus Edwards? That’s a very important question we need answered as we head into Week 12 waiver pickups. Well, Edwards played at Rutgers and joined the Ravens as an undrafted free agent. Edwards is a big bruising, north to south runner, and he provides the team with a physicality that Collins doesn’t quite provide. Edwards essentially took over lead RB duties from the second quarter on, and he nearly tripled Collins’ snaps. The Ravens haven’t had the same level of production from Collins, and it’s been an open discussion that the team has tried to upgrade its backfield. While the team took a flyer on Ty Montgomery, it appears the upgrade will come internally. As mentioned in Lamar Jackson’s writeup, the team faces a stretch of poor run defenses. Edwards is a must add in all league formats, and he has potential to be an RB2 for the stretch run.

- Tre’Quan Smith, WR – NO: 10 catches, 157 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: Tre’Quan Smith has been on the periphery of fantasy sleepers over the last few weeks, due in large part to the amazing opportunity he has in the Saints’ juggernaut offense. The Saints picked Smith in the third round of the 2018 draft, and have very high expectations for their rookie pass catcher. What’s kept Smith on the outside looking in, however, has been inconsistent performance. Smith had his first 100 yard receiving game in October against the Redskins, and he found the end zone twice in that game to boot. Outside of that game, his yardage totals were 0, 18, 0, 44, 18 and 23. So going into the tilt against the Eagles, Smith was rightfully viewed as a player who could post a big game, but was unlikely to do so. With now his second monster game in the books, we need to revisit Smith’s progress. The key difference between this past weekend’s performance versus the Eagles and his initial triple digit yardage game against the Redskins is Smith’s targets. Brees targeted Smith a whopping 13 times this past Sunday, showing evidence that Brees is welcoming Smith into the circle of trust. Against the Redskins, Smith was targeted a measly three times, and accumulated his yardage throw hugely vertical targets. While Smith’s inconsistency still remains, the increase in targets provides more confidence that he will continue to see increased involvement in the offense. Smith is worth a pickup if you need a WR. He’s a flex candidate with some level of volatility.

- Gerald Everett, TE - LAR: 3 catches, 49 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: The Rams lost Cooper Kupp for the season in their Week 10 matchup with the Seahawks, and the question arose as to who would fill Kupp’s rather large void. We’ve got our answer now, with WR Josh Reynolds and TEs Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee each taking on a piece of the responsibility. All three guys played a key role in the Rams’ win against the Chiefs, with Everett catching the game winning TD from Goff with two minutes left in the contest – his second TD of the game. The loss of Kupp means the Rams will utilize their tight ends far more in the passing game, and Everett has the brighter ceiling over Higbee for fantasy purposes. Everett’s not likely to be consistent from week to week, but don’t be surprised for him to find the end zone on an every other game pace the rest of the way. Everett should place as a top 15 TE, so if you need help at the position, he’s worth a look.

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been featured above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.

QB: Baker Mayfield, CLE

RB: Josh Adams, PHI

RB: Theo Riddick, DET (he’s the guy to own with Kerryon Johnson out)

WR: DJ Moore, CAR

WR: Keke Coutee, HOU

TE: Cameron Brate, TB (great value now with OJ Howard out for the year)

Week 12 Rankings 


  1. Drew Brees, NO              Atl
  2. Andrew Luck, Ind            Mia
  3. Matt Ryan, Atl                 @NO
  4. Aaron Rodgers, GB          @Min
  5. Cam Newton, Car            Sea
  6. Tom Brady, NE                @NYJ
  7. Jameis Winston, TB         SF
  8. Philip Rivers, LAC            Ari
  9. Russell Wilson, Sea         @Car
  10. Carson Wentz, Phi           NYG
  11. Kirk Cousins, Min            GB
  12. Deshaun Watson, Hou     Ten
  13. Lamar Jackson, Bal         Oak
  14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit    @Den
  15. Dak Prescott, Dal            Wsh
  16. Baker Mayfield, Cle         @Cin
  17. Nick Mullens, SF             @TB
  18. Eli Manning, NYG            @Phi
  19. Andy Dalton, Cin             Cle
  20. Matthew Stafford, Det     Chi


Running Backs:


  1. Alvin Kamara, NO            Atl
  2. Saquon Barkley, NYG       @Phi
  3. Melvin Gordon, LAC         Ari
  4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dal           Wsh
  5. Christian McCaffrey, Car  Sea
  6. David Johnson, Ari          @LAC
  7. James Conner, Pit           @Den
  8. Leonard Fournette, Jax    @Buf
  9. James White, NE             @NYJ
  10. Joe Mixon, Cin                 Cle
  11. Nick Chubb, Cle               @Cin
  12. Mark Ingram, NO             Atl
  13. Dalvin Cook, Min              GB
  14. Phillip Lindsay, Den           Pit
  15. Aaron Jones, GB               @Min
  16. Marlon Mack, Ind              Mia
  17. Sony Michel, NE                @NYJ
  18. Adrian Peterson, Wsh        @Dal
  19. Matt Breida, SF                 @TB
  20. Tevin Coleman, Atl            @NO
  21. Lamar Miller, Hou              Ten
  22. Tarik Cohen, Chi               @Det
  23. Dion Lewis, Ten                @Hou
  24. Chris Carson, Sea             @Car
  25. Gus Edwards, Bal              Oak
  26. Duke Johnson Jr., Cle        @Cin
  27. Theo Riddick, Det             Chi
  28. Jordan Howard, Chi          @Det
  29. Josh Adams, Phi               NYG
  30. LeSean McCoy, Buf           Jax
  31. Kenyan Drake, Mia           @Ind
  32. Jalen Richard, Oak           @Bal
  33. Peyton Barber, TB            SF
  34. Isaiah Crowell, NYJ          NE
  35. Frank Gore, Mia              @Ind
  36. Royce Freeman, Den       Pit
  37. Nyheim Hines, Ind          Mia
  38. Austin Ekeler, LAC           Ari
  39. Alex Collins, Bal              Oak
  40. Mike Davis, Sea              @Car

Wide Receivers:

  1. Michael Thomas, NO       Atl
  2. Julio Jones, Atl               @NO
  3. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG   @Phi
  4. Adam Thielen, Min          GB
  5. Antonio Brown, Pit          @Den
  6. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou    Ten
  7. Keenan Allen, LAC           Ari
  8. Mike Evans, TB                SF
  9. Davante Adams, GB         @Min
  10. Stefon Diggs, Min            GB
  11. T.Y. Hilton, Ind                Mia
  12. J. Smith-Schuster, Pit      @Den
  13. A.J. Green, Cin               Cle
  14. Jarvis Landry, Cle           @Cin
  15. Julian Edelman, NE         @NYJ
  16. E. Sanders, Den              Pit
  17. Amari Cooper, Dal           Wsh
  18. Kenny Golladay, Det        Chi
  19. Josh Gordon, NE             @NYJ
  20. Tyler Boyd, Cin               Cle
  21. Alshon Jeffery, Phi           NYG
  22. Doug Baldwin, Sea          @Car
  23. Corey Davis, Ten             @Hou
  24. Tyler Lockett, Sea            @Car
  25. Courtland Sutton, Den     Pit
  26. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari         @LAC
  27. Allen Robinson, Chi         @Det
  28. Golden Tate, Phi              NYG
  29. Devin Funchess, Car        Sea
  30. Tre'Quan Smith, NO         Atl
  31. DJ Moore, Car                  Sea
  32. Danny Amendola, Mia      @Ind
  33. M. Valdes-Scantling, GB   @Min
  34. DeSean Jackson, TB         SF
  35. Sterling Shepard, NYG     @Phi
  36. Calvin Ridley, Atl             @NO
  37. Keke Coutee, Hou            Ten
  38. Mohamed Sanu, Atl         @NO
  39. Christian Kirk, Ari            @LAC
  40. D. Thomas, Hou               Ten 

Tight End:

  1. Zach Ertz, Phi                   NYG
  2. George Kittle, SF              @TB
  3. Rob Gronkowski, NE         @NYJ
  4. Greg Olsen, Car                Sea
  5. Jack Doyle, Ind                 Mia
  6. Austin Hooper, Atl            @NO
  7. Jordan Reed, Wsh            @Dal
  8. Vance McDonald, Pit        @Den
  9. Evan Engram, NYG          @Phi
  10. David Njoku, Cle             @Cin
  11. Cameron Brate, TB          SF
  12. Jared Cook, Oak              @Bal
  13. Trey Burton, Chi              @Det
  14. Kyle Rudolph, Min           GB
  15. Eric Ebron, Ind               Mia
  16. C.J. Uzomah, Cin            Cle
  17. Benjamin Watson, NO     Atl
  18. Ricky Seals-Jones, Ari     @LAC
  19. Jeff Heuerman, Den        Pit
  20. Nick Vannett, Sea           @Car

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Chicago Bears                 @Det
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars        @Buf
  3. Houston Texans               Ten
  4. Los Angeles Chargers       Ari
  5. Buffalo Bills                     Jax
  6. Dallas Cowboys               Wsh
  7. Baltimore Ravens            Oak
  8. New England Patriots      @NYJ
  9. Indianapolis Colts           Mia
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers         @Den
  11. Tennessee Titans            @Hou
  12. Washington Redskins      @Dal
  13. Carolina Panthers            Sea
  14. Minnesota Vikings           GB
  15. Philadelphia Eagles         NYG