The end of the season is in sight and teams are starting to make a push for playoffs. This is when the “cream rises to the top”. Players we rely on and expect big stats from will start to stand out above the rest. Week 11 has four teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville and New York Jets. Let’s get to it.
Elite, Expensive: Andrew Luck, IND (Week 11 vs New England)
This game is a battle of great quarterbacks: Luck vs Tom Brady. Luck is coming off a bye, so he and Indianapolis have been studying how to strategically best the New England Patriots. I expect a shootout in primetime on Sunday Night Football. Luck should easily have over 300 yards passing and 3 touchdowns.
Middle of the Road: Philip Rivers, SD (Week 11 vs Oakland)
Rivers and San Diego entered their Week 10 bye after a humiliating shutout in Miami in Week 9. I expect San Diego to come out in Week 11 against a very generous Oakland defense and prove that Week 9 was an anomaly. Rivers will get back on track and should be started with confidence.
Cheap, High Upside: Colin Kaepernick, SF (Week 11 @ New York Giants)
Kaepernick finished Week 10 with an decent day. He had 210 yards passing, one touchdown, and added 24 rushing yards. In Week 11, he faces the Giants who are among the top ten for most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season. As I expect this game to be high scoring, I see Kaepernick finishing with over 250 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and adding at least another 30 yards rushing. That is a solid stat line for such a cheap option.
Elite, Expensive: Arian Foster, HOU (Week 11 @ Cleveland)
Arian Foster is having a great season. There is some question as to if he will play on Sunday, however, reports are saying he is good to go, so I expect him to handle the full workload. Cleveland does not have the strongest run defense this season. Foster comes out of the bye and silences the injury talk.
Middle of the Road: Mark Ingram, NO (Week 11 vs Cincinnati)
Ingram just ran for 120 yards against a pretty solid run defense. Ever since taking over as the primary back for New Orleans, he has been red hot. He now gets to play at home against the third-most generous run defense. I expect him to top 100 yards again and find the end zone at least once.
Cheap, High Upside: Steven Jackson, ATL (Week 11 @ Carolina)
Jackson finished Week 10 with a decent stat line: 81 yards, one touchdown and caught two passes for 14 yards. He is once again becoming a solid option for fantasy leagues. He now gets to play the fourth-most generous run defense in Carolina. Atlanta looks to continue to push for the playoffs in the weak NFC South, so Jackson should play a major role.
Elite, Expensive: Calvin Johnson, DET (Week 11 @ Arizona)
Johnson returned from injury in Week 10 and returned to his old ways. He had 15 targets, seven receptions, 113 yards, and one touchdown. Matthew Stafford must have loved having his stud wide receiver back. In Week 11, it is a battle of top NFC teams. Arizona is among the top ten teams for most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. I expect Johnson to continue to shine.
Middle of the Road: Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (Week 11 vs San Francisco)
Beckham has turned into one of the better rookie wide receivers this year. He stepped in to fill a void left by the injury to Victor Cruz, and he hasn’t disappointed. He is proving to be Eli Manning’s go-to target. Even against a tough Seattle pass defense in Week 10, he posted seven catches for 108 yards. In Week 11, he is playing another tough pass defense, but those don’t seem to stop him. I will plug him in and watch him continue to outperform his price.
Cheap, High Upside: Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (Week 11 vs Atlanta)
Benjamin is among the top ten wide receivers in the league for fantasy points. Although it was not pretty, he finished Week 10 with three receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns. He will go into Week 11 playing at home against Atlanta, who is generous to wide receivers. For the price, Benjamin is a must play.
Elite, Expensive: Rob Gronkowski, NE (Week 11 @ Indianapolis)
Gronkowski (Gronk) is the best tight end in the game. He is an integral part of the New England offense and it is hard to stop him because he is so big and physical. Indianapolis ranks sixth for fantasy points allowed to tight ends, so Gronk should continue to feast in this primetime matchup.
Middle of the Road: Travis Kelce, KC (Week 11 vs Seattle)
Kelce is among the top ten tight ends in 2014 for fantasy points scored. He now gets to play against Seattle who is fifth-most generous defense to opposing tight ends. Kansas City will need to utilize Kelce if they plan on winning this game.
Cheap, High Upside: Coby Fleener, IND (Week 11 vs New England)
Both Indianapolis tight ends seem to keep producing. As the primary tight end, Dwayne Allen, should steal most of the coverage from the Patriots. Fleener could possibly sneak around the field and gain the targets from Luck. Both tight ends have the potential to score, so why not take the cheaper option?
Denver Broncos (Week 11 @ St Louis)
This should be an easy matchup for the tough Denver defense. St. Louis is allowing the second most points to opposing defenses. Easy choice here.
San Diego Chargers (Week 11 vs Oakland)
San Diego is coming off a humiliating loss and a bye, and they want to get back on track by proving a point. Oakland ranks among the top ten for fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses. San Diego should roll in this game.