Outside the Huddle: Week 11

Fantasy football suggestions for when you face the player in your league who’s still holding onto  Saquon Barkley because he hasn’t yet accepted that his number one pick is done for the season.

Three weeks. That’s all you have left to finalize your rosters for the playoffs and stomp out those nobodies who gave up after the mid-season injury wave. True to form, this NFL season has been one hell of a rollercoaster, full of surprises that hit like a final unexpected drop that makes your testicles lodge somewhere into the back of your chest cavity. And you’ve got to delete that image of you gripping the safety bar with a look of death beside your smiling eight-year-old daughter with her hands in the air before its captured for eternity. Week 10 produced some of those moments, none bigger than the Hail Murray at the end of the Cardinals-Bills game. And a huge shout-out to Drew Brees, who probably never made anyone’s lineup this season, but almost played a second half with 11 rib fractures and a collapsed lung. Once, I bruised an intercostal and couldn’t breathe for two weeks, but Brees actually came out of the locker room, pads on, and attempted warm up throws. Incredible.

Anyway, we’re gearing up for the holiday season amid a raging pandemic, so health and safety is more important than ever. There’s still much to be thankful for, so I wanted to play Thanks, No Thanks to help you sort through this week’s matchups. Thanks selections are for you and No Thanks picks are the ones to flaunt toward your opponents.

Week 11 Thanks, No Thanks

Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints (vs Falcons)

I haven’t seen the fantasy experts this hot and bothered about the Saints since Alvin Kamara put up 44 points against the Packers in Week 3. Hill, typically a gadget-play quarterback will be under center at the start, but whether that lasts remains to be seen. This is your one week to cheat the system because he’ll be a QB listed as a TE, but even though his projections still fall behind Travis Kelce, he’s certain to put up more points than the plethora of next-level tight ends.

Your call: Thanks

Robert Woods, WR, LA Rams (@ Buccaneers)

With two bad losses to the Saints as their only exceptions, the Bucs defense is top-five in yards allowed, sacks, and turnovers. So this not a criticism of Robert Woods, who had an off-week against the Seahawks last week, but more a lack of confidence in Jared Goff, who’s struggled three-straight weeks against good defenses.

Your call: No Thanks

Cleveland Browns D/ST (vs Eagles)

Look, I get it, Carson Wentz stinks right now. I’ve witnessed this train wreck every week as the rumors continue to swirl about his future in Philly. But it’s flat out dishonest to list the Browns defense as a top-five squad, even with Myles Garrett out. This is a complete and utter embarrassment in the name of analysis.

Your call: No Thanks

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Jaguars)

The Steelers are currently the best team in the NFL mainly because of their defense, but Big Ben’s been creeping into the top ten in recent weeks and could be as good a play as any against the Jags. He leads the league in shortest time to throw, and the Jags are dead last in sacks, which means they’ll have a better chance of catching a turkey than they will Roethlisberger.

Your call: Thanks

LA Chargers D/ST vs Jets

It doesn’t matter if the Chargers have a below-average defense at best.

Your call: Thanks

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (@ Washington)

Higgins put up solid numbers last week with 115 yards and a touchdown in a blowout loss to the Steelers and has likely unseated A.J. Green as Cincinnati’s number two wideout. But this week they play Washington, who despite an abysmal record, give up the fewest passing yards per game and are top five in sacks. This should be a closer game, and a little more run-centric from the Bengals.

Your call: No Thanks

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (vs Panthers)

Matthew Stafford has had a quiet season, but he looked like his old self against a very good Washington defense last week and will now play the Panthers, who were just demolished by a vengeful Tom Brady. I’m a huge fan of Panthers’ coach Matt Rhule. He’s a Penn State guy, has a Philly connection, gives off positive vibes, but we all know the college ra-ra stuff fails miserably in the pros.

Your call: Thanks

Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (vs Tennessee)

I don’t like what’s happening in Baltimore. Last year’s top seed in the AFC is second to last in passing offense, and quarterback Lamar Jackson recently claimed other teams are calling out their plays at the line of scrimmage. Brown, the Ravens top receiver, may have been a WR2 earlier in the season, but if you have a deeper league, he’s a borderline Flex and now likely worth offloading.

Your call: No Thanks

Greg Oldfield’s stories have appeared in Hobart, Carve, Barrelhouse, and Maudlin House, among others. He also writes about soccer for the Florida Cup and the Brotherly Game and often rambles about soccer on Twitter. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *