Chiefs @ Rams
Story To Watch: It’s been eleven weeks. Eleven stinking weeks that you’ve sat through this season while patiently waiting for this one. You’ve suffered the Niners and Raiders trading ineffectual, toothless punches in a nationally televised torture session. You’ve been subjected to Case Keenum lobbing airmailed passes to receivers past their primes and been told it’s the best thing on TV that night. You’ve been beaten over the head with embarrassingly underwhelming NFC East “battles” on Sunday and Monday nights because of their market share, putrid product on the field be damned. No longer, my friends. Although Shakira’s thunderous hips attempted to postpone this game even further, the long awaited Chiefs-Rams game will proceed as scheduled (albeit in a different venue). Time to settle in for the most bonkers game of season. You’ve earned it.
Safe Bets: The two highest scoring offenses in years are facing off for all America to witness. Let’s not make this too complicated – you’re playing Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, Todd Gurley, and Jared Goff. With Cooper Kupp unfortunately starting his offseason early, Brandin Cooks figures to be the latest guy to roast the exploitable Kansas City secondary. The extra targets should be a boon to Bob Woods as well, who’s had little difficulty making the most of his 7-8 looks per game as is.
Y’know what? There’s really no reason to even include my other confidence categories in this game. All pretenses of defense will be thrown out the window by the middle of the first quarter, so even Sammy Watkins is a strong play in what will be a shootout from the opening kickoff.
Postgame Headline: “Mahomes, Chiefs prove too much for Rams in 41-36 instant classic.”
Eagles @ Saints
Story To Watch: How the mighty have fallen. It wasn’t long ago when you could’ve circled this game on the schedule as a potential NFC Championship preview. Now, in Week 11 and fresh off an embarrassing home loss to the Cowboys (coming off a bye, no less), this brawl in the bayou will amount to little more than a televised mercy killing of the reigning super bowl “champion” Eagles. Sitting a 4-5 record and with their secondary closely resembling civil war field hospital, the Eagles are in for a world of hurt against the red-hot Saints offense in the dome. Look for Drew Brees to do his best Jack Kevorkian impression in America’s Game Of the Week.
Safe Bets: Speaking of Dr. Death, Drew Brees will bolster his position as “best fantasy QB not named Patrick Mahomes” in this blowup matchup. If the Eagles couldn’t stop Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, what do you think Michael Thomas is gonna do to them? You’re obviously starting Alvin Kamara, but You can reasonably expect another big week out of Mark Ingram, too. The way Ezekiel Elliot just gashed the Eagles for 10+ yards per touch certainly puts a chink in the armor of the “Can’t run against the Eagles” adage of the past 2+ seasons.
On the Eagles side, there’s no reason to turn away from Carson Wentz in a must-win (for real this time, you guys) shootout in the bayou. Zach Ertz will continue to be options 1, 2 and 3 for Birds’ signal caller, which spells trouble for the rest of the Eagles’ suddenly crowded receiving corps.
Hope For The Best: As I alluded to last week, the arrival of Golden Tate could spell trouble for a receiving group that was already scrounging for targets. Tate will surely be utilized more actively than last week’s 2-19-0 dud, but he’ll cede red zone looks to Alshon Jeffery and Ertz. I wouldn’t ordinarily recommend Tre’quan Smith, but the wounded Eagles secondary couldn’t keep pace with a beached walrus running a post route right now.
Hell No: There isn’t a worse personnel group in the NFL than the Eagles running backs right now, and good luck deciding which of Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, or Corey Clement will lead the team in touches this week. Despite the big gains last week, it will be difficult to trust Nelson Agholor with such a limited target share.
Postgame Headline: “Saints put the nail in Eagles coffin in 33-27 win in the dome”
Dallas @ Atlanta
Safe Bets: Look, we’ve all been there. Maybe you’re between relationships, maybe you’re just playing the field, but everyone’s hit a dry spell now and again. Julio Jones reminds me of the guy who didn’t get ass for over a year, but all it took was one “slump buster” for women to start looking at him differently. With back to back performances of 100+ yards and a score (including a goal line touchdown last week, of all things) the floodgates are officially open for the formerly backed up veteran.
The Dallas defense poses a surprising challenge, but I’m not sitting Tevin Coleman or Matt Ryan when every outing is a must win game going forward. Ezekiel Elliot fucked around like it was 2016 against the Eagles last week, adding chunk gains on nearly every touch. Suffice it to say, the grim reaper of fantasy™ is officially back to haunt you on a weekly basis.
Hope For The Best: I have a hard time recommending Dak Prescott on general principle, but he could provide serviceable numbers against a Falcons defense that just made Baker Mayfield look like Johnny Unitas last week. I’m sure a lot of us George Kittle owners are looking to Austin Hooper to spell our set-it-and-forget-it TE during his bye week, but you should temper expectations. I’d personally be happy with 5 catches for 60 yards, and that honestly sounds about right. Amari Cooper has looked revitalized in Big D, but am I allowed to say that he’s still putting up average numbers? Feels like we’re gassing him up a bit because he’s not completely ghosting us on Sundays anymore. You’re basically deciding between receptions and touchdowns when debating Mohammed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, respectively. I’m personally taking the touchdown upside with the rookie.
Hell No: You just can’t depend on Ito Smith, and a loss of trust is the first step towards winding up in Shitsville™. It’s equally hard to depend on Michael Gallup or Cole Beasley in a Dallas offense that seemed to remember it has an all-world running back at its disposal.
Postgame Headline: “Falcons, Coleman keep playoff hopes alive with 26-19 win over Cowboys”
Carolina @ Detroit
Safe Bets: Coming off three straight losses and facing an angry Panthers team that was thoroughly embarrassed on national TV last week, the Detroit locker room is probably looking about as hopeful as a hospice facility right now. Though their home stretch may be looking grim, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get contributions in this fake football game of ours. Namely, Kerryon Johnson proved last week that he can still be effective with a negative game script, which is a good thing considering the Panthers should lead this game from wire to wire. With Marvin Jones Jr. ruled out this week, this is THE moment for you Ken Golladay truthers out there. If he can’t produce with a double-digit target share, then it’s fair to call a spade a spade at this point. Let’s just pretend last weeks’ 52-21 shellacking didn’t happen for Cam Newton and company, shall we? Yea, I’m perfectly content proceeding as if Cam is still a sleeper MVP candidate. Christian McCaffrey upped those touchdown totals in a hurry, huh? He should keep the trend rolling in Detroit this week, and Greg Olsen is certainly looking like a dependable option again.
Hope For The Best: I haven’t exactly been keeping track, but this marks approximately the 8th season in a row that Matthew Stafford has duped us into thinking that he’d be a viable fantasy quarterback. Toss in the fact that he’s been running for his life lately behind a porous line, and he’s a dicey proposition against Carolina. The opportunity is there for Devin Funchess, but there seems an invisible barrier that prematurely cuts off his Sundays once he hits either four catches or 61 yards receiving. It’s hard to trust either Curtis Samuel or DJ Moore when you’re not sure which player is going to the be the recipient of a trick play that takes nine years to develop. Both are WR3/Flex plays with an upside shot at a touchdown. With Marvin Jones Jr sidelined and Stafford likely being forced to check down ad nauseum, Theo Riddick stands to benefit mightily in PPR formats.
Hell No: Not that you were considering starting either, but Legarrette Blount and Zach Zenner can stay nice and cozy on the waiver wire.
Postgame Headline: Panthers rebound nicely like with 27-20 road win over languishing Lions”
Titans @ Colts
Safe Bets: Marlon Mack, Andrew Luck, apparent reincarnation of 2006 Antonio Gates Eric Ebron, Corey Davis, TY Hilton, and *takes deep breath* Marcus Mariota
Hope For The Best: Dion Lewis, Jonnu Smith, Derrick Henry, Jack Doyle
Hell No: Ryan Grant, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins
Postgame Headline: “Colts hang on against surging Titans in impressive 28-23 divisional victory”
Buccaneers @ Giants
Safe Bets: There was a conceivable scenario during last week’s game against the Niners that Odell Beckham Jr. could’ve had four, or even five touchdowns. Alas, with Eli Manning as his quarterback, we’ll settle for the 74 yards and two scores. Look for more of the same this week against an exploitable Tampa Bay secondary. Saquon Barkley is obviously on the menu as a Top 5 option this week, as he shouldn’t have an issue delivering on a 15 point floor in PPR formats. On Tampa’s Side, Dirk Koetter apparently saw his quarterback throwing for 400 yards and decided a change was required. He felt that resuming playcalling duties would fix the Bucs’ losing ways (Ron Howard voice: “it didn’t”), but thankfully, air raid strategist Todd Monken is back in the saddle this week. So to review, Tampa fans, the next time Dirk Koetter wants to take a more active role in gameday duties, remember…
The coaching change means that Ryan Fitzpatrick is once again free to toss the pigskin downfield with reckless abandon, and hopefully Mike Evans can do a better job capitalizing on it than he has in recent weeks. OJ Howard has taken advantage of a decimated TE field to become a weekly top-five option at the position, and he should easily live up to the billing in this contest.
Hope For The Best: Maybe it’s the OBJ owner part of me talking, but Sterling Shepard bugs the shit out of me. However, even a hater like myself can recognize that the #2 passing option for the Giants can have a field day against the Bucs secondary. The boost is partially due the recent play of Eli Manning, who despite failing to shake his cowardly ways in the pocket is still putting up reasonable passing numbers. Evan Engram could finally be rounding into form, and Desean Jackson and Peyton Barber have some flex appeal in a game that could be sneaky entertaining.
Hell No: Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown a proclivity to launch the ball all over god’s green earth, but Cameron Brate is curiously excluded from his target zone. Despite the random as shit eight catches for 102 yards last week, Jacquizz Rodgers can safely remain in Shitsville™ where he belongs.
Postgame Headline: “Manning, Giants show some pride in 27-24 win over Buccaneers.”
Texans @ Redskins
Safe Bets: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Adrian Peterson
Hope For The Best: Alex Smith, Lamar Miller, Demaryius Thomas, Keke Coutee, Josh Doctson, Jordan Reed
Hell No: Kapri Bibb, D’Onta Foreman
Postgame Headline: “Washington hangs on 20-16 in worst game ever played between division leaders”
Steelers @ Jaguars
Safe Bets: The 52-point outburst last week was certainly a sight for sore eyes for Steelers stakeholders, but Ben Roethlisberger and company will be extremely lucky to score half that many points in Duval County this weekend. Still, you can feel somewhat confident rolling out James Conner now that the Le’veon saga is over and done with. Antonio Brown has quietly amassed 10 touchdowns on the year and there’s still seven games to go. I’m in awe of the consistency of this lad. Absolute unit.
If you know anything about me, then you know I regard the Jaguars offense as being about as useless as having an asshole on your elbow. That said, I welcomed the return of Len Fournette and his wildly inefficient yet bruising stat line with open arms last week. As long as he’s healthy, do as the Jags do and ride your presumptive RB1 into the ground.
Hope For The Best: Juju Smith-Schuster has been making his living on big plays this year, but they’ll be few and far between in this matchup. While the Jaguars temporarily shifted to a pass-first offense during Fournette’s absence, Len’s return last week signaled the return of the Jags rushing attack. That means you can mercifully stop pretending Blake Bortles is viable in fantasy. If you’re hurting on a bye week for a tight end, you can certainly take a flier on Vance McDonald. And finally, while most games won’t feature an 80-yard touchdown for Donte Moncrief, that’s not going to stop me from getting hype as hell that the grim criefer is putting up points again.
Hell No: Do you have any idea what the Jaguars wanted to achieve when they traded for Carlos Hyde? You can count on one hand how many touches he’ll get on Sundays now that Fournette is back, so it’s fair to question what the front office was thinking when pulling the trigger on that one. Politics aside, I tend to agree with the president on this issue…
Postgame Headline: “Steelers tumble on the road, lose 24-23 to Fournette, Jaguars”
Bengals @ Ravens
Safe Bets: (if healthy) Joe Mixon, (if healthy) AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, Al Collins
Hope For The Best: John Ross, Andy Dalton, John Brown, Michael Crabtree
Hell No: Robert Griffin III, CJ Uzomah
Postgame Headline: “Bengals remain weirdest team of 2018, pick up strong 27-16 win on the road”
Raiders @ Cardinals
Story To Watch: I’m sure we can all remember the halcyon days of lunchtime trading during elementary school. Well, when I was growing up, my health-crazed mom would pack me a lunch that was the recess equivalent of an unmovable contract. Whereas most kids had pizza lunchables and chocolate pudding, I was meant to suffer through crunchy, all-natural peanut butter and apricot jelly on whole wheat bread. Who wants to trade for that when you have a bologna and cheese sandwich? This is what the first half of 2018 has been like for David Johnson owners. We suffered through our sandpiper-like, flavorless, organic sandwich for weeks, but the Cardinals coaches finally came to their senses and packed something for us that tastes good. Now, with a fluffernutter on white bread in tow, the DJ owners are the envy of the schoolyard.
Safe Bets: David Johnson, obviously. And, uh… that’s about it.
Hope For The Best: Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Martin, Jared Cook, Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones (Bye week fill-in only). This is probably the only week where you can play Josh Rosen without throwing up in your mouth a little.
Hell No: Derek Carr, Martavis Bryant.
Postgame Headline: “Cardinals take out the trash, handle Raiders in 26-14 win”
Broncos @ Chargers
Safe Bets: Has there been a more dependable player in fantasy this year than Melvin Gordon? Okay, obviously Gurley and Kamara are the money makers, but if you consider the price, Mel has been doing it week in and week out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the most common element on championship teams in a few weeks. Phil Rivers should continue his quiet dominance against a spiraling Broncos defense, and the recent patch notes for Keenan Allen included an ability to actually score touchdowns, so that’s exciting. On the Broncos side, the only guy you can feel somewhat confident in is probably Emmanuel Sanders. I think the targets will be there after a dud of a performance before their bye last week.
Hope For The Best: Ordinarily I’d be ecstatic about starting Phillip Lindsay, but Denver offensive lineman have been dropping faster than coeds in a slasher film. The volume will still be there, but the chunk gains you’re accustomed to might start dissipating. Tyrell Williams always has an outside shot for a 3-101-1 line, but he’s firmly in the WR3 discussion otherwise. The Chargers defense has terrorized quarterbacks with significantly more pedigree than Case Keenum. After a somewhat muted post-Demaryius debut, Courtland Sutton should see an uptick in this one.
Hell No: It’s probably going to take a game or two before we see the 50-50 carry distribution between Lindsay and Royce Freeman again. I’d stay away until proven otherwise. Austin Ekeler was a nice story to start out the season, but now that the Christmas songs are starting to play across the country, you can safely send the RB back from whence he came (read: Shitsville™)
Postgame Headline: “Chargers handle business against Broncos in 31-17 romp”
Vikings @ Bears
Safe Bets: If I told you in August that Mitch Trubisky would be a better fantasy asset than Kirk Cousins, you probably would’ve punched me in the face. Regardless of whether that bombastic claim is true by year’s end, both signal callers should be in for nice outings in a divisional matchup that doubles as a potential playoff preview. Between a bye week and a forgettable performance just before it, it’s easy to forget that Adam Thielen was pacing everybody in the damn league in the Wide Receiver category. Even against a staunch Chicago defense, the former WR1 overall will get back on track in this one. Trey Burton should continue to deliver, and in what is purely a gut call, I have a feeling this will be a Tarik Cohen game. Matt Nagy tends to employ the diminutive firecracker in games that are more competitive, and this will sure fit the bill.
Hope For The Best: I think you can feel pretty good about Stefon Diggs coming off an extended rest, but beware that he’s always a candidate to go 4-37-0 for some reason. Dalvin Cook was a “full go” in practice this week, which means you’d have to be a “full dumbass” to leave him on your bench. Anthony Miller is certainly beginning to flash, but he’s more of a WR3 with upside in this contest. Allen Robinson II had a strong outing last week, but the Vikings are among the league leaders in allowing the fewest points per games to opposing receivers. It’s just hard to get excited about Jordan Howard. I wish there was a more specific way to analyze the guy, but I truly think that about sums him up. He could give you a goal line touchdown possibly, but you probably didn’t sink serious coin on him expecting late career Jerome Bettis numbers.
Hell No: I don’t think you have to buy a one-way ticket to Shitsville™ for Latavius Murray just yet, but he’s clearly the less enticing option when Dalvin Cook is healthy. If you’re the type of person who gets fired up about a guy who catches four passes for 28 yards every game, then I would be absolutely jacked about the prospect of starting Kyle Rudolph.
Postgame Headline: “Vikings pull off strong road win as Bears fall 24-21”
Shameless Plug Section
It’s Week 11, which means that if you’re still reading the blog, you fall into one of two categories…
Category One: You’re whooping ass and you’re looking to keep the train rolling, perhaps aided by some fantasy advice from The BFG. If this sounds like like you, hey – congrats
Category Two: You’re either eliminated or you’re on the brink, but you keep coming back because you enjoy the blog. They say that not all heroes wear capes, and that certainly applies to you readers who are sucking wind but keep reading anyway.
In any event, I’m happy to be of service. I genuinely do this because I enjoy the feedback and I feel that people appreciate it, but it’s been difficult to manage with all of the priorities in my life. I know it’s still early November, but if you’ve caught a bit of the holiday giving spirit, feel free to donate to the BFG cause below…
Donate on Venmo: Nick-Devine
Or simply follow the blog or check me out on twitter (@ThaBFG).
I truly do this because people enjoy it, but if that’s not the case for you, feel free to write me a strongly worded letter about my shameless grab for meaningless internet fame. Otherwise, I hope you pull off a win this week and get closer to locking up that playoff spot. Until next time…
— The BFG