If this week feels like Christmas, it's because it sort of is. Percy Harvin and Shane Vereen are riding in from the North Pole. Jamaal Charles and Rob Gronkowski bring reinforcement gifts from their bye weeks. And Santonio Holmes will even be waiting in some lucky owner's stocking (OK, that's more like a big lump of coal than a present). Bad analogies aside, there are a lot of new players who are joining the fold in our rankings this week, but I'm not touching any of them with a 10-foot pole. Predicting what players are going to coming off injuries is something I'll save for someone a lot smarter than me. I'll stick to finding you guys some good players to start (and sit) from the pool of guys who we at least have some recent games to base our decisions upon.
And with that, here are the Week 11 players who I think deserve to be in your lineup (or on your bench):
12-Pack of Goodness
(12 players who are primed to outplay their normal value this weekend)
Nick Foles: The only two quarterbacks to have thrown more touchdown passes in the last four weeks than Nick Foles has in the last two weeks are Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. To be fair, both Manning and Brees had a bye week during that span, but that's still a pretty tremendous accomplishment by Foles. If that wasn't impressive enough, the Eagles second-year quarterback hasn't thrown an interception all season. Are you sold yet? If not, I'll end this by throwing out that the Washington Redskins defense has allowed almost 18 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season (that's the sixth-highest total in the league).
Case Keenum: Consider this your warning that I'm probably going to be writing about Keenum every week from now on. To start, he's thrown three touchdowns in each of his last two games, he's seemingly revitalized Andre Johnson and he hasn't scored less than 13 fantasy points in each of his three starts this season. Even better, Keenum gets go face the very same Raiders defense that is gave up seven touchdowns to Nick Foles two weeks ago.
Ray Rice: I can't believe we're talking about Ray Rice as someone who anyone would waffle over starting, but here we are. I realize he's only averaging 2.5 yards per carry on the season (that's not good), but Rice has at least been getting touches (he had 24 last week). I don't know how I like him after this week, but I feel good about him, as he faces a Bears defense that hasn't allowed less than 123 rushing yards in any of its past four games.
Andre Ellington: It would be nice to see the 20 touches that Bruce Arians said Ellington would get (rather than the 13 he actually got last week), but the rookie gets to face a soft Jaguars defense that has allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL this season. He'll have to do a lot with less as he battles the corpse of Rashard Mendenhall for carries, but Ellington has as good of a matchup as he possibly could to do so.
Bobby Rainey: If you're digging deep for a running back, don't be afraid to take a flier on Bobby Rainey. The Western Kentucky product only had eight carries to Brian Leonard's 20 after Mike James went down last week, but he also came pretty darn close to Leonard yardage total and was the only one of the two whose feet touched the end zone while the ball was in his hands. I like him to see more carries as the more explosive of the Buccaneers running back options, and I really like his matchup against a Falcons defense that is in the bottom-third of the league in terms of rushing yards allowed.
Dwayne Bowe: I'm not 100 percent sure that I want to risk my good reputation (or at least I hope you think it's good) on Dwayne Bowe, but here goes nothing. Despite having a bit of an extracurricular incident this past week, Bowe will be on the field this weekend and should get plenty of opportunities to produce against the Broncos. He's had a bad season so far, but Bowe did see 12 targets in his last game and the Broncos have actually allowed the third-most receiving yards in the league this season.
Leonard Hankerson: Hankerson hasn't really done anything since Week 1, but he has the best matchup a wide receiver could have in Week 11 (the Eagles give up 29.6 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers). He's a bit of a shot in the dark, but I think Hankerson is as good of a gamble as any considering he's seen a a major (major for him) uptick in targets over the past two weeks.
David Nelson: Geno Smith has to throw the ball to someone and Nelson is my (educated) guess to see more targets than the inconsistent Stephen Hill and the coming-back-from-injury-and-questionable-to-play Santonio Holmes. I normally wouldn't bother to try and figure out the Jets receiving situation, but the Bills are only 0.4 points better per game than the Eagles in terms of fantasy points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers and have also allowed the most receiving touchdowns in the NFL this year. Guess who the Jets play this week...
Rob Housler: The Cardinals have allowed a full three fantasy points per game to tight ends more than any other team in the NFL, but since the Jaguars don't really have a good tight end option to start in fantasy, I'm going to the second team on the list: the Jaguars (I know, that was confusing). Rob Housler won't confuse anyone for Jimmy Graham, but he is coming off a game in which he saw five targets and turned one of those into his first touchdown of the season.
Zach Miller: My wife lost Kyle Rudolph two weeks ago and couldn't find anyone good on waivers, so I told her to pick up Zach Miller. He made me look like a genius by putting up a whopping zero points, but I'm sticking with him this week. He's playing a Vikings defense that has given up 18 points per game to opposing tight ends over their last two games, and have given up three touchdowns to opposing tight ends during that span. After what happened last week, I'm a little gun shy about starting Miller, but you shouldn't be.
Arizona Cardinals D/ST: Two words: Jacksonville Jaguars.
New York Jets D/ST: The Jets opponent (the Bills) aren't a bad D/ST option either, but I like the Jets this weekend against a Bills team that has given up three turnovers in two its last three games. I don't think he'll make much of a difference, but who knows, maybe Ed Reed will get one for the Jets this weekend.
6-Pack of Sorrow
(Six players you should think about benching if you have better options)
Colin Kaepernick: Kaepernick is appearing on this list for the second week in a row (and for good reason as he is coming off his worst game of the season). I wouldn't worry about him too much normally, but Vernon Davis is questionable for this week and even worse, the rejuvenated Saints defense is allowing the third-fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. You can do a lot better than Kaepernick this week (like Foles and Keenum).
Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD has been better as of late, but he's still yet to top 80 rushing yards in a game this season and only has three rushing touchdowns on the year. Things get worse when you flip to his matchup and see that he's facing a Cardinals defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (and has only allowed two rushing touchdowns all year). You can do worse than Jones-Drew this weekend, but you can also do a lot better.
C.J. Spiller: That whole "give him the ball until he throws up" thing didn't work out so well, huh? Fred Jackson has had more carries than Spiller in all but one of the Bills games since Week 4 (and they had the same amount in that one game) and has dwarfed Spiller's rushing touchdowns total by a six to one score. I don't like Jackson a whole lot against a Jets defense that has allowed the few rushing yards in the NFL this week, and I really don't like Spiller against that same defense.
Greg Jennings: Do people start Greg Jennings? Is that still a thing? He's owned in more than 90 percent of leagues, so just in case it is still a thing, I'm here to talk you out of it. The Seahawks are as stingy as they come on pass defense (they haven't allowed more than 81 receiving yards in either of their last two games) and Jennings only topped eight fantasy points in one game all season. Does that sound like a recipe for a good game to you?
Julius Thomas: Before you laugh me out of here, I'm not telling you to sit fantasy football's second highest-scoring tight end. What I am telling you, however, is to temper your expectations this weekend. Thomas is facing a Chiefs defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown to a tight end all season and is the toughest matchup a tight end can have (by far) in terms of fantasy points. Remember when I told you that the Cardinals are giving up 13.7 fantasy points per game to tight ends? The Chiefs are only giving up 2.9.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST: Speaking of the Chiefs defense, I am telling you to bench fantasy football's highest-scoring defense. I know that's going to be a tough decision to make, but they're facing the hottest offense since Hansel and at home to boot. I'm going to go out on an limb and guess that the Peyton Manning will be making a lot of quick throws to help his ankle issue and that's not going to help a Chiefs defense that only has one sack in its last two games.
That's it for this week, but leave any start/sit questions you have in the comments section below and I'll make sure to get back to you before Sunday. Good luck!