Week 11 Review: Rainey's Big Day
The bye week madness is almost behind us, hopefully you were able to overcome the loss of Tony Romo (I doubt Kellen Clemens was much of a loss). Next week, the Eagles, Bills, Seahawks, and Bengals all are off for the final bye week. Hopefully, in a make or break week, you can remain afloat. This week was another rough week for quarterbacks. We saw even more turnover at the position, as the situations in Oakland, Houston, and New York have all had new wrinkles. Geno Smith was benched for the second time in three games, and is losing any of the buzz that surrounded him as a decent fantasy quarterback. EJ Manuel stepped up against Smith, and carries some weight as a QB2 going forward. Consider yourself lucky if you've been relatively unaffected by all of the turnover at the position. Next week will be a tough one for running backs, but I like Chris Ogbonnaya going forward. He received a ton of looks today in the passing game and has been getting more and more carries as of late. Kendall Wright quietly continues to put up a very good fantasy season, and is a WR3, with WR2 upside in PPR leagues. Coby Fleener is blossoming as Andrew Luck's second option on the Indianapolis Colts, and is a borderline TE1 going forward.
Here's a list of who shined and who didn't in Week 11:
1. Matthew Stafford's First Half Performance Is Enough For A Fantasy Day's Work
Stafford (362/2/1) had over 300 yards and two touchdowns at the half, but was nearly invisible in the second half as the Lions lost to the Steelers. As long as Stafford's throwing to Megatron, he will reward fantasy owners. He's proven to be a bargain for those who chose to wait on quarterbacks this season.
Ben Roethlisberger (367/4/0) had a massive day against the Lions, eclipsing over 300 yards and four scores for the second time in three games. Big Ben threw a pair of scores to Antonio Brown within three minutes of one another, and threw another pair in the fourth quarter to help the Steelers regain the lead and pull away from the Lions.
Carson Palmer (419/2/0) took advantage of the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars, throwing for over 400 yards. Michael Floyd's crazy 91 yard touchdown helped out a bit, but Palmer still looked impressive. His play has been better as of late, and he proved to be a nice plug and play for owners who may have had a quarterback on bye this week. He still remains a QB2, but I wouldn't blame you if you roll with him as a starter with all of the quarterback injuries around the league.
The Case Keenum (170/1/1) train came to a screeching halt today after he was pulled in the second half for Matt Schaub. Keenum had a prime matchup this week, but failed to deliver. Gary Kubiak has yet to name a starting quarterback next week, but regardless of who it is, the Texans have a juicy matchup against the Jags.
Matt McGloin (197/3/0) put up a nice day for anyone who was brave (or desperate) enough to start him. He made the right plays when he needed to, as his first two touchdowns came from inside the red zone. It will be interesting to see what Dennis Allen does next week against the Tennessee Titans. He can name McGloin or Terrelle Pryor the starter, and just as easily pull one if they are struggling. I wouldn't count on either as a confident start until I see more consistency from McGloin or improvement from Pryor.
Andy Dalton (93/3/2) may have had one of the worst three touchdown games I've ever seen. It was an ugly one in Cincy and the ball was turned over all game. Dalton wasn't able to may big plays and the Cleveland Browns secondary didn't give him much to work with. It's tough to rely on Dalton since he is so inconsistent. It wasn't necessarily a terrible day for fantasy owners, but a three touchdown effort should yield more.
2.Ray Rice Returns To Life
Rice (25/135/1) returned to form against a poor Chicago Bears defense. He set up a goal line score with a nice 47 yard run early in the game. This was just the matchup that he needed to get things going. Next week he has a brutal matchup against the New York Jets, but after that he can really turn it up in time for the fantasy playoffs with games against the Steelers, Vikings, Lions, and Patriots. Things are looking up for Rice if his hip doesn't prove to be an issue.
The Buccaneer's third string running back Bobby Rainey (30/163/3) made the rushing committee one-sided against the Atlanta Falcons. Rainey got 30 attempts to Brian Leonard's four. In addition to his two rushing touchdowns, Rainey added a receiving touchdown. In two of his next three games, he faces weak run defenses and is an attractive flex play at the least.
LeSean McCoy (four catches, 150 total yards, two touchdowns) had a minor injury, but later returned to the game. He put in a solid day at the office against one of the league's worst defenses. McCoy has now surpassed 1,000 yards on the year and leads the league in rushing and in yards from scrimmage. Ride him through the playoffs with confidence, as his ability to pick up yardage will always produce a solid week.
Andre Ellington (13 total yards) and C.J. Spiller (16 total yards) both had awful outings. Spiller was a dicey play to begin with, but Ellington surely burned many owners this week. The Jaguars have been one of the worst teams against the run, and he couldn't even benefit from Carson Palmer's 400 yard day. There is still hope that after Spiller's bye, he can be a valuable asset during the playoffs. Ellington, on the other hand, will continue to make you want to rip your hair out. He received fewer touches than Rashard Mendenhall (15 to 10) and Bruce Arian's insistence on relying on Mendenhall won't be changing anytime soon.
Lamar Miller (4/17/0) continues to disappoint. He received only four carries, seven fewer than Daniel Thomas. The awful committee (Thomas isn't even worth owning unless you're in a deep league), rough schedule (next up are the Carolina Panthers and Jets) combined with the Miami Dolphin's depleted offensive line make Miller worth nothing more than a candidate for the virtual pine.
3. Megatron Has A Mega Day.
Calvin Johnson (6/179/2) erupted against the Steelers in the first half, catching six passes for 179 and two touchdowns. The first was an amazing play where he caught the ball, spun away from a defender and ran towards the end zone for a 79 yard score. Towards the end of the half he looked winded, but was still making plays. The second half was a different story, however, as he and Stafford were shut down. He failed to bring in a single pass in the second half.
In the same game, Antonio Brown (7/147/2) had a scorching hot start, as he caught four balls for over 100 yards and two scores in the first quarter. Both touchdowns came on passes of over 30 yards. Brown has been PPR gold for fantasy owners, catching at least five passes every game this season and has failed to top 70 yards only twice. He's become a matchup proof WR1.
Marquise Goodwin (6/81/1) filled in admirably for the injured Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods. In addition to his nine targets, he added 17 yards rushing. It's a shame that Goodwin doesn't get many more looks in that offense,as he has deadly speed and could carve out a real productive role. If Woods or Johnson miss any further time after the bye, Goodwin would be an attractive flex play.
A.J. Green (2/7/0) struggled against the Cleveland Browns for the second time this season, as he managed only two catches for seven yards on just five targets. Shutdown corner Joe Haden kept Green in check all game. Chalk the dud up to a brutal matchup. Green is still the clear cut number two wideout in fantasy football.
Roddy White (3/36/1) showed signs of life, even though he spent time on Revis Island. His day was soured by a lost fumble, but it's a step in the right direction for White. He had nine targets on the day, and while he faces a stingy New Orleans Saints defense next week, he has decent matchups going forward. For now I wouldn't rely on him as much more than a low WR2/WR3, but that can change if Matt Ryan can begin to get the ball into his hands
4. Garrett Graham (7/136/1) may have lost a fumble, but he led all tight ends in scoring in standard leagues. It was his best showing since Week 4, but he's nothing more than a TE2. Owen Daniels is nearing a return, but Graham may still get red zone looks. The Texans maddening quarterback situation also doesn't help his value.
Delanie Walker (10/91/1) hauled in 10 passes this week for 91 yards and a touchdown. He might carry some TE1 value going forward. Ryan Fitzpatrick has severe arm limitations, so look for him to give Walker plenty of looks.
Ladarius Green (4/81) is a guy you should be keeping your eyes on. The six-foot-six 240 pound tight end can become a star in the Charger's offense and take over for the ancient Antonio Gates. Unless Gates goes down this year, Green doesn't carry much value, but he is someone to look into in dynasty leagues and keep in mind for next year.
Jimmy Graham (6/41) was a let down today, even if he had a difficult matchup. Don't be discouraged by the game, as Graham is still by far the best tight end in fantasy. Look for him to bounce back next week against a porous Falcons secondary.
Jordan Cameron (6/29) hasn't scored since Week 7, but I wouldn't give up on him. He is still receiving plenty of looks and Jason Campbell has shown he is competent enough to get Cameron the ball. He's still one of the only two options in the Browns passing game and is a strong TE1. Vernon Davis (4/33/1) played this week despite his concussion and scored a touchdown. As long as Colin Kaepernick is throwing him the ball, pencil him in without hesitation.
That's a wrap for this week, but here's to hoping you can make a final playoff push, or if you're already in, hoping your players stay healthy. If you still can make trades in your league, be willing to sacrifice some of the depth to upgrade weaknesses or improve at a position. The fantasy playoffs are difficult times, but remember to stick with your gut.