Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Just two weeks of byes left
With just two teams on byes this week, owners will notice a surplus of decent starting options (or not, if you've been struck down by one of the many injuries to fantasy starters this season). Either way, we're here to help you out and make setting your lineup a bit easier.
Week 11 byes: Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams
These Week 11 Start 'em, Sit 'em recommendations are based on standard scoring, non-PPR, 12-team leagues that start 1-QB, 2-RB, 2-WR, 1-TE, 1-FLEX, 1-K and 1-DST. I've tried to list most of the possible players at each position, but if you find one missing -- please comment below, and I'll share my recommendation.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
• Jets: Chris Ivory, Nick Folk, Jets DST
Ivory had his best game as a Jet against the Saints in Week 9, rushing for 139 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Coming off of his bye week, look for him to build on that performance against a Buffalo defense that gave up a season-high 182 rushing yards to the Jets in Week 3. Consider using Nick Folk regularly in fantasy, especially now that the running game is going again. He has 10 field goals in his past three games. The Jets defense had eight sacks against the Bills in Week 3, and this unit will get to go up against a less-than-100-percent E.J. Manuel again.
• Bills: Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Bills DST
Rookie head coach Doug Marrone is not winning any fans among fantasy owners these days, as C.J. Spiller was on the field for just 22 of 67 offensive plays in Week 10 against the Steelers. The Clemson star has supposedly moved past his ankle injury, but the coaching staff limited his chances. He's a home-run threat, though, so keep him active against the Jets. The Bills defense is an interesting team to take a chance on, since the Jets offense has been so inconsistent. Although, the Jets did score 27 points on the Bills defense in Week 3.
• Jets: Geno Smith, Bilal Powell, Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Kellen Winslow
Smith has two rushing touchdowns in his past three games, but he has just one passing touchdown and three interceptions. He did throw for 331 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills in Week 3, however. The rookie quarterback might get Santonio Holmes (hamstring) back for this game, but both are gambles in a two-team bye week. Winslow returns from suspension, but let him shake the rust off before using him.
• Bills: E.J. Manuel, Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, Scott Chandler, Dan Carpenter
Manuel didn't have a great (or good) game against the Steelers, and the Jets held him to just one touchdown pass back in Week 3, despite a season-high 42 pass attempts. Johnson's groin injury has him questionable, but he has 10 targets or more five times this season, including three of his past four games. It looks like Woods will miss another game dealing with his ankle injury.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Falcons: Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez
In spite of the return of Roddy White (ankle) in Week 10, Douglas still saw eight targets against the Seahawks, and he'll likely draw rookie CB Johnathan Banks in coverage. For the fifth time this season, Gonzalez tallied under five fantasy points in Week 10, and now he's dealing with a toe injury. He's still a high-target tight end, with a top-five fantasy resume.
• Buccaneers: Brian Leonard, Vincent Jackson
Injuries to Doug Martin and Mike James leaves Leonard and Bobby Rainey to carry the ball for Tampa Bay, which sounds horrible. However the offensive line showed that its Week 9 effort against the Seahawks wasn't a fluke, and Leonard could be a flex option in the weeks ahead. Unfortunately, they face several very tough run defenses over the next five weeks, -- the Falcons, Lions, Panthers, Bills and 49ers. Jackson is the undisputed star on this offense, but during Monday night's game against the Dolphins, he often seemed uninterested. Over the course of the season, he's lost his quarterback, star running back and his counterpart wide receiver. He'll be targeted frequently, but fantasy owners need him to get on track with Mike Glennon again. Only the Eagles and Bills have allowed more touchdown catches to wide receivers than the Falcons this season, which bodes well for a bounce-back for V-Jax.
• Falcons: Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Roddy White, Matt Bryant, Falcons DST
I'm on the fence with Ryan. He's thrown three touchdowns and seven interceptions over the past three games, but he threw three touchdowns and 273 yards against the Buccaneers in Week 7. You could start worse players than Ryan, but at the same time, I don't exactly recommend him as a starter. Jackson has been back for three weeks now, and he has 33 carries for just 74 yards and no touchdowns in that span; Rodgers, Jackson's backup, continues to outplay him. Either way, the Bucs have an above average rushing defense, so if you have alternatives to Jackson, consider them for Week 11. Roddy White (hamstring) came back after sitting for a month with a bum ankle and hamstring, but this week he'll see a lot of CB Darrelle Revis. Bryant has kicked five field goals in his past five games, and until the Falcons get back on track offensively, he's a "sit."
• Buccaneers: Mike Glennon, Bobby Rainey, Tiquan Underwood, Tim Wright, Rian Lindell, Buccaneers DST
Underwood caught three balls on five targets for 64 yards, and he's someone to consider later this season if Glennon continues to progress. The Dolphins rushed for two yards against Tampa Bay in Week 10. Two. But even a beat up Falcons team should be able to improve on that.
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers
• Lions: Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, David Akers, Lions DST
Stafford has now thrown for three or more touchdowns in three of his past four games, including Week 10 at Chicago. Stafford is averaging over 300 passing yards a week, and he's a solid fantasy starter against a Steelers team that gave up over 400 passing yards to Tom Brady two weeks ago. Bush and Megatron continue to be must-start players and top 10 studs at their respective positions.
• Steelers: Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown
Bell has been one of the best rookies this season, and he scored his fourth touchdown of the season in Week 10. Even so, the Lions held their past three opponents to an average of just over 52 rushing yards per game. It'll be a tough matchup, but Bell is the team's top option near the goal line.
• Lions: Joique Bell, Nate Burleson, Kris Durham, Brandon Pettigrew
Burleson is still working his way back from a broken forearm, so give him some time to show he's healthy and in shape before you decide to start him. Durham caught a touchdown pass in Week 10, but it was his only catch -- and just his only touchdown in four weeks. While Pettigrew is coming off a very good game, he's going up against a Steelers defense that has allowed only three touchdown catches to tight ends this season. Akers gets plenty of extra-point chances, but he has just four field goals in his past five games.
• Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Jerricho Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller, Shaun Suisham, Steelers DST
Roethlisberger has thrown for more than one touchdown in just two games this season. Sanders averaged 93 receiving yards in the two games before Week 10, but he got shut down against the Bills, and Cotchery is the hotter of Brown's counterparts. It might be time to move on from Miller, who has just eight catches for 68 yards and no touchdowns in his past three games.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
• Redskins: Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed
RGIII is coming off a three-touchdown game against the Vikings, and now he'll get a second shot at the Eagles, who allowed him to throw for over 300 yards in the season opener. The Redskins went to the ground game often against the Vikings in Week 10, and Morris' fantasy owners benefited handsomely. He ran for a season-high 26 times for 139 yards, and he now has 51 carries for 260 yards and a touchdown in the past two weeks. Garcon caught seven passes for 64 yards against the Eagles in Week 1, and Philadelphia is the second-worst pass defense in the NFL. Reed was an unknown commodity the last time these two teams faced each other 10 weeks ago, but now, he leads all rookies with 44 receptions.
• Eagles: Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Alex Henery
Three of Foles' 18 passes went for touchdowns against the Packers on Sunday, giving him 10 touchdown passes in his past two games. Things continue to look good for the second-year signal-caller, as the Redskins' porous pass defense comes to town. Foles did have some lucky breaks fall his way, though, so don't measure him for a Hall of Fame jacket just yet. McCoy had his third 150-yard rushing game this season in Week 10, and his owners should be happy to see him get another shot at Washington's defense, a unit that allowed the NFL's top rusher his best game this season (184 rushing yards and a touchdown). Cooper now has three 100-yard games and six touchdown catches in his past five outings. He's not getting any more targets with Foles at quarterback -- he's just proving to be more effective.
• Redskins: Roy Helu, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Kai Forbath, Redskins DST
Helu has nine rushes and five catches in the past three games since his breakout Week 7. Moss nearly caught the game-winning touchdown in Week 10, but couldn't get his feet in bounds. While Hankerson continues to see five or six targets a game, he's just not scoring or racking up yards. He has 14 catches for 185 yards and one touchdown since the Redskins' Week 5 bye.
• Eagles: Bryce Brown, Jason Avant, Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, Eagles DST
Philly's tight ends are inconsistent from a fantasy perspective. Ertz appeared to be getting more looks in recent weeks, with 12 targets compared to seven for Celek from Weeks 6 to 9. But he wasn't thrown to once in Week 10. The Eagles DST has been opportunistic recently, with 10 interceptions and 10 sacks in their past six games.
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars
• Cardinals: Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals DST
Palmer racks up the yards (six games with more than 240 passing yards this season), and he can always be counted on for a touchdown and an interception. But he'll also either throw a second touchdown or a second interception, which is a six- to eight-point swing in fantasy points. While the Jaguars aren't horrible against the pass, teams continue to choose to run against them instead. Ellington and Mendenhall are basically splitting carries at this point, which is bad for both of their fantasy owners. Don't be too critical of Fitzgerald, considering the Texans have the best defense against fantasy wide receivers in the NFL.
• Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts
In spite of being one of very few talented offensive players wearing a Jaguars uniform, MJD continues to get just enough to make his fantasy owners keep him in the lineup. He has at least 70 rushing yards in three of his past four games, and a touchdown in three of his past seven games. Arizona is one of the toughest teams against the run, but the Jaguars are going to continue to use Jones-Drew as a workhorse.
• Cardinals: Carson Palmer, Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd, Rob Housler, Jay Feely
Roberts is coming off an excellent game, but it's tough to say he would have been as good if Floyd (shoulder) didn't get injured in the first half against Houston. Housler also played well in Week 10, catching five passes for 57 yards and a touchdown for his best output of 2013. He's a sneaky play in weekly leagues, but he's not consistent enough yet for traditional fantasy.
• Jaguars: Chad Henne, Mike Brown, Marcedes Lewis, Josh Scobee, Jaguars DST
In Week 10, Henne threw two interceptions and no touchdowns for the third time this season, yet the Jaguars were still able to pull out their first win of the season. Don't count on a repeat performance.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
• Raiders: Rashad Jennings
Jennings has played well in absence of Darren McFadden (hamstring), rushing for 190 yards in his past two games. While Houston has allowed 100 rushing yards just once in the past four games, Jennings is still a good play, as the defense has to account for Terrelle Pryor's legs. If the Raiders turn to Matt McGloin at quarterback, Jennings might face a defense that stacks the box and forces the backup QB to try to beat them with his arm.
• Texans: Case Keenum, Ben Tate, Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins
Keenum has thrown three touchdowns in back-to-back games, and the rookie is set to face the Raiders, who have allowed 18 passing touchdowns. While the Texans passing game has problems, their passing game is in good hands, especially on the other end of Keenum's throws, with Johnson and Hopkins. Johnson now has five touchdown catches in his past two games. As a matter of fact, those are Johnson's only touchdowns this season -- thanks to Keenum's arm. Tate should continue to see the bulk of carries, now that Arian Foster (back) is done for the season, as the Texans are trying to half a seven-game losing streak.
• Raiders: Terrelle Pryor, Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Mychal Rivera, Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders DST
Pryor and Co. were held to just 214 yards against the Giants, and now they'll face a Texans team is pretty good against the pass. Moreover, Pryor may sit in favor of Matt McGloin. After scoring four touchdowns in his first six games, Moore hasn't scored in his past three games, averaging 53 receiving yards per game. The Raiders DST will be facing an upstart rookie quarterback and a hobbled running game, but they're still not fantasy worthy.
• Texans: Dennis Johnson, Garrett Graham, Randy Bullock, Texans DST
Graham had his best chance to do some damage in Week 10, in place of Owen Daniels against the Cardinals, but he finished with just two catches for 18 yards. Bullock has scored double-digits in fantasy points just once this season. While this might be a good matchup for the Texans defense, they just haven't been great from a fantasy perspective this year. They have just two interceptions and eight sacks in their past five games.
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears
• Ravens: Ray Rice, Torrey Smith
Rice continues to struggle, and the Ravens indicate that Pierce will start getting more carries if he's running well. If anyone is going to cure a team's running problems, it will be the Bears, who are allowing the second-most rushing yards in the NFL (129.4 per game). While Smith had one of his lowest yardage games against Cincinnati, he still caught his second touchdown pass of the season.
• Bears: Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett
Cutler returned much earlier than expected from his groin injury, but now has a high ankle sprain that will keep him sidelined against the Ravens. Josh McCown will get the start again, which turned out not to be a detriment to the Bears receivers' fantasy value. Marshall has six touchdown catches in his past five games, with 36 catches for 438 yards in that span. Jeffery, meanwhile, serving as the No. 2 wide receiver on this team, has four 100-yard games in his past six outings. The Ravens have given up an average of one touchdown to wide receivers per game this season, so look for Marshall and Jeffery to have good games.
• Ravens: Joe Flacco, Bernard Pierce, Marlon Brown, Dallas Clark, Dennis Pitta, Justin Tucker, Ravens DST
Flacco had a tough time against the Ravens, throwing a pair of interceptions, fumbling once and getting sacked five times. Expect more struggles, as the Bears defense hasn't allowed a team to throw for over 300 yards since Week 3. No rookie has more touchdown catches than Marlon Brown's five, but he's too inconsistent to rely on regularly and showed up on the injury report Friday. Consider him a cheap option in weekly leagues as a WR3, though. Pitta (hip) is close to returning, but let him prove his health before relying on him. The Bears offense has stars at nearly every position, so don't look to the Ravens DST for fantasy help this week.
• Bears: Jay Cutler, Michael Bush, Robbie Gould, Bears DST
The Bears defense had five sacks in Week 9, but none in Week 10, and they're just too up and down to rely on against a similarly up and down offense. You never know what you're going to get.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
• Browns: Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron
Gordon was relatively quiet against the Ravens in Week 9, with Greg Little blowing up for a huge game, but things should switch back to normal in Week 11. In seven games this season, Gordon has three 100-yard efforts. Cameron has had just two bad games this season, and the latest one came in Week 9. He caught 10 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 4, however.
• Bengals: Giovani Bernard, A.J. Green, Bengals DST
Bernard led the Bengals in receiving with eight catches in Week 10, and he scored his seventh touchdown of the season. He has emerged as the best rookie running back in fantasy so far -- and he doesn't even start for his own NFL team! Green is stringing together one of the best stretches we've seen from a wide receiver in a while. In his past five games, he has 34 catches for 652 yards and three touchdowns. The Bengals DST had three sacks in the Week 4 matchup against Cleveland, and despite their losses to injury, they have 12 sacks in the past three games, to go with six forced turnovers.
• Browns: Jason Campbell, Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya, Greg Little, Billy Cundiff, Browns DST
Campbell has been impressive in both of his starts this season, but now, he'll face a divisional foe that held the Browns to 259 total yards in Week 2. It should be a rough week for most of the Browns' offensive players, as well as their defense. Ogbonnaya continues to take away touches from McGahee, but neither of these guys are worth starting in fantasy this week. Little is coming off one of the best games of his career, but the Bengals rank in the top 10 against the pass.
• Bengals: Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent
In Weeks 6-8, Dalton had 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions. In the past two weeks, he has thrown just two touchdown passes compared to six interceptions. The Browns defense held him to just 206 passing yards in Week 4, with no touchdown passes. While BJGE still starts at tailback for Cincinnati, he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 5, and he has rushed for over 36 yards just four times this season.
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
• Chargers: Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Chargers DST
After starting the season with two 400-yard games, 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions in his first four games, Rivers has thrown seven touchdown passes and five interceptions in the past five games. In what should have been a passing shootout against Denver, the Chargers passing game was relatively quiet in Week 10. The Dolphins have their problems on defense, so Rivers should have a better time connecting with Woodhead, Allen and Gates.
The Dolphins run defense ranks 25th in the NFL, and this unit has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this season. If Bobby Rainey can run on it, Ryan Mathews has a good shot as well. The Chargers defense is a unit to consider against a Dolphins team that couldn't get the running game going against Tampa Bay. This defense has allowed 58 points in its past two games, but that was to RGIII and Peyton Manning -- not Ryan Tannehill.
• Dolphins: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Charles Clay
Wallace will bounce back from his Monday night matchup against CB Darrelle Revis, considering only the Eagles and Bills are worse against fantasy wide receivers than the Chargers. Hartline also gets the nod in this great matchup for receivers.
• Chargers: Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Nick Novak
Brown has been thrown to 16 times in the past four games. He hasn't eclipsed 35 yards in that time, and he hasn't seen the end zone since Week 1. Novak has just four field goals in his past three games, averaging fewer than seven fantasy points in that span.
• Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins DST
There's not a lot to like among the rest of these Dolphins, although, Tannehill could be a cheap option in fantasy leagues. Running backs have had a tough time against the Chargers, totaling just four rushing touchdowns in nine games. Miller and Thomas are coming off an embarrassing showing at Tampa Bay, so they can't be trusted in this unfavorable matchup either.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
• Packers: Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Mason Crosby
Lacy was shut out of the end zone for the first time in four weeks last week, but he has a chance to bounce back against the Giants in Week 11. The Giants have been tough on running backs recently, holding Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy to under 50 rushing yards. But Green Bay will have to utilize Lacy in the passing game. It's apparent that the injuries to Green Bay's quarterbacks have affected Nelson's stats adversely, but you have to keep putting him out there.
• Giants: Andre Brown, Victor Cruz
After missing the first eight games of the season with a broken leg, Brown's 2013 debut was way better than many expected, as he rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. The Giants will continue to feed him the ball, as they try to steady the ship. He'll face a Packers rush defense that has allowed 486 rushing yards over the past three games. Don't grow too concerned over Cruz's stats lately (averaging 57 receiving yards over the past five games with no touchdown catches). He's still getting a ton of targets (44 in that span) and the Giants are getting their running game back to relieve some pressure.
• Packers: Scott Tolzien, James Starks, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin, Andrew Quarless, Packers DST
Aaron Rodgers (clavicle) will miss Week 11, and even though the Giants have an especially mediocre pass defense, you can't rely on Tolzien in Week 11. Jones is feast or famine this season, but if Prince Amukamara covers Nelson Sunday, the Packers might have to go to Jones more. In spite of Boykin's big game (112 yards on eight catches), he's still the third receiver on a team with quarterback issues. The Packers defense has forced just three turnovers over their past six games, but this unit's 20 sacks in the past six games make it one to consider as a borderline unit this week.
• Giants: Eli Manning, Peyton Hillis, Rueben Randle, Brandon Myers, Josh Brown, Giants DST
Manning continues going through an inexplicably bad fantasy season, with just three touchdown passes in his past four games, averaging just over 200 passing yards in that span. Myers hasn't caught a touchdown pass since the season opener. Randle has five touchdown catches in his past five games, but he has 15 total catches in that span. He's starting to get that Cris Carter vibe, where all he ever does is catch touchdowns. But between him and Nicks, it's tough to recommend either of them as top-25 options this week.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
• Vikings: Adrian Peterson
Peterson will be facing a Seahawks defense that has allowed just four rushing touchdowns this season, but A.P. has four rushing touchdowns in his past three games, and is rarely a questionable start.
• Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate, Steve Hauschka, Seahawks DST
Seattle is coming off an impressive win against the Falcons that head coach Pete Carroll called, "the best game we've played." Wilson is making things happen, with nine touchdown passes, one touchdown run and just two interceptions thrown over the past four games. Lynch remains a top-five fantasy running back, and Tate is slowly turning into a good fantasy receiver, catching his fourth touchdown pass of the past six weeks in Week 10. He's a good WR2 against Minnesota, which has allowed an NFL-high 21 touchdown passes this season. Percy Harvin's return against his former team could take a bite out of Tate's value, though. The Seahawks defense hasn't scored a defensive touchdown since Week 4, registering just nine forced turnovers in the six games since. But after two stinkers against the Rams and Bucs, Seattle is stout against the pass and rush again, allowing just 64 rushing yards to the Falcons.
• Vikings: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Greg Jennings, Cordarelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson, John Carlson, Blair Walsh
Starting QB Christian Ponder dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder, but it looks like he'll play this week, putting Matt Cassel back on the bench. Ponder had a great connection with TE John Carlson in Week 10, but Carlson's an unlikely player to repeat a big performance -- especially against the Seahawks. Carlson scored in Week 10 for the first time since 2010 -- when he was with Seattle. Patterson, the rookie receiver out of Tennessee, caught the first touchdown of his NFL career, but he hasn't had more than three catches in any game this season.
• Seahawks: Robert Turbin, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller
Harvin expects to play against his former ballclub in Week 11, as he recovers from hip surgery, but fantasy owners need to show a little more caution -- especially in a two-team bye week. Baldwin has yet to catch 100-yards worth of passes in a game, and he has just one touchdown this season, but Wilson targets him a lot (18 in the past two games).
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
• 49ers: Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Phil Dawson, 49ers DST
Gore has rushed for over 75 yards per game in his past three outings, and the Niners went away from him in the second half of Sunday's game against the Panthers. He's still a top-10 fantasy running back behind an above average offensive line. The fantasy value of Boldin and Davis is directly tied to the arm of QB Colin Kaepernick, who has recently played poorly. Davis is also dealing with a concussion, so check his status before setting those lineups. Dawson has scored over 10 fantasy points in three of his past five games. Despite going up against the third-best offense in the NFL, the Niners defense is still a recommended fantasy start because they're so consistent. After struggling out of the gate, the 49ers DST is averaging over 20 fantasy points per game in their last six games.
• Saints: Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham
Brees has thrown for 300 or more yards in seven of his nine games this season, with 11 touchdown passes in his past three outings. Thomas scored a rushing and receiving touchdown against the Cowboys in Week 10, but the going will be a bit tougher against the 49ers this weekend. Even so, Thomas is used on the ground and in the air, and he's grown into a top 20 fantasy back once again. Stills, who has outperformed Colston over recent weeks, has four touchdown catches in the Saints' past four games. Graham was kept out of the end zone in Week 10, but his foot kept him from playing 100 percent.
• 49ers: Colin Kaepernick, Kendall Hunter, Anquan Boldin, Mario Manningham
Kaepernick is coming off one of the worst games of his career, throwing for just 91 yards and rushing for 16 against Carolina. Over his past three games, he has thrown just one touchdown pass, without eclipsing 200 passing yards, and now he'll face a tough Saints pass defense. He scored three rushing touchdowns in that three-game span, however, which will likely be how he has to get some fantasy points this week, as well.
• Saints: Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Kenny Stills, Lance Moore, Garrett Hartley, Saints DST
Sproles has been below his usual fantasy standards this season, so it was good to see him bounce back with two touchdowns against the Cowboys. His seven catches were the most since Week 4, but the 49ers should prove to be a tougher test. Colston finally rebounded with a 100-yard receiving day, but it was against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Before that game, he hadn't gone over 20 receiving yards since September. Hartley has more missed field goals (three) than made field goals (two) in his past three games. The Saints defense has been a nice fantasy surprise this season, recording 29 sacks and fewer than 200 passing yards allowed per game. But the Niners have a great ground game and some weapons through the air.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
• Chiefs: Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Ryan Succop
Bowe was arrested late Sunday night for speeding and possession of a controlled substance, but he's reportedly set to play Sunday night, making him a worthy fantasy play against a Broncos defense that is mediocre at best against fantasy wide receivers. Alex Smith will likely have to do a lot of passing in the second half, which is good for Bowe.
• Broncos: Peyton Manning, Knowshon Moreno, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, Matt Prater, Broncos DST
An MRI on Manning's ankle showed there wasn't any structural damage, so he's going to play in Week 11. His mobility was already limited, so this doesn't really downgrade him that much. Interesting note that will only mess with your head: The Chiefs are the only team in the NFL that has yet to allow a touchdown catch to a tight end this season. And yet, there's no way you can sit Thomas -- he has scored in seven of nine games this season.
• Chiefs: Alex Smith, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, Anthony Fasano, Chiefs DST
This is a classic matchup between the best offense against the best defense. In this instance, the defense loses, but mostly because it is opportunistic when the other team makes mistakes. And Manning just doesn't make that many mistakes.
• Broncos: Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman
After this game, there will be a couple of players that just don't get enough fantasy points, and I'll have to deal with the consequences (fantasy guillotine) of suggesting bad picks. But sitting any of the Broncos stud players is just a risky move any way you look at it. The Broncos DST is the biggest borderline play.
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers
• Patriots: Stevan Ridley, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski
Meny fantasy owners are going to struggle while deciding whether they should start Stevan Ridley this week, considering the Panthers are the second-ranked defense against the run, and because Shane Vereen (wrist) is expected to return. But the Patriots will likely spoon feed carries back to Vereen, and they will still try to run to set up the pass for Tom Brady. Ridley's a low-end RB2, but he definitely makes a better flex option. The Patriots passing game will have some problems, but Amendola receives too many targets to ignore, even if he doesn't end up scoring. And, of course, Gronk is healthy-ish, so he gets our nod, as well.
• Panthers: Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Graham Gano, Panthers DST
Newton has just four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns, in his past four games. While the Patriots defense is above average, they do have some issues and injuries to deal with, which could allow Newton to bounce back. Newton was stymied against the Niners in his last outing, but he should bounce back against New England.
And while Smith hasn't scored in three games, he does have 28 targets in that span. The Patriots have allowed just two touchdown catches to tight ends, and they have given up 500 receiving yards to the position in nine games this season.
• Patriots: Tom Brady, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Patriots DST
While Ridley still has a chance to do some fantasy good this week, we're a little more reluctant to suggest starting Brady. The last time we doubted Brady, he went out and torched a tough Steelers pass defense for four touchdown passes. But the Panthers are even better, allowing just seven scores through the air, and recording 29 sacks, which ranks among the NFL leaders.
• Panthers: Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr.
Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the chances of fantasy owners seeing Stewart, Williams or Tolbert become recommended starts. They're all capable of scoring every week, but considering they're competing with each other, and with Newton, for goal-line touches, you should avoid all of them.
David Gonos is a fantasy sports veteran of over 20 years and over 100 fantasy football leagues. You can also follow him @davidgonos on Twitter. If you have some good Week 11 start 'em, sit 'em opinions, drop them in the comments below.