Fantasy Clicks: Week 11 Revelations
Matthew Stafford: AP
Regarding the Browns, it'd be easy to chalk up the fantasy goodness of Brady Quinn (308 total yards, 4 TDs), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (5 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD) and Chansi Stuckey (5 catches, 76 yards, 1 TD) as a one-and-done byproduct of playing the Lions. But for the first time in the Eric Mangini era, Cleveland actually had the gusto to attack opposing defenses head-on, by ground AND by air. If anything, the coaching staff should realize the Browns have an infinitely better chance of winning with guns a-blazing ... than meekly trying to dink and dunk their way downfield. But at the risk of going loco here ... we'll take a wait-and-see approach with all Brownies down the stretch -- with the possible exception of Massaquoi and backup RB Chris Jennings (74 total yards), who may be the No. 1 waiver-wire pickup in 14- or 16-team leagues this week.
San Diego 32, Denver 3
Regarding the Chargers, it must be comforting to know the club can win a first-place showdown on the road by 29 points ... without much fantasy-friendly assistance from Vincent Jackson (4 catches, 56 yards), RB Darren Sproles (33 total yards), TE Antonio Gates (3 catches, 41 yards) or even QB Philip Rivers (145 passing yards, 1 TD). Put it all together, and you have a franchise that seems to enjoy watching LaDainian Tomlinson (73 total yards, 1 TD) play around with the radio stations/rear-view mirror while they're in cruise control -- and awaiting another AFC West title. Let's just hope they're back on the gas pedal for Week 12 against Kansas City -- where there's amazing fantasy goodness at potentially every turn.
Minnesota 35, Seattle 9
On the Brett Favre side of the ledger, we have no qualms about his fantasy-playoff potential -- or any NFL game in between. If he's not throwing for 300 yards and/or four TDs, fantasy owners can at least bank on Favre's penchant for spreading the wealth amongst The Big Four -- Adrian Peterson (98 total yards), Sidney Rice (6 catches, 89 yards, 2 TDs), Percy Harvin (5 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (8 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD). Lucky for us, everything's relative in Favre's world, as evidenced by his ho-hum 213-yard, 4-TD effort against Seattle -- which proffered only three incompletions out of 25 pass attempts. For those who aren't math majors, that's an efficiency rate of 88 percent. Yikes!
Kansas City 27, Pittsburgh 24 (OT)
Regarding the Chiefs, instead of breathlessly hyping the fantasy improvement of QB Matt Cassel (248 passing yards, 2 TDs), RB Jamaal Charles (66 total yards, 1 TD ... PLUS one kick-return TD) and WR Chris Chambers (4 catches, 119 yards) ... we'll simply focus on the club's easy-as-pie slate of the Chargers, Broncos, Bills and Browns in the next four weeks. And did we mention three of the games are at home -- with warm and sunny San Diego serving as the only roadie? Yes, it's a match made in fantasy heaven for the legions of incredibly patient Cassel owners ... or the ones who smartly dumped him in Week 5 and claimed him off the scrap heap after Week 10). Either way, it's paydirt time!
Tom Brady (left) and Randy Moss: AP
Regarding the Jets, would it be wrong to assume no one had QB Mark Sanchez (138 total yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs) in their bye-free starting lineup? Or Braylon Edwards (1 catch, 10 yards) as a PPR flex play? Good ... because we would hate to spend precious editorial space on extolling the virtues of GM-ing with your heart vs. GM-ing with your head. Staying with the Blatantly Obvious Things in Fantasy theme, Thomas Jones (103 rushing yards) is a must-start in all formats, regardless of the matchup; and tight end Dustin Keller should get full consideration for the Jets' hospitable slate of Weeks 12-15 -- Carolina, Buffalo (Toronto), Tampa Bay, Atlanta.
Arizona 21, St. Louis 13
We'd love to discuss the Rams' fantasy prospects for the stretch run -- from Brandon Gibson's PPR viability, in comparison to Donnie Avery ... or the chances of Marc Bulger sniffing 3 TDs in a game -- but this would be an obvious exercise in futility, since no one in their right mind would take their playoff chances with any Ram not named Steven Jackson (116 yards, 1 TD vs. Arizona). So, for the sake of keeping things simple here, let's just hope that S-Jax keeps adding to his TD streak (currently at three) and stays healthy for the juicy Week 15 and 16 matchups with Houston and Arizona, respectively. If that occurs, there's a good chance he'll be Fantasy Bowl MVP ... or, on a less-prestigious level, Toilet Bowl MVP.
Indianapolis 17, Baltimore 15
On the flip side ... we have no outlandish fantasy statements to make about the Ravens. But we do have an important Public Service Announcement to pass on: Club officials have reluctantly voted to continue the "milk carton" program for the Baltimore players who've disappeared this season -- beginning with Le'Ron McClain (Week 1), Willis McGahee (Week 4), Mark Clayton (Week 7) and ending with Todd Heap (Week 9), QB Joe Flacco (Week 10) and ex-kicker Steven Hauschka (Week 11). Of course, that still leaves Ray Rice (135 total yards vs. Indy) and Derrick Mason (9 catches, 142 yards) for public consumption ... but who's to say how long that'll last? Hopefully, not before Week 14 against Detroit.
Jacksonville 18, Buffalo 15
As for the hard-luck Bills, here's all you need to know about North America's Team: Excluding Terrell Owens' 197 receiving yards (nine catches and one touchdown), Buffalo accounted for only 118 yards, which might explain why free-agent coach Mike Shanahan has the Bills as his third choice for the 2010 season -- behind the Cowboys and the Savannah College Of Art & Design (it's based in Atlanta ... about two blocks away from the SI.com office).
N.Y. Giants 34, Atlanta 31 (OT)
Regarding the Falcons, there's not much to complain about here. Matt Ryan (282 total yards, 2 TDs) had a nice slump-busting day, including that pressure-packed, perfect-strike TD to Tony Gonzalez to force overtime. Gonzo (8 catches, 82 yards, 1 TD) was his typical all-world self. Michael Jenkins (6 catches, 76 yards) didn't embarrass fantasy owners in deeper PPR leagues; and Jason Snelling amassed 89 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Michael Turner (bad ankle). The only daddy-downer moment -- aside from the playoff-crippling overtime loss, of course -- came in the form of Roddy White's 4-catch, 45-yard outing ... which, frankly, is enough evidence to sell reasonably high on him before the trade deadline. White's lower-body injury (knee? ankle?) may not be enough to keep him out ... but it's sufficient ammo for getting 90 cents on the trade dollar.
LeSean McCoy: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
On the flip side, there are no guarantees with the slumping Bears -- from QB Jay Cutler (182 total yards, 1 TD, 1 INT vs. Philly) and RB Matt Forte (54 total yards) to TE Greg Olsen (5 catches, 42 yards) and WR Earl Bennett (5 catches, 57 yards). It's the nature of the beast with the Monsters of the Midway: Every week is a non-predictable and oh-so-frustrating grab bag of fantasy goodness or badness. Heck, we can't even guarantee that WR Devin Hester (4 catches, 18 yards) will keep his pants on from this point forward. And frankly, that's a concern.
Green Bay 30, San Francisco 24
As for the 49ers ... FOX TV analyst Brian Billick paid Michael Crabtree the ultimate compliment by saying he'd underestimated Crabtree's desire to get the job done -- no matter the Green Bay coverage or the occasional inaccurate pass from QB Alex Smith. He's not a typical rookie. He doesn't shy away from contact or pressure. As a result, it's easy to believe that Crabtree's career-best outing of 4 catches/77 yards/1 TD will immediately be eclipsed next week against Jacksonville. Tight end Vernon Davis (6 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD) also deserves major kudos for fighting through the Packers' press coverage, often against cornerbacks Charles Woodson/Al Harris. If there's any player who's made a greater fantasy leap this season ... we're genuinely struggling to name him. Thankfully, Frank Gore isn't about wild shifts of production from year to year; he's about pleasing fantasy owners, even on days with 10 measly touches (68 total yards, 1 TD).
New Orleans 38, Tampa Bay 7
On the flip side ... the Bucs are a real-world and fantasy mess -- but you already knew that. QB Josh Freeman totaled only 156 yards and one touchdown ... with three interceptions. After that, no other Bucs playmaker produced more than 40 yards. In summary, either Tampa Bay is still in 'hangover' mode from the Green Bay comeback win of Week 9 ... or the Bucs left all of their home magic in those retro-chic creamsicle uniforms.
Oakland 20, Cincinnati 17
The Bengals didn't fare much better in this collective snoozefest. If Carson Palmer (214 total yards, zero TDs, 1 INT) and Chad Ochocinco (4 catches, 67 yards) weren't bland enough to send DirecTV Sunday Ticket viewers scrambling for the remote control, then the mundane Cincy receivers (2.5 catches/35 yards per man) certainly sealed the deal. The only bright spot, surprisingly, was RB Bernard Scott, whose 151 total yards likely accelerated the recovery timetable of Cedric Benson AND de-emphasized the midweek signing of Larry Johnson (2 carries, 5 yards). Talk about killing two fantasy birds with one stone. Boom!
Dallas 7, Washington 6
It'd be easy for us to ignore the latest installment of Redskins-Cowboys on the simple premise of, Life's too short to worry about things that make you sad. But in the spirit of the holiday season, we'll humor the delusional owners who still believe that Tony Romo (158 yards passing, 1 TD) is a top-10 fantasy QB, Miles Austin's 15 minutes of fame aren't almost up, Jason Witten (5 catches, 43 yards) is more than just a blocking tight end and that Roy Williams (zero catches) and Felix Jones are even worth owning in 12- or 14-team leagues. Wow ... that's a lot of negatives when describing America's Team. But since we're just three days from Thanksgiving, let's finish with a positive: Marion Barber (107 total yards) would make the perfect flex player during the fantasy playoffs -- especially for leagues that aren't touchdown-obsessive. Oops, there I go ... with another negative.
Jay Clemons can be found on Twitter, day and night (@SI_JayClemons), accessing your fantasy questions and comments. You can also read his award-winning Revelations every Sunday and Monday during the NFL season.