Welcome to week 11 of the NFL season. We are closing in on fantasy playoff time and wins are vital. Let me do my best to help you out. Here are some guys who you should think about starting and sitting this week.
Carson Palmer – Palmer is averaging 328 passing yards per game over the last three games and he’s a top 10 option this week against the Saints who are giving up the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. He might not win you many real games as a Raiders fan, but he’ll keep slinging it in garbage time for your fake teams.
Cam Newton – Newton is similar to Palmer in that he’s not winning many real games, but he continues to put up good enough fantasy numbers to keep him around. This week he takes on a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has played great offensivly of late, but horribly on pass defense. They are giving up an average of 330 yards passing per game. Add that to Newton’s ability to score with his feet and you have to get him into your lineup this week.
C.J. Spiller – The Dolphins have been tough against running backs all season, but just allowed Chris Johnson to top 100 yards and this Thursday they get Spiller, who is possibly the most explosive player in the league right now. He only has 87 rushing attempts and is still the No. 7 ranked fantasy running back. In Spiller's last 14 games he has 154 carries, 1,023 yards, seven touchdowns (6.6 ypc), 49 receptions, 469 yards, and three touchdowns. This Thursday, he gets the start with Fred Jackson sidelined with a concussion. Start him with confidence.
Marcel Reece – Reece led the way for the Raiders last week with over 100 total yards while Taiwan Jones took a back seat. This week he gets an even better matchup against the Saints who are like babies holding candy for opposing running backs to take and eat and generate fantasy points with, or something like that. Just keep your eye on the injury reports. If Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson come back, Reece's value falls to pieces.
Donnie Avery – The Patriots are good at stopping the best players on an opposing team, but usually let the lesser players roam free mainly because they don’t have the personnel to handle them, especially in the secondary. The Bills No. 2 wide receiver just had a nice game against them and the Colts No. 2 receiver should as well this week.
Titus Young – The Packers pass defense has been lagging of late and the Lions passing offense has stepped it up. With Nate Burleson done for the season, Titus Young has taken over and scored three touchdowns over the last three games. The Packers will be able to score on the Lions and turn this game into a shootout. Titus Young will pick up the scraps left by Calvin Johnson.
Antonio Gates – Gates just had a big game against Denver a few weeks ago and there’s no reason he won’t be able to do the same this week. Denver has been getting scorched by tight ends this season and leads the league in fantasy points allowed to them.
Dwayne Allen – It looks like Coby Fleener will be out again and that sets Allen up with a nice matchup against the Patriots who are third to last in fantasy points given up to tight ends. This should be a high scoring game by the Patriots with Andrew Luck throwing 50+ times while trying to keep up.
Philip Rivers – Rivers has been playing well of late, but the Broncos pass defense has also been playing well, especially at home. They recently shut down Drew Brees, which is a nearly impossible task and also picked off Rivers four times in San Diego earlier in the season - which isn’t quite as impossible.
Joe Flacco – Flacco just had a huge game against the Raiders at home, but this week he travels to Pittsburgh and goes against pass defense that has been playing lights out. They lead the league by a wide margin by allowing just 180 yards passing per game.
Matt Forte – The 49ers rush defense has shown weaknesses as of late, but they are still a top team and this week the have center stage on Monday Night Football to help them bounce back. The Bears may be without Jay Cutler, which will lead to more running plays, but the 49ers won’t need to defend the deep ball with Jason Campbell at the helm. It will be a rough road for Forte.
Rashad Jennings – This is a bit of a no-brainer, but since Jennings is the starter, it’s hard not to want to at least flex him on your team. I wouldn’t. The Texans are the only team to not have given up a rushing touchdown to a running back this season and the chances of Blaine Gabbert and company getting to the goal line where Jennings could actually get a touchdown are slim. Give someone with more upside a chance this week,
Michael Crabtree – Crabtree has been playing lights out of late, but he gets the Chicago Bears secondary this week. The Bears have only given up five touchdown receptions to wide receivers all season. And if Alex Smith is still hurting, his chances get even worse.
Cecil Shorts – Shorts has been coming up big this season, but this week he gets to line up across from Johnathan Joseph and the Texans pass defense. The Jaguars are going to have an impossible time generating offense this week.
Owen Daniels – He has been a top tight end this season and gets the Jaguars poor defense, so why is he a sit? Well, the Jaguars have given up a total of zero touchdowns to tight ends this season. That number is probably a little soft, but I don’t see the Texans needing to throw the ball much in this game to win it. Daniels isn’t a must sit, but if you have a similar option, I’d give that guy a chance.
Dennis Pitta – Pitta finally broke out of his touchdown slump against the Raiders last week, but gets a tough matchup against the Steelers this week. He hasn’t been getting enough targets of late and should be on your bench or the waiver wire.