Week 11 Fantasy Player Rankings | David vs. Goliath
Last week the new column “David vs. Goliath“, pitting my personal fantasy rankings agains the big boys of ESPN, debuted here at NFLSoup. We’re going to continue that theme this week, as I try to pick several options that the “leaders in sports” are way off on.
Here are a few Player Rankings for Week 11 that the braintrust at ESPN and I disagree on:
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys: ESPN Rank – #4, My Rank – #11
I don’t think that Tony will get shut down completely, but he is definitely not one of my top choices in Week 11. Romo’s worst game of 2011 came in Week 3 against the Skins, when he managed 255 passing yards, but zero TDs and an INT. In his last four versus Washington, Romo has averaged 245.3 passing YPG, with as many INTs as TDs (3 of each). I also believe that Dallas will have no problem running the ball, which will limit Tony’s opportunities.
John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals: ESPN Rank – #23, My Rank – #9
If you need a bye week fill-in, John Skelton is your guy! Since taking over for Kevin Kolb, Skelton has totaled 537 passing yards and four TDs in two games, with most of that production coming last week against a talented Eagle’s secondary. John might not be the most talented QB, but he is smart enough to get the ball in the hands of one of the NFL’s most dynamic wide receivers, Larry Fitzgerald. Larry has been targeted an amazing 25 times resulting in 11-189-3 with Skelton at QB. Week 11 brings a trip to San Francisco, against whom it is IMPOSSIBLE to run the ball. Fortunately, the Niners are quite generous against the pass, allowing 284.8 passing YPG and eight TDs over their past six games.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: ESPN Rank – #15, My Rank – #8
Unless you own Lynch in a league, you probably have no idea just how well he has played recently. Seattle has not exactly been a gold mine for Fantasy Football talent, so why would you? Marshawn accomplished his best game of the season in Week 10 versus the elite Ravens defense, piling up 167 yards from scrimmage and a TD. Three of his last four games have been monstrous, totaling 441 yards from scrimmage and three TDs. In fact, Lynch has scored a TD in five consecutive games. He faces a Rams defense that has surrendered 124 rushing YPG (at a juicy 5.1 Yards Per Carry) and four TDs over their last six games.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: ESPN Rank – #21, My Rank – #7
Starks has been consistently mediocre all season. Amazingly consistent, actually. James has received either 12 or 13 carries in 7 of 9 games, has either 2 or 3 catches in 6 of 9, and has achieved between 66-115 yards from scrimmage in 6 of 9. His only TD came in Week 1. My gut tells me, though, that Week 11 will be a big one for Mr. Starks. Tampa Bay, in their last six games, has graciously permitted 141.2 (5.1 YPC) rushing YPG, 54 (10.4 YPR) receiving YPG, and eleven TDs to running backs. Even if James only gets his normal opportunities and one TD, he will total 18-20 Fantasy Points (PPR).
Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions: ESPN Rank – #26, My Rank – #16
Morris faces a very similar situation to what Starks does. The Carolina Panthers bring a completely inadequate run defense to Detroit in Week 11, allowing 137.5 (4.9 YPC) rushing YPG, 46.5 (8.8 YPR) receiving YPG, and eleven TDs over their last six games. Maurice has averaged a very respectable 4.75 YPC, but is only getting about eleven carries a game in Jahvid Best’s absence. I am not quite as confident that Morris will receive adequate opportunities to rack up stats, given that Best himself only averaged about 14 carries a game. Best was, however, averaging 4.5 grabs per game, while Morris is only averaging 1.3 receptions in his last three. The Lions have lost 2 of those 3 games, and need to get back to targeting the RB in the passing game.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants: ESPN Rank – #6, My Rank – #18 and Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: ESPN Rank – #22, My Rank – #10
This is a solid match-up for the Giants wide receivers. The “Dream Team” Eagle’s secondary has struggled recently against WRs. Over the last four games, WRs have averaged 10.5-178.3 and added five TDs versus Philadelphia. However, I feel that Victor Cruz, not Hakeem Nicks, is the better play here. Nicks has been in and out of the line-up with hamstring issues, and while he appears to be fine, his limited availability has allowed Cruz to establish outstanding chemistry with Eli Manning. In his last three games, Cruz has turned 31 targets into 19-274-1. Nicks in his last three has received 21 targets, resulting in 12-204-1.
Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders: ESPN Rank – #20, My Rank – #8
I’m all in with Denarius Moore. He looked spectacular in Week 10 versus San Diego with 5-123-2. Overlooked is the fact that in Week 9, while he only finished with 4-61, he did receive an amazing 12 targets. Carson Palmer LOVES this guy! To sweeten this deal even more, Oakland will enjoy passing against the absolute worst defense versus wide receivers in the Minnesota Vikings. Over the last six games, the Vikes have gifted wide receivers with 83 catches, 1,264 yards, and 8 TDs! And they were that bad BEFORE losing DB Antoine Winfield to injury for the rest of the season.
Kellen Winslow, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: ESPN Rank – #12, My Rank – #7
Winslow is certainly not the dynamic young Stud that he once was, but is still capable of the occasional nice game. He is certainly not lacking for opportunity, as Kellen has received a minimum of six targets in every game but one, and is averaging 8.5 targets over his last four games. Unfortunately, he has only managed to actually catch 38 of his 69 targets. In Week 11, however, Winslow travels to Green Bay to face a defense that has allowed 30 grabs, 382 yards, and three TDs to TEs over their last six games. Additionally, all but two teams all season have succeeded in delivering at least four receptions to their TEs versus the Packers. Those two teams were Chicago and Denver (Do they even have TEs?).
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers: ESPN Rank – #8, My Rank – #18
I was dead wrong about Davis last week, predicting a #23 ranking compared to a #14 by ESPN. He finished as the #6 tight end (PPR) after “busting out” for 3-40-1. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment, because I’m predicting another mediocre performance. Vernon just isn’t involved enough to generate any confidence. He has received four or fewer targets in 5 of 9 games this season. Also, his Week 11 opponent, Arizona, has been very tough against the TE. The Cardinals have only allowed three TDs to TEs all year, and if you take out the Week 8 contest versus Baltimore (in which they gave up 12-90), they have only allowed 15 grabs to TEs in six games since Week 2.