2017 Fantasy Football Week 11 Preview: Winterize

by Richard Savill
2017 Fantasy Football Week 11 Preview

The last week before Thanksgiving marks that final part of the season before the heavy playoff atmosphere commences. In effect, we begin the tournament phase after Week 11. This is really where the sad anticipation of missing football begins.

It's also the time where players on IR from early in the season begin to make their return. Danny Woodhead we expect back this week and others, like Greg Olsen, the next. This week Olsen is calling the game in Minnesota between the Rams and Vikings.

We might even see Aaron Rodgers back sooner than expected, as he was back throwing once again this past week. So, a lot of excitement in the air remains; including the surprise return of Josh Gordon after a long absence from football.

2017 Fantasy Football Week 11 Preview

Byes: Panthers, Colts, Jets, 49ers

We go to Mexico this week; as the Patriots and Raiders feature in the final international game of 2017. This is also the final week of byes in the NFL, so all our fantasy players are available much earlier than in years past for the playoff push.

Games to Watch

Feature Game: Rams (7-2) at Vikings (7-2)

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Obviously a game with huge playoff ramifications, so to speak. This was not a game I'm sure the schedulers expected as a titanic struggle of league leaders before the season. But here we are and what a game! As I mentioned, Greg Olsen of the Panthers is in the booth for this one and the Vikings are crying foul because the Panthers are an upcoming opponent.

The Rams of course are the biggest surprise and many tout them as the "Greatest Show On Turf II."  They certainly are good. Sean McVay built a team around various elements. They play a flow control offense that is meticulous, yet simpler to execute as compared to other "designer football" offenses we've seen in the past - such as the over-burden type of Chip Kelly.

The Rams are also tricky and very talented. The Vikings defense, because of their balance, are in for a true test. I would expect the usual Todd Gurley II frontline attack with the annoying peripheral weapons like Tavon Austin gobbling up yardage between the 20s. The Rams will attempt the deep ball, but their mid-range game is what drives a defense nuts. Look for Robert Woods and especially Cooper Kupp to have heavy usage.

The Vikings will stick to their own style of run-first, but I sense that Case Keenum will need to do much scrambling in this game, which may be a key for any real success in the passing game. The Rams will send blitzes in waves with less respect for their rushing attack led in committee by Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.

Sleeper: Tavon Austin, WR/RB, Rams

High OU Game: Patriots (7-2) vs Raiders (4-5) in Mexico City

The Raiders have managed a patchwork quilt of a season with big wins and mostly bad losses. They get up for these games against the league's best and prepare eagerly for them. However, during their four-game losing streak from Week 3 through Week 6, every single team they lost to has a losing record.

At 4-5, Oakland still maintain the second spot in the division. Their playoff hopes hinge on pulling off the upset in Mexico, otherwise they allow several other AFC competitors into the chase.

The matchup between these teams has all the elements of bringing a football version of the Oshkosh Airshow to Mexico City. I expect therefore the Patriots will oblige with James White and Dion Lewis doing plenty of pass catching duty. With Chris Hogan out and Danny Amendola questionable, Rex Burkhead may have extra catch duty as well.

The Raiders will give token carries to Marshawn Lynch, but like the Patriots, the best pass catching running back should hold sway, therefore...

Sleeper: Jalen Richard, RB, Raiders

Sunday Night Football: Eagles (8-1) at Cowboys (5-4)

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Such as it is, this is your Sunday capper for fantasy. Just joking. This is the biggest game of the year in the NFC east!

The Cowboys are without Ezekiel Elliott in his 2nd suspension game. If Elliott had just taken his suspension from the start, the Cowboys would have had him for this game with plenty to spare. I think the record would be about the same anyway.

The Eagles are playing scrappy backyard football and their defense is playing tough. We talked about Patrick Robinson and Jalen Mills on The Fantasy Edge as a top cornerback tandem. However, it is pressure up front where the Eagles take care of most of the business with Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham.

Offensively, this the Carson Wentz style. Scrappy. Backyard. Pop Warner. Whatever you want to call it, Wentz is already a master of extending plays with youthful heroics. The way he plays and his style tells you right away the heavy influence Brett Favre must have had on him as a youngster.

As for other players, I expect a heavy dose of Jay Ajayi this week. In his second game with the team, Ajayi should go beyond leading a committee, to actually "being" the committee. It remains a question if that does bear itself out because Peterson seems to prefer a loosely shared backfield.

Look for Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz to continue their usual workloads with Nelson Agholor finding his own targets. There is a player creeping into the deep league fantasy arena and he is...

Sleeper: Mack Hollins, WR, Eagles

Monday Night Football: Falcons (5-4) at Seahawks (6-3)

I never relax on Monday with fantasy players in bad matchups. Monday Night Football is notoriously unreliable for sticking to the paper projections for anything.

So a lot of people worry about Matt Ryan putting up a stinker in Seattle. I wouldn't. Even on paper there is that glaring depletion in the secondary with Richard Sherman out for the season.

The Falcons are without Devonta Freeman for at least this game, but with Tevin Coleman almost as good, the Falcons aren't hurting in the backfield. Thus, the play action to Julio Jones and the boys remains just as strong an option against a still fierce Seattle defense.

As for Seattle, they can only hope for such good things from their backfield. The key for them is as usual Russell Wilson avoiding too many bad decisions, which he does, and getting the ball to his receivers without guys like Robert Alford breaking them up.

I think Jimmy Graham continues as the "plus" player for the Hawks and very likely the hero (again) of this patchy, yet determined offense.

Sleeper: J.D. McKissic, RB, Seahawks

Players to Watch

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Nathan Peterman, QB, Bills (at Chargers)

He doesn't come into this game with any credential of anticipation. A very "under the radar" rookie who suddenly gets the start for Buffalo. I get the sense that after the Saints game, Tyrod Taylor and Sean McDermott had some kind of falling out over stuff like play calls. Whatever it was, the bottom line is Peterman starts. We shall see how comfortable he looks when the game clock is at 15:00 against a ready defense.

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Cardinals (at Texans)

If Gabbert performs well in relief of the injured Stanton, he could easily hold on to the interim starter role. There's really nothing else. Matt Barkley is the next up camp arm veteran. They don't have a rookie to test out.

Dontrelle Inman, WR, Bears (vs Detroit)

Inman showed up straight away into the building Bears offense with a 6-88-0 statline. I suppose when McDermott's Bills see Kelvin Benjamin getting just half that in his debut, it didn't help Tyrod Taylor's case. But I digress. Inman moves into a strong role obviously, which means Darius Slay and company need to factor him in their defensive plans.

Corey Coleman, WR, Browns (vs Jaguars)

Not the greatest matchup you want to see for the 2nd year talent to return to after a long injury absence. The main thing is though, at 0-9, the Browns can experiment any way they desire. These tough outings against contenders are gold dust opportunities to evaluate their needs with a wealth of draft picks coming in 2018.

Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens (at Packers)

I don't want to rain on your parade, but if you held Woodhead all this time expecting a cultured pearl in the oyster, you might have to just settle for the food value inside instead. You aren't going to get much more than what Javorius Allen gave. The upgrade is minimal.

Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins (at New Orleans)

One of the weaker holds in fantasy this year. This week could be different. With Terrelle Pryor, Jameison Crowder, Ryan Grant and Jordan Reed all injured, it leaves a large void of targets. Maurice Harris came off the practice squad and vultured a touchdown immediately last week, so don't get too excited for anything.

In The Booth on Sunday

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Greg Olsen and Daryl Johnston

CBS Early

Chiefs at Giants: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Ravens at Packers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Jaguars at Browns: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

CBS Late

Patriots vs Raiders (in Mexico City): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Bengals at Broncos: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green

Fox Early

Redskins at Saints: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Rams at Vikings: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Greg Olsen
Cardinals at Texans: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Lions at Bears: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Buccaneers at Dolphins: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth

Fox Late

Bills at Chargers: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

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1 comment

Saturday November 18, 2017 - Fantasy Football Links - FantasyRundown.com November 18, 2017 - 9:18 am

[…] previews the Week 11 games to help you get ready for your fantasy […]


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