Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 11 Preview: Returning Comet

on

It was December 3, 1990 on a Monday night in Week 13. The highly anticipated game of the season finally arrived with the Giants (10-1) at 49ers (10-1).  Both of these teams were undefeated until Week 12 when each suffered their first defeat. However, they remained the powerhouse teams of the NFL in 1990.

Phil Simms versus Joe Montana, under the lights, took center stage for one of the biggest in-season games since Monday Night Football began in 1970. You can watch this famous game here. I won’t divulge the final score.

The game featured many famous names, including a name we recognize today. Bill Belichick was the defensive co-ordinator of the Giants in those days. Charles Haley and Lawrence Taylor were among several players now in Canton that played in this game.


Matchups of heavyweights with the best won-lost records are rare this deep into a NFL season. This year, the comet of football fortune visits us once again on Monday night.

2018 Fantasy Football Week 11 Preview

Manage all your fantasy teams in every league in just one place. Sign up to use the Fantasy Pros Playbook.

Games to Watch

Byes: Bills, Browns, Dolphins, 49ers, Jets, Patriots

Sunday Early
Pittsburgh (6-2-1) at Jaguars (3-6)

Embed from Getty Images
A bit of a score to settle for the Steelers who lost in the divisional playoffs in 2017 to the Jaguars 45-42.

What became of the big bad Jaguars defense? Where is it? We used to talk about about their strength with Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson for pressure up front. Not forgetting that secondary of Church, Gipson, Ramsey and Bouye. Bouye returns this week after recovering from a calf injury.

It turns out that the Jaguars are just fine on defense – ranking near the top in several important categories. The problem is that they have no compliment on offense. Although Leonard Fournette stormed back from hamstring issues after the bye, the Jaguars still could not prevent their 5th straight loss.

Improving Steelers

If that wasn’t bad enough, the improving Steelers have become a top run-stuffing defense by the numbers. That said, the Steelers gave up substantial chunks of yardage to Christian McCaffrey  in Week 10.

The Steelers absolutely embarrased the Panthers defense last week and they’ll look to do that against the Jaguars. As mentioned, the Jaguars do not seem to have that dominating presence even though the numbers say they should. The Steelers do well not to underestimate them and you can bet they will not.

The Steelers know that if they can prevent Fournette from establishing a rhythm, they’ll force Bortles into uncomfortable passing situations. Therefore, expect them to stack the box. Bortles, like most quarterbacks of his type, only looks deadly when he has time to throw. The Steelers D had success against Cam Newton, who can thrive without a clean pocket, should have it better with Bortles who really needs it for any success.

Sleeper: Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers

Sunday Late
Eagles (4-5) at Saints (8-1)

Embed from Getty Images
The Eagles had some concern as to the direction of their team by late October. They went out and traded for Golden Tate to address something bothering them on offense. We saw Tate moved around last week as though the Eagles were rearranging the living room to somehow fit in the new couch.

Why are the Eagles the biggest Super Bowl Champion underdogs since 2009 entering New Orleans? Okay, they can beat the Saints. Quite capable. Yet, somehow you do not sense the Eagles pose much difficulty against the team who many believe are now the dominant team in the NFC.

The Saints have made a case. Defeating the lone remaining undefeated team in Week 9 and following that up with more offensive bludgeoning against the Bengals, just makes the Eagles look like more barbells for the Saints to train with.

Drew Brees continues to find new and better ways of winning. The Eagles are without Jalen Mills for this one and Ronald Darby looks headed for IR. Without their best corners, things look pretty grim if the Eagles want any chance of coverage sacks on Brees.

Veteran Presence

Of course, the usual problem is containing Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. The Saints brought in Brandon Marshall to what purpose no one is certain. As we know, this was Dez Bryant’s chance to re-enter the league until his first-practice injury. The Saints obviously miss Ted Ginn and really want that veteran presence.

Look for the Eagles to attack hard with Josh Adams on the ground with more exclusivity in the backfield. That said, this type of matchup may really rest on the play of Corey Clement in the passing game. If the Eagles can do their own one-two punch against the Saints from the backfield, then Carson Wentz could see better success than Andy Dalton did last week against these Saints.

I won’t count the Eagles out of this game. It looks very tough on paper in the Superdome, but they still have a strong pass rush with Jordan Hicks. If they can at least pressure Brees and keep the game from getting away from them, they may have a shot.

As a side note, the Saints are wearing their color-rush whites and the Eagles are wearing their home greens. Confused? Apparently, this was some sort of settling of a golf bet between Doug Pederson and Sean Payton.

Sleeper: Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles

Sunday Night
Vikings (5-3-1) at Bears (6-3)

Embed from Getty Images
With the Packers losing ground, we can now see the NFC North finally declare a front-runner after this game.

The Vikings are coming off a bye and seem headed for better things as their team gets healthier. Xavier Rhodes was a concern early in the week with a lingering injury from the Week 7 Jets game, but is trending toward 100% now. Dalvin Cook got extra rest from the bye too and is ready to roll.

At or below freezing temperatures will greet both these teams as they take the field, so the balaclavas will be out. The jostle of the game depends on tempo and we have seen that both these teams prefer the style of regular pace.

This can make for a tight-scoring affair when both teams play for attrition. If you liked the struggle on Thursday night between the Packers and Seahawks, you can expect something similar.


So yes, it’s a game where patience for opportunity is the key. I expect Adam Thielen to rebound a bit better statistically with Stefon Diggs returning to help draw coverage away from him.

For the Bears, Allen Robinson is gaining his stride, but Trubisky may find him a difficult to target with Xavier Rhodes on the ready. Robinson has just that extra height, but Rhodes makes up the difference with speed. Robinson does well when the best corners aren’t on him like we saw when the Lions were without Darius Slay. So don’t expect a repeat in fortunes like last week.

Sleeper: Taylor Gabriel, WR, Bears

Monday Night
Chiefs (9-1) at Rams (9-1)

Embed from Getty Images
Here we go. The game we’ve waited for has finally arrived. As many already know, this was an international series game that Azteca stadium could not get ready for in time. The field looked absolutely terrible from the pictures and players complained.

So, the NFL agreed that Azteca was in nowhere near the league standard. They pulled out and relocated the game to Memorial Coliseum where the Rams usually play.

Okay, that’s it for the venue. Time for the show.

This game is all about which team has air-superiority. For me it has to come down to who has the sorest shoulder after the game from throwing between Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes has broken all the rules for young quarterback starters. The preseason hype was right. He leads the league in touchdown passes with 31 and it remains possible, especially with more matchups like this, to reach the magic number of 50 by the end of the regular season. Only Tom Brady (2007) and Peyton Manning (2013) have met or surpassed that number.

Goff outstanding too

Goff is no slouch either. He trails Mahomes by only 16 for the league lead in passing yardage with 3134.

This game is a formal introduction to our new quarterback elites of the future for fantasy and otherwise.

Not much else to add. We all know these teams very well by now and what they are capable of. I doubt Andy Reid or Sean McVay are simply making a “run and shoot” game plan. I think both will attempt to shutdown the most harmful and let the game take the course from that.

This means the Chiefs will likely allow everything else to happen except Todd Gurley and the Rams will try and take away either Tyreek Hill or Kareem Hunt. I mean if they try to balance everything, the defenses on both sides could easily lose focus and it all collapses.

That’s the key. Focus. Whichever defense has the better focus on whatever assignments their coach decides to implement, that team will win. In this type of game, that’s crucial. A defense needs just that one big play in a sea of offensive beatings to create a turning point.

Enjoy this landmark matchup on Monday night.

Sleeper: Josh Reynolds, WR, Rams

Players to watch

Embed from Getty Images

Eric Ebron, TE, (vs Titans)

Two touchdowns last week on just three receptions and an extra score on a goal-line carry. Touchdown dependency? I’d say so. Something is really absurd with the way Andrew Luck distributes the tight end targets. Mo Alie-Cox had more targets than Jack Doyle and Ebron. We might have to reassess Doyle and Ebron.

Corey Davis, WR, (at Colts)

Well, most of gave up on Davis after 10 yards in Week 7. Now, they come out of the bye and suddenly Marcus Mariota is finding him. This week we’re starting him and hoping Davis remains at or near the 10 targets that came his way the last two games. The Titans fixed something during the bye week and we like what we see so far.

Jaylen Samuels, RB/TE, (at Jaguars)

Sort of like Ebron? If you own James Conner, then you might do well to pick up this guy. This is the first time I have seen a TE-RB designate (ESPN and NFL designates RB only). Mike Tomlin is very positive on this guy and we should be too. Worth a spec in deeper leagues too.

In The Booth on Sunday

Embed from Getty Images
Chris Spielman

CBS Early

Steelers at Jaguars: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Texans at Redskins: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Bruce Arians
Bengals at Ravens: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Titans at Colts: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

CBS Late

Broncos at Chargers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Raiders at Cardinals: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

Fox Early

Cowboys at Falcons: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Buccaneers at Giants: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Panthers at Lions: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber

 


Fox Late

Eagles at Saints: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman


Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

Recommended for you

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: | FantasyRundown.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.