Week 11 didn’t feature the most promising matchups, but it was one heck of a week. There were three game-winning field goals as time ran out, and all but a few of the games went down to the wire.
While some teams solidified their legitimacy, others created some questions that need to be answered as soon as possible. Who shined? Who struggled?
All of those questions will be answered in our 2018 Fantasy Football Week 11 Reactions.
2018 Fantasy Football Week 11 Reactions
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1. What has happened to the Philadelphia Eagles?
Speaking of teams that struggled, the Philadelphia Eagles played horribly on Sunday. In an embarrassing 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints, they managed just 58 rushing yards and Carson Wentz had one of his worst professional games, passing for 156 yards, three interceptions, and zero touchdowns. More importantly, the star-studded secondary of last year let up 48 points.
So, what’s holding Philadelphia back? That’s a tough question to answer because there are so many answers. The secondary looks like they should be running practice squad. Carson Wentz is playing good, not great. They have no run game. They’ve got a Super Bowl hangover. In my opinion, however, the #1 thing holding them back is Doug Pederson overworking himself.
Over the off-season, the Philadelphia Eagles lost 2017 offensive coordinator Frank Reich and QB coach John DeFilippo. That certainly hurts, and it especially hurts Carson Wentz, the catalyst of Philly’s wildly successful offense last year. Coming off an ACL tear, Wentz might not have the confidence he once had and doesn’t have his trusted coaches.
As for the defense. I really have no answers. Obviously the Saints are an incredible offense, but it’s been a recurring theme with this group. To be blunt, they’re not good this year.
2. Are the Colts for real?
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Speaking of Frank Reich, he’s doing a heck of a job with this Indianapolis Colts squad. Seemingly out of nowhere, the Colts are 5-5 and tied for a wild card spot. They just demolished the Tennessee Titans, defeating them 38-10.
Reich has the Colts offense motoring, as they’ve surpassed 24 points in every game since Week 3 this year. Andrew Luck’s right back where he used to be, throwing for a clean 297 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Reich’s got multiple athletic backs and is using all of them in the correct way. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s surprisingly uncommon in today’s NFL. He’s turned Marlon Mack into a workhorse, gets Nyheim Hines open in space every game, and even sprinkles in Jordan Wilkins.
For all the trash talking Lions fans did about Eric Ebron, he’s certainly found a home in Indianapolis. He didn’t record a catch today, but it was an anomaly. He’s on pace for 60+ catches this year and is almost averaging a touchdown every game.
Watch out for Indianapolis. The only team left on their schedule with a winning record is the 7-3 Texans, so the Colts could definitely sneak into the playoffs with a 9-7/10-6 record.
3. Are the Pittsburgh Steelers a Super Bowl contender?
The Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger in particular) certainly increased the stress levels of Steeler Nation on Sunday, waiting until the last possible moment to storm back and erase a 16-0 deficit in their victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Big Ben continues to be one of the most resilient players in the league, shaking off three picks in order to lead a game-winning drive and rush it in during the waning seconds of Sunday’s battle. Roethlisberger refuses to go away, battling back every time beat writers try to declare his time is over.
James Conner certainly showed his flaws Sunday, rushing for under 3.0 YPC and committing two critical drops, one of which was a gifted touchdown in the final minute. However, he certainly gives it his all anytime he steps foot on the field and certain elements of his game are equal to, and most likely better, than those of Le’Veon Bell.
Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster showed everybody why they’re an elite duo on Sunday, showing Ramsey and Bouye up when it mattered most. Brown found a crease in the defense and scored on a 78-yard touchdown with 1:31 left to go in the third, and Smith-Schuster came up with a grab on a critical deep ball over AJ Bouye. They just continue to produce, and have Steeler Nation looking ahead to February football as they sit in the #2 seed of the AFC.
4. Will Baltimore finally change its identity?
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The Baltimore Ravens featured completely new players on Sunday, with Lamar Jackson at the helm and undrafted rookie Gus Edwards rushing for over 100 yards. It certainly worked, as Baltimore defeated Cincinnati 24-21.
Fans were certainly getting tired of the mediocre Joe Flacco and must’ve been thrilled to see rookie QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson played fine, totaling 267 yards and throwing one interception. This was Baltimore’s highest point total since Week 4. Flacco is also expected to miss Week 12, so Baltimore will be getting their wish as Jackson gets the opportunity to impress once again against a weak Oakland Raiders front.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Who is Gus Edwards?” That’s the same question I asked myself when I saw him get solid gain after solid gains on Sunday. So, I did some research on him and figured out that he attended the University of Miami for a time, but found his home on the Rutgers football team. He looked great on Sunday, rushing quick yet owning a big frame (6″1, 238 lbs). Edwards should be a top waiver wire pickup as fantasy leagues inch towards the playoffs.
5. Is Tre’Quan Smith a legitimate threat in New Orleans?
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People have been onto Tre’Quan Smith since training camp. He was performing at a high level then, and has certainly shown flashes, but it was not until the win over Philadelphia that Smith really established himself. Michael Thomas took a backseat to Smith as Tre’Quan caught ten passes for 157 and a touchdown.
As I mentioned, Smith had shown flashes of success but hadn’t formulated a successful 60 minutes yet. Coming into Week 11, he’d caught twelve balls for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. So, he basically matched his year-long stats on Sunday when he caught ten passes.
I worry it’s a flash-in-the-pan game and that the Saints will revert back to the Kamara/Ingram/Thomas trio next week against the Falcons. Regardless, Smith is a guy who needs to be picked up in any leagues due to his upside. He’s only owned in 25% of Yahoo! leagues, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to grab him this week.
Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.