We are 10 weeks deep into the NFL season as we head into week 11. And for most of you playing fantasy football, that means only 3-4 weeks are left of your regular season.
If you’re well on your way to a playoff berth, I send you my congratulations. If not, better luck next year.
One of the things I enjoy about fantasy football the most is that there’s no limit on how many teams you can run. I feel like I’d hate being in a single league — especially if my team was garbage. But if you’re in other leagues and you have great teams? Fine, that takes the disappointment away. Real NFL general managers don’t have that opportunity.
That’s how I feel in the leagues I’m in this year. I’ve got two dynasty leagues that I’m doing quite well in — one I’m in third and the other I’ve slipped down to 5th after a couple bad weeks. But in the one I care about the most, I’m 2-8 and 13th of 14th in our West Branch Football League. So help me if I end up getting that Toilet Seat trophy for a last place finish.
I learned some hard lessons from that 2-8 squad this year. First off, I bought into the Baker Mayfield hype. That was bad. Really, really bad. I finally cut ties with him a few weeks ago and all that was left in our free agent pool was good ‘ol Jameis Winston, who throws on average 36 INTs and loses 14 fumbles per game. Ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the point that he’s turnover prone.
Even with his turnovers, Winston ranks as the 12th best fantasy QB while Mayfield is 23rd. That’s still not good, but it could be worse I suppose.
Then I gambled on Todd Gurley in thinking his arthritic knee would be fine. Nope, Gurley has only 428 rushing yards and is RB20 on the year. To put that in perspective, Lamar Jackson has 702 rushing yards — as a quarterback.
My second running back was Joe Mixon. Yes, that’s running back Joe Mixon of the 0-9 Cincinnati Bengals that has a offensive line that is horrendous. So that’s three-for-three in misses.
My wideouts weren’t terrible but they are just too inconsistent. I ended up trading away Stefon Diggs a couple weeks ago and got tight end Mark Andrews and wideout Courtland Sutton in return — which helped me pick up and win last week and hopefully keeps me from getting last. But I’ve also got T.Y. Hilton (who literally got hurt in practice the very next day after I made that trade and is still out), Allen Robinson and D.J. Chark.
If I can finish up the year with some integrity and be 5-8, I’ll be happy that I’m at least not in last. But it won’t be fun ending the season three weeks early, as I’m sure many of you will be in that situation. Oh well, there’s always next year.
I had myself a good week finally and went 7-3 in my picks, moving back to the .500 mark at 45-45. Can we get beyond that mark this week? Let’s see ...
Nick Foles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars. The last we saw of the former Super Bowl champ, he left the first game of the season with a broken clavicle. But Foles returns this week against divisional rival Indianapolis. It’s not the greatest of matchups but I think he’s got something to prove to the Jaguar faithful and there are far worse bye week picks than him in your free agent pool.
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens. “Hollywood” Brown returned last week after being out for a month and the rookie hauled in four catches for 80 yards and a score. They play the Texans this week in an expected shootout, so look for Brown to get double-digit points once again.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Oakland Raiders. The fifth round rookie out of Clemson has started to come into his own in the Raiders offense as of late, racking up 36 combined fantasy points over the last three weeks. They’ll take on the struggling Bengals this week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get 50+ yards and a score.
Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs. He was a preseason fantasy sleeper that fell off the map after the Chiefs signed LeSean McCoy. But after being oft-injured for most of the season, Williams has been the workhorse the past two weeks and McCoy was a healthy scratch last week. Expect double-digit fantasy points to continue against the Chargers Monday night.
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos. In the first game the Broncos played without Joe Flacco, Fant had only three receptions but he made them count for 115 yards and a score. Look for him to be a security blanket for rookie QB Brandon Allen against Minnesota.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz has been disappointing fantasy-wise this season. This week’s opponent? The New England Patriots. That’s all you need to know.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns. The Browns host Pittsburgh tonight and on Sunday, the Steelers held Rams wideout Cooper Kupp without a single catch. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Pittsburgh’s secondary is starting to look decent. Beckham has already struggled this season with Mayfield so I expect this to continue.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings. I had Diggs as a dud last week and that proved to be correct, as he only had 49 yards on three receptions. Don’t expect it to get much better this week as they face a Denver defense that’s let up the third fewest fantasy points to wideouts on the year.
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals. He’s owned in 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues yet Johnson has dealt with nagging injuries over the last four weeks. That was evident in one of his carries last week against Tampa Bay (I’m sure it’s plastered online everywhere) where he looked like an elderly turtle strolling along in the backfield before being brought down for a loss. I saw on Twitter that someone joked that Jerome Bettis snuck into the game and I had a good laugh at that. Anyways, they’re playing the 49ers this week so you can do better elsewhere.
Darren Waller, TE, Oakland Raiders. On paper this looks like a great matchup against the Bengals. But here’s what I’ll predict. For the fourth straight week, Waller is held to single-digit fantasy points as he’s become the focal point for opposing defenses. For as bad as Cincy has been this season, they’ve been decent against TEs fantasy-wise, allowing just the 15th fewest points on the year. You’re going to start Waller regardless but I won’t be surprised if he isn’t winning you your matchup this week.