The Yays and Nays: Our Fantasy Football Projections and Top Plays for Week 11
Jakobi Meyers scored a touchdown last week.
Let’s repeat: JAKOBI MEYERS SCORED A TOUCHDOWN LAST WEEK!
Once more: JAKOBI MEYERS SCORED A TOUCHDOWN LAST WEEK!
Alas, he didn’t score another one last night in the New England Patriots’ dominant win over the Atlanta Falcons. But who cares? He is officially off the schneid.
That’s all we need to say in our intro this week.
As always, let’s jump around and evaluate Week 11 using some of the top data-driven projections available powered by our AI models.
Note: The ranking to which we compare ours in this piece is the expert consensus ranking (ECR) from Fantasy Pros. These rankings update throughout the week. (We pulled these numbers from Friday.) Once again, we are using PPR unless noted otherwise.
Russell Wilson, QB (SEA) vs. ARI (ECR: 11, Our Rank: 6): Last week was rough. Really rough for Seattle Seahawks fans, fantasy managers with any Seahawks, and of course, for the Seahawks themselves. Wilson only completed half of his pass attempts (20 of 40), threw two interceptions in the end zone, and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combined for five catches and 49 receiving yards.
This week, it doesn’t get any easier for Wilson and Co. as they face an Arizona Cardinals defense allowing the fifth fewest passing yards (206.4) and points per game (18.9) and are the second stingiest defense in big plays allowed through the air.
Despite everything being stacked against him, our models are still projecting Wilson to easily finish inside the top 10. Back at home, his second game back from injury, and facing a division rival, Wilson is primed for a huge bounce-back game. Since the beginning of last season, Wilson has thrown 28 touchdowns to only five interceptions at home.
And folks, he’s still Russell Wilson. Play him with confidence.
Elijah Mitchell, RB (SF) vs. JAX (ECR: 15, Our Rank: 9): What a low-key fun matchup we’re likely to see in Jacksonville this week.
Mitchell has forcefully taken the job in San Francisco and does not appear to be giving it up any time soon. After a whopping 27 carries in the 49ers’ upset win over the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night, Mitchell has now received at least 17 carries in five of the seven games he’s played this season.
That is the key to Mitchell’s prospects of finishing inside the top 10 this week. Facing a stout defense, volume is what will enable him to have a strong week. Mitchell has our third highest odds of scoring a rushing touchdown this week and we’re also projecting him to have the fourth most carries.
He’s in contention as an RB1 this week as long as he suits up. Mitchell was downgraded to doubtful on Friday, so keep an eye on this situation as we approach kickoff.
Brandin Cooks, WR (HOU) vs. TEN (ECR: 23, Our Rank: 11): Very few receivers have received worse quarterback play than Cooks this year. Yet, he has remained fantasy relevant, entering the week as WR21 despite only two receiving touchdowns.
Cooks gets open a lot. Among the 22 players with at least 70 targets this season, Cooks’ Open% of 83.3 is the fourth highest. That’s good, because of all the available options in Houston, Tyrod Taylor is definitely the best option for Cooks at quarterback. In the three games Taylor has played this season, Cooks has been the recipient of 35 targets.
Most importantly, Cooks is not touchdown dependent. He already has three games this season in which he did not score a touchdown but still tallied at least 17.9 fantasy points. Only seven wide receivers are projected to see more targets than Cooks this week. He’s a rock solid WR2 this week, with WR1 upside.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR (BUF) vs. IND (ECR: 30, Our Rank: 21): Before last week, Sanders had put up double-digit PPR points in five straight games. Last week was also the first time Sanders had received fewer than four targets and only the second time all season he saw less than five. Stated another way, last week was an outlier for Sanders.
Sanders’ baseline is solid, with at least 50 receiving yards in all but two games this season. The main reason he didn’t reach that mark last week was that Josh Allen only had 28 pass attempts – his second fewest passing attempts in a game this season.
Our model is optimistic that he’ll bounce back against an exploitable Indianapolis Colts defense that has allowed three or more touchdown passes in half of its games this season, including 15 touchdowns to wide receivers.
As a result, Sanders ranks in the top 20 among wideouts when it comes to the likelihood of registering a receiving touchdown. He’s a solid WR2 this week.
Dak Prescott, QB (DAL) vs. KC (ECR: 4, Our Rank: 10): This one is surprising, because this game could easily turn into a shootout. So why is he just inside our top 10?
Well, after an abysmal start, the Kansas City Chiefs defense has been surprisingly strong over the last five weeks. It’s only allowing an average of 15.6 points per game over that time frame and has not allowed a 300-yard passer or more than two passing touchdowns in any of those games. It certainly doesn’t help matters for Dak that No. 1 wideout Amari Cooper will miss the contest due to COVID-19 protocols.
Last week, Dak was on our “Yay” list as our No. 1 QB for the week, and he finished as QB2. Surprisingly, however, it was only Prescott’s second finish inside the top five all season. So despite some of his explosions this season, Prescott is currently QB10 on the season.
Our projections are forecasting an excellent week for the quarterback position in general, so Prescott remains a strong start. Just don’t be surprised if he ends the week around QB10.
Michael Carter, RB (NYJ) vs. MIA (ECR: 17, Our Rank: 28): In addition to only allowing one touchdown, here’s what the Miami Dolphins have allowed to running backs over the last four weeks:
- 19 carries for 72 yards
- 15 carries for 47 yards
- 15 carries for 50 yards
- 13 carries for 36 yards
Now, here’s what the Jets defense has allowed the last four weeks:
- 54 points
- 31 points
- 45 points
- 45 points
These were the scores at halftime, when the Jets were trailing in all four games:
This has made Carter reliant on checkdowns in the second half of games when the Jets abandon the run to produce strong fantasy numbers. And he’s been able to do that, producing three top-25 performances during these last four weeks.
But over that span, Carter has started losing some of his opportunities through the air to Ty Johnson, who has accumulated 18 catches. This week, we’re projecting Carter to receive 13 carries and two receptions. That’s solid volume, but against a Dolphins defense that has shut down running backs lately, it makes him a touchdown-dependent RB2.
Graphic design by Matt Sisneros.