NFL Week 11 Last Second Decisions

On Sunday morning, fantasy owners will inevitably struggle through decisions of which similarly priced players to start. Let fantasy expert Ricky Sanders guide you through five difficult decisions many will dealing with heading into Week 11:

QB – Blake Bortles/Kirk Cousins – Making a strong case against the garbage time king Blake Bortles in fantasy is a difficult proposition. Over the course of the last four weeks, he has topped 22 fantasy points twice and has not sunk below 15 fantasy points in any game. Now, Bortles and company will square off against a Lions team that has allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the third most passing TDs (20). Even more importantly, Bortles is at his worst when he is under siege and the Lions have produced the second fewest QB pressures of any team (with the only worst team being the Buccaneers). Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins draws a dream matchup against a banged up Packers secondary that was just burned by Marcus Mariota to the tune of 295 yards passing and four TDs. Since the Packers are one of the best at stopping/limiting the run game, Cousins will assuredly be leaned upon to lead this offense and quite possibly see an uptick in passing attempts. Considering he has attempted the sixth most passes so far, he is going to have to throw a lot in this game. Although DeSean Jackson is looking iffy to play, the team is still loaded with pass catchers: Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson (to name a few). UPDATE: DeSean Jackson will play according to Pro Football Talk. With the game possessing a slightly superior over/under, Cousins gets the nod out of the two.  Verdict: Kirk Cousins

RB – LeSean McCoy/Spencer Ware – On Monday Night Football, the Bengals defense allowed Rashad Jennings to rush for a season-high 87 yards. Before this “outburst,” his previous season-high was 75 yards and besides that he had not eclipsed 27 yards rushing in any other game. Essentially, the Bengals allowed a well above-average outing to him and overall they rank 20th in terms of rushing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. Additionally, LeSean McCoy had been battling a hamstring injury prior to the bye and the schedule coincidentally allowed him a week for it to rest. Prior to the bye, McCoy carried the ball 21 times and caught four passes against the Seahawks so he was obviously starting to feel health as-is. On the other hand, Spencer Ware was cleared following a concussion in Week 10 and returned to a 16 touch workload. Like McCoy, he should only get healthier with time. Ware is going to fly mostly under the radar against a Buccaneers team that is quietly surrendering 118.3 yards rushing per game and 4.3 yards per carry. When Ware has been healthy, he has fared as a rock solid RB1 and has been reasonably involved in the passing game as well (20 receptions in eight games). The price tag on Ware is below fair value but the same holds true for McCoy at just $12,900. In reality, he is a $14,000 back when healthy and should prove it once again this week. Of the two, spend up for the safety of McCoy (and a few additional touches). Verdict: LeSean McCoy

WR – Antonio Brown/A.J. Green – According to Pro Football Focus, A.J. Green’s individual matchup against Ronald Darby is one of the 11 most favorable of the weekend. In fact, Darby ranks as their 70th best cover corner meaning Green should absolutely eat him breakfast (or lunch really since the game will be played midday). Still, Antonio Brown is the best player at the position and he torched for Brown for 10-139-2 and 13-187-1 in two meetings last year respectively. Joe Haden is healthier this year and playing much better but Brown can easily win any matchup. With that being said, this is going to come down to the weather. It is expected to be extremely windy (possibly up to 30 mph) in Cleveland with scattered snow. If that is the case, Green wins out. However, if the weather report were to clear before then, Brown would be the choice. Regardless, it is pretty much a coin flip between two of the game’s star receivers. Verdict: A.J. Green (unless the weather clears in Cleveland)

WR – Allen Robinson/T.Y. Hilton – 2015 Allen Robinson has finally decided to join the 2016 season over the past few weeks as he has strung together two of this three best games during that span. For the first time all season, Robinson cracked 100 yards receiving last week and he even scored for the second consecutive week. As noted in the QB tidbit, the matchup is incredibly favorable against the Lions although Robinson draws the toughest individual matchup against Darius Slay. The same does not hold true for T.Y. Hilton who burned Brice McCain in their previous meeting (Week 7) for seven receptions (on 12 targets) for 133 yards and a TD. Now, Donte Moncrief will be active and diverting attention away from Hilton which should only create more space for him. With Vegas implying the Colts will score the second most points on the slate (27.8), Hilton is likely to be a large part of that output. Therefore, Hilton is the play. Verdict: T.Y. Hilton

TE – Jordan Reed/Delanie Walker – With Cousins likely destined to attempt 40-plus passing attempts, Jordan Reed should be busy on Sunday evening. Prior to last game, Reed had been targeted 10-plus times in three consecutive games and caught at least eight passes in each game during that streak. His snaps were down last week, which is a bit concerning, as is the emergence of Vernon Davis. Reed is still the top dog but the level of competition alone deems Delanie Walker the superior play this week. Walker will square off against a Colts team that ranks 31st in DVOA to opposing TEs. Not surprisingly, Walker lit them up for 7-84-1 in Week 7 and he should be in position to do so once again. Marcus Mariota is firing on all cylinders heading into this game and the Titans/Colts game is very likely going to end up as a shootout. For those reasons, give me Walker. Verdict: Delanie Walker

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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