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USATSI

On Friday morning's episode of Fantasy Football Today in 5, I asked CBS Sports Fantasy Editor Dan Schneier to give me one positive take away from the Falcons performance on Thursday night in their 25-0 loss to the Patriots. Just one little bit of praise. One reason to be optimistic. 

You know what he came up with? 

"The only thing I can say is that Matt Ryan did a pretty good job hanging in there against unbelievable pressure."

Such are the meager joys brought to you by the 2021 Atlanta Falcons. 

In fairness, the Patriots are an incredibly tough matchup and the Falcons were missing both Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) and Calvin Ridley (personal). But, still ... they managed just 165 yards of offense with four turnovers. Kyle Pitts had three catches for 29 yards. This offense is kind of a disaster right now, and the Patriots offense didn't do a whole bunch else, either -- they had one offensive touchdown. It was a bleak night for Fantasy purposes. 

Which means, if you had Falcons or Patriots in your lineup, you might find yourself trying to dig out of a hole already. I've got a few more thoughts on Thursday's game coming shortly, and then I'm going through every game on the schedule to give you updates on every injury you need to know about in a week with plenty of big ones, plus some key lineup advice for each game.   

And if that doesn't answer all of your lineup questions, send them my way at Chris.Towers@CBSi.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" and they'll get included in my Sunday morning mailbag — plus, you can catch the Fantasy Football Today YouTube stream Sunday morning at 11:30 am where Adam Aizer and I will be answering all of your lineup questions before the games. 

Get ready for Week 11 with all of our preview content here:  

And here's what the rest of today's newsletter has in store to help you get ready for Week 11:

  • 🏈TNF Fantasy Recap: Patriots 25, Falcons 0
  • 🔍Week 11 Game Previews: Vegas notes, lineup decisions, and injury updates

🏈TNF Recap: Patriots 25, Falcons 0

The Falcons were a disaster, but the Patriots weren't exactly a ton better for Fantasy purposes. Nelson Agholor led the team with 15 PPR points, and he was the only player to reach double digits. On either team. This was a night to forget for Fantasy unless you had the Patriots DST. 

  • Winner: Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. They both looked great in this one, combining for 125 yards on 22 carries. This is a team that wants to run the ball, and they're quite good at it. 
  • Loser: The problem is, neither player separated from the other. Stevenson got a couple more carries, but wasn't used as much in the passing game as we might have hoped -- both he and Harris had one target. The Patriots run the ball well, and whoever they stick back there next to Mac Jones should be pretty effective. The problem is, neither is going to have much value if they are splitting carries. It'll be a lot like Denver's frustrating time share, except the Patriots throw it to their backs a lot less frequently, and Brandon Bolden will also take on some of the passing downs. I'm thinking Harris and Stevenson will probably both rank in the 25-35 range the rest of the way unless one of them gets injured or clearly surpasses the other. That didn't happen Thursday.  

🔍Week 11 game previews

There's something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. This week, however, there are so many unanswered questions that it's hard to settle on just one thing for each game. Here's a look ahead at every Week 11 game, with some notes on what Vegas is expecting to see, some lineup help and one thing to watch for from each game:

All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook. 

Saints at Eagles

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Eagles -2; 43 O/U 
  • Implied totals: Eagles 22.5-Saints 20.5

If both teams had their way, this game would see fewer than 50 pass attempts. I'm not saying I think you should avoid the passing games entirely in this one, but I do get the feeling Devonta Smith could be a bit of a letdown following two big games. This is a tough matchup for him. 

  • Injuries: Alvin Kamara (knee) -- Kamara was downgraded to a DNP Thursday, a worrisome sign after he was limited Wednesday. It could be that they just wanted to see how he reacted to his return to practice, or it could be that knee just didn't react well. Either way, it looks like Mark Ingram is likely to get another start, though we'll obviously be keeping a close eye on this one. Make sure you have an alternative to Kamara ready to go, at least ... Dallas Goedert (concussion) -- Upgraded to a limited participant in practice Thursday, a good sign that he's trending toward being active. Goedert would be a top-10 TE if he plays ... Miles Sanders (ankle) -- Sanders was designated for return, but it doesn't seem as if he practiced Thursday. It's still possible he plays Sunday, but it doesn't look terribly likely. Boston Scott will likely be the lead back, especially in passing situations, while Jordan Howard is the touchdown-or-bust, between-the-tackles guy. Neither is inside my top-30 at RB. 
  • What we're watching for: On the Eagles side, if Sanders is back, I want to see how they use him in the running game. They never really committed to him before his injury, but that was back when they were barely running the ball. If he's back to being the lead back in this run-first approach, he could be a very valuable Fantasy option moving forward. On the Saints side, if Kamara is active, I want to see if they continue to limit his workload. He was getting by mostly on volume early on in the season, so if Ingram really is locked into a double-digit touch workload and is taking some of Kamara's passing game work, Kamara is probably more like a low-end RB1 moving forward. I'm seriously considering him a sell-high candidate right now. 

Dolphins at Jets

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Dolphins -3.5; 44.5 O/U
  • Implied totals: Dolphins 24-Jets 20.5

The Jets are starting Joe Flacco over Mike White (and maybe Zach Wilson?), which presents an unknown factor for the offense. We know White was throwing to his running backs a lot -- will Flacco do the same thing? I would bet on Michael Carter and Ty Johnson still being useful for Fantasy, and I view Corey Davis as a WR3 -- his 16-game pace is over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, very quietly. However, I can also see this being a very good game for the Dolphins DST as well.

  • Injuries: There are no relevant injuries for this game, with Wilson already out and Tua Tagovailoa already announced as the starter. The Dolphins remain without DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Will Fuller (hand). 
  • What we're watching for: Wilson is still officially out with his knee injury, however he was a full participant in practice last Friday, so it's weird that they already announced Flacco as the starter on Tuesday of this week. I don't really know what to make of it, but unless they are planning to start Flacco moving forward, I'm not sure we can learn much of value from them right now. On the Dolphins side, I'd like to see Tua Tagovailoa shred this defense. He's shown that kind of upside and this is an incredibly easy matchup, so hopefully he takes advantage -- he's averaged 23.3 Fantasy points in his four full games. Getting Mike Gesicki going after his zero-catch-on-seven-targets showing in Week 10 would help. 

Ravens at Bears

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Ravens -4.5; 45 O/U
  • Implied totals: Ravens 24.75-Bears 20.25

Coming out of the bye week, can the Bears find a way to build on what has been a pretty promising stretch for Justin Fields? It's not the easiest matchup in the world, but in theory, Fields should be able to produce. The model for that is on the other sideline, but can you trust the Bears offense at this point? 

  • Injuries: Lamar Jackson (non-COVID illness) -- Jackson missed practice Thursday, as did Rashod Bateman, but both are expected to play as far as we know ... Marquise Brown (thigh) -- Brown is a bigger question mark as he has not practiced so far this week. We haven't really been given any details about the injury, so hopefully this is more of a precaution and he'll be out there Friday. Still, I'm making sure I have a contingency plan in place in case Brown is ruled out ... Latavius Murray (ankle) -- With the Ravens releasing Le'Veon Bell earlier this week, it seems like Murray is likely to make his return. He'll split work with Devonta Freeman, and I wouldn't trust either as more than a touchdown-or-bust RB3 ... Allen Robinson (hamstring) -- Robinson has missed both days of practice, so it looks like there is a real risk he'll miss this game. That is good news for Darnell Mooney, though he has been limited with a foot injury of his own, so that's something to watch. 
  • What we're watching for: Well, obviously, how the Bears use Fields will be key. They've finally embraced his rushing abilities over the past four games, as he's averaged 57 yards on eight carries; he had just one game with more than three carries prior to that as a starter. Of course, if Fields is running, they still have to figure out a way to make the passing game work. Darnell Mooney is seeing a 26% target share, and if Fields does manage to make a leap, Mooney has pretty solid upside. He's an interesting WR3 for me this week. On the other side, while I'm hoping Brown plays, it'll be interesting to see if Bateman can step up as a legitimate No. 1 for the Ravens. He's looked awfully good in his first four games, and he would be a No. 3 Fantasy WR with Brown out, and more like a flex if he plays. 

Lions at Browns

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Browns-11.5; 43.5 O/U
  • Implied totals: Browns 27.5-Lions 16

The Lions have been one of the worst teams in the NFL, but as bad as Jared Goff has been, David Blough is probably quite a bit worse. We would just be hoping for a lot of dump-offs to D'Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. So ... a normal Lions game from our perspective. 

  • Injuries: Goff (oblique) -- Goff hasn't practiced either day this week and seems unlikely to play ... Swift (shoulder) -- Swift has been limited each day by the injury, so he seems likely to play through this injury. Jamaal Williams (thigh) could also be back this week after returning to a limited practice Wednesday and Thursday. Swift would be a top-10 RB whether Williams plays or not ... Nick Chubb (COVID-19) -- Chubb seems likely to be activated Friday from everything we've heard, so he should be out there Sunday. He figures to be the lead back for the Browns, but don't be surprised if D'Ernest Johnson is still pretty good for Fantasy with Chubb coming back from the illness and the Lions unlikely to put up much of a fight. Kareem Hunt (calf) will not be activated from IR this week, but coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters earlier this week Hunt is "getting close." He hasn't played since Week 5, but a Week 12 return against the Ravens is possible. 
  • What we're watching for: It would be great to see Mayfield and Jarvis Landry get on track, and I'm viewing Landry as a WR3 for this game. Assuming Chubb is back, I still think D'Ernest Johnson is in the RB3 discussion, because he's probably still good for a dozen carries or so, maybe more if the Browns pull ahead early. On the Lions side, Swift is a must-start, and I still think Hockenson is, but I'm feeling less and less sure by the week. 

Texans at Titans

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Titans -10.5; 44.5 O/U
  • Implied totals: Titans 27.5-Texans 17

The Titans haven't changed their run-first approach despite missing Derrick Henry, and there's no reason to think that'll change in this matchup. The Texans have struggled to keep games close, and I fully expect that to remain the case this week. D'Onta Foreman is very much in the starting RB discussion for this week, while Adrian Peterson's chances of getting into the end zone seem pretty good. 

  • Injuries: There are no injuries of note for these two teams.   
  • What we're watching for: On the Texans side, will there be any change to their messy RB situation? It'll at least be worth watching to see if someone can emerge as a low-end starting option. Otherwise, we'll want to see Tyrod Taylor play a lot better than he did in his return from IR; I'm still trusting Brandin Cooks for this one, because the Titans pass defense has been vulnerable. On the Titans side, it'll be interesting to see if they continue to tilt more of the workload Foreman's way rather than Peterson's, and I'll be really concerned if A.J. Brown can't get going in this matchup. He has just 58 yards on six catches over his past two games, and I wonder if his knee is still an issue. 

Colts at Bills

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Bills -7; 50 O/U
  • Implied totals: Bills 28.5-Colts 21.5 

Jonathan Taylor is the closest thing the NFL has to an unstoppable force right now, and the Bills defense has been an immovable object -- they've allowed the third-fewest rushing yards on the season and have allowed the fewest yards per play in the NFL. The Colts are in for a very, very tough matchup after winning four of their past five, three of which came against the Jaguars, Jets, and Texans. 

  • Injuries: There are no injuries of note for these two teams. 
  • What we're watching for: Taylor played 84% of the snaps in Week 10, a career-high mark, and not-coincidentally had a career-high eight targets. If he's going to have that kind of role -- or anything close to it -- in the passing game, matchups aren't going to matter. I'd sure love to see that kind of usage again. Otherwise, I'd like to see Emmanuel Sanders get going, because he had zero catches three weeks ago and just two last week. He continues to have a decent amount of upside on a weekly basis thanks to his downfield oriented role, but teams seem to be focusing on taking that part of the Bills offense away. 

Packers at Vikings

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Packers -1.5; 47.5 O/U
  • Implied totals: Packers 24.5-Vikings 23

With Aaron Jones out, AJ Dillon is set to make his second start. All he did the last time he got a starter's workload with Jones out in Week 16 last season: 124 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. He's a consensus top-10 RB for Week 11. 

  • Injuries: Aaron Jones (knee) -- Jones hasn't practiced and is set to miss at least one week ... Davante Adams (shoulder) -- Adams was upgraded to a full practice Thursday. He's fine. The same may not be true of Allen Lazard (shoulder), who has been held out of practice both days. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hip) was also limited Thursday, so that's one to watch -- not that he's anything more than a boom-or-bust WR4. 
  • What we're watching for: There isn't a lot on either of these teams to sort out. Davante Adams and Dalvin Cook have had some bad touchdown luck this season, so if you've been disappointed in them, keep the faith. And, if someone in your league has them and is disappointed, go out and make a trade offer before Sunday. I still think Adams is the best WR in Fantasy, and Cook is a top-five RB. 

Washington at Panthers

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: Panthers -3.5; 43 O/U
  • Implied totals: Panthers 23.25-Washington 19.75

Cam Newton is going to make his first start for the Panthers since 2019, and he gets a nice soft landing against what has arguably been the worst pass defense in the NFL. His weapons are a lot better than what he had in New England a year ago, so I'm actually quite optimistic about Newton's chances of emerging as a starting-caliber Fantasy option. If you're desperate, I would be willing to start him over someone like Daniel Jones or even Kirk Cousins

  • Injuries: Logan Thomas (hamstring) -- Thomas was not seen at practice Thursday, so it seems safe to assume he won't be back this week. Ricky Seals-Jones (hip) has also missed both practices this week, so fourth-round rookie John Bates could step into a starting role. Tight ends have had a big role in this offense, but there seems to be very little in Bates' profile worth getting excited about -- he ran a 4.89 40-yard dash and had 579 yards and two touchdowns in four years at Boise State
  • What we're watching for: Say what you want about Cam, but he's a better passer than Sam Darnold has ever been, so I'm optimistic he'll be good news for D.J. Moore. Obviously, it's fair to wonder whether Moore can count on seeing a 30% target share moving forward with a new QB, but I don't think that was just a Darnold thing -- only Christian McCaffrey had more targets in Week 10. On the Washington side, obviously we want to see how Antonio Gibson will be used after he surprisingly had a season-high 24 carries against the Buccaneers last week. Was that just because the Football Team was gifted an early lead due to some turnovers, or did the bye allow him to get healthy enough to have the kind of workload we've been hoping for all season? There's also growing frustration with Terry McLaurin, I can tell, so we'd love to see him put up a big game -- but I'm still starting him as a top-12 WR no matter why. 

49ers at Jaguars

  • Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
  • Line: 49ers -6; 45 O/U
  • Implied totals: 49ers 25.5-Jaguars 19.5

The assumption here is the 49ers will roll right through the Jaguars, so just a friendly reminder that the Jaguars defense has actually been pretty great since the bye. They haven't allowed more than 301 yards in any of their three games and they've held the Bills and Colts to just one offensive touchdown over the past two games. They've been especially stingy against the run, so it'll be interesting if the 49ers try being a bit more aggressive with the pass early on to try to build a big lead. 

  • Injuries: Elijah Mitchell (rib/finger) -- The finger is the more pressing concern, and it looks like it likely will keep him out after he was held out of practice Thursday. That isn't terribly surprising, given that he had a pin put in it just earlier this week, though it's possible he could be cleared late in the week. If not, Jeff Wilson can be viewed as a top-24 RB for this one ... Deebo Samuel (shin) -- This one doesn't seem to be too serious, as Samuel was limited both days in practice, but it's a new injury, so I'll note it ... James Robinson (heel/knee) -- The knee is the bigger concern since he already played through the heel last week, and he was upgraded to a limited participant Thursday, which is a good sign. As long as Robinson is active, he's a top-16 RB; Carlos Hyde is just an RB3 if Robinson is out. T
  • What we're watching for: With both starting running backs facing injury questions for this one, it's hard to say exactly what to expect. If Robinson is out, it would be interesting to see Jamal Agnew get more opportunities in the backfield -- he's averaging just 5.9 yards per target with a 58.3% catch rate, so it might make more sense for the Jaguars to use him as a rusher. He's a decent Fantasy option, but neither he nor Marvin Jones or Laviska Shenault should be considered more than low-end Flex. On the 49ers side, Brandon Aiyuk is the only lineup decision you really have to make outside of the running backs, and I view him as a fringe WR3 right now.  

Bengals at Raiders

  • Sunday, 4:05p.m.
  • Line: Bengals -1; 50.5 O/U
  • Implied totals: Bengals 25.75-Raiders 24.75

The Raiders offense has looked out of sync of late, with just 30 points combined over the past two weeks. The Bengals defense has been quite good this season, but it was torched for 75 points in the two games before the bye, and Vegas clearly doesn't expect a big bounce back. 

  • Injuries: Josh Jacobs (knee) -- Jacobs has been limited both Wednesday and Thursday, and while I do expect him to play, this is a downgrade from last week, when he was a full participant in each practice. Just something to be aware of as he continues to struggle through his worst season ever. 
  • What we're watching for: On the Bengals side, I want to continue to see them featuring Joe Mixon in the passing game -- he has at least five targets in three of his past four. If he is going to see four targets per game on average, Mixon might be a top-six RB. I'm also still waiting for a breakout game from Tee Higgins, who continues to see a bunch of targets -- a 24% share for the season. I think it's coming, and he remains a top-24 WR for me.  On the Raiders side, we'd sure love to see breakout games from the expected stars of this offense, Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller. One thing to keep in mind with Waller is that, while he's been a disappointment so far (494 yards on 44 catches through eight games), he was no better at the same point last season -- 53 catches for 431 yards through Week 10. He continues to have massive weekly upside. 

Cowboys at Chiefs

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
  • Line: Chiefs -2.5; 56 O/U
  • Implied totals: Chiefs 29.25-Cowboys 26.75

You're expecting a shootout, I'm expecting a shootout, Vegas is expectating a shootout. Adam Aizer might call this a "bonanza" game -- though let's hope he doesn't. 

  • Injuries: The only relevant injury we're watching in this one is Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but since he's still on IR, the Chiefs don't have to give an update on his status after every practice, and we didn't hear much either way Thursday. We've gotten mixed signals about Edwards-Helaire's chances of playing this week, but we should know tomorrow or Saturday (at the latest) whether he'll be cleared. If he is, I'll start CEH as a low-end RB2, while Darrel Williams could still have a good game as a pass-catcher. If CEH is out, Williams is probably a top-16 RB. 
  • What we're watching for: I'd like to see Amari Cooper get going, because he has just six catches for 88 yards over the past two games. CeeDee Lamb had his breakout last week, so now it's Cooper's turn. If he struggles in this matchup, it might be time to panic. On the Chiefs side, they seemed to figure out how to beat the adjustments defenses had made in taking away the deep ball, with Patrick Mahomes focusing more on getting the ball in his playmakers hands in the short areas of the field. We'll see if the Cowboys stick with that approach, but I'm starting all of the usual suspects. The only question is at RB, because we truly have no idea what the split might look like if Edwards-Helaire is back. 

Cardinals at Seahawks

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
  • Line: Cardinals -2.5; 48 O/U
  • Implied totals: Cardinals 25.25-Seahawks 22.75

The Cardinals had been able to overcome their injuries before last week, but the cracks showed in Week 10. They enter this game with a bunch of question marks, but somehow there might be less pessimism surrounding them than there is for the Seahawks coming off the first shutout of Russell Wilson's career. The concern there is that he rushed back from his finger injury, which means we don't know if you can trust him. I'll keep the faith, but another poor game would be a big concern. 

  • Injuries: Kyler Murray (ankle) -- Murray put in another limited practice, and he appears to be on track to play. We'll see if he gets a full practice Friday, but at this point, I'm assuming he'll be out there ... DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) -- You can't assume the same about Hopkins, who has yet to practice since suffering a setback during Week 8. He can play without practicing, but we haven't gotten much positive news around him lately. I'm assuming he won't play ... Chris Carson (neck) -- Carson has been designated to return from IR but has yet to actually practice, so it doesn't seem like he's all that close. Alex Collins (groin) was unable to practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday, though that doesn't necessarily mean he won't play -- he went through the same process in Week 8 before being cleared. It's a good matchup for Collins if the Seahawks offense can bounce back. If he can't play, maybe we'll finally see Rashaad Penny get some extended run. 
  • What we're watching for: There aren't a whole lot of questions for these teams once you get past the injuries. If Hopkins is cleared to play, I'm still waiting to see if the Cardinals increase his target share -- Rondale Moore's diminishing role of late makes me think there's a decent chance it happens. Hopkins might be one of the best buy-low candidates in the league right now, and the injury is helping drive his price down. 

Steelers at Chargers

  • Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
  • Line: Chargers -6; 47 O/U
  • Implied totals: Chargers 26.5-Steelers 20.5  

Neither offense is exactly riding high right now, though at least in the Chargers case, that is actually a surprise. 

  • Injuries: Ben Roethlisberger (COVID-19) -- Roethlisberger is preparing as if he'll start, but he still has to be cleared through the COVID protocols in order for that to happen, so it isn't a guarantee. We'll know by Saturday, most likely ... Chase Claypool (toe) -- Claypool has been limited both Wednesday and Thursday, so Friday's practice could tell the story. It's probably going to be hard for him to get cleared without a full practice, so keep an eye out for Friday's report ... Justin Herbert (oblique) -- Herbert was added to the injury report Thursday, but he was a full participant, so it doesn't seem like there's any reason to be concerned at this point. 
  • What we're watching for: What's going on with Justin Herbert? He has four interceptions over his past four games while averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt. The big play just hasn't been there, and if you're looking for a reason to be optimistic about Mike Williams moving forward, maybe that's the key for this offense to get going again. On the Steelers side, you're starting Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris no matter what, but Claypool is only in play if Roethlisberger is cleared. 

Giants at Buccaneers

  • Monday, 8:15 p.m.
  • Line: Buccaneers -11; 50.5 O/U
  • Implied totals: Buccaneers 30.25-Giants 19.25

Because they haven't really been healthy at any point this season, it's been really hard to get a sense of what the Giants offense is. I've been a long-time Daniel Jones skeptic, but I do think there is actually some potential here if he has most of his pass-catchers active. And, with Vita Vea out, the Buccaneers defense might be vulnerable. I'm not saying I expect the Giants to put up a bunch of points, but it wouldn't shock me. 

  • Injuries: Saquon Barkley (ankle) -- Barkley opened the week with a limited practice, which is a little bit disappointing coming off the bye. Hopefully they're just taking it easy with him, but I'd like to see him get a full practice in Friday or Saturday. Devontae Booker was also limited with a hip injury, so Elijhaa Penny would be in for a larger role if they are unable to play ... Sterling Shepard (quad) -- Did not practice Thursday, which is a bad sign. The good news for the Giants is neither Kenny Golladay nor Kadarius Toney was listed on the practice report, so both should be good to go ... Antonio Brown (ankle) -- Did not participate in practice. I'm assuming he'll miss another week. Chris Godwin (foot) was limited with the same injury he played through last week ... Rob Gronkowski (ribs) -- Gronkowski was upgraded to a full participant in practice so he should be back this week. He's a top-10 TE, albeit a risky one given how much he's had trouble staying healthy this season. 
  • What we're watching for: With Shepard in doubt, Toney and Golladay could both be in line for pretty big roles. It's hard to trust them, but we know both have a ton of upside in a game where the Giants should be chasing points. It'll also be interesting to see how Barkley is used. I have him as a top-12 RB, but I know that's a bold take -- I'd feel better about it with a full practice Friday and Saturday. On the Buccaneers side, with Brown still looking like he's a little ways away, you should just be able to plug in the stars and go. 

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