We talk about the importance of touchdowns to tight ends in Fantasy Football all the time, but why don't we do the same with wide receivers? It may seem obvious, but scoring is a crucial part of the make-up of the top-15 wideouts from week to week. In each of the past three weeks, for example, 14 of the top 15 wide receivers scored at least one touchdown. If a receiver doesn't score, he can still be very good, but not someone who will help you nail down a victory. So think twice about touchdowns as much as targets and air yards and everything else when you choose your receivers for your lineup this week.
How do feel now about Taysom Hill starting for the Saints? We talk Sunday starts & sits on the Fantasy Football Today podcast. Listen below and subscribe at Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts:
More Week 11 help: Start 'Em & Sit 'Em | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: RB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: WR | Waiver Wire | Biggest Questions | Trade Values | QB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | PPR Cheat Sheet | Non-PPR Cheat Sheet | Rest-of-Season Rankings | Cut List | Believe It or Not | Winners & Losers | FFT Newsletter
All lines from William Hill Sportsbook.
The line wants us to believe: Washington's recent near-losses mean something. I have a tough time believing in Washington after they got down early against the Giants and Lions in consecutive weeks. Not that the Bengals defense is even decent, but at the very least they should be able to compete against the Football Team's limited offense. The Washington side feels like a sucker's bet.
Tee Higgins WR
CIN Cincinnati • #85
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
The matchup, at least on paper, isn't easy, but Higgins has no-doubter potential that was realized once again in Week 10 in a tough matchup, in reality, at the Steelers. Higgins has come through with at least 12 non-PPR/18 PPR in three of his past four -- and at least 13 PPR points in four straight. After limiting receivers to three scores through its first eight weeks, the Football Team gave up a pair of them to the Lions along with 177 yards. It just so happens that Higgins is averaging a cool 5.5 more yards after catch per reception versus zone coverage than man, and it's zone coverage that Washington plays a lot of.
WAS Washington • #41
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
With Alex Smith as his quarterback the past two weeks, McKissic is averaging a target every 3.6 snaps. No doubt, McKissic has become Smith's security blankie whenever the pass rush draws near. Cincinnati has turned into a pretty good pass defense versus running backs, ranking seventh-best in catch rate allowed (70%) and 13th-best in receiving average (7.0), but it sees the fifth fewest running back targets per game (5.1). Should we expect Smith to scrap his check-down tendency this week? Only if Antonio Gibson really gets going, which is a possibility given the Bengals' 27th-ranked run defense. Figure the floor is a super-safe 11 PPR points, a number he's exceeded in three of his past four.
Cam Sims WR
WAS Washington • #89
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Sims has worked as Washington's No. 2 receiver over its past three games, complete with a 94% snap rate in Week 10. His targets leave a lot to be desired -- just nine in Weeks 9 and 10 -- but Smith has thrown deep to him on four of those nine and three of the four were actually completed! The Bengals gave up four scores to Steelers receivers last week, two to the Titans the week prior and 11 total over their past six games. He's a terrific option in DFS tournament lineups.
The line wants us to believe: The Saints are still considerably better even with Tayson Hill at quarterback. Hill is a fun player to keep defenses honest, but a full game with him at quarterback? He will either have to be successful as a runner or the Saints defense will have to come up big versus a Falcons offense at full strength. Atlanta's defense has played better since Dan Quinn's firing. They have a chance to keep it close if not win.
Matt Ryan QB
ATL Atlanta • #2
Age: 35 • Experience: 13 yrs.
I'm not ready to say that the Saints pass defense has become a shut-down unit just because it found a way to rattle Nick Foles, Tom Brady and Nick Mullens in consecutive weeks. I'm also not ready to say that Todd Gurley will do all the scoring for the Falcons. Ryan has attempted at least 35 passes in five straight against the Saints as well as in all but one game this year. That passing volume should give him a real good shot at posting at least 23 Fantasy points, a number the Saints allowed in each of their first six games. He's at least a top-10 Fantasy starter this week.
Taysom Hill QB
NO New Orleans • #7
Age: 30 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Sean Payton deserves some credit for being a clever coach. If he believes he's got a better shot to win with Hill than Jameis Winston, we shouldn't doubt it. After watching some film of Hill, including some from college, it seems like he can handle the passing gig just fine. He might be a little off-target and a little late to throw the ball, but he can make up for some of it with his passing velocity and naturally his mobility. But it's that last part -- mobility -- that Fantasy manager should buy into. Hill is known more for his rushing than passing and the Saints have had him run once every 4.3 snaps he's played this season (last year it was once every 9.0 snaps!). A pace like that over a full game could mean 15 carries on top of whatever he does as a thrower. There's a legit chance he finishes as a top-15 quarterback, and thus is a streamer. But at that expectation he'd also be the best- or second-best tight end if you can start him at that position. You can (and should) on FanDuel, especially at his incredible 4,500 price tag.
Jared Cook TE
NO New Orleans • #87
Age: 33 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Fantasy managers have been accustomed to starting Cook because of his touchdown prowess. Frankly, that's all you need to be a decent Fantasy tight end these days. The change from Drew Brees to, apparently, Taysom Hill, is a considerable downgrade. At least with Jameis Winston we could have leaned on his career-long tendency to throw to his tight end. Hill has 18 career NFL passes with exactly five going to tight ends. At BYU, he didn't lean on his tight ends much. Cook is a much bigger TD-or-bust risk with Hill under center. Since firing Dan Quinn, the Falcons defense has improved, including yielding just one score to a tight end over its past four games. That makes Cook's outlook even worse!
The line wants us to believe: Jacksonville's effort last week is indicative of who they are. Maybe that's true. And maybe it's true that the Steelers tend to play down to their competition. But I can't expect the Jaguars passing game to handle Pittsburgh's aggressive pass rush, nor should I expect the Jacksonville defense to match up with the Steelers' receivers. Pittsburgh has won by 11 or more twice this year. This will be the third time.
D.J. Chark WR
JAC Jacksonville • #17
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Not only will it be hard for Jake Luton to get the ball to Chark this week, but apparently it's not a priority. Chark finished third in targets among Jaguars receivers in a competitive game last week. That's not good, nor was Luton's bad-ball pass rate sliding to 30.3% in his second start. And it's going to be rough when Luton lines up against the Steelers' top-rated pass-rush pressure unit. Through two games, Luton is 5 of 21 for 67 yards with two interceptions when under pressure. The Steelers have allowed 13 scores to 11 receivers this season, but only five racked up 12-plus non-PPR/16-plus PPR points to go with it. Chark has two smash games this season but has otherwise consistently been below 9 non-PPR/13 PPR points.
The line wants us to believe: Bill Belichick has solved his team's problems. I think you have to have guts to pick either side. The Patriots aren't perfect and don't score a ton of points, but the Texans' issues stem beyond personnel and into their coaching. That's not a problem with the Pats. I think this could be a back-and-forth game that the Patriots ultimately come out ahead of.
Duke Johnson RB
HOU Houston • #25
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Johnson couldn't have asked for a better situation to put up numbers in Week 10 and he averaged a slick 3.8 yards per carry that was boosted by a 23-yard run. How about Johnson getting one target?! It feels like a lost cause to trust Johnson when his own team won't craft a clever game plan involving his best traits and his quarterback, as good as he is, typically throws five passes or fewer per game to his running backs. It's a shame, too, because the Patriots are pretty meh against the run (4.6 yards per carry; 107.9 rush yards allowed to backs per game) and allow the league's highest catch rate to opposing running backs (86%). It's a risk to start Johnson in any format, and that risk grows if left tackle Laremy Tunsil doesn't play.
NE New England • #16
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Usually we go nuts for a receiver who has a 25% target share from his quarterback. Welp, Meyers has gathered a 40% target share from Newton over his past three games. Normally I'd suggest it wouldn't last, but who else is connecting with Newton the way Meyers is?! Bradley Roby's done a mostly nice job of mitigating the numbers of opposing No. 1 receivers, but he hasn't played much in the slot since Week 1 and was tethered to one side of the field for much of his first game back following his one-game benching. Meyers has lined up in the slot for 37% of his snaps and has used his quicks to help get open. If you're starting him, you're hoping the targets don't dwindle and he amasses at least 13 PPR points for a fourth consecutive game. Meyers is a good enough flex in non-PPR.
Cam Newton QB
NE New England • #1
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
I've been nervous to trust Newton, but a matchup against a beleaguered Texans defense should be viewed with optimism. Newton hasn't rushed for a score in two games this season and at this point should be penciled in for one, especially against a Houston defense that's allowed a dozen rushing scores all season (five from 5 yards or closer). But that's not all -- four of the past five quarterbacks to play the Texans have had at least 23 Fantasy points (the wind hurt Baker Mayfield's chances of getting it last week). Newton should have a great shot to hit that number assuming he runs for one score and throws for another.
NE New England • #37
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Harris isn't getting every touch in the Patriots backfield, but last week he had 65% of them. It's his third time in four games where his touch share has been above 55%. He's also averaged north of 5.0 yards per carry in each of those four games. Harris will play a Texans defense that's had a running back rush for a score against them in four straight and is ranked dead last against the run. The threat of Cam Newton or Rex Burkhead swiping a touchdown from him is real, but at least Harris' three-game string of 70-plus rushing yard performances provides a safe floor in non-PPR.
The line wants us to believe: The Browns will keep the Eagles' offensive woes coming. Philly's offensive line is a nightmare and Wentz is starting to struggle behind it. And it's the front-seven of the Browns defense that's been a strength. Still, I think the oddsmakers could have gotten away with giving the Browns another point or two. I plan on taking advantage by picking the home team.
PHI Philadelphia • #13
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Last week's one-catch game was discouraging, but I'm not ready to say Fulgham's role is getting reduced. Two games ago he led the Eagles in targets, catches and yards with a touchdown, and that was while sharing the field with the same guys as this week plus Alshon Jeffery for fewer than 20 plays. He actually had an average target depth of 15.0 yards, his second-highest rate of the season. Over its past two games Cleveland's pass defense has been saved by Mother Nature blowing fierce winds and affecting passing game output. Before Week 8, the Browns had allowed 11 touchdowns to receivers; only three teams yielded more. It may rain in Northeast Ohio on Sunday, but wind shouldn't be a factor. Fulgham should still be trusted as a high volume target hog with touchdown potential.
The line wants us to believe: The Lions' win last week was a fluke. Detroit was awfully lucky in their most recent two wins, and they had two ugly losses sandwiched between them. The Panthers seem to be a better team offensively, and one that should take advantage of the Lions' dicey run defense. All of Detroit's losses have come by four or more points.
CAR Carolina • #11
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
There were two big keys to Anderson's early Fantasy success: deep-ball receptions and a ridiculously high catch rate. Through Week 6, Anderson averaged 8.5 targets per game and a 78.4% overall catch rate with 7 of 12 deep targets caught. But despite averaging 8.8 targets per game from Week 7 on, Anderson's catch rate dropped nearly 10% to a still-good 68.6% with only 2 of 10 deep targets caught. Mesh that with his lack of work in the red zone (his seven red-zone targets rank 40th in the league) and a nine-game scoreless streak, and it's tough to trust him. It doesn't help that the Lions have started to come around against the pass -- no touchdowns to receivers in their past three -- but remain one of the league's worst at defending the run. This feels like a Mike Davis blow-up game, assuming he's playing at close to 100 percent.
DET Detroit • #28
Age: 35 • Experience: 13 yrs.
Peterson's got one of the best matchups on the table against the Panthers. They're allowing the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, and they're also generously yielding a touchdown and/or 140-plus total yards to a rusher in each of their past four. Peterson has actually been third in line for touches in Detroit's backfield over the past two weeks, but second in terms of touches behind Swift. Not having Swift will stink for the Lions, but Peterson should be on the doorstep of a 15-touch game. He's usable as a No. 2 rusher for sure.
The line wants us to believe: Baltimore's loss at the Patriots was meaningless. If this were to be a sucker line, it would look more like Baltimore minus 2.5 or 3. I bring it up because the Ravens defensive line is down two huge starters and the Titans' run-preferred offense could perform better than expected. And when Henry's running, the Titans offense can open up their whole playbook. They did it in the playoffs against Baltimore in January. Maybe the Ravens win, but the Titans should be able to stay inside of a touchdown.
Jonnu Smith TE
TEN Tennessee • #81
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Fantasy managers would have moved on from their late-round sleeper sweetheart by now if not for the touchdowns he's found in consecutive games. Admittedly, the six targets he had in Week 10 were nice but that bumped his average in his past five games to 3.2. That's really terrible, especially when compared to the 6.8 targets he had in Weeks 1 through 4. The Ravens are among the league's best against tight ends (two touchdowns allowed in their past seven), and the absence of beefy defensive tackles Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams are sure to help the Titans build confidence in running the ball, just as they did in their playoff meeting last January. Smith did score in that game, but that's simply what he is: A decent touchdown-or-bust tight end, but not someone to count on for good yardage.
The line wants us to believe: The Jets are actually a team the Chargers can beat convincingly. I've watched the Chargers botch game after game this season, so I can't confidently take them laying this many points. The Jets actually didn't look so bad against the Patriots, and if the Chargers don't get Joey Bosa back, their defense could struggle again. I think the Chargers win by three, not nine or 10.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #19
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
You have to hand it to Perriman -- his last game against the Patriots was outstanding. The 50-yard touchdown was a terrific example of his off-snap leverage and deep speed. The same thing happened earlier in the game on what should have been another deep touchdown but the ball got knocked away. Even on plays where Joe Flacco threw elsewhere, Perriman was getting open. Flacco still thinks of himself as a deep-ball thrower, and the Jets figure to either play in a competitive game or from behind. That tilts the game script directly into Perriman's lap as one of the best boom-or-bust flex plays you could start in Week 10. Los Angeles has been beaten by deep throws lately (the Broncos and Raiders each had two), and top cornerback Casey Hayward has allowed a score in three of his past four according to Pro Football Focus. Think of him when you set DFS lineups this Sunday.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #31
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Ballage has transformed himself from a cloud-of-dust clock-eating running back into a hard-charging versatile player with 20-touch potential. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has always liked physical guys like Ballage, which is why it's expected he'll lean on him again this week. Ballage even has room to improve his playing time (73% last week was the third-highest of his career) which would in turn create more numbers. Only one running back has scored on the Jets over their past four games, but they're still giving up 4.2 yards per carry, an 84% catch rate and 6.9 yards per reception to rushers in that sample size. If Ballage can claw his way to 20 touches, he should deliver another strong Fantasy game north of 10 non-PPR/15 PPR Fantasy points.
The line wants us to believe: The Broncos, with all their issues, can keep it close. This feels like a sucker line. It's true that Denver's last five losses have been by five or more points (four by seven-plus), so why only three-and-a-half points for a well-coached, well-schemed Dolphins team? Because they're on the road? Because Tua Tagovailoa hasn't had gaudy performances? If it's a trap, I'm walking in face first.
Salvon Ahmed RB
MIA Miami • #26
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Ahmed was so good that Miami coach Brian Flores said he cut Jordan Howard because "some other guys" played well enough to limit the veteran's reps. Well, those other guys are Ahmed and, sure, Patrick Laird too! Once upon a time, the Broncos run defense was considered strong. These days? Not so much -- the Broncos allowed four rushing touchdowns last week, five in their past two and a lead running back has at least 11 non-PPR Fantasy points against them in four straight. It would be a stunner if Matt Breida came back and took a big slice of the rushing work away from Ahmed, who has had gains of 5-plus yards on 32% of his runs in Weeks 9 and 10.
The line wants us to believe: Minnesota can put up a lot of points. Their implied team total is 27.75, a mark they've hit five times this year and twice in their past five. It feels high, even against a bad Cowboys defense. The Vikings pass rush shouldn't be that dangerous to the Cowboys O-line. I suspect the Cowboys can give Minnesota a game and cover seven.
CeeDee Lamb WR
DAL Dallas • #88
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
When Lamb lines up in the slot, which he's done 91% of the time in 2020, he'll see a familiar face from the Big XII conference in fellow rookie cornerback Jeff Gladney, who is now Minnesota's primary nickel corner. What matters now is that Gladney has not quite shut down opposing receivers through his rookie season -- when in the slot, he's allowed a 59% catch rate, the 18th-most yards after catch (104) and the most receiving touchdowns (three; tied with four others). Those numbers blossom when he's not in the slot, but we're only focused on the expected matchup with Lamb. We can wish and hope all we want that the Cowboys offensive line will help pop open lanes for Ezekiel Elliott, but the hunch is that Dallas will have to throw to keep up. The matchup isn't that bad for them overall, and it's helped by this specific one-on-one for Lamb, who has the most targets from Dalton this season (19).
The line wants us to believe: The Colts are better than the Packers ... ?! I think there's a legitimate public perception that Indianapolis' defense isn't great and that Philip Rivers is washed. I've learned the hard way that the former is wrong and the latter may be exaggerated. This line is designed to get you to take the Packers. And it's tempting to do so, but in this case, I'm going to take the home team to find a way to win.
Nyheim Hines RB
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Hines stunned last week, totaling 115 yards and two scores on 17 touches, the second-most touches he's had in an NFL game. Conventional wisdom would suggest Hines will continue to see a good dose of playing time (he played 56% of the snaps last week), but we've seen Hines have smash games before (Week 1 of this year, for example) only to see his touches plummet in the weeks after. Don't feel bad if you don't totally buy into Hines as a must-start this week, but if the Colts actually care about using their running backs then Hines should see some pretty significant playing time. And they should want to use them in this matchup with the Packers and their third-ranked unit in Fantasy points allowed to the position. Hines is worth taking a chance on in the flex, namely in PPR.
The line wants us to believe: The first meeting between these teams is meaningless. And they're right -- it was a savvy, uncharacteristic performance from the Raiders and a total let-down from the Chiefs. Las Vegas' defense could be in real trouble because of COVID restrictions, so expect the line to jump. It's a bad time for the Raiders to deal with a revenge-minded Chiefs squad.
KC Kansas City • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Alright, the Chiefs coaching staff had a week off to self-scout their personnel. Unless they're blind, they'll realize that Edwards-Helaire is their best rushing option. With 54 yards on his first 16 carries as a Chief, Le'Veon Bell has been a massive let-down. Not that Edwards-Helaire's numbers have been incredible, but he's out-produced Bell in every way possible in their three games together and is the better fit. You have to hope the coaches conclude as much and give Edwards-Helaire the work he deserves because the matchup against what might be an unprepared Raiders run defense is glorious. As many as six Las Vegas starters -- four in the front seven -- were placed on the team's reserve COVID-19 list within the last week and are certain to miss most of this week's practices, and may not play on Sunday.
The line wants us to believe: The Buccaneers won't have another meltdown like they did two games ago. As dangerous as the matchup is for the Bucs, it's even worse for the Rams. Their run game may not have the talent to win on the edges, and Jared Goff could have real trouble connecting downfield consistently without his mountainous starting left tackle. The Bucs, with Jameis Winston, beat the Rams by 15 in L.A. last year. They should do it again.
Tom Brady QB
TB Tampa Bay • #12
Age: 43 • Experience: 21 year
If the Rams were willing to take chances with their pass coverage and put pressure on Russell Wilson last week, then you should expect the exact same approach against the more statuesque Brady this week. Brady has been horrible under pressure this season, not even ranking in the top-20 in completion rate, adjusted completion rate or passing yards when operating from a dirty pocket. But the Bucs figure to work around that with an up-tempo quick-strike passing approach. That's what Bruce Arians' crew did last year at the Rams -- Jameis Winston tried just five deep throws but otherwise did a nice job dinking and dunking his way downfield and thriving in the red zone. Brady may not post as gaudy of numbers as Winston did, and Jalen Ramsey wasn't on the Rams at that point in the season, but that game plan should give Brady a fighting chance at posting decent Fantasy totals, particularly given the depth of his receiving corps.
The line wants us to believe: the Seahawks' past two games should be forgotten. It's a tough spot for Arizona -- they are coming off a super-emotional, last-second win coming into a short week potentially without three starters. Now they have to fend off Russell Wilson & Co. I suspect the Seahawks will try to run the ball a little more than they have recently, so I'm not so sure they can hit their implied total of 30.25. That's a problem -- Arizona has scored 30-plus in five straight. I think a close game goes the Cardinals' way.
Kenyan Drake RB
ARI Arizona • #41
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Drake has posted at least 16 carries in six of eight games and has reliably been the Cardinals' running downs back. That's enough right there to consider him a must-start in non-PPR leagues, but it especially helps that the Seahawks have given up six scores on the ground to running backs in their past three. The downside? Seattle has also allowed just 3.2 yards per carry in its past three, and Drake doesn't play on passing downs AND Kyler Murray has more touchdowns from inside the 10 (four) than Drake (three). If you're starting Drake, you're banking on him scoring a touchdown and hopefully cobbling together enough rushing yards to get him north of 10 Fantasy points.
ARI Arizona • #29
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Edmonds has reliably been the Cardinals' passing-downs back, picking up at least three receptions in four of his past five including seven grabs in Week 7 against the Seahawks. But he's also had at least five carries in four straight, padding his yardage total. Assuming these trends continue, he's a safe bet for a floor of 10 PPR points. He's had at least that many in five of his past six. Seattle's allowing a near-NFL average 79% catch rate and 7.5 yards per reception to running backs on the season.
Carlos Hyde RB
SEA Seattle • #30
Age: 30 • Experience: 7 yrs.
This is a rough spot for the Cardinals defense. Fresh off of playing 73 defensive snaps on Sunday, Arizona won't have defensive linemen Corey Peters or Jordan Phillips, and linebacker De'Vondre Campbell may also miss the game. That leaves a unit that's allowing 120.2 rush yards per game in a vulnerable spot. Hyde is the lucky guy who gets to capitalize on it -- he's got fresh legs after missing three games and the Seahawks are in need of a quality back after Alex Collins fizzled after a hot start last week. There's also the issue of Russell Wilson throwing four interceptions in his past two games, both Seahawks losses. Pete Carroll mentioned this week how he's not used to seeing Wilson play like that, and there's a legit chance the Seahawks opt to play more conservatively, which would help Hyde. He's worth trusting as a No. 2 rusher.