Fantasy Football Week 11: What you missed Thursday, as Marcus Mariota flops in primetime, and Alex Collins remains the Ravens' lead back
The Titans were blown out on Thursday Night Football, as Marcus Mariota's disappointing season continued. What else happened around the league? We've got all the news here.
What's this? Every Tuesday through Friday, Chris Towers will catch you up on the previous day's biggest news first thing in the morning. Here's what you missed Thursday:
Marcus Mariota's disappointing season continued
One of the Fantasy community's consensus breakout picks, Mariota just hasn't been very good this season, and he was downright bad Thursday. The third-year pro had arguably the worst performance of his career, tossing four interceptions (his previous career-high was two) in a 40-17 loss to the Steelers.
His Fantasy day actually wasn't that bad, as Mariota finished with 306 yards and a pair of scores, one on the ground, to finish with 16 Fantasy points. It could have been worse, but it was still bad. He now has just eight touchdowns through nine games, with a career-low 2.8 touchdown percentage – it was 5.8 percent last season. Mariota has been one of the best red zone passers in the league in previous years, but has struggled to finish off drives, despite what is undoubtedly the best receiving corps of his career.
As mediocre as Mariota has been, you'll be hard-pressed to justify benching him in Week 12, with a great matchup against the Colts on the way. And in Week 13, he gets what could be a solid matchup against the Texans, too. Don't give up on Mariota, because he could still have a big second half.
The Steelers gave Le'Veon Bell a bit of a break
I mean, he still played 67 of 75 snaps and touched the ball 21 times, but it's all relative, you know? Bell had at least 25 touches in six straight games coming into Thursday night, so 12 carries and nine catches actually qualifies as a light workload for him these days.
Let's just hope that doesn't become the norm, because Bell has become surprisingly reliant on volume this season. After averaging at least 4.7 yards per carry for three straight seasons, he is down to 3.8 in 2017, and his yards per catch has dropped by nearly two from last season. He's still been a terrific Fantasy option, but Bell is currently on pace for under 2,000 yards from scrimmage on 450 touches; he had 1,884 yards on 1,884 yards on 336 touches in 12 games last season. He hasn't been his typically dominant self, but if he keeps getting 20-plus touches every week, he'll be on the shortlist for best players in Fantasy every week anyway.
Delanie Walker has only himself to blame for not scoring
Walker has had some bad luck this season, catching 49 of his 72 targets without finding the end zone, after scoring 13 times in the previous two seasons combined. He's been pretty much the same player as last season otherwise, averaging nearly identical amounts of yards and catches per game, so you figure at some point he's bound to find the end zone.
Well, he did on Thursday night, beating the defender on a post route in the end zone only to drop a perfect pass from Mariota. If bad luck has been an issue in the past, this was just bad performance, as he had both hands on the ball before dropping it. He'll find the end zone soon, but he isn't likely to have many better chances than that one.
Corey Davis is still a work in progress
Despite his injury issues, the Titans haven't been shy about using rookie Corey Davis, who picked up another seven targets Thursday night. He caught just three of them for 27 yards, however, as he continues to disappoint. He has 176 yards in parts of five games, despite being targeted 35 times. The fact that the Titans certainly seem to believe in him is a very good sign, and Davis remains a prime breakout candidate once he figures things out. It just might not be this season.
What else you need to know from around the NFL
The Ravens' backfield could get very crowded very soon, with Terrance West ready to return from his calf injury and Danny Woodhead making progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury. However, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told reporters Thursday Collins will remain the lead back even when those two return.
Of course, "remain" doesn't mean terribly much here, as he has 15 or more carries just twice in his last five games. Javorius Allen still got seven carries in Week 10, so Collins isn't likely to just dominate touches in the backfield. He'll get between 12 and 15 carries in most weeks if history is any indication, making him more of a low-end starting Fantasy option at the position. Allen's workload might completely disappear, especially once Woodhead gets up to speed.
Corey Coleman is ready for a full workload in his return
At this point, we just want to find out what Corey Coleman can be. He had five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, but has barely played since after breaking his hand. This after a rookie season that was derailed by another broken hand after a promising start. Hopefully, things go better this time, as Coleman had just 240 yards and one touchdown in eight games after returning from his injury. We haven't seen enough from Coleman in his career to make him worth starting in Week 11, but he's certainly worth owning as a potential breakout candidate down the stretch.
Philip Rivers (concussion) was able to practice in full
He still h as to officially be cleared to play through the league's concussion protocol, but Rivers' consecutive games played streak looks like it will stay alive this week against the Bills. Barring some sort of setback, he's a solid starting option in Week 11.
Dallas LT Tyron Smith won't play in Week 11
Offensive line news isn't always of much interested to Fantasy players, but this one should be. We saw Adrian Clayborn absolutely abuse the left side of the Cowboys' line last week for six sacks, a pretty easy place to pinpoint where things went wrong in that one. With Smith expected to sit out yet again, this Cowboys' offense could be in a lot of trouble yet again against a tough Eagles' front. Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant, and Alfred Morris should all be downgraded because of this news.
Eddie Lacy (groin) could be back for Week 11
Does anybody want this Seahawks' job? With Lacy out in Week 10, Thomas Rawls had a chance to run away with the job, and ended up with 27 yards on 10 carries. The Seahawks have expressed a desire in recent weeks to settle on one option in the backfield, but nobody has been able to show enough for them to justify making a choice. With Lacy back, we're probably looking at a timeshare, split between two of the least impressive backs in the NFL this season. Stay away.
- Alshon Jeffery was added to the injury report Thursday… Jeffery was limited by an ankle injury Thursday, but told reporters he plans to play in Week 11 against the Cowboys. We'll how Friday goes.
- Ty Montgomery (ribs) didn't practiced Thursday… Maybe he can get on the field Friday and get ready for the game, but at this point, it looks like we won't see Montgomery out there this week. With Aaron Jones also out, we should see a ton of Jamaal Williams, with Devante Mays likely getting an opportunity too.
- Jordan Reed (hamstring) had a setback last week… Reed was progressing toward a return, before his setback. It doesn't look like he'll play this week either.
- Terrelle Pryor (ankle) missed practice Thursday… This has been an ongoing issue for Pryor over the last few weeks, but it's not like he's worth using even when healthy; he wasn't even targeted last week despite playing 28 snaps.
- Chris Hogan (shoulder) is still missing practice… It looks like it's going to be another missed game for Hogan, who has yet to practice since suffering the injury.
- Josh Gordon will begin practicing next week… He is first eligible to practice Monday, with a potential return set for Week 13. He's worth stashing if you can afford it, because we know how high his upside is.
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