Week 11 Fantasy Football Matchups

The last time it seemed like a defense laid out a blueprint to slow down Cam Newton, he bounced back strong. After getting stifled by the Falcons, Newton pasted the Redskins a week later for a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown, more than 250 yards through the air and over 50 yards on the ground. But the Titans shut down Newton last week with a strong defensive line effort and great downfield coverage, just in time for the Lions to capitalize.

There are a ton of similarities between the Lions and Titans. They have the same defensive scheme and both are anchored by talented defensive linemen capable of crashing the pocket and rushing the passer. Both also have some deficiencies against the run thanks to up-and-down linebacker play. But Detroit has been much better against the pass -- only two quarterbacks have totaled multiple touchdowns against them this season (Tony Romo, Matt Ryan) and both had at least two turnovers in the game.

The Lions have also been good about not allowing 100-yard receivers -- they've yielded two on the year and none since Week 4, proof that they should be able to contain Steve Smith, which is huge. They've been a little more suspect against tight ends -- reliable pass-catching ones have done fairly well against Motown, with Jason Witten (eight catches, 94 yards, one touchdown) the most punishing. But with Greg Olsen struggling and the Lions ultimately yielding 6.67 Fantasy points per week to opposing tight ends, he could be held up too.

And combined, Smith and Olsen make up 52 percent of Cam Newton's passing yardage and eight of 11 touchdowns through nine games. So if Newton's going to succeed, he needs those guys. The Lions are sure to take them away.

Does this mean that Newton is set to struggle in Week 11? The matchup says so, but the upside he brings as a stat producer thanks to his rushing ability and big-play potential suggests otherwise. Keep expectations in check with Newton, but if you're one of those Fantasy owners who has him and a stud, go with the stud this week.

  Go deeper into the week's matchups with our Interactive Fantasy Matchup Magnifier!

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Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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