Whos Hot Whos Not 2016 Week 11

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan With each passing week we inch closer and closer to the fantasy playoffs, our opportunities to clinch those coveted playoff spots shrink. This week in particular is rough for bye weeks, with many studs being unavailable to you. There will be no Falcons, Broncos, Chargers, or Jets for you to utilize. The lack of Jets may not sting, but the other three are major fantast contributors. Next week, we are bye-free, followed by the Week 13, and final, round of byes with the Cleveland Browns (who cares?) and the Tennessee Titans (whoa – no Mariota, Murray, Walker, Matthews – yikes!). Plan accordingly, play for the win this week, but always look ahead.

Remember, our Ease of Schedule tool is there to help you consider the coming weeks: http://www.footballdiehards.com/eosforecast.cfm

Let’s not waste any time getting right into Week 11.

Who’s Hot

Fire Starter: LeGarrette Blount, RB – New England Patriots @ San Francisco 49ers
It feels like I am cheating a little with Blount here, as I do not like to recommend obvious plays, but there were a lot of people who were way-too-excited about Dion Lewis’ return so I figured I will remind you who the running back to own in New England is. Blount leads all running backs with 12 touchdowns this season, and it’s no fluke. Since entering the league in 2010, Blount has scored 43 touchdowns for three different teams. Despite playing in just two more games with the Patriots (42) than he did once upon a time with the Buccaneers (40), 28 of his touchdowns have come with the Patriots. He is a touchdown machine and faces the league’s worst rushing defense. Fire him up.

Tyrod Taylor, QB – Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals
Don’t look now, but Taylor has quietly started moving up the quarterback rankings. He is currently the QB16, ahead of Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, and Carson Palmer to name a few. He’s been putting together good games over the past few weeks, specifically with his rushing capability, scoring a rushing touchdown in three straight. Since Week 6 he hasn’t scored less than 19 fantasy points and that trend should continue this week against the Bengals, who are allowing quarterbacks just over 19 points per game on average.

Tyreek Hill, WR – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I listed plenty of reasons to consider Hill this week and beyond here: http://www.footballdiehards.com/fantasy-football-columns/html/target-and-snap-analysis-week-11-2016.cfm. If we follow the numbers, the numbers tell us that Hill has seen 24 targets over the past three weeks and has been uber-efficient with those targets. His production has spiked with Jeremy Maclin off the field and he will be off the field again this week. Only the Bears are allowing wide receivers to party on the field more than the Buccaneers this season. They have allowed a total of 708 yards to receivers over their past three games.

Julius Thomas, TE – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Detroit Lions
There are more reasons to like Thomas this week beyond the matchup against the Lions, who are the 31st-ranked defense against the position and have allowed at least a touchdown in all but one game this season. Thomas finally saw double-digit targets last week (10) and he has proven to be efficient with his targets. On the season, he score a touchdown 11.1% of the time the ball is thrown in his direction and he scores 2.08 fantasy points per targets. Now that the targets have increased and he has the softest matchup of his season, this is a situation where we can chase last week’s numbers and look for the momentum to carry over into this week.

Who’s Not

Ice Cold: Ryan Mathews, RB – Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks
Allow me to completely contradict what I just wrote and say that Mathews is an example of a situation where we should not chase last week’s numbers. We should not be sucked in by his first 100-yard performance and second multi-touchdown game in Week 10. We should instead focus on what is consistent with Mathews. He has not carried the ball 20 times since Week 1 and has not played half of the teams’ snaps once this season. In fact, his season high of 48% of the teams’ snaps came back during that Week 1 game. He is simply not on the field enough and you are banking on a touchdown with him. The Seahawks have allowed six rushing touchdowns this season, but three of those came last week. Don’t expect Mathews to produce close to what he did last week.

Derek Carr, QB – Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texans
Reputation typically has us avoid teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, but the Houston Texans cannot be ignored either. They have yet to allow a 300-yard passer this season. Carr, for his part, has thrown for 300+ yards in three of his nine games. He has been fantastic and thrown for at least a touchdown in every game, but in a difficult Monday night matchup down in Mexico, I would certainly be looking for other options, especially for such a streamable position.

Doug Baldwin, WR – Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Full disclosure: this is the player I feel least confident in writing up this week and Baldwin can obviously throw egg on my face. However, if we remove last week’s three touchdowns, Baldwin has been a scoreless, mediocre receiver for five straight games. Jimmy Graham is the top receiver in Seattle, despite his tight end designation. Baldwin has four total touchdowns this season and a single 100-yard game. I am as hopeful as you are for him to have a similar second –half surge as he did last season, but you can ask my friend Bob Harris what he says about hope being a fantasy football strategy.

Cameron Brate, TE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Brate has seemingly slid himself right in as the defacto WR2 in Tampa Bay, but the Chiefs are having none of that this week. The only tight end in football to score a touchdown on the Chiefs is Jesse James and he achieved this feet back in Week 4. The 66 yards they allowed to Jack Doyle in Week 8 were a season-high. Tight ends average 4.1 fantasy points against them. I can assure you there are better options (Lance Kendricks, anyone? Will Tye, maybe?) on your waiver wire right now.

Pegging who will be hot and who will not be hot each week requires analysis, which I provide you, but it also requires you to go with your gut. Tinkering with the lineup and making difficult decisions are all part of this maddening game, but you have to believe in your own process as much as I believe in mine. Just because I think someone is hot this week does not necessarily mean they will blow up and the same goes for players I am cold on. You or I may not be benching these players but we may be reasonably lowering our expectations for them. Regardless, the decision lies wit