The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 11
Jeff Ratcliffe identifies the top thing fantasy players should know from each remaining Week 11 game.
The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 11
Play the matchups in fantasy football, and you’ll win more often than you lose. Now that we’re in the thick of the bye weeks, knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit becomes even more important. Bellow you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 14 remaining games this week.
Don’t forget to also take a look at the best and worst wide receiver matchups for the week. Also, new this week, we have our fantasy positional matchups chart, which allows you to quickly identify all of the best matchups each week for all offensive and IDP positions. You may also find our O-Line/D-Line matchup chart helpful.
Just a quick note about the recommendations. Downgrading a player is not the same as sitting a player. If an RB1 is downgraded, that means he moves to an RB2 for the week, and vice versa for upgrades. These matchup recommendations and others are reflected in our weekly rankings, which are an invaluable tool in lineup decision making each week.
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland
Isaiah Crowell gets an upgrade.
Fantasy owners are starting all of their Steelers this week, but there’s also the potential for some value in the Browns backfield. Pittsburgh currently surrenders the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, yielding two-or-more touchdowns to the position four times. Game script isn’t likely to be in Crowell’s favor, but flying under the radar is the fact that he’s pull close to even with Duke Johnson in the passing game. Over the last three weeks, Johnson has just three more targets than Crowell (13-10). Crowell is a sneaky DFS option and is in play as an RB2 this week.
Baltimore @ Dallas
Bad matchup for Elliott? Doesn’t matter.
Yes, the Ravens are currently the worst fantasy matchup for running backs. They’ve allowed just three rushing scores and have held 7-of-9 opposing backfields to under 100 combined rushing yards. But you don’t really care about these stats if you own Ezekiel Elliott. He’s shredded essentially every defense he’s faced, including those who were strong against the run like the Packers back in Week 6. Elliott has 90-plus rushing yards in each of his last seven games and makes for an elite play regardless of matchup.
Jacksonville @ Detroit
Stream Blake Bortles.
Generally speaking, the Jags signal caller has played poorly this season. Bortles currently grades out 28th among 34 qualifying quarterbacks, completing a lowly 59.5 percent of his passes and throwing 12 interceptions on the season. Despite his struggles on the field, Bortles is actually tied with Jameis Winston for 13th among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring. It isn’t likely to look good, but Bortles is in play as a streamer this week against a Lions defense that has given up points in bunches to opposing quarterbacks. While the matchup has cooled off a bit over their last three games, Detroit still yields the second-most fantasy points per game to the position.
Tennessee @ Indianapolis
The Mariota train continues to roll.
Since Week 5, Mariota is the No. 1 fantasy quarterback. Let that sink in. He’s thrown 17 touchdown passes and just two picks, while also chipping in 167 yards and two scores on the ground. His impressive run isn’t likely to end this week against a lackluster Colts defense. Indianapolis has given up at least two touchdown passes in each of their last six games with opposing passers averaging 292 yards per game over that span.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
Charles Clay is in play this week.
Those looking for some streamer help at tight end may want to consider Clay. The Bengals currently give up the second-most PPR points per game to opposing tight ends. Cincinnati surrendered a touchdown to Jerell Adams last week and have allowed three scores and an average of 134.8 yards per game to the position in their last four games. Clay is a TE2 with upside this week.
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City
Spencer Ware gets back on track.
Last week was less than ideal for Ware owners, but to be fair, he faced a tough Carolina run defense. That’s not the case this week, as he goes up against a Bucs unit that has been much more friendly to opposing rushers. Tampa Bay has allowed over 100 yards on the ground to the position in 6-of-9 games this season, including in each of their last three. Ware returned from a concussion last week and was immediately given a feature workload, out-touching Charcandrick West 16-5. Expect another heavy volume day for Ware this week and slot him in as a front-end RB1.
Chicago @ NY Giants
Tough to trust Rashad Jennings or Paul Perkins.
Fantasy players looking for help at running back this week will want to sidestep the Giants’ backfield. There’s a full-blown committee between Jennings and Perkins, which has proven unpredictable so far. To make matters worse, the Bears are actually a surprisingly good run defense. Opposing backs average just 3.7 yards per carry and the seventh-fewest PPR points per game against Chicago.
Arizona @ Minnesota
Avoid the Vikings backfield.
In addition to the Giants running backs, fantasy players will also want to completely avoid the mess in the Vikings backfield. Much to the Jerick McKinnon truthers’ chagrin, Matt Asiata has emerged as the lead, but the touches have been fairly evenly distributed between Asiata, McKinnon, and Ronnie Hillman over the last two weeks. Minnesota also faces a brutal matchup against a Cardinals defense that gives up the fewest PPR points per game to opposing running backs.
Miami @ Los Angeles
The Dolphins offensive line could hurt Jay Ajayi.
This one isn’t a matchup stat, but it should be noted that Dolphins LT Brandon Albert is out this week with a dislocated wrist. Albert hasn’t been an elite offensive lineman this season, but the Dolphins will take a hit this week. Rookie Laremy Tunsil will kick outside to left take and Kraig Urbik will slide in at left guard. That means the line will feature weak links at both left and right guard, which could result in little running room for Ajayi up the middle. Fantasy owners should still start Ajayi this week, but it’s important they’re aware of the situation in Miami.
New England @ San Francisco
LeGarrette Blount is an elite play.
The 49ers have emerged as one of the best running back matchups in recent memory. Chip Kelly’s defense currently surrenders nearly four more PPR points per game than the second-place Steelers. They’ve given up at least one rushing score in each of their last seven games and yield an average of 5.2 yards per carry. The Patriots are a good bet to get out to an early lead, so game script favors a big day from Blount.
Philadelphia @ Seattle
Avoid Thomas Rawls.
Fantasy owners are champing at the bit to get Rawls in their lineups, but it’s wise to look elsewhere this week. Rawls is likely to take a backseat to C.J. Prosise this week, and he also gets a terrible matchup in his return game. The Eagles haven’t given up a rushing touchdown since Week 6 and have held their last four opposing backfields to an average of 75.5 yards per game.
Green Bay @ Washington
Steam Kirk Cousins.
The Packers haven’t given up a 300-yard passing game since Week 3, but they have surrendered three-plus passing touchdowns in two of the last three weeks. Last week, Marcus Mariota threw for four scores and DeMarco Murray chipped in an additional passing touchdown against the Packers. Cousins has only topped three touchdowns once this season, but he’s playing well and has gone over 300 yards in two of his last three games. He’s a very interesting play in DFS and makes for a solid streamer option in season-long.
Houston @ Oakland
Downgrade Derek Carr.
The Raiders return from bye this week to face a tough Texans defense that has yet to allow a 300-yard passing game this season. Only the Seahawks and Cardinals have surrendered fewer passing touchdowns so far this season. Carr is an ascending talent, but as he showed in Week 9, he isn’t matchup-proof. Owners would be wise to fade Carr this week.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.