Several players at both the running back and wide receiver position were dinged up or suffered injuries in Week 10. The Fantasy Greek lists the most notable injuries that either occurred in Week 11, or remain relevant at this time, as follows:
|QB Michael Vick||Eagles||Concussion||Out for Week 11|
|QB Jay Cutler||Bears||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|QB Alex Smith||49ers||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|QB Brady Quinn||Chiefs||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|RB Fred Jackson||Bills||Concussion||Out for Week 11|
|RB Ahmad Bradshaw||Giants||Foot||Undergoing Tests|
|RB Darren McFadden||Raiders||High Ankle Sprain||Missed Week 10|
|RB Mike Goodson||Raiders||High Ankle Sprain||Missed Week 10|
|RB Darren Sproles||Saints||Broken Hand||Missed Week 10|
|RB R. Mendenhall||Steelers||Achilles||Missed Week 10|
|RB M. Jones-Drew||Jaguars||Lis Franc Injury||Questionable Week 11|
|RB Cedric Benson||Packers||Lis Franc Injury||Out For 3 More Weeks|
|RB DeMarco Murray||Cowboys||Foot; Ligament||Missed Week 10|
|RB Ben Tate||Texans||Hamstring||Missed Week 10|
|RB Bilal Powell||Jets||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|RB Joe McKnight||Jets||High Ankle Sprain||Missed Week 10|
|RB Beanie Wells||Cardinals||Toe Injury||Expected To Return Week 12|
|WR Julio Jones||Falcons||Lower Leg||Returned to Game; Should Be Fine|
|WR Demaryius Thomas||Broncos||Knee||Returned to Game; Should Be Fine|
|WR Jordy Nelson||Packers||Ankle||Back at Practice; Could Return Week 11|
|WR Percy Harvin||Vikings||Ankle||Missed Week 10|
|WR Domenik Hixon||Giants||Ankle||Unknown|
|WR Jeremy Maclin||Eagles||Low Back Strain||Day-To-Day|
|WR Jason Avant||Eagles||Hamstring Strain||May Miss Week 11|
|WR Santana Moss||Redskins||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|WR Antonio Brown||Steelers||Ankle||Missed Week 10|
|WR Chris Givens||Rams||Bruised Toe||Expected To Be Fine|
|WR Pierre Garcon||Redskins||Inflamed Toe; Torn Foot Tendon||Practicing; Could Be Placed On IR After Bye Week 10|
|WR GregJennings||Packers||Groin||Could Be Back Before or For Fantasy Playoffs|
|WR Alshon Jeffrey||Bears||Hand Fracture||No Timetable For Return|
|TE Owen Daniels||Texans||Hip||Missed Week 10|
|TE Brandon Meyrs||Raiders||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|TE Coby Fleener||Colts||Shoulder||Missed Week 10|
|TE Aaron Hernandez||Patriots||Ankle||Missed Week 10|
|DE Elvis Dumervil||Broncos||Shoulder Strain||Day-To-Day|
|LB Clay Mathews||Packers||Hamstring||Expected To Miss 1 More Week|
|CB Vontae Davis||Colts||Knee||No Timetable For Return|
* Note: The status of some of these players may not have been officially announced by their respective teams but is based on the best available information. Of course, a player’s status and availability can change at any time and may not be fully reflected above. Check for the player’s news for any official update. This list is obviously not exhaustive.
The Fantasy Greek will focus on those players fantasy footballers can target off waivers to fill in while some of the injured players try to make their way back onto the gridiron, hopefully sooner, rather than later, and players that may be on waivers, that you can consider adding to your team. In Week 11, there is one Thursday night game between the Dolphins and the Bills. Also, the following teams are on a BYE in Week 11: the Giants, the Seahawks, the Titans, and the Vikings. As you can see, one starting quarterback, four starting running backs, and several key wide receivers, as well as a couple of defenses, will be unavailable this week in addition to the injuries listed above. If you didn’t know, this is the last of the bye weeks and as of next week, Week 12, every team will play every week until the end of the season. Also, for many of you, your trade deadline could be this week. So if you are going to make any roster moves involving a trade, now is the time to do it.
Make sure to set your line-ups in advance and play the match-ups. Also, make sure to look out for The Fantasy Greek’s Special Thursday Night Edition which will preview the Thursday night game with roster recommendations for setting your line-up in the match-up. The Quick Hits — short list of Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em players — will be posted along with our game previews for the weekend, later in the week.
In this week’s waiver target report, besides noting players that you can consider picking up off the waivers if available in your league, The Fantasy Greek will try to highlight players (as a match-up based play) that you may have to pick-up due to injuries, because your other players have a difficult match-up, or because you need a player as a one week fill-in due to the bye week. This week, you may want to consider the following players (if available on your waivers), if you need the help, or if you have the room on your bench. Please, do not drop a good player for any of the waiver-adds.
There will likely not be many options for a quarterback this week on waivers who also has a great fantasy football match-up. Nonetheless, we will mention a few quarterbacks that may or may not be on your waivers.
Phillip Rivers, Chargers
Sam Bradford, Rams
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
Nick Foles, Eagles
The Chargers Phillip Rivers (337 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs) followed up what was one solid fantasy game, with one that had the kind of statistics fantasy players had come to expect from Rivers since the beginning of the season. Now the Chargers did lose the game but it doesn’t mean that Rivers hasn’t gone a long way to redeem himself in the eyes of fantasy players. Obviously, tossing interceptions is never good. Still, passing for 300-plus yards and multi-TDs will take the sting out of negative stats. This week, Rivers takes on a Broncos pass defense that while tough, can be had for two hundred-plus yards passing and multiple touchdowns.
The Rams Sam Bradford (275 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) had one of his best games of the season against the second best pass defense in fantasy football entering Week 10. Of course, this coincided with the return of Danny Amendola (102 yards) but based on the numbers, all the credit doesn’t belong. It was one of the better quarterback performances of the week. In Week 11,Bradford squares-up with a Jets pass defense that while tough, has been known to give up multi-TDs to quarterbacks that can throw the ball. Put another way,Bradford could throw for similar numbers against the Jets, as he did against the 49ers.
The Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick (337, 2 TDs, 1 INT) is coming off one of his best games of the season, and takes on a Dolphins team, whose pass defense is weaker than its rush defense. With the exception of this past weekend, where the Dolphins held Jake Locker to almost 100 yards passing, the Dolphins are giving up close to 300 yards passing per game, on average. As The Fantasy Greek mentioned last week in reference to Fitzpatrick, while the performance doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be fantasy significant. Consider Fitzpatrick a good pick-up and play in Week 11.
The Dolphins Ryan Tannehill (217yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs) had another forgettable game this week. This week, however, the Dolphins take on a Bills team giving up an average of 250 yards passing per game, top-five in fantasy in terms of most fantasy points allowed as of the beginning of Week 10. If you are searching for a bye week replacement, and are willing to take a leap of faith, Tannehill makes for a bye week replacement this week.
Rookie quarterback Nick Foles (219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) will be making the start for the Eagles this weekend against the Redskins. While this is great news for the Redskins defense, it’s also great news for Nick Foles and the Eagles. The Redskins are allowing roughly 300 yards passenger per game on average and were giving up the second most fantasy points (just behind the Saints by 0.64 points) to quarterbacks. Indeed, Foles could throw for 250 yards and multiple touchdowns in this game.
Worth Monitoring: Colin Kaepernik, 49ers. Colin Kaepernik (117 pass yds., 0 pass TDs, 66 rush yds., 1 rush TD) didn’t have the greatest of fantasy games, but it wasn’t the worst either. The reality is Kaepernik may not get the start against a Bears defense that has generally speaking, been the number one defense against the quarterback position in fantasy for a few weeks, as it has been reported Alex Smith feels better since experiencing blurred vision in the Rams game. Still, with a game against the Saints in Week 12, it is a situation to monitor.
Worth Monitoring: Jason Campbell, Bears. Campbell (94 yards) was pressed into service after half-time and had a less than stellar game against one of the league’s best defenses. Unlike the situation with Kapernik and Alex Smith, there is a much better chance thatCampbell will get the start this weekend, as well as thereafter, as Jay Cutler sustained his second concussion as a Bears player, and his third while being in the NFL. This might be a situation where Cutler misses multiple weeks. Indeed, the Bears have gone so far as to sign Luke McCown.Campbell is a quarterback that has “done more with less,” with stints with the Redskins and Raiders. This is a situation to monitor.
With the number of injuries among running backs, and with the number of running backs on a bye this week (Ahmad Bradshaw/Andre Brown, Marshawn Lynch, Chris Johnson, and Adrian Peterson), the running backs available on waivers are likely thin. Yet, there are several that could be there and could be helpful in dealing with any bye week issues you may have this week, or as longer term grabs. As The Fantasy Greek has mentioned, this is not a week to pick up a running back just to pick up a running back. You have to have a need to get into the waiver wire mix for a running back. Any fantasy footballer with one of the top running backs in the league should consider hand-cuffing them with their back-up especially coming out of that running back’s bye week.
Steven Jackson, Rams
Felix Jones, Cowboys
Chris Ivory, Saints
Mark Ingram, Saints
Marcel Reese, Raiders
Vick Ballard, Colts
Donald Brown, Colts
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
Daniel Thomas, Dolphins
James Starks, Packers
Just when many fantasy players thought Rams Steven Jackson might be done as a dependable, every week running back,Jackson breaks out for 127 all-purpose yards and a touchdown to make him fantasy significant once again. For those fantasy players who were either impatient or needed roster help to keep winning this season,Jackson may have been jettisoned to fantasy waivers. Well, if he has, pick him up because the Rams have a favorable match-up against the Jets struggling rush defense this weekend, as well as another date with the 49ers in Week 13, and then games against the Cardinals, Bills, Vikings, and Buccaneers. Each of these games are manageable to favorable match-ups. Besides,Jackson will have to turn on the after-burners to post 496 yards rushing to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing, a feat he has done 7 season in a row. Only five other players have done this eight seasons in a row. Jackson will be on a mission to join this elite group of running backs.
As soon as Cowboys Felix Jones (93 APY, 1 TD) began to have some sub par games, after taking over for the injured DeMarco Murray, fantasy players seemed to lose faith in him. With that, Jones could be available on your waivers and could be in line for another start in Week 11 against the Browns, whose defense was giving up the twelfth most fantasy points to the running back position entering Week 10. Obviously, this is very much dependent on whether DeMarco Murray gets back on the gridiron, so make sure to follow the player news accordingly leading up to this weekend’s games.
With Darren Sproles out, it was Chris Ivory (85 APY, 1 TD) that stole the show rushing with authority and scoring another touchdown on a long run, after breaking some stiff tackles. Ivory looks like a Marshawn Lynch-type or Steven Jackson-type of running back. Ivory continues to make the most of his opportunity to play and scoring in back-to-back weeks certainly helps. Again, while all of the Saints running backs, with the exception of Travaris Cadet, are all serviceable (including Mark Ingram) as bye week replacements and low-end flex-plays, The Fantasy Greek likes Ivory as the running back fantasy players should roster because he has shown that he has a nose for the end-zone. The Sainst play a Raiders team that was top-fibe in most fantasy poinst allowed this past week.
Entering Week 10, there was some question as to how the Raiders would distribute touches between RB Taiwan Jones and FB Marcel Reese. That was put to rest in this weekend’s tilt against the Ravens as Reese got the majority of the touches and was the more productive running back of the two, posting 104 all-purpose yards to Jones thirteen all-purpose yards. Both Raiders Darren McFadden and Michael Goodson are still wearing walking boots. As such, The Fantasy Greek expects Reece to get another start. This week, the Raiders take on a Saints rush defense which was allowing the second most fantasy points to the running back position. As such, Reece is primed to have a breakout game.
Although it was believed that Vick Ballard (59 APY) would have the largest role in the rushing game this past weekend, that wasn’t the case with the way the final yardage totals came in. Donald Brown (42 yards) is still the Colts No. 1 rushing option so long as he can take the field. That said, the Colts take on a Patriots rush defense that while generally better than its pass defense, was exposed this past weekend by the Bills Fred Jackson (115 APY, 2 TDs, 1 FMBL) and CJ Spiller (131 APY). Both would make for decent flex-options should you need the help.
This past weekend, the Falcons rushing game struggled against a Saints rush defense allowing the second most fantasy points to the position. In sum, Michael Turner (15 yards) couldn’t get the rushing game going and the Falcons eventually turned to Jacquizz Rodgers (62 APY). While it cannot be said that Rodgers will supplant Tunrer in the offense, he still has value as a flex-play in fantasy and is worth rostering to see if the Falcons make a significant change in the distribution of touches to the running backs. This week, Rodgers would make for a low-end flex-play against a Cardinals rush defense that has been pretty good defending the position.
This past week, the Dolphins Reggie Bush (39 APY) was benched early due to a fumble. Unfortunately, RB Daniel Thomas (55 APY) didn’t do much better. However, this weekend, the Dolphins play a Bills rush defense which was ranked the worst in fantasy entering Week 10. Thomas makes for a decent one-week flex-play given the current running back situation for the Dolphins as well as the match-up.
Before the Packers bye week, James Starks (61 yards) had a substantial role in the rushing game. While Starks does not make for a long-term add, he would serve at a minimum as a low-end flex-play for this last of the bye weeks. Fantasy players should remember that Starks (315 yards, 1 TD) saved the Packers during the playoffs when he filled in when the Packers made their march to their last Super Bowl Championship in 2010.
Some of the wide receivers we mention below may surprise you because they could be on your waiver wire right now. Otherwise, waivers could be awfully thin this week at the wide receiver position in terms of quality fantasy starters for Week 11. This is not a week to pick up a wide receiver just to pick up a wide receiver. You have to have a need to get into the waiver wire mix for a wide receiver.
Danario Alexander, Chargers
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
Donald Jones, Bills
Golden Tate, Seahawks
Michael Crabtree, 49ers
Mentioned last week, Chargers Danario Alexander followed up last week’s solid performance (61 yards) with a breakout performance of 134 yards receiving and 1 touchdown, solidifying himself as the Chargers No. 2 wide receiver. While this week’s opponent, the Broncos, does a good job defending the wide receiver position, Alexander could still make some noise as a WR3.
If for some reason, Jaguars Cecil Shorts (105 yards, 1 TD) is still on your waiver wire, he needs to be rostered. In the past three weeks, Shorts has posted 300 yards receiving and two touchdowns. While playing Shorts against the Texans this week may not be the most ideal start, Shorts has some favorable match-ups coming up against the Colts, the Titans, the Bills, and the Patriots.
If you missed out on the Bills Donald Jones (74 yards, 1 TD) last week, he still makes for a top waiver wire add this week. Besides having a great match-up this weekend against the Dolphins fifth worst fantasy pass defense against wide receivers, the Bills then play the Colts and the Jaguars. Besides, Jones role in the offense continues to grow. In the past three games, Jones has combined for 186 yards receiving and two scores.
The Seahawks Golden Tate won’t wow you with his yardage (334 yards), but he will wow you with his touchdown catches (6 TDs). In the past three weeks, Tate has stepped up his game catching to the tune of 334 yards and 3 touchdowns during that span. And, this past weekend, he even threw the ball for a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice! While no one can promise a repeat of the passing touchdown anytime soon, it seems pretty certain that Tate is a touchdown target in the red-zone. Tate makes for a decent WR3 especially with the Seahawks passing game coming alive.
In the last two games, the 49ers Michael Crabtree has put together two very good outings, combining for 142 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. This is a surprise because Crabtree has generally been inconsistent since his time in the league. While this week’s game against the Bears is not inviting, the 49ers Week 12 match-up against the Saints is.
Some of the tight-ends listed below may be on waivers, others may not be. The tight-ends are listed below either because of their recent impressive play, or their upcoming Week 11 match-ups, or both. We have several listed because there are so many tight-ends with favorable match-ups this week. For tight-ends, there are several that have disappointed after some strong starts that happen to have favorable match-ups this week.
Dwayne Allen, Colts
Greg Olsen, Panthers
Scott Chandler, Bills
Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
Should tight-end Coby Fleener miss another game this weekend, Colts tight-end Dwayne Allen is a solid play against a Patriots pass defense allowing the fifth most fantasy points to the tight-end position and which gave up sixty-five yards receiving and one touchdown to the Bills Scott Chandler this past weekend.
Finally, the Panthers Greg Olsen (102 yards, 2 TDs) broke out, against a Broncos defense that is one of the worst defending the position. This week, Olsen could do it again against a Buccaneers team allowing the ninth most fantasy points to tight-ends as of Week 10. In Week 10, the Buccaneers gave up 57 yards and a touchdown to Chargers Antonio Gates.
The Bills Scott Chandler (65 yards, 1 TD) finally broke out of a funk that spanned the previous four games. This week,Chandler is in a position to succeed in the passing game again against a Dolphins team ranked towad the middle of all teams defending tight-ends, and one which gave up 26 yards and a touchdown to the Titans Jared Cook, a player who had been on a four game drought without a score.
The Bengals Jermaine Gresham (15 yards, 1 TD) had another good game last weekend due to a score. This week, the Bengals play a Chiefs team ranked toward the middle of all teams defending the position.Gresham makes for another decent start this week even though the match-up will be tougher.
The Lions Brandon Pettigrew has been an uncharacteristic hit-or-miss play this season. This week, Pettigrew plays a Packers defense that while ranked high in least fantasy points allowed, has been susceptible to the tight-end position as it was against Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham, and Dwayne Allen, earlier in the season.
DEFENSES / SPECIAL TEAMS (DSTs)
Here are five defensive units that could be on your waivers that you could consider playing given their Week 10 opponent.
The Bengals DST (4 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 DFR, 13 PA) was a great start against a Giants team that has a potent offense, at least on paper. This week, the Bengals play a Chiefs team allowing the most fantasy points to opposing defenses/special teams as of Week 10.
Even with the expected start of rookie Nick Foles, the Eagles are still having problems with protection and with turning the football over whether Foles is under center or Michael Vick is under center. The Redskins are coming off the bye and have been opportunistic, with several defensive scores. The Redskins DST makes for a one week pick-up and play against an Eagles team allowing the second most fantasy points after Week 9, and which the Cowboys capitalized on for two defensive touch downs, and a special team score.
The Falcons DST takes on another offense with protection problems and turnover problems — the Cardinals. As of Week 10, the Cardinals allowed the fifth most fantasy points to defenses/special teams and it hasn’t really mattered whether Kevin Kolb or John Skelton is the team’s quarterback.
The Rams already have a pretty good defense even if it is not in fantasy. The Rams DST should look like a top-ten unit this week against a Jets team that was top-five in most fantasy points allowed.
As mentioned last week, the Cowboys pass defense is still one of the best in the league. As mentioned above, the Cowboys had their way with a turnover prone Eagles. While this week’s opponent, the Browns, are better at protecting the ball and their quarterback, the Browns are still top-ten in most fantasy points allowed. The Cowboys make for another solid start this week.
Good luck this week!