NFL Week 11 Hot Takes
Howard Bender gives you the hot takes rundown from all the action fantasy football owners saw during Week 11 of the NFL season.
What a week, right? We saw some fantastic performances, both in reality and in fantasy while also scraping the bottom of the garbage can with some other guys. Survivor pool people took it on the chin from the Raiders and the Lions and your fantasy league probably also saw a number of people get eliminated from contention. The highs of the highs meet the lowest of the lows and all of them are wrapped up in quite a few interesting hot takes.
The Saints are Unstoppable
Is this me just putting on my Captain Obvious cape? The Saints are 9-1, they average 37.8 points per game and they’ve put up a 40-spot or better in six of their 10 games, including their last three-straight games. And they’re doing this against the cream of the crop in the NFC too with victories over the Eagles, Rams and Vikings. Drew Brees is insane with 25 touchdowns and just one interception on the year. The tandem of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram is the best 1-2 punch in football as they’ve helped the Saints post the sixth-most rushing yards on the season with a league-best 19 rushing touchdowns. And that includes Ingram’s four-game suspension to open the season. And the receivers? Come on. Michael Thomas is ridiculous with the second-most receiving yards, the third-highest touchdown total of all receivers and he also leads his position with 358 yards after the catch. And how about Tre’Quan Smith? This was one of those games that can vault a rookie wideout to an elite level of confidence. On 13 targets, he posted 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown and it wasn’t just some big touchdown on broken coverage that got him to that level. He was a trusted target for Brees and made some tough catches in traffic to help move the chains and sustain drives. Even his touchdown catch was impressive as he knew he was about to get leveled by the safety and still caught the ball in traffic and held on for the score. If he carries this momentum into the coming weeks, is there any doubt the Saints are the team to beat in the NFL?
It’s OK to Stash and Believe in Rookie Wide Receivers
In addition to watching Tre’Quan Smith crush it for the Saints, the Panthers also witnessed a breakout performance from their rookie widdeout, D.J. Moore . The Maryland product has had a good but not great season thus far, but we’re now looking at a potential late-season, game-changing fantasy asset here. The team started him slowly with just four targets over his first three games, but started to incorporate him more as he went on to average just under five targets per game over the next six. In Sunday’s game, he saw eight targets and dominated every step of the way finishing with seven catches for 157 yards and one touchdown. It could have been two scores, but Detroit CB Darius Slay caught him inside the Lions 20-yard line when he was streaking downfield en route to an 82-yard grab. Moore was a highly-touted prospect coming into the season but saw his ownership percentages drop significantly after being taken in almost every 12-team draft this year. If you dropped him and watched as someone else dance into their playoff spot with him, well…..let this be a lesson to you!
Luck/Hilton Rivals the Days of Manning/Harrison in Indy
If there were any latent concerns over Andrew Luck ’s shoulder, they should have been quietly put to sleep weeks ago. His 297-yard, three-touchdown performance this week marked his seventh-straight game with at least three touchdown passes thrown and he’s now got a 13:1 TD:INT over his last four games. And who’s the big beneficiary of Luck’s prowess? Yes, obviously his fantasy owners, but how about T.Y. Hilton ? Since he entered the league in 2012, Hilton has caught a total of 36 touchdown passes from Luck, including the playoffs, and the two looked absolutely dominant during Sunday’s game in which they connected for two of their 36 scores, one of which was a 68-yard masterpiece. With Luck’s shoulder looking as close to 100% as it’s been since the initial surgery, there is no reason to believe he can’t continue slinging the rock for the Colts for years and years to come. Hilton is just 29 years old and easily has the potential to play for at least another five or six years. If they do it together, they just need to average a little under 13 touchdowns per season over the next six seasons. Hey…it could happen.
Lamar Jackson Will Win People Fantasy Titles
Well now this was quite the debut, wasn’t it? After spending the week listening to Ravens coach John Harbaugh flip-flopping between Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III as his starter this week, Jackson got the call and, while he didn’t throw any touchdown passes, he did rush for 117 yards in addition to the 150 he racked up through the air. The offense still looked like it was a little in-flux, but Jackson commanded the huddle with confidence and took control of this offense when he needed to. Now one might be critical of his lack of passing against a Cincinnati secondary that has been nothing but hot trash all year, but if you’re running the ball effectively, why take the chance of airing it out? All you’re doing is creating more chances for turnovers. Now we don’t know exactly how long Joe Flacco is going to be out, but if Jackson is under center, he’s got the Raiders, Falcons, Chiefs and Buccaneers coming up over the next four weeks. That could very well be the easiest four-week schedule of any team in the league and Jackson will have no trouble exploiting it.
[Editor’s Note: The Lamar Jackson hot take you just read is 100% bullshit. Are you kidding us, Bender? Seriously? Or are you just feeding into the masses to be funny? Rest assured, FA Nation, if Bender actually believes this, we will have his mental state immediately checked and hopefully we’ll have him back on-track and in time for Week 12 analysis.]
Open Up Your FAAB Wallets for Gus Edwards
The question on literally EVERY fantasy owners’ mind this week was, “Who the f*** is Gus Edwards ?” Buried on the Ravens backfield depth chart all year, Edwards received 17 carries which he turned into 115 yards and a touchdown, leaving every other running back on this team in the dust. No one saw this coming. No one. Alex Collins got the starting nod and while Edward got mixed in during the opening series, it was Collins who saw the majority of touches, including a seven-yard score to cap the Ravens’ first drive. Collins saw three more touches in the first half and then we never heard from him again. Actually, that’s not true. With everyone running around, frantically searching for a missing injury report that told us why Collins was no longer in the game, Harbaugh game him one fourth-quarter carry. But that was it. After the game Harbaugh gushed over Edwards’ performance and cited the steady development of the undrafted free agent rookie out of Rutgers, one of the lousiest programs in the country right now. Clearly, Harbaugh has it in for Collins. Maybe he doesn’t like his personality, maybe he doesn’t like Irish step-dancing or maybe he just doesn’t like hard-running backs with dreadlocks. Whatever the case may be, it is evident that Harbaugh would much rather run this kid Edwards side-by-side with Lamar Jackson and that means you need to open that FAAB wallet to grab him if you’re looking for a possible starting running back with a super-soft upcoming schedule. Of course, you know that when you do that and drop Collins in the process, it will tilt back to Collins. Just sayin’…
There is No Such Thing as FitzMagic
Are we done? Finally? Please? Can we be? If you’re one of those people still referring to Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as FitzMagic, you’re an idiot. You’re making dad jokes in public. You’re the 40-something who thinks that using current millennial slang makes you relevant. You’re an analog man living in a digital world. Just stop already. If this week’s benching against a depleted, sub-mediocre Giants team didn’t put the proverbial final nail into the coffin for Fitzpatrick as a viable fantasy quarterback…hell…a viable NFL quarterback even…then I don’t know what to tell you. This guy sucks and why we continue to overrate him is beyond belief. What have we been saying all year? He’s good for the short-term when the opposition hasn’t game-planned for him fully. Once you rely on him for more than a game or two, he reveals his true colors and that’s not Harvard Crimson you see….it’s the blood oozing from your fantasy anus after he bends you over one more time.
The Titans Cannot be Trusted in Fantasy
Raise your hand if you though Dion Lewis or Corey Davis was a viable fantasy player this week. Yeah, I thought so. I had Lewis in the Fantasy Alarm Example Lineups this week and, thankfully, still cashed in spite of the craptastic performance he dropped on us this week. And before you excuse his disgustingness by talking about game flow, let’s look to the deficit they fell into against a team, whose secondary has rated in the bottom 10 of coverage most of the season. Game flow said pass the ball to Corey Davis , didn’t it? Where were those passes? And before you bring up Marcus Mariota ’s injury, I got news for you…..he wasn’t getting the ball to Davis, or anyone else for that matter, even before he got hurt. This team looked awful from start to finish. Yuck! We went into the week wondering who these Titans really were and now we have our answer – they’re the pile of dog crap stuck to the bottom of Blaine Gabbert ’s shoe.
Antonio Gates is Still a Viable TE Option
Wow. Just wow. Seven targets turned into five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Anyone wanna tell me where the hell this Antonio Gates has been all year? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler…? Buehler…? He’s been right here the whole time. This was an aberration. This will never happen again. Never. Never. Never. The guy went from averaging fewer than three targets per game to suddenly getting seven? This was purely a random, oddball mismatch the Chargers managed to exploit, but if you ‘re thinking about opening up your FAAB wallet for this decrepit, 38-year old shell of a former great, you’re making a massive mistake. Take whatever you were thinking about bidding for Gates and just add it to your Gus Edwards bid. What could possibly go wrong?
This is the last time you will see Alex Smith in a football uniform unless you’re leafing through a scrapbook of days gone by. That broken leg was grotesque and he’s not coming back from this. I don’t care if he’s got another four years left on his deal.
The Eagles need Nick Foles and they need him bad! What team wouldn’t wan a Super Bowl MVP under center?
Adam Thielen is officially a bum. Two-straight weeks without a 100-yard performance? Pfffffft! What good is he?