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Tue Nov 22nd 2022

Week Eleven Review

Week eleven in the NFL was less dramatic than in recent weeks, and most of the early games were low scoring. Nine of the twenty-four teams scored 17 points or less on Sunday, making for less fantasy output than usual. Worse, many players who were not startable in fantasy lineups scored touchdowns on Sunday. It was a strange week from a fantasy perspective, but it was still fun to follow and watch.

After following all the week-eleven games, here are my observations from a dynasty perspective.

Week Eleven Observations

It's Not Working

  • Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen singlehandedly carried fantasy teams at the start of the season, but the last few weeks have been just average QB-1s. It's hard to complain about their 18-24 point performances in recent weeks, but when you're used to the 30 to 40-point performances they had to start the season, it's pretty frustrating. I have Jackson and Allen in one league each, and I have lost three games in a row with Allen and three out of six in the league with Jackson. The Bills and Ravens have run the ball more recently and succeeded. The Bills look to protect Allen's elbow by running the ball more. The Ravens' defense is improving, and they only have one team with a winning record on their schedule for the rest of the season, so they can afford to run the ball more for the rest of the season. These trends disappoint dynasty managers like me, who need Allen and Jackson in the fantasy playoffs.

Vanilla Vick

  • Last week Saquon Barkley was caught on mic calling his quarterback, Daniel Jones, Vanilla Vick. Jones played like it this week, scoring 28 fantasy points, two shy of his season-high three weeks ago. Jones is fifth in quarterback rushing yards this season behind the guys you would expect, Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts. That's great company. He has up and down weeks as a passer, but his rushing keeps him a viable starter in one-quarterback leagues and an every-week starter in two-quarterback leagues. Jones could be even more productive if the Giants' receivers could stay healthy or improve. Jones was a player I touted before the season started, and he's starting to prove me right.

Which Saints Are Marching In?

  • The Saints' quarterback situation is baffling to me. Jameis Winston must be in the doghouse with coaches because Andy Dalton continued to get the starting role. Then they continue to rotate Taysom Hill in for Dalton throughout the game. Hill stole a lot of snaps from Dalton early in the game this week, not even in short-yardage situations. Somehow Dalton emerged out of this week with 25 fantasy points while leading the Saints to victory over the Rams. When Dalton was first named the starter, I thought it would benefit Alvin Kamara since Dalton checks down to running backs and throws shorter passes than Winston, who liked to target receivers downfield. While Kamara has been more active in the passing game with Dalton, he's not producing the game-winning fantasy points his dynasty managers are used to seeing. Dalton has instead lifted the production of Chris Olave and Juwan Johnson, who both caught touchdowns on Sunday. Johnson has quietly scored five touchdowns over the last five weeks and has become a touchdown-or-bust tight end like so many other tight ends are in dynasty right now. Chris Olave, one my favorite rookies in this class and one of my most rostered players, is a rookie of the year candidate receiving passes from Andy Dalton. I can't help but wonder if Olave would be even more productive if Winston were throwing him passes instead. I have Dalton in three of my superflex leagues, and he's become a player I have to decide whether to start every week.

Dak Is Back

  • Dak has been on fire the last three weeks and is back to being an every-week starter in one-quarterback leagues after his slow start returning from injury. He completed 88% of his passes on Sunday, dismantling the Vikings' defense with 30 and 68-yard touchdown passes. He's also looked a little more courageous running the ball in recent weeks. In contrast, he ran a little more cautiously before. This week, Tony Pollard blew up again, even with Zeke Elliot back on the field. Pollard had two touchdowns receiving, while Zeke had two on the ground. Dallas's offensive line is becoming a strength of the team again, making Pollard and Zeke safe starts in dynasty lineups. Zeke no longer has the big-play ability but can provide a safe floor and predictable short-yardage touchdowns. Pollard has a high ceiling, given his explosiveness and involvement in the passing game. Dak's perfect pass on Pollard's touchdown scoring wheel route was beautiful. Dak is back, and so are all the Cowboys.

Back In Business

  • After weeks on the bubble of starting dynasty lineups, Najee Harris deserves to be back into starting lineups. I only have Najee in one league, and my co-manager and I have benched him the last few weeks, starting Austin Ekeler and Jaamal Williams ahead of him and putting receivers in our flex positions every week in this PPR league. It seems like Najee has turned a corner and is a player we need to get back into our lineups. He's had his two highest yards rushing of the season the last two weeks, 99 and 90 yards, and his highest number of carries, too, 20 each week. He also had his longest run of the season on his 19-yard touchdown run. The nagging injury he was said to be battling is finally well because the Steelers have upped his workload even as they got Jaylen Warren more involved in the offense. Warren left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, so Najee could get even more work in the weeks leading up to the fantasy playoffs. Last year, dynasty managers had to decide whether Harris's productivity was primarily based on volume. This year they've had to determine if his lack of production was primarily based on injury. I want to see one more week before I decide, but right now, it is just due to injury, and if recovered, Najee can rise back up the dynasty rankings. 

Backup Breakout

  • Samaje Perine was one of the many players who stole touchdowns from players in starting fantasy lineups this week. He had the best fantasy day of his career, scoring on three touchdown receptions. They didn't all come after Joe Mixon's injury, either. Perine has cut into Mixon's workload throughout the season, especially on passing downs. Now he may have a week or two to get nearly all of the touches as Mixon recovers from a concussion. Perine is the type of player I love to have on my roster. I have him on four of my nine rosters, and he'll start in the flex position in all of those leagues next week. It's essential to keep a lot of backup running backs on your dynasty rosters for weeks where they may get a spot-start because of a minor injury to the starter or and long time as a starter if the starter's injury is more serious. I especially like to roster backup running backs on teams with a good quarterback and offense. That said, Perine is also a player I'll consider trading this week to the team with Joe Mixon on their roster. That's another excellent reason for rostering backups. They're a very tradeable piece when starters get injured.

Believe My Lion Eyes

  • I always like to work in at least one pun per week. It's time to believe you Lion eyes. Jamaal Williams is the RB-1 in Detroit ahead of DeAndre Swift, whether we like it or not. Swift is passed his injury, but his role is not increasing, and he has not cut into Jamaal Williams' touches, especially at the goal line. The Lions gave Swift a courtesy goal-line touchdown at the end of the game when it was already over. Even then, he needed two attempts to score. Williams, on the other hand, had three goal-line touchdowns. What's worse for Swift, Justin Jackson has been receiving more touches in the last few weeks too. Jackson has had a higher snap count in two of the previous three weeks, and they both have the same number of touches (20) over the last three weeks. Swift has had long enough to take over this backfield and see his dynasty value rise to its expectations as a rookie, but he has not done so. His dynasty value is at an all-time low.

Week Eleven Waiver Wire

Remember, I play in leagues with 300 to 360 players rostered. In dynasty leagues with that many players rostered, here's a list of the players I plan to add to my rosters this week.

Demarcus Robinson

  • Since Rashod Bateman was put on IR, Robinson has seen the second most snaps at the wide receiver position behind Devin Duvernay, but he's had significantly more targets, 21 to 9. This Sunday, he had nine catches for 128 yards. He's the second target behind Mark Andrews and should be on all dynasty rosters at least through the end of this season. He's the top player to add this week, and I'd spend a fair amount to get him if it's a deep league with many flex spots.

Kendall Hinton

  • Hinton is the WR-2 in Denver, so long as Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler are injured. He played 96% of the snaps last week and 88% this week. He can't help a dynasty roster in the long term, but he could help a roster immediately. Robinson is the only player on the waiver wire getting more opportunities than Hinton.

Justin Jackson

  • As mentioned above, Jackson is getting as much work as DeAndre Swift. He'd need an injury to get a workload that would make him startable in fantasy lineups, but he's worth a stab in case Williams or Swift get injured. He's produced for fantasy teams before as a backup with the Chargers and could do so again if given the opportunity.

Week Eleven Trades

Here are my thoughts on trades made in my leagues this week.

Marquise Brown <=====> Kadarius Toney and a 2023 3rd round pick

  • I like the Brown side of this trade, no matter the state of each team. Brown and Toney are both risky players. Brown gets injured almost every season, and Toney is a bit of a headcase, which is part of why the Giants traded him to the Chiefs. Toney is young and worth the gamble to see if Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes can get the most out of him. In contrast, Brown is a sure thing when he is healthy. Of the two risky players, I'd rather have Brown.

Kadarius Toney  <=====> 2023 2nd round pick

  • This Toney trade is closer, but I think I still like the 2nd round pick side of this trade because it's a ten-team league, and the team the 2nd round pick is likely to be between pick #11-14, which could feel like a 1st round pick in traditional 12-team leagues.

T.J. Hockenson and Curtis Samuel <=====> Mike Gesicki and a 2023 1st round pick

  • The team that added Hockenson to their squad is the top team in the league, and tight end is his only weak spot. The team that gave up Hockenson is rebuilding and collecting a lot of picks before the trade deadline. He now has two 1st round picks, three 2nd round picks, and three 3rd round picks. Both teams did what was in the best interest of their teams. I don't think Gesicki will be with the Dolphins next season. In contrast, Hockenson has one more year with the Vikings, who must like him a lot since they traded within their division to get him. I like the future for Hockenson, and if I were tight-end needy, I would give up a 1st round pick for him regardless of whether I was a contender. I like the package side of this deal.

DeAndre Swift <=====> Kyren Williams and a 2023 1st round pick

  • I already mentioned my growing concerns for Swift, so I will side with the 1st round pick side of this trade, even though the team that sold the pick is one of the best teams in the league, so this will be a back-end pick. This trade was made in a ten-team league, so at the very least, it will be pick #10. This league is transitioning to superflex next season, so a running back could fall to his team and pick #10. I doubt that Kyren Williams will come close to Swift's production and dynasty value, but he was a good player to add in the trade to see how the backfield in L.A. shapes out in their terrible season. Williams had a team-high in snaps this Sunday.

Dameon Pierce <=====> Christian Watson, Terrace Marshall, and 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks in 2023

  • This trade took place in my FFPC league, where rosters get cut to 14 positional players at the end of the season. In FFPC leagues, starting running backs are even more valuable, which is why a manager was willing to give up so much in the trade. In this league, I would rather have Pierce than the generous package offered in this trade because it's very likely that Marshall and the picks will be players who don't make the cut on their final roster when rosters are cut to twenty players after the draft and before the first week of the season.

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