Difference Making Starts for Week 11

Matt Koegler

Blaine Gabbert vs Houston Texans:

Blaine Gabbert. Yes, I said it. The Houston Texans have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to Quarterbacks this season, and if done right the Arizona offense can put up points downfield. Not to mention they just gave up 355 yards and three touchdowns to Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams last week. This should help reduce any doubt about considering whoever is under center for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 as a possible Quarterback stream or if you need a bye week fill in for Cam Newton, Jacoby Brissett or Josh McCown.

Jay Cutler vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

This one could blow up in my face but the Tampa Bay secondary has been gashed and on average give up 266 yards and nearly two touchdowns a game to opposing Quarterbacks. That sounds like a matchup even Jay Cutler could take advantage of in his home stadium. Jay ran into the top defense in the NFL last week and it showed. But give him an opportunity against a bottom 10 pass defense and his wide receivers should be able to make some things happen after the catch.

Doug Martin vs Miami Dolphins:

Staying in the same game, Miami allowed a struggling Panthers rushing attack a “get right” game Monday night. As a team, the Carolina Panthers ran for 294 yards, 95 of which came from the legs of Cam Newton.  The Bucs have given up the 7th most rushing points to the running back and Doug Martin has had his fair share of struggles but this matchup could help you win a week. Volume is another arrow going in Martin’s direction as he only has had less than 10 carries in one game this season since coming back from suspension and has a season total of 99 thus far. The next closest on the team is Jacquizz Rodgers with 51 and a three-game head start.

Latavius Murray vs Los Angeles Rams:

Since week five of this season, Latavius Murray has not seen less than 12 carries. The Los Angeles Rams have given up 25.4 points per game to the running back position which is 5th most in fantasy this season. You have seen Mike Zimmer try to get Murray going earlier in games and using Jerrick McKinnon mostly in the passing game. Seeing that the Rams have also conceded nine total touchdowns to the position gives Murray a high floor to continue that trend of scoring a touchdown.

Jarvis Landry vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

With how poorly the Tampa Bay secondary has been, and Landry being targeted the 3rd most in the NFL (97 targets). He could be in for a good game especially with Cutler’s lack of downfield throws with only 12 completions of 20 yards or more. Landry will get plenty of work and should help you get a boost with a solid WR2 play. Since moving to the slot Pro Football Focus has Vernon Hargreaves ranked as the 55th best cornerback in the league with a grade of 75.5 and that is average for qualified corners. Jarvis Landry with his above average route running, and ability to get open to receive many open opportunities in this matchup.

Sterling Shepard vs Kansas City Chiefs:

Do not think last week was a fluke for Sterling Shepard. No team has given up more points to the wide receiver position than the Kansas City Chiefs. Add in the fact that Shepard is the only healthy solid wide receiver Eli Manning has, and that’s a recipe for fantasy success. Another variable in this equation is that the Giants are likely to be playing from behind which will attribute more passes being thrown in his direction. He and Evan Engram were the most targeted players ever since the Giants came back from the bye week.

Tyler Kroft vs Denver Broncos:

I wish I could just say Travis Kelce but that’s too easy since he’s guaranteed a touchdown this week against the New York Giants, but I’ll dig a little deeper. Tyler Kroft has seen on average four targets a game but two of the last three weeks has been more involved getting six. Also, the Broncos give up an average of 18.4 points to the position on the season. The tight end position is hard to watch sometimes, I know. But when a matchup like this one comes along play with confidence.

Charles Clay vs Los Angeles Chargers:

If he is available in your leagues (still available in 49% of ESPN leagues) Charles Clay should be in your lineups this week. The Chargers are one of the best in the league against opposing tight ends, but with the Tyrod Taylor benching I expect Clay to be a solid play from a pure volume aspect. The Buffalo Bill offense relies heavily on the tight end as it is, now put in an inexperienced quarterback in rookie Nathan Peterman I see him using Clay as a safety blanket. Do not let the three targets from last week get you down either since it was his first game back from missing three games. He was targeted less than six times only once before his injury and had three targets in the first quarter of the week five against the Bengals before going down with a knee injury.

Underrated Defense of the Week:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Brock Osweiler and the no good, very bad Denver Broncos offense.

No matter if Brock Osweiler finishes this game or if they need to call in Trevor Siemian before the end. According to ESPN Denver is the 3rd most favorable matchup giving up 11.9 points per game to opposing defenses. Especially if Garrett Bolles is forced to miss Sunday’s game I could see an uptick in Geno Atkins’ sack numbers since Denver ranks 27th in pass protection. The Bengals as a defense have only been held without a sack twice this season against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers (both of which rank in the top five for pass protection).

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