I’m sure the NFL is conspiring against the New York Jets. They’ve used them as a scapegoat to gain headlines all season and then, once the Jets finally play well and pick up a victory, they have a bye!? Way to kill our momentum . . . (I’m completely kidding by the way). Joining ‘Gang Green’ on bye in Week 11 are the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Ravens. While that’s the bad news, those who have stashed Ryan Mathews, Rashad Jennings, and Montee Ball will be rewarded this Week. While we need all the running back help we can get, good luck figuring out this muddled situation known as the Broncos carousel. Regardless, feel free to use these primetime suggestions whether it’s for the bye Weeks or you’re just flat out desperate.
Remember that guy who was drafted just behind Andrew Luck and actually beat him out for Rookie of the Year honors in 2012? I’ll give you a hint: It wasn’t Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy. That only leaves one guy and you guessed it, Robert Griffin III. It has been an interesting season for this franchise to say the least. They brought in a new coach in Jay Gruden, who ultimately has a system that doesn’t cater to RG3’s strengths. We’ve seen success from Kirk Cousins (very briefly) and Colt McCoy, yet Griffin III is back in the starting role. Nonetheless, the Redskins host the Buccaneers, who are giving up almost 19 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, seventh-worst in the NFL. They’ve only allowed an average of 14.3 Fantasy points to quarterbacks since getting torched by Joe Flacco for six touchdowns. Regardless, this is still the same team that allowed that to happen. RG3 is coming off a bye, giving him more time to recover, had a decent game in his return, and has a great matchup; all ingredients in a recipe for success.
Start Griffin III over: Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson
Looking Deeper – The Rams have just become the latest addition to the list of teams that have kicked the tires on an experimental quarterback situation. They are inserting Shaun Hill back into the starting lineup, as the Rams host the Broncos in Week 11. While I don’t have faith in the Rams pulling out the upset, Hill may have a decent chance at success in this game. His team will likely play from behind and the Broncos are allowing the fifth-most Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Hill should be owned in all two-quarterback leagues and could become an instant upgrade over Austin Davis given his veteran instincts.
Wow, would you look at that? The Falcons only allowed 53 rushing yards to the Buccaneers’ running backs last week. I guess they must be turning a corner . . . Wrong! We’re talking about a Falcons team that has allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the league (13) along with the most receiving yards to opposing running backs out of the backfield (534). So who is the lucky team that gets their paws on the Falcons in Week 11? The Panthers. While you probably cringed when you found out it was the Panthers, Jonathan Stewart has actually played well as of late. Over the past four games, Stewart has averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry while accruing 211 rushing yards. DeAngelo Williams will undoubtedly be involved in the game, but Stewart will get his 10-15 touches regardless. And mark my words; he will make those touches count. Cam Newton is really banged up right now and the Panthers could lean on the run in this game just to help them make it to their bye week. It was also very promising to see that once the team got down to the goal line on Monday night, it was Stewart who punched it in from one yard out.
Start Stewart over: Bishop Sankey, Bills running backs, Dolphins running backs, Raiders running backs
Looking Deeper: Regardless of who the quarterback is for the Redskins, Roy Helu will always be the third-down back and in the game when they decide to move up-tempo. While this is more of a ppr suggestion for those who are desperate, the Bucs have been prone to receptions to running backs at times this season. They’ve allowed 314 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns to opposing running backs this year. Helu, who is always a threat for a big play, will get sprinkled into the running game a tad as well.
While I’m sure the Steelers will be motivated after losing to the JETS, I repeat the JETS, it will be tough to stop big plays when they’re missing key pieces in their defense. With Troy Polamalu, Ryan Shazier, and Ike Taylor all expected to miss Week 11 with their respective injuries, the Steelers could be prone to more big plays in the receiving game. Coming off two games in which they’ve allowed a 35-yard touchdown strike and a 67-yard touchdown strike, the Steelers will travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans. The name that comes to mind when referring to big-play potential is Justin Hunter. Hunter has been disappointing to say the least this season, while trying to prove he isn’t JAG (just another guy), but it isn’t entirely his fault. The Titans are another team that has put on a show at quarterback, starting with Jake Locker, followed by clipboard Jesus himself, Charlie Whitehurst, and now rookie Zach Mettenberger. The Titans have nothing to lose and have opted to go with their rookies from here on out. In the process, it would make perfect sense to get Hunter involved as much as possible. He is their biggest offensive threat and gets his hands on the aforementioned depleted Steelers secondary. Hunter had 10 targets just a few Weeks back with Mettenberger at the helm and should he get that in Week 11, I trust one of those turns into serious Fantasy points.
Start Hunter over: Vikings wide receivers, Raiders wide receivers, Doug Baldwin, Jarvis Landry, Marques Colston
Looking Deeper -27.62 – That is the average number of Fantasy points per game the Houston Texans are allowing this season to opposing wide receivers. The Browns host the Texans this week, and while there are no sexy options to choose from yet (hurry up Josh Gordon), Brian Hoyer needs to throw to somebody. The receiver I like most in this offense just based on consistency in terms of targets in Andrew Hawkins. He’s returned to practice after suffering from a few leg injuries and he currently leads the team in receptions (39) and receiving yards (504). This little guy is a PPR beast and should be the focal point in the passing game assuming he’s active.
The way it’s looking, if you listen to me on these suggestions, the Buccaneers at Redskins game will carry a lot of weight this week. While Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a rookie tight end, which is hard to trust for Fantasy purposes, the Bucs are finding ways to get him involved. Why not? This kid was a beast in college and they invested a high draft pick in him. With Josh McCown stepping in at quarterback last Week, ASJ was targeted eight times, reeling in five receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown. Luckily for him, the Redskins are allowing just about 10 Fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, ninth-worst in the NFL. In what could be a high-scoring game, put your trust in the rookie.
Start Seferian-Jenkins over: Larry Donnell, Timothy Wright, Vernon Davis
Very quietly, the Bills lead the NFL in sacks this year with 34 and yet are not getting the Fantasy respect they deserve. Owned in just 69-percent of leagues and started in just 43-percent, this is the week you want them in your lineup. The Bills travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins, who have been impressive this season, but I fully expect this game to be a low-scoring affair. This is a divisional game on Thursday night, when the games don’t usually get too out of hand. Also, the Dolphins have recently placed offensive lineman Branden Albert on season-ending injury reserve, leaving them further prone to sacks.
Start the Bills D/ST over: Any team not named the Broncos
So, why is this column called Bye, Bye, Bye? Find out here.bjnc
Yes, I was a 90’s kid, and who doesn’t love a good old fashioned boy band?