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NFL fantasy football: Week 11 game recaps

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Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins


Analysis by Adam Rank

» For as much as we make of Robert Griffin III's ability as a running quarterback, he's a pretty good passer. RG3 tossed four touchdowns in the Redskins' laugher over the Philadelphia Eagles. But don't worry, RG3 gave us a ton a rushing yards, too, with 84, which would put him ahead of a host of running backs on Sunday. He's a great start against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Even the Fantasy Fraidy Cat would have to endorse this move. ... Everybody was wondering how effective Pierre Garcon would be after his return from injury. And in a game when RG3 would have four touchdown passes, none of them went to Garcon. He was targeted three times and had three receptions. So he has that going for him. The rest of the receiving touchdowns for the Redskins was a lineup of #thathelpsnoone with Darrel Young, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss and Logan Paulsen all being recipients. ... Freddy Morris did not score a touchdown, but he did have more than eight points with 76 rushing yards and seven yards receiving. If the touchdown pass to Young was a rush to Morris, that's a really nice game. So continue to start Morris with confidence.

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The biggest news for the Eagles was the injury to LeSean McCoy. We will continue to monitor this situation throughout the week. McCoy did have a pretty nice game both rushing and receiving before he left. ... Quarterback Nick Foles is not going to be a fantasy option you can trust going forward. The matchup was there for him, but he failed to deliver. ... DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin combined for half a fantasy point on Sunday. Yes, against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, this duo could not combine for a full fantasy point. And Foles threw the ball 46 times! Jackson had nine targets but did nothing with them. Riley Cooper and Brent Celek each had eight targets and five receptions apiece.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions


Analysis by Matt "Money" Smith

While it wasn't a prolific fantasy day from Aaron Rodgers, we might have learned something from the distribution of touches Mike McCarthy dispensed with. First of all, if the "Alex Green or James Starks" question needed to be answered, it's safe to say who it was. Starks got the ball a whopping 25 times, for 74 yards (hardly efficient) and the Packers were committed to the run game despite it not being all that productive. Green only made one appearance, and while he saw a ball thrown in his direction, it was a check down that came as a result of Detroit's defense pressuring Rodgers. ... The other obvious takeaway from what the Packers did today is how committed they are to using Randall Cobb as much as they possibly can, and doing it in the same manner the Vikings use Percy Harvin. Cobb had almost three times the targets (12) as the next highest Packers receiver (5), and his two carries in the running game accounted for 1.9 points on your fantasy squad. All of this came with Jordy Nelson back in the line up. Cobb is a must start moving forward.

For the Lions, it's good to see Calvin Johnson productive for the second consecutive week, 11 targets equated to five catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, and Johnson looked like he was toying with the Packers DBs at times. Still, Johnson dropped a pair of passes that would have accounted for another 40-plus yards to his total, while fumbling away another reception. ... Mikel Leshoure is clearly Jim Schwartz's choice at the position moving forward as no other back carried the ball more than once. Leshoure was effective, rushing for 84 yards and a score, and looked good doing it. ... Matt Stafford was far too careless with the ball, throwing two interceptions while giving the ball away via a fumble on another occasion.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers


Analysis by Elliot Harrison

Let's get into the fantasy players you care about going forward, starting with Josh Freeman. Fantasy owners were greatly benefitted by the fact the Bucs were down by two scores late. That meant that an offense that was dysfunctional most of the day could put up points in a frantic comeback attempt. He finished with 22.64 points and continues to be one of the better starts in fantasy. A big part of that is the rapport he has with Vincent Jackson. Give the man 17.4 points again and at this point, there is NEVER a game you sit Jackson going forward. ... Mike Williams will be tougher to ride now that the bye weeks are over. He was interfered with and Freeman did look for him, but a 2.9-point performance is just that. ... Doug Martin could have had a huge game for fantasy owners but fumbled jussssssst as he was getting into the end zone, turning six points into negative two. He still finished with over 14 points, and like Jackson, is a must start. By the way, with the fantasy wasteland that is the tight end position, Dallas Clark remains a sneaky play. I recommended him earlier this week and he awarded those that took a shot with 11.8 fantasy points. There was nothing fluky about that touchdown, either. Clark caught several other important balls in the game, which leads me to think that he can get you 5-7 fantasy points from the tight end spot. Considering the way things have gone in fantasy this season, that's good for a tight end!

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On the Panthers side of things, Cam Newton had a nice day but it's hard to trust him. The touchdowns just aren't coming. Carolina's offense doesn't have playmakers on the outside while tight end Greg Olsen is inconsistent. Newton's 40 rush yards helped, as he was the recipient of some designed run calls from offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. ... Back to Olsen. He had 4.2 points and isn't a bad play going forward with the struggling Eagles and Chiefs defenses coming up. He's not a great play, either, as neither of those teams give up a ton of fantasy points to tight ends. If you've fared poorly at tight end, then pick up Olsen. ... Steve Smith scored 6.1 points against the Bucs. It seems defenses have decided that the veteran is not going to beat them. Playing Smith going forward is tough. I would sit Smith versus Philadelphia and then play him in Kansas City. ... So that I'm not being a wet blanket here, giving Brandon Lafell a chance is not a bad idea at all. The second fiddle was a top 10 fantasy WR with 15.3 points. I can also argue for going with Jonathan Stewart in your lineup. He scored 13.3 fantasy points Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, but more importantly, received a healthy amount of touches with 16. With all of the running back-by-committee situations flourishing in the NFL, 16 touches ain't bad.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots


Analysis by Akbar Gbajabiamila

For the Colts, Andrew Luck threw for over 300 yards for the fifth time with three interceptions, which cost him quality points against a complex defense that showed multiple looks. Luck should still be considered a starter in most formats. It was T.Y Hilton who stepped up to show that he could be an explosive fantasy player with 22 fantasy points. Vick Ballard didn't make it into the end zone but showed that he is a better fantasy option than Donald Brown.

The New England Patriots now have a lot of fantasy potential and power players. The game against the Colts showed off Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski as continued must plays. It was Julian Edelman with 16.5 fantasy points that displayed how he can be utilized as on the ground and vertically as a sleeper during the playoffs. With explosive players that can come in and produce, it makes it easy for Rob Gronkowski to get back on track and put up 25 fantasy points

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints

Analysis by Michael Fabiano

Drew Brees was his old, productive self with 219 yards, three touchdowns and 20.76 fantasy points. He's scored 19 or more fantasy points in all but two of his starts this season. ... Mark Ingram led the Saints in carries for the second straight week, posting 67 rushing yards, one touchdown and a season-best 12.80 fantasy points. He needs to be picked up while Darren Sproles is out, but keep in mind that this remains a committee with Ingram, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. ... Marques Colston led the team with 69 yards, but Lance Moore was the team's best fantasy wideout with two touchdowns and 17.30 fantasy points. While unreliable at times, Moore is a viable No. 3 fantasy option most weeks. ... The Saints defense was an unsung hero, scoring one touchdown and 14 fantasy points.

Much was expected from the Raiders offense based on what was a favorable matchup against a porous Saints offense. Carson Palmer posted a solid 18.08 fantasy points, and it could have been better had it not been for his two interceptions. He faces his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals, in Week 12. ... Marcel Reece, a Start 'Em, Sit 'Em sleeper, posted 193 scrimmage yards and should be active in most leagues while Darren McFadden is out. ... Denarius Moore was a disappointment with just one catch, and Darrius Heyward-Bey posted a mediocre 6.9 fantasy points. Moore remains the better fantasy option, but he lacks that consistent level of production. ... If you need a tight end, go out and get Brandon Myers. He has scored at least one touchdown in two of his last three games.

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints

Analysis by Michael Fabiano

Drew Brees was his old, productive self with 219 yards, three touchdowns and 20.76 fantasy points. He's scored 19 or more fantasy points in all but two of his starts this season. ... Mark Ingram led the Saints in carries for the second straight week, posting 67 rushing yards, one touchdown and a season-best 12.80 fantasy points. He needs to be picked up while Darren Sproles is out, but keep in mind that this remains a committee with Ingram, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. ... Marques Colston led the team with 69 yards, but Lance Moore was the team's best fantasy wideout with two touchdowns and 17.30 fantasy points. While unreliable at times, Moore is a viable No. 3 fantasy option most weeks. ... The Saints defense was an unsung hero, scoring one touchdown and 14 fantasy points.

Much was expected from the Raiders offense based on what was a favorable matchup against a porous Saints offense. Carson Palmer posted a solid 18.08 fantasy points, and it could have been better had it not been for his two interceptions. He faces his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals, in Week 12. ... Marcel Reece, a Start 'Em, Sit 'Em sleeper, posted 193 scrimmage yards and should be active in most leagues while Darren McFadden is out. ... Denarius Moore was a disappointment with just one catch, and Darrius Heyward-Bey posted a mediocre 6.9 fantasy points. Moore remains the better fantasy option, but he lacks that consistent level of production. ... If you need a tight end, go out and get Brandon Myers. He has scored at least one touchdown in two of his last three games.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

Analysis by Jason Smith

What can I say about Peyton Manning you don't already know? Every week, you can count on him for top five fantasy production at the quarterback position. Even his bad games are good games. Sunday he sprayed the ball around a ton (9 players caught a pass, and 8 caught at least two) and seems to be hitting his peak, which is awesome because it's just in time for your final stretch run and the playoffs. Couple that with the fact he has exactly zero games left against teams who can stop the pass and you have the makings of a fantasy MVP.

Tough news for Willis McGahee, who ran with purpose and an edge to him a week after losing two fumbles and potentially his grasp on the starting running back job. Though his knee injury isn't serious, you wonder how that will affect his load going forward. Remember, he's also an older, getting to the 2/3 part of the season as well where the older guys start to slow down a bit. He was a decent flex start but you have to watch his situation closely. If Ronnie Hillman starts eating into his carries McGahee will become useless to you.

Demaryius Thomas is winning his arm-wrestle with Eric Decker for the honors of Peyton Manning's most dangerous wideout. It's been back-and-forth all season, but Thomas has been getting more targets and producing more yardage the last few weeks than Decker. Look, you're playing both of them, but Thomas is clearly a No. 1 wide receiver and Decker a No. 2 for you right now. Not saying it can't change, because it can and it has, but at this moment that's how it stands.

Brandon Stokley is pretty interesting. With teams gearing up to try to stop Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, he quietly has put together two straight games of over 50 yards and a score. He's not quite a flex player yet, but another week like this and it becomes a trend. Number three wideouts on teams who throw the ball a ton are like number two's everywhere else. So Stokley is worth picking up if you have a dead spot on your bench and seeing if he continues his consistency.

Three turnovers and three sacks from the Broncos defense in another solid effort - which would have been worth more fantasy points had San Diego not racked up nine real points on a pick-six and a safety, two things the defense can't control. Von Miller leads the league in sacks and if you think Peyton Manning is peaking now, the same can be said for Denver. Just like a week ago, they're the second most dangerous defense in the NFL, and I'm sure I'll have them ranked No. 1 overall next week (@KC).

The San Diego Chargers are rapidly becoming a fantasy wasteland. Who can you trust to play on this team anymore? Philip Rivers is just average right now. Whether he's injured or his weapons aren't as good it's all coming out in his production which always seems to include two interceptions. He's a matchup-based starter at best and only then if I don't have anyone else. He just doesn't excite me right now, and I have no confidence he'll be able to go on a tear. Most of his passing yardage was in garbage time Sunday, which isn't the Philip Rivers I know from years past.

This is the week I say to myself it's time to take a long, hard look at Ryan Mathews. His snaps have dwindled, as the team is trying to keep him healthy by keeping him out on plays he doesn't get the ball, then inserting him for plays where he has a high percentage of touching it. That would be okay but he's not producing. He can't make people miss and he can't get away from the linebackers and get into the secondary on running plays. He gave you over eight fantasy points because he had 36 yards receiving but is he really your best option when he's only gotten in the end zone once? And not totaled 100 yards in a game at all in 2012? He's an iffy flex which for me means he's got one foot on my bench.

With Philip Rivers passing numbers dwindling, so are the receiving yards for Malcom Floyd. He's topped 67 yards receiving in a game twice this season. His best game projects to be somewhere between 10-12 points. Which is okay for a flex but at this point in the season you want more. His issue is he's good when he's got other players to help draw attention away, but when you get the other teams' top CB most of the time, he won't get the ball because he's not elite. Just like Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews, I take a long hard look at everyone on my team before I give him a starting slot.

Antonio Gates had a clunker following a couple of very good weeks. But who else are you going to play ahead of him at TE? The position has been a wasteland this season, with only three or four players worthy of being counted on week-in and week-out. So keep riding with Gates unless you get very luck in free agency.

Danario Alexander could be a bit of a silver fantasy lining. He followed up his huge game a week ago with 96 yards and two touchdowns on a team-high 11 targets from Philip Rivers. Is he worth picking up? Sure, because you have a dead spot on your bench and just maybe you can catch lightning in a bottle. But I like the way he plays - a recent signee to the team, he's aggressive and powerful and goes after the ball. This will make him Rivers' best friend if he keeps it up. And let's face it, with the receiving corps very underwhelming, he has a chance to become the teams top option in a very short time.

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