Last week we had some great predictions. You're welcome! Sorry if we're coming off as a bit arrogant here but who else would've told you to start Tim Tebow, Ben Tate, Laurent Robinson and Chris Ogbonnaya? Survey says...no one! With many of the top-notch NFL teams on their byes (Saints, Texans, Steelers), sorry the Colts don't count anymore, your options may be limited and you may need a little help filling out that starting lineup. Well, that's what we're here for. So without further ado, check out Start or Sit? Complex Sports Fantasy Football Tips (Week 11).
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos (THURS, 8:20 ET)
START: QB Mark Sanchez, RB Lance Ball
SIT: QB Tim Tebow
Last Sunday, Tim Tebow did a little bit of everything. Emphasis on the word "little." In addition to completing only 25% of his passes against the Chiefs, Tebow also rushed for a paltry 43 yards with one touchdown. Still, when it comes to fantasy football, one rushing touchdown from your quarterback can salvage any poor throwing performance which explains why Timmy still ranked in the top 10 for scoring among quarterbacks during Week 10. But all that came against Kansas City, not the much more skilled Jets defense. Touchdown Timmy shouldn't be able to pull off that type of stunt against Gang Green...but if there were one person that could beat the odds, it would be this guy.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (SUN, 1:00 ET)
START: WR Anquan Boldin, WR A.J. Green
SIT: RB Cedric Benson, QB Andy Dalton
How's the saying go again: "When Leon Hall is away, Anquan Boldin will play." Oh, no one's coined that yet? Well, regardless of how the saying goes, the takeaway is that Cincy's best corner will miss the remainder of the year with an Achilles injury, which means that the opposing team's #1 receiver should be a solid option from here on out. No surprise here, but the Ravens defense is still one of the best in the NFL, even if they get their ankles broken from time to time. The Bengals' Cedric Benson should be, at best, a flex option given this very unfavorable matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns (1:00 ET)
START: JAC Defense, RB Maurice Jones-Drew
SIT: RB Chris Ogbonnaya
When we first saw the two teams facing off in this game, we were immediately reminded of the Seahawks/Browns snoozefest that occurred in late October. Since Cleveland's third-worst run defense (142 yards per game) won't put up much of a front, Maurice Jones-Drew should be able to easily rush the ball all over this game and make his fantasy owners very happy. Other than MJD, the Jacksonville defense looks like a solid group that can stifle any attack the Browns have to offer.
Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions (1:00 ET)
START: RB DeAngelo Williams, RB Jonathan Stewart
SIT: DET Defense
Last Sunday, it looked as though the Titans made stopping Cam Newton their main priority. With all this newfound pressure, Cam threw for only 212 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. Now, the Panthers need to flip the script and take some of the load off of Newton and recommit to their running game, especially DeAngelo Williams. Since the Lions struggle when it comes to defending the run, a heavy dose of Williams and Jonathan Stewart should prove to be an effective strategy. And while we cannot pinpoint which one will have the better game, we can tell you that DeAngelo is capable of breaking off the big run, while Stewart should see most of the goal line carries. Either way, both are solid starts.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers (1:00 ET)
START: RB James Starks, WR Arrelious Benn
SIT: GB Defense, RB LeGarrette Blount
Hopefully the Buccaneers wear their white jerseys for this away game. Because they may want to throw it on a stick and wave it around once halftime rolls around. Right now, the Packers look unstoppable and the Tampa Bay defense can't stop a damn thing. So when the game hits the third quarter and Green Bay is in cruise control, we should see James Starks getting feed the ball for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, the Bucs will try and play catch up. So expect to see some cheap touchdowns for TB and our best guess is that Arrelious Benn will be the lucky recipient because with Charles Woodson mainly on Mike Williams, Benn should turn into the better option.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (1:00 ET)
START: RB Reggie Bush, RB Fred Jackson, WR Brandon Marshall
SIT: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Never thought we would have Reggie Bush and "must start" in the same sentence, but there's gotta be a first for everything. For the last three weeks, Reggie has been consistent, scoring at least 11 fantasy points each game. And speaking of consistency, Fred Jackson posted solid numbers in a game that seemed lost after the first quarter which speaks volumes about how important Jackson is to this Bills offense. If Buffalo plans on keeping any semblance of an offense, they need to start with incorporating their #1 running back. No matter what the matchup is, start him.
Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings (1:00 ET)
START: QB Carson Palmer, OAK Defense
SIT: WR Percy Harvin, RB Michael Bush
After playing three games with the Raiders, Carson Palmer has finally entered must start territory. But it's not because he's blowing away the competition or anything like that. While the TD-INT split won't impress anyone (5-4), Palmer has thrown for 631 yards in his last two games. In a favorable matchup against the Vikings, it wouldn't be too surprising to see Carson post some solid numbers. After an incredible all-around performance against the Chargers, Michael Bush will face a good rush defense. Things shouldn't be as easy as they were last week. If it gets too overwhelming, maybe we'll see Bush on the sidelines mouthing the phrase "it was all good just a week ago."
START: Dallas Defense, WR Laurent Robinson
SIT: WR Miles Austin, RB Felix Jones, WR Leonard Hankerson, WR Santana Moss, RB Tashard Choice
How much does Romo love DeMarco Murray right now? The Cowboys have won three of four since the rookie became the feature back and look much more dangerous with Romo finding his comfort zone. Jones will be returning to the lineup this week, but only as a backup. There’s no way he sees very many touches with Murray trampling everybody right now, so keep him on the bench. Something else to note: Washington has scored 20 points in the past three games. In the ‘boys past three wins, they have given up a total of 27 points.
If you saw any of the Redskins embarrassing loss to the Dolphins last week, the only spot of light was Leonard Hankerson. With Rex Grossman throwing to him, he finished with eight catches for 106 yards. Now, wait! Before you click for a new tab to pick him up, you should know he wasn’t on our waiver wire list, because he tore his labrum and is now on the IR.
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams (4:05 ET)
START: RB Marshawn Lynch, RB Steven Jackson, WR Brandon Lloyd
SIT: QB Tarvaris Jackson, RB Sidney Rice, WR Doug Baldwin, QB Sam Bradford
Jackson, Rice, and Baldwin were all limited participants in practice on Wednesday. Both Rice and Baldwin are recovering from concussions, and neither of them have been effective as of late. We’ll take the pass on them. Jackson isn’t a good look either. He’s got four interceptions and no scores over the past three games, and Marshawn Lynch has been the main focus with his recent success. Look other places.
St. Louis should not be one of those other places. The Rams are averaging 10.25 points when Bradford starts, and just because they’ve won two of three doesn’t mean this team has many fantasy starters. Stick with the obvious guys in Jackson and Lloyd only.
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco (4:05 ET)
START: QB Alex Smith, RB Frank Gore
SIT: TE Todd Heap, QB Kevin Kolb, QB John Skelton, RB Beanie Wells
Sorry Larry Fitzgerald, your happy time for this season is over. It’s probably better that you just accept your wins over the Rams and Eagles were absolutely nothing to get excited about. After watching San Fran hold Eli and the Giants to 20 points last week and Matthew Stafford and his Lions to 19 earlier this year, we don’t see how Skelton could perform well. Arizona is allowing only 73.2 yards to opposing rushing attacks. That alone is enough reason to sit Wells, let alone a Well that’s not fully healthy.
With many good QBs on byes this week, Smith on the 49ers is certainly a decent option. Just don’t expect huge numbers. Gore did not practice at all on Wednesday, but his coach keeps saying that he expects him to be fine. It might be a strategy to throw off the Cards, but we don’t think the injury is bad enough to keep him out of this game.
Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons (4:15 ET)
START: TE Tony Gonzalez, WR Damian Williams, QB Matt Hasselbeck (If your QB is on Bye)
SIT: WR Julio Jones, WR Harry Douglas, RB Chris Johnson
The problem with writing these on Thursdays is that we get reports for like “limited practice” for a ton of players. Douglas is in that category, and neither Jones nor Gonzalez practiced at all on Wednesday. Gonzalez was only out for non-injury issues, but Jones’ hamstring seems to be a problem. Check back with @complex_sports on Twitter this weekend, but taking his previous injuries this season, we don’t seem him making this one.
With the Colts completely out of the picture and the Texans getting hit hard with injuries, the Titans suddenly have some hope. However, they’d certainly need to start winning games immediately if they really want a chance. The Falcons run defense is fourth-best in the league, so we don’t expect anything major from Johnson, but Hasselbeck is on the same level as Alex Smith. He won’t put up huge points, but if you need a filler, he’ll do just fine against a vulnerable Falcons pass D.
San Diego Chargers @ Chicago Bears (4:15 ET)
START: WR Earl Bennett, RB Ryan Mathews
SIT: WR Devin Hester, WR Malcom Floyd
Regardless of whether or not Hester is actually injured, please don’t be tricked into starting him because he consistently puts out flashy returns. It’s rare to find a league that counts returns into the points, and even his touchdowns are unevenly dispersed. Bennett and his spectacular spikes, however, should be starting as your No. 2 WR. The Chargers’ Floyd is missing practice again this week, so it looks like a bad idea to start him, but Mathews is finally healthy and should see a full load against the Bears.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (8:20 ET)
START: WR DeSean Jackson, WR Hakeem Nicks, RB Brandon Jacobs
SIT: QB Mike Vick, QB Vince Young, WR Jeremy Maclin, RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Boy, the Eagles are a mess. Injuries galore, disciplinary actions, and the recurring inability to close winnable games. Vick’s dealing with cracked ribs, Maclin sprained an AC joint, and even if Young starts, there’s no way he should be in a lineup right off the bat. Jackson is back after being benched last week, so he’s good to go.
Ahmad Bradshaw STILL creeping along in his healing process, and it appears that Jacobs will once again be starting for the Giants. Nicks made an immediate fantasy impact in his return last week with 41 yards and a touchdown, so with Manningham still battling his knee, he’s an absolute start.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots (MON, 8:30 ET)
START: New England Defense
SIT: QB Matt Cassel, QB Tyler Palko.
Don’t you hate when the NFL schedules games based on last year’s performances, and you get terrible match-ups like this on prime time? We guess it could have been good to watch Cassel play his old team, but even he is out now. His backup is Palko (neither have we), but don’t even think about it! Not even with the Patriots inability to stop anything through the air.