Whether it’s because of matchups, injuries, or declining usage trends, there are plenty of reasons why a player can struggle in a given week. It’s always important to try to identify these busts in advance. In Week 11, we’re worried about preseason studs Justin Herbert and Clyde Edwards-Helaire and also think emerging fantasy contributors Jordan Howard and Dan Arnold could be hindered by their tough matchups. Either way, these players figure to be involved in a lot of Week 11 fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
As always, even perennial stars can bust in favorable matchups, but it’s tough to call superstars “busts” unless they’ve really been trending downward or have a particularly brutal matchup. We mostly stick to naming guys on the start-or-sit bubble — not guys who are simply going to have a good-but-not-great week and not guys who are on over 90 percent of waiver wires. Sometimes you don’t have the depth to reasonably bench these guys (or you might just totally disagree with our assessments), but you’ll at least know who is at risk this week. Nothing is worse than being taken off guard by a fantasy dud.
WEEK 11 FANTASY: Sleepers | Start ’em, sit ’em
Last week, we knew Eno Benjamin wouldn’t live up to the “hot waiver add” hype, but D’Ernest Johnson running all over the Patriots was a surprising development. Also, we knew there was a chance Antonio Gibson would make us look silly, but we’re glad he looks to be a bit healthier after a bye. We went pretty bold with our “bust” QBs, but Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, and Jalen Hurts made us and the opposing defenses pay. The disaster didn’t end there, though. Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Tyler Higbee, and Hunter Henry all produced.
Let’s say we gloss over the bad and talk about the good? We predicted D.J. Moore, Christian Kirk, New Orleans’ D/ST, and Denver’s D/ST would struggle. OK, we had a pretty bad week, so this one has to be exponentially better, right?
WEEK 11 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 11 Fantasy Busts: Running backs
Jordan Howard, Eagles vs. Saints (Jackson Sparks). In Howard’s three games this season, he averaged 70 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns. You’ve enjoyed the production if you were lucky enough to grab him off waivers, but this week figures to be a letdown. New Orleans has not allowed a single 100-yard rusher and has surrendered just three TDs on the ground from the position. Christian McCaffrey and Cordarrelle Patterson had fantasy success against the Saints, but that was primarily done in the passing game. Howard hasn’t caught a single pass on the season, so his path to a good fantasy day is difficult.
Alex Collins, Seahawks vs. Cardinals (Vinnie Iyer). It doesn’t look good for Chris Carson (neck) to return again, but even with decent volume and a more conservative game plan, you can’t really trust his limited replacement.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs vs. Cowboys (Matt Lutovsky). Edwards-Helaire had been playing well before his knee injury, but after Darrel Williams excelled in his absence, it seems likely CEH will be eased back into action. We know he’s not a high-ceiling player anyway, so consider him a flex, at best, in this slightly above-average matchup.
WEEK 11 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 11 Fantasy Football Busts: Quarterbacks
Carson Wentz, Colts @ Bills (Sparks). Wentz let many fantasy owners down by busting against the Jags, and while the Colts will have to pass more in this game, Buffalo is the strongest team in the league against quarterbacks. Taylor Heinicke and Patrick Mahomes are the only quarterbacks to surpass 16 fantasy points against them, and their damage was done in garbage time.
Cam Newton, Panthers vs. Washington (Iyer). Newton faces a revitalized defense and will have to contend with Ron Rivera scheming against him. Don’t chase the red-zone points from last week.
Justin Herbert, Chargers vs. Steelers (Lutovsky). Herbert has four one-TD games and four games with 223 passing yards or fewer. His ceiling is always high, but clearly his floor is, too. Against Pittsburgh’s ninth-ranked pass defense, he could be in line for another disappointing performance.
WEEK 11 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder
Week 11 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receivers
Darnell Mooney, Bears vs. Ravens (Sparks). We’re touting Cole Kmet in our Week 11 sleepers, but Mooney ends up on the other side of the picture. While Baltimore is weak against the tight end position, the Ravens have a top-10 unit against WRs. Michael Pittman, Ja’Marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson had plenty of success against them, but mid-level WRs have done next to nothing.
Mike Williams, Chargers vs. Steelers (Iyer). Something must be wrong with his knee. Otherwise, it’s tough to explain the major drop-off from his monster early weeks, as he’s now back to being just a TD-dependent guy.
Elijah Moore, Jets vs. Dolphins (Lutovsky). Moore took advantage of garbage time to score last week — just like he did the previous week. With Corey Davis back and leading the team in receiving in Week 10, Moore is nothing more than a boom-or-bust pass-catcher on a low-volume passing team. He could boom against anyone and bust against anyone, so even though this is a favorable matchup, we think the Moore hot streak ends.
WEEK 11 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo
Week 11 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight ends
Dan Arnold, Jaguars vs. 49ers (Sparks). The Niners gave up a touchdown to Tyler Higbee in Week 10, but he caught just three passes for 20 yards. Arnold is playable in PPR leagues with a high target floor, but he shouldn’t see much success in standard leagues. The Jags get very few red-zone opportunities, and Arnold hasn’t scored a touchdown all season. Why should we expect that to change against a San Francisco defense that allows the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends?
Zach Ertz, Cardinals @ Seahawks (Iyer). He’s cooled off since his initial run with the team, and the Seahawks have been better against the position of late.
Tyler Conklin, Vikings vs. Packers (Lutovsky). Conklin has posted at least five targets and 45 yards in four straight games and scored twice last week. He has a decent floor for a TE, but against the Packers, who are middle-of-the-road against tight ends, his ceiling is limited, rendering him somewhat touchdown dependent.
Week 11 Fantasy Busts: Defenses
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chargers (Sparks). The Steelers will likely be without Minkah Fitzpatrick (reserve/COVID) and possibly T.J. Watt (knee/hip). The Chargers’ offense is up and down, but we trust them at home against Pittsburgh without their best two defensive players. Even if those guys were healthy, this defense as a whole has been underwhelming in recent weeks.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Saints (Iyer). The Eagles have been inconsistent and take advantage of mostly limited offenses, but New Orleans has been moving the ball well with its backups.
New Orleans Saints vs. Eagles (Lutovsky). The Saints haven’t caused a turnover in three of the past four games. In the other game in that span, they racked up three takeaways and a defensive TD against the Bucs. This is definitely a boom-or-bust D/ST against anyone. Philadelphia has been tough to score points against, though, allowing just two sacks and one takeaway while averaging 31 offensive points over the past three games. This feels like a “bust” game for the Saints.