🎉 4 Impact Players Set To Return
We need it...
Here’s an idea: give Keaton Mitchell the ball?
In today's Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog Fantasy:
Fantasy superstars back in Week 11
Week 11 mismatches: Ravens run game vs. Bengals D
The secret to Patrick Mahomes’ success
Buy, Sell, Hold: A couple of Vikings to buy & sell
It’s 11/15. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
This season has taken us on a rollercoaster ride of injuries.
We just received news that Deshaun Watson will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his throwing shoulder. Watson has not been good this year, and yet it’s still a big blow to the passing game.
We’ll discuss more of the fallout from his absence in the coming days, but today’s edition is about getting more fantasy star power back in our lives.
Last week brought us the return of Kyler Murray and James Conner, and this week we potentially have four impact players returning to action…
🙏 De’Von Achane on track to play Sunday
The Dolphins opened up rookie RB De’Von Achane’s 21-day practice window on Monday and yesterday Adam Schefter said he expects Achane to play Sunday vs. the Raiders.
Achane has been on IR for the past month after injuring his knee in Week 5 against the Giants, but all reports indicate that he’s fully good to go now.
This is big news for fantasy purposes. In the three games Achane played more than 25 snaps, he scored 49.3, 25.5, and 21 fantasy points:
He’ll be a must-start in Week 11 if he’s active.
🙏 Justin Jefferson trending in the right direction
The reporting on Jefferson’s potential return is more ambiguous than Achane’s, but there are some positive signs that he’ll get back on the field Sunday night vs. the Broncos:
He got in multiple practices last week
Vikings reporter Darren Wolfson said he’s been running sprints with no discomfort over the last few days
Head Coach Kevin O’Connell said they’ll continue to ramp him up this week
We’ll know more later in the week, but considering he got in three practices last week and was officially listed as “Questionable” instead of “Doubtful” in Week 10, I think the smart money is on Jefferson returning to action in Week 11.
For more on Jefferson, check out why Cooterdoodle is conditionally buying him in leagues in her piece below.
🙏 What about Matthew Stafford & Justin Fields?
Sean McVay said yesterday that they fully expect Stafford to start on Sunday vs. the Seahawks, which is great news for Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua managers:
Coach McVay provides an update on Matthew Stafford. 🎙️
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL)
Nov 13, 2023
In our early Week 11 ranks, Matthew Freedman is slotting in Kupp as WR9 and Nacua as WR21.
As for Justin Fields, he’s also expected to play Sunday assuming practices continue to go well and he regains his grip strength.
That game has the second-highest total on the slate, so we could get some fireworks with Fields back in the fold:
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Speaking of Pick’em — read on for the biggest Week 11 mismatches and spots to exploit in fantasy (and Pick’em) contests below.
Who has the advantage in Week 11? Today Ian breaks down five mismatches from this week of NFL action…
10 weeks of the 2023 NFL regular season are in the books, meaning we officially have more than half a season’s worth of film to help us determine who is good and bad at stuff.
While Week 10’s NFL-record six (!) game-winning field goals as time expired demonstrate the weekly scoreboard volatility that makes THIS LEAGUE so awesome, focusing on more specific pieces of offense vs. defense matchups can help provide some advantages in fantasy land if we play our cards right.
Presenting: Five HUGE Week 11 mismatches that you, a scholar, should be aware of while setting those fantasy football lineups.
🥊 Ravens run game vs. Bengals front-seven
We almost take Lamar Jackson’s rushing production and impact for granted at this point.
Sure, I think most casual football fans – even the “he’s an RB” slanderers out there – can admit that the 2019 NFL MVP is a problem on the ground, but do you realize he’s responsible for two of the position’s only four seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards ever on his way to averaging the most rushing yards per game (61.5) of anyone to ever play the position?
Madness – but the even more impressive feat might just be the regular influence that Jackson’s legs have on opposing defenses.
Always a threat to keep the ball on his own, there’s a reason why RBs of all shapes and sizes have generally had plenty of success efficiently picking up yards ever since Jackson took over as the Ravens’ full-time QB:
2019: 2.3 rush yards before contact per attempt (No. 1), 5.5 yards per carry (No. 1)
2020: 2.4 (No. 1), 5.5 (No. 1)
2021: 1.8 (No. 2), 4.8 (No. 5)
2022: 2.1 (No. 2), 5.2 (No. 3)
2023: 1.7 (No. 1), 4.8 (No. 2)
Getting LT Ronnie Stanley and C Tyler Linderbaum back in the picture after some early-season absences has certainly helped matters. Give this Ravens offensive line a lot of credit for ranking inside PFF’s top-10 groups blocking the run and the pass.
Oh yeah, and then there’s that Keaton Mitchell guy, who is stealing De’Von Achane’s whole flow (bar for bar!). Yes, the explosive rookie only has 12 rush attempts to his name. Also yes, Mitchell has been the league’s best individual rusher during this admittingly small sample size.
Throw in Gus Edwards (seven TDs in his last four games – overall PPR RB4 during this stretch), and you have the NFL’s single-best offense in EPA per run play.
Let’s just say the Bengals are a far cry from topping the leaderboard in just about any run defense metric:
EPA allowed per rush: -0.044 (No. 27)
Explosive run play rate allowed: 18.7% (No. 32)
Yards per carry allowed: 5 (No. 31)
Yards before contact per carry allowed: 1.8 (No. 31)
Yards after contact per carry allowed: 3 (No. 27)
The Ravens have rushed for 178, 155, 110 and 155 yards in four meetings against Lou Anarumo’s defense over the past two seasons.
The only problem in fantasy land is discerning exactly who will be touching the ball, as this backfield has devolved into a three-RB committee over the past two weeks.
Good news—Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that Mitchell will see more work on Thursday night against a Bengals defense fresh off surrendering a season-best 188 yards to the the previously impotent Texans rushing offense.
This is the sort of matchup to expect both Gus Bus and Mitchell to make the most out of their opportunities on the ground. Both are recommended starts in close-ish start/sit decisions. Don’t be surprised if Justice Hill is slowly but surely eased out of this rotation.
🤣 The best player intros of all time. “HIM University” is very good.
📣 Trevon Diggs throws shade at Josh Allen. Awkward.
🤢 The Bills updated playoff odds are not pretty. And now they fired their OC.
📺 How should you handle the Lions’ backfield? Players to upgrade (or downgrade) ahead of Week 11.
🥰 Logan Thomas’ son loves DK Metcalf. So DK gave him the shirt off his back.
🩲 The secret to Patrick Mahomes’ success? Never change the underwear.
📈 The RB breaking our charts. Give this man the ball.
🤐 Who would the Texans have taken if they had the No. 1 pick? They’ll never admit it…
🆕 The Steelers announce a “new” starting RB. Notable.
🙏 Nick Chubb will be back for the start of the 2024 season. He had another successful surgery.
Week 10 is in the books! Cooterdoodle is back to walk us through the fantasy landscape from a buy, sell, hold perspective…
📈 Justin Jefferson, WR - Vikings
This is a Conditional Buy.
You see, Justin Jefferson’s got a big reputation. Because of his yearly 1.01-worthy stats, his name alone wields power, which will make this a tough market for buyers.
Jefferson also returns from IR very soon. And his QB woes are now a distant memory. Josh Dobbs has thrived in MIN’s offense even without the monster wideout. So just imagine what a Dobbs and Jefferson combo could look like…
If you think Josh Dobbs looks good now, just wait until he gets the best WR in the league added to his arsenal, possibly as soon as next week.
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge)
Nov 13, 2023
Oh yeah, I mentioned conditions, didn’t I? All of these wonderful circumstances surrounding JJ and MIN’s offense mean that he won’t be easily acquired in a trade. So you should only be buying if:
You’re a serious playoff contender. The price you’ll have to pay for JJ on your squad will be too risky if you’re anything less than .500. I’m personally only buying if I’m 6-4 or better.
The current JJ manager is in a position to sell. You have to put yourself in their shoes. If they’ve held onto Jefferson through IR, they’re only truly comfortable selling NOW if they have a losing record and need a blockbuster trade.
Takeaway: I’ve seen it happen, but it won’t be easy. Good f*cking luck! I’m rooting JJ to be your End Game.
📉 T.J. Hockenson, TE - Vikings
I love a good tight end. And I like the football position, too. But T.J. Hockenson’s workload is going to have to take a hit soon.
He is beyond talented, but Hockenson’s talent is also benefiting from his opportunities. Let’s look at Hock’s target share in Weeks 1-5, when Justin Jefferson was on the field, versus Weeks 6-10 when JJ was out.
Weeks 1-5: 19%, 19%, 24%, 17%, 19%
Weeks 6-10: 27%, 26%, 27%, 34%, 45%
When Jefferson returns, Hockenson should see a chunky decrease in usage. But it is worth mentioning that even without JJ’s return, the beating that T.J. took in Week 9 against the Saints just isn’t sustainable. I’m looking to capitalize on his 134 yards and 1TD game against a defense that just allowed 6 catches for 55 yards and 2 TDs to Cole Kmet in Week 9.
Takeaway: I’m looking to sell high on hock.
🤝 Jaylen Warren, RB - Steelers
Oh babyyyyy! I have been WAITING for this one!
Jaylen Warren was touted by analysts and fans alike in the offseason. I’ve been rostering him on my bench for a while. Watching… Waiting… Patiently ready for the days when he was a confident start decision in my lineups.
We’ve seen Warren’s efficiency surpass Najee Harris’ nearly every week. And because of that, coaches have taken notice.
Jaylen Warren was announced as a starter for the first time Sunday. He said Tomlin told him the night before.
"He did kind of mention the night before that whatever had transpired throughout the team, he was saying that he was going to announce me and that I'm deserving of it."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor)
Nov 13, 2023
While RBs feel like the most treasured assets in most leagues due to their scarcity at the position, I’d advise you not to sell. Bigger and better days are yet to come. Buy in on talent, boys and girls! Warren’s taking over.
Jaylen Warren among 46 RB with 50+ carries this season:
Yards per carry: 5.1 (No. 5)
Yards after contact per carry: 3.3 (No. 7)
Missed tackles forced per carry: 0.38 (No. 1)
Explosive run play rate: 19.7% (No. 1)
Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz)
Nov 13, 2023
Takeaway: If Luck is what happens when Preparation meets Opportunity, what do you call it when Talent meets Opportunity? It doesn’t matter. Just call up your league and tell them you’re not selling.
One thing I definitely feel strongly about is that holiday music and decorations are not appropriate until the fantasy league's trade deadline has passed.
— Andy Behrens (@andybehrens)
Nov 14, 2023