In seasonal fantasy football, matchups often boil down to which owner makes the right start/sit decisions. You can’t hold allegiances to projections or name recognition, you simply have to play the guys you think will wind up with the most fantasy points.
Here are the fringe options that might / should be in your fantasy lineup in Week 11.
QB Marcus Mariota @ IND
Early in the season, Marcus Mariota simply wasn’t healthy. It’s challenging for a QB to play through an injury to their throwing elbow, but now he’s at full strength and the Titans are clicking around him. Tennessee owns the top-ranked defense in the NFL, and that’s keeping pressure on the opponents. Mariota’s dual-threat ability has also been valuable, as he’s rushing for 29.2 YPG over his last four starts. Mariota owns a 5:1 TD:INT ratio and a 100.7 passer rating during that span. He should keep rolling in a divisional matchup against the Colts, who rank 27th in DVOA pass defense this year.
RB Phillip Lindsay @ LAC
Even with Royce Freeman (ankle) likely to return, the Broncos should stick with Phillip Lindsay as their lead back. He’s been head and shoulders above his teammates while averaging 5.4 YPC and 8.0 yards per reception this season. The Broncos offensive line is hurting due to some injuries, but RT Jared Veldheer (knee) may be able to return following the bye week. The Chargers lost a huge piece of their defense in LB Denzel Perryman and LB Kyzir White (knee) is already on I.R. Denver remains a run-heavy team and ranks fifth in DVOA rush offense with few receivers to use as downfield threats.
RB Doug Martin @ ARI
This is simply a horrible bye-week crunch for owners trying to find running backs. Doug Martin has limited upside on the last-place Raiders, but he’s their featured back, and Oakland (+4.5) has a chance to compete in Arizona this Sunday. The Cardinals have allowed the most rushing TDs (12) to opposing RBs this season and Oakland is getting healthier on the offensive line. Despite negative game flow, Martin has played on 49.8% of offensive snaps over his last three outings.
WR Calvin Ridley vs. DAL
The Falcons return home after a couple of good offensive showings in the East. Obviously, they’re more dangerous on the fast turf under the Georgia Dome, and Ridley erupted for 264 yards and 6 TDs over his first three home games as a pro. The Cowboys pass defense is stout on the outside, and DC Rod Marinelli often schemes to stop the opposition’s best WR, so Julio Jones should see double coverage. With Mohamed Sanu (hip) banged up, Ridley should serve as the Falcons primary WR in the slot, and that’s where Dallas is vulnerable.
WR John Brown vs. CIN
Regardless of who is playing QB for the Ravens, John Brown will be worth starting in this divisional matchup. The Bengals rank 28th in DVOA defense and are 24th in DVOA against opposing top receivers. If Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) misses this game, Cincy will be far more vulnerable down the field. They already have allowed 11 receiving TD s and the fourth-most yards (1,761) to opposing WRs with No. 1 targets doing the most damage. Brown should be the primary option for Joe Flacco (hip) if he starts, or Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III if they’re given the nod.
TE Jared Cook @ ARI
The Raiders offense continues to take hits, as Martavis Bryant (knee) is out and Jordy Nelson (knee) could miss this game and reportedly consider retiring midseason. Jared Cook will be the top option for Derek Carr either way, since Nelson or fellow washed-up veteran Brandon LaFell, should get erased by Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson. This is a revenge game for Cook against Arizona, which ranks 18th in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs this season. Cook drew nine targets last week and could see double-digit looks in this game.