Expert Fantasy Start/Sit Decisions: Cam Newton, Saquon Barkley, Rashod Bateman, Michael Gallup, Darnell Mooney

Expert Fantasy Start/Sit Decisions: Cam Newton, Saquon Barkley, Rashod Bateman, Michael Gallup, Darnell Mooney article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Panthers QB Cam Newton, Giants RB Saquon Barkley

  • Which fantasy football players should you start or sit for Week 11? Our expert runs through key start/sit decisions below.
  • Find out what he recommends doing with Cam Newton, Saquon Barkley, Rashod Bateman, Michael Gallup, Darnell Mooney and more.

Injuries and other factors prompt new fantasy football start-sit decisions each week. That's why I've outlined my advice for 12 such situations below — for players dealing with injuries, impacted by injuries to their teammates, or who otherwise find themselves in unique situations for Week 11.

If you're looking for more start/sit advice, you can always consult my real-time rankings here.

Click the arrow to preview a list of players covered below

Fantasy Start/Sit Decisions

  • Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
  • Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
  • Panthers QB Cam Newton
  • Giants RB Saquon Barkley
  • Titans RB D'Onta Foreman
  • Browns RB D'Ernest Johnson
  • Ravens RB Latavius Murray
  • Ravens WR Rashod Bateman
  • Bears WR Darnell Mooney
  • Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
  • Lions TE T.J. Hockenson
  • Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz

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Cardinals QB Kyler Murray

Note: News broke after this story was published that Murray is not expected to start this Sunday's game.

Murray was able to practice on a limited basis all week, which means I like his chances to return to action. However, have a backup plan ready to go if he’s held out for one more game.

There is also a chance his ankle will limit his mobility, which is a massive part of his game. I’m treating Murray as a mid- to low-end QB1 until we can be sure his ankle is closer to 100%.

Verdict: Start as mid- to low-end QB1 if he's active

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Wilson returned from his surgically repaired middle finger last week, only to figuratively give it to fantasy managers who trusted him in their lineups. It was fair to expect some rust in his return, but he was abysmal. He threw for only 161 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions — his 66.7% catchable ball rate ranked dead last on the week.

Wilson will bounce back eventually, but it may be another game or two before we can treat him as a high- to mid-range QB1.

Verdict: Start as a low-end QB1

Panthers QB Cam Newton

Newton is back, but it’s unclear whether he’s fully up-to-speed with the playbook as head coach Matt Rhule has said that P.J. Walker will “probably” play on Sunday. Either way, Newton will likely be under center whenever the Panthers are in the red zone, meaning he has low-end QB1 upside.

However, given the uncertainty of how many snaps Walker takes in this game, Newton has a low-end QB2 floor.

Verdict: Start as QB2 with QB1 upside

Giants RB Saquon Barkley

It’s unclear whether Barkley and/or Devontae Booker will play. Given they play Monday night, your sit/start decisions should be based on your risk tolerance. If I’m unable to make backup plans if either RB is ruled out, I would be more cautious and lean toward sitting Barkley and Booker. After all, it’s a brutal matchup against the Bucs’ stout run defense.

Verdict: Assess based on your risk tolerance

Titans RB D'Onta Foreman

Foreman is now a low-end RB2 option with Jeremey McNichols ruled out for Week 11. Foreman has become the favorite to inherit the Derrick Henry role after outplaying Adrian Peterson the past couple of games anyway. This is also a #RevengeGame spot for Foreman as the Texans cut him following his season-ending Achilles injury in 2019.

Verdict: Start as low-end RB2

Browns RB D'Ernest Johnson

Nick Chubb is making his return from the COVID list, but Johnson could still see enough touches to be in the RB3/Flex mix.

The Browns are 12-point favorites against a Tim Boyle-led Lions (check real-time NFL odds here), so the Browns probably won’t need Chubb to see 20+ touches to put the Lions away. Johnson has a chance to play the full Kareem Hunt role here, making him a sneaky RB3/Flex play with RB2 upside this week.

Verdict: Start as RB3/Flex with RB2 upside

Ravens RB Latavius Murray

The Ravens RB situation will be one to avoid if Murray can return to action. However, Devonta Freeman has played well enough to force an even 50/50 timeshare regardless. Both are risky RB3/Flex options given the uncertainty, though.

Verdict: Start as RB3/Flex if active — but only if needed

Ravens WR Rashod Bateman

Update: With Lamar Jackson's status in doubt for Sunday, Bateman is now a WR4/Flex with a wide range of outcomes.

Bateman shoots into the WR2/3 range with Marquise Brown ruled out. The first-round pick has been playing well of late with lines of 3/80/0, 5/52/0 and 6/80/0 over the past three games. He should see season-highs in playing time and targets in Hollywood’s absence. Bateman carries a high floor this week, and given he has yet to score his first NFL touchdown, we have yet to see a ceiling game from him. That could happen this week with the added opportunity.

Verdict: Start as WR2/3

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Bears WR Darnell Mooney

Mooney sneaks into WR3 territory with Allen Robinson expected to miss this week. The Bears’ WR depth chart is so thin behind Mooney that he should see 8+ targets. It’s fair to worry about the Ravens putting extra attention on him as a result, but Justin Fields has been making strides as a passer, and Mooney can always break loose for a big play or two.

Verdict: Start as WR3

Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

MVS is the ultimate high risk/reward WR4/5 option most weeks, but with Allen Lazard not expected to play, MVS is more likely to boom than bust this Sunday. That’s why I’m plugging him into my lineup rather than Laviska Shenault or Marquez Callaway types if I’m a huge underdog in any head-to-head matchups this week (which could be the case for anyone facing the Patriots DEF).

Verdict: Start as WR4/5

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson posted a goose egg last week, and it’s going to be tough for him to bounce back with Tim Boyle under center. As a result, I’m treating Hockenson as a fringe TE1/2 option.

Dan Arnold and Tyler Conklin are safer bets than Hockenson this week.

Verdict: Start as borderline TE1/2

Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz

Schultz has cooled off over the past few games, posting the TE30 score from Weeks 8-10. However, I expect him to bounce back as a mid-range TE1 with Amari Cooper ruled out and a potential shootout on tap against the Chiefs.

Verdict: Start as TE1

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