Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 11: Start DeVonta Smith, Brian Robinson; Sit D’Andre Swift, Kyle Pitts
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: DeVonta Smith.
A number of shocking things have happened over the first 10 weeks of the season, and setting fantasy lineups might be a serious chore with the sheer number of injuries and befuddling situations.
Whether you’re 10-0 and cruising toward the playoffs or 0-10 and playing to avoid a last-place punishment, stay diligent on the waiver wire, send trade offers and make savvy start/sit decisions. There’s way too much football left to get complacent or give up.
Below are some players at each position you should start in Week 11, as well as some players you should consider sitting based on matchups, injuries and trends.
Week 11 Start ‘Em
Quarterbacks to Start
Daniel Jones, Giants (vs. Lions)
It was the Saquon Barkley show in the Giants’ Week 10 win over the Texans. Jones, who is the QB14 on a per-game basis this year. was also near-perfect, completing 13-of-17 attempts for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He tacked on five rush attempts for 24 yards.
Jones should be regarded as a top-12 play against the Lions, whose defense ranks 26th in defensive DVOA and has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (at Cardinals)
Garoppolo has just two games all season with fewer than 16 fantasy points and no games with 20 or more. He has a very predictable range of outcomes and should perform well this weekend in Arizona.
The Cardinals defense ranks 19th in pass DVOA and has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Garoppolo is a fringe-QB1 option with four teams on bye. He is a viable streamer for Tom Brady, Tua Tagovailoa, Geno Smith or Trevor Lawrence managers.
Wide Receivers to Start
Courtland Sutton, Broncos (vs. Raiders)
With the addition of Russell Wilson, hopes were high for Sutton and the Broncos entering the season. Unfortunately, everyone on this offense has been underwhelming, save perhaps Javonte Williams, who was lost early, and rookie tight end Greg Dulcich.
Sutton has definitely struggled at times. He had an acceptable Week 10 and caught 6-of-11 targets for 66 yards and finished as the WR35 in half PPR. He should get a major boost, however, with Jerry Jeudy not practicing due to an ankle injury in conjunction with an enviable matchup against the Raiders — Las Vegas ranks last in pass defense DVOA.
Sutton caught 5-of-7 targets for 52 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 the last time these two teams met. Consider him a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside based on matchup and lack of competition from the Broncos’ wide receiver corps.
DeVonta Smith, Eagles (at Colts)
Smith has been a bit boom-or-bust this year, though he did have a solid Week 10 performance against the Commanders. He caught 6-of-8 targets for 39 yards and a touchdown and finished as the WR29 in half-PPR scoring.
This week’s matchup isn’t the best. The Colts defense has been stingy against the pass, having allowed the second fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. That said, I expect the Eagles to bounce back from their first loss and for Smith to see a nice bump in target share with Dallas Goedert on injured reserve. He is a WR2 with upside in Week 11.
Rondale Moore, Cardinals (vs. 49ers)
Moore has been trending up since Marquise Brown was placed on injured reserve. He caught 9-of-13 targets for 94 yards in Week 10 against the Rams and finished as the WR18 in half PPR.
Moore is the WR10 over the last three weeks thanks to a gaudy average of 10.3 targets per game in that span. He has clearly solidified himself as the Cardinals’ slot receiver and will continue to hold significant fantasy value while Brown is out (though Brown has been designated for return from injured reserve). Moore should be considered a high-floor WR2 against the 49ers, whose defense has been middle of the road against the pass.
Kadarius Toney, Chiefs (at Chargers)
Toney is back.
The 2021 first-rounder joined the Chiefs ahead of the NFL Trade Deadline and miraculously recovered from his menagerie of injuries. His K.C. debut in Week 9 was unremarkable — two catches for 12 yards — but he bounced back in Week 10 and caught 4-of-5 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown and rushed twice for 33 yards, finishing as the WR11 in half-PPR scoring.
Toney could be in line for a major target share against the Chargers with Mecole Hardman on injured reserve and JuJu Smith-Schuster already ruled out with a concussion. This would leave him and Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the top available receivers.
I expect Toney to be a WR3/flex option as the No. 2/3 option.
Running Backs to Start
Brian Robinson Jr., Commanders (at Texans)
After two disappointing weeks in a row, Robinson had a stellar game against the Eagles. He rushed 26 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and finished as the RB13 in half-PPR scoring. Teammate Antonio Gibson logged 14 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 14 yards.
Robinson edged out Gibson slightly in snap counts, 43 to 40. I anticipate this will be a committee moving forward with ample opportunities to go around in Houston.
The Texans rank second-to-last in rush DVOA and have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs. Robinson is a RB2 with upside in this plush matchup.
Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs (at Chargers)
Pacheco has been on the rise, though that has not been reflected in his fantasy production just yet.
He logged season highs with 16 attempts for 82 yards in Week 10 against the Jaguars, finishing as the RB35 in half-PPR scoring. He led K.C. running backs in snaps with 35 while Jerick McKinnon had 24 and Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 4.
Pacheco could be emerging as the Chiefs’ No. 1 back and should perform well against the Chargers, whose defense ranks 30th in rush DVOA and has allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs. He should be considered a RB3/flex with upside this week.
Jamaal Williams, Lions (at Giants)
Williams has been operating as the Lions’ No. 1 back for a while. He has at least 13 touches in every game this year and has scored a whopping nine touchdowns in nine games.
Last week, he had 16 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown and finished as the RB17 in half-PPR scoring. D’Andre Swift saw just six carries for six yards, though he did score a touchdown.
Williams has out-snapped Swift 63 to 29 in the past two games. It’s clear that Swift is not 100% healthy, and until then, Williams will continue to be the team’s No. 1 option. I like his chances to finish as a RB2 or better this week against the Giants, whose defense ranks 23rd in rush DVOA.
Devin Singletary, Bills (vs. Browns)
Singletary had his second-best game of the season in Week 10 against the Vikings. He rushed 13 times for 47 yards and scored two touchdowns, which was good enough to be the RB12 in half-PPR scoring. Rookie James Cook was held to five carries for 22 yards.
Singletary is the clear-cut No. 1 for the Bills, who did not make a move for a running back at the trade deadline. He should be a solid RB2 option against the Browns, whose defense ranks last in rush DVOA and has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs.
Tight Ends to Start
Cole Kmet, Bears (at Falcons)
Kmet has been stellar over the last two weeks. He caught 5-of-6 targets for 41 yards and two touchdowns in Week 9 against the Dolphins and then caught 4-of-7 targets for 74 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 against the Lions.
He is the TE1 by a significant margin since Week 8, logging five touchdowns in that span. He should take advantage of yet another soft matchup in Atlanta against a defense that ranks 29th in pass DVOA.
Kmet should be considered a TE1 with upside with the Bears offense showing major signs of life.
Greg Dulcich, Broncos (vs. Raiders)
Just when everyone started to believe in Dulcich, the rookie has a dud performance. He caught just 1-of-4 targets for 11 yards in Week 10 in Tennessee and finished as the TE34 in half-PPR scoring.
I expect him to bounce back with Jerry Jeudy presumably out and going up against the Raiders’ defense, which ranks last — by a significant margin — in pass DVOA. They have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends, which makes Dulcich a solid TE1 option in Week 11.
Defense to Start
Saints D/ST (vs. Rams)
Death, taxes and starting defenses against the Rams.
The Saints have been fairly unremarkable this season, save a shutout performance against the Raiders in Week 8. I expect them to to be a top-12 unit against the Rams.
Los Angeles is last in offensive yards per game (282.7), 29th in offensive points per game (16.4) and is tied for the fifth-most giveaways this year.
Week 11 Sit ‘Em
Quarterbacks to Sit
Derek Carr, Raiders (at Broncos)
I liked Carr going into the year as a potential sleeper pick following the acquisition of Davante Adams. Unfortunately, Carr has only finished as a top-12 quarterback four times in nine starts. He was mediocre in Week 10 against the Colts, completing 24-of-38 attempts for 248 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions (QB15).
I expect Carr will struggle even more in Denver — the Broncos defense ranks third in pass DVOA and has allowed the second fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Carr had one of his worst games of the year in Week 4 when he finished as the QB25 in his first matchup against the Broncos. He should be considered a QB2 with downside.
Taylor Heinicke, Commanders (at Texans)
Heinicke gets the start once again, though my fantasy expectations for him are low. In Washington’s Week 10 win over Philly, Heinicke completed 17-of-29 attempts for 211 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception and finished as the QB27.
Houston’s pass defense is superior to its run defense, but not by much. However, its run defense is so exploitable that opposing teams tend to lean heavily on the ground game and shy away from the pass.
As a result, the Texans are actually top five in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks despite being 25th in pass DVOA. Heinicke is a passable streamer in certain scenarios, but I would avoid him as I expect this game to be Gibson/Robinson dominant.
Wide Receivers to Sit
D.J. Moore, Panthers (at Ravens)
Moore has not been a bust on the level of Kyle Pitts, but he has not been good either. He strung together two good games — with P.J. Walker under center — in Weeks 7 and 8 against Tampa Bay and Atlanta, but he followed those up with two terrible games. He caught two passes for 24 yards in Week 9 and caught four passes for 29 yards in Week 10.
Things are probably not going to get any better with Baker Mayfield getting the start; the two had no chemistry to start the year: Moore was the WR47 in half-PPR scoring from Weeks 1-5.
I expect both will struggle against Baltimore’s 11th-ranked pass defense, per DVOA. Moore is a boom-or-bust WR3.
Allen Robinson II, Rams (at Saints)
Hopes were high for Robinson entering the season given that he was seen as a victim of poor quarterback play for years in Chicago He has been thoroughly unimpressive, however, and has just two games finishing as a WR2 or better. He caught 4-of-6 targets for 44 yards last week against the Cardinals and was the WR50 in half-PPR scoring.
Robinson is the logical next man up with Cooper Kupp on injured reserve with an ankle injury, but I refuse to fall for the metaphorical honey pot. I expect he could struggle this week — even with more targets to go around — with the Saints on deck, whose defense has been above average against the pass.
Brandin Cooks, Texans (vs. Commanders)
Cooks was another sleeper I liked going into the season. Unfortunately, he has only finished as a top-24 WR once, which came against the Chargers in Week 4.
Cooks has also publicly wanted out of Houston, a team that has been on the fast track to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He missed Week 9 amid this drama, though did appear in Week 10 against the Giants, hauling in 4-of-7 targets for 37 yards.
Even in this plus matchup against the Commanders, I expect this will be Cooks’ reality ROS. He should be regarded as a WR3 — possibly less — moving forward.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns (at Bills)
Peoples-Jones has been quietly solid since Week 4. He has at least 50 receiving yards in all six games and is coming off his best game of the year. He capitalized on a soft matchup in Miami and caught 5-of-9 targets for 99 yards to finish as the WR26 in half-PPR scoring.
I actually like Peoples-Jones as a long-term stash with Deshaun Watson’s return on the horizon. In the near term, however, I am wary of trusting him this week against Buffalo’s fifth-ranked pass defense (per DVOA).
Running Backs to Sit
D’Andre Swift, Lions (at Giants)
Hopes were high for Swift, who was drafted top eight in half-PPR leagues. Sadly he was in my fantasy hot seat in Thursday’s edition of “Green Dot Daily” as he has simply not looked like himself since returning from a three-game injury hiatus in Week 8.
Since then, Swift is averaging an abysmal 1.7 yards per attempt with touchdowns obscuring his some less-than-stellar fantasy production. He rushed six times for six yards and a score and finished as the RB30 in half PPR in Week 10 against the Bears.
Swift has taken a clear backseat to Jamaal Williams, who has out-snapped him 63 to 29 over the last two weeks. Swift simply cannot be trusted until fully healthy. And his Week 11 matchup against the Giants isn’t a good one as they have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year.
Damien Harris, Patriots (vs. Jets)
Harris started the season out strong over the first four weeks as the Patriots’ primary back. He has since declined due to injuries and Rhamondre Stevenson taking over as the team’s No. 1.
Most recently, Harris logged 11 carries for 37 yards and two catches for 15 yards on the road against the Jets and finished as the RB43 in half-PPR scoring. He faces the Jets again in Week 11, this time at home and hopefully close to full health.
Regardless, I have lowered expectations for Harris ROS as the No. 2 option out of the Patriots’ backfield. The Jets rank 10th in rush defense DVOA and top 11 in fantasy points allowed to running backs, which puts Harris outside top-36 consideration.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs (at Chargers)
The Edwards-Helaire experiment may be officially over.
The 2020 first-round pick from LSU was expected to be the Chiefs’ bell-cow running back entering the season given the perceived minimal competition on the depth chart. He kicked off the season strong as the fantasy RB4 in half-PPR scoring through the first four games, but he has tapered off significantly since.
Edwards-Helaire is coming off his worst game of the season in which he laid a goose egg against the hapless Jaguars. He saw just four snaps and may have lost his job to McKinnon and Pacheco.
Even in a positive matchup against the Chargers’ vulnerable run defense, Edwards-Helaire is a must-sit, as a benching seems more likely than a breakout game at this juncture.
Kareem Hunt, Browns (at Bills)
Hunt began the season with a bang in Week 1, tallying 15 touches for 70 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. Since then, he has been fairly quiet and has only finished as a RB2 or better once. He struggled in Week 10 in Miami and rushed six times for nine yards, finishing as the RB50 in half-PPR scoring.
Hunt and the Browns will face a much tougher adversary in Week 11 against the Bills, whose defense ranks sixth in rush DVOA and first in overall defensive DVOA. Hunt is a risky, low-floor RB3 in a difficult matchup that is unlikely to favor Cleveland’s run game.
Tight Ends to Sit
Kyle Pitts, Falcons (vs. Bears)
Pitts is on thin ice once again after a two-week string of disappointing games. He caught 2-of-7 targets for 27 yards in Week 9 against the Chargers and caught 2-of-8 targets for 28 yards in Week 10 against the Panthers.
Pitts, who was drafted as a top-three tight end in half PPR, has finished inside the top three at the position once all year. He cannot be trusted against Chicago.
The Bears defense has been permeable against the pass, but has been relatively stingy against tight ends, having allowed the sixth-fewest points to the position. Pitts is a risky, low-end TE1 play with downside.
Foster Moreau, Raiders (at Broncos)
Moreau is coming off his best game of the year. The backup tight end reeled in 3-of-4 targets for 43 yards and a touchdown against the Colts and finished as the TE5 in half-PPR scoring.
This was Moreau’s best fantasy performance since Week 7 against the Eagles in 2021; it was also his first touchdown since Week 11 against the Bengals in 2021.
I am not keen on expecting lightning to strike twice — even with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow out. The Broncos rank third in pass defense DVOA, which should downgrade Moreau into the high-end TE2 territory with four teams on bye.
Defense to Sit
Cowboys D/ST (at Vikings)
The Cowboys defense as a whole stumbled in Green Bay. The unit recorded two fumble recoveries and two sacks but allowed 31 points to finish as the DST18 for the week.
I would pass on them against the Vikings, whose offense ranks seventh-worst in fantasy points allowed to DSTs. Minnesota is also above average in total offensive yards (355.8), offensive points (25.1) and turnovers committed (10). The Cowboys are a low-end DST1 option with downside in what could be a higher-scoring affair.