NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Mailbag: Jalen Hurts & Justin Fields Trades, Elijah Mitchell vs Rachaad White
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Fields.
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Fantasy Trade Questions
Trade Jalen Hurts Or Justin Fields?
@MRVBM asks via Twitter: “I’ve got [Jalen] Hurts and [Justin] Fields. RBs are [Saquon] Barkley and [Rhamondre] Stevenson. WRs are [Ja’Marr] Chase and a mishmash of [Darnell] Mooney, [Joshua] Palmer, [Donovan] Peoples-Jones and similar level WRs. Flex is Jeff Wilson/Elijah Mitchell if he keeps getting touches. Which of Hurts or Fields would you trade for an RB1 or WR1? Side-note, this is a keeper league, so if I keep Fields, he’d be a 12th rounder next year. Appreciate the advice as always.”
Samantha: If the question is, “Which QB between Fields and Hurts would I rather have for the rest of the season?” — my answer is Hurts. He has only one game falling short of the QB12 mark and has been extremely consistent.
Fields, who stumbled out of the gate, has been phenomenal over the last five weeks. He has capitalized on two soft matchups over the last two weeks versus the Dolphins and Lions, which probably inflated his stats. He also has a bye in Week 14, which could be crucial if you are on the fringe of the playoffs (Hurts had his bye in Week 7).
In terms of remaining schedule, I would probably give a slight lean to Hurts. He has the Colts, Packers, Titans and Giants to finish out the fantasy regular season, and then the Bears, Cowboys and Saints for the fantasy playoffs.
However, as I think most people would feel similar to me about this, it may be more prudent to put Hurts on the trading block (assuming you can get by in Week 14 without Fields). Hurts will probably fetch a higher bounty than Fields would based on perception, and you have that added benefit of getting to keep Fields for a fraction of what his price will be next year.
If I were you, I would probably throw out feelers for both. If you can get the same return for Fields, definitely flip him. Either way, you have a problem of riches and I am quite envious.
Grade The Trade: Send Dameon Pierce To Receive Garrett Wilson?
@_MiniMike asks via Twitter: “I have [Saquon] Barkley, [Dameon] Pierce, [Travis Etienne Jr. and Jeff] Wilson Jr. [I] really really need a WR.”
[screenshot of Garrett Wilson for Dameon Pierce]
Samantha: I empathize with your roster needs, but I think this is too much of an overpay — even with the news that Eno Benjamin has been claimed off waivers by the Texans.
I still regard Pierce as a high-end RB2/low-end RB1 in the right matchups moving forward (with Benjamin in the mix). If anything, Benjamin will probably make Rex Burkhead redundant, not Pierce. The standout rookie has double-digit fantasy points in every game from Week 3 onwards and he is the RB11 in half PPR on a per-game basis in that span.
I have nothing against Garrett Wilson and everything against quarterback Zach Wilson. He had basically rendered Garrett unusable until Week 8. While it appears G. Wilson is on the upswing, having finished as the WR15 and WR14 in back-to-back weeks before the Jets’ Week 10 bye, he remains a risky WR3/flex given his suboptimal quarterback situation.
TLDR: I think you can aim higher than Wilson. Try to grab someone like Gabe Davis, Terry McLaurin or someone else in that range.
What Are Kyle Pitts And Jalen Hurts Worth?
@tribnic asks via Twitter: “What would you offer for Kyle Pitts and Jalen Hurts. I’m willing to move them for a WR/RB but idk what the price should be.”
Samantha: I think any high-end RB2/WR2 would be a fair price for those two. Pitts has obviously been dreadful, but I’m still struggling to think of 12 tight ends I would rather have rest-of-season. He is right on the cusp of the TE1 tier, so he carries at least some value in this trade.
Hurts is the big name. He has only finished below the QB12 mark once and should be considered a top-three quarterback ROS.
For the two, I would consider asking for someone like Dameon Pierce, Rhamondre Stevenson, DK Metcalf, Amari Cooper, Deebo Samuel, etc. I think that’s a fair trade and should improve both teams, assuming the trade partner is in need of a QB.
Fantasy Stock Question
Elijah Mitchell Versus Rachaad White
@ScharberTodd asks via Twitter: “Hi Samantha, I need a RB for the rest of the season. Who do you like better: Elijah Mitchell or Rachaad White?”
Samantha: It’s White for me.
Mitchell was impressive in his first game back from injury. He had 18 carries for 89 yards to Christian McCaffrey’s 14 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. McCaffrey out-snapped Mitchell 46 to 25 and was involved in the passing game, which is his bread and butter.
Mitchell could definitely hurt McCaffrey’s fantasy value, as the ex-Panther has never played with another running back of this caliber. We also know how mercurial Kyle Shanahan can be with his running backs, so there is no guarantee that Mitchell will see a consistent workload week in and week out.
White is on bye this week, but after that, I think the sky’s the limit. He operated as the Bucs’ lead back in Germany and finished as the RB20. He out-touched Leonard Fournette 22 to 15 in the game, out-gained him 105 to 57 and out-snapped him 48 to 22, which was the first time Fournette did not dominate snaps this year.
I do not think this is just an anomaly, as White has been trending up for a while now. Fournette did leave the game early with a hip injury, though that was late, and while he is expected to be fine, this trend is concerning if you are a Fournette manager.
This could be a 1A/1B situation with the opportunity for White to emerge as the alpha. He could be a very valuable fantasy asset after the bye against the Browns‘ vulnerable run defense, which ranks last in rush DVOA.
Fantasy Add-Drop Questions
Drop Joshua Palmer Or Kyren Williams?
@farquadfantasy asks via Twitter: “Samantha, this is more of a drop question. Do I drop Josh Palmer to keep Kyren Williams? Mark Andrews coming out of IR and I need to make room.”
Samantha: I would not. Mike Williams is out with a high ankle sprain for now and Keenan Allen has only played in two games this year. Although there are reports that both could return in Week 11, I am skeptical that will actually happen.
For now, Palmer is, at worst, the Chargers’ WR3, and, at best, the team’s WR1. This is a pretty valuable position opposite Justin Herbert — not to mention Gerald Everett is also banged up.
As for Williams, I want no part of the Rams’ crowded backfield. Cam Akers is back and led the team in rushing, by which I mean he had 22 yards on six carries. Darrell Henderson Jr. was a close second with six carries for 21 yards and a touchdown, followed by Williams with one carry for nine yards.
Williams did see the most work in the passing game and reeled in three catches for 30 yards. There is an outside chance he emerges atop this RB clown car in L.A., which is what would have to happen to become a trustworthy fantasy starter. I think it’s more likely that he remains in some kind of committee on this low-upside offense, which just got a lot worse with the loss of Cooper Kupp.
Palmer offers far more viable paths to fantasy relevance and is on a better team offensively. I would keep him and drop Williams.
D/STs To Stash For The Fantasy Playoffs
@Omarj11214 asks via Twitter: “Hey Sam, huge fan, looking forward to your Week 12 early waiver wire. Any defenses I should look to stash for playoffs? I have [the] 49ers [D/ST].”
Samantha: I would probably just stick with the 49ers. I am not a fan of rostering multiple defenses for any reason, and I am not sure how much better you will do from the waiver wire crew than the Seahawks, Commanders and Raiders from Weeks 15 through 17. San Francisco also has the benefit of actually being a good fantasy defense, though it has struggled a bit of late.
The only teams I see with better playoff schedules would be:
- Chiefs (at Houston, vs. Seattle, vs. Denver)
- Chargers (vs. Tennessee, at Indianapolis, vs. Los Angeles Rams)
- Raiders (vs. New England, at Pittsburgh, vs. San Francisco)
- Vikings (vs. Indianapolis, vs. New York Giants, at Green Bay)
- Lions (at New York Jets, at Carolina, vs. Chicago)
Needless to say, none of these units are even in the same neighborhood as the 49ers in terms of talent.
The Vikings are the only team on this list I would consider stashing. They are the DST9 and actually performed quite well last week in what was a tough matchup on paper against the Bills. Their defense logged two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, one touchdown and two sacks and was the DST1 for Week 10.
Other Fantasy Question
Time To Throw In The Towel At 3-7?
@jroch314 asks via Twitter: “Samantha, I need help. I listen to you every week on the Fantasy Flex but never thought I would be in this position. I am currently 9th in our 10 team league at 3-7 but have the 3rd highest points. My plan was if I lost last week (which I did) to blow up my roster for draft picks next year and resign myself to washing everyone’s cars (the punishment for last place). But I have a hard time swallowing that with the 3rd most points scored. What should I do?”
Samantha: I hate that you are in this position and would recommend pitching a slightly different playoff structure to your commissioner in the offseason, similar to that of The Scott Fish Bowl if you are aware of it.
Essentially, each week, you get a win or a loss for your head-to-head matchup, as well as a win or a loss based on where you scored relative to the average score in your league that week. This takes some of the randomness from head-to-head matchups out of the equation. But I digress…
Without knowing the current format of your playoffs, there’s probably a very slim chance you make it now with seven wins. I’ve made it before with a .500 record (mind you, in a 16-team league) but it’s far from likely.
If you think you can win out from here, I think it’s still worth trying, especially since it seems like you must have a decent team with the third-most points scored. If not, I totally endorse blowing up the team and collecting draft picks for next year, though I would probably still try to avoid the Sacko punishment (The League reference).