Top NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Performers: The Saints Offense is Scary Good, More
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41), wide receiver Michael Thomas (13), running back Mark Ingram (22)
- Check out the top fantasy football performers from Week 11 of the NFL season, including four high-scoring performances.
- Drew Brees and the Saints looked unstoppable against the Eagles' defense in the Superdome.
- Giants RB Saquon Barkley had a career day agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Before moving on to Week 12, let’s break down some key fantasy football performances from this Sunday’s action.
Sunday’s action featured 30-plus point performances from the Colts, Bucs, Giants and Saints, last-second wins for the Cowboys, Steelers, Raiders and Broncos. As always, there were plenty of fantasy studs and duds along the way.
The following four players were the brightest stars at their respective positions in Week 11.
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Fantasy Quarterback of the Day: Drew Brees
The Eagles became the latest team to get absolutely destroyed by the unstoppable force that has become the Saints offense. Per The Ringer’s Riley McAtee, the 2018 Saints are just the fifth team in NFL history to score at least 45 points in three or more consecutive games.
Sunday’s 48-7 massacre against the Eagles demonstrated just dangerous they can be with their plethora of dangerous weapons working in perfect harmony.
- Drew Brees: 22-of-30 (73%) for 363 yards (12.1 Y/A) 4 TDs and 0 INT
- Mark Ingram: 16 carries, 103 yards (6.4 YPC), 2 TDs
- Alvin Kamara: 13 carries, 71 yards, 1 reception, 38 yards, 1 TD
- Michael Thomas: 4 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD
- Tre’Quan Smith: 10 receptions, 157 yards, 1 TD
The Eagles’ injury-riddled secondary made them an ideal punching bag for the Saints’ high-octane passing attack. Still, the Saints have rolled through basically everyone in their path this season behind their dynamic run game and a career-best season from Brees.
The connection between Brees and Thomas has been ridiculously effective to this point. The duo nearly has as many touchdowns (eight) as incomplete passes (nine) on 91 total targets this season.
Up next is a laugh-out-loud funny matchup on Thanksgiving night against the Falcons’ similarly injury-riddled defense that entered Sunday as the league’s worst overall defense in DVOA.
Fantasy Running Back of the Day: Saquon Barkley
The Giants are “rolling” after consecutive victories over the 49ers and Buccaneers. All jokes aside, the team’s electric rookie running back has been nothing short of spectacular this season as the offense’s three-down workhorse.
Barkley finished the day with 27 carries for 142 yards and two scores on the ground with another two receptions for 10 yards and a third touchdown through the air. His average of 24.9 PPR per game is the eighth-highest mark among all running backs in a single season over the past 10 years.
The Giants’ league-worst offensive line in adjusted line yards per rush managed to get the job done against a depleted Buccaneers’ front seven that has allowed at least 115 rushing yards in five consecutive games following season-ending knee injuries to linebackers Kwon Alexander and Jack Cichy.
Stud linebacker Lavonte David (knee) joined them on the sideline Sunday, so be sure to monitor our Week 12 injury report to see if the Bucs will continue to be short-handed on defense against the 49ers.
The Giants will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles’ pass funnel defense in Week 12. Still, Barkley’s out-of-this-world talent and massive workload make him arguably the league’s most matchup-proof back behind only Todd Gurley.
Fantasy Wide Receiver of the Day: T.Y. Hilton
The Colts got their No. 1 receiver involved in a big way against the Titans, as Hilton caught all nine of his targets for 155 yards and two touchdowns vs. the league’s top-ranked scoring defense.. Hilton gained just 136 yards and scored two touchdowns in Weeks 7-10 combined.
The Titans attempted to use 2017 first-round pick Adoree’ Jackson in shadow coverage on Hilton, a decision that didn’t even come close to working.
Andrew Luck has now tied Dan Marino for the third-longest streak (seven games) with at least three consecutive touchdown passes in NFL history.
Up next for the Colts is another beatable matchup against the Dolphins’ 23rd-ranked defense in overall and pass DVOA. Hilton should run plenty of snaps free of cornerback Xavien Howard’s shadow coverage, as the Dolphins’ No. 1 corner has spent just 11 total snaps in the slot this season.
Fantasy Tight End of the Day: Jordan Reed
The Redskins lost 23-21 to the Texans Sunday, but more concerning was the loss of Alex Smith, who will miss the remainder of the season due to a broken tibia and fibula.
Washington’s playoff hopes now rest in the hands of Colt McCoy. The team’s long-time backup quarterback completed 6-of-12 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown in relief Sunday. The score was thrown to Reed, who caught seven of his 11 targets for 71 yards.
Reed has averaged 5.4 receptions for 53 yards in seven career games when McCoy has thrown double-digit passes. Smith’s reluctance to stretch the field vertically has held Reed back for most of the season, but we shouldn’t necessarily expect that to change with McCoy under center. McCoy’s average target depth of 7.3 yards in 2014 is lower than Smith’s 8.4 mark this season.
The Redskins won’t have much time to get further acclimated with McCoy as their starting quarterback, as they’ll take on the Cowboys’ underrated defense on Thanksgiving Day.
McCoy’s last victory as an NFL quarterback? Thanksgiving 2014 against the Cowboys.
It’s Officially Lamar Jackson SZN
The Ravens defeated the Bengals 24-21 during Jackson’s starting debut. The Ravens’ first-round pick completed 13-of-19 passes (68%) for 150 yards (7.9 Y/A) with an interception, but Jackson largely controlled the game on the ground with 117-scoreless yards on 27 (!) carries.
Overall, Jackson’s 27 rush attempts were the most by any quarterback since 1999, and he became the first signal caller this season to surpass the century mark on the ground. There aren’t many quarterbacks to ever start in the NFL with anything resembling Jackson’s game-changing speed.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh said it’s going to be tough for Joe Flacco (hip) to suit up in Week 12, positioning Jackson for another start.
There’s plenty of reason to be excited about Jackson’s potential in fantasy, as the Ravens have arguably the league’s softest upcoming schedule against the Raiders, Falcons, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Chargers and Browns.
Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys are Rolling
The Cowboys have won consecutive road games against the Eagles and Falcons. They’re positioned to seize control of the NFC East with a win over the Redskins on Thanksgiving.
Their recent success has undoubtedly been thanks to Elliot’s dominance, as the league’s second-leading rusher behind only Gurley has averaged 166.7 total yards and one touchdown per game since the Cowboys’ Week 8 bye.
Sunday’s performance against the Falcons featured 122 yards on the ground and another 79 through the air for the Cowboys’ franchise running back, as Zeke became the latest running back to absolutely shred the Falcons’ so-called defense:
Up next for Elliott is a Redskins defense that he’s scored five touchdowns against in four career games. The Falcons better pray they get stud linebacker Deion Jones (foot) healthy before they take on the Saints on Thursday night.
Newton and the Panthers failed to convert a potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt against the Lions, ultimately losing 20-19. Still, Carolina’s franchise quarterback continued to resemble the same man that was crowned the league’s MVP in 2015.
- 2015: 7.8 Y/A, 59.8% completion rate, 2.8 total touchdowns per game
- 2018: 7.4 Y/A, 68.3% completion rate, 2.4 total touchdowns per game
Newton competed 25-of-37 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, although the Lions’ zone-heavy defense held him to just two rushing yards.
The only “problem” for fantasy investors is attempting to figure out who will be Newton’s favorite target in any given week. D.J. Moore (seven receptions-157 yards-one touchdown), Christian McCaffrey (6-57-0), Curtis Samuel (5-55-1) and Devin Funchess (3-29-0) had at least seven targets Sunday, and Greg Olsen (2-9-1) will certainly see more than three targets in future games.
The eventual return of Torrey Smith (knee) could further muddle up the receiving room, but there should be plenty of scoring opportunities to go around in the Panthers’ fantasy-friendly end-of-season stretch vs. the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Browns, Saints, Falcons and Saints.
Hurt in Battle and Returning Soldiers
There were plenty of key injuries on both sides of the ball this week. We won’t know more about Week 11 availability until later in the week, but the following skill-position players will certainly be worth monitoring:
- Brandon LaFell, WR, Raiders (Achilles)
- Doug Martin, RB, Raiders (ankle)
- DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Broncos (knee)
- Alex Smith, QB, Redskins (broken leg)
- O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers (ankle)
- Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions (knee)
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans (elbow)