Fantasy Football Winners and Losers of Week 11 - Roto Street Journal
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Fantasy Football Winners and Losers of Week 11

Winners

QB       Dak Prescott    27/36 for 301 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT                  32 pts.

So, full disclosure here: Tom Brady had the most fantasy points of any quarterback as of the time I am writing this article.  Brady is a great bet for being at the top of this list any week.  This week he faced the 49ers.  If this were a boxing match, I think I could safely compare it to a fist fight between a prime Mike Tyson and maybe Joan Rivers.  You heard me go off about how terrible the 49ers are—especially on defense—last week, so I’ll spare you the agony of hearing me break it down again.  Regardless, this is why I can’t give Brady the nod as my Winner of the Week.  My expectations for the Golden One are far higher when he goes up against the Niners, so I will politely yawn at his ho-hum 4 TD, 0 INT performance, and move on down the list.

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys on the other hand faced a very stout, AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens defense this week that held Ezekiel Elliott to under 100 yards on under 4 yards a carry.  Although Zeke still got plenty of carries, the Ravens’ ability to not get broken by the run put the burden squarely on the shoulders of their rookie signal caller.  Prescott (as usual) was up to the challenge.

Prescott threw for 3 touchdowns and no picks, bringing his totals for the season to 17 TDs against only 2 INTs while adding 4 rushing TDs on the ground.  These are staggeringly efficient numbers for a rookie who was passed on time and time again by pretty much everyone.  Add to that the 9 straight wins he’s rattled off and the best record in the NFL and you’ve got yourself a really exciting situation.

Important game against a formidable defense.  Big numbers.  No mistakes.  Clear Winner of the Week.

RB       David Johnson 22 carries for 103 yards, 1 TD, 7 catches for 57 yards on 11 targets, 1 TD   35 pts.

As great as he is (and he is great), David Johnson can’t do everything at once.  And that’s a real shame if you’re a Cardinals fan, because honestly he might be the most talented player in football right now.  I really liked the Cardinals to beat the swooning Vikings this week and make a stab at salvaging their own hugely disappointing season, but I called it wrong and the Cardinals were sent packing and now sit at 4-5-1—a far cry from where we thought they’d be in September.

I should point out that this loss to the Vikings had nothing to do with David Johnson.  The Cardinals relied on Johnson a lot, letting him carry the ball over 20 times against a defense a lot of people would’ve said was the best in the business just a few weeks ago.  Johnson managed to go over 100 yards for the game with a TD, averaging over 5 yards a carry—which by itself would probably have put him in contention for a coveted Winner of the Week Award.  But Johnson is not a one trick pony—he added 7 catches on 11 targets, going for 57 yards and another TD.  In short, Johnson had (another) monster game.

In a season where RBs have been notoriously injury prone and unreliable, Johnson has scored double digit fantasy points in every game this year.  In half his games, Johnson has scored over 20, and he has scored 12 total TDs this year.  Having him as a starter every week gives you a decided advantage pretty much every week, and as you might suspect, he is the leading scoring fantasy RB in the league.

I’m trying to remember if I heard anyone before the season saying David Johnson was going to be the best there was out there…

WR      Dez Bryant      6 catches for 80 yards on 8 targets, 2 TDs                 26 pts.

You’ve already heard me singing the praises of Dak Prescott, who did not have the assistance of his usually amazing running game to vault him over the top this week.  So without Zeke to lean on, who does a rookie quarterback look to when he needs to make something happen?  D. E. Z.

This was a vintage big-dick performance from a guy who we just haven’t heard enough from lately.  Although he only caught 6 balls, it seemed like Dez was always there when Dak needed him, and one of his touchdowns was right out of the “I am a man, you are a boy” text book that our colleague the Wolf loves to reference.  Bryant’s first multiple TD game of the year (and as of the time I write this piece the only multiple TD game for a WR this week) left me feeling like it might be the first of many, not an anomaly.

Is Dez packing as much in his shorts as Julio or Mike Evans?  Probably not.  But I’ll no one who took a peek down there would be too disappointed with what Dez is still bringing to the table.

TE        Eric Ebron        3 catches for 70 yards on 5 targets, rushing TD        16 pts.

Let’s be honest—no one really blew up at tight end this week.  Gronk was out with an injury.  Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen, and Jason Witten were all statistically unimpressive in games I thought some of them would dominate.  Travis Kelce caught 7 balls but failed to get into the end zone and his team lost a game everyone agreed they were supposed to win.  Also, Kelce is a huge ass clown, so I wasn’t about to make him my Winner of the Week.  So who will step up and fill the void?

My co-host the Wolf and I have both been singing the praises of Eric Ebron since he came back from injury for the past few weeks on the RSJ podcast, and it seems like with every passing week Ebron proves we were right to like him so much.  Ebron has received for 70 yards or more in each of the games since he returned to the Lions, and this week he added in a TDs on a running play I am fairly sure they stole from the Saints.

Ebron, who is a serious red zone target, has yet to find the end zone on a pass since week 1.  This does not seem like a trend that will continue.  The Lions pass too much for Ebron to keep getting left out of the equation.  Not only does Ebron get the coveted hardware this week, I’d say he’s a solid bet to outdo these numbers a couple more times before the season ends.

Losers

QB       Ben Roethlisberger     23/36 for 167 yards                                        8 pts.

I was prepared to give this Loser of the Week Award to Carson Wentz because I feel like I am almost alternating putting Brave Ben as our big winner and our big loser and I wanted to diversify.  However, as I was writing up a scathing indictment of Wentz, he threw a meaningless touchdown pass late in the Eagles’ loss to Seattle, and it made his fantasy game almost respectable.  Enter (again) Ben Roethlisberger.

First, the good news: the Steelers won, and in doing so kept themselves in contention for the AFC North crown.  Now the bad news: they were playing the 0-10 (now 0-11) Cleveland Browns, so nobody gives a shit that they won.  The 24 points that the Steelers put up against the Browns were solidly below the average amount that Cleveland surrenders.  And Roethlisberger’s individual numbers against arguably the worst defense in the league?  Pathetic.

Ben’s numbers against the Browns were even bad compared to his horrendously bad on-the-road totals he’s been putting up all year.  Going into this week, Roethlisberger averaged just about 250 yards passing per game on the road.  He put up 167 against the Browns.  Ouch.

This was the type of game I remember Trent Dilfer having regularly when he was the quarterback of the Ravens.  There were, however, a few notable differences in their respective situations.  The Ravens were an all defense/no offense team that just needed their quarterback to not make huge mistakes.  Roethlisberger is (supposedly) the quarterback of an offensive juggernaut that was playing the worst scoring defense in the NFL.  In a situation like that, you’ll forgive me if I expect a little more than Trent Dilfer-like numbers from Brave Ben.

RB       Isaiah Crowell 8 rushes for 10 yards, 5 receptions for 13 yards        7 pts.

Well, it seems like all the people who said Isaiah Crowell was going to fizzle out in a big way before it was all said and done were right on the money.  As a semi-proud owner of Crowell in one of my fantasy leagues, I desperately wanted to believe he was for real.  But after a torrid start that saw the Browns’ alleged feature back averaging almost 6 yards a carry, Crowell has carried the ball 34 times in the past 3 games… for a grand total of 66 yards.  For all you math buffs out there, that’s 1.94 yards per carry.  Folks, even Todd Gurley is laughing behind this guy’s back right now.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about this one except… Crowell’s 1.94 yards per carry average over the past 3 games dwarfs his average from today’s embarrassing performance of 1.25 yards per carry.  In over half his outings this season, Crowell has scored 7 or less fantasy points.  In over a quarter of his starts, he has scored 3 or less.  The Browns are always behind and have no reason at all to continue to pound the ball up the middle with a guy averaging a yard a carry.

Tire fire does not even begin to describe what is going on here.

WR      Brandin Cooks 7 receptions for 42 yards                                            11 pts.

I didn’t find this week’s WR Loser of the Week to be an obvious choice.  No huge name WR really laid an egg this week, and almost no one blew up in a huge way either.  Brandin Cooks caught 7 balls on 8 targets Sunday—that’s pretty good.  But his catches went for 42 yards.  That’s 6 yards a catch.  That’s just not enough.

The thing I think is making me ultimately decide Cooks is my Loser of the Week is how much the Saints needed to win that game.  It is entirely possible that any real shot they had to win the NFC South—and maybe even the playoffs at all—went out the window with that loss to the Panthers.  Cooks was 10th in the league amongst fantasy WRs going into this week’s game, but the season-low yards per catch average he posted will surely make that ranking plummet.

This is no commentary on his value moving forward.  Cooks will be fine.  This game was just a dud.

TE        Tyler Eifert      3 catches for 37 yards on 6 targets                            6 pts.

Speaking of teams that really needed to win this past week: the Bengals.  As bad as their season has been, a win over the very beatable and eventually McCoy-less Bills would’ve put them at 4-5-1, literally only a tie out of the playoff picture.  Now sitting at 3-6-1 and a game and a half behind both the Steelers and the Ravens, their vision of the future looks bleak.

But wait, it gets bleaker!  AJ Green was forced to leave the game with a serious hamstring injury, and the early word back is that he may not play again this season.  Giovanni Bernard went out too, and is confirmed out for the season.  Dark days in Cincinnati, indeed.

The loss of Green should’ve squarely opened the door for Tyler Eifert to have a big game against a Buffalo secondary that has at times looked like Swiss Cheese out there, but it didn’t.  Eifert was only targeted 6 times, and he only managed to pull in 3 of those for 37 yards.  When the chips were down, Dalton’s go-to guy ended up being Tyler Boyd.  Who is Tyler Boyd, you say?

Exactly.

Author

  • The Truth is the oldest (and wisest) member of the RSJ team. He loves reality TV, is skeptical of pass catching running backs, and thinks John Elway is the greatest quarterback of all time.

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