Fantasy Football Overvalued/Undervalued: Week 11
I was sitting about 10 rows behind the end zone for the Browns-Steelers melee in Cleveland last night, so let’s just say I have first-hand evidence that Week 11 is off to a wild start. Yikes. As we await word on the suspensions that are sure to come, let’s dive into some overvalued and undervalued fantasy options for the rest of this week’s games.
As I put this column together each week, I often find that my biggest differences with the fantasy industry have more to do with how an entire team’s offense is set up for that week than with any individual player. For example, if I have a hunch that it’s a good week to fade a team’s passing game, you may see both their QB and top WR on the “overvalued” list. This week, my expectation is that a flurry of injuries will convince the 49ers to lean on their running game even more than usual, which is why you’ll find Jimmy Garoppolo in the overvalued section and Raheem Mostert among my undervalued picks.
Of course, it doesn’t always turn out the way I expected. Last week, I opted to fade the Cowboys’ passing game by labeling Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup as overvalued, and both players went on to burn me with big performances. Meanwhile, my belief that the Lions would have success through the air went out the window when Matthew Stafford ended up missing the game, but at least I was right to doubt Ty Johnson and the Detroit running game. Meanwhile, Golden Tate and Jared Cook ended up being two of my better undervalued picks of the season.
At this point, regular readers of this column should know the routine. My picks for over and undervalued players for Week 11 are based on FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Rankings for half PPR formats. And give me a shout on Twitter @andrew_seifter if you want my help with any lineup questions — or if you just want to discuss the events that went down in Cleveland on Thursday night.
Overvalued: Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)
My Rank: QB14
It’s not hard to understand why many fantasy analysts are bullish on Jimmy G this week. He gets a rematch with a bad Cardinals defense that he absolutely torched for 317 yards and four touchdowns just two short weeks ago. But that was with Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle, who are both dealing with injuries that make them uncertain at best to suit up for round two with Arizona. It’s also worth pointing out that the Cardinals game was a major outlier performance for Garoppolo — he’s averaging just under 200 passing yards and one touchdown per game in his other five starts since the Niners’ Week 4 bye. Jimmy G has shown glimpses of breaking out, especially since Sanders arrived, but he’s also looked shaky when he’s had to rely on less accomplished pass-catchers like Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, and Dante Pettis. I’d have a very hard time trusting him if Kittle and Sanders don’t play, no matter how appealing the matchup.
Undervalued: Nick Foles (JAC)
My Rank: QB15
I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what to expect from Foles in his first action since Week 1, but there are some reasons for optimism. Even with his turnover-filled final game as the Jaguars’ starter, Gardner Minshew managed to be the QB15 through the first two months of the season, and it’s reasonable to expect similar production from Foles this week and beyond. Indianapolis is statistically above-average against the pass, but their results have varied significantly based on the quality of the opponent. Indy has given up 300+ passing yards to Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers, while holding the less impressive quintet of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mason Rudolph, Joe Flacco, Derek Carr, and Marcus Mariota each below 200 yards. With Dede Westbrook set to return from a shoulder ailment, Foles should have his full complement of weapons available to attack the Colts’ secondary, putting him on the streaming radar in single-QB formats.
Overvalued: Kalen Ballage (MIA)
My Rank: RB36
It might seem like a travesty to rank a running back who just had 24 touches outside of my top-35, but that’s where I’m at with Ballage. Those 24 touches he had last week translated into a historically inept 45 yards from scrimmage, and Ballage is now averaging an appalling 2.1 yards per carry for the year. Yes, the Bills are a run-funnel defense, but I still trust Buffalo’s ability to stop the run more than Ballage’s ability to break off big gains. Miami is only projected to score around 17 points, so Ballage is unlikely to save his fantasy day with a touchdown. We also shouldn’t assume that he continues to see such a massive workload after doing so little with his opportunities last week. Miami’s decision-makers surely recognize that he isn’t part of the team’s future, so why not see what Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin, or literally anyone else can do with those touches?
Undervalued: Raheem Mostert (SF)
My Rank: RB28
One thing that you can always count on from a Kyle Shanahan-led offense is a potent running game, and this year has been no different. While Tevin Coleman has emerged as the best fantasy option in San Francisco’s backfield, Matt Breida has quietly been a top-30 running back, too, despite rarely finding the end zone. Breida (ankle) is widely expected to miss this week’s game, opening the door for Mostert to serve as an appealing RB3/flex option in a plus matchup. The Cardinals are very poor against the pass, but they can be run on, too. With Kittle and Sanders ailing, we should expect the 49ers to lean on the running game even more than usual this week.
Overvalued: Terry McLaurin (WAS)
My Rank: WR28
A third-round rookie out of Ohio State, McLaurin was one of the bigger breakout players over the first seven weeks of the NFL season. He’s come crashing down to Earth of late, as he’s failed to reach 40 yards in any of his last three games. McLaurin’s decline in production has coincided with Washington adopting a more run-heavy approach under interim coach Bill Callahan — and handing the QB reigns over to McLaurin’s college teammate, Dwayne Haskins, who does not appear to be quite ready for primetime. McLaurin has not been a high-volume receiver — he hasn’t caught more than four passes in a game since Week 3 — and Haskins may continue to struggle to connect with him on deep routes. The Jets have really struggled in pass coverage, as they’ve given up 10 touchdowns to wideouts over just the last three weeks, but if you start McLaurin, you’re really just banking on him making one or two big plays. He’s capable of doing it, and Washington is reportedly going to try to move him around the formation to make it happen. But that’s the type of gamble I’d prefer to take with a WR3/flex than with my WR2.
Undervalued: Tyler Boyd (CIN)
My Rank: WR23
Boyd is having a somewhat frustrating fantasy season, mostly due to the fact that he’s only scored a single touchdown. But there’s still something to be said for his consistency. The Bengals’ top wideout has at least five catches and 55 yards in seven of his nine games this season. That even includes the first game of the Ryan Finley era last week against Baltimore, and Boyd remains on pace for another 1,000-yard season. It’s always scary to rely on a receiver who’s catching passes from an unproven QB, but unlike McLaurin, Boyd has already shown that he frequently lines up in the slot and runs a lot of short and intermediate routes, where he can serve as a security blanket for Finley. This week, Boyd gets a highly exploitable matchup against the Raiders, who have given up five 100-yard days to wide receivers over their last five games. Boyd’s ceiling in Cincinnati’s offense isn’t very high, but his floor has proven to be lofty enough to make him a borderline WR2 in plus matchups like this one.
Overvalued: Jack Doyle (IND)
My Rank: TE13
I’m doubling down on my Doyle doubt this week, and that’s after he beat my expectations last week by finding the end zone against the Dolphins. Even after scoring in back-to-back games, Doyle is still just the TE18 on the year. He also appears to be losing ground on Eric Ebron, who got 12 targets last week after asking coach Frank Reich to get him more involved. Perhaps there will be enough looks to go around with T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess both expected to miss another week, but it’s still hard to get too excited about the Colts’ number two tight end. He’s fine to play in a pinch, but there may be a better streaming option available on your waiver wire, such as…
Undervalued: Darren Fells (HOU)
My Rank: TE10
Is it just me, or have a lot of fantasy writers forgotten about Fells over the Texans’ Week 10 bye? Fells is never a good bet to put up huge yardage numbers, but his six touchdown catches are tied with Austin Hooper for the most among all tight ends, and five of those end-zone visits have come over his last five games. I certainly wouldn’t call this week’s trip to Baltimore a favorable matchup for Fells, but with the Texans as four-point underdogs in a game with an over/under of 50, he seems like a decent bet to find the end zone once again. Fells is the dictionary definition of a touchdown-dependent tight end, but he’s one of the better ones out there. That is more than enough to put him squarely in the TE1 conversation, especially with Hooper and Kittle hurt and Evan Engram, Jimmy Graham, Jacob Hollister, and Jonnu Smith on bye.