Fantasy Football Panic Meter: Week 11
At this point, most fantasy owners who are still engaged are sizing up their outlook for the playoffs. Regardless of how you got to this point, the only thing that matters is who will perform when there is no margin for error.
Whether you should continue to start or even roster any given player is a question you should be considering every day. Here, as we do each week, we’ll examine some underperformers from this week and whether fantasy owners should be panicking about their play.
Kenny Golladay (WR – DET) – Panic Meter Rating: 4
To be clear, Golladay is at a zero on the panic meter rating if/when Matthew Stafford is healthy. But there’s currently no timetable for Stafford’s return and, if you’re the Lions, why on earth would you risk putting your franchise quarterback out on the field at anything less than 100 percent?
With Jeff Driskel, there are concerns for Golladay. Last week against the Bears, Golladay saw nine targets but hauled in just three of them for 57 yards, though he did score a touchdown. This week against the Cowboys, he caught just one of his five targets for 34 yards, and it took an acrobatic effort even to get there. Driskel has been passable as an NFL quarterback, but it’s clear he’s not close to the talent that Stafford is.
Even assuming Driskel continues to start for the remainder of the season, however, it’s doubtful you can get away from Golladay, particularly with an unimposing schedule on the horizon, including a matchup against the Redskins next week. But there are valid concerns about Golladay’s outlook.
Devin Singletary (RB – BUF) – Panic Meter Rating: 7
Singletary didn’t have the worst game against the Dolphins — 15 carries for 75 yards plus one catch for four yards. He has clearly surpassed Frank Gore as the top running back for the Bills, and, after averaging five yards per carry, it might seem strange that his owners should be panicking so much.
But this was the game where Singletary was supposed to dominate and show fantasy owners they could rely on him. That’s because his upcoming schedule is extremely difficult for opposing running backs — Denver, Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New England. So, when the Bills won’t just pound the rock with Singletary in a game they controlled throughout, fantasy owners simply cannot feel confident in him going forward. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that Singletary fumbled twice against Miami (though he didn’t lose either) and did not find the end zone.
In short, Singletary should still be rostered by all and started by most fantasy owners. But thoughts of a breakout seem a bit distant.
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN) – Panic Meter Rating: 8
As with Singletary, Week 11 was the time for Boyd to show his fantasy owners they could trust him. Against a weak Raiders’ pass defense in a game they would trail from the outset, this was Boyd’s chance to perhaps find the end zone for the first time in six games, but also to finally do more than his standard five-to-six catch, 60-yard performance.
And yet, Boyd accomplished the very rare “more catches than yards” game, with his one catch, zero-yard performance. His three targets ranked fifth on the team, and it’s clear Ryan Finley is not able to utilize Boyd as well as Andy Dalton (which isn’t saying much).
Boyd still has a fantasy-friendly matchup on tap against the Jets in Week 13 and remains the most talented wide receiver playing on his team (so long as A.J. Green continues to be sidelined). And with Auden Tate potentially set to miss games after being carted off (though early word is positive), fantasy owners may be forced to continue to start Boyd. But they can no longer do so with any semblance of confidence.
Tevin Coleman (RB – SF) – Panic Meter Rating: 7
Coleman has quietly been underperforming for a few weeks now. After Sunday’s 12-carry, 14-yard rushing effort, Coleman now has 77 yards rushing on 33 carries over his last three games. He’s been able to salvage his fantasy value by totaling 93 yards receiving over that span, but still, he’s been far from the reliable running back he looked to be turning into.
Further dimming Coleman’s star is the fact that two of those games have come against the Cardinals, a team that does not defend opposing running backs well. And in this most recent game, Matt Breida was inactive and Raheem Mostert was not 100 percent healthy.
Coleman has a soft matchup against the Packers on tap but with games following against the Ravens and Saints, fantasy owners should consider whether they have better options.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT) – Panic Meter Rating: 10
Smith-Schuster was in this article last week and registered as a nine. He’s back again to punctuate what needs to be said: Smith-Schuster is droppable.
Put aside the concussion and any potential missed games, it’s just become obvious that Mason Rudolph lacks the ability to effectively utilize Smith-Schuster. In his last three games, he has a total of 81 yards receiving. The Steelers’ offensive gameplan revolves around relying heavily on their defense and playing as conservatively as possible on offense.
The upcoming schedule isn’t terrible — Cincinnati, Cleveland, and then Arizona. But at this point, if you own Smith-Schuster, you’re probably not in the playoffs. If you are, find another option to try to take you to the championship.