Week 11’s Toughest Start/Sit Decisions: Brian Hill, Terry McLaurin, Tyrell Williams
Every week fantasy football owners are confronted with difficult lineup questions. Who should you start, and who should you sit? That’s what many are left asking, often with little help. It’s good you landed here, as we can help each week using our Who Should I Start tool. Simply type in several players that you are deciding between per position or for your flex and we will let you know who the experts would start and who they would sit.
Here’s a look at the toughest start and sit decisions of the week along with our expert’s advice.
Start Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF) or Derek Carr (QB – OAK)?
89% of Experts Would Start Carr
If you were able to watch their Monday night game, you know that Garoppolo’s final stat line of 248/1/1 wasn’t very representative for how poorly he played. He lost two fumbles and should’ve had at least three interceptions in that game. He’s now thrown an interception in 7-of-9 games, which is far from ideal for a quarterback who’s needed to simply manage the game. For whatever reason, the oddsmakers have the 49ers projected for 28.8 points in this game, a number they didn’t even hit in the first game against the Cardinals while having Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle in the lineup. The Cardinals have been a great matchup for plenty of quarterbacks, as there’ve been just two quarterbacks who’ve finished outside the top-12 against them. It’s important to note they’ve played some top-tier quarterbacks to contribute to that, including five games against top-12 fantasy quarterbacks. They’ve also faced a ridiculous 37.3 pass attempts per game, a number that Garoppolo doesn’t hit very often (the first time he went over that number was last week). Garoppolo has finished with more than 14.9 fantasy points just twice this year, so trusting him as anything more than a middling QB2 will likely lead to disappointment.
He’s been playing competently all year long, averaging a solid 7.8 yards per attempt with a 14:4 touchdown to interception ratio, though it’s only amounted to the QB19 in fantasy, right between Jared Goff and Andy Dalton. He doesn’t offer anything with his legs, which severely caps his upside, as does the fact that he’s totaled 32 pass attempts or less in each of the last six games. He’s finished as a top-12 option in just 2-of-9 games, but both of them have come in the last three weeks, so that’s something. The Bengals are a matchup that should allow him to find his way back into that top-12 conversation. They’ve allowed a massive 23.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks despite facing just 28.8 pass attempts per game. That doesn’t tell the whole story, as they’ve allowed a ridiculous 426 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to quarterbacks, something that doesn’t help the pocket-passer Carr. Even removing the rushing though, they’ve allowed 0.56 fantasy points per pass attempt, which ranks as the fifth-highest mark in the league. Playing at home while the Bengals travel across the country, we should see Carr become the 10th-straight quarterback finish as a top-16 option, and might be the eighth quarterback to finish as a top-12 option.
Start Brian Hill (RB – ATL) or Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)?
52% of Experts Would Start Singletary
It’s his chance to shine with the starting job, as both Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith are not going to be on the field. He racked up 21 touches in Week 10, so the Falcons clearly trust him with a big workload, as Kenjon Barner totaled just one touch. The Panthers are the best matchup in the league for running backs through 10 weeks. Sounds crazy, right? They’re allowing a touchdown every 14.1 carries while no other team has allowed one more than every 20.6 carries. They’ve now allowed 14 rushing touchdowns on the year, while allowing just 10 passing touchdowns. That has propelled running backs to average 1.06 PPR points per opportunity (carries and targets), which is easily the highest mark in the league, as the closest team (Lions) have allowed 0.98 points per opportunity. If Hill can get 20-plus touches again, he could be in for a massive week. There have now been seven running backs who’ve posted top-15 RB numbers versus this Panthers team, and another eight running backs who snuck into the top-36 (RB3/flex numbers).
The snap disparity continued in Week 10, as Singletary led the charge playing 46 snaps to Gore’s 22 snaps. The touch count was Singletary 11, Gore 6. It still appears that Singletary is in the driver’s seat of this backfield, and Week 11 should be the true test. The Dolphins allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs, which stems from teams averaging 32.6 touches per game with their running backs. Over the last three games, the touch-split between these two has been Singletary 41, Gore 26, though the carries are much closer (31-25). They tallied just 19 touches against the Dolphins back in Week 7, though that was the only game this year running backs totaled less than 27 touches against the Dolphins. There have been 13 running backs who’ve finished as the RB26 or better against the Dolphins this year, so there’s actually room for both to succeed, though you shouldn’t bank on that. Singletary should net 15 touches in this game and be played as a low-end RB2 with upside against a team that’s allowed a healthy 4.73 yards per carry.
Start Ronald Jones (RB – TB) or Phillip Lindsay (RB – DEN)?
73% of Experts Would Start Lindsay
I’d really hoped we were done with the guessing games of this backfield, but Jones fumbling in the fourth quarter when the team was down four points should have you concerned. Nobody even touched the ball to knock it out. That happened with six-and-a-half minutes left in the game. Jones didn’t have a touch for the remainder of the game. The part that doesn’t make sense for him to get benched is that he’s yet to fumble on the other 148 touches of his NFL career. That concern combined with the brutal matchup in Week 11 is something to worry about. The Saints have allowed just 3.75 yards per carry on the season, and even less than that if you remove the few games they were without defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to start the season. Opponents have averaged just 17.9 carries per game against the Saints, too, which is not nearly enough work for a timeshare. Some may find solace in the fact that Jones had eight targets in the game, but the Saints have not allowed much production through the air either, allowing just 4.48 yards per target. There have been just four running backs who’ve totaled more than 13.0 PPR points against the Saints, and each one totaled at least 19 touches. This is a tough matchup for any running back, let alone one who may be back in somewhat of a timeshare. Jones should be considered a risky RB3 who has a better floor than most think, as he’s scored at least 6.2 PPR points in 8-of-9 games this year, including five games with 10.3 or more points.
Lindsay only has one game over 100 rushing yards this season, but he’s usually good for 10-15 PPR points, so he’s a solid RB2 or FLEX on a weekly basis, and he can’t really be dismissed based on game script.
Start John Brown (WR – BUF) or D.J. Chark (WR – JAC)?
83% of Experts Would Start Brown
He’s the definition of consistency this year, posting in-between 51-83 yards in each of his last eight games. He’s also totaled either four or five receptions in each of the last seven games. He and Josh Allen haven’t connected on a 30-plus yard pass since way back in Week 1, so there’s still room for growth. The matchup with the Dolphins was kind to him back in Week 7 when he posted 6/83/1, which stands as his second-best fantasy game of the season. That was while Xavien Howard was still on the field. After losing him to injured reserve, the Dolphins are trotting out Nik Needham and Ken Crawley as the starting cornerback duo. Needham is the one who’ll see Brown on 50-plus percent of his snaps. He’s an undrafted rookie that was promoted to the field back in Week 6 with the Dolphins injury woes. He hasn’t been bad, either, though the competition has been weak, so it’s tough to take much from it. His 40-time of 4.54 seconds should show up with Brown, as he’s a receiver who can get over the top, despite the lack of deep production this year. Continue to plug Brown in as a solid WR2 who’s yet to hit his full potential.
We don’t know how the move to Foles will be for Chark, which leaves us in a state of limbo. Chark’s role has certainly grown since the four-target one that he had back in Week 1, as he’s averaged 8.3 targets in the eight games since. The Colts are not a team to look for big plays against, but rather one to look for targets. They’ve allowed a 69.4 percent completion-rate to receviers, which has led to them allowing a very-high 9.13 yards per target (7th-highest in NFL). They’ve played against just six receivers who’ve seen at least seven targets, and all of them finished with at least 11.9 PPR points and a top-36 finish. They have been without Pierre Desir since Week 7 due to a hamstring injury, and though he’s supposed to return soon (maybe this game), he may be doing so at less-than-100-percent. The Colts have also been without Quincy Wilson since that time, though he may have lost his job to rookie Rock Ya-Sin during that time. There are a lot of moving parts on the Colts, but the primary thing is that they don’t travel with receivers, so the Jaguars can pick their matchups. The move to Foles is one to monitor, but Chark should be played as a low-end WR2 in this game.
Start Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS) or Tyrell Williams (WR – OAK)?
57% of Experts Would Start Williams
His fate is sealed with Haskins announced as the starter the remainder of the season, but hey, at least we know. The Bills shadowed McLaurin with Tre’Davious White in Week 9, so we shouldn’t have expected much. To see him finish with four catches for 39 yards wasn’t actually that bad. Over the last three weeks, the Jets have allowed six different wide receivers to post 15.7-plus PPR points against them. The list includes: D.J. Chark, Chris Conley, DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate. The good news is that five of them are perimeter-based receivers, which is where McLaurin plays most of his snaps. The cornerback he’d see in Week 11 if all remained status quo from Week 10 would be Arthur Maulet, an undrafted free agent from 2017 who’s seen exactly 20 targets in his coverage over three years in the league. He’s allowed 15 receptions for 200 yards and a touchdown on them. If Darryl Roberts can make it back, it would slightly downgrade the matchup, but McLaurin should still be in lineups as a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 who should be able to get it done despite Haskins’ shortcomings.
It’s been an odd year for Williams who has yet to tally more than seven targets in a game and has totaled less than 50 yards in five of the last six games. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to Week 2 to find the last time Williams totaled more than three receptions. That’s not great for someone who was supposed to offer WR3-type numbers. The Bengals are a plus-matchup, though his matchup is the toughest on the team. He plays at LWR about 55 percent of the time, which is where William Jackson lines up. He’s easily the best cornerback on the Bengals roster, as he’s allowed just 55 percent of passes that come his way be completed (though they’ve netted 14.8 yards per catch) with just one touchdown on 29 targets. Williams won’t be in his coverage all the time, so it’s not as if we have to cross him off or anything. After all, the Bengals have allowed a league-high 10.18 yards per target to wide receivers. The issue is that 140 targets, or 15.6 per game that wide receivers see against them. That’s the only reason they’ve allowed the 11th-fewest points to wide receivers. Knowing Williams doesn’t see elite targets, it’s a bit frustrating to rely on him as anything more than a WR3, even in a good matchup.
Start Eric Ebron (TE – IND) or O.J. Howard (TE – TB)?
86% of Experts Would Start Ebron
In the first game without both T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, and Deon Cain, the Colts heavily utilized their tight ends, targeting them a massive 17 times against the Dolphins. Ebron led the charge with a season-high 12 targets, so he’s obviously the one who benefits most from their absence. Ebron also ran a season-high 33 routes, so the targets shouldn’t be a fluke. While he’s unlikely to see 12 targets again, he’s clearly a must-play with volume like that. The Jaguars have allowed a mediocre 7.71 yards per target to tight ends this year, but they’re allowing a touchdown to them every 10.2 targets, which is the fourth-most often in the league. Ebron himself has scored a touchdown every 9.6 targets since he put on a Colts jersey, so it aligns very well. He should be played as a sturdy TE1 as long as Hilton and Campbell are out.
Week 10 was the first time we saw Howard since the trade deadline when the Bucs turned down offers for the young tight end. Is it a coincidence that he saw a season-high seven targets in that game? Maybe, but maybe not. What we do know is that it’s a step in the right direction. He ran 41 routes while Cameron Brate ran just six routes. The Saints haven’t been a great matchup for tight ends over the last couple years, but they’ve slipped a bit this year while allowing a 75 percent completion-rate to the position, which is the second-highest mark in the league. That’s led to them allowing a sky-high 8.75 yards per target, though the 5.3 targets per game they’ve seen has limited the overall production. It’s possible those targets are so low due to the fact that they defend the position very well. Knowing we have just a one-game sample size with Howard, you don’t have to rely on him this week, but it’s a tough week for streamers, which leaves him in the high-end TE2 conversation. It’s rare to find a tight end with ‘one play’ upside but he’s one of them.