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Quick Grades Week 11 (Fantasy Football Start or Sit Advice)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Nov 20, 2020

Welcome back, and thanks for joining me as we go through this week’s quick grades!

We were treated to a rare Thursday night game that featured half a dozen studs, so consummate ‘A’ graders like Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, DeAndre Hopkins, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett aren’t included here. Instead, we’ll be looking to Sunday and Monday for our highest-graded options for the remaining games.

Once the season begins, the most difficult part of any fantasy manager’s week is start or sit decisions. These lineup choices can make or break a week, but unfortunately, not everyone has time to sit down and read lengthy fantasy advice articles. That’s where Quick Grades comes in. Each week of the football season, I’ll be providing a condensed and easily digestible chart of grades for over 250 fantasy-relevant players based on the following four criteria:

Fantasy Ability
Despite a tough matchup, Derrick Henry broke through on a long run last week

Expected Volume
Travis Kelce is always heavily targeted as one of Kansas City’s top pass-catching options

Matchup
Tyreek Hill got loose for 200 yards against Cincinnati’s porous secondary

Surrounding Talent
Sam Darnold has one of the weakest receiving corps in the league

Each of those criteria will be graded on a scale of 1-25, with the cumulative total resulting in a final grade (A+ to F) and a recommendation based on that grade. The criteria are weighted differently based on position, so it’s not a direct 1-for-1 conversion. Surrounding talent refers to offensive line for RB, quarterback play for WR and TE, and skill-position talent for QB.

The players are sorted by grade in descending order with the highest grades at the top and the lowest at the bottom. The highest-graded players receive A+ (Must start), and the lowest receive F. However, there are varying degrees of the F grade, and some players with this grade are flex plays, desperation plays, Hail Mary plays, or should remain on your bench, depending on the grade and position.

I’ll also include D/ST grades, and just like the skill-position players, there will be four criteria used for grading on a scale from 1-25, and final grades will be from 1-100. The four criteria for a D/ST grade are: Matchup, Turnovers, Sacks, and Points Allowed.

The charts are screenshots of a spreadsheet, but the link to the original can be found below. Because players are not searchable within the sheets in this article, they’ve been added to the bottom of the page so that they can be searched and referenced quickly. In addition to the player grades, I’ll provide:

  • Start of the Week: A player outside of the elite, weekly must-starts who could have a big week
  • Stream of the Week: The best player who will likely be available on your waiver wire
  • Deep-League Stream of the Week: The best player who is less than 5% rostered in Yahoo leagues
  • Fade of the Week: A notable player who could be in for a let-down performance
  • Tough Calls: Two similarly valued players who may give fantasy managers difficult decisions

Link to Full Quick Grades Document

It’s easy to see that an ‘A+’ or ‘A’ grade makes a player a must-start, but it might not make sense at first glance why some players are rated ‘C’ or worse and still have ‘Start,’ ‘Strong Start,’ or ‘Flex’ attached to their names. Because of all the different variables that go into a player’s performance in any given week, only those players with the absolute highest potential, best matchup, and strongest talent get ‘A+’ or ‘A’ grades. Therefore, even solid plays will earn grades that may appear sub-optimal on the surface, but it’s all relative from position-to-position. The hard cutoff is 50 for every position, as grades lower than this will earn a ‘Desperation’ or ‘Hail Mary’ tag in every situation.

Now that I’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the grades. Best of luck in all your matchups this week, and if you have any questions, please hit me up on Twitter @ZaktheMonster.

Note: As always, remember to check back on FantasyPros ahead of kickoff to get the latest injury news. I’ll provide “what-if” grades in the event that an injured player doesn’t suit up, but otherwise, these grades assume full health at the time the article is published on Friday morning. 

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Running Backs

For the third time in four weeks, Dalvin Cook comes in atop our quick grades. He’s followed by the usual suspects, with Josh Jacobs likely to receive a lofty workload against Kansas City, Alvin Kamara set to catch plenty of passes against Atlanta, and Derrick Henry ready to roll Baltimore like he did in last year’s playoffs.

There is no recommended deep-league stream of the week here, as the running backs who are less than 5% rostered do not have grades higher than ‘F Desperation.’

Start of the Week: Kalen Ballage

Stream of the Week: Gus Edwards

Fade of the Week: Le’Veon Bell

Tough Calls: Despite a brutal matchup with the Colts, Aaron Jones comes in just a tenth of a point ahead of Nick Chubb. Jones’ involvement in the receiving game gives him a slightly higher floor, and he doesn’t have a teammate the likes of Kareem Hunt to contend with out of the backfield.

* With D’Andre Swift ruled out, Adrian Peterson becomes a ‘D+ Flex,’ and Kerryon Johnson becomes a ‘D Desperation’

Wide Receivers

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Nuk, Metcalf, and Lockett have already played this week. So they won’t appear among our top-graded options for Sunday and Monday. With Calvin Ridley set to return this week, both he and Julio Jones are top-5 graded options. Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill are the two top receivers, while Michael Thomas may be ready to get back to his old form in a huge blowup spot with Atlanta.

Start of the Week: Marquise Brown

Stream of the Week: Jalen Reagor

Deep-League Stream of the Week: “Silly” Willie Snead 3% rostered

Fade of the Week: Jarvis Landry

Tough Calls: Hollywood Brown has been unstartable across his last two games, but to be fair, those showings came against the Colts and Patriots – not easy matchups by any stretch of the imagination. This week, Brown is in a huge bounce-back spot against Tennessee’s barely-there secondary. Brown is actually tied with Robert Woods in their respective grades in Week 11, as Woods faces a tough TB defense. I’m going back to the well with Brown here in a prime matchup.

* With Kenny Golladay out, Marvin Jones becomes a ‘D+ Start’

Quarterbacks 

With two of the three highest-graded quarterbacks, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson having already dueled it out last night, we’ve come to this. Big Ben and Justin Herbert fall in behind Patrick Mahomes, with Matt Ryan sliding into the top-10 a great matchup.

There is no recommended deep-league stream of the week here, as the quarterbacks who are less than 5% rostered do not have grades higher than ‘F Desperation.’

Start & Stream of the Week: Taysom Hill

Deep-League Stream of the Week: Joe Flacco 2% rostered 

Fade of the Week: Tom Brady

Tight Ends

The tight end landscape is an abject mess this season, so Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson, Gronk, and Mark Andrews (or some arrangement of this group) will be the most likely group to remain among the top-5 each and every week. There are no surprises in Week 11.

There is no recommended deep-league stream of the week here, as the tight ends who are less than 5% rostered do not have grades higher than ‘F Desperation.’

Start of the Week: Logan Thomas

Stream of the Week: Dalton Schultz

Fade of the Week: Robert Tonyan

Tough Calls: T.J. Hockenson and Rob Gronkowski face similarly-difficult matchups in Week 11, though given Hockenson’s edge in the scoring department, he comes in with a slightly better grade.

* If Taysom Hill is TE eligible in your league, he is the highest-graded option of the week and an ‘A+ Must Start’ 

 

D/ST

Miami’s D/ST has been rock solid all season, contributing to the team’s surprising 6-3 start. A matchup with Denver’s turnover-prone offense propels the ‘Fins to the highest grade of Week 11. Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay’s appearances shouldn’t be too surprising here, while Minnesota makes its way into the top-5 thanks to an excellent matchup with Dallas’ hapless offense.

Start of the Week: Los Angeles Chargers

Stream of the Week: Washington Football Team

Fade of the Week: Indianapolis Colts

Player Search, Find

Running Back

Wide Receiver

Quarterback

Tight End

D/ST

  • Miami Dolphins B+ Must Start
  • Pittsburgh Steelers B Must Start
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers B Must Start
  • Minnesota Vikings C+ Must Start
  • Washington Football Team C+ Must Start
  • Los Angeles Chargers C+ Must Start
  • Cleveland Browns C+ Start
  • Los Angeles Rams C Start
  • Philadelphia Eagles C Start
  • Cincinnati Bengals D+ Start
  • New England Patriots D Start
  • Houston Texans D Start
  • Carolina Panthers D Start
  • Kansas City Chiefs D Start
  • Tennessee Titans F Desperation
  • Baltimore Ravens F Desperation
  • Green Bay Packers F Desperation
  • Dallas Cowboys F Desperation
  • Denver Broncos F Desperation
  • New York Jets F Desperation
  • New Orleans Saints F Bench
  • Indianapolis Colts F Bench
  • Detroit Lions F Bench
  • Atlanta Falcons F Bench
  • Jacksonville Jaguars F Bench
  • Las Vegas Raiders F Bench

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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