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Week 11 Heat Index: Cam Newton, Darnell Mooney, Zach Ertz (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Scott Youngson | @fantasymutant | Featured Writer
Nov 23, 2021
Zach Ertz

Some of the NFL’s brightest stars came to play in Week 11. Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND), Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC), Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN), and Justin Herbert (QB – LAC), to name a few, had amazing fantasy weeks. The stars, however, weren’t the only players who stood out. We’ll dig into the players whose performances this past week interest us the most and analyze their prospects moving forward on a scale of 🔥-to-🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 along with their stats (half-point PPR scoring) and positional rank for the week.

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Cam Newton (QB – CAR)

Stat-line:  21-27 passing for 189 yards and 2 TDs; 46 yards rushing and a TD

QB Rank:  4

Analysis:  It was like old times in Carolina with Cam Newton back under center and contributing substantial fantasy numbers. As has always been the case with Newton, his floor is high due to his rushing production. So if you’re in a 2 QB or SuperFlex league or need a fill-in for a bye week or injury, he’s a viable option. In addition, the Panthers’ schedule is QB-friendly the rest of the season except for Week 15 against the Bills.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Tyrod Taylor (QB – HOU)

Stat-line:  14-24 passing for 107 yards; 28 yards rushing and 2 TDs

QB Rank:  11

Analysis:  Like Newton, Taylor brings a solid floor to the fantasy game due to his rushing ability. Though his yardage totals weren’t high Sunday (in terrible conditions), he punched in a couple of TDs on the ground. Taylor is averaging 17.3 fantasy points in his starts this season (including the injured-shortened Week 2). As such, he’s in the QB2 mix as 2021 progresses. Also, similar to Cam, his schedule is pretty good the rest of the way with no matchups that scare you.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Wide Receivers

Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI)

Stat-line:  5 catches on sixteen targets for 121 yards and a TD

WR Rank:  4

Analysis:  Mooney has quietly emerged at the top WR option on the Bears this season, surpassing Allen Robinson II (WR – CHI). He’s commanded 25.5% of the team’s targets and is averaging a solid 10.4 points per game year-to-date. His production has been inconsistent, but he’s been reliable enough to warrant consideration as a WR3 or Flex-play moving forward. Sunday, with Robinson sidelined, he was targeted an extraordinary sixteen times. Though he only connected on 5 of them, one was a screen pass that he turned into a 60-yard TD. His big-play potential means he can explode at any time, even on an offense as challenged as the Bears.

Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB)

Stat-line:  4 catches on ten targets for 123 yards and a TD

WR Rank:  5

Analysis:  Valdes-Scantling got a bit more run than usual on Sunday with Allen Lazard (WR – GB) sidelined with a shoulder injury and made the most of it. He put together his best fantasy outing of the season, highlighted by a 75-yard strike which tied the game late in the 4th quarter. It doesn’t sound like Lazard’s injury is a long-term one, though, and Randall Cobb (WR – GB) still sees a fair number of snaps. As a result, it will remain hard to trust Valdes-Scantling in your lineup.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)

Stat-line:  7 catches on seven targets for 85 yards and a TD

WR Rank:  11

Analysis:  There were high hopes for Aiyuk coming into the season, but he has been a fantasy disappointment for the most part – until recently. Over the past four games, he’s been targeted 26 times and appears to be turning things around. Leading the Niners’ wideouts in snaps, he put together his best game of the season on Sunday. Aiyuk may not be the guy we hoped for when we drafted him, but he’s looking more and more like a usable fantasy option for a San Francisco team that has a WR-friendly schedule the rest of the way.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥

Running Backs

Devonta Freeman (RB – BAL)

Stat-line:  49 yards rushing on sixteen attempts and a TD; 6 catches on six targets for 31 yards

RB Rank:  10

Analysis:  Quietly, Freeman has emerged as the Ravens’ back to have on your roster. Since Week 6, he’s been reasonably productive, and Sunday, he put together his best game of the year. There was some concern Latavius Murray (RB – BAL) would cut into his snaps and touches upon his return from injury this week, but that didn’t happen. It’s still not ideal to have Freeman in your lineup, but as shallow as the running back position has been this season, he’s worthy of being rostered.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Tight Ends

Zach Ertz (TE – ARI)

Stat-line:  8 catches on nine targets for 88 yards and 2 TDs

TE Rank:  1

Analysis:  Sunday versus Seattle, with Colt McCoy (QB – ARI) at quarterback, Ertz put together his best fantasy day since 2019. It wasn’t a total anomaly, though, as he’s been one of the more productive tight ends in the league since he joined the Cardinals last month. He’s not available in most leagues currently, but he may be dropped in some places with Arizona on a bye this week. So if you need a TE and he becomes available, scoop him up!

Heat Index:  🔥🔥🔥🔥

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