Fantasy Friday: Week 11

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Here’s this week’s look at good and bad fantasy matchups.

Note: I try to pick less obvious players. I’m not going to tell you to play Peyton Manning or LaDainian Tomlinson or Randy Moss. No kiddin’, Sherlock.

Warning: I’m not immune to accidentally suggesting a player that might be injured and out for the week — or even the season. As much as I follow the game, mistakes can happen. If it does happen, just give me a polite jab and I’ll correct myself.

Thumbs Up

The following players should have favorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are greater due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.


Tyler Thigpen, KC vs. New Orleans
I never thought I’d be suggesting playing this guy, but Thigpen has averaged 236 yards and 2 touchdowns the last three weeks while throwing zero interceptions. He faces a bad Saints pass defense this week.

Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. Chicago
The Bears can’t seem to stop anybody through the air, so Rodgers should have a favorable matchup this week.

Other favorable matchups: Jake Delhomme vs. Detroit, Matt Ryan vs. Denver, Marc Bulger vs. San Francisco.

Running Backs

Saints RBs, NO vs. Kansas City
Pay attention to the injury report. Reggie Bush didn’t practice Thursday and may be a game time decision. Nevertheless, whoever carries the ball for the Saints has a great matchup this week.

DeAngelo Williams, Car vs. Detroit
The Lions are giving up 161 yards per game on the ground, second-worst in the NFL.

Other favorable matchups: Ronnie Brown vs. Oakland, Matt Forte vs. Green Bay, Michael Turner vs. Denver.

Wide Receivers

Hines Ward, Pit vs. San Diego
San Diego has been last in pass defense for quite some time this year so the Steelers WRs should have a good game.

Greg Jennings, GB vs. Chicago
Jennings has had low stats the past few weeks, but his matchup against the bad Bears pass defense is good this week.

Other favorable matchups: Cardinals WRs vs. Seattle, Panthers WRs vs. Detroit, Roddy White vs. Denver.

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis, SF vs. St. Louis
Good matchup this week for Davis as offensive coordinator Mike Martz faces his old team.

Tony Scheffler, Den vs. Atlanta
Scheffler could have good success against a shaky Falcons pass defense.

Other favorable matchups: Donald Lee vs. Chicago, Tony Gonzalez vs. New Orleans, Billy Miller vs. Kansas City.


David Akers, Phi vs. Cincinnati
Akers is tied for third in the league in field goals made and the Bengals can be scored on.

Jason Elam, Atl vs. Denver
In what could feature a lot of points, Elam has a chance to be a hero against his former team.

Other favorable matchups: Joe Nedney vs. St. Louis, John Kasay vs. Detroit, Rian Lindell vs. Cleveland.


Miami Dolphins, Mia vs. Oakland
The Raiders’ offense is worst in the league. Now’s the time to play Miami’s defense if you’ve got them.

Philadelphia Eagles, Phi vs. Cincinnati
The Eagles play an attacking style of defense and the Bengals don’t put up very many points. This could be a big week for them.

Other favorable matchups: Panthers vs. Detroit, Bills vs. Cleveland, Colts vs. Houston.

Thumbs Down

The following players should have unfavorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are worse due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.


Philip Rivers, SD vs. Pittsburgh
It’s not easy to bench Rivers with how well he’s played this year, but if you have another quarterback, now’s the time to play him.

Bears QB, Chi vs. Green Bay
Fantasy geeks who have Kyle Orton are eager to insert him back into the lineup if he plays this week, but whichever Bears quarterback starts, it’s not worth it against the 3rd best pass defense.

Other unfavorable matchups: Sage Rosenfels vs. Indianapolis, Tony Romo vs. Washington, Jason Campbell vs. Dallas.

Running Backs

Brandon Jacobs, NYG vs. Baltimore
Jacobs should have moderate success against the Ravens because he’s tough to bring down, but he faces a stiff challenge this week.

Ryan Grant, GB vs. Chicago
The Bears held Tennessee’s powerful rushing attack to just 20 yards. Unless they seriously alter their approach to try to defend the pass this week, things don’t look good for Grant.

Other unfavorable matchups: Buccaneers RBs vs. Minnesota, Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Tennessee, Willis McGahee vs. NY Giants.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson, Det vs. Carolina
Being that Johnson is the only weapon the Lions have, he could still get his touches, but he faces a tough Panthers pass defense.

Bernard Berrian, Min vs. Tampa Bay
Berrian’s prospects for a big game look bleak against a stout Bucs defense.

Other unfavorable matchups: Vincent Jackson vs. Pittsburgh, Bengals WRs vs. Philadelphia, Kevin Walter vs. Indianapolis.

Tight Ends

Owen Daniels, Hou vs. Indianapolis
Tough matchup this week for Houston’s passing attack.

Kevin Boss, NYG vs. Baltimore
Boss had a huge game last week but his numbers should take a dip this week against a solid Ravens defense.

Other unfavorable matchups: Greg Olsen vs. Green Bay, Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Tampa Bay, Marcedes Lewis vs. Tennessee.


Josh Scobee, Jac vs. Tennessee
Points are hard to come by when you face the Titans.

Nick Folk, Dal vs. Washington
For as many points as the Cowboys have scored — 11th-most in the league — Folk is 29th in field goals made with just 9.

Other unfavorable matchups: Robbie Gould vs. Green Bay, Matt Stover vs. NY Giants, Nate Kaeding vs. Pittsburgh.


Chicago Bears, Chi vs. Green Bay
The Packers could put up a lot of points this week if the Bears continue their poor pass defense.

Atlanta Falcons, Atl vs. Denver
There could be a lot of points put up in this game as Denver has one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league.

Other unfavorable matchups: Vikings vs. Tampa Bay, Broncos vs. Atlanta, Seahawks vs. Arizona.

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