The Saints and your Fantasy Football team head into the home stretch in Week 11, and Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of *RotoExperts.com *is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com. Get ready for the playoff run, as Jake gives you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives.
The Saints will aim to get back to their winning ways in an important divisional matchup with the Panthers in Week 11. Don't forget that this is a Thursday night game, so have your lineups ready, as we get to watch the Saints and Panthers square off in prime time at 7:25 p.m. on NBC.
Drew Brees added to his total of games with 300-plus passing yards and simply added three touchdowns against the vaunted Broncos pass defense. He now has 2,991 yards and 24 touchdowns. Earlier this year, Brees had 465 yards and four touchdowns in the first matchup with the Panthers. Brees is a Top 3 quarterback in Week 11 and is a mainstay in your lineup.
Brandin Cooks led the receiving game with 98 yards and added a touchdown. He now has double-digit points in four of his last five games on NFL.com. Willie Snead scored twice on his way to a Top 10 performance in Week 10. Michael Thomas chipped in 40 yards as well. Cooks had 173 yards and a touchdown, Thomas 78 yards and a touchdown and Snead 47 yards last time against the Panthers. All three receivers need to be in your Week 11 lineups given the potential for the passing game to near the numbers from the first go-round. In the last Panthers-Saints game, Coby Fleener found the end zone and has a good opportunity to do so again, as the Panthers are in the Top 5 for fantasy points allowed to tight ends, which includes six touchdowns.
Mark Ingram led the backfield against the Broncos with 63 total yards and had 60 against the Panthers in Week 6. He's a high-end RB2 with RB1 potential this week, and Tim Hightower can have flex value with four more teams on a bye. Ingram is RB14 on the year on NFL.com and has at least 50 rushing yards in all but two games with 82 or more total yards in five. Even with sharing more against the Broncos, Hightower totaled 55 yards and has 259 in the last three games.
Blake Bortles has picked up the pace of late with seven touchdowns in the last three games. He's passed for a touchdown in every game this year with a low score of 12 points and four games of 20-plus points. With a matchup against the Lions, this week points to one of the 20-point outings. Ben Roethlisberger has better numbers at home, but you have to use him if you own him this week as the Steelers head to Cleveland. The Colts come out of their bye to host the Titans. Not only do the Colts allow the fourth most FPPG to quarterbacks with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions, Marcus Mariota has been on fire with 16-plus points in every game since Week 5 with four games of 27 of more. Meanwhile, the Vikings defense isn't as dominant as it was to start the season, but it's still one of the toughest against the pass, which makes Carson Palmer riskier than most weeks, especially with his receiver situation.
The 49ers have not only given up the most rushing yards by a large margin (1,429 to 1,291 for the Browns), they have also allowed a league-high 13 rushing touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount deserves to be treated as a RB1 at this point, but with this matchup, Dion Lewis has a high ceiling, making the risk of using him in his first game back less than normal. The Steelers struggle to stop the run, and that was already before Ezekiel Elliott's big day. Isaiah Crowell needs to be in lineups as a RB2 with this matchup, and Duke Johnson has deeper league value, more in PPR leagues. Spencer Ware is rounding back into form after some missed time. Look for him to return to his RB1 days with a home matchup against the Buccaneers. It's tough making sense of the Vikings backfield, and you often hope Matt Asiata can find the end zone. This will be a difficult week for both Asiata and Jerick McKinnon, as the Cardinals are the third most difficult matchup for running backs.
Back to the Browns matchup, Eli Rogers has been playing well since his return and has earned the title of Roethlisberger's No. 2 receiver. He is a strong play in this game. If Jeremy Maclin plays Week 11, he needs to be in most lineups given the matchup with the Buccaneers secondary, which is allowing 27.0 FPPG to receivers. If Maclin is out, Tyreek Hill becomes another quality fill-in for owners. Speaking of returning, the same goes for DeSean Jackson if he plays this week. The Redskins host the Packers, and they have allowed the second most receiver touchdowns on the year. Jamison Crowder is a must-start at this point, and Pierre Garcon would garner value in deeper leagues if Jackson isn't ready. Kenny Britt continues to be overlooked and is actually WR21 on the year on NFL.com. He needs to be in all lineups with the Dolphins matchup, and Brian Quick is a strong play with his potential to find the end zone in this game. While the Steelers run defense is one of the weakest, their pass defense is one of the best, allowing a league low (tied with the Broncos and Texans) five receiver touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor is hard not to use, but he carries risk this week and Corey Coleman is an extremely dicey play.
No one gives up more FPPG to tight ends than the Lions, and Julius Thomas is up next. Thomas is coming off an 8.4-point game thanks to a touchdown against the Texans and has a great shot to repeat. The Browns are just behind the Lions in points allowed (12.3 to the Lions 12.7) with more yards allowed than the Lions. That makes Ladarius Green a nice streaming opportunity in his second game back. As mentioned with the Redskins, they have a favorable matchup, and Jackson's status is up in the air. If he misses Week 11, in addition to Garcon having more value, Vernon Davis can have deep-league value even with Jordan Reed on the field. Last week it was Davis and not Reed with the larger output.
The Dolphins may give up Fantasy points to receivers, but they can still get after the quarterback and create some turnovers, which makes them an interesting DST streaming option. The Steelers are another solid DST pickup in the matchup with the Browns. With the loss of more offensive lineman for the Packers, the Redskins defense can generate sacks with the potential for an interception or two. Just know that the Redskins DST is a high risk/reward play. Matt Prater has at least six points in every game with two double-digit performances, and the Jaguars allow more FPPG to kickers than any other team. Ryan Succop has 38 points in the Titans' last four games, and with Mariota and the offense clicking and the Colts allowing the fourth most points to kickers, Succop is a nice pickup for Week 11.
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