Throughout the season, Jake Ciely (*@allinkid*) will give you the expert take on New Orleans Saints players from fantasy perspectives, while letting you know which performers will help you take home a championship. The Saints have a bye this week, so we will focus on year to date information and replacements for your fantasy teams.
It's going to be a bit difficult replacing the fantasy production of your Saints players this week, but don't worry, we're here to solve the issues. There are actually quite a few overlooked options that can help you survive Week 11.
Drew Brees is the sixth best fantasy quarterback with 2,972 yards and 20 touchdowns through 10 weeks. Those are great numbers and hard to replicate. The good news? There are a few available options available to step in. First, we have a quarterback available in 40 percent of NFL.com leagues who also has a great matchup in Week 11: Derek Carr of the Raiders. He's the ninth best quarterback so far and faces a Lions team that can't stop the pass. Digging a bit deeper, Marcus Mariota (Titans) is available in over 60 percent of leagues and gets a favorable Thursday night game against the Jaguars. Mark Sanchez steps in for the Eagles, and as a starter last year, Sanchez was the eighth best fantasy quarterback (Weeks 10-17). Don't be surprised to see Sanchez in the QB1 discussion again. On the other hand, don't make the mistake of picking up Kirk Cousins after his Week 10 performance. His Redskins head to Carolina and face one of the toughest pass defenses in the league.
As with Brees, you're not going to find a perfect replacement for Mark Ingram, as he's the third best fantasy running back to date, averaging 12.78 FPPG (NFL.com). It's been even more difficult than usual to find a consistent RB1 this year. Matt Jones (Redskins) had a huge day this past week and is still only 15 percent owned. While Alfred Morris sees more snaps, Jones is the more explosive player and better value. Don't worry about the Panthers matchup, as they aren't very strong against the run. You only need to be concerned about their pass defense. James White of the Patriots is under 10 percent owned and takes over the Dion Lewis role. He didn't see much work against the Giants, but they didn't need him to and the Bills defense is only mediocre against running backs. James Starks is clearly the lead back in Green Bay now and is still under 60 percent owned. While you can stash Shaun Draughn in case he leads the 49ers backfield again, don't start him against the dominant Seahawks run defense.
Brandin Cooks has been terrific of late, and it's hard to match what he's done. Willie Snead has been a great find as a WR3, so replacing his production is a bit tough too. Fortunately, there are two big options at receiver this week. While they may seem obvious, we'll cover them just to be sure. They are Kamar Aiken (Ravens) and Danny Amendola (Patriots). Of course, Amendola will grab all of the attention, but don't expect WR1 numbers. However, he is a must-add and must-own in all leagues. Amendola has more value in PPR leagues, but you will have at least a WR3 on your hands in standard formats too. For those without the top waiver spot or much budget left, Aiken is a great consolation prize, and I actually prefer his consistency in PPR leagues. Aiken will see double-digit targets every week, while Amendola always runs the risk of being left out of the Patriots mix. If you miss on those two, Michael Floyd has been coming on strong of late for the Cardinals. He's available in over 70 percent of NFL.com leagues. Rishard Matthews continues to put up nice numbers for the Dolphins and has a good matchup with the Cowboys in Week 11. Tavon Austin (Rams) hasn't been consistent, but his big games have won owners some weeks and a matchup with the Ravens points to this being one of those instances. Marquess Wilson (Bears) and Chris Givens (Ravens) are nice deeper league options but not for this week. The Broncos and Rams, respectively, have dominated opposing receivers.
Somehow, Jordan Reed (Redskins) is still just 37 percent owned. You have to make sure he's owned in your league, as he's is a definitive TE1. Jacob Tamme (Falcons) is under 10 percent owned and has a great matchup against the Colts. The same goes for Eric Ebron of the Lions. He's just over 10 percent owned and faces a Raiders team allowing the most touchdowns to tight ends. Ladarius Green would have value most weeks even while playing with Antonio Gates (both Chargers), but the Chiefs are stingy to tight ends, so find another solution. One last option could be the Raiders' Clive Walford, who has scored in three of the last four games and faces the Lions.
If you're searching for DST options, it's going to be tough with many of the more favorable matchups including high-end defenses that are widely owned. For ones that might be on your wire, we can start on "Thursday Night Football," as the Titans allow the most FPPG to DSTs, and the Jaguars unit has been better of late. The Texans looked strong against the Bengals and now host the Jets, a team always at risk for turnovers. The Cowboys get Tony Romo back, so avoid the Dolphins, but the Raiders had a few good games early on, and the Lions give up plenty of sacks. The Bears are your high upside/risk play of the week with Brock Osweiler at quarterback for the Broncos.
It won't be easy to replace your Saints fantasy players, but there are plenty of options out there that can help get you through the bye.
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