There are plenty of injury pitfalls to avoid, so be sure to check the latest injury reports at your favorite fantasy sites or on Twitter before putting the final touches on your roster. Particularly hard hit were the quarterbacks in Week 10, as Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith and Michael Vick all suffered injuries last week. The severity for each of the signal callers varies, but neither is a certainty to play this weekend.
Good luck in Week 11!
Quarterback – surprise start of the week
Cam Newton, Carolina (vs. TB): Newton had a great, record-setting rookie season, but he has looked anything like a fantasy must-start this season. He has just two 300-yard passing performances, but one of those came against the Buccaneers way back in Week 1. The Bucs ranked dead-last against the pass, and Newton should be able to exploit their defense, perhaps for a season-high in passing yardage. He has managed just four passing TDs over his past five games, and he has just one rushing score during that span. Look for at least 300 yards, one passing score and about 40 rushing yards with a touchdown Sunday.
Other surprise plays: *Nick Foles/Michael Vick, Philadelphia (at WAS), Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (at NE), Carson Palmer, Oakland (vs. NO)
NOTE – * Foles is expected to make his first NFL start, as Vick is battling concussion. The Redskins rank 30th in the NFL in passing yardage allowed (301.7) per game.
Quarterback – sit of the week
Joe Flacco, Baltimore (at PIT): Flacco has managed at least one passing score in six straight games against the Steelers, but he has averaged just 226 passing yards against the AFC North Division rivals in eight career meetings, completing 17 or fewer passes in five of those starts. The good news is that Flacco hasn’t thrown an INT in his past three starts against Pittsburgh, he hasn’t done much else either. The Steelers rank first in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 171.1 yards per game through the air, so go another way if you normally depend on Baltimore’s signal caller.
Other QBs to sit: Sam Bradford, St. Louis (vs. NYJ), Matt Ryan, Atlanta (vs. ARI), Brandon Weeden, Cleveland (at DAL)
Running back – surprise start of the week
Steven Jackson, St. Louis (vs. NYJ): SJ39 posted his first 100-yard game of the season in San Francisco, looking very fresh as he carried the mail. He has managed two scores over his past three games, and might still have a chance at his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season. He’ll square off against a Jets rushing defense which ranks 30th in the NFL, allowing 145.0 yards per game on the ground. The Jets have also been gouged for 10 rushing touchdowns in nine games, and they have given up three rushing plays of 40 or more yards. Look for Jackson to approach 100-120 total yards from scrimmage with at least one more score.
Other surprise plays: Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh (vs. BAL), BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati (at KC), Stevan Ridley, New England (vs. IND)
Running back – sit of the week
Frank Gore, San Francisco (vs. CHI – Mon.): Gore is likely to struggle against a Bears rushing defense which ranks fourth in the NFL, allowing just 92.3 yards per game on the ground. Chicago has given up just two rushing TDs this season, too. Gore might be forced to face eight in the box if QB Alex Smith (concussion) cannot go, forcing QB Colin Kaepernick into his first NFL start. At least if Smith can go, Gore has a fighting chance. Either way, it’s a very unfavorable matchup.
Other RBs to sit: Matt Forte, Chicago (at SF – Mon.), LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia (at WAS), Willis McGahee, Denver (vs. SD)
Wide receiver – surprise start of the week
Denarius Moore, Oakland (vs. NO): Moore has managed just one 100-yard game this season, a Week 6 loss at Atlanta. However, he has found the end zone in four of the past five games, and he looks for his first multi-score game of the season Sunday. He might get it. The Saints are terrible against the pas, allowing 307.3 yards per game through the air, and 19 total passing scores in nine games. Moore and fellow WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), assuming the hamstring he tweaked in practice Wednesday isn’t too serious, are both solid WR2/3 or ‘flex’ plays in all formats.
Other surprise plays: Miles Austin, Dallas (vs. CLE), Lance Moore, New Orleans (at OAK), Steve Smith, Carolina (vs. TB)
Wide receiver- sit of the week
Julio Jones, Atlanta (vs. ARI): Jones has been battling an ankle injury which forced him to miss practice Wednesday and Thursday. It appears that he might be a game-time decision this weekend, which is something that makes fantasy owners pull out their hair. Even if he can play, the Cardinals rank second in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 194.6 yards per game through the air. That’s because everyone runs on the Cards. Look for Atlanta to have a similar offensive plan, especially if Jones is not 100 percent or inactive.
Other WRs to sit: A.J. Green, Cincinnati (at KC), Jordy Nelson, Green Bay (at DET), Brandon Marshall, Chicago (at SF – Mon.)
Tight end – surprise start of the week: Brandon Myers, Oakland (vs. NO)
Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Brent Celek, Philadelphia (vs. WAS), Greg Olsen, Carolina (vs. TB)
Sit of the week: Jermichael Finley, Green Bay (at DET)
Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Vernon Davis, San Francisco (vs. CHI – Mon.), Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets (at STL)
Kicker – surprise start of the week: Justin Medlock, Carolina (vs. TB)
Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Alex Henery, Philadelphia (at WAS)
Sit of the week: Robbie Gould, Chicago (at SF – Mon.)
Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Phil Dawson, Cleveland (at DAL)
Defense/special teams – surprise start of the week: Bengals DST (at KC)
Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Falcons DST (vs. ARI), Redskins DST (vs. PHI)
DST sit of the week: Colts DST (at NE)
Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Chargers DST (at DEN), Eagles DST (at WAS)