Week 11 is a breath of fresh air when it comes to bye weeks. Last week had Oakland, Kansas City, and Philly on their break, three fantasy-rich teams that had people scavenging the waiver wire for any sort of last-second help. This week however, we only have Carolina, Indianapolis, San Francisco and the New York Jets to deal with. And let’s face it: if you’re relying on players from these teams in the first place, maybe fantasy just isn’t your thing.
*Statistics provided are using 0.5 PPR settings.
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville (WR): Lee has really started to come around and become a true receiving threat for a team that has desperately needed one since Allen Robinson tore his ACL. Even if you’re not thrilled about the prospect of having Blake Bortles throwing to one of your fantasy receivers, it’s really this simple: Lee is playing the Browns. With Lee putting up at least four catches and 72 yards in each of his last three games combined with the train-wreck that is the Cleveland Browns, who seemingly haven’t won a game since Reagan was in office, Lee will be a fine option for the week.
Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia (RB): Last time I wrote one of these, I advised the reader to sit Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi against Oakland because of the Dolphins’ quarterback instability and Ajayi’s inability to get into the end zone. Well, a lot has changed since then. Ajayi was traded to the league’s best team in Philly and scored his first touchdown on a 46-yard run with daylight he hadn’t seen all year in Miami. Ajayi had just eight carries in his first game as an Eagle and still managed to have his best scoring output of the season. It’s fair to say that the Eagles’ offensive line will elevate Ajayi to play akin to last year and as his volume increases, so will his fantasy points. With the extra week to learn the playbook, expect to see Ajayi get a much larger workload in an important Sunday night game against his new rival Dallas.
Kirk Cousins, Washington (QB): After a very good start to the year, Kirk Cousins has struggled mightily recently against very good defenses. This week’s match-up doesn’t get any easier for Cousins as it will be against a Saints defense that is having its greatest season since their defensive coordinator literally paid players to injure the other team. Saints’ Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore has been one of the best cornerbacks in all of football this year and with none of the Washington’s receivers proving to be effective this year, there is no reason to assume this will be a good game for anyone on the team, let alone the quarterback. After an 0-2 start, the Saints have been running through teams with ease and the Washington’s offense should not prove to be a challenge for Lattimore and the Saints. If you have a decent option on your bench, don’t be afraid to use him.
Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo (WR): Kelvin Benjamin is beginning a new chapter in Buffalo after three years in Carolina but don’t be surprised if things aren’t pretty at first. Tyrod Taylor has been very good this year statistically, but has relied heavily on running backs and tight ends through the air, not receivers. LeSean McCoy leads the Bills in receptions by a significant margin and the third-leading receiver is a tight end who hasn’t played since week five in Charles Clay. Benjamin is Taylor’s first true number one receiver since the Bills offloaded Sammy Watkins this summer, but I still wouldn’t expect anything Earth-shattering. With Charles Clay possibly returning to the field and a lack of chemistry between Taylor and Benjamin, don’t anticipate a lot of targets.
Eric Rose is a student at West Chester University. He can be reached at ER827957@wcupa.edu.