With the fantasy football regular season nearing a close, many owners are fighting to reach the playoffs. Week 11 saw some surprising players post massive games, while once reliable options underachieved. Across the NFL, running backs combined for a meager 11 rushing touchdowns and only two quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards. Let’s turn the attention to some key fantasy football takeaways from Week 11 action.
Seattle Seahawks backup running back Thomas Rawls put up one of the biggest fantasy performances of year in Seattle’s 29-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Injured lead back Marshawn Lynch was a late scratch prior to kickoff, so Rawls took the ball and ran with it, exploding for 209 yards on 30 carries, 49 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. With Lynch likely to miss Week 12 and possibly even longer with a sports hernia, Rawls is in line for a heavy workload going forward. He is the top waiver add this week and is a strong number one fantasy football running back.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse for the 3-7 Baltimore Ravens, they lost two of their best players to season-ending injuries in Week 11. Quarterback Joe Flacco tore both his ACL and MCL in the final drive of the team’s comeback win against the St. Louis Rams. Flacco is not expected to return until Week 1 next season, and running back Justin Forsett broke both bones in his forearm in the first quarter of the match and will be placed on Injured Reserve. Second-string back Buck Allen will now assume lead duties and should be owned in all fantasy leagues with some welcoming matchups ahead in the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, who rank 32nd and 31st in rush yards allowed per game, respectively.
In a 45-17 demolition of the Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston completed 19-of-29 passes for 246 yards and five touchdowns. The performance was easily the best of Winston’s rookie campaign so far, even though running back Doug Martin carried most of the load with a 235 yard day on the ground. Winston could once again post some nice numbers next Sunday against the collapsing Indianapolis Colts.
Lacy laces ‘em up
There may be no bigger fantasy football disappointment this season than Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy. Lacy’s nagging ankle injuries and poor play have gotten him demoted to a change-of-pace role in the offence; however, in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, the Alabama product showed glimpses of the old Lacy, rushing for 100 yards on 22 carries. The 100 yards are a single-game high for Lacy this season, while the 22 carries are more than he has received in his three previous games combined. Lacy will be a high-risk, high-reward play in Week 12 when the Packers face the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving.
Brock got us all Misty
Playing in place of an injured and ineffective Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns in Denver’s win over the Bears. Osweiler showed good composure and confidence in the pocket. Head Coach Gary Kubiak announced that Osweiler will get his second start this Sunday night versus the undefeated New England Patriots. The fourth-year quarterback is a fine option for those in a crunch, but expectations should be tempered in a tough primetime matchup against coaching mastermind Bill Belichick.