|(Photo Credit: Mike Morebeck)|
Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)The Lateral Writer
The only topic on everyone's mind today is the Saints game, where after years of waiting we will finally see if Taysom Hill can throw a ball. I am not convinced that Hill is not Sean Payton's secret love child, given that nothing he has shown in his three and a half years as an NFL player has suggested he can play quarterback at the professional level, but maybe Payton knows something I do not.
However, there are other exciting storylines to focus on going into today's slate of games. Will Adrian Peterson take advantage of a great matchup and no D'Andre Swift to put on one last Hall of Fame performance? Will Salvon Ahmed or Matt Brieda be the lead back in Miami, and if can either do enough to unseat the (hopefully) returning Myles Gaskin? Does the Kalen Ballage revenge tour continue against the New York Jets this week, who will be unleashing Ballage's replacement La'Mical Perine? We are just a few hours from finding out.
Week 11 Sunday Preview
Key Player Updates
QB Matthew Stafford (DET): Stafford (QUESTIONABLE, Thumb) is expected to play against the Panthers, and should be considered a QB2 this week against Carolina.
QB Teddy Bridgewater (CAR): Bridgewater (QUESTIONABLE, Knee) is a game-time decision, and therefore should be avoided if at all possible despite the good matchup. This also means QB P.J. Walker (CAR) cannot be slotted into lineups except at the last second, something I would also avoid at this point.
QB Drew Lock (DEN): Lock (QUESTIONABLE, Ribs) is the starter for the Broncos against the Dolphins, and remains not good at football. Avoid him and start the Dolphins DST, which you were already doing.
RB Damien Harris (NE): Harris (QUESTIONABLE, Ankle/Chest) is expected to play and is an RB2/FLEX against the Houston Texans.
WR Allen Lazard (GB): Lazard (QUESTIONABLE, Core) is expected to play in a limited role, but even a limited role is probably enough to kill any possibility that you should start WR Marquez Valdez-Scantling (GB).
WR Mohammed Sanu (DET): Sanu has been elevated from the practice squad but should not elevate into your lineups.
WR Dez Bryant (BAL): Bryant has also been elevated from the practice squad, and should also not be in your lineup.
TE Noah Fant (DEN): Fant (QUESTIONABLE, Ribs) is expected to play, but with Drew Lock as his quarterback he remains a risky low-end TE1.
TE Irv Smith Jr. (MIN): Smith Jr. (QUESTIONABLE, Groin) is expected to play but cannot be trusted with Kyle Rudolph still a major part of how the Vikings use the TE position.
DL Calais Campbell (BAL): Campbell (DOUBTFUL, Calf) is expected to sit out against the Titans, which slightly raises projections for the Titans offense.
CB Marshon Lattimore (NO): Lattimore (INACTIVE, Abdomen) will sit out, adding another red flag to relying on the Saints this week against Atlanta.
CB Stephon Gillmore (NE): Gillmore (QUESTIONABLE, Knee) is expected to play, which downgrades Texans WR Will Fuller V to a WR3.
Top Waiver Players Available
If you can find Cam Newton he should be at the top of your list, but most of you probably added him after reading this week's Heat Check. If you cannot, Tua Tagovailoa was our obvious add this week and is still widely available. The Dolphins QB has not been the most electric fantasy QB, but with a 5:0 TD to INT ratio and a great matchup against Denver, there is a lot to love this week. Finally, our unanimous boom pick for QB this week was Alex Smith, who you can get just about everywhere.
Hopefully, you were able to get Carlos Hyde this week but if not there is still hope. As I mentioned earlier, Lions RB D'Andre Swift is out and Adrian Peterson is getting the start. He is an obvious add to slot in as an RB2 against the sieve that is Carolina's run defense. If you cannot get Peterson, your next best bet is to take a shot on the Dolphins RB group of Salvon Ahmed and Matt Brieda. Ahmed is both Charles and mine's pick to keep the lead role in Miami, but if you think Brieda will take over upon his return this Sunday then he is widely available to add. Finally, if you have the roster spot you should add La'Mical Perine. If he goes off this week and is the clear lead back, which is a serious possibility, he could be a league winner for those who rostered him early. I would not necessarily play him this week, though I think he will be a boom at RB if he gets volume.
The fact that Michael Pittman Jr. is so widely available is criminal. He was an obvious add this week, and I am so confident that he continues to ascend to the WR1 spot in Indianapolis that I have him starting over A.J. Brown and Tyler Boyd this week. If he was taken by a savvy manager in your league though, Breshad Perriman and Cam Sims are viable options. Perriman clearly has some chemistry with QB Joe Flacco if Week 9 was any indication, and Sims is Charles' boom play of the week at WR. I know Josh Reynolds has been a fantasy darling this week, and the targets are certainly there, but Tampa Bay is a terrible matchup. I have no problem adding him as a late-season league winner candidate, but I would not start him unless you have to this week.
There is a pretty clear top three adds this week at tight end. Logan Thomas was our obvious add this week for waivers and Charles' boom pick this week at TE. Dalton Schultz is basically a poor man's Thomas (though not much poorer), and in this week's Heat Check it was clear he is a viable TE option ROS. If neither of those guys is available Tyler Higbee is my boom candidate for the week at TE and offers decent upside in a good matchup for TEs against Tampa Bay.
In an ESPN league, you may be able to add the Kansas City Chiefs, who from all accounts are ready to destroy the Raiders to set an example for the entire league. Otherwise, add the Atlanta Falcons, who Charlie and I both think is a boom performance waiting to happen going up against Taysom Hill this week.
In our waiver wire article this week I recommended Chris Boswell and both Charles and mine's boom picks are still widely available, so snag Randy Bullock or Matt Gay if you need a kicker this week. Bonus pick Rodrigo Blankenship is also decently available in leagues and seems to have bounced back from a couple mediocre performances, none of which were his fault.
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