Week 11 didn’t have many close contests, with only the Vikings’ epic comeback against the Broncos providing any drama in the early window, but there was plenty of fantasy football action all day long, including some big breakout games by a few fantasy surprises.
Which of Sunday’s unexpected standouts should be a part of your lineup in future weeks? Let’s take a look at what lays ahead for Sunday’s stars in this Week 11 edition of “Ride or Fade.”
WR John Brown, BUF vs. MIA, $6,400 — 37.7 DKFPSince joining the Bills as a free agent this offseason, Brown has emerged as the team’s top WR and dominated the targets this week with 14 looks from QB Josh Allen ($6,600) while no other player had more than six. Brown hauled in nine of those passes for a season-high 137 yards, two touchdowns and 37.7 DKFP.
Brown has at least 75 yards in five of his past six games and has averaged 10 targets per game over his past four contests. Next week the Bills host the struggling Broncos before matchups with playoff hopefuls the Cowboys and Ravens. While the matchups are tougher than taking on the cream-puffy Dolphins, Brown should continue to get enough targets to make big plays. He brings big-play potential and high volume as long as he stays healthy.
WR D.J. Chark Jr., JAX at IND, $6,200 — 33.4 DKFPA change at quarterback didn’t slow down the Chark attack this week in Indianapolis, as the Jaguars’ top WR caught both of the team’s two offensive touchdowns from returning starter Nick Foles. Chark led the team with 15 targets and finished with eight catches for 104 yards and those two touchdowns.
All three of Foles’ touchdowns this season have gone to Chark, who has emerged as the team’s clear go-to option no matter who is under center. Jacksonville is on the road in Tennessee next week before favorable home matchups with the Bucs and Chargers. Chark had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown against the Titans earlier this season, and he should continue to get enough attention and make enough plays to be a nice fantasy option.
WR Calvin Ridley, ATL at CAR, $5,500 — 31.3 DKFPAfter the Falcons slid to 1-7 heading into their bye week they looked totally done, but they’ve bounced back with convincing road wins against the Saints and Panthers. Ridley broke through with a massive game on Sunday, racking up 143 yards and a touchdown by hauling in all eight of his targets from Matt Ryan ($6,200)
Coming into this contest, Ridley had put together a disappointing season with five catches or less in seven straight games. He and Julio Jones ($7,500) tied for the team lead with eight targets, but Ridley was the better fantasy option due to his salary and his trip to the end zone. Ridley will always have upside, but with Jones as the top option and Ryan spreading the ball around, Ridley will remain very volatile.
WR Deebo Samuel, SF vs. ARI, $4,000 — 24.4 DKFPSamuel was a hot name this week since he broke out last Monday night with eight catches for 112 yards against the Seahawks and could have stepped into a larger role if Emmanuel Sanders ($7,200) hadn’t been able to play due to a rib injury. Even though he missed practice all week, Sanders played through the injury, but it was still Samuel who stepped up. He hauled in 8-of-10 targets for 134 yards for another big game.
The 49ers like to run the ball and rely on their defense, but showed they can put up points in a hurry in the right matchup this week against Arizona. With Sanders getting healthier and Samuel leaving with a shoulder injury, Samuel’s workload could decrease moving forward. San Francisco has a tough schedule upcoming with the Packers, Ravens and Saints coming up in the next three weeks. After buying on Samuel at this price for this week, I’m not sure I trust the rookie moving forward against tougher opponents.
RB Gus Edwards, BAL vs. HOU, $4,500 — 20.2 DKFPThe Gus Bus finally got rolling and led the Ravens with 112 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore’s 41-7 trouncing of the Texans. Edwards got most of his fantasy production from a big 63-yard touchdown in which he broke through a huge hole in the Houston defense and went all the way to the house untouched.
Edwards’ long run was the only reason he was fantasy relevant this week, although he definitely provided great value. He was only into this game once it was well decided and has only been getting a few carries as a change-of-pace play over the past few weeks. Until he starts sharing time more evenly with Mark Ingram ($6,600), Edwards will be touchdown-dependent on too few carries to be a good fantasy play even though he was a top 5 RB this week.
RB Jonathan Williams, IND vs. JAX, $3,000 — 18.7 DKFPFor the first time in their history, the Colts had two players rush for over 100 yards in their win over the Jags. Marlon Mack ($6,400) was very effective before leaving with a hand injury and Williams took over after that. He finished with 116 yards on 13 carries while adding a 31-yard reception on his way to 18.7 DKFP.
Williams has only had two carries all season before this game for a total of one yard, but he showed a lot of potential in this outing. He battled a rib injury and was only active for one game all season until last week when he had those two carries for one yard. Since Mack’s injury is a broken hand, he is expected to miss at least one game, especially since the Colts play on Thursday night against the Texans. Houston’s defense is a mess without J.J. Watt, so Williams could be a very good play, especially if Jordan Wilkins (ankle) also remains out. Nyheim Hines will also get some work, but is more of a passing-down option than an early-down workhorse like Mack and Williams can be.
Verdict: Ride (while Mack is out)
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