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One thing Sunday highlighted for me is how valuable handcuffs are at this point in the season. Early in the season, it makes sense to chase upside plays with your bench spots, as younger guys with great potential like Marvin Mims and Jahan Dotson could turn into must-start Fantasy options. Players like KJ Osborn or Curtis Samuel, who don’t have as much upside, but can be viewed as starters in the event that injuries and bye weeks leave you short-handed.
As teams become more solidified in their rotations, opportunities for bench long shots start to dry up. With Week 12 on the horizon, there are only two weeks of byes left. That’s when I start to really prioritize handcuffs.. I also wrote about
The early-week injury reports are going to be more important in Week 12 than ever, and we’ll be here every day to make sure you’re prepared. Before we turn the page to Week 12 for good, however, let’s take one look back at Sunday’s action with my biggest winners and losers, which were also featured in today’s newsletter, which you can subscribe to here:
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Biggest winners and losers
Here’s who has the arrow pointing up or down coming out of Sunday’s action:
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars
That’s two years in a row now where Lawrence’s best game came against the Titans, as his four-touchdown game last December came against the Titans as well. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson conceded earlier this week that Lawrence’s knee injury had limited his mobility over the past few weeks, but that wasn’t an issue Sunday, as Lawrence scrambled for a couple of touchdowns, his first rushing scores of the season. The Jaguars also had Zay Jones back for the first time in a month, and maybe the combination of a healthier supporting cast and a healthier Lawrence was all we needed – Jones didn’t make much of an impact directly (four catches for 20 yards), but his presence has seemingly mattered quite a lot for Calvin Ridley, who had his best game of the season. Or, maybe it was just a good game against a bad defense and it doesn’t mean anything moving forward. Good games, even against bad defenses, have been kind of hard to come by for Lawrence, so we won’t complain. And we’ll hope he builds on it.
Brian Robinson, RB, Commanders
The situation couldn’t be more perfect for Robinson, with a matchup against the Giants and no Antonio Gibson around to split work with, and he took advantage of it. Robinson rushed for 73 yards on 17 carries, a solid showing, but the really nice thing Sunday was the seven catches for 58 yards. The Commanders have been using their backs more in the passing game lately to overcome some of Sam Howell’s shaky pocket presence, and the fact that continued even with Gibson out significantly raised Robinson’s ceiling Sunday. Robinson has been the picture of an early-down plodder for most of his first two seasons, but he now has 13 catches in the past two weeks, so it looks like that’s changing. At least as long as Gibson is out, it’s going to be hard to sit Robinson. Even with a tough matchup against the Cowboys this week.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Lions
Gibbs got a couple of short-area touchdowns last week, but on one of them, David Montgomery was subbed into the game before waving Gibbs back in, so it was nice to see him get another chance for a short touchdown this week. He cashed that one in, and it’s fair to assume that, at the very least, Gibbs has a share of the goal-line work here on the drives that “belong” to him. Sunday proved that, however it also proved once again that he has multiple avenues to Fantasy success, as he was mostly quiet after that touchdown until late in the game, when he got more involved in the passing game as the Lions worked their way back from a surprise second-half deficit, finishing with six catches for 59 yards. Some running backs can only thrive when the game script works in their favor; the elite ones can be Fantasy stars in any game. Gibbs looks like he’s at that point.
Jaylen Warren, RB, Steelers
Warren still isn’t the starter for the Steelers, and Najee Harris’ presence continues to limit Warren’s upside in any given week. But you do have to wonder how long the Steelers can keep featuring Harris ahead of Warren. Harris has been better than he sometimes gets credit for, but Warren is just a different level of playmaker, and he showed it yet again Sunday, rushing for 129 yards on nine carries, including a 74-yard score, the Steelers only offensive touchdown. It’d be one thing if the Steelers were moving the ball like the Lions, where it’s not entirely clear how much they’re losing by featuring Montgomery ahead of the more dynamic Gibbs. The Steelers offense is one of the worst in the league, and it would very obviously be even worse if not for Warren’s brilliance. I don’t want to say that Warren taking on an even bigger role is inevitable, but if they want to spark their offense, that’s one obvious place they could turn. Hopefully he gets that chance.
Tank Dell, WR, Texans
C.J. Stroud finally stumbled, and it didn’t slow Dell’s breakout down at all. With Stroud throwing multiple interceptions for the first time Sunday against the Cardinals, Dell still had eight catches for 149 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, his third straight game with at least 18 PPR points. Dell just continues to dominate, just like he did in college, and Sunday he did it with Nico Collins back from injury. I don’t know if Dell can keep this pace up and remain a top-12 WR the rest of the way, but he’s tied to a high-end QB talent in a pass-first offense, and I see no good reason to doubt him at this point.
D.J. Moore, WR, Bears
In Justin Fields’ five full games coming into Week 11, Moore was averaging 5.4 catches, 106.2 yards, and one touchdown per game. In five other games? Five catches for 52.4 yards and no touchdowns. So, of course, with Fields back Sunday, Moore had seven catches for 96 yards and a score. Moore’s early-season success wasn’t sustainable at the level he was playing, but it’s also exceedingly clear that Moore just has a lot more upside with Fields at QB than with Tyson Bagent. Defenses have to respect what Fields can do as a runner, and he’s much more willing to push the ball down the field. Moore’s combination of deep playmaking and after-the-catch prowess makes him one of the most dangerous WRs in the league … when Fields is at QB.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Jaguars
I mentioned the split earlier, but if you didn’t click through to the link, here’s what it looks like: Ridley is averaging six catches for 89.5 yards and three touchdowns in four games with Jones active, and just 2.6 catches for 31 yards with one touchdown in seven other games. Jones is the team’s other outside receiver, and it’s possible that his presence forces teams to focus less of their defensive attention on Ridley, allowing him to thrive. Or, maybe it’s just a weird, small-sample size coincidence; four games isn’t enough to say much definitively. However, in a season where so little has gone right for Ridley, we’ll take literally any positive trends we can find. We found one.
Sam Howell, QB, Commanders
Howell still ended up with a decent Fantasy game Sunday, but this was a clear step back against a very beatable Giants defense. Howell was sacked four times, his most since Week 7, and he was picked off three times, his first multi-INT game since Week 3. And these were not bad luck interceptions, as Howell’s decision making was erratic and he wilted in the face of what is, to be fair, a very good Giants pass rush. It looked like Howell had turned the corner over the past month, but with a very tough matchup against the Cowboys looming, a bye week still to come in Week 14, and then a very tough playoff schedule, there might be only one or two more chances to use Howell this season.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
The vibes around the Raiders have undoubtedly been a lot more positive since Josh McDaniels’ firing, but Sunday might have proven that the coaching change was a big negative for Jacobs. The Raiders didn’t get blown out by the Dolphins, but they still ended up throwing 41 times, compared to just 16 rushes, and that was very bad news for Jacobs, who was targeted just once on Aidan O’Connell’s 41 passes. That gives Jacobs three targets in three games under Antonio Pierce; he averaged 5.4 per game under McDaniels. In games where the Raiders can, they’ll lean on Jacobs heavily in the running game, but that might be his only path to good Fantasy production now. That’s not a good sign.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
There are so many problems for Henry at this point. The Titans just aren’t a very good offense, which is a problem. And they have another running back they’re willing to play significant snaps, which is a problem. But you know what the biggest problem might be? Henry just isn’t a guy you can build your entire offense around, no matter how good or bad the situation is. If the Titans’ situation were still good, he might be able to get enough carries to overcome that. But he’s hovering right around 4.0 yards per carry for the season and isn’t making big plays regularly, so the Titans can’t afford to just give him 20-plus carries, even in negative game scripts, the way they used to. Henry, at his best, was one of the most awe-inspiring forces the NFL has seen in a long time. But he’s not that guy anymore, and the Titans offense has completely fallen apart around him. You probably won’t bench Henry down the stretch, because he has a great schedule – starting in Week 12 against the Panthers – but you can’t just assume he’ll be a top-five back even in a great matchup anymore.
Marquise Brown, WR, Cardinals
I’ve long been a fan of Brown, but I’m starting to realize it’s a lot more about what Brown could be, in theory, than what he actually is, week in and week out. In theory, he’s a No. 1 option who can win down the field and with volume. But in reality, he’s been arguably the worst deep-ball receiver in the NFL, with just a 27.5% catch rate on passes traveling more than 20 yards down the field, the lowest mark of any receiver with at least 100 deep targets since 2019. And, while Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray certainly aren’t perfect passers, I don’t know how much you can blame Brown’s persistent, yearly struggles on the quality of QB play he’s dealing with — some guys have it a lot worse. Every time you watch Brown and say, “Oh, he was so close to a big game if he just did X, Y, and Z,” it’s worth keeping in mind just how many times we’ve said that. At some point, we have to face reality. I’m not giving up on Brown or anything, but the hope that he could be a top-15 WR with Kyler Murray back seems like a dream at this point. And I don’t think it’s going to come true. He’s just a boom-or-bust WR3 at this point.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
The Steelers’ passing game is just a disaster right now. Kenny Pickett threw for 106 yards on 28 attempts in a 13-10 loss to the Browns, and now has 13 touchdowns in 22 career starts. If Pickett could at least play the role of the distributor, that might be fine for Johnson, at least, who has always been a high-volume, low-efficiency compiler. However, after a strong start in his return from IR, Johnson has just three catches for 33 yards over the past two games. I probably won’t be able to get away from Johnson because he still earns plenty of targets most weeks – he had eight Sunday – but the quality of those targets is so low that I can’t trust him as anything more than a WR3 in PPR. We are a long way from all that training-camp optimism around Pickett and the Steelers’ passing game.
Quentin Johnston, WR, Chargers
I don’t like to play the role of armchair psychologist, so I’ll just say that Johnston had one of the most backbreaking drops I can remember in a long time this week. He got behind the defense in the final minutes of Sunday’s game for what could have been a 70-yard, go-ahead touchdown and dropped it. There was no excuse for this one; Johnston just dropped it, and it cost the Chargers the game. It was, surprisingly, the first drop Johnston has been credited with this season, but it feels like it’s going to be hard to come back from that one, given how poorly his rookie season has gone. Johnston still has some solid skills, but he’s been a total bust, despite injuries clearing the path to a ton of opportunities. He just isn’t taking advantage of them, and I’ve seen nothing to suggest that’s going to change this season. This feels like a lost season, and I can’t say Johnston is even a must-stash player as the Fantasy playoffs approach.
We update regularly World Latest Breaking News here. We update 2023-11-20 22:37:21 this news story from official website – https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/fantasy-football-today-trevor-lawrence-jaylen-warren-among-week-11-winners-while-derrick-henry-among-losers/.”
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