Fire and Ice – Week 11

It’s time to take our weekly look around the NFL to see which players have the potential to set your roster on fire and which ones seem to be cooling down. I’ll try to avoid the obvious candidates for the players that are heating up, in addition to focusing in on higher profile players that could leave your team on ice this week. I will also be taking a look at their performance from the previous week, as well as what the matchup holds for them heading into Sunday.
On Fire:
Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams

Matchup – Minnesota Vikings 
Jared Goff made the cut two weeks in a row, and this kid is really coming into his own in his second year as a starter in the NFL. It’s insane to think about all of the negativity surrounding Goff last season as we watch him flourish under a new head coach. After another impressive outing against Houston last week Goff has thrown for a total of 666 passing yards and seven touchdowns over the last two games. He’s had plenty of help from the likes of Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, but the 180 degree turn for the Rams is quite something to behold. I expect some regression from Goff this week against the Vikings, but he should still put up a solid stat line. 
Case Keenum – Minnesota Vikings 

Matchup – Los Angeles Rams
Speaking of surprises, what Case Keenum has done this season is pretty remarkable. Everyone, myself included, thought the Vikings were done after Sam Bradford’s injury. Instead the Vikings are sitting at 7-2 and are leading their division. I’m not so bold to think that Keenum has single handedly led this team to victory each week considering Minnesota’s strong rush attack, but he’s been able to do everything asked of him. He surpassed 300 passing yards for the second time this season against the Redskins last week and completed four touchdown passes. Needless to say they won the game. Minnesota will have another stout matchup this week against the stingy Rams defense, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this turns into a high scoring game. Keenum is worth a start if you don’t have another viable option. 
Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins

Matchup – New Orleans Saints
I honestly wasn’t expecting much out of Kirk Cousins last week. After facing the intimidating Seahawks defense the week before, I anticipated another subpar outing against the Vikings. While he only threw one touchdown pass, he finished with 327 yards through the air and scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground. We’ll see how he fairs against the surprising Saints defense this week. I argued on our podcast last week that New Orleans was legit but was met with an opposing theory that they have only faced subpar quarterbacks in their impressive run. This week we’ll find out if they’re the real deal. 
Running backs:
Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints

Matchup – Washington Redskins
What if I had told you last week that the Saints would beat the Bills on the road by 37 points without Drew Brees throwing a touchdown pass? Sounds pretty crazy, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened. While the spotlight has been on Alvin Kamara during his impressive rookie campaign, Ingram has been a force to be reckoned with has well. He ran the ball 21 times last week for 131 yards and found the end zone three times. Kamara had himself a day as well as he gained 138 total yards and scored one touchdown. New Orleans looks like a legit contender at this point in the season, but they haven’t faced the best competition in recent weeks either. If they can pull out a win this week against Washington, then I don’t think there’s much doubt left that they’re for real. 
Isiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns

Matchup – Jacksonville Jaguars
Don’t look now, but Isiah Crowell has finally put together two solid games in back to back weeks. He has rushed for over 154 yards over the last two weeks and has found the end zone in each contest. If you own this guy you have to be thrilled. You likely selected him as your first or second running back, so I don’t have to tell you what a breath of fresh air this has been to see. Crowell now has double digit performances in three straight games, which is all the more relieving when you consider the last time he put up more than ten points was in the first week of the season. Unfortunately, I have a feeling the good times may come to an end this week. Cleveland is about to run into a buzzsaw that is Jacksonville’s defense, and this may be the week we see Crowell revert to his old ways.
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons 

Matchup – Seattle Seahawks 
I included Tevin Coleman in my daily fantasy article simply because of how banged up Devonta Freeman has been recently. Freeman ended up leaving the game early with a concussion, which opened the door for Coleman to have his second best game of the season. He finished the day with 20 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Cowboys. While it may be short lived, Coleman proved he can handle a full workload and be an every down back in the NFL. Considering he’ll enter a contract year next season it was good that he was able to take advantage of that opportunity. Regardless of Freeman’s status next week, both Falcons running backs will be a hard pass on the road against Seattle this week. 
Wide receivers:
Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams

Matchup – Minnesota Vikings
To say that Robert Woods has been surprising would be a massive understatement. I was able to snag Woods late in my drafts as a dart throw, and it’s paid off tremendously. One week after hauling in two touchdowns and 70 yards, Woods exploded against the Texans to the tune of eight receptions, 171 yards, and a pair of touchdowns. In case you’re not counting, that’s 241 yards and four scores in two games. While that production is unsustainable, he’s actually become a consistent fantasy option as of late. He now has ten or more points in five straight games. While he should still be serviceable this week, I think he slips back down a bit against Minnesota. I wouldn’t expect another two touchdown outing. 
Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings 

Matchup – Los Angeles Rams
I’ll admit that I wasn’t entirely sold on Adam Thielen last season. It was a weird season for Minnesota with Teddy Bridgewater getting injured, Sam Bradford coming in, and Adrian Peterson lost for the year. I have no problem admitting that I was wrong about this guy. Thielen shredded Washington’s secondary last week and finished the day with 166 receiving yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. Not too shabby at all. This week’s matchup against the Rams is one of the more intriguing games on the slate. Nothing would really shock me in this one. My gut says that Thielen will take a step back, but Kirk Cousins was able to throw for over 300 yards last week against them. At this point, however, Thielen is venturing in to must start territory. 
Sterling Shepard – New York Giants

Matchup – Kansas City Chiefs
While I expected a big game from Shepard against San Francisco last week, I’m not sure I anticipated him catching 11 passes for 142 yards. At this point the second year receiver is literally the only wide receiver left on this team that started at the beginning of the season, which automatically makes him their number one. The only other player he’ll have to compete with for targets for the rest of the year is Evan Engram. That’s literally it. For that reason, Shepard is a must start against Kansas City this week. The Chiefs are coming off a bye and will likely decimate the Giants, but, like I said, Shepard is all Eli Manning has at this point. 
Tight ends:
Evan Engram – New York Giants

Matchup – Kansas City Chiefs

Evan Engram has become a must start fantasy tight end over the last several weeks. After the Giants wide receiving core was decimated he was left as the lone target for Eli Manning, and he’s not disappointed in that role. Sterling Shepard made his return from an injury, but Engram was still active against San Francisco catching six passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. That marks four consecutive weeks that the rookie has found the end zone, and he has developed into Manning’s primary target around the goal line. This season is lost at this point for New York, but they’ll still be taking the field against Kansas City this week at home. Considering Engram’s recent production there’s no way you’re sitting this kid. 
Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks 

Matchup – Atlanta Falcons 
After a sluggish start to the season, Jimmy Graham has now scored at least ten fantasy points in every single game since week three. Although Graham was only able to gain 27 yards against the Cardinals last Thursday night, which is his lowest yardage total since week two, he was still able to find the end zone twice. Some of Graham’s success is due to the fact that Seattle has one of the worst offensive lines in the league, which makes running the ball extremely difficult. Russell Wilson is often found running for his life, and Graham is one of his favorite targets to look for while he’s scrambling. There’s no reason to think he’ll slow down this week against the Falcons. 
Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons

Matchup – Seattle Seahawks 
Austin Hooper was a popular sleeper pick heading into this season, but things haven’t generally worked out in his favor this season. However, he’s had some decent games over the last several weeks and has double digit performances in four out of the last six games. His six catches for 49 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys resulted in his second best fantasy production of the season. Unfortunately, I see some regression occurring this week as Atlanta takes on the Seahawks on the road. I’d be looking elsewhere for tight end help.
Ice Cold:
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys 

Matchup – Philadelphia Eagles 
We saw last week just how much Ezekiel Elliott means to the Dallas Cowboys offense. Alfred Morris was only able to scrounge up a little more than 50 yards on the ground, and it looks like there’s a long road ahead without the Cowboys star running back. Dak Prescott threw for just 176 yards against Atlanta but was able to salvage his day with a rushing touchdown. While losing Zeke is a blow to this team as a whole, the loss of Tyron Smith may potentially impact Prescott even more. I don’t expect too much out of him this week against the Eagles after last week’s performance. 
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills

Matchup – Los Angeles Chargers 
If you played Tyrod Taylor last week against the Saints I’m going to go out on a limb and say you likely lost. To say Taylor had an off game would be an incredible understatement of just how poorly he played. He completed nine passes for 56 yards and threw an interception before getting benched in favor of Nathan Peterman. While Peterman didn’t do anything too flashy, he did manage to throw for 79 yards and score a touchdown. The Bills have quieted any talk of a quarterback change, but you have to be nervous as a Tyrod Taylor owner. I think he stays on your bench this week until we see some improvement. 
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Matchup – Miami Dolphins 
Any hopes that Ryan Fitzpatrick could get this offense back on track while Jameis Winston recovers were absolutely dashed last week. Fitzpatrick threw for only 187 yards and had one touchdown and one interception against the Jets, and it’s clear that this team is just struggling on all fronts. There was some optimism with the whole “revenge game” factor with the veteran facing his old team, but it just wasn’t meant to be. If you grabbed him off the waiver wire as a streaming option, then you can go ahead and drop the guy. I don’t see him doing much against the Dolphins this week. 
Running backs:
LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills

Matchup – Los Angeles Chargers
If Tyrod Taylor’s stat line last week wasn’t enough to tell you how badly this offense is struggling, then one glance at LeSean McCoy’s numbers over the last two weeks should do the trick. Shady carried the ball only eight times in the blowout loss to the Saints and was only able to scrap together 49 yards. This marks the second consecutive game where McCoy has failed to gain more than 50 yards, and he has only 11.5 fantasy points over the last two weeks combined. Let’s be honest, there’s no way you’re sitting this guy. I would be nervous, however, that he may continue to struggle until the offense in general finds it’s footing. 
Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars 

Matchup – Cleveland Browns
Well, this one didn’t work out as planned. This was supposed to be Leonard Fournette’s spectacular return after nagging injuries and missing team photographs. As you may have noticed, that was not the case. The rookie carried the ball 17 times for only 33 yards against a shaky Chargers run defense. This was by far Fournette’s worst performance in his young career and a very disappointing return to action. While this game leaves a sour taste in your mouth, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Jacksonville faces the Browns, Cardinals, and Colts over the next three weeks. Expect Fournette to get back on track in a hurry. 
Wide receivers:
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers 

Matchup – Tennessee Titans 
Is it too bold to put arguably the best wide receiver in the National Football League on this list? After the last couple of games we’ve seen from Antonio Brown I don’t think it is. I think what’s most troubling isn’t necessarily the three catches and 47 yards from Brown last week but more so in the fact that he should’ve feasted on a weak Indianapolis secondary. It’s been the Juju show in Pittsburgh over the last few weeks, and Brown owners are undoubtedly taking notice. I’m not suggesting that the rookie wide receiver is suddenly the go to pass catcher in this offense, but Roethlisberger is certainly looking the youngster’s way more often. You’re not sitting Antonio Brown in any situation, so it’s full speed ahead against Tennessee this week. 
Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers 

Matchup – Buffalo Bills
I’m one of the biggest Keenan Allen fans you’ll find, but he’s just not been all that impressive this season. I really thought that if he could stay healthy, then he could finish as a top ten wide receiver. Unfortunately, his four catches and 48 yards we saw last week against Jacksonville is just about par for the course through ten weeks this season. Part of the problem could be the fact that Melvin Gordon gets all the touches he can handle, and Phillip Rivers hasn’t looked all that great. There’s some cause for optimism as the Chargers face a struggling Buffalo team this week, but don’t be shocked if we see more of the same out of Keenan Allen though. 
Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys 

Matchup – Philadelphia Eagles 
I remember when Dez Bryant used to be an unstoppable force at the wide receiver position. Nobody could cover this guy. There seemed to be only one thing that could slow him down, which was time. Being the big, physical player he is it’s only a matter of time before we start to see a decline. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, that time maybe be coming sooner rather than later. Dez caught only four passes for 39 yards against Atlanta, which matches his stat line from his matchup against the Chiefs two weeks ago. With no Zeke Dallas will likely be forced to move the ball through the air more often than they have this season, so there’s cause for optimism. I’m not saying sit Bryant, but your expectations should be lowered a bit. 
Tight ends:
Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts

Bye Week
Remember when I was singing Jack Doyle’s praises a couple weeks ago? Well that didn’t last long. After four straight double digit outings, Doyle fell flat on his face against Pittsburgh. He caught two passes for only 9 yards, which is obviously less than ideal for those riding his hot streak. To be fair, Pittsburgh’s defense has been stingy this season and Doyle had season lows in both receptions and yards. He should get back on track after the Colts bye week against the Tennessee Titans. 
Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Matchup – Miami Dolphins 
If you watched the matchup between New York and Tampa Bay last week, then you already know just about every player in that game could be added to this list. This offense is putrid without a healthy Jameis Winston. I actually thought Cameron Brate was an intriguing option heading into last week, but he flopped hard with only 10 yards on one reception. It’s clear that Tampa Bay has question marks on both sides of the ball, but I’m avoiding every offensive player until something changes. 
Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers

Matchup – Buffalo Bills
After a slow start to the season Hunter Henry enjoyed some success over weeks four through seven when the second year tight end had either 70 yards receiving or a touchdown in four straight games. Unfortunately, his production has dipped at an alarming rate with Henry catching only three passes for 18 yards in the last two games combined. Some of that can be attributed to Phillip Rivers’ poor play, but it’s not exactly been a cake walk for this offense considering the types of defenses they’ve had to face. However, the Chargers face a Buffalo defense this week that has given up a whopping 81 points over the last two contests. One of those games was against the Jets as well. I’m apprehensive at playing Henry this week, but he’s definitely an intriguing option. Play him at your own risk. 
As always, please feel free to give us a shout on Twitter @No_HuddleFFB if you have any questions or concerns regarding your lineup or just want to chat about fantasy football. Best of luck this week!

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