Every week, fantasy football is generous to some owners and immensely cruel to others. Those who had the guts to start Josh Allen or John Brown of the Buffalo Bills were handsomely rewarded as they finished with the most points at their respective positions. But many teams suffered from the dud Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson put up in Week 11 fantasy football. After managing double-digit points in all of his starts, he contributed a paltry 4.96 points in his team’s 41-7 blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens. But good on you if you continued to ride MVP candidate Lamar Jackson who finished with just .36 points fewer than Allen.
Though many of the usual suspects did their thing, there were also some players who came out of nowhere as is the case virtually every week. This column highlights their exploits. Let’s get started.
Note: all ownership percentage information is based on data from Yahoo Sports leagues.
Week 11 Fantasy Football Surprise Sensations
For the second straight week, Driskel is our quarterback of choice. He put up a respectable 18.06 fantasy points in the Detroit Lions 20-13 loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 10. And despite another losing effort from his team on Sunday, Driskel took it a step further. His 27.46 points were the fifth-best mark among quarterbacks in Week 11 and he tried his damndest to help Detroit upend the Dallas Cowboys. 11.10 of those points came on the ground as he contributed 51 rushing yards and a touchdown scamper. And yet only three percent of Yahoo fantasy owners rostered him.
He’s definitely worth a look if you’re super-desperate for a quarterback. The timetable for Matthew Stafford‘s return remains up in the air and I’m sure most seasoned fantasy players are well-aware of the dumpster fire nature of the Lions’ Week 12 opponent, the Washington Redskins.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 17, 2019
The big story coming out of Sunday’s clash between the Miami Dolphins and the Bills was Josh Allen putting together arguably the best game of his young career. He did get a lot of help from John Brown in the 37-20 victory that propelled the Bills to 7-3 through 10 games for the first time in 20 years. But Grant certainly deserves mention due to his exploits for the Fins and he’s pretty much the biggest surprise among wideouts in Week 11 fantasy football.
A big chunk of his 15.90 points came when he returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter. His point total was tied for seventh-best among receivers, an impressive haul given his two percent ownership rate in Yahoo leagues. I’m not expecting much of a bump heading into Week 12 as they face a motivated Cleveland Browns team on the road.
101 YARD RETURN TD 🚨
— PFF (@PFF) November 17, 2019
Lamar Jackson is the talk of the NFL and rightfully so given he’s legitimately vaulted himself into the MVP conversation. He’s proving that he’s much more than a running quarterback as he contributed four touchdown tosses in Baltimore’s 41-7 win, their sixth in a row. But the Ravens also got a standout performance from Edwards. The undrafted second-year running back out of Rutgers rushed for 112 yards, the third-best mark of his career, while also adding Baltimore’s final touchdown of the day. Only four running backs finished with a higher fantasy point total than his 17.20 mark. All of them were owned by at least 98 percent of Yahoo players compared to Edwards’ seven percent rate. He’s a risky add, though, given the timeshare between him, Jackson, and Mark Ingram.
John Harbaugh on #Ravens RB Gus Edwards: "Gus is playing at a really high level. He's got a very big role on our team. He takes it seriously. … He's stepped up to the plate very well every time he's been out there." https://t.co/STJwiBTkEF pic.twitter.com/wr2gYkivBr
— PressBox (@PressBoxOnline) November 18, 2019
Stop the press! The New York Jets are actually on a two-game winning streak. That said, the quality of the competition wasn’t exactly formidable with them knocking off the hapless New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Griffin was a virtual non-factor in Week 10 against the Giants as he totaled -0.20 fantasy points. That was far from the case a week later as he led all tight ends in Week 11 fantasy football with 16.90 points. It marked just the second time this season that he eclipsed the 15-point plateau as he also did so in Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Those of us battle-hardened fantasy players are well-versed in the challenges associated with the tight end position if you don’t have someone like Travis Kelce. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Griffin is worth considering as a streaming option. The Jets welcome the Oakland Raiders to MetLife Stadium in Week 12, a team giving up the third-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Ryan Griffin's last three games without Chris Herndon:
* 90% of the snaps
* 94 routes on 113 Darnold dropbacks
* 17% target share
* 15-225-3 line
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) November 18, 2019
The man referred to as “Hausch-Money” hasn’t exactly provided a return on investment to fantasy owners in 2019. Coming into Sunday’s game, Hauschka had just a single game where he put together a double-digit output this season. And he was at least partially culpable for Buffalo falling to the Cleveland Browns last week as he missed two field goals including one that would’ve sent the game into overtime. So his minuscule five percent ownership rate heading into Week 11 couldn’t have come as a surprise.
But suffice it to say, he atoned for last Sunday’s off-day by hitting all three of his field goals (including one of 50+ yards) and all four of his PATs. In the end, he emulated Allen and Brown by finishing with the most points at his position this week. Definitely consider him if you’re looking to stream a kicker. Buffalo returns home this coming Sunday to face a Denver Broncos team giving up the second-most fantasy points to kickers.
Stephen Hauschka good from 51 yards to open the game and give the Bills a 3-0 lead.
Bills scoring drive: 7 plays, 42 yards, 2:56
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) November 17, 2019
Atlanta Falcons Defense / Special Teams
Prior to Week 11, the Falcons defense/special teams accounted for just 19.00 points all season. On Sunday, they equaled that and then some. It played a part in Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen playing his worst game as a pro as he threw four interceptions and finished with a 47.5 passer rating. The special teams kicked in early as well when Kenjon Barner returned a 78-yard punt the distance late in the first quarter to make it 10-0.
Not many had a lot of faith they’d pull it off as just three percent of Yahoo fantasy owners had them on their roster. Yet their 26.00 fantasy points were most among NFL teams. The unit’s also stream-worthy as Atlanta’s Week 12 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are conceding the fifth-most points to defenses this season. And we’re all familiar with how much of an interception machine Jameis Winston is.
Kenjon Barner is pretty good when he doesn't let the punter hit stick him.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 17, 2019