Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 11: Fantasy studs, bargains and busts

Who were the fantasy studs, bargains and busts of Week 11? Here's a roundup of who stood out.

Week 11: Fantasy studs, bargains and busts

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson had three touchdowns in the Bills´ win over the Bengals. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson had three touchdowns in the Bills' win over the Bengals. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Very soon, will be launching its own private FanDuel fantasy football league, where readers will have the chance to win cash prizes.

You'll be competing against us and other readers, and we'll list our picks in this space every week. In addition, we will also be posting a recap of the week's action, including top performers, best bargains and biggest busts. Once the league gets started, we will also announce the winner and post a scoreboard with reader rankings.

Click here for details on how FanDuel's fantasy game works. We will be playing in a $60K salary cap league, in which all players are available to every team. And you make picks on a weekly basis.

With Thanksgiving on Thursday, we will be back Wednesday with a look at the Week 12 games, including our picks.

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And look for details on how to join the private league early next week.

Week 11 Top Performers

QB - Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) - 34.5 points - 275 pass yards, 3 TDs; 55 rush yards, TD

It's hard to talk about Big Ben without mentioning Richard Seymour so let's just get that out of the way. Seymour pimp-slapped him. It was dumb, but I didn't hate it. Let's move on. Roethlisberger, using both his arms and his legs, torched a Raiders defense that had been playing great, averaging 16 fantasy points per week in the last three. The Steelers will visit the Bills this week, and Big Ben could be in store for another great game.

WR - Greg Jennings (GB) - 33.2 points - 152 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Jennings is finally returning to his 2009 form. Since complaining about not getting the ball enough, the Packers' wide-out has found himself a constant target of Aaron Rodgers. Jennings has caught 32 balls, six for touchdowns, in his last five games. Jennings and the Packers will square off against another top fantasy receiver in Roddy White and the Falcons.

WR - Steve Johnson (BUF) - 31.7 points - 137 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Johnson had a great week, especially since he has been slightly under-priced. It was Johnson's second three-touchdown game of the season, and he has nine scores overall. I sat him in my one league, playing Jeremy Maclin instead, and nearly paid for it (luckily I also had Jennings). He was a good pick, facing off against the Bengals. He isn't as strong a pick this week, however. But we will have more on that this Thursday (I'll give you a hint: He's playing the Steelers).

WR - Santonio Holmes (NYJ) - 24.60 points - 126 receiving yards, 2 TDs

Holmes blew up for a season-high 126 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against Houston. The Texans' pass defense is suspect, but it's been Holmes' ability to get open late in games that has made him a favorite target of QB Mark Sanchez. That's a good sign, especially since the Jets have found themselves needing to score late in games a lot recently. Look for Holmes to have another big game this week as he faces the Bengals' defense, which was torched by Johnson and the Bills last week.

RB - Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) - 25 points - 133 rush yards, TD; 87 receiving yards; INT

MJD is on fire. It's as simple as that. In the last month, he is averaging over 20 points a week and nearly 25 for the last two weeks. Jones has rushed for over 100 yards in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. Playing for a Jacksonville team that has surprisingly found itself atop the AFC South, expect Jones-Drew to get the ball a lot down the stretch, as his team will rely on him to spark the offense.

RB - Fred Jackson (BUF) - 24.9 points - 116 rush yards, 2 TDs; 13 receiving yards

Jackson is the second Bills player to make this list, and I would be willing to bet that's a first for the 2010 season. Without rookie C.J. Spiller in the lineup, the Bills put the load on Jackson, who carried the ball 21 times. Jackson had to leave the game briefly, but he should be fine for Week 12. Be wary though. He may suffer the same fate as Johnson against Pittsburgh, especially with the possibility of Spiller returning to the lineup.

TE - Joel Dreessen (HOU) - 16.6 points - 106 receiving yards, TD

Dreessen was the one-hit wonder of the week. The Texans' tight end exploded for the first 100-yard game of his career. His big 43-yard touchdown catch accounted for most of his scoring, and Dreessen could continue to play well. Expect him to be a target of Matt Schaub in the absence of Owen Daniels, especially after he bounced back so well from a poor performance in Week 10.

K - Graham Gano (WAS) - 16 points - 4 FGs (1 K 0-19 yds; 3 K 40-49 yds); 1 PAT

Gano had his first double-digit game in since Week 5, and he could have had 20+ points had he not missed attempts from 47 and 51 yards. Gano redeemed himself in overtime by knocking in a 48-yard game-winner, bailing out Donovan McNabb, who had 376 passing yards, but was only able to find the end zone once in 50 passing attempts.

DEF - Baltimore Ravens - 23 points - 13 PA; 3 Sacks; 2 INTs; 2 TDs

Ah, old faithful. The Ravens defense is never a bad play, especially when they are playing the Panthers. This was by far the best week of the season for the Ravens, who had only scored in double-digits once previously (12 points against the Dolphins in Week 9).

 - Matt Mullin

Week 11 Bargains

QB - Jon Kitna (DAL)

Kitna has Jason Garrett’s Cowboys on an exceedingly modest two-game winning streak, improving their record to a Texas-sized 3-7. Despite only throwing for 147 yards, Kitna accounted for four touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground, thanks to a 29-yard scamper that somehow saw him out-rush Michael Vick, 40 yards to 34. For the bargain basement price of $6,800, Kitna produced the third-most points among quarterbacks.

RB - Mike Tolbert (SD)

Tolbert probably played a role in many Monday night comebacks across the fantasy football world, thanks to an 111-yard rushing performance. Tolbert scored a touchdown on the ground and also racked up 42 yards receiving, placing him fourth among running backs. For the modest price of $6,200 - 27th among running backs - many of Tolbert’s owners likely found themselves making an 180-degree emotional turn from the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory.

WR - Blair White (IND)

White managed only 42 yards receiving on five catches; fortunately, 40 percent of those catches were made in the end zone. His two touchdowns accounted for 12 of the 16.2 fantasy points, placing him twelfth among WRs. For the paltry price of $4,700, he paid off in a big way for owners this week.

TE - Joel Dreessen (HOU)

A tough choice here, as Rams tight end Michael Hoomanawanui came from nowhere to place third among tight ends, due mainly to a 25-yard touchdown reception. However, because we highly doubt anyone could find Hoomanawanui that far down the list, at his $4,400 price tag, let alone spell his name (obligatory joke about difficult-to-spell name brought to you by ESPN), he is not our bargain performer of the week.

Top honors here go to Texans tight end Dreessen, who broke the 100-yard barrier and hauled in a TD to place first among tight ends and earn the title of bargain performer. Dreessen totaled 106 yards on just four catches, giving him 16 points. For $5,000, this was truly a bargain performance.

K - Robbie Gould (CHI)

The Bears' kicker provided all the offense Chicago needed in its 16-0 blanking of the Miami Dolphins, but he did his owners a solid by going on to kick two more field goals and an extra point. Gould finished fifth among kickers in Week 11, despite being the 15th-highest priced kicker, a pleasant surprise earning him the bargain bin gem.

The price difference from Gould to the top kicker is only $1,000, but your penny-pinching tendencies likely paid off for you if you spent the money wisely in other places.

DEF - Cleveland Browns

The price difference between the most and least-expensive defenses is only $600, but those who saved that money by choosing the Browns over the top-priced New York Jets were handsomely rewarded. The Browns totaled 20 points in a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, second only to the Ravens, tied for most expensive defense with the Jets. Cleveland allowed 24 points, but intercepted Jaguars QB David Garrard four times and recovered two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown. For $5,800, the Browns proved to be a fine buy.

Week 11 Busts

QB - Kyle Orton (DEN)

While Tolbert likely rescued many fantasy owners, Kyle Orton mustered a quiet comeback effort for even more. Rated as the ninth-most expensive quarterback, Orton produced the 24th-best effort from signal-callers this week. Orton threw for a modest 217 yards and one touchdown, while also getting intercepted once. Those looking for a Monday night shootout involving two of fantasy’s best quarterbacks were sorely disappointed.

RB - Darren McFadden (OAK)

McFadden was the 10th-most expensive running back this week, but expectations should have been tempered with his matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McFadden averaged a putrid 1.4 yards per carry, totalling 14 yards, and added only slightly more in the passing game, with two catches going for 16 yards. His performance ranked behind those of such luminary backs as Dimitri Nance and Jacob Hester. For $7,500, he was far from worth the money.

WR - Andre Johnson (HOU)

Johnson took an ill-timed visit to Revis Island, as the superstar Texans receiver barely got into the game. Johnson caught only four passes for 32 yards as Houston targeted Dreesen and handed off to Arian Foster. At $7,000, eighth among receivers, Johnson produced a terrible return on the investment.

TE - Vernon Davis (SF)

Davis got caught up in a shutout, as the San Francisco 49ers were trounced by Tampa Bay. Davis caught only one pass for 3 yards as the Niners struggled to do anything - and to make matters worse, he left the game with an ankle injury. Those who tabbed Davis as their tight end didn’t even get a single point for their $5,500 allotment.

K - Dan Carpenter (MIA)

This one is easy. Carpenter didn’t even get a chance to kick a field goal, with the Dolphins mired in the quagmire known as Bad Quarterbacking. Carpenter, the second-highest priced kicker, was a waste of a roster spot.

DEF - New York Jets

It’s not just that the Jets allowed 27 points to the Houston Texans - it’s how they did it. On a day when Johnson was shut down, the Jets managed only one sack of Schaub and failed to intercept a pass, though they did force and recover a fumble. As the highest-priced defense, their owners were expecting more from Rex Ryan's defense.

- Andrew O'Brien

Matt Mullin is a sports producer at and can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @matt_mullin.

Andrew O'Brien works on the sports desk at and can be reached at

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