RotoWire Partners

Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 11

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Mark Sanchez vs. HOU

Sanchez had another strong fantasy game last week, throwing for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns in an overtime win over the Browns. Sanchez could surpass that performance this week as he has one of the most favorable matchups on the board against Houston. The Texans are last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback. They have allowed a league-high 22 touchdown passes and at least two touchdown passes seven consecutive weeks. Look for Sanchez to continue his growth toward becoming an upper-echelon fantasy quarterback.

Mike Thomas vs. CLE

Thomas is coming off a career day against the Texans, including catching the Hail Mary to win the game. Thomas has been fairly consistent this season, catching at least four passes in seven of nine games, and figures to have another good game this week against the Browns. The Browns are just 26th in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and have given up touchdown passes in seven of the last eight weeks. While Thomas might not match last week's totals, he should be considered a good play this week.

Felix Jones vs. DET

The Cowboys running game has been non-existent this season as Dallas ranks just 31st in the league in rushing at less than 79 yards per game. However, last week in Jason Garrett's first game the Cowboys cracked 100 yards for the first time since Week 5. Jones had 17 touches last week to Marion Barber's nine and figures to benefit most from this week's matchup against the Lions. The Lions rank last in the NFL in points allowed to running backs and have given up at least 100 yards in four of their past five games. Furthermore, they are one of the worst teams in the league defending passes to running backs, having allowed a league-high four touchdowns. Look for Jones to be a nice flex option this week as he could have his best game of the season.

Jermaine Gresham vs. BUF

Gresham is coming off a career day as he hauled in nine passes and a touchdown in a loss to the Colts last week. While Gresham's yardage numbers aren't that impressive, he has caught 40 passes and has been targeted at least six times in six of his last seven games. Gresham figures to have another solid day in his matchup against the Bills. The Bills have allowed the second most fantasy points to the tight end position and a league-high eight touchdowns. Look for Gresham to be in position to have another all-around solid effort and be one of the better tight end plays this week.

Baltimore Def vs. CAR

The Ravens have been a fantasy defensive bust as they rank just 23rd in sacks, 17th in interceptions and 27th in fumble recoveries. This week, the Ravens could change their fortune as they face a Panthers team that figures to do very little in this matchup. The Panthers are last in scoring offense, have given up the third most sacks per game, rank 29th in fumbles lost and 30th in interception percentage. Look for the Ravens to be one of the top defensive plays of the weak as they shut down the Panthers offense.


Kyle Orton vs. SD

Orton has been one of the most consistent players in the league this season and has been a great bargain for anyone who drafted him Orton is coming off a season-high four touchdowns against the Chiefs and this week faces his toughest challenge to date in division rival San Diego. The Chargers have allowed the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and are well rested after coming off a bye. While Orton is too good to sit, expect this to be one of his tougher weeks of the season.

Darren McFadden vs. PIT

McFadden has been one of the real surprises in 2010 as he has rushed for 757 yards in only seven games. However, a lot of this production has come against some of the worst run defenses in the league, as McFadden has faced the Rams, Cardinals and Broncos. McFadden will be tested this week against the Steelers run defense. The Steelers have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Their season high in rushing yards allowed came last week against the Patriots -- just 89 yards. Look for McFadden to struggle and have one of his least productive games of the season this week.

LeSean McCoy vs. NYG

McCoy has been outstanding this season, rushing for more than 600 yards while catching 46 passes for an additional 352 yards through the air. McCoy faces a tough test this week against the Giants, who rank as the sixth toughest team against running backs in fantasy. The Giants also are very good defending the pass to running backs, as they have given up the second fewest catches and only one touchdown all season. McCoy may be another player who is too good to bench, but figure this to be a below average week for McCoy.

Brandon Marshall vs. CHI

Marshall has been very good with 55 receptions but very disappointing with only one touchdown catch. This week, Marshall faces the Bears in the Thursday night game with third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen starting. While Thigpen has had his moments, he and Marshall face a tough test in the Bears. The Bears have given up the sixth fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and the fewest points to quarterbacks. Marshall has been in a bit of an overall fantasy slump as he hasn't broken 100 yards since Week 6 and caught his only touchdown in Week 3. Marshall will get some catches but don't expect a lot of overall fantasy scoring this week.

Jason Witten vs. DET

Witten has been tight end royalty for several years, but now that Tony Romo is out for the season, he has struggled mightily. Witten has just four catches for 51 yards in the two games Jon Kitna has started, and things don't look better this week. The Lions have allowed the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends and have not allowed more than 59 yards receiving to the position this season, while allowing only two touchdown catches. While Witten should eventually get back in the good graces of his fantasy owners, this probably will not be the week.