By Stephen Dolan
There were no shortage of upsets this last weekend in the NFL and the emergence of some rising stars in fantasy football. Can the same thing happen this week? We have your plays and passes for the NFL Week 11.
Play: Matthew Stafford (vs. OAK)
The Lions have won just two games all season and cleaned out more of their front office and part of their coaching staff, but somehow carry momentum into Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Stafford led Detroit to an 18-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, throwing for 242 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, making it three strong performances in his last four games. Detroit is taking on an Oakland Raiders team that has struggled against the pass allowing over 300 yards per game. Play Stafford.
Play: Russell Wilson (vs. SF)
Wilson is coming off arguably his worst game of the season on Sunday night against the Cardinals, as he completed just 43.8 percent of his passes for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The loss dropped the Seahawks to 4-5 on the season and puts their back against the wall. Wilson gets a favorable matchup on Sunday facing the 49ers and their 28th-ranked pass defense. With the Seahawks needing a win and facing a bitter division rival, expect Wilson to step up in a big way for Seattle.
Other Good Plays: Matt Ryan (vs. IND) for $7,800, Derek Carr (vs. DET) for $7,700, Teddy Bridgewater (vs. GB) for $6,600
Pass: Jay Cutler (vs. DEN)
Cutler had his best game of the season on Sunday against the Rams, completing 19 of his 24 passes for 258 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 151.0 rating. In addition to doing it through the air, he also rushed three times for 24 yards. It’ll get a lot tougher on Sunday as he faces a Denver defense that ranks No. 1 against the pass and will get top cornerback Aqib Talib back from his one-game suspension. Cutler may be playing well, but pass on him this week.
Other Passes: Blaine Gabbert (vs. SEA) for $6,000, Brock Osweiler (vs. CHI) for $6,000
Play: Jonathan Stewart (vs. WAS)
The Carolina Panthers are undefeated this season and the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders. Stewart was productive on Sunday against a surprisingly strong Tennessee defense, rushing 22 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. He has proven to be difficult to contain as he has not recorded a game with fewer than 50 rushing yards on the season. Stewart faces off against a porous Washington defense that is allowing 135.3 rushing yards per game on 5.0 yards per carry. Stewart should be played this week.
Play: Adrian Peterson (vs. GB)
After missing almost all of last season, the Vikings running back is returning to his old form. Entering last week’s game against the Raiders, Peterson had posted games of 98, 103 and 125 rushing yards. He topped that on Sunday rushing 26 times for 203 yards, aided in large part by an 80-yard touchdown run. Minnesota takes on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday who rank 24th in the league against the run allowing 116.2 yards per game. Play Peterson.
Other Good Plays: Darren McFadden (vs. MIA) for $6,800, Chris Ivory (vs. HOU) for $7,200, Latavius Murray (vs. DET) for $6,800
Pass: LeSean McCoy (vs. NE)
McCoy has hit his stride in Buffalo stringing together back-to-back games of 112 yards on the ground, most recently on Thursday night against the stout New York Jets defense. Monday night could be a different story as McCoy faces the New England Patriots rush defense that ranks second in the NFL allowing just 88.2 rushing yards per game. The prolific New England offense could jump out to a lead which would force Buffalo to throw the ball more, also limiting McCoy’s touches. Pass on McCoy this week.
Other Passes: Jeremy Hill (vs. ARI) for $6,500, Melvin Gordon (vs. KC) for $6,000
Play: Julio Jones (vs. IND)
Jones has put on a show this season with five 100-yard receiving games and seven games with 92 or more receiving yards in his first nine games. He has 80 receptions for 1,029 yards and six touchdowns on the season and he is showing no signs of slowing down. Entering the bye week, Jones recorded games with 162 and 137 receiving yards posting at least 10 catches in each contest. He faces a Colts defense that is allowing 12.3 yards per reception and 284.7 receiving yards per game, good enough for 25th in the league. Play Jones.
Play: Calvin Johnson (vs. OAK)
Johnson has been relatively quiet this season, by his standards at least. He has just one 100-yard game and it came against the Bears when he caught six passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. Since that game, he has been crazy consistent with games of 86, 85 and 81 receiving yards. Detroit is taking on a Raiders secondary that has been picked apart this season allowing over 300 passing yards per game, 30th in the NFL. Play Johnson.
Play: Amari Cooper (vs. DET)
Across the field from Johnson will be one of the NFL’s top young wide receivers in Oakland’s Amari Cooper. Cooper has been a favorite target of quarterback Derek Carr as he has 50 receptions for 732 yards and four touchdowns. He caught five of his nine targets for 79 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. A better matchup is ahead for Cooper as he faces a Lions secondary that has been torched through the first half of the season allowing 276.6 yards per game, ranked 22nd in the NFL.
Other Good Plays: Golden Tate (vs. OAK) for $6,200, Michael Crabtree (vs. DET) for $6,500, Dez Bryant (vs. MIA) for $8,400
Pass: Alshon Jeffrey (vs. DEN)
Jeffrey missed time with an injury earlier this season, but appeared to be healthy and stringing together some big performances with games of 147, 116 and 151 receiving yards heading into Sunday’s game against the Rams. However, Jeffrey was held to just three receptions for 23 yards in Chicago’s win over St. Louis. It gets much tougher for Jeffrey on Sunday facing the vaunted Denver secondary and Jeffrey, being the top target in the Bears’ offense, is likely to be going head-to-head with one of the top cornerbacks in the league in Aqib Talib.
Other Passes: Demaryius Thomas (vs. CHI) for $7,700, A.J. Green (vs. ARI) for $8,200
Play: Jimmy Graham (vs. SF)
Graham hasn’t been the fantasy stud in Seattle this season that we were used to him being with the Saints. With that said, he still leads the Seahawks in receiving with 491 yards on 41 receptions and two touchdowns. His up-and-down season showed on Sunday with just three receptions for 48 yards in a crucial game against the Arizona Cardinals. Graham will get the opportunity to put up gaudy numbers on Sunday against a San Francisco pass defense that is allowing 294.2 receiving yards per game. Play Graham.
Other Good Plays: Rob Gronkowski (vs. BUF) for $8,400, Jason Witten (vs. MIA) for $5,500
Pass: Garrett Celek (vs. SEA)
Celek is expected to have a much larger role in the 49ers offense with the departure of tight end Vernon Davis, who was traded to Denver at the trade deadline. In his first game as the primary tight end for Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers, Celek caught only two passes for 12 yards but salvaged his fantasy value by scoring on both receptions. It’ll be a much taller task on Sunday as Celek is facing the Seattle defense that has been stingy against the pass this season allowing just nine touchdowns and only 221.8 yards per game. Pass on Celek this week.
Other Passes: Martellus Bennett (vs. DEN) for $5,200, Vernon Davis (vs. CHI) for $5,000
Play: Stephen Gostkowski (vs. BUF) for $5,100
Play: Connor Barth (vs. PHI) for $4,800
Play: Graham Gano (vs. WAS) for $4,800
Pass: Cairo Santos (vs. SD) for $5,000
Pass: Mason Crosby (vs. MIN) for $4,900
Pass: Phil Dawson (vs. SEA) for $4,800
Play: Seahawks (vs. SF) for $5,400
Play: Broncos (vs. CHI) for $5,300
Play: Eagles (vs. TB) for $4,900
Pass: Cardinals (vs. CIN) for $4,800
Pass: Dolphins (vs. DAL) for $4,700
Pass: Falcons (vs. IND) for $4,600
QB: Russell Wilson (vs. SF)
RB: Chris Ivory (vs. HOU)
RB: Jonathan Stewart (vs. WAS)
WR: Julio Jones (vs. IND)
WR: Michael Crabtree (vs. DET)
WR: Jordan Matthews (vs. TB)
TE: Jimmy Graham (vs. SF)
K: Stephen Gostkowski (vs. BUF)
D/ST: Seahawks (vs. SF)
Steve Dolan is an MBA student at Villanova University and a graduate of the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University. Steve co-founded Whiz Wit Sports, a Philadelphia-centric sports blog, in March 2011 growing the site to win PHL 17’s Best Local Blogger on the Philly Hot List in 2013.