<
>

Answering your Week 11 start-or-sit questions for fantasy football

Thomas Rawls is slated to return to action on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

This page will be updated with new questions and answers up until just after noon ET, so refresh often to see if your question was answered. The most recent answers will appear first.

Sometimes, rankings and columns just aren't enough to help you decide which player should go in your lineup. If you're still not sure about that final spot before Sunday's games kick off, send us a question on Twitter using the hashtag #startsitESPN, and you just might get yours answered below.

Each week, ESPN Fantasy analysts KC Joyner and Jim McCormick will provide advice for players just like you stuck with tough choices to make.

There are four teams on byes in Week 11, which creates additional lineup dilemmas, so let's get started on answering your fantasy football questions for this week's games.


It all comes down to upside. Brady is still one of the best percentage plays of the week, but with Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan out and Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett both listed as questionable, Brady's upside potential might not be as great as Mariota's. Add in Mariota having posted 25 or more points in four of his last six games and it would give him the upside edge here. -- KC

The main issue for Taylor is how much of his production of late has occurred on the ground, as 29 of the 65 points he has scored over the past three weeks were the result of rushing plays. It's a bit risky to assume that this type of ground production will continue, so Bortles would be the selection. -- KC

Since both players are bell-cow ball carriers for their respective teams, the tiebreaker here can be found in receptions. Kelley has caught only two passes this year in part because Washington has a strong third-down back in Chris Thompson (who has 30 receptions on the year). Howard leads the Bears' running backs in targets (24) and receptions (18), so the tiebreaker goes in his direction. -- KC

Gurley has not posted a single game this year when his good blocking yards per attempt (GBYPA, my measure of running back productivity when receiving quality run blocking) was above the league average of 8.2. Gurley is also battling a thigh injury and is on a team that has a rookie quarterback making his first start (Jared Goff). Murray has an injury issue of his own, but otherwise has an edge in every other area, so he is the pick here. -- KC

Over the past three games, the Packers have allowed 24 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns to opponents' tight ends. Since the Washington-Green Bay contest is quite likely to turn into a shootout, Reed should be used very often in an effort to exploit this coverage weakness and thus gets the nod here. -- KC

The wind could certainly cause the Steelers to run the ball more, but they could also be motivated to re-establish the ground game after last week's rushing debacle against Dallas that saw Le'Veon Bell gain only 57 yards on 17 carries. The weather won't be a factor in Indianapolis, but injuries to both of the Colts' starting cornerbacks could make the Titans want to test their aerial attack as much as possible. Those factors mark Mariota the choice here. -- KC

My matchup grade rating system measures matchups on a 0-100 scale, with 100 being the most favorable. C.J. Fiedorowicz does well in this area with 65 matchup points in Week 11, but Thomas has a rare 100 score in his matchup against a Lions defense that has allowed a touchdown to opponents' tight ends in all but two games this year. That type of matchup advantage makes Thomas the selection in this one. -- KC

The Cardinals are likely to be without Tyrann Mathieu in this game. That should help Diggs, but he still has to contend with Patrick Peterson, one of the league's best shutdown cornerbacks. The Eagles' secondary has allowed the second-fewest points per game to opponents' tight ends but have allowed five or more tight end receptions in two of the past three weeks. Seattle will aim to test Philadelphia's coverage in this area, and that gives Graham the advantage in this matchup. -- KC

The Rams' offense is about as favorable a matchup as a D/ST can face, as it gives the Dolphins a rare perfect 100 matchup points total in my grading system. Add in Los Angeles starting a rookie quarterback and Gurley battling an ankle injury, and Miami is the way to go in this one. -- KC

So the real question here is can you justify starting Palmer so you don't have to root for Kaepernick against the Patriots? The Vikings have allowed 14, 14 and 18 points to opponents' quarterbacks over the past three weeks. Minnesota has also allowed 95 or more rushing yards to opponents' running backs in each of the past four games and gave up 120 or more rushing yards in two of those games. Those elements place a ceiling on Palmer that is likely to be in the 14-18 point range. Kaepernick won't get much done in the air with Torrey Smith likely to be out of this game, but his rushing ability will likely keep him around the same point range as Palmer, so feel free to bench Kaepernick and start Palmer. -- KC

Kelce has a perfect 100 score in the rating system. He could also be tops on the Chiefs' passing target priority list since Jeremy Maclin is out for this game. Green's matchup is just as favorable, but he was limited in some practices this week and isn't anywhere near as high on the Steelers' passing target priority list. That makes Kelce the pick in this one. -- KC

The Colts' secondary will be missing one of its starting cornerbacks (Patrick Robinson), and its other starting cornerback (Vontae Davis) is battling an injury. Those factors give the Titans' passing attack a potentially huge boost, and they make Matthews the selection in this one. -- KC

Delanie Walker has an awesome target share of the Titans' offense, especially with Marcus Mariota's amazing red zone production -- the quarterback has 30 touchdowns and no interceptions in the red zone over his career. While Tyler Eifert has been productive in his return, matchup and volume favor Walker, who has averaged 7.6 receptions and 82 yards against the Colts in three meetings since last season. -- J.M.

Still sticking with Taylor's higher floor thanks to such steady rushing production. -- J.M.

Brock Osweiler's inefficiency (last in yards per dropback) limits the appeal for Hopkins, but his massive target share still gives him the edge over peers like Meredith, who hasn't yet established a rapport with Jay Cutler. - J.M.

Has to be Theo Riddick, as he's had at least 15 touches in his past six games, while Amendola is merely a complementary target on the Pats. - J.M.

It's a valid dilemma, but Landry is essentially the higher-ceiling version of Beasley, as both are reception-dependent receivers. - J.M.

Going with Cousins at home against a Green Bay defense that has allowed the second-most points per drive over the past three games. - J.M.

Carlos Hyde is in a nice spot as the goal-line and feature back for the 49ers, a team that heavily feeds their backfield with touches no matter the game flow situation (i.e. they run/feed the backs even when down). -- J.M.

Prefer Britt to White, as he's on pace for more than 1,200 yards and could be a heavy target of Jared Goff's in his debut, given their rapport in the preseason. -- J.M.

ESPN's Sheil Kapadia envisions C.J. Prosise leading the Seahawks' backfield in touches, while his receiving skill set supports a high floor in PPR leagues. -- J.M.

Siding with Luck, as he's in a higher-volume passing game. Prescott is still a strong option, of course, but Baltimore has allowed the fewest points per drive in the AFC, thus there is a matchup angle to help differentiate. -- J.M.

Miller is off the injury report, and the Raiders have proven generous to backs on a per-touch basis, thus he's the stronger fantasy option of the two. -- J.M.

Crowell gets the nod with a nice series of touches and claim to any rewarding goal-line work. -- J.M.

Prefer Ebron, who has enjoyed a nice rapport recently with Stafford, while he could prove busy across the middle. -- J.M.

Riddick's workload is strong enough to support a stable fantasy floor, earning him the nod over Miller. -- J.M.

Meredith is the stronger option with Hurns' target-per-route rate proving inefficient lately. -- J.M.

With Jay Ajayi running wild for Miami, passing volume has dipped for the Dolphins, with Landry losing value as a PPR asset. The Packers, meanwhile, are passing the ball nearly 50 times a game over the past month, supporting a nice market share for Adams. -- J.M.

I have Hopkins rated lowest of this trio, which is a result of facing David Amerson and dealing with Osweiler's sluggish production. -- J.M.

With his recent uptick in production and goal-line success, Murray gets the nod over Kelley, who has a lower ceiling without any receiving work. -- J.M.

Just over 47 percent of Tom Brady's fantasy production has gone to his tight ends, while Bennett could net a strong share of targets with Rob Gronkowski sidelined. -- J.M.

Let's go with Michael Crabtree and his 23 percent share of Oakland's productive passing game and Davante Adams, who could be a target hog against Bashaud Breeland today with Josh Norman likely assigned to Jordy Nelson. Randall Cobb is a nice option, but based on his usage this season, he has the lowest ceiling. -- J.M.

Siding with Marcus Mariota here, as the high winds and potential for the game script to trend run-heavy for the Steelers gives the nod to the Titans quarterback. While Mariota could also hand off a ton today, his touchdown pattern since Week 5 is truly elite, while his matchup signals a potential shootout. It's close -- I'm not fading Roethlisberger, particularly -- just believe if we have a strong alternative it could make sense to avoid that windy climate (reports suggest winds of 30 mph in Cleveland). -- J.M.

This is somehow a completely legit dilemma in 2016. That said, I prefer the potential for 20-plus touches and any goal-line work for Todd Gurley over the valuable slot receiver. -- J.M.

Tajaé Sharpe just recently scored his first touchdown, but his general lack of big-play prowess limits the appeal for me. Meanwhile, Tyreek Hill could again see a nice batch of targets with Jeremy Maclin out and bubble screens for the Chiefs against a fallible Tampa secondary. Hill's 4.24 speed helps support a higher ceiling than Sharpe provides. -- J.M.

Word is Amari Cooper will start on Monday night despite dealing with an injury, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. Matthews has been great in the touchdown department, but Cooper's 25 percent share of Derek Carr's attempts is a valuable advantage over Matthews' touchdown-dependent profile. -- J.M.

Cole Beasley has at least 50 yards in all but one game this season, but his ceiling is truly limited and even compromised in this matchup against the Ravens, as Baltimore has ceded the second-fewest points per drive to opponents. Jordan Matthews faces a tough Seattle secondary, but the spot to challenge them is from the slot, where Matthews runs the majority of his routes. -- J.M.

Let's go with Travis Kelce and his uptick in target share with Maclin out. I'll take Gurley with White's workload in the passing phase likely compromised by the presence of Dion Lewis. -- J.M.

For me, it's Doug Baldwin, as he's in a great spot, since Russell Wilson seems revived from the pocket and the Eagles have just one corner ranked in the top 102 among corners, topping out at 62nd at the position. -- J.M.

Thomas Rawls offers more upside, as White would need to score in the passing phase from outside a goal-to-go scenario most likely, since LeGarrette Blount dominates those scenarios. Rawls, at least, could earn valuable shares of goal-line work for the Seahawks in his return as the team's early-down bruiser. -- J.M.

I dig Kelley, as he's due around 20 touches against a Green Bay defense that is missing inside backer Jake Ryan. -- J.M.

With the reception reward, I actually prefer Golden Tate's higher floor, as the Lions' offense relies heavily on high-percentage, short-yardage work that fits Tate well. -- J.M.

Gotta be Spencer Ware, as this total-yardage maven faces a Tampa defense that has allowed 100 yards on the ground and 50 yards receiving per game this season. -- J.M.

The Giants have forced seven turnovers and average 2.5 sacks over the past month, while Jay Cutler is last in QBR and is a great matchup for opposing defenses. -- J.M.