<
>

Saquon Barkley continues his historic rookie season with a 35-point performance

play
Tre'Quan Smith trending up again (1:04)

Matthew Berry and Field Yates discuss expectations for Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith after a breakout game against the Eagles. (1:04)

As we do each week, we recap the week's best and worst from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 1 and 4 p.m. ET (and, when applicable, Sunday Night Football) games for our picks.

The Best

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants: His historic rookie campaign continued Sunday with a 35.2 PPR fantasy point, three-touchdown performance in the Giants' 38-35 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That gave Barkley 252.8 points through 10 games of his rookie season, which is the fourth-most points by any skill-position player through that many games of an NFL career (see the chart to the right). It also represented the ninth time that Barkley scored at least 20 points in a game, which is already tied (with Edgerrin James and Cam Newton) for the second most by any rookie in history, trailing only Eric Dickerson's 10 (1983). Barkley's receiving prowess is what has stood out most from his debut year, as his two receptions on Sunday gave him 64, which is already the eighth most in history by any rookie running back and only 24 shy of Reggie Bush's record of 88, set in 2006. Barkley does have a pair of tough matchups upcoming in the Philadelphia Eagles (Week 12) and Chicago Bears (Week 13), but he has put up excellent totals while facing stingy run defenses before (20.1 against the Washington Redskins in Week 8, most recently). He's one of the top commodities in fantasy, especially in dynasty formats.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: What a performance. Hilton led the way in a 38-10 Colts rout of the division-rival Tennessee Titans and led his position in PPR fantasy points from the 1 p.m. ET game block, scoring 36.5. That he did so in a game where cornerback Adoree' Jackson, one of the top performers at his position this season, largely drew him in coverage made the effort all the more impressive. Hilton finished eight-tenths of a point shy of his previous personal best of 37.3 (2014 Week 6), and it gave him nine games out of 102 in his career with at least 30 points. He has now put up big performances despite what were advertised challenging matchups against Jackson and the Titans on Sunday, the Washington Redskins and Josh Norman in Week 2 (21.3 points scored), the Buffalo Bills and Tre'Davious White in Week 7 (18.5 points) and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jalen Ramsey in Week 10 (10.7), cementing his status as a weekly WR2.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Make that two consecutive weeks and three for the season that Elliott has scored at least 30 PPR fantasy points, as his 33.1 on Sunday helped propel the Cowboys to a hard-fought, 22-19 road victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Like the aforementioned Barkley, Elliott's performance this season has been driven by a healthy contribution as a receiver, as he caught seven passes on Sunday, giving him a career-high 42 for the season, or 10 more than he had during the entirety of his 15-game rookie campaign of 2016 (that was his previous personal best). Have no fear of Elliott's difficult Week 12 matchup against the Redskins, as he's finding many ways to fill the fantasy stat sheet.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: He escaped an injury scare during the third quarter of his game against the Detroit Lions, after multiple defenders fell on his leg, to finish the 1 p.m. ET game block with a position-best 24.5 fantasy points. While it came in a disappointing, one-point loss, it still gave Newton his seventh performance worth at least 20 points this season, and pushed his seasonal total to 229.1, which gives him a good chance at a top-five seasonal ranking among quarterbacks once the week concludes. Newton has by far the most favorable remaining schedule in fantasy football, with remaining matchups against the Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints (2) and Atlanta Falcons. There's a good chance he'll finish the season the position's No. 2 scorer.

DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers: In a breakthrough performance for the rookie wide receiver, Moore scored 28.7 PPR fantasy points, third most at his position from the 1 p.m. ET games. He set personal bests with eight targets, seven receptions and 157 receiving yards, matched his previous best with one touchdown, and might've had a second touchdown if he hadn't been tackled within the Lions' 5-yard line. As Newton has been spreading the football around a bit, now that he has a deeper receiving corps, Moore's performance might fluctuate and/or be matchups-driven the rest of the way. Fortunately, he has an exceptional overall set of remaining matchups, making him a risk/reward WR3.

Andrew Luck, QB, Colts: Say hello to one of the season's most consistent quarterbacks, as Luck's 23.9 fantasy points, tops at the position from the 1 p.m. ET games, gave him a seventh consecutive game with at least 20 and practically guaranteed him a seventh performance out of 10 finishing within the week's top 10 scoring quarterbacks. That moved him into a tie with Patrick Mahomes and Newton for the most top-10 weeks (7), though Mahomes' Monday night game is pending. Luck did it by completing three touchdown passes for the seventh consecutive game, which in itself is quite a feat, as only Tom Brady (10, 2007 Weeks 1-11) and Peyton Manning (8, 2004 Weeks 5-13) had more and Dan Marino had as many (7, 1986 Week 14-1987 Week 8) in history. That Luck did it against a strong Titans defense, after scoring 21.2 against the Jaguars in Week 10, only bolstered his case as a must-start QB1 in all formats. There's little reason to fear either of his tough-matchup rematches against those Jaguars (road, Week 13) or Titans (road, Week 17).

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers: His 27.3 PPR fantasy points on Thursday Night Football gave him a second consecutive week with at least 25, meaning that the two highest-scoring performances in his young, 20-game NFL career have come in the past two weeks (this one and his 32.2 points from Week 10). While this came in a losing effort, that he accomplished it against a strong-performing Seattle Seahawks defense only made it stand out more, as Jones joined Todd Gurley II as the only running backs to score as many as 25 points against the Seahawks this season. Jones' 63 receiving yards were also more than three-fifths of his career total entering the game (100), a sign that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers are willing to find creative ways to keep him involved. That should alleviate much of the worry about Jones' tough matchup against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12.

Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers: One of the Buccaneers' few bright spots on Sunday -- even if they came awfully close to winning despite the lackluster performance -- Evans' play picked up once the team switched quarterbacks, going from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Jameis Winston in the third quarter. Evans caught six of his seven targets for 30.0 PPR fantasy points, giving him a pair of outstanding scores sandwiching a pair of poor ones. Whom the Buccaneers tab their quarterback for Week 12 will have some say in Evans' fantasy value, but Evans does have to tangle with Richard Sherman and the San Francisco 49ers, which isn't one of the better individual matchups from that contest. Consider Evans WR2 material.

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins: For the first time since 2017 Week 7, Reed reached the 20-PPR-point fantasy plateau, his 20.1 points leading all tight ends from Sunday's 1 p.m. ET games. It was yet another big score surrendered by the Houston Texans' defense, after they allowed 24.3 points to Jeff Heuerman in Week 10. For those worried about Reed's performance with Colt McCoy as his quarterback going forward -- Alex Smith suffered a season-ending leg injury in the game -- Reed's touchdown did come on a pass from McCoy, and Reed did average a respectable 10.5 points in McCoy's four starts in 2014.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos: His outstanding, out-of-nowhere rookie season surged on Sunday, as his 26.6 PPR fantasy points set a new personal best, exceeding the 20.2 points he scored just three weeks earlier. Despite being part of a time share, plus facing a matchup against a Los Angeles Chargers run defense that had been above-average to this point, Lindsay earned the start in 56.1 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 11, 22nd-highest among running backs. He now has 145.7 points for the season, which puts him squarely among the top 15 scorers at his position and gives him an outside chance at being 12th-best by week's end, which isn't bad for a player who went undrafted in both the NFL and fantasy game -- he was selected in only 1.9 percent of ESPN leagues before the season began.

Tre'Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints: The receiving star of Sunday's Philadelphia Eagles-Saints game, Smith set a new career high with his 31.7 PPR fantasy points. It was quite a show, as he caught 10 passes, which was two shy of his entire season total entering the week, and was targeted a team-high 13 times, with no other Saints receiver seeing more than five targets. Smith's role only expanded after the team placed Ted Ginn Jr. on injured reserve, then added Dez Bryant to that list within a week after signing him, and there's a chance that the rookie could be a difference-maker in fantasy in the coming weeks as a result. Smith remains available in more than 85 percent of ESPN leagues.

Drew Brees, QB, Saints: For the second consecutive week, the Saints dominated their opponent, bringing Brees' day to an early end, this time removing him midway through the fourth quarter while possessing a 48-7 lead. The veteran quarterback scored 30.5 fantasy points before exiting, however, giving him a record-extending (among quarterbacks) 24th career game with at least 30 points -- and he now has five more than the second-best on the list, Tom Brady. Brees also moved up on the all-time fantasy points list with the effort, passing Peyton Manning and moving into second place using PPR scoring (4,690.2 to Manning's 4,683.1) and first place using non-PPR scoring (4,682.2 to Manning's 4,682.1). Only Jerry Rice (5,141.8) scored more PPR fantasy points in his career than Brees.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings: For the second time this season, Diggs reached the 30-PPR-point fantasy plateau, scoring 31.7 points on 18 targets on Sunday Night Football. Much of it came late in the game with his Vikings playing catch-up, but the stats still count for his fantasy managers, who started him in 82.0 percent of ESPN leagues (14th-highest among wide receivers). Diggs next faces the Packers, against whom he notched his first 30-point performance of 2018, scoring 35.9 points against them in Week 2.

The Worst

Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles: What a let-down this one was, considering the stakes for the Eagles -- their playoff prospects took a significant hit with the embarrassing loss -- as well as the favorable matchups for Wentz and his receivers. He was intercepted three times in the 48-7 loss, resulting in a score of 0.8 fantasy points that was by far the worst of his career -- his previous low was 6.1 in 2016 Week 7, which was only the sixth start of his career -- and giving back a lot of the gains he had posted in his six games prior. Wentz was started in 57.9 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 11, seventh-highest among quarterbacks, so he surely let many of his managers down as well. Skills-wise, he's still QB1 material, but he faces a relatively challenging remaining schedule, with not a single high-grade matchup on it.

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles: His performance was probably even more damaging to his fantasy teams' prospects, as he was started in 98.4 percent of ESPN leagues, second-highest among tight ends for Week 11. Ertz's 3.5 PPR fantasy points on three targets were by far his season low, and represented his fewest since 2017 Week 11. Despite that, they pushed his season total to 187.4 points, which is the fourth-most by any tight end in history through 10 team games, trailing only Shannon Sharpe's 205.8 in 1996, Jimmy Graham's 204.6 in 2013 and Rob Gronkowski's 196.5 in 2011.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buccaneers: The Buccaneers' quarterback position is seemingly a hot potato, as for the third time in the team's 10 games this season, the starter was incapable of being the finisher. Fitzpatrick was pulled midway through the third quarter after throwing his third interception of Sunday's game, with his final two on consecutive possessions, finishing his day with 8.1 fantasy points on 21 pass attempts. Jameis Winston, who ceded the job midgame during Week 8, came on in relief to score 15.6 points of his own on 16 passing attempts, marking the third time this season that the team's relief quarterback scored more fantasy points than its starter. For Fitzpatrick, he now has 12 interceptions compared to 17 touchdowns, but seven of those interceptions as well as a lost fumble have come in his past three games combined. There's little chance he's going to get another start -- barring Winston handing it back over in the coming weeks -- with Winston almost assured to draw the start facing a favorable matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Winston will be tough to trust despite the likely starting assignment and strong matchup, and is only a risk/reward QB2. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, let down his fantasy managers who started him in 46.4 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 11, 11th-highest among quarterbacks.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Houston Texans: Though he's not as highly regarded in fantasy following his trade as he was as a member of the Denver Broncos, Thomas was nevertheless started by his fantasy managers in 40.1 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 11, making his zero points and one target all the more painful to swallow. It was a discouraging sign considering DeAndre Hopkins was targeted six times, while Keke Coutee was targeted on nine occasions, hinting that Coutee is more highly regarded by his quarterback and more likely to have the bigger fantasy games most weeks. Thomas is only a fringe WR3 at this point.

Eric Ebron, TE, Colts: Speaking of shutouts, not only was Ebron held to zero PPR fantasy points on Sunday, he didn't garner a single target in the game. To put that into perspective, Ebron hadn't had fewer than three receptions in any of his previous nine games this season. He did have a pass attempt in the game, but failed to convert on a pass to Luck from the Titans' 4-yard line. Ebron, who has been one of the more touchdown-dependent players this season, simply didn't get the looks in the red zone that he traditionally does. It was a reminder that he's likely to be more boom/bust in games where Jack Doyle is healthy.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans: For only the second time this season as well as in his first 16 career NFL starts, Watson was held beneath 10 fantasy points, his 9.0 on Sunday letting down his fantasy managers who started him in 36.0 percent of ESPN leagues. Interceptions were again a problem, as he was picked off twice in the game, pushing his season total to nine and career total to 17 (in 17 games). Nevertheless, despite Watson's poor performance, his overall record through his first 16 career NFL starts is rather eye-popping. He has 350.4 fantasy points in those 16 games, which is the second most through that many games by any quarterback in history, trailing only Cam Newton's 370.3. Watson's mobility and willingness to take downfield shots make him a good fantasy option most weeks, though he'll be only a high-end QB2 against the Titans in Week 12.

Dion Lewis, RB, Titans: After he scored 52.5 PPR fantasy points combined in his previous three games, and drew a favorable matchup against the Colts on Sunday, Lewis was started in 73.1 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 11, 16th-highest among running backs. Unfortunately, despite his receiving ability, which one would think would've been useful in a game the Titans trailed by a substantial margin, he scored only 4.2 points on 10 rushing attempts and a 1-for-2 performance catching his targets. Marcus Mariota's injury and Blaine Gabbert's poor play in relief had a lot to do with it, and should Mariota be healthy enough to play in Week 12, Lewis will be a strong RB2 choice against the Texans.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers: In the most frustrating performance from Thursday Night Football from a fantasy perspective, Valdes-Scantling scored just 1.8 PPR fantasy points on two targets. It was a significant letdown after he had scored at least 10 points in each of his previous five games. Just like in his Week 9 game against the New England Patriots, he was held without a catch during the first half, but he wasn't able to rebound after halftime as he did in that previous contest. It was a reminder that Valdes-Scantling, more of a risk/reward deep threat for Aaron Rodgers, is likely to be more up-and-down than his recent scores have shown.

Corey Davis, WR, Titans: Like Lewis', Davis' 4.9 PPR fantasy point performance on four targets was especially disappointing considering the Titans should've been targeting him early and often -- and certainly more often than four times. Mariota's injury and Gabbert's play surely had a lot to do with it, though that does now cast doubt upon Davis' value entering Week 12, at least until we know how healthy Mariota is. Davis was started in 54.2 percent of ESPN leagues, 23rd-highest among wide receivers.

Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears: His 1.9 PPR fantasy points on one target represented a season low, and let down his fantasy managers who started him in 61.2 percent of ESPN leagues (eighth-highest among tight ends). Despite the quiet game, Burton should rebound with TE1 numbers in Week 12 against the Lions, against whom he scored 10.0 points in Week 10.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: His nightmare sophomore season continued on Sunday Night Football, as Cook scored just 2.0 PPR fantasy points on 12 total touches. He simply couldn't find any running room against a stout Chicago Bears defense, letting down his fantasy managers who started him in 72.7 percent of ESPN leagues, 17th-highest among running backs. Between injuries and mediocre performance, Cook has done little to earn his managers' trust, though he should match up better in Week 12 against the Packers.