The Predictalator has run every Week 11 2014 NFL game 50,000 times. Below we present the up-to-date top three at each fantasy position for the week, a sleeper likely to have a breakout game (generally chosen as the best $/FP value on daily fantasy sites), a player to avoid (the worst $/FP value) and some injury situations to monitor heading into the week. Also, check out free projections for every player in every future week in our Rest of Season Fantasy Football Rankings.
1. Aaron Rodgers 29.1 (GB vs. PHI) – After Ben Roethlisberger posted six touchdowns passing in a game two weeks in a row for the first time in NFL history, Aaron Rodgers, put up six touchdowns in one half against the Bears last week. The Eagles are a little better against the pass than the Bears, but still below average through the air in the league.
2. Andrew Luck 28.6 FPs (IND vs. NE) – The NFL's leader in fantasy points per game this season, Luck is back after the Colts' bye week and is a must start in what looks like a primetime shootout against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday night.
3. Peyton Manning 27.6 FPs (DEN @ STL) – Like Rodgers, Manning has played five games against below average pass defenses this season (St. Louis ranks #23 against the pass in our NFL Power Rankings), yet he has averaged 322.2 yards passing, 3.6 touchdown and 0.8 interceptions for 32.9 fantasy points per contest.
Breakout Candidate: Robert Giffin III 24.7 FPs (WAS vs. TB) - Washington leads the NFL in yards-per-pass this season, while the Buccaneers are in the bottom three defensively against the pass. Robert Giffin III is the Redskins' best quarterback on the field and for fantasy football. Fully healthy after the bye week, Griffin should be able to post big numbers in a lopsided matchup.
Must Avoid: Russell Wilson 18.7 FPs (SEA @ KC) – At #13 in our quarterback rankings for the week, Wilson is not necessarily a "must" avoid in all formats. However, expect Wilson to hand the ball off or run more often than he throws when the Seahawks head to Kansas City. The Chiefs have an elite pass defense led by one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. They also give up 4.7 yards-per-carry (third-worst overall). That may lead to some strong rushing numbers for Wilson (again), but do not expect much through the air.
1. Matt Forte 18.2 FPs (CHI vs. MIN) – Matt Forte mostly disappeared as the Packers took a monstrous lead over the Bears last Sunday night. And yet, establishing Forte on the ground should be the focal point for the Bears' offense this week, especially as the winds and weather conditions start to turn against the passing game at Soldier Field.
2. Mark Ingram 17.5 FPs (NO vs. CIN) – With Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson out of the lineup and Ingram healthy, the latter has averaged 130.7 yards rushing a game for 20.1 fantasy points-per-game over that three game stretch. With Vontaze Burfict out at linebacker for the Bengals, opposing running games are averaging 167.8 yards a game and have six touchdowns on the ground (those four teams - Cleveland, Tennessee, New England and Jacksonville - rank 29, 17, 23 and 13 in run offense efficiency respectively). Thomas and Robinson still have not practiced and Burfict is questionable to play. So, yeah.
3. Arian Foster 17.2 FPs (HOU @ CLE) – One of the biggest question marks of the week, Foster, has a tremendous matchup with a Browns defense that ranks as the second-worst against the run. The Texans are coming off of a bye week so Foster should be healthy. Foster has 110+ total yards in all but one game this season. If he plays, he is a must start.
Breakout Candidate: C.J. Anderson 12.3 FPs (DEN @ STL) - Anderson technically broke out last week with 163 yards on 17 touches (including a 55 yard receiving touchdown), but it's worth noting that his opportunity this week means that last week's performance may not have been a fluke. With Ronnie Hillman hurt and Montee Ball being eased back (if he plays at all), Anderson is the Broncos' healthiest back. He may also be its most versatile. On 38 touches this season, Anderson is averaging 5.7 yards-per-carry and 13.4 yards-per-reception (not a great sample size, but that's still explosive). On 64 touches, Ball has 3.1 yards-per-carry and 6.9 yards-per-reception.
Must Avoid: Branden Oliver 5.6 FPs (SD vs. OAK) – When healthy, the Chargers would prefer that Ryan Mathews is an every-down back. In the final five weeks of the season last year, Mathews averaged 27 touches-per-game. He may not get that in his first week back from an injury suffered early in Week 2, but anything close to that would render Oliver close to worthless in fantasy.
1. Jordy Nelson 15.7 FPs (GB vs. PHI) – The Eagles may pay more attention to Nelson than the Bears did last week, but he remains a top receiving threat as both Aaron Rodgers' top overall target and the Packers' best deep threat...
2. Randall Cobb14.0 FPs (GB vs. PHI) – ... that being said, Randall Cobb has been Rodgers' favorite target in the red zone this season, catching at least one touchdown in eight of nine games. As long as Rodgers stays healthy and the winds hold off at Lambeau Field, both Cobb and Nelson should continue to shine.
3. Demaryius Thomas 13.7 FPs (DEN @ STL) – Thomas extended his streak of 100+ receiving yards to six games in the easy win over Oakland. St. Louis is not markedly better defensively than the Raiders.Thomas has averaged 12.3 targets for 143.5 yards per game with five touchdowns over that stretch.
Breakout Candidate: Malcom Floyd 10.1 FPs (SD vs. OAK) – Floyd has at least five targets in his last four games played and, at 33, should benefit greatly from a week off during the bye. The last time San Diego played Oakland (October 12), Floyd had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Half of those yards plus the TD would still make Floyd a Top 20 wide receiver for the week.
Must Avoid: Vincent Jackson 6.3 FPs (TB @ WAS) – In four games started by Josh McCown, the Buccaneers' current starting quarterback, Jackson has averaged just 44.3 yards receiving on 4.5 catches a game and just one total touchdown. In those same games, rookie wide receiver Mike Evans has 65.8 yards-per-game on five catches a game including seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown last week (his second consecutive week with 120+ receiving yards and a TD). We do not expect much offensively from Tampa Bay in Washington. And what the Buccaneers do get through the air is more likely to go through Mike Evans than Vincent Jackson.
1. Rob Gronkowski 12.1 FPs (NE @ IND)
2. Antonio Gates 11.9 FPs (SD vs. OAK)
3. Jimmy Graham 11.5 FPs (NO vs. CIN)
Breakout Candidate: Mychal Rivera 6.4 FPs (OAK @ SD)
Must Avoid: Cleveland Browns TEs (CLE vs. HOU)
1. Adam Vinatieri 10.5 FPs (IND vs. NE)
2. Stephen Gostkowski 10.3 FPs (NE @ IND)
3. Phil Dawson 10.3 FPs (SF @ NYG)
Breakout Candidate: Blair Walsh 9.6 FPs (MIN @ CHI)
Must Avoid: Matt Prater 6.2 FPs (DET @ ARI)
1. Denver Broncos 10.7 FPs (DEN @ STL)
2. San Diego Chargers 9.5 FPs (SD vs. OAK)
3. Washington Redskins 9.2 FPs (WAS vs. TB)
Breakout Candidate: Arizona Cardinals 7.8 FPs (ARI vs. DET)
Must Avoid: Cincinnati Bengals 0 FPs (CIN @ NO)
Injuries to Watch
1. Arian Foster - With a week off and a great matchup against the Browns porous run defense, Foster is a top three running back if healthy this week. Foster and head coach Bill O'Brien have not added much optimism to his ability to play this weekend, however. If he does miss the game, backup Alfred Blue becomes a top ten running back option in standard-scoring and PPR formats (while no one else on Houston changes in value much). Blue has ten times as many touches as any other running back on the team after Foster and is the clear answer as feature back if Foster is out.
2. Rashad Jennings - Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has been signaling Jennings' likely return for this week, Week 11, for almost a month. Jennings got in some practice last week and has been practicing this week, though in a "limited" capacity. This is a tricky situation, however, because Coughlin has suggested that he may not come back to "carry a full load." Jennings greatest asset in fantasy football is that he does carry a full load for the Giants as an every down back when healthy. Assuming he is 100%, Jennings is a top ten running back in standard and PPR leagues. At less than that, if he does not reach 20+ touches, his value quickly diminishes against a decent 49ers' defense. If Jennings misses the game altogether, no back for the Giants is worth starting.
3. Other Featured Backs - We will continue to update projections as necessary, but there are several running back situations to monitor this week. Potential contributors who have injury question marks this week also include: Ronnie Hillman/Montee Ball, DeAngelo Williams, Gio Bernard, Ryan Mathews (as discussed above), Dexter McCluster, Reggie Bush, Mark Ingram/Pierre Thomas/Khiry Robinson, Doug Martin/Charles Sims and Andre Ellington/Stepfan Taylor.
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