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NFL Week 11 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em

2T6YC8A Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) hurdles Green Bay Packers safety Rudy Ford (20) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Matt Durisko)

• Start Kyler Murray: The Arizona Cardinals star quarterback led the team to victory in his first game of the season and should put up bigger numbers in his second.

• Sit Najee Harris: The Pittsburgh Steelers starter is putting up some of the best numbers of his life, but the Cleveland Browns’ run defense has been a struggle for everyone in 2023.

• Start Tank Dell: The Houston Texans have plenty of receiving options, but Dell is uniquely suited to find success against his opponent.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes


Deciding who to start or sit can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and starting the player ranked higher. This start’em, sit’em column digs a step deeper, looking into why someone you might typically start might not have a good week, or why someone overlooked might have a good week. In many cases, it’s the usual starters who should star, but we want to explore the borderline players, too.

Jump to a position group:

QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF/ST | K

WR:CB Matchup Chart


QUARTERBACKS

START

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
  • Goff is off to an excellent start this season. His 90.6 overall grade is the best among all quarterbacks this season.
  • He is the QB13 on the year, with four games as a top-seven quarterback and five games at QB14 or below.
  • He’s consistently throwing for 200-plus yards and a touchdown per game, but he isn't running the ball. This gives him a fine floor, but his fantasy production largely depends on his touchdown production.
  • His top-seven finishes have come in games where he threw two or more touchdowns, and his other games occurred when he threw zero or one.
  • The Lions play a Chicago Bears team that has allowed the third-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season.
  • The Lions’ offensive line has the largest pass-blocking advantage of any team this week, according to our offensive line/defensive line matchup chart.
  • Goff has thrown a touchdown on 5.2% of his dropbacks when he’s not under pressure. He's found the end zone on only 1.8% of his dropbacks under pressure.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
  • Murray looked fine in his season debut last week, completing 19-of-32 passes for 249 yards and an interception.
  • He also ran the ball six times for 33 yards and a touchdown. Those six carries were relatively consistent with his per-game totals over the last two seasons. 
  • He finished as the QB14.
  • Ideally, he will only improve his level of play for his second game, this one against a defense he is better suited to face.
  • The Cardinals play a Houston Texans team that has allowed 7.5 passing yards per attempt, tied for the eighth-worst mark among defenses.
  • Murray has graded notably higher against zone defenses than man defenses over the past two seasons, earning a 66.7 grade against zone and a 51.2 grade against man. The Cardinals quarterback has averaged more yards per pass attempt against zone than man at 6.7 to 5.0.
  • The Texans are one of five teams that have used zone defense on over 80% of pass plays this season.
  • The Cardinals were able to win last week, but they are underdogs on the road this week. This could mean more dropbacks for Murray, leading to more volume.

SIT

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Lawrence has helped the Jaguars to a division-leading 6-3 record, but that hasn’t always helped his fantasy performances.
  • He’s finished among the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks only three times this season.
  • One problem is that he’s only thrown a touchdown on 3.0% of his pass attempts, which puts him among the bottom 10 quarterbacks this season.
  • He’s running the ball more often and gaining more rushing yards, but he’s yet to run for a touchdown after running the ball in five times in 2022. 
  • Another problem is that Travis Etienne Jr. has become the offense's focal point. His 10 carries are the second-most by a running back this season.
  • The Jaguars play a Tennessee Titans team that has only allowed 10 touchdown passes, tied for seventh-fewest for a defense.
  • The Jaguars are clear favorites for this game, so they can rely on Etienne as usual.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
  • Smith is coming off his best performance of the fantasy season. He threw for 369 yards and two touchdowns across 47 passing attempts.
  • His passing volume has been very inconsistent from one game to the next. He’s thrown at least 40 times in three games but has four games with fewer than 30 passing attempts.
  • Seattle is a top-10 team in run rate when playing with a lead (51.8%). The Seahawks are also a top-10 team in pass rate when playing from behind (72.2%).
  • The Seahawks face a Los Angeles Rams team that they lost to in Week 1, but the Seahawks are favorites this week. Smith could well be handing the ball off more than he passes.
  • The Seahawks' offensive line has the league's fourth-largest disadvantage, according to our offensive line/defensive line matchup chart.
  • Smith was under pressure on 44.8% of his dropbacks in the first game against the Rams.
  • He averages 8.2 yards per attempt without pressure and 5.4 with pressure. He might not have enough passing volume, but he also might not be very efficient when he does pass the ball.
  • The Rams have allowed 123 rushing yards per game, so if anything, this could be a big week for Kenneth Walker III instead of Smith and the receivers.

RUNNING BACKS

START

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