Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Time to panic or Week 11 antic?

2T4FXCT Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff has his first three INT game in the Detroit Lions era: Home games have been a safe spot for Goff, especially for fantasy, but the Bears were able to force his first game of three-plus interceptions since joining the Lions.

Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs has another inefficient week: This year has been Jacobs’ least efficient season by far through his career, but a high volume of touches has sustained his fantasy production.

Since Buffalo Bills rookie TE Dalton Kincaid has broken out, Stefon Diggs has seen a dip in fantasy production: Since Kincaid’s breakout, Diggs has seen a decline in overall target share and in the red zone, correlating with a decrease in fantasy scoring.

 Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Week 11 is officially in the books, meaning fantasy managers are one step closer to the promised land of the fantasy football playoffs. That makes it as important as ever to sift through the ups and downs to identify real points of concern versus a blip on the radar. Here are five stats highlighting various fantasy disappointments from Week 11 and a temperature check; is it time to panic, or just a Week 11 antic?

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Jared Goff throws his first three INT game in the Detroit Lions era

Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff has had an outstanding 2023 season, but fantasy managers likely expected a bit more beyond his 13.75 fantasy points in Week 11 given the opponent. In Weeks 1-10, the Chicago Bears were allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, including the second-most passing touchdowns and just six interceptions through their first 10 games. However, Chicago’s defense capitalized big-time on Goff’s three turnover-worthy plays, coming down with three interceptions to hold Goff to a 48.0 PFF passing grade – his lowest since Week 11 of the 2022 season.

Though Goff’s performance was rather disappointing in what appeared to be a favorable matchup, consider it a big-time outlier in what has generally been a fairly stable season to this point. More concerning than the turnovers and brutal Week 11 showing for Goff has been the stability that the Lions have had in the run game, which has limited some of his touchdown upside despite the overall passing production. Consider Goff a low-end QB1 with top-five upside rest of the season.

Temperature check: Week 11 antic

Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs continues his string of inefficiency in the 2023 season

Despite leading the league with 231 touches this season, Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs ranks ninth in scrimmage yards. In fact, among the 21 running backs with 125 or more carries this season, Jacobs has the second-lowest PFF rushing grade at 66.5, tied for the second-lowest missed-forced tackle rate at 13%, second-lowest yards per carry average (3.3), a league-low 2.1 yards after contact per attempt and 4% explosive run rate. Yeah – it’s been that bad.

Though his lack of efficiency is frustrating, the good news is that Jacobs’ high touch volume has been more than enough to make up for those inefficiencies. He remains on pace for just over 350 touches this season, which would mark the second-most of his career. Regardless of his inefficiency, Jacobs has seen enough volume to overcome the fact that he’s averaged just 0.68 fantasy points per touch this season, which ranks 46th among RBs, as evidenced by his standing as the overall RB4 on the season. 

Temperature check: Week 11 antic

Cleveland Browns WR Amari Cooper totals just 34 receiving yards with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center

Cleveland Browns WR Amari Cooper remains among one of the most talented wide receivers in the National Football League, but unfortunately, quarterback play continues to be an issue factoring into his overall production. This has been particularly true with rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center, who has shown a heavy tendency toward targeting TE David Njoku, who’s seen a 30.3% target share in DTR’s two games as a starter. As such, Cooper has taken a bit of a backseat. 

Cooper has a 7.1 NFL passer rating on targets from DTR – the second lowest among any receiver that’s been targeted by the rookie quarterback – catching just 35.7% of those to average just 3.6 yards per target. It’s clear that this is a connection that might take some time to develop, and until we see that start to come to fruition, Cooper should be considered more of a weekly flex play rather than a weekly must-play.

Temperature check: Time to panic

Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs notches a second straight week under 40 receiving yards

After starting out the 2023 season red hot, performing as the overall WR2 in half-PPR formats through the first six weeks of the season, things have taken a sharp turn for All-Pro WR Stefon Diggs. Through the first six weeks of the season, Diggs was on pace for 1,756 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He scored one or more receiving touchdowns in three of those six games, totaled 100-plus receiving yards in five of those six games and didn’t have a single game with fewer than six receptions. In short, he was everything fantasy football managers hoped they’d drafted.

Now, since Week 7, Diggs’ 17-game pace has fallen to 935 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns,

In the five games since, Diggs has ranked as the overall WR23 in fantasy points per game, averaging 55 receiving yards per game, seeing a drop in yards per reception, team target share and red zone target share. While fantasy managers may be set to panic considering that the decline in production seems to coincide with the breakout of TE Dalton Kincaid, the long-standing connection he and QB Josh Allen have displayed in his four seasons with the team points to a temporary blip on the radar.

Temperature check: Week 11 antic

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth logs just one target in Week 11 return

This week, Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth made his return from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out of the lineup dating back to Week 4. However, even though Freiermuth remains one of the best receiving tight ends in the league with an 80.9 PFF receiving grade over his first two seasons, he is simply not seeing enough target volume to make him a viable streaming asset. So far this season, Freiermuth is averaging just 2.8 targets per game compared to the 5.5 targets per game he averaged over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. So, what gives?

It seems likely that Freiermuth’s lack of target volume stems from other significant issues with the Steelers’ passing game – in particular, QB Kenny Pickett’s apparent aversion to targeting the middle of the field this season. Among quarterbacks with 200 or more pass attempts this season, Pickett ranks dead last in attempts (50), completions (27), passing yards (368), successful pass rate (34%) and EPA per dropback (-0.22) on targets over the middle per NFL Next Gen Stats. That means Pickett isn’t just avoiding the middle of the field, where Freiermuth runs the bulk of his routes — he’s also not been efficient on the targets he does send that direction. There are just too many issues with the Steelers passing offense to consider Freiermuth a streamable asset for fantasy at this point, even despite the talent.

Temperature check: Time to panic


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit