2. Steve Smith (CAR) – We expected Smith to have trouble against Oakland’s lock down CB Nnamdi Asomugha in week 10, but it came as a huge shock to see Smith go without a single catch. After last week’s embarrassment, you can expect to see him go all out in week 11, and the match up couldn’t be much better against Detroit. The Lions rank 29th in the NFL against the pass and they have allowed 15 TD’s through the air in 9 games. Anything less than a monster fantasy effort would be a disappointment. Smith should rebound in a big way.
3. Roddy White (ATL) – White has seen a decrease in his fantasy production in recent weeks as QB Matt Ryan is starting to discover that he actually has other options in the Falcons emerging passing game. Regardless, White remains Ryan’s go to guy and his numbers are still consistently great. He has become one of the most reliable fantasy receivers in the game, if not the most reliable. That said, there should be plenty to around for everyone with a promising week 11 match up against Denver. The Broncos rank just 28th in the NFL against the pass and have allowed 14 passing TD’s on the season. White should come up big again in week 11.
4. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – If Fitzgerald doesn’t find the end zone, he typically makes up for it with big reception and yardage totals, and vice versa. Fortunately, a week 11 match up against the Seahawks is favorable for him to come through with the complete package. Seattle has one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses ranking 31st in yards allowed, in addition to giving up 14 TD’s through the air in 9 games. Fitzgerald will have to compete with Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston for targets which limits his fantasy potential a tad, but there should be plenty to go around against a horrible Seahawks secondary.
5. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – He isn’t quite back to early season form, but it was promising to see Marshall in the end zone for the first time since week 4. The good news is that he stands a good chance to find pay dirt again in week 11 against a shaky Falcons secondary. Atlanta ranks 22nd against the pass, in addition to giving up12 TD’s through the air so far this season. This match up bodes well for Marshall to at least match a successful week 10 effort.
6. Andre Johnson (HOU) – While his numbers have suffered a bit with Sage Rosenfels under center the last 2 weeks, it should be comforting to know that Johnson has accumulated 16 catches for 205 yards and 2 TD’s in his last 2 starts against week 11 opponent, Indianapolis (1 last season and 1 in week 5). Even better, the QB in both of those games was none other than Sage Rosenfels. Assuming the Colts will place special emphasis on containing Johnson this time around (likely because Johnson is the only receiver to torch them all season), he will have his work cut out for him, but the Indy pass defense has not been able to contain him in the last 3 years, so there is no reason to believe that they will shut him down in week 11.
7. Reggie Wayne (IND) – Sure, he needed a little luck to get back on track in week 10, but luck plays a role every time the ball leaves the QB’s hand, and it counts just the same. While Wayne is battling a slight ankle sprain heading into week 11, he is expected to play, and based on his track record against Houston, he should play well. In his last 2 games against the Texans, Wayne has 17 catches for 240 yards and 2 TD’s, including a 97 yard, 1TD performance against them in week 5. If healthy, Wayne should not have much trouble finding success again in week 11. Check injury report: ankle
8. Greg Jennings (GB) – It wasn’t surprising that he struggled against Indy and Tennessee, but there really isn’t a good explanation for him struggling against the Vikings. That said, we would have to assume something is wrong with him if he can’t get things back on track in week 11 against the Bears. The Chicago pass defense is pretty bad ranking 30th in the NFL.
9. Marques Colston (NO) – He finally returned to elite form in week 10 with a monster 7 catch 140 yard effort. The only thing missing was the TD and that should come sooner than later. Possibly even as early as this week against a soft Kansas City secondary. The Chiefs have allowed 5 passing TD’s in their last 3 games and 11 on the season. There is some concern regarding Colston’s knee this week, so monitor his progress closely. If healthy, he should dominate the Chiefs 24th ranked pass defense. Check injury report: knee
10. Santana Moss (WAS) – He can certainly be hit or miss, but when you look at his body of work against the Cowboys over the last 2 seasons, you have to like his chances in week 11. In Moss’ last 3 contests against Dallas; he has 25 receptions for 381 yards and 2 TD’s with no less than 8 receptions and 115 receiving yards in any of those 3 games. Check injury report: hamstring
11. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – With the emergence of Mark Bradley, Bowe has seen a decrease in targets recently, but more importantly, he is starting to see a decrease in double teams as well. Bowe could be in for a big week against a poor Saints pass defense. New Orleans ranks 27th against the pass and they have allowed 14 TD’s through the air in 9 games. As a side note, the Saints have allowed more pass plays over 20 yards than any other secondary in the NFL and losing their best cover corner in Mike McKenzie for the season is not going to help when trying to slow down a big play receiver like Bowe.
12. Terrell Owens (DAL) – Now that Tony Romo is back under center for the Cowboys, it is hard to overlook Owens fantasy potential. Sure, T.O. wasn’t setting the league ablaze before the Romo injury, but his numbers were head and shoulders above his production with Brad Johnson at QB. He will face a solid Redskins pass defense in week 11, but he has an excellent track record against them including 7 catches for 71 yards and a TD back in week 4. In addition, the best game of career came against Washington last season when he accumulated 8 receptions for 173 yards and 4 TD’s. It will probably take a little time for them to get back on the same page and Romo will need to knock some rust off, but it shouldn’t take long, and this match up bodes well.
13. Eddie Royal (DEN) – After several up and down weeks, Royal is starting to turn into a pretty reliable fantasy wide out. We expect that trend to continue with a favorable week 11 match up against the Falcons. Atlanta ranks 22nd against the pass, in addition to giving up12 TD’s through the air so far this season. Royal looks to be a pretty solid week to week play at this point.
14. Hines Ward (PIT) – He didn’t find the end zone for the 3rd straight game, but Ward put up great numbers otherwise in week 10, posting 9 receptions for 116 yards. He should carry that momentum into a very promising week 11 meeting with the Chargers. San Diego currently ranks dead last in pass defense and the 17 passing TD’s they have allowed this season ranks just behind Arizona’s 18 for last. Ward has a great chance to get back into the end zone this week with this match up.
15. Bernard Berrian (MIN) – While it was disappointing and shocking to see Berrian get shut out in week 10, you have to keep in mind that it happens to the best of them, and most WR’s bounce back big the next week. In our opinion, a player’s overall body of work in recent weeks is far more important than 1 horrible game, and that body of work is stellar in Berrian’s case. He will face a fairly solid Tampa Bay pass defense, but they are susceptible to giving up big plays to speedy WR’s, which describes Berrian to a tee.
16. Lee Evans (BUF) – There is no question that Evans has really struggled in the last couple of weeks, but he hasn’t been quite as bad as the Cleveland pass defense that he will face in week 11. After starting off the season strong, the Browns secondary has been horrible in recent weeks giving up an average of 326 passing yards and 7 TD’s through the air in their last 3 games. Evans should give them more than they can handle again this week.
17. Calvin Johnson (DET) – He continues to put up solid numbers every week, but when you look at his reception totals, it is hard to figure out how he does it. Johnson is just a big play machine and somehow, he does it every week, regardless of who is at QB. He has an extremely tough match up in week 11 against Carolina’s 4th ranked pass defense. This match up does not look promising, but it’s hard to doubt a guy that gets it done week in and week out. He is a risky WR2 for week 11.
18. Mark Bradley (KC) – If you come from the “what have you done for me lately?” school of thought than you will probably want to have Bradley on your fantasy roster for week 11. In his last 3 games Bradley has 18 receptions for 186 yards and 3 TD’s (1 passing) and he gets better every week. It doesn’t hurt matters that he will be facing a terrible New Orleans pass defense this week either. New Orleans ranks 27th against the pass and they have allowed 14 TD’s through the air in 9 games. As a side note, the Saints have allowed more pass plays over 20 yards than any other secondary in the NFL and losing their best cover corner in Mike McKenzie for the season is not going to help matters. Bradley shouldn’t even be considered a long shot with this match up. Get him in there!
19. Steve Breaston (ARI) – He may be the third wheel in the Arizona passing attack, but his numbers have been better than a lot of WR1’s. He should fare extremely well again against Seattle’s 31st ranked pass defense. Breaston can actually stretch the field better than Fitzgerald and Boldin which is favorable against a Seahawks secondary that has been very vulnerable against the deep ball. There is some risk because Breaston is the team’s #3 receiving option, but he seems to be seeing as many targets as the big 2 lately, and there should be plenty to go around with this match up.
20. Antonio Bryant (TB) – While he can be a little hit or miss, it is hard to sit a guy with his big game ability. Plus, he has a favorable match up against a fairly mediocre Vikings pass defense. The Bucs should come out throwing early and often in this match up with Bryant being the likely beneficiary. He is never a lock, but you have to like his chances.
21. Lance Moore (NO) – He isn’t the most reliable fantasy receiver week to week, but he is targeted often, and Moore almost always gives you a shot at big numbers. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a 2 game TD streak going. In addition, Moore actually seems to be benefiting from Colston’s presence in the line up. He should do some damage against the Chiefs 24th ranked pass defense in week 11.
22. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – He hasn’t had much to brag about so far this season, but you have to like his big play ability against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Holmes will face a Chargers secondary that has been horrible so far this season giving up 265 passing yards per game and 17 TD’s through the air. There are no guarantees with Holmes, but this match up suits him well.
23. T.J. Housmandzadeh (CIN) – If you are in a PPR league, it is hard to beat Houshmandzadeh’s consistent solid production, if you aren’t, than you probably already know that he is not the best guy to have on your fantasy roster at this point. In spite of a pretty tough match up against a solid Eagles pass defense, you can probably expect the usual from Housh in week 11.
24. Plaxico Burress (NYG) – Looking at his recent numbers, Plax must have really pissed off Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning because he has been all but absent from the Giants game plans lately. He did find the end zone last week, but that was basically the only time you saw him. That said, he should be able to do some damage against a beat up Ravens secondary this week, but Manning is going to have to at least look his way for that to happen. Don’t count on it. Burress is more than capable, but he has become a liability. It wouldn’t be ill advised to go in a different direction until he gets back in the good graces of his teammates and coaches, but you probably shouldn’t count on that either.
25. Vincent Jackson (SD) – With Chris Chambers still struggling to overcome an ankle injury, Jackson has clearly taken over as the Chargers top receiving threat (Gates excluded). While a match up against Pittsburgh’s top ranked pass defense looks horrible on paper, it really isn’t too bad with the Steelers missing 2 key players from their secondary this week with injuries. Don’t get us wrong, it still won’t be a walk in the park, but his odds are a lot better with those guys out.
26. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – He isn’t seeing the number of targets that he was earlier in the season, but it is promising to see the Eagles using him in so many different ways. He is one of those guys that you just know is going to explode any week, so it is hard to sit him, but more times than not it burns you. That said, we like his potential this week against the Bengals. The Cincinnati secondary has allowed 13 TD’s through the air and they are very bad against the run, and we expect Jackson to see more work in that area this week. He’s a gamble, but Jackson could pay off big in week 11. Check injury report: groin
27. Donald Driver (GB) – In all honesty, it is almost impossible to predict what Driver is going to do from week to week. About the only thing you can do is play the match ups, and week 11 presents an excellent match up against the Bears. Chicago ranks just 30th in the NFL against the pass and their secondary seems to get worse by the week. Driver isn’t the safest week 11 fantasy play, but the match up bodes well.
28. Chad “ocho cinco” Johnson (CIN) – It seems pretty clear at this point that if the Bengals are going to score through the air, it’s probably going to be Johnson doing the celebrating. He has 3 TD’s in his last 3 games and he has been on the receiving end of every TD pass that Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown this season. That isn’t saying a whole lot, and Johnson’s numbers are pretty mediocre otherwise, but he does give you a decent shot at a TD every week. Johnson will face a solid Eagles pass defense in week 11, but they have given up most of their TD’s on defense this season through the air (12 passing TD’s allowed to 5 rushing TD’s allowed).
29. Muhsin Muhammad (CAR) – While this will probably be Steve Smith’s week to shine, there should be plenty to go around against a horrible Lions secondary. Detroit ranks just 29th in defending the pass and they have allowed 15 passing TD’s on the season. Muhammad is hit or miss, but this match up is promising.
30. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – It may have just been that Brady Quinn was apprehensive about throwing the deep ball in his first start, but he rarely even looked Edwards way last week, even on short routes, and the match up was prime against Denver. Edwards is capable, but if last week was any indication, you should limit your expectations against a much better Buffalo secondary in week 11. You may even want to consider sitting him until he can develop a rapport with his new signal caller.
31. Greg Camarillo (MIA) – We aren’t sure if we love him or hate him this week. It really all depends on who is covering him. If it turns out to be Oakland’s shut down CB Nnamdi Asomugha, then Camarillo is going to be in for a long unproductive day. If it turns out to be one of the other mediocre Raider’s defensive backs, then Camarillo could sit near the top of fantasy leader boards for week 11. Our best guess is that the Raiders will use Asomugha against Ted Ginn, as he is the more dangerous big play threat of the two. Unfortunately, we can’t be certain, so it is very difficult to know what to expect. If you don’t mind rolling the dice on Camarillo, it could pay off nicely. UPDATE: It has been reported that Asomugha will in fact be matched up against Ginn. This should open the door for a strong fantasy performance for Camarillo. Keep in mind, this could change, especially if Cammarillo starts torching the Raiders early.
32. Kevin Curtis (PHI) – He is a risky fantasy option in an Eagles offense crowded with playmakers, but Curtis has been pretty solid the last 2 weeks, and he has a favorable match up against a Bengals secondary that has allowed 13 passing TD’s already this season. Curtis is a hit or miss prospect for week 11, but he is capable of great numbers with this match up.
33. Kevin Walter (HOU) – He doesn’t have a great track record against Indianapolis and he is definitely hit or miss, but it’s hard to sit a guy that’s tied for 2nd in the NFL with 6 receiving TD’s. Plus, we speculate that the Indy pass defense is going to double and maybe even triple team Andre Johnson after he burned them so badly back in week 5. This should open the door for Walter and another big week could ensue. If you like to play it safe, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you like to gamble, Walter is your man in week 11.
34. Bobby Engram (SEA) – This is the week you have been waiting for. The return of Matt Hasselbeck, and if things go as expected, the return of Engram’s relevance in fantasy football. You might be better off taking a wait and see approach, but his week 11 match up is very tempting. Engram will face a Cardinals pass defense that has allowed more passing TD’s than any other team in the NFL with 18. Considering that Engram has traditionally been Hasselbeck’s go to guy in the red zone, a TD seems probable.
35. Matt Jones (JAX) – A week 11 match up against a great Tennessee secondary may not be all that favorable, but Jones is the clear go to guy in Jacksonville’s passing game, and should be targeted often. In addition, he is one of the few receivers to have success against this secondary this season when he hauled in 6 passes for 80 yards against them in week 1. Jones has a thigh bruise, but he should be able to play without any limitations on Sunday. He makes for a decent WR3 this week, especially in PPR leagues. Check injury report: thigh
36. Derrick Mason (BAL) – He has a bad match up against the Giants 2nd ranked pass defense and he is questionable with a shoulder injury, but if Mason is given the green light to play, he is still a very capable WR3. Check injury report: shoulder
37. Donnie Avery (STL) – Talk about your colossal flip flop. Avery has gone from stud to dud almost over night. We still love his potential and he has a favorable match up against the 49ers 23rd ranked pass defense, but his recent play has reduced him to a risky but capable WR3 fantasy option.
38. Marvin Harrison (IND) – In spite of Harrison’s lackluster fantasy totals overall, he has actually been pretty solid in home games. In 5 road games this season he has only 11 receptions for 108 yards and no TD’s, but in 4 home games, Harrison has 19 catches for 249 yards and 3 TD’s. He is still a risky fantasy play, even against a mediocre Texans pass defense, but this might be a good week to use him.
39. Roy Williams (DAL) – He definitely has the talent to make a big splash as a Cowboy and now he has the QB with Tony Romo back from injury. That said, Romo and Williams have never actually played in a game together, so it is difficult to anticipate the outcome. For that reason alone, Williams is a risky fantasy start for week 11. If you have little or nothing to lose, Williams is worth a shot, but we suggest taking a wait and see approach.
40. Chris Chambers (SD) – While it was hardly noticeable because of the big goose egg Chambers put up against Kansas City, he actually returned from injury last week, but he was clearly playing hurt as his reception total may indicate. That said, Chambers is no longer on the injury report and claims to be near 100% for his week 11 meeting with the Steelers. Even if he is at 100% Chambers will likely have his work cut out for him against the Steelers top ranked pass defense. On a positive note, the Steelers secondary is pretty banged up themselves this week, so there is promise. You would be best served waiting for Chambers to show some production before you fire him back into action.
41. Jason Hill (SF) – With Josh Morgan ruled out this week with a groin injury and Isaac Bruce struggling to get open, Hill could be a nice sleeper pick for week 11 against a really bad Rams pass defense.
42. Michael Jenkins (ATL) – He is starting to make some noise and has an excellent match up against Denver.
43. Isaac Bruce (SF) – He will probably play a little harder against his former team and the match up against the Rams is excellent, but Bruce’s fantasy numbers have been junk of late.
44. Torry Holt (STL) – He has been horrible on the road so far this season, but he has a good match up against San Francisco.
45. Justin Gage (TEN) – He’s far from a safe fantasy play in week 11, but he did find pay dirt last week, and Jacksonville has given up 15 passing TD’s on the season, making Gage a candidate to find the end zone once again..
46. Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – He has so much potential in the Colts pass happy offense, but he is almost impossible to rely on. Gonzalez is very risky WR3 play for week 11. Check injury report: hamstring
47. Nate Washington (PIT) – Roethlisberger looks for him deep at least once every game, and they usually connect. He isn’t a lock by any means, but Washington could do some damage against a horrible Chargers secondary.
48. Joey Galloway (TB) – He has big game potential, but he hasn’t shown much since returning from an ankle injury.
49. Deion Branch (SEA) – He is expected to play, and Branch is capable of solid numbers with Hasselbeck under center against a shaky Cardinals pass defense, but he needs to prove that he is healthy. Very risky fantasy play for week 11. Check injury report: heel
50. Ted Ginn (MIA) – He could have a huge game if he is not being covered by Oakland’s shut down CB Nnamdi Asomugha, but there is a good chance that he will be, and that makes him very risky. UPDATE:It has been reported that Asomugha will in fact be matched up against Ginn. He should no longer be considered a safe fantasy play. We suggest looking for a different option.
* Participants in Thursday night’s NY Jets @ NE game are not included in week 11 WR rankings. (for info on those players see Thursday start/sit)