Hogs & Dogs: Week 11
Hello mates, and welcome to week eleven of the fantasy season! We are the point in the season where we are all jockeying for position and looking to make those one or two moves to push us into the postseason. It doesn’t matter if you’re the first seed or the last seed, as long as you get in. Crazy things can happen in the postseason. We finally had an entertaining and decent week of football for the first time in a while. Maybe it’s because the election is now over or maybe some teams are finally rounding into form. Either way, playoffs and championships are ripe for the picking and we here at the Gurus are here for the long haul!
This installment is our Wednesday special, our weekly start and sit article that we like to get out to you before Thursday night’s game. While discussing starts and sits in Hogs and Dogs, we also like to sprinkle in some buy lows, sell highs, and contrarian views that might not exactly mesh with what the majority of other experts are saying. We want to give you a different perspective on the NFL while also delivering some helpful advice that can translate to your league. Let’s do it!
Tyrod Taylor – I am a god! The Tygod is back this week after a fruitful rest and is looking elite for a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Cincinnati Bungles. Last time out Taylor looked great against Seattle in an unfortunate loss. With LeSean McCoy returning to full health and Robert Woods looking to continue his high level of play, Taylor is a great streamer this week. Cincinnati’s defense has not played well at all this year and are on a short week following their Monday nighter against the Giants. I’m running with the god this week.
Handcuffs – This is a big one this week, and it’s something we discussed in length on the podcast. But, if you have not listened to the pod yet, then the main point is that with the season on the back nine, it’s time to start shortening up that bench a bit in favor of big time handcuffs. This would include but is not limited to: Alfred Morris, Andre Ellington, Damian Williams, Mike Gillislee, and so on. You want to find guys who will immediately assume the majority of the backfield work if the starter were to go down or miss any time. You also have to ensure that the handcuff is not just another guy (Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whitaker) and that his situation is not one to frown upon (L.A. Rams). You want to find those potential diamonds in the rough that could win you the championship if the starter were to miss some time. There’s no reason to carry two quarterbacks, tight ends, or defenses with bye weeks mostly in the rearview. Use those bench spots wisely!
Stefon Diggs – That Minnesota offense is absolutely terrible, but if there is a bright spot, it’s Stefon Diggs. Diggs has been a quiet surprise this year and one of the recent Vikings receivers to put together two good seasons in a row, rather than just fading into the abyss after one season (i.e. Charles Johnson, Cordarelle Patterson). Over his past three games he has seen 42 targets and caught 34 balls on his way to becoming a PPR monster. We all know Sam Bradford loves to check the ball down, and Diggs has capitalized on that. His matchup this week is tough in Patrick Peterson, but it’s doubtful that Peterson can hang with him in the slot. Diggs and Kyle Rudolph are Bradford’s favorite targets because they can run all the short routes that Sam loves. I love Diggs ROS and am willing to take my chances this weekend with him. He’s projected to finish with 126 catches for 1,262 yards and four touchdowns. Boom.
Doug Baldwin – It’s that time of year again folks. Seattle is on a nice little two game winning streak, the offensive line is playing better, and Russell Wilson is looking more and more like himself. Over the past few years they’ve been a second half team, and this year is no different. Baldwin and Wilson were on the same page Sunday night, hooking up for three touchdowns and continuously finding soft spots in the defense. I’m expecting a few more big weeks, similar to last year, from Baldwin and the Seahawks. With Thomas Rawls tentatively expected back, the Seahawks are ready to roll.
A.J. Green – This week’s stud start, Green has been a beast this year but has a few potential tough matchups on the horizon. We’re here to calm any fears you might have of potentially not playing him. Buffalo is coming off a bye so they’ve had extra time to prepare, and Cincinnati is on a short week. I’m not letting that scare me off if I’m an owner, as Dalton always seems to find Green no matter what. After that, the Bengals face off with a much improved Baltimore defense with Jimmy Smith playing some of the best ball of his career. Following Baltimore, they have a tough matchup with Philly. Just something to keep an eye on, though I’m not letting that get in the way of starting Green, who’s on pace for 117/1,714/7. Look out Julio, here comes Mr. Green.
Carlos Hyde – Man, what a fall off from the beginning of the year. That’s what injuries can do though, unfortunately. At this point, it might be safe to say that Hyde is indeed injury prone, which sucks to say because I liked him more than most coming into this year, and was able to grab him with a seventh or eighth rounder in most drafts. Either way, his nagging shoulder injury has cost him touches and San Francisco’s schedule is not looking too favorable either. They face New England, Miami, Chicago, and the New York Jets in their next four, with a bit of a break against Atlanta, and then two more powerhouse rush defenses in Los Angeles and Seattle (if you play week seventeen). If those defenses continue to play the way they have been, he might be sittable in all but one of those games.
Mike Wallace – Mike Wallace finally found a home this year with gun-slinging Joey Flaccid. But, his run of recent greatness had to come to an end at some point. With Steve Smith back from another injury, it looks like he may well be Flaccid’s favorite target. Wallace was only targeted five times on Sunday and caught four balls for 59 yards, but I think the downfall continues this week in Dallas. Wallace is more of a big play threat, while Smith is an expertise route runner all over the field. If Smith can remain healthy I think he has more fantasy potential and upside ROS. Wallace saw at least nine targets while Smith was out in weeks four through eight. He’s seen just eleven since Smith returned two weeks ago. Certainly hold onto Wallace as Smith can break pretty easily, but if I had to choose between the two I’m taking Smith until it becomes clear that both can be fantasy relevant.
Jarvis Landry – While the rest of Miami has been improving over the past few weeks, Landry has taken a step back from his PPR hog days. Landry only has one touchdown on the year and hasn’t reached 100 yards since week three against Cleveland. Miami is smartly keeping the ball out of Ryan Tannhehill’s hands as much as they can, and letting Jay Ajayi and company handle the offense. With a road-grading offensive line the Dolphins have no reason to put the ball in Tanney-pants’s hands unless they really need to. Until Miami goes back to losing games and needing come from behind wins, it’ll be hard to trust Landry. He’s a WR3/4 ROS for me.
Dennis Pitta – Hate to be trashing on the cry baby Ravens this week, but there are just too many mouths to feed there in Baltimore. Pitta hasn’t found much fantasy productivity over the past few weeks, despite seeing upwards of eight targets at times. His only double digit game came in week two against Cleveland, and since then his highest total was 5.90. Pitta has been a great story, but he’s certainly not ownable at this point as he just struggles to do much with his opportunities. Free agency is a breeding ground for tight ends right now and with all the options in that Baltimore offense, Pitta simply has become fantasy irrelevant.
Coby Fleener – A little two tight end special this week in the Dogs section, Fleener has found himself on the proverbial outside looking in. Michael Thomas, despite his rough game last week, still figures to be in Drew Brees’s good graces. Brandin Cooks continues to have his solidified role, as does Willie Snead and the running backs out of the backfield. That leaves Fleener as the odd man out, and that can be seen by his target totals, or lack thereof, over the last four weeks. Fourteen targets over the last four games and only two games above 4.40 points through ten games. Yikes. You can more than likely find a better option in free agency (Ebron, Hooper, Brate, Rudolph). Fleener time is over.
And that does it. Good luck this week friends. Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @TheFantasyBoys, and @DaFantasyFather, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you, and if you can’t get enough of the Gurus be sure to check out Trophy Time, our twice a week podcast that you can find on iTunes, Google Play, etc. Also, if you have a player that you want to be covered in Hogs & Dogs please email or tweet us that player. I’d love to tackle a player or situation each week that either slipped my mind or I wasn’t going to originally include. So send in your conundrums and we’ll try to include some info for you! Finally, make sure to check out and follow our Facebook page, The Fantasy Football Gurus. It’s Trophy Time!