2014 Fantasy Football Week 11 Start'em, Sit'em

With the fantasy playoffs on the horizon, start-sit decisions take on a larger importance as owners fight for a playoff berth or (hopefully) look to lock up a first-round bye.

In my weekly start'em, sit'em column, I will highlight some players that you should start (or not), but the ultimate decisions come down to your specific roster composition and league settings. As an example, the first player listed as a start is RG3 and I have him ranked inside my top-10 fantasy quarterbacks. But if you also have Tom Brady, I would start Brady and RG3 would be a "sit."

For a better guage of which player I'd start over another, check out my fantasy football rankings.

Looking ahead to the rest of this week's games, here are some players to consider starting:

QB - Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (vs. TB)

With a game and a bye under his belt since his injury, RG3 will have an opportunity to step up his production with a more favorable matchup as he continues to shake off the rust. The Bucs have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. With a favorable matchup, a talented group of pass-catchers and rushing upside, RG3 is a top-10 fantasy quarterback for me in Week 11.

QB - Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles (at GB)

In his first start since his days with the Jets, Sanchez threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in Week 10 with 21.18 fantasy points. Sanchez has a less favorable matchup this week than he had against the Panthers, but the Eagles will need to keep pace with the Packers high-flying offense this week.

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RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (at NO)

It was a disappointing week for Hill and the entire Bengals offense last week, but Hill is in line for a significant workload with Giovani Bernard ruled out for this weekend's game. In his two starts with Bernard out, Hill has carried the ball 36 times for 209 yards (5.81 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. The Saints have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Alfred Blue, Houston Texans (at CLE)

With Arian Foster expected to sit out this week's game, Blue should see the bulk of the workload. While the Browns rank middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs, only the Giants have allowed more YPC than the Browns (4.7) this season. And if you're in a bind with DeMarco Murray or other running backs on bye, Blue is owned in only 30 percent of Yahoo! leauges as of Saturday morning.

RB - Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (at NYG)

Gore's workload has been inconsistent this season as he has nine, 14 and 23 carries over the past three weeks, respectively. If he gets another heavy workload, however, the matchup is ripe for exploitation. The Giants have allowed the second-most points to RBs and are giving up a league-worst 5.0 YPC and 13 rushing scores.

RB - Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR)

The 18 and 16 carries the Falcons have given to Jackson over his past two games represent his two largest totals of the season. With a difficult matchup (Lions) and favorable one (Bucs), S-Jax has gained 141 yards on those 34 carries and scored two touchdowns while adding two catches for 14 yards. Jackson gets another favorable matchup as the Panthers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs.

WR - Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers (at NYG)

Boldin isn't typically a player that fantasy owners get excited about starting, but he now has at least six catches and 50 yards in four consecutive games. In three of those four games, Boldin has finished with 90-plus yards and a touchdown, which means he also has three top-13 finishes during that span. If I can start any 49ers receiver, the easy answer for me is Boldin.

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (at ARI)

As Calvin Johnson made his return to the field, it seemed to be a virtual certainly that Tate's targets and role within the offense would revert to a secondary role. Instead, Tate finished with a season-high 11 receptions for 109 yards on 13 targets. Tate now has five 100-yard games and five games with double-digit targets over his past six games. Even with Megatron back in the lineup, Tate should remain a high-end WR2 going forward.

WR - Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (vs. SF)

In five career games, Beckham has finished as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver four times. Although he had just 10 catches for 106 yards in his first three games, he also scored three touchdowns during that stretch. In his past two games, OBJ has not scored, but he has racked up 15 catches for 264 yards on 20 targets. As he continues to gain the trust of Eli Manning, Beckham is a solid WR2 for this week.

WR - Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints (vs. CIN)

As I noted in last week's Start'em side of this column, Cooks is targeted more at home than he is on the road and the Saints get another home game this week. The ultra-quick rookie is averaging 9.0 targets per game at home versus 5.2 on the road. In his four home games, Cooks has a minimum of five catches and 56 yards in each game and is averaging 7.0/78.5/0.5 in the dome with back-to-back top-12 finishes.

WR - Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at WAS)

Regardless of which quarterback is under center, Evans continues to put up impressive stat lines. With more than 50 yards and seven-plus targets in six consecutive games, Evans has been even better in his past two games with a combined stat line of 14/249/3. In fact, the six-foot-five rookie has now scored in four of his past five games.

TE - Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders (at SD)

Over his past three games, Rivera has a minimum of six receptions and eight targets in each game. During that span, he has a total of 21 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns and has finished the week as the TE9, TE2 and TE4, respectively. The Chargers allow the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but Rivera is getting enough targets that he should once again finish as a top-10 fantasy tight end this week.

TE - Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SEA)

Even though he has finished outside the top-20 fantasy tight ends in three of his past four games, Kelce has scored the ninth-most fantasy points among tight ends through Week 10. With fewer snaps and targets than his owners would like, it's possible that Anthony Fasano sits this weekend and Andy Reid has talked up Kelce and the likelihood of a greater involvement in the offense. Kelce is the next-best option in the offense after Jamaal Charles and he gets a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Seahawks, who have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this year.

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Here are some players to consider keeping on your fantasy bench(es):

QB - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. MIN)

More inconsistent in "real" football than fantasy football this year, Cutler has his two worst fantasy performances in the past three weeks. In the first six weeks of the season, he finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback four times and no worse than the QB16 during that span. Since then, however, he has finished as the QB26, QB9 and QB22 in three relatively difficult matchups. He'll look to get back on track this week against the Vikings, but Minnesota has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)

If you watched the Monday night game, you've undoubtedly said to yourself, probably multiple times, that the Panthers would be better off with Derek Anderson over Cam. If that doesn't tell you that Cam should be on your bench, I'm not sure what does. Newton looked to be much less than 100 percent as he seemed to even struggle standing up after team huddles. Lacking the mobility that has long made him a stud fantasy quarterback, it's hard to get excited about his Week 11 outlook.

RB - Montee Ball, Denver Broncos (at STL)

One of the bigger disappointments in fantasy football, Ball struggled (6.85 fantasy points per game) before missing the past five games with a groin injury. The good news is that Ball will return to the field this week and the likely multiple-week absence of Ronnie Hillman helps to open the door for Ball to get a significant role again. That said, C.J. Anderson racked up 163 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches last week. At least in his first game back, I'd prefer to keep Ball on the bench to see how the team's "hot hand" approach works itself out.

RB - Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams (vs. DEN)

The good news is that Mason has 18-plus touches in three of his past four games. The bad news is that the Rams could be playing much of this game with a large deficit as double-digit underdogs. In addition, the Broncos are tied with the Seahawks and Lions at holding opponents to a league-low 3.2 YPC this season. With the difficult matchup, Mason is more of a flex option than a solid RB2 for me this week.

RB - Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at WAS)

Rainey disappointed fantasy owners with a favorable matchup against the Falcons as he finished with only 10 touches and a total of 56 YFS. As the season progresses, I expect Charles Sims, who also had 10 touches in his NFL debut last week, to see a larger share of the workload in this committee. In addition, Washington is holding opposing running backs to the 11th-fewest fantasy points this season.

RB - Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns (vs. HOU)

Last week was a good week for all of Cleveland's running backs as the trio of Tate, Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell all scored touchdowns, had double-digit carries and finished as top-17 fantasy running backs. For a second consecutive week, however, West led the team in carries and Tate has exactly 10 carries in each of his past two games. Last but not least, Tate is averaging only 1.94 YPC (99 yards on 51 carries) in his past four games. Tate will rely on scoring a touchdown to be an RB2 this week.

WR - Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (at KC)

Baldwin blew up for a 7/123/1 line on 11 targets in the game immediately following the Percy Harvin trade, but he has averaged 43.3 yards per game in his last three games. In Seattle's run-heavy scheme, it's difficult to trust Baldwin (or any Seahawks receiver) as more than a flex option.

WR - Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (vs. CIN)

In his first seven NFL seasons, Colston averaged 8.29 touchdowns per season and then set a career low with five scores last year. This season, Colston has only one touchdown and he hasn't scored in six consecutive games. Not only does he have just one game with more than five receptions this season, Colston has averaged 3.0/40.3/0.0 on 4.0 targets per game over his past three. Colston is currently the fourth option, at best, behind Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram and Cooks.

WR - Wes Welker, Denver Broncos (at STL)

Like Colston, Welker was drafted to be a low-end WR2, but he has been a huge disappointment. In the seven games that he has played, Welker has finished as the WR50 or worse five times. Like Colston, Welker has just one touchdown this season and is averaging just 20.0 YPG over his past three outings.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (vs. DET)

Another preseason-WR2 disappointment, Floyd had just one catch for 11 yards last week. Since going over the 100-yard mark twice in the team's first three games, Floyd has no more than 47 yards in any game and has just 47 total yards in his past three games combined. With Carson Palmer out for the year, Floyd may not even deserve a spot on your bench in re-draft leagues despite his talent.

TE - Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (at NYG)

If I told you before the season that Rivera would be the best Bay Area fantasy tight end, you probably would have laughed at me. But Davis continues to underwhelm. Averaging 2.4/24.1/0.3 on the season, Davis hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1. And that was the last week that he finished inside the top-20 fantasy tight ends. Given his talent and past success in the red zone, it wouldn't surprise me if he had two touchdowns this week, but it also wouldn't surprise me if he was held to just two catches for 15 yards.

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at GB)

Count me among those that expected a breakout for the second-year tight end, but Ertz has seen his role decrease within the offense as the season has progressed. After totaling 163 yards in his first two games, Ertz has less than 50 yards in seven consecutive games and only one catch in back-to-back outings.

To see who I would start based on your team, please consult with my Week 11 rankings:

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