With Thanksgiving approaching it's time to get your house in order. Are you making dinner? Are you traveling? I've got visions of turkey's dancing in my head. Before I get to the mashed potatoes, the yams and the gravy, let's take a look at Week 11 and spend some time breaking down some of the elite performers – Alexander, Blackmon, Johnson, Schaub – and also look at some of those players that might be contributing to you losing in this week (names like Maclin, Moore and Fitzgerald are at the top of that list).
Denario Alexander came up huge for the second straight game for the Chargers as he caught seven balls for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including one of the more athletic scores of Week 11. At the same time, you are playing with hot coals while wearing a pair of surgical gloves. The dude is extremely talented, but his knees are just shredded. You can roll with him, he's certainly blazing hot, but realize the odds of him even being on the field in Week 17 can't be better than 75 percent.
Expectations have gotten so high that I bet pretty much every Danny Amendola owner is ticked off at
seven receptions for 41 yards. In the six games he hasn't left with injury he's averaging eight grabs a contest.
Justin Blackmon tried to erase a season of disappointment in four quarters. He may have done that. Justin caught seven balls for 236 yards an a score in an epic effort he'll likely never better no long how he plays this game. The guy had 250 yards receiving this season before today.
Outings like Week 11 are why Dez Bryant has everyone in Dallas so excited. Bryant caught 12 balls for 145 yards an a score against an outmatched Browns' secondary.
Larry Fitzgerald paid the full price for his quarterback failings. He caught one of seven passes for 11 yards. He would have scored if not for an atrocious pass from John Skelton was so off the mark that it led to Skelton being benched in favor of Ryan Lindley. It was only the second quarter.
Arian Foster's Texans scored 44 points. Arian Foster recorded 92 yards from scrimmage and didn't score. I keep saying it and no one is looking, but this is the worst Foster has played, on a per touch bases, in three years. Averaging 4.7 YPC coming into the year, Foster is at 3.8 YPC this season. Also, after averaging 60 receptions the past two years he's not even on pace for 35 this year.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis finally had a big game on the ground. He ran for 101 yards and a score. Unfortunately it took him 25 carries to get those numbers.
Vulture thy name is Brandon Gibson. The Rams wideout caught three passes for nine yards. Two of the receptions went for scores.
Garrett Graham went off for the Texans. Who didn't go off in that game (more about his teammates below)? Graham had the game of his life with eight grabs for 82 yards. I probably should mention those two touchdowns too, right? Don't worry he hasn't passed Owen Daniels, Garrett just had a huge day as the Jags couldn't stop the pass all afternoon.
A.J. Green recorded a TD for the 9th straight game. Only two wide receivers have ever had longer streaks. Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsh went 10-straight in 1951 while Jerry Rice went 12-straight in 1987. The only downside for Green was that he caught just six of 12 targets for 91 yards. Admittedly that's not much of a downside.
Robert Griffin III went nuts despite throwing for only 200 yards and completing just 14 passes. How is that possible? RGIII completed 14 of 15 passes for four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 12 times for 84 yards. This is why you never bench RGIII.
He just does it every week (thanks Tom Brady). Rob Gronkowski caught seven balls for 137 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts. It's been reported though that he is undergoing testing as the team fears he might have suffered a broken arm and that he could be out 4-6 weeks.
Chad Henne came off the bench to throw for 354 yards and and four scores without being intercepted one time. That's the first time a QB has thrown for four scores without an interception coming off the bench since 1987 when Steve Young pulled off the trick for the 49ers.
T.Y. Hilton had a hell of a day catching six passes for 100 yards and two scores for the Colts. I picked him up Sunday morning in one league to start him after Andrew Hawkins was ruled out with injury. Think Kyle Elfrink, my co-host on The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and my opponent this week, is happy about that?
Rashad Jennings was replaced in the starting lineup by Jalen Parmele. Rashad still played, but did nothing on offense as he carried the ball three times for (-1). He returned six kicks for an average of 24 yards per return. Parmalee wasn't exactly great running for 80 yards on 24 carries, but he did enough to get another start with MJD still uncertain to play.
Andre Johnson went off, and then some. His 273 receiving yards are the most by an NFL player since Terrell Owens went for 283 against the Bears in 2000. The fourteen receptions including a 48 yards touchdown in overtime to win the game for the Texans.
Jets... how do you only throw two passes to Dustin Keller (for 16 yards)? Who are you throwing passes to Mark Sanchez?
Marcedes Lewis caught three balls for 40 yards in Week 11. Two of those receptions went for scores. Too late, you missed your window with Lewis, so don't go run and pick him up. He had scored two times in his previous 24 games.
Andrew Luck completed 27 passes for 334 yards and two scores to become the first rookie QB in league history with five 300-yard passing game. Still, the numbers were deceiving as Luck threw three interceptions, two that were returned for scores, and he also lost a fumble.
Jeremy Maclin had three targets for zero catches and zero yards. Amazingly, that was actually slightly better than Dwayne Bowe who had two targets for zero receptions and zero yards (at least Bowe had a neck injury). I know defenses can game plan to take players out, and that both guys had spotty QB play, but how is it possible that this duo didn't catch a pass in Week 11? Embarrassing. Laurent Robinson caught zero balls, though if that upsets you there was little chance you were going to win this week anyway.
Peyton Manning, ho hum. He threw for 270 yards and three scores.
Denarius Moore caught one ball for nine yards in one of the most disappointing outings of the week. Period.
Brandon Myers I was wrong about you this week. You not only returned from a concussion, but you played well with six receptions for 55 yards an a score.
Carson Palmer, everyone's play of the week against a poor Saints defense, completed just 22 of 40 passes for 312 yards and two scores. He also tossed two interceptions in an overall poor effort despite the yards as the Raiders got spanked by the Saints 38-17.
Marcel Reece killed it again running 19 time for 103 yards. That alone would have made him a strong fantasy play. Not content to be a good play, he was an excellent play as he also caught four balls for 90 yards. Kudos to you if you added him off waivers, but I have to ask this question – what's wrong with the Raiders? Reece has been an elite performer the last three weeks making you wonder just why the Raiders haven't featured him, ever, through 3.5 previous seasons.
Jacquizz Rodgers just can't seem to work his way into a significant role with the Falcons, even though everyone continues to write the obituary for Michael Turner. Rodgers ran the balls five times for 16 yards and caught five passes for 35 yards. Turner ran for 46 yards an a score on 15 carries.
So much for Andre Roberts being a weekly start. He caught one balls for seven yards. Can't really blame him though when Skelton and Lindley threw for 70 yards.
Matt Ryan threw for 301 yards. He also completed 28 passes. A solid day, until we note that he was intercepted a total of five (1,2,3,4,5) times. Three of the INTs came on tipped passes, so bad luck certainly played a part.
Matt Schaub had the game of his life Sunday. Not only did ht throw for a career best five scores, he used overtime to push his passing total to 527 yards, the second most in the annals of the NFL game. Norm Van Brocklin threw for 554 yards way back in 1951.
The Saints lied. Darren Sproles was reported by multiple sources, pretty much everyone in the business actually, as being healthy enough to play (hand issue). Less than 15 minutes before early kickoff Jay Glazer broke the report that Sproles was in fact going to be inactive. If you had time to change your lineup you were annoyed but could live with it. If you set your lineup Sunday morning after it was announced he would play and then went to spend time with your family you were hosed. Nothing chaps my hide more than dishonest people, and the more I cover this sport the more I realize that all such people seemingly work in the NFL.
Matthew Stafford was off all Sunday as he completed 17 of 39 passes in one of the most inefficient effort you will ever see. How on earth did 10 of those passes go to Tony Scheffler? More baffling. How did Sheffler catch only two of those passes for 22 yards? Sheffler also let a ball go through his hands for a pick-6. Great game Tony.
La'Rod Stephens-Howling went bonkers. He ran for 92 yards... on two carries in the first half. In the end he ran for 127 yards and a score, but given that he had 22 carries that means his other 20 runs totaled 35 yards.
Ben Watson was another one of those bust out tight ends in Week 11, and just like Graham and Lewis he has no shot at repeating it. Watson caught four balls for 47 yards and, wait for it, two scores. He had six touchdowns in his previous 35 games.
Mike Williams is struggling. He's failed to catch the ball for more than 68 yards in five weeks after a three reception, 29 yard effort in Week 11.
Titus Young continues to be the definition of boom and bust. It's more often been bust as it was in Week 11 as he caught one ball for 24 yards.
Vulture thy name is Delone Carter. He had two carries for 21 yards but he scored a touchdown.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT and Friday's at 9p-12a EDT. Ray's baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account.