Predicting studs and duds for NFL Week 11

By Rachel Wold
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Putting their best efforts forth as the playoff picture takes shape.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 in the NFL welcomes 13 fun matchups including a much-anticipated primetime tilt. This game pits the first-place AFC Kansas City Chiefs against the red-hot 9-1 Los Angeles Rams. Good stuff.

But before this awesome game kicks off, other teams will be putting their best efforts forth as the playoff picture begins to take early shape.

Can the Chicago Bears strengthen their lead in the NFC North when they host the Minnesota Vikings? In the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts might have to fight tooth and claw to beat a suddenly very sharp-looking Tennessee Titans.

With that said, here are some stud and dud predictions for NFL Week 11.

 

Stud: Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Dallas Cowboys

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Zeke had himself a heck of a game when he last unloaded 187 total yards and two touchdowns in Philadelphia. Next up for Elliott to continue his awesomeness is a friendly matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. This depleted defense just got torched by Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, who recorded 209 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. This should not be one of Elliott’s humdrum games by any means. He will eat again.

 

Dud: Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars defense has lost its roar. And, Ramsey and Co. should be ultra-challenged trying to next slow down the Pittsburgh Steelers. After last blowing up the Panthers defense, Pittsburgh’s offense will now look to plow down the Jags and their declining secondary. Who wins when Ramsey tries to stop Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner from finding the end zone? Likely not Ramsey. Stay tuned for the pre-game trash talking that is already rumbling in Ramsey’s camp.

 

Stud: Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Stafford and the Lions are not the best at winning much this season. But, that does not mean that he won’t deliver the spoils when the Panthers arrive. The Panthers are also approaching Week 11 coming off a loss of their own, and we can expect a competitive effort from both sides. Keep in mind the Panthers defense just surrendered 328 passing yards and five touchdowns to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Stafford is primed for a big day if his weapons on offense lend a helping hand.

 

Dud: Lamar Miller, running back, Houston Texans

Thomas J. Russo, USA Today Sports

Predicting Miller’s productivity on a weekly basis is not easy. He most recently had a 133-rushing-yard game, followed by a 21-yarder prior to his bye week. Yuck. Next up in Week 11, Miller will face the Washington Redskins when more yuck is on the menu. This team has given up only seven total touchdowns to opposing running backs, and the fifth-fewest rushing yards on average per game. Miller simply cannot be trusted to have one of his random rock star performances under these conditions.

 

Stud: Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, New York Giants

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Beckham and old Eli Manning seemed to have rediscovered their chemistry. OBJ caught not one, but two touchdowns en route to a fun “Monday Night Football” victory in Week 10. Next up for Beckham is a dreamy home matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s defense can’t stop anybody and is giving up the 26th-most passing yards on average per game. Furthermore, it is allowing 26 receptions on average each contest. Beckham’s fellow teammate Sterling Shepard should reap some rewards as well.

 

Dud: Julio Jones, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

How can this be coming from a receiver averaging a league-high 115.6 yards on average per game? Well, Jones still stands to rack up some yards. But, he might struggle some playing against a stingy Cowboys defense that is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts. The Cowboys have surrendered only six wide receiver touchdowns all season and a mere 144 yards on average per game to this position. It will be up to the All-Pro receiver to defy the odds.

 

Stud: Desmond King, safety, Los Angeles Chargers

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

King recently had his hands full dealing with Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook, and his foul mood, in Week 10. Though next, King should catch a break playing against the Denver Broncos and an error-prone Case Keenum in Week 11. King should be the player who comes out on the winning side when potentially he nabs his fourth interception of the year. Plus, the Broncos possess an offense that has managed a measly 12 passing touchdowns all season. King and the Chargers should have this game in the bag.

 

Dud: Marlon Mack, running back Indianapolis Colts

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mack had been running the ball very nicely for the Colts until his clunker of a Week 10 performance that saw him tally 38 combined yards. Next up for Mack — who could be trending downwards again — is a clash with the Titans. We last saw the Titans defense annihilate the Patriots. The Pats had to totally abandon running the ball when only 40 net yards of rushing were produced. On the season, the Titans have given up only four rushing scores, which could easily result in Mack being left out in the cold.

 

Stud: Vance McDonald, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

McDonald is primed to build on the 44 yards and one touchdown scored in his last game. In Week 11, he and the Steelers meet up with the Jaguars, whose defense has seen better days. In particular, the Jaguars secondary is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been throwing dimes as of late and McDonald with his handy 78.9 percent catch rate should keep garnering plenty of attention.

 

Dud: Doug Martin, running back, Oakland Raiders

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Since taking over for Beast Mode in Oakland’s backfield, Martin sometimes looks like he is the only guy on offense putting forth a decent effort. Though in Week 11, Martin may have a tough go of things when the Raiders next play the Arizona Cardinals. This is a rushing defense that tightly held Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt to a mere 71 rushing yards and zero scores in Week 10. If the Raiders fall behind — which is often the case — they’ll be forced to turn up their passing game.

 

Stud: Kirk Cousins, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins should be fresh when the Vikings return from their bye for a divisional showdown against the Bears. With how well the Bears and their second-year quarterback have been playing, we might expect that Cousins will have to take his game through the air to keep competitive. The Bears last forced Matthew Stafford to pass for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Since Cousins is armed with a better receiving corps he could easily see a 300-plus passing-yard performance to keep his Vikings in the fight.

 

Dud: Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston and Mike Evans should dominate the NFC South in 2017.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Evans’ production has been on a severe decline over his past two games with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick spreading the ball all over the place. Fitz is slated to start once again for the struggling Bucs and Evans might suffer because of this decision. This week, the Bucs play the Giants, whose defense has allowed only 12 passing touchdowns in nine games. Fitzmagic failed to score in his last game and Evans has caught only four total passes in his last two contests. This is not good.

 

Stud: Golden Tate, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So much for Tate making a splashy debut as an Eagle in Week 10. It was more like he fell into the deep end after managing to catch only two of his four targets for 19 yards. Though, Week 11 presents Tate with a nice matchup to turn his performance around. The Eagles next play the Saints sporting a defense that should make both quarterback Carson Wentz and Tate play like champions. To date, Saints have allowed a generous 311 receiving yards on average per game as well as 19 touchdowns. Tate should take advantage.

 

Dud: Deshawn Shead, cornerback, Detroit Lions

Shead enters Week 11 after pretty much being irrelevant when it came to defending Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson in his last game. Now, he faces another bad matchup against the Panthers. This team will be looking to avenge its last loss by forcing busted coverage on Shead. Cam Newton throwing to Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, and Greg Olsen is bound to have Shead running himself ragged again.

[thrive_leads id=’191466′]

 

Stud: Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Fitzgerald is starting to pick up his pace some and this stands to continue when the Cardinals host the broken down Raiders in Week 11. The Raiders are just bad across the board and their defense is a complete joke. It is currently allowing a league-high 13.9 yards per reception, as well as 21 passing passing scores on the season. It would not be shocking for the Cardinals to come out on top while Fitzgerald shows off his future Hall of Fame talents.

 

Dud: Jordan Hicks, linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles LB Jordan Hicks injured his hand while on honeymoon in Greece.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Hicks and his fellow defenders just got completely burned by Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who scored twice against them in Week 10. Beyond the aftermath of that, Hicks won’t have things any easier when the Eagles travel to play the Saints. No team like the Saints offers that one-two punch with its running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. These two should continue with their high jumps and antics, likely leaving Hicks in the dust at times.

 

Stud: Tyler Lockett, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Lockett’s better performances usually depend on him finding the end zone. Fortunately in Week 11, Lockett has friendly matchup against the Green Bay Packers. On the season, this defense has yielded the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers. Plus, heading into this matchup, the Packers secondary looks to be possibly missing three of its top defensive backs. Lockett and has speedy feet should be extremely difficult for the Packers to attempt to contain this game.

 

Dud: Andy Dalton, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Dalton tends to play poorly when he is missing wideout A.J. Green. With Green likely sitting out his next game, the good advice would be to stay away from Dalton in Week 11. This becomes even more advised since the Bengals face the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens passing defense has been quite stingy and has allowed a lowly 59.6 pass completion rate. If for some reason we see Jeff Driskel taking to the field again, Dalton will have failed big time for a second week in a row.

 

Stud: Kareem Hunt, running back, Kansas City Chiefs

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Hunt did not exactly hit the ball out of the park in his Week 10 performance. But, that came against a much stricter run defense. Next up for Hunt and the Chiefs is an exciting clash with the Rams. The Rams run defense is laughable at times and it just let various Seattle Seahawks players tally 273 total yards on the ground, as well as a touchdown. Hunt is going to completely run wild when 200 yards from scrimmage is not out of the question.

 

Dud: Jordan Howard, running back, Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard against Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL Week 3

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

We are not sure what is going on with the Bears backfield as it pertains to Howard’s usage, but he’s just not receiving enough work. And when Howard is getting carries, he is failing to turn them into golden opportunities. The third-year running back just averaged a paltry 1.9 yards per carry in his last game. Next on the agenda is a tilt against the Vikings run defense that is ceding the third-fewest rushing yards on average per game (88.9). This should be another nightmare game for Howard.