Week 11 RankingsSunday, November 18, 2012
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Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET on 11/18/2012
Former Rams VP of player personnel, Tony Softli, anointed slot receiver Danny Amendola a “blue” player this week. For those unaware of the front-office lingo, blue means “play maker and difference maker, an impact player each and every time they touch the field.” It’s a Pro Bowl player who presents matchup issues for a defense.
Contacted by Rotoworld for a second opinion, NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi bolstered Softli’s assessment. “I think the slot receiver is a position all to itself,” said Lombardi. “And in that category he is a blue -- with an arrow up.”
Amendola was robbed of an 80-yard pass play that would have given him 180+ yards and the Rams a Week 10 victory because Brandon Gibson lined up two yards off the line of scrimmage. “He played an outstanding football game. It’s unfortunate that two of those big plays didn’t count,” said Jeff Fisher. “He does things for our offense. He creates opportunities for other people … He can get open and Sam can get the ball to him. For a little guy, he’s got real good run-after-catch skills.”
It’s those run-after-catch skills that have improved measurably this season. Even without the two big plays referenced by Fisher, Amendola is averaging eight catches and close to 100 yards per in every game that he has finished this season.
NFL Films analyst suspects it will be Ellis Lankster -- not Antonio Cromartie -- attempting to hang with Amendola this week. Keep him in your lineup this week and for the rest of the season. Courtesy of Footballandbrackets.com, we know that the Rams passing game has one of the friendliest schedules in league (@BUF, MIN, @TB) during the fantasy playoffs of Weeks 14-16.
Week 11 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: Aaron Rodgers gets Jordy Nelson back and Jermichael Finley healthy just in time for a potential shootout with Matthew Stafford. … Brees remains fantasy’s No. 1 QB and is poised to exploit Oakland’s burnable secondary. … While Arizona’s run defense has fallen apart at the seams of late, their pass defense continues to rank among the league’s best. Matt Ryan has a relatively tough matchup this week. … The Colts, on the other hand, are going in the opposite direction. Start Tom Brady with the utmost confidence this week.
Peyton Manning has completed 70 percent of his passes in six consecutive games, the longest streak of his career. Behind only his outlier 2004 MVP season, Manning is averaging a touchdown pass every 15.7 attempts. If he finishes the season with his current 84.8 Total QBR, it will trail only Aaron Rodgers’ 2011 performance in the last five years. Manning was miked up for last week’s game, and NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell tells Fantasy Guru’s Adam Caplan, “You’ve never seen anything like it. This guy knows everything that is going on about everything. It is absolutely remarkable. … I don’t know what to say other than it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”
Carson Palmer is fantasy’s top quarterback the past five weeks in leagues that don’t penalize for turnovers. Matchups don’t get any better than his against the Saints this week. … Cam Newton is a bounce-back candidate against a Bucs defense allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. … Andrew Luck continues to lead the NFL with an average depth of target at 10.7 yards. He’s tied with Peyton Manning for most completions of 20+ yards (41). … Josh Freeman’s unit has been the NFL’s highest scoring over the past five weeks, averaging 35.6 points per game. He leads all QBs with 16 plays of 30+ yards. Freeman is playing at the highest level of his career, showing much improved patience this season. That said, the Panthers rank a solid 23rd against fantasy quarterbacks this season.
One of the most misleading stats in the league is Philip Rivers’ career-high completion percentage of 68. He’s been a mistake-prone check-down machine. Dating back to the beginning of last season, nobody has more than Rivers’ 40 turnovers. … Andy Dalton has a tougher matchup than it appears. The Chiefs’ pass defense has improved over the past month, and teams are averaging 10 fewer dropbacks per game when facing them. … Fitzpatrick is a decent QB2 option against a Dolphins defense allowing the 11th-most points to opposing quarterbacks.
Get used to the cushy matchups for Nick Foles. After facing the second-most generous fantasy defense this week, the rookie will vie with Eli Manning for the easiest QB schedule over the next five games. If the beleaguered o-line manages to give Foles time to throw -- a big “if” -- he can be a QB1 option versus the Bucs, Bengals and Redskins in the fantasy playoffs. … John Skelton is the only starter in the league with fewer than Ryan Tannehill’s five touchdown passes.
On paper, no QB has a tougher matchup than Joe Flacco this week. The Steelers have allowed just 140 passing yards per over the past four games. ... Chad Henne is the only NFL quarterback with more than Byron Leftwich’s six consecutive starts with a loss. How slow is Leftwich’s release? As Pat Daugherty put it, the play would take longer to develop than the Hoover Dam if Leftwich ever targeted Justin Blackmon on a pass. … Jason Campbell has no chance on the road against the NFL’s best front seven.