It’s crazy to think that just two seasons ago Peyton Manning threw 55 touchdowns passes. The Denver offense looked unstoppable, and Manning was in a class by himself as a quarterback. Last Sunday against Kansas City, he threw four interceptions and totaled negative seven (-7) fantasy points. That’s right, you would have been better off not starting a quarterback than playing Peyton Manning.
I knew Manning was on the decline, but I didn’t realize the end of the line would come this quickly for him. And it’s sad for me. Manning has been a class-act his entire career, and Manning vs. Brady is a game I look forward to every year. It won’t be the same NFL without Chicken Parm and his never-ending audibles.
I guess the fantasy advice here is that it’s better to cut ties with a player too early than too late. But mostly I’ll miss him screaming “Omaha!” and berating rookie wide receivers for running routes one yard too deep. Make sure you appreciate the great ones while they’re around. You never know when the show will end.
Let’s get to Week 11:
Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Opponents This Week:
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland —Carr puts up good numbers at home against bad defenses. And lucky for you, coming into the crumbling ruins of the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever they’re calling now) are the Detroit Lions, who have given up the third most points to quarterbacks this season.
Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas—Tony Romo is back, and that will prevent opposing defenses from focusing on the Cowboys’ running game. The Dolphins have surrendered the second most points to running backs this year. Bonus points if you’re the Jerry Jones of your fantasy league and drafted McFadden just because he went to the University of Arkansas.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay—Evans is getting targets like crazy, and Philadelphia has given up the fourth most points to wide receivers this season. Even better, Evans will probably be covered by Byron Maxwell, who is a slightly better cornerback than a three-toed sloth.
Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Team This Week:
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington—Cousins has always been a little streaky, and he’s due to cool down. Washington is facing a Carolina defense that has only given up more than twenty points to one quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Do you think Cousins is as good as Rodgers? Consider getting a discount double check on your brain if you do.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco—I see a lot of people putting Hyde in their lineups, and I think it’s a mistake. The 49ers offense is terrible, and Hyde has a stress fracture in his foot. If you’re in a ten team league, you can probably find a better option.
Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Chicago—The Bears’ best receiver lands on this list for the second week in a row. Jeffrey will likely be blanketed by Aquib Talib, and the Broncos don’t give up a lot of points to wide receivers. I know Jeffrey was likely a high draft pick for you, but unfortunately he’s not matchup-proof.
The Guy Who’s Wrecking My Fantasy Season This Week:
Ben Roethlisberger? The Pittsburgh Steelers training staff? I’m not sure which. But what I do know is that Antonio Brown is the engine that runs my team, and when Big Ben isn’t behind center that engine starts sputters and spewing oil. Brown and Roethlisberger have some sort of telepathic connection, enabling them to put up video-game numbers in a sport that’s supposed to be really difficult to play. So please, Pittsburgh, trainers. Cover Big Ben in bubble-wrap if you have to. For the sake of my fantasy team, keep the guy upright for the next six weeks.
Ben Zajdel is a ProFootballBeast.com contributor. You can follow him on Twitter at @bzajdel. His last name would be a great Scrabble word.