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Eddie Brown’s fantasy football Week 11: Start and sit

There are essentially three positions you can find yourself in at this point in the fantasy football season.

You’re the pace car, the team everyone is chasing and the favorite to win your league (Well done if this is you).

Or maybe you’re the caboose, bringing up the rear with a sliver of hope (or none at all) left. If so, my condolences.

Most likely, you’re stuck in the dregs with the bulk of your league and every matchup from this point has playoff implications.

If this is you, by all means, feel free to read on and find the NFL matchups that will impact your lineup this week. Don’t waste any more time watching me bloviate.

As with anything worth doing in life, preparation is key.

Good luck!

Follow me on Twitter @UTEddieBrown if you have questions throughout the week.

Here are my best bets for Week 11:

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PITTSBURGH AT CLEVELAND

Obvious starters: James Conner (PIT), Steelers D/ST, Nick Chubb (CLE), Odell Beckham (CLE).

Who to start: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) maintains WR3/flex value against a secondary that struggles against slot receivers. TE Vance McDonald (PIT) is a decent streaming option thanks to usage (14 targets the past two games). WR Jarvis Landry (CLE) has received double-digit targets in three straight games. The pass-rush fueled Browns D/ST is a streaming option if you’re desperate. It’s clear RB Kareem Hunt (CLE) has flex value in PPR formats after receiving nine targets in his debut against the Bills.

Who to sit: I’m fading QB Mason Rudolph (PIT) despite the Browns allowing multiple touchdown passes in seven of nine games. With Conner back, RB Jaylen Samuels (PIT) only has value in the deepest PPR formats. It’s hard to trust QB Baker Mayfield (CLE) with such a difficult matchup on a short week.

Sleeper: Rookie WR Diontae Johnson (PIT) has at least four receptions or a touchdown in five of seven games.

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DALLAS AT DETROIT

Obvious starters: Dak Prescott (DAL), Ezekiel Elliott (DAL), Amari Cooper (DAL), Kenny Golladay (DET).

Who to start: WR Michael Gallup (DAL) has at least four receptions or a touchdown in six of seven games. WR Randall Cobb (DAL) has flex value in deeper PPR formats with at least six targets in five of seven games. It’s hard to sit TE Jason Witten (DAL) against a defense that has allowed a touchdown to the position in four straight games. WR Marvin Jones (DET) maintains his WR3/flex value with an average of seven targets per game this season. RB J.D. McKissic (DET) has flex value in deeper PPR formats with 12 receptions over the past three games.

Who to sit: I’m fading the Cowboys D/ST on the road. It’s hard to trust QB Matthew Stafford (DET) with fractures in his back, no matter how well he’s played this season. Inconsistency keeps WR Danny Amendola (DET) out of your lineup (outside of the deepest PPR formats). Rookie RB Ty Johnson (DET) has yet to have any impact whatsoever.

Sleeper: Rookie TE T.J. Hockenson (DET) faces a defense that has allowed at least six receptions or a touchdown to the position in six straight games.

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JACKSONVILLE AT INDIANAPOLIS

Obvious starters: Leonard Fournette (JAX), D.J. Chark (JAX), Marlon Mack (IND).

Who to start: I suppose you could do worse than the Jaguars D/ST as a streaming option if you’re in a pinch. Both TEs Jack Doyle (IND) and Eric Ebron (IND) are decent streaming options against a defense that has allowed five touchdowns to the position over the past six games.

Who to sit: I’m fading the return of QB Nick Foles (JAX) against a defense that has allowed one-or-fewer touchdown passes in five straight games. I’m also fading WRs Dede Westbrook (JAX) and Chris Conley (JAX) with this difficult matchup. QB Jacoby Brissett (IND) faces a secondary that has only allowed seven touchdown passes over the past five games. Foles will limit the turnover potential of the Colts D/ST. There’s no real upside in playing RB Nyheim Hines (IND).

Sleeper: WR Zach Pascal (IND) has WR3/flex upside with at least six targets in three of four games.

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BUFFALO AT MIAMI

Obvious starters: Josh Allen (BUF), Devin Singletary (BUF), John Brown (BUF), Bills D/ST.

Who to start: WR Cole Beasley (BUF) maintains his flex value in PPR formats with three touchdowns over the past four games. WR DeVante Parker (MIA) has at least five receptions, 59 yards or a touchdown in six straight games.

Who to sit: RB Frank Gore (BUF) is no longer guaranteed double-digit touches and has become touchdown dependent. Even seriously high volume won’t allow me to recommend RB Kalen Ballage (MIA).

Sleeper: TE Mike Gesicki (MIA) has nine receptions (on 12 targets) and 123 yards over the past two games.

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DENVER AT MINNESOTA

Obvious starters: Courtland Sutton (DEN), Phillip Lindsay (DEN), Dalvin Cook (MIN), Stefon Diggs (MIN), Vikings D/ST.

Who to start: TE Kyle Rudolph (MIN) has at least three receptions of a touchdown in five straight games.

Who to sit: QB Brandon Allen (DEN) shouldn’t be on your radar at this point. RB Royce Freeman (DEN) is touchdown-dependent. QB Kirk Cousins (MIN) faces a defense that hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer this season and only seven touchdown passes over nine games.

Sleeper: Rookie TE Noah Fant (DEN) is clearly the No. 2 target in this passing game with eight receptions (13 targets), 141 yards and a touchdown over the past two games.

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NEW ORLEANS AT TAMPA BAY

Obvious starters: Drew Brees (NO), Michael Thomas (NO), Alvin Kamara (NO), Saints D/ST, Mike Evans (TB), Chris Godwin (TB).

Who to start: TE Jared Cook (NO) faces a defense that has allowed six touchdowns to the position over the last seven games. QB Jameis Winston (TB) has at least 301 passing yards in six of seven games. RB Ronald Jones (TB) maintains flex value with a touchdown in four of the last six games.

Who to sit: RB Latavius Murray (NO) is touchdown-dependent against such a good run defense. WR Ted Ginn (NO) remains boom-or-bust. RB Peyton Barber (TB) remains a touchdown-dependent lottery ticket.

Sleeper: I just can’t quit TE O.J. Howard (TB).

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N.Y. JETS AT WASHINGTON

Obvious starters: Le’Veon Bell (NYJ).

Who to start: WR Jamison Crowder (NYJ) maintains WR3/flex value with at least five receptions, 81 yards and a touchdown in two straight games. A matchup against a rookie quarterback makes the Jets D/ST a premium streaming option this week. Decent volume (at least nine targets in three of the last six games) keeps WR Demaryius Thomas (NYJ) in the flex discussion in deeper PPR formats. Rookie WR Terry McLaurin (WAS) deserves flex consideration (despite his quarterback) against a defense that has allowed 10 touchdowns to the position over the past three games.

Who to sit: I’m fading QB Sam Darnold (NYJ) against a pass defense that has only allowed two touchdown passes over the past four games. WR Robby Anderson (NYJ) has morphed into a boom-or-bust option. Don’t go anywhere near rookie QB Dwayne Haskins (WAS). I’m fading both RBs Adrian Peterson (WAS) and Derrius Guice (WAS) against such a good run defense until we see how they plan on splitting the carries.

Sleeper: The Redskins D/ST are a sneaky streaming candidate if they can bring the paranormal activity.

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ATLANTA AT CAROLINA

Obvious starters: Matt Ryan (ATL), Julio Jones (ATL), Christian McCaffrey (CAR), D.J. Moore (CAR), Greg Olsen (CAR).

Who to start: Decent volume (at least six targets in seven of nine games) helps WR Calvin Ridley (ATL) maintain his WR3/flex value. QB Kyle Allen (CAR) is a decent streaming candidate against a pass defense that has allowed 19 touchdown passes in nine games. WR Curtis Samuel (CAR) has at least four receptions, 46 yards or a touchdown in four straight games. The Panthers D/ST has 36 sacks in nine games this season and has created multiple turnovers in five of the last seven games.

Who to sit: The Falcons D/ST, obviously (don’t be fooled by last week against the Saints).

Sleeper: Rookie RB Brian Hill (ATL) takes over for an injured Devonta Freeman after scoring a touchdown in two straight games.

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HOUSTON AT BALTIMORE

Obvious starters: Deshaun Watson (HOU), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU), Lamar Jackson (BAL), Mark Ingram (BAL), Mark Andrews (BAL),

Who to start: High volume (almost 17 carries per game) helps RB Carlos Hyde (HOU) maintain his RB2/flex value (with upside in standard leagues). WR Marquise Brown (BAL) faces a defense that has allowed multiple touchdowns to the position in five of the last seven games. The Ravens D/ST has scored five touchdowns in the past three games.

Who to sit: RB Duke Johnson (HOU) only has value in the deepest PPR formats. WR Kenny Stills (HOU) is a touchdown-dependent option, like TE Darren Fells (HOU).

Sleeper: WR Will Fuller (HOU) deserves flex consideration if he returns from his hamstring injury because of his big-play/game potential.

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ARIZONA AT SAN FRANCISCO

Obvious starters: Tevin Coleman (SF), 49ers D/ST.

Who to start: High volume (double-digit targets in over half his games) helps WR Christian Kirk (ARI) maintain WR3/flex value with such a difficult matchup. RB Kenyan Drake (ARI) has flex value in most PPR formats. WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) maintains his flex value in deeper PPR formats. QB Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) lit up the Cardinals for four touchdowns two weeks ago. Rookie WR Deebo Samuel (SF) deserves flex consideration with 12 receptions (18 targets) over the past two games.

Who to sit: I’m fading rookie QB Kyler Murray (ARI) against an elite defense coming off a disappointing loss. RB David Johnson (ARI) looked sluggish against the Buccaneers and was benched in the fourth quarter. I’m fading WR Emmanuel Sanders (SF) with a rib injury until we see him play with it.

Sleeper: TE Ross Dwelley (SF) is a sneaky streaming candidate with George Kittle likely sidelined another week.

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CINCINNATI AT OAKLAND

Obvious starters: Joe Mixon (CIN), Tyler Boyd (CIN), Josh Jacobs (OAK), Darren Waller (OAK)

Who to start: WR Auden Tate (CIN) deserves flex consideration with at least six targets in seven straight games. QB Derek Carr (OAK) is a solid streaming candidate with eight touchdown against only one interception over the last four games. WRs Tyrell Williams (OAK) and Hunter Renfrow (OAK) are low-end flex fliers if you’re desperate.

Who to sit: I’m not trusting rookie QB Ryan Finley (CIN) despite the premium matchup. TE Tyler Eifert (CIN) remains touchdown-dependent.

Sleeper: The Raiders D/ST are a solid streaming candidate against a rookie quarterback making his road debut.

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NEW ENGLAND AT PHILADELPHIA

Obvious starters: Tom Brady (NE), Julian Edelman (NE), James White (NE), Patriots D/ST, Zach Ertz (PHI).

Who to start: WR Mohamed Sanu (NE) has WR2 upside considering the 19 targets he’s received in two games with the Patriots. RB Jordan Howard (PHI) maintains his RB2 upside in standard leagues despite the difficult matchup.

Who to sit: RB Sony Michel (NE) is a touchdown-dependent option against a pretty stout run defense. I’m fading QB Carson Wentz (PHI) against a pass defense that has only allowed three touchdowns this season. Rookie RB Miles Sanders (PHI) is big-play dependent.

Sleeper: TE Dallas Goedert (PHI) has at least four receptions or a touchdown in four straight games.

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CHICAGO AT L.A. RAMS

Obvious starters: Allen Robinson (CHI), Bears D/ST, Cooper Kupp (LAR), Todd Gurley (LAR), Gerald Everett (LAR), Rams D/ST.

Who to start: Rookie RB David Montgomery (CHI) maintains RB2 upside with an average of almost 22 touches over the past three games. WR Robert Woods (LAR) maintains WR3/flex value with at least five receptions in five games this season. WR Josh Reynolds (LAR) deserves flex consideration in the deepest standard leagues with at least three receptions, 49 yards or a touchdown in the past two games since Brandin Cooks was sidelined with a concussion.

Who to sit: QB Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) has failed to throw a touchdown in five games this season. WR Taylor Gabriel (CHI) remains boom-or-bust. I’m fading QB Jared Goff (LAR) against a pass defense that has allowed one-or-fewer touchdowns in seven of nine games.

Sleeper: RB Tarik Cohen (CHI) will have RB2 upside in most PPR formats if Montgomery is limited or sidelined by an ankle injury he sustained in practice on Wednesday.

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KANSAS CITY AT L.A. CHARGERS

Obvious starters: Patrick Mahomes (KC), Tyreek Hill (KC), Travis Kelce (KC), Damien Williams (KC), Melvin Gordon (LAC), Hunter Henry (LAC), Keenan Allen (LAC)

Who to start: WR Sammy Watkins (KC) maintains WR3/flex value with at least five receptions in six of eight games. RB Austin Ekeler (LAC) maintains his RB2/flex value in PPR formats with a touchdown in six of 10 games this season.

Who to sit: WRs Mecole Hardman (KC) and Demarcus Robinson (KC) are simply lottery tickets in all formats if you’re desperate enough. It looks like Andy Reid may be resting RB LeSean McCoy (KC) for the stretch run. Target share has been too inconsistent to trust WR Mike Williams (LAC).

Sleeper: QB Philip Rivers (LAC) is a solid streaming option against a defense that has allowed eight touchdown passes over the past three games.

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