The Fantasy Fool: Week 11 Starters and Benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start David Johnson and Antonio Brown, or to bench Jared Goff and Eddie Royal? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 11 of the 2016 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans at Colts. With 19 total TDs vs. just three interceptions over the last six games, Mariota is on the verge of elite, must-start status. When he’s facing a pathetic pass defense like the Colts, there may be no better option on the planet.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) ORG XMIT: CAGB

Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders vs. Texans. The formula for moving the ball against Houston is to run, and Murray is up to the task. He had a huge outing prior to the bye (127 total yards, 3 TDs), so look for the Raiders to lean heavily on their backfield leader again on Monday night south of the border.

Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals vs. Bills. Cincinnati’s running game has been providing welcome relief to Andy Dalton, who has been struggling of late. Hill is on a three-game scoring streak, while Giovani Bernard is coming off another mediocre outing. Buffalo’s run defense is nothing special, so look for the starter of this shared backfield to capitalize on the friendly matchup.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts vs. Titans. This is what you call an Oprah game. Hilton gets a TD! Moncrief gets a TD! Everybody gets a TD! Nobody gives up more fantasy points to opposing QBs than the Titans, and they’re nearly as generous to wideouts. Moncrief has scored in consecutive games, and should run the streak to three on Sunday.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots at 49ers. Edelman has reached the end zone just once all season, and came up a yard short of his first 100-yard game last week. With Rob Gronkowski (lung) out, and the 49ers’ sieve-like secondary covering him, Edelman should pass the century mark and find the end zone while seeing more targets than any other receiver.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Tyrod Taylor; RBs LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin, LeSean McCoy, Spencer Ware, Jay Ajayi, Frank Gore, Jordan Howard; WRs Rishard Matthews, Davante Adams, Doug Baldwin, Mike Wallace, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Robert Woods.

Roll ‘em back

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders vs. Texans. Carr followed up his performance of a lifetime with an epic stinker prior to the bye. Don’t be surprised if he fouls the air again in Mexico City, against a Houston secondary that has surrendered just eight passing scores all season.

Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers vs. Patriots. Hyde’s return to the starting lineup was a bust last week in Arizona. While he quickly regained his Alpha RB status over DuJuan Harris, Hyde was outrushed by his quarterback. Though New England’s run defense has been roasted at times – most notably by Buffalo two games ago – Hyde’s prospects are dim in this matchup.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants vs. Bears. Jennings finally cleared the 100-combined-yards threshold in Week 10, by a whopping 9 yards. He’s still stuck on a solitary touchdown for the season, while rookie Paul Perkins steadily chips away at his playing time. Add the Bears’ stingy run defense to the mix, and Jennings is a no go.

Marvin Jones, WR, Lions vs. Jaguars. The frustration continues for Jones’ owners, as Golden Tate supplants him as Matt Stafford’s favorite target. A nagging foot injury isn’t helping. Jacksonville’s pass defense has stiffened up lately, so consider safer alternatives.

Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys vs. Ravens. Dak Prescott has been a revelation, and he has certainly favored Beasley during his sensational run. But Baltimore’s defense has stepped up lately, and could limit the Dak Attack to less-than-stellar production. Beasley’s ceiling isn’t high enough to offset the downside risk.

More thumbs down: QBs Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, Jay Cutler, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco; RBs Thomas Rawls, Terrance West, Ty Montgomery, Chris Ivory, Jerick McKinnon; WRs Randall Cobb, DeVante Parker, Kenny Britt, Michael Floyd, Will Fuller, DeSean Jackson, Allen Hurns, Jordan Matthews, Percy Harvin, Victor Cruz, Tyreek Hill.

TAKING A FLIER

Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots vs. 49ers. I don’t usually talk tight ends, since most fantasy players rarely have tough starting decisions to make. But with Gronk out, Bennett will vie with Edelman for the lion’s share of Tom Brady’s attention. And that, my friends, is a prescription for success against a poor defense like San Francisco’s.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO … keeps dead weight on your roster. Way too many owners are inexplicably holding onto players like Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, C.J. Anderson, Eddie Lacy and Alshon Jeffery, who won’t return from suspension until Week 17. Unless you’re in a keeper league, eject these guys and replace them with players who can actually contribute down the stretch.

Ladd Biro is a four-time finalist and two-time winner of the Football Writer of the Year Award by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Follow all his advice daily at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), on Facebook and via Twitter(@ladd_biro).