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Into the deep for Week 11

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Every week I'll dive into some sleepers beyond what we write in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em to help some of you in deeper leagues. Some weeks will have more guys than others, but this should be helpful for those owners in 14- and 16-team leagues.

Quarterback

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Christian Ponder (vs. OAK): This is a bad week for Fantasy quarterbacks with Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger on a bye, Tim Tebow facing a tough opponent in the Jets and Michael Vick (ribs) likely out. That could leave Fantasy owners looking for help, and Ponder has a quality matchup against the Raiders. Seven quarterbacks have scored multiple touchdowns against the Raiders this season, including the past two games with Tebow and Philip Rivers. While Ponder struggled in Week 10 at Green Bay, he did have 19 Fantasy points in his lone home game this season in Week 7 against the Packers. He could be a good emergency Fantasy quarterback this week in deeper formats. (Started in 5 percent of leagues in Week 10)
John Skelton (at SF): Skelton might have a little more upside than Ponder this week even with a tough matchup against the 49ers. Skelton has started the past two games for the Cardinals in place of Kevin Kolb (toe), and he has 44 Fantasy points combined over that span. He played well at the Eagles in Week 10 with 315 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, and he does one thing well -- he gets the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. In two games with Skelton, Fitzgerald has 25 targets, which is his best two-game stretch of the season, and three touchdowns. And since the Cardinals will likely play from behind, Skelton could have plenty of chances to throw. (Started in 1 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Alex Smith (vs. ARI): The Cardinals' secondary has done a solid job of late, allowing zero passing touchdowns over the past three games against Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford and Vick with four interceptions over that span. But part of that is misleading since Flacco lost out on at least two touchdowns due to pass interference calls, and Vick was playing with broken ribs and without two of his best receivers with DeSean Jackson inactive and Jeremy Maclin (shoulder/hamstring) hurt. Still, the stats are what they are, but Arizona also has allowed multiple touchdowns to Cam Newton, Rex Grossman, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, and Smith could still play well this week. He had 23 Fantasy points against the Cardinals in his lone meeting last year and has at least 19 Fantasy points in two of his past four home games. (Started in 6 percent of leagues in Week 10)

Running back

Kendall Hunter (vs. ARI): Hunter has an opportunity to play well this week against the Cardinals if Frank Gore is out or limited. Gore hurt his knee in Week 10 against the Giants and he was unable to finish the game. If he is out against the Cardinals then Hunter would be worth starting in the majority of leagues. Hunter played well against the Giants once Gore left the game, finishing with six carries for 40 yards and a touchdown. He has two touchdowns on the season and three games with at least nine Fantasy points while playing behind Gore. The Cardinals have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing running backs and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 2 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Taiwan Jones (at MIN): As long as Darren McFadden (foot) remains out then Jones will be No. 2 on the depth chart behind Michael Bush. He ran well against the Chargers in Week 10 with seven carries for 39 yards in his first extended look this year, and the Raiders might give him more touches to keep Bush healthy. He is only worth a look in deeper formats since the Vikings have been tough to run on of late with just three touchdowns allowed to running backs and only Matt Forte reaching double digits in Fantasy points in the past four games. But still, Jones could come up with four of five Fantasy points if he gets enough touches. (Not started in the majority of leagues in Week 10)
Lance Ball (vs. NYJ): Ball did a solid job filling in for Willis McGahee (hamstring) and Knowshon Moreno (knee) last week at Kansas City with 30 carries for 96 yards, and he could get an extended look this week against the Jets with McGahee either out or limited. Moreno is lost for the season with a torn ACL, and the Broncos will rely on both running backs in this matchup with the Jets after Tebow attempted just eight passes against the Chiefs. If McGahee misses the game then Ball could be a low-end No. 2 running back in deeper leagues, and he could be considered a flex option even if McGahee plays. The Jets have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing running backs and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Not started in the majority of leagues in Week 10)
Maurice Morris (vs. CAR): Morris has the chance for a big game this week against the Panthers, who continue to get abused by opposing running backs. Carolina has now allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing running backs and eight running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points after Chris Johnson torched them last week for 23 points. The Lions also might lean on their running game a little more this week to protect Matthew Stafford (finger). Morris had 11 Fantasy points in Week 8 at Denver, and he should be able to reach that total this week. You can consider Morris a starter in the majority of leagues, and he has the chance for his best game of the season based on Carolina's defense. (Started in 17 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Marion Barber (vs. SD): Barber has done a nice job with short-yardage carries for the Bears, and he comes into this game with four touchdowns in his past six outings. The Chargers have struggled in their run defense of late with a running back scoring a touchdown or rushing for 100 yards in five of their past six games. Last week the Raiders got 199 rushing yards and 85 receiving yards from their running backs, so this should be a good game for Matt Forte and Barber. We consider Barber a good flex option in deeper formats, and if he scores another touchdown he should finish as a Top 20 running back in most standard leagues. (Started in 12 percent of leagues in Week 10)

Wide receiver

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Early Doucet (at SF): Doucet deserves more credit than he's been given because he has played well for most of the season as the No. 2 receiver for the Cardinals. He benefits from always getting single coverage thanks to Fitzgerald, but he has at least seven Fantasy points in each of his past five games with three touchdowns over that span. He has 38 targets in his past five outings, and he would be even more productive if he were more involved. The Cardinals will likely throw a lot due to the 49ers' stout run defense, and Doucet could be called upon for another quality performance. He should have another game with at least seven Fantasy points this week. (Started in 15 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Damian Williams (at ATL): Williams is coming off the best performance of his career against Carolina in Week 10 with five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Williams had seven targets against the Panthers, and he has stepped up his performance since Kenny Britt (knee) was lost for the season. Williams has four touchdowns in his past six games, and Matt Hasselbeck is relying on him quite a bit, especially with Nate Washington and Jared Cook disappearing. He has the chance for another quality outing this week against the Falcons, who have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 2 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Vincent Brown (at CHI): Brown played well in Week 10 against the Raiders with five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. He should have had two touchdowns, but it's clear as long as Malcom Floyd (hip) is out that Brown will remain a significant contributor in the passing game since he has nine catches for 176 yards and a touchdown in his past two outings. He also has 15 targets over that span, and Philip Rivers will not be afraid to throw his way going forward. The Bears have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers but 12 have reached at least seven Fantasy points. We consider Brown a very capable No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues this week. (Started in 1 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Harry Douglas (vs. TEN): Douglas has played well of late with at least five Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including his stellar outing against New Orleans in Week 10 with eight catches for 133 yards, and he could have an opportunity to remain relevant if Julio Jones (hamstring) is out. Jones left the game with the Saints and could be out again in Week 11 against Tennessee. Douglas had 14 targets against the Saints and Matt Ryan will continue to look in his direction if Jones is out. The Titans have allowed six touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven have scored at least seven Fantasy points. (Not started in the majority of leagues in Week 10)
Preston Parker (at GB): It's difficult to count on any of Tampa Bay's receivers based on their level of inconsistent play this season, but Parker has arguably been the best option. He has three touchdowns this year and four games with at least seven Fantasy points. The Bucs will likely be trailing in this game against the Packers, which means plenty of passing for Josh Freeman. Someone has to catch the ball, and we'd bet on Parker having the most production. He's worth a look in the deepest of formats with the hope he can score a touchdown in garbage time. Keep in mind the Packers have allowed the third-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year. (Started in 2 percent of leagues in Week 10)

Tight end

Ed Dickson (vs. CIN): Dickson had 10 catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns at Seattle last week, and we hope he can build off that performance this week against the Bengals. We've been waiting for Dickson to do something since his performance in Week 1 when he had 11 Fantasy points against the Steelers, but he's disappeared ever since. He rebounded in a big way against the Seahawks, including 14 targets. Dickson continues to share playing time with Dennis Pitta, but Dickson has more big-play ability. He is worth adding and starting in deeper leagues in Week 11 against Cincinnati, which has allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends and four to reach at least nine Fantasy points. (Started in 5 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Anthony Fasano (vs. BUF): Fasano has emerged as the second-best Fantasy option in the passing game for the Dolphins behind Brandon Marshall since Matt Moore became the starter. He had two catches for 22 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against Denver, two catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns at Kansas City in Week 9 and three catches for 60 yards against Washington in Week 10. The problem for Fasano has been he has just seven targets in his past two games, so he needs to score or have a big play to be successful. The Bills have only allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends but five have reached at least six Fantasy points. And Fasano has just two games with more than seven Fantasy points in his past five meetings with Buffalo. Still, he's playing well as of late, and Moore seems to trust him, so he could be worth a flier in deeper leagues. (Started in 2 percent of leagues in Week 10)
Kevin Boss (at MIN): We like Carson Palmer as our Start of the Week, and he should play well against the Vikings. But he needs help from his receiving corps with Jacoby Ford (ankle) out, and Boss could step up with a solid performance. The Vikings have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends and six have reached at least six Fantasy points. Boss has really struggled of late with just three catches for 43 yards in his past three games, but this is a Hail Mary call for owners in dire need in deeper formats. (Started in 1 percent of leagues in Week 10)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Gerald McCoy returns to practice
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:20 am ET) Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who missed Thursday's loss in Atlanta with a broken hand, returned to practice Monday, reports the Tampa Tribune. He's on track to play Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Steelers reunite with James Harrison
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:17 am ET) The Steelers made it official, signing linebacker James Harrison less than three weeks after he announced his retirement, reports the National Football Post. Harrison, 36, made five Pro Bowls with the Steelers, then played one season with the Bengals.

Big-play Antone Smith not worth much interest
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:09 am ET) Fantasy owners hounding the waiver wire ahead of Week 4 for running back help will likely let their mouse linger over Falcons running back Antone Smith, who has scored double-digit Fantasy points in two of the first three games. Unfortunately, Smith probably won't provide much help moving forward.

Smith is currently 32nd among running backs in standard Fantasy scoring, but that ranking belies the limited nature of his role in Atlanta's offense. Smith has broken off touchdowns of 38 and 54 yards this season, with those two plays accounting for 20 of his 22 total Fantasy points this season.  Smith clearly has big-play ability, but there just isn't much of a reason to add someone who has touched the ball nine times in three games.

Smith was fourth among Falcons' running backs in snap percentage in Thursday's blowout win over the Buccaneers, as he saw the field just eight times on offense. Though Smith is currently one of the most-viewed players in CBSSports.com leagues for Tuesday, there is little reason to consider adding him. 


Giants make roster moves
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:01 am ET) The Giants signed offensive lineman Eric Herman to their practice squad and waived offensive lineman Mark Asper. Herman had been waived Friday following his early reinstatement from a four-game suspension, reports the New York Daily News.

Odell Beckham won't practice this week
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:56 am ET) Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham won't practice this week as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury he first suffered in June, reports the New York Daily News.

Ike Taylor could return in 6-8 weeks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:43 am ET) The Steelers haven't said how long starting cornerback Ike Taylor will be out due to his broken forearm, but the injury typically requires six to eight weeks to heal, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. The paper expects William Gay and Antwon Blake to fill in for Taylor.

Rex Ryan stands by Geno Smith
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:37 am ET) Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters he doesn't believe quarterback Geno Smith has regressed, despite Smith throwing two bad interceptions Monday night. The first was returned 45 yards for a touchdown.

"Guys, this ain't the same quarterback as he was at the beginning of last year, I don't care what people say," Ryan said, per NFL.com. "Did he make a mistake? Absolutely. Their quarterback made a mistake but the difference was, they caught the [interception] and we didn't. ... I feel good about this football team and I feel good about Geno Smith."

Smith, who threw for 316 yards, missed several open receivers and guided his team to one touchdown in six red-zone trips.

"I've gotta make sure that when we get down in that red zone -- we were 1 for 6 today and that's completely awful," Smith said. "We don't ever expect to go 1 for 6 because we hold ourself to a high standard, and it starts with me."

Jaguars re-sign Sherrod Martin
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:24 am ET) The Jaguars re-signed safety Sherrod Martin after cutting him late last month.

Hammy limits Eric Decker to 12 snaps
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) Jets receiver Eric Decker felt his hamstring tighten up during Monday's loss to the Bears. That's why he played just 12 snaps, none in the second half.

"When it tightens up, you can get it warmed up, loosened up, but it was at the point where it wasn't loosening up," he told The Star-Ledger.

Decker said he decided to play because of how he felt in pregame warmups. "It was a soreness and everyone has soreness -- I've played through a lot of soreness in my career so far," he said. "I felt like I wanted to give it a chance; I didn't want to sit out. I didn't do anything stupid. I pulled myself at the right time."

Decker caught his only target for 19 yards. He'll be evaluated throughout the week as the Jets prepare to face the Lions on Sunday.


Ravens to use committee approach at tight end
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:10 am ET) With tight end Dennis Pitta out for the season following hip surgery, the Ravens will use a committee to replace him, reports ESPN.com. The website expects tight end Owen Daniels, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and receiver Marlon Brown to assume larger roles in Pitta's absence.

Daniels is in his ninth season with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, and "he's also gained the trust of Joe Flacco with his toughness over the middle," the report said. But Daniels doesn't gain much separation anymore and has missed 26 games over the past five seasons, the website added.


 
 
 
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