Week 11 Startability Index (Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em)

Welcome to the Week 11 Startability Index, also know as my favorite part of the TFG week.  Pressing “publish” on the Index means that our three games of agony and boredom are over – we’ve got a football game tonight! Ok, it’s the Bills and Dolphins, but still. The Startability Index means I’ve also completed my arduous fantasy prep for the week and get to pass along my inklings and advice to you guys.

As always, many of the players covered are from specific Twitter and Facebook requests. If you don’t see your player, ask away in the comments section and I’ll get back to you within a few hours.  Unless I’m sleeping.


Andy Dalton at Kansas City (7): Dalton is great at exposing weaker pass defenses (see: 4 touchdowns vs. the Giants in his last game). The Chiefs don’t allow a ton a yards but have give up 18 passing touchdowns.

Nick Foles at Washington (7): What an opponent for your first start! The Redskins have allowed 20 passing touchdowns and are one of the slowest secondaries out there. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin should torch them.

Carson Palmer vs. New Orleans (9): Palmer has been on fire recently with about 800 passing yards in his last two games. And that was against secondaries much tougher than the Saints.

Philip Rivers at Denver (6): Loving Rivers’ newfound connection with deep wideout Danario Alexander, as well as his five touchdowns in the last two games. Not loving the four interceptions Rivers threw (plus two lost fumbles) when he faced the Broncos in Week 6 – and that was at home!

Running Backs

Vick Ballard at New England (4): Ballard split carries with Donald Brown last week. Look for more of the same; just a lower total for both. This game has all the makings of a shootout.

Reggie Bush at Buffalo (8): Bush struggled last week against Tennessee but he dominated the Bills last year, as in 203 yards of domination. He has a shot to do it again as the Bills are the league’s worst rushing defense.

Jonathan Dwyer vs. Baltimore (3): All signs point to Rashard Mendenhall getting the start. Isaac Redman would be the more likely candidate for goal line work, leaving Dwyer as the odd man out. Unless either back fumbles, in which case Dwyer may be gifted more carries.

Steven Jackson vs. New York Jets (7): One of my favorite RB starts of the week. The Jets are one of the worst rushing defenses in football, allowing 145 yards a game. Would like Jackson even more if the Rams had a convincing offense.

Daryl Richardson vs. New York Jets (4): Richardson has a great yard-per-carry number (5.7) but at this point he’s still more of a change-up to Steven Jackson. And Jackson is still the man for goal-line carries, hence 0 touchdowns for Richardson.

James Starks at Detroit (6): Starks could be a sleeper, especially since he’s entering Week 11 with some mojo. He is the better Packers RB to start coming off his 17 carry, 61-yard performance of last week. But don’t expect anything spectacular – this is not a running team.

Michael Turner vs. Arizona (4):  It is impossible to condone a player who rushed for 1.2 yards per carry against the Saints. Impossible. Turner will probably lose a couple more carries (at least) to Jacquizz Rodgers but still garner enough for a shot at a decent game. The Cardinals have only allowed four rushing touchdowns.

Wide Receivers

Danario Alexander at Denver (6): Don’t anoint him as the net Vincent Jackson yet but Alexander is proving to be a nice deep threat for Philip Rivers. Alexander will be tested by the Broncos secondary but I suspect Rivers keeps looking his way, especially if they’re playing catch-up.

Josh Gordon at Dallas (5): Gordon is Cleveland’s top receiver, but he is also Cleveland’s top receiver.  A legitimate big-play threat, I want to like Gordon in this homecoming game of sorts. But he is getting great coverage and Dallas will be no exception in that department.

Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. New Orleans (8): Since Week 7, DHB has put up some nice fantasy numbers. He comes off a 55 yard score and could repeat against a secondary that has given up 8 plays of 40 yards or more this season.

Stevie Johnson vs. Miami (7): Johnson is coming off a season-high 86 yards and will look for even more against a Dolphins group that has allowed multiple 100-yard receivers as of late.

James Jones at Detroit (7): Detroit is a Top 10 pass defense, but Jones has been a model of constituency against all kinds of defenses.  He has at least 50 yards or a touchdown in every game this season against vs. Chicago.

Julio Jones vs. Arizona (5): Jones is impossible to score this week as he truly is a game-time decision. We’ve seen ankle injuries before often boil down to how it feels during pregame warmups. Have a backup and be thankful that Atlanta plays at 1 so you should have an hour or so to get a definitive on Jones’ playing status.

Cecil Shorts at Houston (6): Shorts has really come on in the last few weeks and is good for 8-10 targets at this point. Houston has one of the NFL’s best pass defenses in terms of yards allowed but has still surrendered 13 passing touchdowns.

Mike Wallace vs. Baltimore (5): Wallace is a toughie.  He will most certainly get a decent numbers of targets and is facing a Ravens defense with ample injury issues. But Byron Leftwich is throwing him the ball, the sole reason for the lower number.

Tight Ends

Scott Chandler vs. Miami (6): Chandler has become a consistent target for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he is still lacking in the recent touchdown department. The Dolphins allowed their first touchdown to a tight end last week.

Vernon Davis vs. Chicago (4): Whether the starting QB is Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick Monday night matters not. With no more than four catches since Week 5, Vernon Davis is barely part of this offense any more. It seems that Davis should be utilized against the Bears, but we say that every week about him. Until Davis starts producing again, he’s a risky start.