Kyler Murray for MVP, injury roundtable: Week 10 recap

November 17, 2020

Don’t look now, but the Vikings just won three straight games while the Bears just lost their fourth straight. Things change quickly in the NFL, and the same goes for fantasy football. If you are out of the playoff picture, there are still three weeks to rectify that. Wheel and deal, my friends. With that said, it’s time to recap Week 11.

Game of the week

Arizona Cardinals vs. Buffalo Bills (32-30)

What. A. Game.

The game came down to the final play with a Hail Mary throw to DeAndre Hopkins that will certainly go down as one of the best plays of his career. The same goes for Kyler Murray who is doing all he can to take the lead in one of the closest MVP races in recent years with Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Murray and Hopkins were terrific; Hopkins had his fifth 100-yard game while Murray recorded his eighth rushing touchdown in nine games.

It was a solid day for Chase Edmonds as well who returned to his scat back role, something that suits him best. He was efficient with his touches, rushing eight times for 56 yards and added three receptions for 21 yards on top. Kenyan Drake’s return was also felt, as the former Dolphin ran 16 times for 100 yards. The Cardinals have an important game against their division rivals in Seattle on Thursday night. It’s a great matchup against an awful defense; line up everyone.

This could be a big loss for the Bills who are just one game ahead of the Dolphins. If Miami beats Denver in Week 11, they will be tied at 7-3. As for the fantasy results, Stefon Diggs is great. There isn’t much analysis to give when it comes to a talent like Diggs; you line him up as a WR1 every week. Cole Beasley snapped his slump, catching 11 balls on 13 targets after seeing just five targets in the last two games combined. Heading into their Week 11 bye, Beasley is worth holding, especially in PPR leagues.

Meanwhile, the ground attack remains fantasy irrelevant. It was a near-even snap split between Zack Moss (51%) and Devin Singletary (49%) that resulted in a combined 4.7 PPR points. Neither need to be rostered in standard redraft leagues, although either could be a sneaky start against the Chargers in Week 11.

Player of the week

Ronald Jones (23 carries, 192 rushing yards and a touchdown)

His stat line, while impressive, isn’t the reason why Jones found himself on this list after a stellar fantasy day. The true story is how Jones fumbled in the first quarter but was not benched.

I repeat, Bruce Arians did not bench a player over a mistake. Unreal. (Editor’s note: We fact checked this. It was true.)

That trust between player and coach wasn’t there a week ago after Jones fumbled against the Saints, and it proved fruitful for the Buccaneers who scored 46 points against the Panthers. Jones is clearly the guy going forward and should be treated as a high-end RB2 with weekly upside. However, next week will be a challenge against the Rams and that Aaron Donald-led defensive front.

Bust of the week

Travis Fulgham (one reception, five targets, three yards)

Ugh. This was not the momentum Fulgham needed ahead of Alshon Jeffrey’s return. Cornerback James Bradberry, who has been playing at Pro Bowl level, followed Fulgham for most of the game. Jeffrey only played 27% of the snaps and his playing time is set to increase next week, likely at the cost of Fulgham who fit the same physical role. Fulgham should be viewed as a riskier FLEX next week, even in a plus matchup against Cleveland.

Storyline to watch

Do we ever see Jalen Hurts takeover for Carson Wentz?

As a devoted Wentz supporter, this season has been a true disappointment. It didn’t help Wentz to lose all of his wide receivers to injury, or several of his offensive lineman. But this is a former MVP candidate who looks as scared as Sam Darnold right now. His confidence looks to be at an all-time low and while the Eagles still lead the pitiful NFC East, they’re only one game ahead of the Giants.

The Eagles will likely make the playoffs this year and Wentz still gives them the best chance to do that. But the calls for Hurts will only get louder as the season goes on if Wentz doesn’t improve his play. The rookie has only played in a few packages this season, but teams want return on second-round investments. Wentz’s leash isn’t as long as it was last week.

Injury roundtable

Drew Brees (lung, ribs)

The Saints legend left the game after telling Sean Payton that something didn’t feel right. Sure enough, Brees had a collapsed lung and multiple broken ribs. He is set to miss multiple weeks but could still return in time for the fantasy championship. Jameis Winston is a plug-and-play fill-in against Atlanta next week as he tries to earn his own Teddy Bridgewater contract during his Saints tenure.

Drew Lock (ribs)

It’s a bad day to be a quarterback named Drew. Protect your ribs.

Lock is nursing a muscle strain around his ribs, per Tom Peliserro of NFL Network. Nothing is broken, which is the silver lining. He is questionable for next week’s tilt against Miami. Should Brett Rypien take snaps under center this weekend, stay away from the Broncos you can.

Teddy Bridgewater (MCL sprain)

Bridgewater came off the field wincing, and years after his devastating knee injury all fans anxiously held their breath. Thankfully, it’s his other leg and it was only a sprain. The team hopes that he can practice Wednesday, something I would classify as cautious optimism. At the very least it sounds like Bridgewater won’t miss time, although watching practice reports will be telling. XFL standout P.J. Walker would be the uninspiring backup in a solid matchup against Detroit.

Nick Foles (hip/leg)

It was another ugly outing for Foles that came to a crashing end as he was carted off the field. As it was a Monday game there aren’t a lot of details as the Bears are still evaluating his hip and leg. If Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) is healthy enough, he could get the start next game (Chicago is on bye in Week 11). It could also be Tyler Bray. Either way, it can’t be much worse than Foles has been.

Mike Davis (finger)

A finger injury wasn’t enough to actually keep Davis out as the veteran returned in short order. With most in-game injuries it will likely lead to a series of limited practices. With Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) hopefully returning next week, Davis could be a RB2 or a strict handcuff. Time will tell.

John Brown (ankle)

Brown has been great this year — when healthy. Head coach Sean McDermott said he tweaked his ankle in the Bills loss to the Cardinals. Luckily, the 30-year-old wide receiver has a bye in Week 11 and will be able to rest up. His absence would promote Gabriel Davis as a risky WR4 but projecting anything for Week 12 is premature at this point.

Davante Adams (ankle)

The notification popped up and I quickly feared the worst — another nagging ankle sprain that will sideline a ridiculous talent.

Then Adams ran a nasty route to leap up and score a touchdown. He reentered the game and will likely be limited in practice this week, but he should be fine moving forward.

Tre’Quan Smith (concussion)

It was a huge hit that sent Smith motionless to the turf. He will likely be out for this week and should be questionable for the next, as big-hit concussions tend to be. His absence could make Emmanuel Sanders or Marquez Callaway an intriguing FLEX in a great matchup against Atlanta.

A final trio of quick hitters

  • Jordan Howard was released from Miami after a catastrophically bad season. Is this the end, or will an RB-needy team pick him up? Contenders with injured or underperforming starters could be taking a look at Howard who was solid with the Eagles in 2019 — looking at you, Buffalo. You too, San Francisco.
  • Anyone remember Josh Gordon? He’s been awaiting reinstatement for several months without a response. The Seahawks certainly don’t need him but leaving it so open-ended of the situation is strange and unfair to the 29-year-old wide receiver.
  • Week 10 was another important reminder of how important it is to check for weather reports. Packers vs. Jaguars, Browns vs. Texans and Patriots vs. Baltimore all had brutal weather conditions that really strongly impacted the game. It matters even more for kickers, if your league still has them. Avoid those windy games and check weather reports.