The Chiefs are dealing with a ton of injuries in their wide receiver room. This is huge news for fantasy football managers looking for Week 11 sleepers at receiver with so many big names on a bye.
Kadarius Toney was targeted on 50 percent of his routes in the second half of Week 10. His snap rate was pretty static, 42% in the first half and 48% in the second. He was just much more involved after JuJu Smith-Schuster left the game. That’s great news for Toney’s prospects in Week 11. The fact that Mecole Hardman is now on IR is a bigger and more long-term needle-mover.
Toney is still not there as a technician but the Chiefs seem ready and willing to work around that. He averaged just 7.0 air yards per target but earned 7.8 yards after the catch per reception. That’s what you need to do with Toney; get him out in space and let him cook.
It’s not hyperbole to say Toney has a truly rare ability to win in the open field.
The Chiefs had been using Hardman in this exact way. He had even become a key piece to their red-zone package as a rusher on stretch runs and jet sweeps. Toney is even more dangerous in space.
JuJu has been ruled out for Week 11 against the Chargers. With both him and Hardman out of the lineup, Toney is a priority — but it’ll be interesting to see if Skyy Moore gets into the mix, too.
People expected him to be a slot receiver in the league but the Chiefs have mostly worked him outside as both an X and flanker. Moore could take some of JuJu’s vacated reps but it sounds like Marquez Valdes-Scantling will end up playing despite an illness. That means we’re only in “wait and see” mode with Moore in this matchup, not playing consideration.
No TE has run a route on a higher percentage of his team's dropbacks than Dallas Goedert
The Eagles tight end has run a route on 85.9% of Jalen Hurts’ dropbacks. He’s been a crucial part of the passing game but he's now set to miss at least four weeks.
Philadelphia’s passing tree is heavily concentrated. Almost 75% of the targets have gone to either Goedert, A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where someone else on the roster just steps into more than half of Goedert’s vacated looks. It’s more likely his volume spreads out between the depth guys but also slides over a bit to the top two receivers. Brown and Smith have been awesome this season but haven’t been able to stack their big games in the same week. A bit more volume going their way would help level out their consistency. That’s especially key for Smith going forward.
Lamar Jackson ranks 26th in total EPA when targeting outside WRs
This should not come as a surprise. The Ravens have struggled to find any answer at outside receiver with Rashod Bateman out of the lineup. In fact, since Week 4 — Bateman got hurt midway through that game — Jackson has plummeted outside the top-40 in this metric.
It’s just difficult to imagine the Ravens offense recovering from this loss. The reinforcements behind Bateman were guys like Demarcus Robinson, who couldn’t make the Raiders roster, and DeSean Jackson, who promptly pulled a hamstring in his first game action. There just isn’t an answer here.
The Ravens can survive on offense regardless of this issue but they need Mark Andrews back and operating at 100% for this to happen. Either way, Jackson just won’t be as efficient through the air in this version of the attack, to really no fault of his own.
Mac Hollins has run a route on 93% of the Raiders dropbacks
Hollins trails only Davante Adams for the team lead. There’s really no mystery as to what’s wrong with the Raiders. Several of the big-name players at the skill positions have missed a ton of time.
The Adams trade masked the fact Las Vegas’ roster was deeply flawed.
The Raiders didn’t project as a good pass defense or having a strong pass-blocking offensive line. They lacked talent there and those issues have shown up all season.
The one potentially great part of this roster was supposed to be their passing game. Given that they’ve had to rely on mid to low-level players like Hollins, we can see why that’s not gone very well. Despite the aerial attack being the one strength of the team, Las Vegas walked into this year with a strikingly low amount of depth.
With Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller on IR, there is just no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s too late to save the Raiders.
Nico Collins ran a route on 81% of the dropbacks in Week 10, the highest on the team
Collins is absolutely a great option for fantasy managers looking for Week 11 sleepers. The Commanders are a pass-funnel defense and Davis Mills has severe home/road splits (shoutout to Dalton Del Don on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast for that nugget).
I’m more interested in what comes beyond that. Collins has legitimate talent. He makes spectacular grabs at the catch point and is pretty solid against press coverage. That second note matters considering he runs out as a pure X-receiver. He’s an ascending player on a wide-open depth chart.
That depth chart is even more open than we imagined heading into the season. The Brandin Cooks situation deteriorated fast after his failed trade request. He’s clearly not happy about it and while he had a touchdown called back last week, he hasn’t been targeted more than seven times since Week 2. There’s a 50/50 chance that Collins straight-up outproduces Cooks the rest of the way.
The Bears defense is dead last in EPA allowed Since Week 7
Justin Fields and the offense have really gotten rolling since the midway point of the season. At the same time, the defense shed talent at the trade deadline and the results on the field have shown it.
That’s partly why the Bears haven’t been able to close these games recently. Fantasy managers don’t care. There is nothing better in fake football than a team with a talented quarterback who pushes the scoreboard on one side, but doesn’t put up much resistance on the other side. The Bears' defense has emerged as one of those extremely generous units.
You know how to play the Chicago side of their Week 11 matchup. Fields is a top play and his emergence has brought Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet into the circle of trust. The Atlanta side is a little more interesting. Do you have the fortitude to project a solid outing through the air for Marcus Mariota? The trickle-down effect would be great news for Drake London and Kyle Pitts ... but you know the deal there. London would be my choice to exploit this matchup as he’s received more short layup targets than Pitts (14 air yards per target) this year.
DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore have a combined 56.7% target share since Week 8
Moore has shown this year he can do more than some of the “fake receiver” work he handled in his rookie season. He’s demonstrated flashes of being a legitimate slot receiver while dominating the targets alongside Hopkins.
Moore would be an excellent sleeper in Week 11 but the possible return of Hollywood Brown complicates matters.
We haven’t seen this trio all on the field together at any point this year. Hopkins has stepped into the left receiver spot that Brown occupied prior to his IR stint. Brown could take some reps as a vertical slot but that would mean Moore moves outside, which has shown to be a bad fit — see the Carolina game film.
Brown was awesome to start the season. Both Hopkins and Moore will cede targets to the speed receiver. Just how many looks they lose will tell us a lot about the pecking order and how it will sort out the rest of the way. The fact that Zach Ertz is out for the season, however, likely keeps the floor afloat for all these players — especially Moore.