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Value Plays: Week 11

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's look at this week's value players.


Marcus Mariota

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +13

Mariota played extremely well in the win over Green Bay last week.  Fantasy owners are hoping that the game in Indianapolis this week will be just as productive for the sophomore passer.  The Colts are the fourth-worst defense in limiting fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.  In addition, with the game in the dome versus an Indianapolis team coming off a bye week, we foresee a high-scoring affair. 

Ben Roethlisberger

  • Top 200 ranking: 7
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +4

Sure, Roethlisberger had a good game in the nail-biter against Dallas last week.  It was not enough to pull out the victory.  Pittsburgh is in dire need of a win to keep playoff hopes alive.  Luckily, Cleveland is next up on the schedule.  The game is an away contest for the Steelers, but the reeling black-and-gold should find a soft landing spot in Ohio.  The Browns are the second-worst in containing opposing fantasy quarterbacks.  We would like the matchup even better if in Pittsburgh given how much better Roethlisberger plays at home versus on the road.  However, this is still a great week to play the veteran passer. 

Running Back

C.J. Prosise

  • Top 200 ranking: 28
  • Weekly ranking: 19
  • Difference: +9

Prosise looked great against the Patriots last week.  He is a tall, lean runner who is extremely explosive as a receiver.  With Christine Michael jettisoned, the carries will be split between Prosise and Thomas Rawls.  We expect the Seahawks to ease Rawls back into the lineup and ride the rookie this week against the Eagles.  Philadelphia has a solid rush defense so the high weekly ranking has more to do with opportunity than matchup. 

Spencer Ware

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +4

Ware has been stellar since taking over for the injured Jamaal Charles.  He gets a good matchup against Tampa Bay this week.  The Buccaneers yield an average of 25.91 PPR fantasy points to their opponent’s tailbacks.  This ranks as ninth-worst in the league.  In a week where several top ball carriers are on bye, Ware makes a solid fantasy RB1.

LeGarrette Blount

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking:  4
  • Difference: +9

Blount has been a touchdown machine this season.  In the game on the road against San Francisco, Blount should have ample opportunity to score multiple touchdowns once again.  The game script sets up for more Blount fantasy points and less fantasy scoring through the air.  The 49ers are the worst defense in limiting opposing running backs.  San Francisco has a defense which yields an average 33.08 PPR fantasy points to opposing tailbacks.  This represents 3.28 weekly PPR fantasy points more than the next worst defense (New Orleans). 

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson

  • Top 200 ranking: 8
  • Weekly ranking: 2
  • Difference: +6

Nelson has regained most of his pre-injury form and is regaining the WR1 spot in Green Bay.  The game in Washington this week should be another big outing for the veteran.  This has the makings of a very high scoring contest, and one in which the Packers throw often due to their lack of a running game.  The only fear in the matchup is Josh Norman shadowing the veteran.

Stefon Diggs

  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +8

Diggs has quietly been an elite PPR fantasy option the last few weeks.  He has been a target magnet and able to reel in most of the passes thrown his way.  In the game against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend, we expect Sam Bradford to throw much more than he wants just to keep pace.  Diggs will garner most of the pass targets and has a great opportunity to be a fantasy WR1 once again. 

DeAndre Hopkins

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +5

Hopkins has languished in fantasy circles this season.  Quarterback Brock Osweiler, and his lackluster play, is the culprit.  But, the game against the Oakland Raiders this week could get Hopkins going.  The Raiders defense gives up an average of 39.81 PPR fantasy points to wide receivers.  This average is good for the fifth-worst in the NFL.  With the vast improvement in the Oakland passing game, the Raiders’ opponents have been drawn into shootouts.  This is a possible game script, and one in that benefits Hopkins. 

Tight End

Greg Olsen

  • Top 200 ranking: 5
  • Weekly ranking: 1
  • Difference: +4

Olsen has scored over 70 combined PPR fantasy points in his last three games against New Orleans. This number was helped by the 33.4 PPR fantasy points Olsen put up the last time these two teams met in Carolina.  With all the injuries the Saints have endured on defense, we like the veteran tight end to have a high floor and high ceiling in this matchup. 

Delanie Walker

  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +7

In his last three games against the Colts, Walker has two games over 20 PPR points and one at 13.8, his worst fantasy performance of the last two seasons.  We like his chances of having another big outing against the fifth-worst fantasy defense in limiting tight end production.  Walker is coming off a great game last week versus Green Bay and has a chance for another big performance. 

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