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Week 11 saw another historic fantasy performance in the form of Texans QB Matt Schaub, who had 527 yards passing and five TDs, good for 52 points or more in many Yahoo! scoring formats. I was lucky enough to have Schaub active in a two-QB league, but in some one-QB leagues, that record performance probably was left on the bench.
It was hard to see this one coming. Though Schaub is somewhat of a hidden gem - very effective at getting at least 15 fantasy points per week despite Houston's RB-oriented approach - Week 11 was more than anyone could have expected. I don't expect it to happen again, but he could certainly be a solid starter the rest of the way if the QB position has been a problem for you.
Schaub's big game also turned out to be a big revival for his main target, Andre Johnson, who netted 273 yards receiving and three TDs. Johnson has slipped from the top ranks of WRs in recent years, but his Week 11 performance was the high point of a recent comeback bid that has seen him more frequently targeted by Schaub. I think Johnson should be a fantasy starter the rest of the way.
Another Week 11 event with major fantasy impact was the broken forearm suffered by the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, the top fantasy TE for the second straight year and among this season's top performers overall. He's out for at least four weeks, which is the rest of the fantasy season and playoffs for many leagues. There is really no replacing Gronk, but if you need a fill-in, you could do worse than the Raiders' Brandon Myers, who has 220 yards receiving and three TDs in the last four weeks.
The Pope's Nose Awards
Once again, it's time to recognize those players who have truly disappointed this season relative to their preseason draft rankings.
QB: Jay Cutler. This is a tough one because it has not been a bad year for many QBs. Cutler has won this award before - in 2009 - but this time I think he has been done in more by a terrible O-line and weak game plans than anything else. Still, with a redrawn receiver corps, we expected more than just over 1,800 yards passing, 12 TDs, and 10 INTs. A lot more.
RB: Darren McFadden. Despite a few flashes of brilliance, this has been a lost season for a guy some us thought would overcome previous injuries and potentially become one of the top fantasy RBs. With 455 rushing yards and just two TDs, McFadden is barely among the top 25 RBs, and injuries again are becoming an issue.
WR: Robert Meacham. Just over 200 yards receiving and two TDs is well below what we expected from Meacham, who went from being one of a crowd of targets for Drew Brees in New Orleans to arguably the No. 1 WR slot in a Philip Rivers-powered offense. Right now, he is barely the third WR in that offense.
TE: Jermichael Finley. It wasn't so long ago Finley was in the top three at his position, but his high yardage mark this season was the 66 yards he just netted in Week 11, when he also scored just his second TD this year. Unless he explodes the rest of the way, he may be the most disappointing fantasy player at any position this year, which means he gets first crack at the Pope's Nose.
K: Mason Crosby. Who would have thought the vaunted Packers could have two Pope's Nose winners? Crosby has been dreadful since about Week 5, missing seven field goals in that stretch. Chosen as the No. 1 kicker in many leagues because of Green Bay's offensive prowess, Crosby could be in danger of losing his job if this keeps up.
* Bleacher Report has its Gronk-less TE rankings for Week 12.
* NFL News notes Fred Jackson's return and LeSean McCoy's possible departure.
* CBS Sports.com lists which fantasy WRs deserve a closer look.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Aug 16, 2017