Sun. Apr 11th, 2021


It would be understandable if you had mixed emotions about what went down in Week 11. Taysom Hill was very impressive in his first career start, but the last start of Joe Burrow’s rookie year came way too soon. The struggles continued for Jarvis Landry, Travis Fulgham and Lamar Jackson, but Andy Dalton came back and seemed to save the Fantasy season for the Cowboys. And, just like everyone expected, Jonathan Taylor topped 20 touches for the first time since Week 2. 

So what does it all mean? Let’s dig in with this week’s Believe It or Not.

The Bengals are all droppable with Ryan Finley at quarterback.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ NFL season was over long before Joe Burrow was lost for the season, but now their Fantasy season may be as well. Finley averaged just 158 yards per game as a passer last year and didn’t look much improved in his 2020 debut. This was already a team with a bad offensive line and without its starting running back. The Bengals arguably had too many mouths to feed as it was. Now with the size of the passing pie shrunk in half, there won’t be any Bengals worth rostering.

Verdict: Don’t believe it.

In fairness to Finley, his three starts last year came against the RavensSteelers and Raiders. He’s not good, but he’ll probably be better than he was in those three games. Tyler Boyd was his favorite target in those games, and I’d anticipate that carrying over to 2020. He’s a No. 3 wide receiver, and I wouldn’t mind starting him in Week 12 against the Giants. It will be hard to start Tee Higgins in that same game, but I also don’t want to drop him. Giovani Bernard is the most difficult decision. His last two games are the only two in his career with 12 touches and single-digit Fantasy points. I’m holding Bernard and don’t hate him as a PPR flex, but I understand if he’s the worst player on your roster and you need to make a move.  

We talk Burrow’s injury, Taysom Hill’s big day, a possible breakout for J.K. Dobbins and a revival of the Cowboys passing game. All that and more on the Fantasy Football Today in 5 podcast. Listen below and subscribe at Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts:

You should start Taysom Hill over Lamar Jackson until Drew Brees returns.

In Taysom Hill’s first career start he looked a lot like a poor man’s version of 2019 Lamar Jackson. Hyper-efficient passing and a pair of rushing touchdowns led Hill to a 24-point Fantasy day and a win over the Falcons. We love running quarterbacks and Hill looks to have just enough in the passing game to make him a Fantasy starter.

Jackson, meanwhile, continued to struggle. He failed to reach 20 Fantasy points for the third time in his past four games and the sixth time this season. No matter what happened last year, we can’t view Jackson as a must-start quarterback and that’s exactly what Hill looked like on Sunday. 

Verdict: Don’t believe it.

It was the Falcons. I’m not saying Hill can’t be a top-12 quarterback in Brees’ absence, but Hill joined a host of quarterbacks to score at least 24 Fantasy points against this defense. In fact, 10 of 12 signal callers to face the Falcons have done at least that. The Broncos don’t have a good defense, but they’ll provide a better test for Hill. 

As for Jackson, I can understand benching him against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12, but I’ll go right back to him after that. He just scored 24 Fantasy points against the Patriots, and the Ravens are one game away from the soft part of their schedule. Starting in Week 13 they play the Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars and Giants to finish the season. Even if you sit Jackson this week, he should go right back into your starting lineup.

It’s time to give up on Jarvis Landry and Travis Fulgham.

We had very good reasons for starting Landry and Fulgham over the past two weeks. That doesn’t make me feel any better about their performances. On Sunday the pair combined for three catches for 31 yards in yet another Cleveland bad weather game. Both of their quarterbacks are playing bad football and spreading the ball around. They’re No. 4 receivers at best and droppable.

Verdict: Don’t believe it.

Maybe I’m holding on too long, but Landry faces the Jaguars next week while Fulgham gets the Seahawks. Assuming the weather is fine in both locations, I’d expect both teams to have big implied point totals. And it’s not just the matchups. Landry had a 36% target share coming into this game, and Fulgham saw seven targets in Week 11. There’s no one clearly ahead of them for targets and their teams should have success throwing the ball next week. I’m fine with them as No. 3 receivers in Week 12.

Andy Dalton’s return makes Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb starters again.

Dalton’s return in Week 11 may have saved the Cowboys season in more ways than one. Their win over the Vikings gave them three for the season, tied with every other team in the NFC East. But more importantly for our purposes, it looks like it saved their Fantasy value. Cooper caught six of his seven targets for 81 yards, while Lamb added another 46 yards and a score. Ezekiel Elliott scored 19.4 PPR Fantasy points, his best game since Dak Prescott was injured. Dalton may not be someone you want to trust in Fantasy, but he’s got enough left to support Cooper, Lamb and Elliott.

Verdict: Believe it.

Dalton has now thrown 117 passes for the Cowboys this season. Cooper and Lamb have each seen 25 targets (21.3%) and Elliott has 14 (11.9%). Three of Dalton’s four touchdowns have gone to those three pass catchers. In the two full games Dalton has played, Elliott has averaged 17.7 PPR points, Cooper 17.5 and Lamb a solid 14 PPR Fantasy points. Neither Cooper nor Lamb is a must-start receiver, but you don’t have to feel bad about having them in your lineup either. They’ll be top 25 wide receivers rest of season. 

Jonathan Taylor will be a starting Fantasy running back rest of season.

The Colts leaked everywhere this week that Nyheim Hines was expected to lead the team in touches. Then they went out and gave Taylor his biggest workload in two months. Taylor turned his 22 carries (and four targets) into 114 total yards and would have had an even bigger day had his touchdown run not been called back due to penalty. After a couple of weeks of struggles, the rookie seems to be firmly in the driver’s seat in this backfield.

Verdict: Believe it.

It’s clear the Colts don’t want Hines to be a feature back and Jordan Wilkins is more of a backup plan for when Taylor struggles. Well, it’s hard to see Taylor struggling much moving forward. His remaining schedule features the Titans, Texans (twice), Raiders, Steelers and Jaguars. There will probably be a stinker in there. Maybe even two. But the expectation should be that he leads the Colts in touches and has more good games than bad. In this era, that makes him a starting No. 2 running back.





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