NFL Fantasy Sleepers for Week 11: Ray Rice Breakout?


Nov 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs the ball defended by Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D

There are some very exciting games to watch in week 11 but not just for entertainment purposes.  NFL fantasy owners also should be watching carefully.  Here are a few possible sleeper picks to consider.

Scott Tolzien against the New York Giants

Considering he was on the practice squad just two weeks ago, Scott Tolzien didn’t play half bad against a surging Philadelphia Eagles team.  He put up 280 passing yards with a touchdown, though he also threw two interceptions.  Perhaps a full week to prepare can help him cut down on the mistakes.  An additional bonus will be facing a New York Giants pass rush ranked second to last in the league.  The thing to remember is Green Bay may have to throw the football because the Giants also have one of the better run defenses, having already shut down LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte.

Mike Glennon against the Atlanta Falcons

His numbers don’t reflect the signs of a fantasy go-to guy but Mike Glennon has shown he can be effective provided he gets help from his teammates and is in a favorable matchup.  After some tough stints against Seattle and Miami, he may finally have one with the reeling Atlanta Falcons coming to town.  They rank 25th in the league against the pass and worse against the run.  If TampaBay can establish the ground game early, Glennon could feast on the Falcons secondary with play action passes all day.  Then again, if he just gets adequate pass protection he should be able to produce anyway.

Rashard Mendenhall against Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Johnson flubbed when given the chance.  Can Rashard Mendenhall avoid the same fate.  The Arizona Cardinals running back is walking a fine line with the patience of head coach Bruce Arians and he needs to have a good game in order to keep his job and boost his confidence.  On paper he has as favorable a matchup as he will get.  The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a spirited victory over Tennessee, this despite boasting the worst run defense in football.  By stonewalling Johnson they proved something might have changed over the bye week.  Mendenhall may prove that wrong, or not.

Ray Rice against Chicago Bears

Injury issues have really put on damper on the season for running back Ray Rice.  He has never been able to get going in a game and has yet to top 75 yards in a game.  That might change in week 11.  The Chicago Bears defense, suffering injury problems of their own, have been rather generous on the ground of late, allowing 100-yard rushers in each of their last four games.  The source of their problems lay at defensive tackle where Henry Melton and key reserve Nate Collins are both done for the year.  If Baltimore feeds Rice enough times up the middle, he’s bound to find a few openings to exploit.

Martellus Bennett against Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have to have a vivid memory of what A.J. Green did to them last week, going for 151 yards and a nearly disastrous Hail Mary touchdown catch.  Now they have a new problem as they head to Chicago to go against the dangerous pairing of Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.  They are almost certain to roll double coverages to both players.  That in turn will open up lanes for Bears tight end Martellus Bennett.  He hasn’t been a huge NFL fantasy producer lately but this matchup with Baltimore could favor him since rookie Tyler Eifert caught some big passes last week on them too.