Welcome to the latest edition of the Fantasy Football Flashback, where we celebrate the accomplishments of the week’s most reliable players. It’s a good thing that Thanksgiving dinner is just a few days away, as many fantasy managers will have room to stuff themselves after feeling starved for production in Week 11. Not a single player reached the 35-point plateau, and some of the names among the week’s top-10 scorers were absent from starting lineups. Let’s dive in:
There should no longer be any debate about the top RB in the Cowboys offense, as Pollard is proving on a weekly basis that he is a superior player to Ezekiel Elliott at this point in their respective careers. Pollard gained 5.3 yards per carry in a Week 11 rout of the Vikings, while Zeke averaged just 2.8 yards. And Pollard shined in the passing game, catching six balls for 109 yards and two scores. Pollard has amassed over 100 total yards in four consecutive games, while Elliott has become a TD-dependent flex option.
Kelce combined with Patrick Mahomes to propel the Chiefs to a huge road win on Sunday night, with the veteran tight end accumulating three touchdowns and 115 yards on six catches that included a go-ahead score in the game’s final minute. Those who ignored Kelce’s advanced age (he turned 33 in October) during draft season now have the most impactful asset in fantasy football, as the veteran has produced nearly 80 more points than the No. 2 TE.
Adams played hero on Sunday, catching a 35-yard TD pass in overtime for his second score of the day. The 29-year-old has tallied 413 yards and five touchdowns in three games since an illness limited his Week 8 production, making him by far the most productive receiver during that stretch. Adams now trails only Stefon Diggs among wide receivers in season-long scoring.
Burrow put up big numbers against the Steelers defense for a second time this season, throwing for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Although the LSU alum has at times been overshadowed by fleet-footed QBs this season, he is among the most reliable performers, and in my opinion, a top-3 option at the position for the remainder of the season.
No. 5: Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, 28.20
Rostered in just 9 percent of Yahoo leagues and started by virtually no one, Perine is the most surprising name on this week’s list. The backup RB accumulated just 30 rushing yards, but he turned three of his four catches into touchdowns while gaining a heavier workload at the expense of Joe Mixon, who left during the game due to a concussion. Perine is unlikely to repeat this success, but he will nonetheless be a popular waiver wire option while we await information on Mixon’s Week 12 status against the Titans.
No. 6: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs, 27.46
Week 11 was a significant one for Mahomes from a fantasy perspective, as he pushed ahead of Josh Allen as the No. 1 overall point scorer this season. The Chiefs signal-caller has been consistently amazing, producing at least 350 total yards and two or more scores in each of his past five games. With the dearth of reliable QB options in 2023, Mahomes is a top 20 overall fantasy asset (he had a Yahoo ADP of 36.0 this summer) and is doing more with less this season.
Many fantasy managers expected Cooper to stay relatively quiet until Deshaun Watson returned in Week 13, but that has been far from the case. The former Cowboy has developed great chemistry with Jacoby Brissett and now ranks 12th in the NFL in receiving yards and third in aerial scores. Due to the inconsistency of the Browns passing attack, I struggle to value Cooper as a WR1 (he is eighth among WRs in Yahoo scoring this year), but he is a great WR2 option.
Jones was more valuable to fantasy managers than he was to the Giants on Sunday. The Duke alum continued to use his superior speed (50 rushing yards, 1 TD), but he was a mixed bag through the air (341 yards, 2 INTs). Jones benefited statistically from the fact that the Giants were trailing for most of the afternoon, and he didn’t throw a TD pass until the game was out of reach in the final minutes. Jones now ranks 10th among QBs in fantasy points this year and will remain a low-end starting option on the strength of his rushing acumen.
Despite the return of starting WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, Palmer enjoyed the best fantasy game of his two-year career on Sunday night, hauling in eight passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. And although Williams left the game early with an ankle injury, it was still noteworthy that Justin Herbert went to Palmer in the clutch, as the two hooked up for a go-ahead touchdown with just under two minutes remaining in an eventual loss to the Chiefs. Palmer will not be a lineup lock now that Herbert has regained access to his top weapons, but he performed well enough in Week 11 to remain a flex option for the coming weeks, especially if Williams does end up missing more time.
No. 10: Jacoby Brissett, QB, Cleveland Browns, 25.86
Brissett was the biggest beneficiary of the Browns-Bills game being moved from snowy Buffalo to domed Detroit, as he enjoyed his best statistical day of the season in a 31-23 loss. But before fantasy managers get too excited about Brissett’s 324 passing yards and three touchdowns, they should know that the 29-year-old has just one start remaining before Deshaun Watson returns from suspension. And with Brissett’s only remaining game set to come against a tough Bucs defense, he should stay on waivers in virtually all leagues.