The week before Thanksgiving offered some surprising results, as per usual. We also have only a few days to wait until a triple-header for Thanksgiving. But at this precarious spot in the fantasy season, you might be counting every point you can get. With the 49ers and Cardinals going tonight, there are likely some points to be had. We’ll look at that game in a minute, but first let’s consider what we learned from the rest of Week 11.
We could see an entire division in the playoffs
Actually, there’s a shot that happens in both conferences. There’s still plenty of time to go, but if the playoffs started today, the entire AFC East would be in the post-season. And in the NFC, the Commanders are knocking right on the door while the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants would be in. Prior to the season there was speculation that an entire division could get in, but we just got the wrong division. While the Broncos, Raiders and Chargers have struggled in the AFC West, the AFC East has four teams that are each at least two games over .500. It’s quite the turn of events and should make for a fun stretch run.
The Eagles are showing some signs of vulnerability
First, there was the Monday night loss to the Commanders that ended the unbeaten season. Division games are always competitive so sometimes these things happen. Then, this week, the Eagles trailed most of the game to the Colts. Yes, the Colts have been playing better under interim coach Jeff Saturday. Still, the 8-1 Eagles were heavy favorites over the 4-5-1 Colts. And yet, it took a last-minute score—and 14 fourth quarter points—to eek out the one-point win. The Eagles are still an NFL-best 9-1, but it’s fair to wonder if they’re quite the power they appeared to be a few weeks ago.
There will be a new NFL Champion
The Rams were a fun story. They went through the 2021 season and had a magical playoff run with Matthew Stafford. They mostly brought the band back together for 2022 but that same magic just hasn’t happened. Stafford has struggled. Allen Robinson hasn’t found his place in the offense. Who knows what’s going on with Cam Akers. Now Cooper Kupp is out for six to eight weeks—in other words, for the rest of the season. The Rams are no 3-7, in last place in the NFC West and near the bottom of the NFC in general. It’s a lost season for the reigning champs who will have a long off-season to consider what to do differently in 2023.
And now, on to Monday Night Football.
San Francisco 49ers (5-4) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6)
Division matchups are always tight, but this one has some added pressure. I talked about the Rams above but the Cardinals—another team that was in the playoffs in 2021—are teetering on the brink. The Cardinals beat the Rams to move to 4-6 last week but with a loss this week, the team will be moving toward missing the playoffs. With Kyler Murray questionable, that’s an even taller order. Plus, the Cardinals are the home team in Mexico.
As for fantasy, if Murray starts he’s a fringe QB1 for me. If it’s Colt McCoy, he’s a QB2. DeAndre Hopkins is also questionable, but I like him as a Top 24 receiver option. Trey McBride takes over at tight end, but he’s a TE2 for me, while Rondale Moore is a flex consideration. In the backfield, James Conner is back and humming along. I want to believe he’s an RB2, but I’m still a little cautious.
For the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo is a QB2. Among receivers, George Kittle hasn’t been incredible, but he’s still a Top 12 option at TE, while Deebo Samuel is a WR2. Brandon Aiyuk is a flex consideration with upside. The biggest question is the backfield. Christian McCaffrey has RB1 upside and talent. BUT, the 49ers have him sharing carries with Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell is a talented back, too, but the split caps both of their upside. I still have McCaffrey as an RB1, but I’m concerned. Mitchell is a flex play.
The Pick: The 49ers
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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