Week 11 Fantasy Breakouts

It’s crunch time. Fantasy playoffs are starting; what are your team’s chances? Time to throw out the fantasy inhibitions and do whatever you can to get into the mix, because once you’re into the fantasy playoffs, anything can happen. If you have any of these guys, you probably feel pretty good about the current state of your team.

Cam Newton- Carolina Panthers QB

The highest scoring QB of two years ago balled out in primetime this Monday. He dropped 35 on the reeling Dolphins, with 70 yards rushing coming on a read option scamper in the third quarter. Newton’s inconsistency and tendency to throw interceptions makes for a low floor but a high ceiling.  He is someone who can be the difference in your fantasy matchup any week, whether he pushes you ahead or drags your team down.  Newton’s confidence level is riding high after leading his team to a 7-3 start, a good sign moving forward in fantasy. And isn’t it just heartwarming when he gives the touchdown football to a lucky young fan?

Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams WR

After last year’s 4-12 debacle, no one expected the Rams to come back this season and tear everyone to shreds. Yet that’s exactly what they’re doing, and Woods has been a big part of the change. The former Buffalo Bill has developed a strong repertoire with quarterback Jared Goff and it showed Sunday versus Houston. Woods’s 171 receiving yards and 2 TDs (29 fantasy points) contributed the the Rams’ 33-7 romping of the Texans, including a 94 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Woods has flown under the radar for most of the season, but his strong performances over the last few weeks should put him in your fantasy spotlight.

Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings WR

Thielen has emerged as the top receiver in Minnesota along with Stefon Diggs over the past two seasons. He leads the Vikings in targets and receptions this season and started to score touchdowns more recently. On Sunday, Thielen’s stock trended as high as it’s ever been, as he pulled in 8 catches for 166 yards and a score. The resulting 22 fantasy points are the second best fantasy performance by a Vikings’ receiver this season, trailing only Stefon Diggs’s 29 points in Week 3. Many anticipate Thielen to rise to star status within the next few years, and he certainly has the talent to do so. Based on his high ceiling, Thielen is an absolute must have.

JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers WR

The social-media sensation has found consistency in the Steelers offense. Even though it may have rumpled the feathers of veteran Martavis Bryant, his role has become crucial to Big Ben. Smith-Schuster has found the endzone in three consecutive weeks. He built on his 25 point performance against the Lions, pouring in 97 yards receiving and a TD on 5 catches against the Colts. Frankly, Smith-Schuster is a big play waiting to happen. His play should earn him a spot in your starting lineup, and his touchdown celebrations should earn him an Oscar.

Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints RB

After a shaky 2 losses to begin the season, the red-hot Saints won their next 7 contests, scoring 20 or more points in each. Ingram did not necessarily help a lot in the first few weeks of the season, but after Adrian Peterson’s departure in Week 6 both Ingram and fellow running back Alvin Kamara have seen significant success. On Sunday Ingram was unstoppable to say the least, running all over a stout Bills’ defense for 131 yards and 3 TDs on 21 carries. Ingram’s 31 fantasy points were one of the best marks for running backs this season, and look for him to produce big numbers if the Saints continue to play well.