Fantasy football: Derek Carr, Noah Fant among top last-minute pickups for Week 11

Raiders QB Derek Carr is rostered only 36.7% yet helms a top-10 offense. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Each week of the NFL campaign, we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye on identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.

Do you need replacement options for injured players or those on byes this week? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.

NOTE: Rostered percentages have been updated early Friday afternoon ET.


Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (53.8% rostered; vs. Bengals)

Carr has multiple scores in three of his past four outings, and Oakland is up to 10th in the NFL with 2.16 points scored per drive. The Raiders have scored a touchdown this season on 26.7% of drives, the seventh-highest rate in the league. Therefore, we have a widely available quarterback of a top-10 scoring offense facing a Bengals team ceding 2.4 points per drive to opponents -- the fifth-worst rate in football.

Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (18.0% rostered; at Colts)

Foles was named the starting signal-caller for the Jaguars last week for their first game coming off the bye. The Minshew Magic might be over for now, but let's not forget that since the start of 2016 and including playoffs, Foles is 11-4 as a starter. The only quarterbacks with a better win percentage as a starter in that span are Jimmy Garoppolo (16-3), Tom Brady (51-11) and Lamar Jackson (12-4). With some real vertical weapons in place in the passing game and enough of a rushing threat to sell play-action looks, Foles should exceed the 15.5 fantasy points per game surrendered by the Colts.

Running back

J.D. McKissic, Detroit Lions (22.5% rostered; vs. Cowboys)

Detroit's offense surely took a hit with the loss of Matthew Stafford to a back ailment. There is still some value to be found on the roster, however, with McKissic earning heavy inclusion in the passing phase the past few weeks. Leading the Lions with 16 touches and most valuably with six receptions out of the backfield in Week 10, McKissic can surface as a relevant flex option against a Cowboys defense allowing 53.2 receiving yards per game to enemy backfields, the fourth-highest clip in the league.

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins (31.6% rostered; vs. Bills)

It wasn't pretty watching Ballage run into a wall over and over in Week 10, as he compiled just 45 scrimmage yards on 24 touches, but a gig is a gig when it comes to high-usage running backs. This rings especially true amid a heavy bye week and so much erosion already at running back this season. Ballage next faces a Buffalo defense that has a strong reputation, but is actually allowing the seventh-most yards per carry (4.75) to opposing backs.

Wide receiver

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts (33.5% rostered; vs. Jaguars)

An inefficient Week 10 saw Pascal produce a paltry 26 yards despite leading the team with 40 routes run. The passing game funneled through the team's tandem of tight ends, but Pascal was afforded 85 air yards and seven targets in the loss, so opportunities for production were present for the young wideout. Next up a solid bounce-back matchup with a Jaguars secondary allowing 170 yards per game to receivers on the season.

Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (26.8% rostered; at Dolphins)

With at least nine fantasy points in eight of nine appearances this season, Beasley's floor is actually quite stable in PPR formats. A bit dependent on touchdown production at times, Beasley is in a good spot to produce both the requisite yardage and scoring potential to deliver a fine fantasy outing given that Miami's secondary has allowed 14.9 yards per catch to receivers. Beasley, meanwhile, enjoyed a season-high in air yardage last week and is seeing more rewarding vertical usage with Buffalo than he had in Dallas, signaling some upside in this choice matchup.

Tight end

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (8.6% rostered; vs. Bills)

This talented, if inconsistent, young tight end has finally emerged as a real threat for Miami's offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking to the Penn State product often of late, with Gesicki's 17.5% share of the team's total targets the past two weeks as confirmation (only DeVante Parker's 23.2% clip is higher during this sample). With nearly 10 air yards per target during his past three outings, Gesicki can overcome a difficult matchup with Buffalo's back seven thanks to downfield attention from Fitzpatrick.

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (13.7% rostered; at Vikings)

The Vikings have limited tight ends to 11.2 fantasy points per game on the season, but with Fant consolidating the target share at the position for Denver, he could still deliver meaningful fantasy production in the matchup. The key with Fant was the aggressive attention he earned up the seam in Week 9 from Brandon Allen, as Fant was second on the roster in air yardage with 11.5 per target in the win over the Browns before the bye. There is clearly some risk in trusting either of these young tight ends in mediocre matchups, but the selling point remains the batch of high-leverage vertical opportunities for young playmakers present in both scenarios.

Defense/special teams

Oakland Raiders (28.1% rostered; vs. Bengals)

Matchups can serve to drive value at the D/ST position in atypical fashion compared to the traditional offensive positions. For instance, facing an inept Bengals offense averaging the third-fewest points per drive while also turning the ball over on 17.7% of drives (third-highest in the league) is a great recipe for the Raiders to deliver starting fantasy value.

New York Jets (36.7% rostered; at Redskins)

Speaking of matchup-driven endorsements, the Jets net a savory setup with the Redskins' lackluster offense. Since Week 3, Washington has turned the ball over on 18.7% of their drives, with only the Giants and Bengals proving sloppier over this sample. More importantly, Washington has scored just 0.80 points per drive since Week 3, which is 28% worse than the 31st-ranked offense over this sample and 59% worse than league average offensive production. It helps this defense's case that the Jets are fifth in the league with a 39.2% blitz rate (per dropback), adding additional pressure to Washington's rookie signal-caller.

Individual defensive players

Defensive line

Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills (3.5% rostered; at Dolphins)

Sometimes it really is about chasing sacks and splash plays when streaming with defensive ends; it's simply a naturally volatile position. That said, I like Hughes' chances this week in turning pressure into sack production against a Miami line allowing pressure on 30.2% of dropbacks, the eighth-highest rate in the league.


Brandon Copeland, New York Jets (1.6% rostered; at Redskins)

Facing a Redskins line allowing pressure on 29.5% percent of dropbacks the past month -- the 11th-worst rate in the NFL during this sample -- Copeland's ability to rush the passer could surface as a meaningful skill this week for a New York scheme that ranks fourth in blitzes per opponent dropback.

Defensive back

Taylor Rapp, Los Angeles Rams (7.9% rostered; vs. Bears)

The rap on Rapp is that he played all but one defensive snap for the Rams the past two outings while overtaking the strong safety spot. This rising rookie has 21 tackles during his past two outings and is peaking just in time to become an important streaming option this week.