USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Riskiest & Safest Plays for Week 11 Based on NECC Rating

Justin Jefferson vs the Packers isn't the reliable start you think it is. Using NECC consistency rating to identify the riskiest & safest start sit plays for Week 11 fantasy football.

There’s always risk in fantasy football. You’re never certain in the performance you’re going to get from a certain player when you start them. Even Cooper Kupp occasionally has a bad game. (But like, just once.) In order to help you make the best start/sit decisions for your fantasy team this week, I’ve used our NECC consistency rating to chart the safest and riskiest starts for Week 11.

What Is NECC Rating?

NECC stands for NerdBall Efficiency and Consistency Coefficient. It is a glorious stat, developed by our stats man Paddi Cooper, to help gage both a player’s consistency and efficiency with each touch in fantasy football. Here’s a full breakdown of what goes into the calculation.

The rating is a great way to help make determinations when it comes to weekly starts and sits as you have a clearer image of how volatile a player’s fantasy production has been this season. A player with a high NECC rating who’s in a bad matchup isn’t likely to be a great start. The reverse is likely to be a great start.

With all that in mind, I’ve highlighted a few high-risk, moderate-risk, and safe starts for Week 11. Feel free to do your own digging with the stat and use it when making your own start sit decisions.

Let’s get into it!

High-Risk Starts

Matt Ryan vs New England Patriots

I was all high on Ryan last week coming off a couple of great games, facing a below-average Cowboys defense. Well, that blew up in my face good. Thursday night games have long proven to be weird, but the Patriots have been one of the best defenses this season limiting opposing QB production. They’re allowing the 5th-fewest QB PPG, giving up just over 19 points per contest. Among the top-20 fantasy QBs this season, Ryan has by far the highest NECC rating meaning he’s prone to big swings and down games. Don’t trust Ryan as your QB1 or even really QB2 this week if you can help it.

Zack Moss vs Indianapolis Colts

The Bills’ backfield is an impossible mess to predict so even in a plus-matchup I’d warn you to stay away. However, the Bills face a Colts’ front-seven this week that ranks top-7 per NEFF rating and is allowing the 2nd-fewest RB PGG. Moss’ 35.8 NECC rating still keeps him in the top-50 among RBs but his 37.7% Touchdown Dependency (TDd) ranks 3rd-highest among RBs with at least 70 carries. Against a defense that’s allowed just three rushing TDs all season (2nd in the league), Moss seems doubtful to score that ever important touchdown for him.

Jarvis Landry vs Detroit Lions

I have no idea what to make of the Browns’ offense. Obviously, a lot has happened this year. Odell Beckham forced his way out, Baker Mayfield is dealing with injuries, and the backfield has been banged up every other week. This team seems to have no idea what it wants to be now and certainly no idea what to do with Jarvis Landry.

Landry has just one game since Week 1 with over 37 yards receiving. That’s less than not great. His 26.9 NECC rating puts him well outside the top-100 and on par with receivers like Nico Collins, Mecole Hardman, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Facing a surprisingly average Lions’ defense, allowing the 14th-fewest WR PPG, I’m staying far away from Landry this week.

Moderate-Risk Starts

Myles Gaskin vs New York Jets

On paper this may seem like an easy start. The Jets have been absolutely butchered on the ground this year, giving up almost 40 PPR PPG to opposing backs. By all intents and purposes, this should be a smash start for Gaskin. However, the Dolphins’ backfield doesn’t always play out like we in the fantasy community want it to.

Among top-24 running backs in .5PPR, Gaskin has the 2nd-highest NECC rating, five points above 3rd place. While he’s had a few RB1 type games, Gaskin has also had plenty of complete duds. He’s in a great matchup this week but his consistency makes this a moderately risky start.

Justin Jefferson vs Green Bay Packers

Even without Jaire Alexander for much of the year, this Packers’ secondary has been one of the best units this season. They rank 3rd in pass defense NEFF rating and have allowed the 5th-fewest WR PPG. The unit just came off completely erasing D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and making us all wonder if Russell Wilson came back from injury too quickly. This spells tough sledding for the Vikings’ pass catchers, particularly Jefferson.

Jefferson has the 3rd-highest NECC rating among WR1s, higher even than his teammate Adam Thielen. When the going gets tough, Kirk Cousins looks to Thielen, not Jefferson, as we saw in their Week 6 and Week 8 games. I’ve Jefferson ranked as a fringe-WR1 this week who has serious dud potential.

T.J. Hockenson vs Cleveland Browns

It’s been an up-and-down year for Hockenson even currently being the TE7 in .5PPR. Of the TE1s, only Tyler Higbee has a worse NECC rating, and it’s worse by just 0.1. So, they’re basically tied for the coveted “least efficient and consistent TE1” award. The Browns have been above average at stopping tight ends, holding them to the 10th-fewest yards (405) and receptions (40), and 14th-fewest PPG (11.7). After seeing Hock post a big fat zero Week 10 vs the Steelers, Hockenson managers might want to stream at the position this week if they can.

Safe Starts

Jonathan Taylor vs Buffalo Bills

Starting Taylor is a no-brainer even when he’s facing the best fantasy run defense this year. The Bills are allowing just 17.6 points per game to opposing backfields this season. And that hasn’t come against slouch backs as they’ve faced Najee Harris, Antonio Gibson, and Derrick Henry this season. Taylor however is the definition of matchup proof.

Not only is Taylor the RB1 in all fantasy football, his 21.8 NECC rating is 2nd best only to Cordarrelle Patterson this year. Taylor’s elite consistency and efficiency will carry him through any tough matchup he may find himself in.

DeVonta Smith vs New Orleans Saints

Smith has been on an absolute tear the past two weeks, finishing as an elite WR1 both times. He gets another primo matchup vs the Saints this week. Only the Jets have allowed more WR yards over the last four weeks. Anytime you’re in the same sentence as “the Jets” you know that’s not a good sign. With a NECC rating of 12.7—ahead of A.J. Brown, Diontae Johnson, and Brandin Cooks—Smith is certain to take full advantage of the matchup.

C.J. Uzomah vs Las Vegas Raiders

This could be yet another potential smash spot for Uzomah. The Raiders are allowing the 2nd-most TE PPG, giving up 18 PPR points to the position. Uzomah has proven to be one of the most consistent and efficient tight ends this season, ranking 5th in NECC rating. The Bengals’ TE is just 17% rostered in Sleeper leagues so if you’re looking for a streaming option this week, Uzomah is your guy.