What We Saw: Week 11

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Week 11

Commanders @ Texans

Final Score: Commanders 23, Texans 10

Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)


The unlikeliest of comeback stories is unfolding in the NFC East as the Washington Commanders won their fifth game in the last six contests with a comfortable 23-10 win over the hopeless and joyless Houston Texans. A monstrous performance from Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and the Commanders defense propelled their team into an unassailable position by the half, allowing Ron Rivera to savour a second half with run-first football and all-out defensive blitzes. It wasn’t a great game to watch, as the 11 punts in the game tell us, but the Commanders won’t mind.

Takeaways for Houston – Davis Mills is not the answer at quarterback, the defense is dreadful, the coaching is even worse, and if Dameon Pierce can’t run the ball, it’s goodnight.


Washington Commanders




Taylor Heinicke: 15/27, 191 Yards | 3 Carries, 2 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


It could have been very different for Taylor Heinicke after Texans defensive back Jalen Pitre dropped what should have been an easy interception of the Commanders first drive of the day. Heinicke overthrew Terry McLaurin, who had given up on the route but Pitre inexcusably let the pass slip through his hands. After that early blemish, however, things were very routine for Heinicke, who could go into game-manager mode and allow his backs and his defense to do much of the leg work in this contest.

A game-deciding 9-play, 85-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter was all he needed to do to win this game. Heinicke connected with tight end Logan Thomas and returning rookie receiver Jahan Dotson on an impressive drive, which was capped off by a rushing score for Curtis Samuel, a staple play of this offense. He engineered two red zone drives prior to the half but the Commanders could only come away with field goals.

His play of the day, however, was a beautiful sideline throw on a field goal drive prior to the half – he stayed composed in the pocket before firing to McLaurin under heavy pressure on his blindside. Still, his second-straight single digit fantasy score is not enough to get him on the fantasy radar.


Running Back


Antonio Gibson: 18 Carries, 72 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 31 Yards

Brian Robinson Jr.: 15 Carries, 57 Yards


This is exactly the kind of game the Commanders coaching staff wanted with both Antonio Gibson and rookie Brian Robinson Jr. sharing the backfield and chewing down the clock to see out the win. Neither really saw an opportunity near the goal line in the first half, despite Gibson making a nice catch-and-run for 18 yards to take the Commanders down to the Texans 5-yard line when already leading 14-0 late in the second quarter. It did seem like Gibson had an opportunity to plough into contact and drive in for the score, however he chose to slide down and play it safe. Not what fantasy managers need.

Still, it was a season high in carries and rushing yardage for Gibson as he continues to be the back to roster in this offense. Rookie Robinson Jr. was mainly used in early downs and short yardage situations – he converted a key fourth down midway through the third quarter that the Commanders went on to score a field goal. Still, against a Texans defense that came into the game giving up the most points to quarterbacks in fantasy so far this year, it was a disappointing result for Robinson. He hasn’t shown that big play ability yet and the truth is he has averaged less than four yards per carry in each of his first seven games. He is an intelligent runner that has shown he belongs in the NFL, however.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Logan Thomas: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 65 Yards

Terry McLaurin: 1 Carry, 1 Yard | 7 Targets, 4 Receptions, 55 Yards

Cam Sims: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 17 Yards

Jahan Dotson: 1 Carry, 3 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 13 Yards

Curtis Samuel: 2 Carries, 18 Yards, TD | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 10 Yards

John Bates: 1 Target

Cole Turner: 1 Target


The Commanders have done a great job of maximizing the production of this unit despite low volume passing attempts. One of the ways in which they have done this is to use Curtis Samuel out of the backfield. Samuel added to his three receiving scores with his first rushing score of the season on a nicely-designed play from Scott Turner. Samuel remains firmly in the top 20 fantasy producers at the receiver position this season. The perfect flex player.


It wasn’t a highlight reel week from one of the leagues best but underrated wide receivers, Terry McLaurin, but he still had a big impact on scoring drives that determined his team’s victory. The route running was a joy to watch, too. The ability for McLaurin to deceive defensive backs with his movement and change in direction is elite. We just wish he got thrown the ball more and deeper down field.


Tight end Logan Thomas returned to relevancy with a nice five catches for 65 yards, many of those in contested situations to move the chains on third down. Some consistency down the stretch and a couple of red zone opportunities might see him creep into TE streamer territory.


Houston Texans




Davis Mills: 19/33, 169 Yards, 2 INT, 5 Sacks | 5 Carries, 10 Yards, TD


It was a complete and utter disaster for Davis Mills from the second play of this game, in which a poor throw to the sidelines was picked off by easily by Kendall Fuller and returned to the house for a game-setting pick six. Yikes!


Mills never recovered, being sacked five times en route to yet another ineffective performance from under center. The Washington defensive line was relentless in pursuing Mills as he struggled through reads, holding onto the ball for too long and inviting the sacks. Sweat and Allen both punished Mills for multiple sacks and it could have been worse.


Mills’ second interception of the day was on a deep ball that bounced out of the hands of Brandin Cooks before rookie Darrick Forrest Jr. made a sensational play.


Mills made nobody’s fantasy day by running in for a late score to salvage an slither of respectability in the scoreline for his team.


Running Back


Dameon Pierce: 10 Carries, 8 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 9 Yards

Dare Ogunbowale: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 5 Yards


Everything went against rookie Dameon Pierce in this game, including the game script on a day when he was already up against one the best defensive fronts in the league. Pierce was limited to his lowest number of carries and yardage this season as the Texans fell behind by 20 points by half time. He touched the ball just six times in the first half, mainly on first down carries that were stuffed.

Still, it is a heavy blow to fantasy managers who had relied on Pierce topping 100 scrimmage yards in six of his past seven games. Ouch.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Brandin Cooks: 6 Targets, 3 Receptions, 70 Yards

Nico Collins: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 48 Yards

Chris Moore: 1 Carry, 3 Yards | 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 20 Yards

O.J. Howard: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 9 Yards

Jordan Akins: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards

Phillip Dorsett: 1 Target

Teagan Quitoriano: 1 Target


This receiving corps continues to be a tragic story, especially when you consider their leading wideout doesn’t even want to be there. Brandin Cooks, who is clearly unhappy and going through the motions with this team, gave up on a couple of routes in the first half after the game fell away quickly from Mills and the Texans. His 41-yard reception at the start of the second half, in which he took advantage of a mismatch against linebacker Jon Bostic, was the biggest play of the day for the Texans but owed more to Cooks’ ability in space rather than any schematic development.

Rookie Nico Collins once again showed proficiency on short-to-intermediate routes and hauled in five of his seven targets, including a nice grab for a 22-yard gain on the drive that setup the Texans’ only touchdown late in the game. Collins looks the part of an impact WR2 in the NFL and his usage is encouraging.

One response to “What We Saw: Week 11”

  1. Evan says:

    Just a quick note on the Commanders-Texans recap: Nico Collins is a second-year player, not a rookie.

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