What We Saw: Week 11

Good football is back just in time for the holiday season

Lions @ Browns

Final Score: Browns 13, Lions 10

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)


Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. That’s what I found myself singing while at First Energy Stadium watching the Lions take on Cleveland. In a game with 17 penalties for nearly 150 yards, the splash plays were few and far between. There are still some encouraging stats and metrics to go over, but in the end, this game did not have a lot to write about. It was cold, it was wet, and it was windy, but Nick Chubb helped the Browns secure a victory over the Tim Boyle-led Detroit Lions.



Detroit Lions




Tim Boyle: 15/23, 77 yards, 2 INT


Listen. I’m no NFL head coach, GM, front office guy, whatever. I write about fantasy football and I was an average-at-best high school football player. But I’m pretty sure even I could tell this guy is not an NFL-level quarterback:



With the types of numbers Tim Boyle put up today, the chances of victory are pretty slim, even when your running back puts up 150+ yards and a score to help you out. Not a lot to write about here. Lions HC Dan Campbell has already stated that if Jared Goff is healthy, he will start on Thanksgiving. He’s seen enough of Tim Boyle under center, and honestly, so have we. If he remains under center, I would highly reconsider starting anyone on this team outside of Swift and Hockenson. With an average completion of 3.3 yards, there’s just not a lot of opportunity in this passing game.


Running Back


D’Andre Swift: 14 carries, 136 yards, 1 TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions

Jason Cabinda: 2 carries, 21 yards | 1 target

Jamaal Williams: 7 carries, 11 yards

Godwin Igwebuike: 1 target, 1 reception, -4 yards


I never thought I would type this sentence but here goes: this offense is in trouble without Jared Goff under center. This game was extremely and utterly uneventful on the offensive side of the ball for the Lions. The weather did not help, as it was a wet, sloppy game from the start. Thankfully the offense was still wise enough to give Swift 17 touches. The Lions never got anything going, and without this massive 57-yard touchdown run by D’Andre Swift, his production on the day was not ideal:



This touchdown kept it close on the scoreboard, but in the end, it really wasn’t.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


T.J. Hockenson: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 51 yards

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 18 yards

Brock Wright: 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards

Kalif Raymond: 1 target

Josh Reynolds: 3 targets


Fifteen completions and 77 yards do not spell fantasy success for the players who had to rely on Tim Boyle this week. The entire Lions pass-catching group suffered. Outside of a 24-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson, the longest completion on the day went for 12 yards. If you combine the three longest plays on the day, (24, 12, 10) you account for over half of Boyle’s passing yards. There was literally no chance for a boom game out of any of these players, and the only one able to be fantasy-relevant was Hock. If Boyle remains under center, he’s the only pass catcher I would even consider starting. On a good note, wideouts Amon-Ra St. Brown and the newly-acquired Josh Reynolds were clearly part of the game plan. The circumstances didn’t help their chances of success, but both players were just behind Hockenson when it comes to targets. If that trend continues with Goff under center, these are two low-rostered guys to keep an eye on in PPR leagues.


Cleveland Browns




Baker Mayfield: 15/29, 176 yards, TD, 2 INT, Sack | 4 carries, 9 yards


Earlier this week, Baker Mayfield said this is the most beat-up he’s ever been in his NFL career. While he didn’t look as rough as his opposing quarterback, Baker still doesn’t look like himself. There were several errant throws, some badly overthrown and others badly underthrown. The weather didn’t help, but Baker still isn’t healthy. I question the decision to start him over Case Keenum and give Baker more time to heal, but as I said earlier, I’m just a dude who writes about fantasy football. He looked “better”, only taking a single sack, but his risky decision-making combined with his health is leading him to make poor football decisions which lead to turnovers. There’s no risk of him being benched, but something has got to change if Baker wants to return to fantasy relevance. Maybe they are planning on a lot of rest during the bye week. All I know is I am tired of throws like this:



Running Back


Nick Chubb: 22 carries, 130 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards, TD

D’Ernest Johnson: 5 carries, 26 yards

Demetric Felton: 3 carries, 2 yards


First, I have to address this picture, as it gives me chills as a Browns fan:



The snow. The taped hands. The focus. What is there not to love about Nick Chubb? Now that that’s out of the way, we can talk more about the game. Browns HC Kevin Stefanski knew that dominating the ground game would lead to victory, so he game planned to do just that. With Kareem Hunt still on the mend, Nick Chubb had 24 total touches, racking up nearly 150 yards and a score. The Browns offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage throughout the entire game and allowed Chubb to average nearly six yards per carry on the day. As an added bonus, Chubb was able to find paydirt on this nifty designed dump off near the goal line:



Long story short, the usage for Chubb continues to be spectacular. It will lower his ceiling when Kareem Hunt returns to the lineup, but the Browns know what they have in Chubb.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Austin Hooper: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 53 yards

Ja’Marcus Bradley: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 46 yards

Jarvis Landry: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 26 yards | 1 carry, 16 yards, TD

David Njoku: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards

Rashard Higgins: 5 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards


Austin Hooper had his busiest day of the season with seven targets coming his way. I do expect to see more targets going towards tight ends in Cleveland for the time being as the receiver room is under construction. Ja’Marcus Bradley was called up from the practice squad to help bolster the receiver ranks, and made a different with his two targets. Odds are he will not be on the active roster for long, though. David Njoku and Rashard Higgins were targeted several times each but were not able to do much with them. The Browns got creative with getting the ball in Jarvis Landry’s hands. To go along with his eight targets, the Browns drew up this trick play for Jarvis, allowing him to show off his versatility for a big 16-yard score:



With injuries adding up and the departure of OBJ to LA, the Browns will need to continue to get creative to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers.

Happy Birthday, Wyatt!


— Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter) 

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