Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start or bench. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.
The best fantasy football gamble for Week 11
Tracking my predictions: 3-7-0
Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected or leaves with an injury
I’ve had a few close ones that didn’t break in my favor this year, along with a couple of outright misses, but none were worse than last week’s recommendation of Trevor Lawrence. He had a fantastic matchup and definitely enough weapons to do something worthwhile, but the rookie was an unmitigated fantasy disaster.
That’s why this article is about gambles and not locks, but that was tough to swallow. The upcoming slate of games has only two teams on bye, both of those starting tight ends are in the weekly lineup conversation. However, the position is loaded with volatility and has a few notable injuries to watch, too.
TE Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
In the last three games, Trautman has been targeted at least six times in each contest and has finally started to show signs of life after early-offseason sleeper hype was derailed by a late-summer ankle injury.
The loss of Jameis Winston (knee) for the season actually works in Trautman’s favor. He isn’t going to be stretching the field too often, and Winston has not exactly been known for going through his reads and settling for a boring checkdown. Trevor Siemian starting is a huge win for the young tight end, and the absence of Alvin Kamara (knee) last week helped lead to a career-high in catches (five) for Trautman. Taysom Hill has thrown four passes in the last two games, divided evenly, and half of them went to Trautman in the most recent outing. Both quarterbacks survive as short- to intermediate-area passers, and it’s unclear if Kamara will be ready to return for Week 11.
Additionally, the Saints don’t exactly have an inspiring cast of receivers, and the are in which the Eagles are strongest is vs. wideouts. Deep threats Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris face the most difficult cornerback duo to exploit in Darius Slay and Steven Nelson, which should redirect a few passes Trautman’s way.
While Trautman doesn’t have a TD this year and has scored only once in his 23 career games played, he profiles as a legitimate weapon in the red zone at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, with the collegiate pedigree as a prolific scorer. The second-year tight end was a touchdown machine at Dayton, even if it came against inferior competition.
Eight different TEs have scored 10-plus PPR points on the year vs. Philadelphia, and all but one happened in the last five weeks. Of the eight TDs scored, five have come in the last six games, and this is among the best matchups available for the week.
My projection: 5 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD (16.6 PPR fantasy points)