That’s what every coach wants to see. A player who never gives up. A player who, through slumps and all-star weeks, plays the same throughout. A player who gives his/her absolute best effort every day of the week. Sure, players do that all the time. One could say Adrian Peterson is always giving his best, just because he’s so ridiculous.
But one player this week, one single player stood out amongst the rest. He didn’t do incredibly. He didn’t throw seven touchdowns, or have 329 receiving yards, or even have more than one touchdown. He simply showed up, gave 1000%, and went home. Not to mention, he did end up with some pretty good numbers.
Mark Ingram. Yeah that’s right. Mark Ingram. Some of you may say “Well yeah. Heismann winner from Alabama. Of course he’s gonna give 1000%”. Some of you may be saying “Uhhh, he sucks worse than the entire Jaguars team put together.”
But I say this. Mark Ingram has been under the radar. So under the radar, some of you newcomers may just be saying “who?” I’ll tell you, don’t worry. Mark Ingram was the star running back (the definition of “star”) for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 2008 to 2010. He won multiple prestigious awards, such as the SEC All-Freshman Team, SEC Offensive Player of the Week, and most importantly, the Heisman Trophy in 2009. He was drafted in the first round in 2011 by the New Orleans Saints, where he proceeded to fall off the map entirely. He began with the Saints with a bang. He put up pretty good numbers, especially for being on a team with the option of five running backs. Then, he collapsed. For the end of the 2011 season and throughout the 2012 season, Mark Ingram simply didn’t provide the numbers anyone was expecting from a first round pick Heisman Trophy winner. The Saints began to think about letting him go as the 2013 season approached. Well, it looks like he recently got wind of that. I don’t know if you watched him on Sunday against the Cowboys, but there were definitely flashes of the 2009 Heisman winner. He just about milked every yard out of every play that he possibly could. He pushed the defense, pulled piles, and even literally grabbed a Cowboys linebacker by the facemask, and threw him to the ground. He ended up with 145 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown. But there was one more thing that stood out for me. After every play, he would do some kind of celebration. No matter the outcome of the play, he would stay optimistic. Whether it was the classic arm flex, or the always in style spike, Ingram showed up. And he showed up good.
Quarterbacks I like in Week 11:
- Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Washington Redskins): Two weeks ago, Nick Foles threw for 7 touchdowns in a game. The most recent person before him to break that record was Peyton Manning, who did it to start off the season. Last week, Foles continued his streak by going 12 of 18 on 228 yards and 3 TDs against the Packers. This week he faces the Redskins, who have given up at least 2 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. In fact, they gave up 2 touchdowns to Christian Ponder last week. With DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, AND LeSean McCoy at his disposal, I’d say Nick Foles has a pretty good day.
- Case Keenum, Houston Texans (vs. Oakland Raiders): Two weeks ago, Nick Foles threw for 7 touchdowns in a game. Yeah I said that already. I just wanted to emphasize that it was against the subpar Raiders’ everything. Case Keenum went 22 of 43 on 201 yards with 3 touchdowns last week. That completion percentage isn’t too eye catching, but those touchdowns sure are. The Raiders suck. Sorry, but they do. They’ve given up an upsetting 12.8 passing first downs on average this year. If you don’t already have a trustworthy, consistent QB to put in, I’d give a second look at Keenum.
- Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Minnesota Vikings): You really don’t need any help on this one. Minnesota has given up an average of 286 passing yards per game this year. Come on. Golden Tate has been doing pretty well. I really don’t have to say anything else. If you have him, play Wilson.
- Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (@Jacksonville Jaguars): Palmer completed 20 of 32 passes on Sunday, which provided a 62.5% completion rating. He threw 241 yards and two touchdowns as well, and even though the Texans are pretty mediocre at this point in the season, compared the Jaguars, they could be considered a Super Bowl contender. The connection between Palmer and Fitzgerald should prove fairly lucrative this week against Jacksonville.
Running Backs I like in Week 11:
- DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers (vs. New England Patriots): I do feel like the Patriots are gonna win this one, but I don’t think Williams is gonna go down without a fight. The New England defense has given up an average of 4.3 yards per rush attempt this year, and an average of 128 rushing yards per game. I don’t think he’s going to have a ridiculous Peterson-esque outing, but I do think he’ll show up and provide some solid numbers. He’s a solid RB2 start.
- Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (@Philadelphia Eagles): Alfred Morris seems to thrive on the goal line pushes. 3 of his 5 touchdowns this season have been in the red zone. I definitely expect Morris to get some serious yardage through the Eagles average run defense. I also expect their 2nd from the bottom pass defense to give up some connections between him and Griffin. Should definitely provide solid numbers.
- Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (vs. San Francisco 49ers): I know. This is a risky call. I did love his attitude against the Cowboys, and he just seems like he’s going to keep getting better. Yeah, the 49ers have a pretty good run defense. But they have given up 8 rushing touchdowns this season. Sean Payton has a new favorite every week. In all positions. Something tells me Ingram should bust out again. If you just can’t decide, and you’re feelin his Cowboys performance as much as I am, throw him in to your RB2 spot.
Wide Receivers I like in Week 11:
- Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Minnesota Vikings): The Vikings have given up a disappointing 21 receiving touchdowns and have allowed an average of 11 yards per reception this year. Tate went an impressive 106 yards on 6 receptions (around 10 yards per reception), and had a touchdown last week against the Falcons, who are just about off of the map completely.
- DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Washington Redskins): Or really any of the Eagles’ receivers. Washington has one of the worst if not the worst secondary in the league right now. They’ve given up an average of 290 receiving yards per game, and have allowed 19 receiving touchdowns. Even divided up between Jackson and Cooper, and even McCoy, 290 yards is a lot.
- Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (vs. Oakland Raiders): Case Keenum is still a rookie. He’s definitely been proving a good backup to Schaub, and against the Raiders? Keenum is going to stick with Johnson for sure. He may go to Hopkins a few times, but Johnson is a veteran, and has provided superb numbers for the Texans this year.
Tight Ends I like in Week 11:
- Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos (vs. Kansas City Chiefs): This might be somewhat of a stretch because Kansas City has been so unexpectedly good this year, but something tells me the Broncos are going to bring their absolute best game when the Chiefs visit them this week. As I said last week, tight ends have become more and more valuable to Quarterbacks over the past few years, and Thomas has provided an average of one touchdown a game this year. Manning has a lot of receivers at his disposal, but Quarterbacks look to tight ends to fight for that extra yardage you just can’t get from a receiver.
- Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (@Philadelphia Eagles): The Eagles have given up an average of almost 16 receiving first downs per game this year. Jordan Reed has achieved 29 first downs in just 9 games. Robert Griffin will mainly be looking for him or Pierre Garcon for receptions. Not to mention tight ends have had major red zone presence this season.
- Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Washington Redskins): Celek is questionable as of right now for this week’s game, so this prediction is really only if he does play. Nick Foles seems to like to spread the ball around. That 7 touchdown game against the Radiers? He threw at least one touchdown to each of his main receivers, plus his tight end and running back. If Celek is in, expect him to get some quality yardage (if not red zone looks) against the subpar Redskins secondary.
–Ole Miss student Taylor Lust is participating in his third year of fantasy football. He was champion his first year, made it to the playoffs his second year, and is currently tied for first place in his league this year. He contributes fantasy football stats and predictions for HottyToddy.com.