If you look at the capital "Q" next to most of the key San Diego Chargers offensive weapons for Week 11, you quickly get the picture this is not a healthy crew, as most everyone is questionable. What is not in question to me is that the Chargers are going to score many points against the Denver Broncos on ESPN's Monday Night Football -- I'm nothing if not a company man -- and you'll want a few of these fellows out there in fantasy. But whom should you trust?
As I made adjustments to the Week 11 rankings on Friday morning, there were obviously decisions to make regarding this team. I left fantasy's top quarterback, Philip Rivers, alone as my top choice, yes, even over awesome Michael Vick! Rivers is consistently putting up monster stats regardless of what's around him, and there's little concern about injury or schedule. I think tight end Antonio Gates, with the aid of an extra day to prepare, will play, and he remains my top guy, though I did move backup Randy McMichael into the ranks just in case. McMichael did haul in a pair of touchdown passes last game. I don't think rookie running back Ryan Mathews is a lock to play -- or he might pull a Ryan Torain and dress but not get opportunity -- so I bumped Mike Tolbert up a few spots and dropped Mathews down some.
At wide receiver, I'm buying into the return of Malcom Floyd. I know it looks a bit odd for me to rank a guy with a hamstring problem who hasn't played since Week 6 as a starter, but that's what I did. Floyd is my No. 21 wide receiver, so he just misses WR2 status in 10-team leagues, but he's more than flex-relevant. Look, Rivers has thrown for 2,944 yards in nine games. Do the math. The passing yards record of 5,084 set by Dan Marino in 1984 -- and approached by Drew Brees in 2008 -- is potentially in jeopardy. Floyd produced 27 fantasy points in Week 5 at Oakland, was a top-five fantasy wide receiver entering Week 6, then got hurt. He's going to play, and he's going to play well.
The pending change that should affect Floyd's future output is the return of suspended wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Look, you can play Jackson this week if you like, but he's not going to score any points. He's out. He's likely to play in Week 12, and I can't say now how well I'll rank him. But you should seriously consider picking him up now, if he's available, before everyone in your league gets wind of his return. For this week, however, I ranked Patrick Crayton at the back end of the top-50 wide receivers. The Broncos give up the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so in deep leagues, enjoy.
Here are some of the other things to watch before you set Sunday morning lineups.
Sidney's story: It's all about the sagas when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings. Wide receiver Sidney Rice could actually play this weekend. The Vikings have until next Wednesday to activate him, or he cannot play this season. I'm guessing he'll play, but in Week 12. Maybe the Vikings shock us all and let him dress for Sunday. Regardless, he's missed all year with a hip problem, and whenever I am asked if I would rather own Rice or Jackson the rest of the season I select the Chargers' player.
Red-faced: I've been asked multiple times this week what I have against Washington Redskins running back Keiland Williams. Um, not a thing! He played well in the Monday night demolition loss, scoring three times, but let's face facts this was not a competitive affair. I think Williams will have the job this week as well, barring a quick return to health by Torain and Clinton Portis. But I just don't think Williams will go nuts like that again. I did move him up a bit in the rankings and removed Torain.
Peyton's party: I was well aware of how "average" Peyton Manning had looked the past few weeks, and decided my early-week rank of No. 2 at quarterback was a tad too generous. The real news surrounds his weapons. I moved Austin Collie up some into the top 40 at wide receiver because it appears he will suit up, and Pierre Garcon hasn't exactly dominated of late. I trust Jacob Tamme will play, but obviously make sure you have a backup tight end rostered just in case. The Colts play a late game Sunday afternoon. Add Kevin Boss, for example, if you find Tamme doesn't play. Joseph Addai practiced Thursday; let's all rejoice! I think that's a great sign he will play, so I bumped Donald Brown down some and removed Mike Hart.
Best of luck to all for the rest of Week 11 and beyond!