In the world of fantasy football most playoffs will be starting in the next three or four weeks. If you have a six team or eight team playoff, week 14 is the start of your playoffs, while week 15 will start 4 team playoffs. Most leagues avoid a week 17 championship game because we often see players benched to get ready for the NFL's playoffs. Accordingly, week 11 means it's safe to say we've entered the heat of the playoff race in most leagues. Even if one or two teams is running away with playoff spots, there is usually a thicket of teams battling it out for the last few spots. In one of my leagues there are seven teams (in a 14-team league) battling for the final three playoff spots. It's time to win or go home, so to speak.
This week the 49ers and Raiders find themselves in key matchups as they both battle for their potential playoff lives. The 49ers have the bigger fantasy story in the sense that Troy Smith taking over at QB has brought a fairly remarkable big play ability that could translate to wins and fantasy points on the field. More importantly, Smith is finding numerous receivers as the 49ers had five receivers with sixty or more yards. Even more interesting is that backup tight end Delanie Walker apparently has a new lease on fantasy life as he has been Smith's leading receiver the past two weeks. The 49ers might suddenly have found themselves with two tight ends worthy of starts in fantasy football.
The Raiders are heading on the road to battle a Pittsburgh Steelers squad that was thoroughly thumped at home by the New England Patriots. I'd imagine they'll be looking to let loose some frustrations when the Raiders come to town. Of course the Raiders now find themselves one of the hottest teams in the league having won three straight games. In terms of individual accomplishments, wide receiver Jacoby Ford had a bit of a coming out party as he almost single-handedly beat the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago. Now with Darrius Heyward-Bey and Chaz Schilens both hurting, it appears as though Ford will get his first start of the season.
We'll be here throughout the week with fantasy updates and analysis regarding both the Raiders and the 49ers.