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Thursday Night Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: LeGarrette Blount (Start), Will Fuller (Maybe?!) & More

Thursday, September 22, 2016 6:58
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(Before It's News)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Thursday games are often tricky, because there isn’t necessarily a reason to take any undue risks with questionable options (which could set you back and spoil your week).  Who are the borderline players that should be in lineups?  Who should be sat down?  Let’s take a look at the skill players taking the field tonight and try to answer those questions:

New England Patriots
Chris Hogan – Wide Receiver
He was a popular sleeper selection, but over the first two weeks of the season he hasn’t produced standout numbers (7 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD). His 10 targets place him fourth on the Patriots, and he’s going to be the fourth or fifth option, at best, if Rob Gronkowski is healthy. With a tough matchup and significant quarterback questions, there’s simply no reason to take this kind of risk early in the week.

Verdict – Sit

Danny Amendola – Wide Receiver
Sure he is coming off a 2 TD, but he’s been targeted just 4 times in each of the first two games. When coupled with the QB concerns, is there really any reason to even consider him?

Verdict – Sit

LeGarrette Blount – Running Back
You would think that this would be the week that New England featured a run based attack, regardless of if its Jimmy Garropollo or Jacoby Brissett under center. Then again this is the Patriots, so we all know never to assume.

That said Blount has racked up 51 carries over the first two weeks (22+ carries each game), and has also found the end zone each week. Houston does represent a difficult matchup, but not enough to say that Blount is unusable. Opportunity is going to be the key, and with a significant workload and operating as one of the key red zone weapons, he’s worth utilizing depending on your alternatives.

Verdict – RB2 worthy

James White – Running Back
He’s been targeted 11 times, but has only mustered 50 yards. If he doesn’t pick things up D.J. Foster could quickly start eating into his playing time, further limiting him. Even in PPR formats, the risk appears to be too great.

Verdict – Sit

Martellus Bennett – Tight End
His value is fully tied to whether or not Rob Gronkowski plays or not. If Gronkowski does, it will be tough to trust Bennett. If he doesn’t? Bennett jumps into a TE1 option, coming off a 5 catch, 114 yards, 1 TD effort. While he struggled Week 1, he was still targeted 5 times so we know the opportunities will be there.

Verdict – Must start if Gronkowski is sidelined

Must Start Options:

  • Julian Edelman – Wide Receiver
  • Rob Gronkowski – Tight End (if playing)

Houston Texans
Brock Osweiler – Quarterback
He’s played well (499 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT) and the Patriots have given up points to opposing quarterbacks this season. That puts Osweiler solidly on the QB2 spectrum and well worth using, but in one-quarterback formats there are simply too many alternatives to roll the dice with him this early in the week.

Verdict – Solid start in two-Quarerback formats

Will Fuller – Wide Receiver
He’s turned 18 targets (just one fewer than DeAndre Hopkins) into 9 receptions, 211 yards and 1 TD. Clearly he’s had some issues, so the question is going to be whether or not we trust him to break a big play against the Patriots. With New England having allowed 10 passing plays of 20+ yards (tied for the third most in the league), it’s a pretty good bet that he will. That doesn’t make him a must start, because he’s a boom or bust type option, but in deeper formats there’s reason to consider him.

Verdict – WR3 gamble

Must Start Options:

  • Lamar Miller – Running Back
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Wide Receiver

Sources -ESPN, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:

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