by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
He’s thrown for under 300 yards in each of the past four weeks, though over the past three he hasn’t thrown an INT (against 4 TD). While that may make you a bit skeptical, the matchup turns him into a Top 5 option. Cleveland is allowing the third most points per week to opposing QB, including 16 TD (behind only the Lions). Last season against the Browns he had 5 TD (plus one rushing) and 0 INT. Fire him up in all formats.
Sit – Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Kansas City
In two-quarterback formats Carson Wentz would get the nod here, but he likely wouldn’t be an option in single-quarterback formats regardless. As for Brees, it’s hard to call him a “must sit” though his splits are quite telling (as per usual):
Kansas City is allowing the 25th most points per week to opposing QB and they’ve actually racked up more INT (9) than TD allowed (8). Tough matchup on the road? That makes Brees a tough player to trust.
Start – Jacquizz Rodgers – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at San Francisco
Doug Martin has been ruled out, which puts Rodgers in line to be a workhorse once again. Against the Panthers that meant 30 carries and 5 receptions, which he turned into a total of 129 yards. There’s little reason to think that he won’t get a similar workload, and the matchup is much more favorable. The 49ers have allowed the most rushing yards to opposing RB (881) and the second most rushing TD (9). He’s a borderline RB1.
Start – Terrance West – Baltimore Ravens – at New York Jets
The Jets’ defense is supposed to be imposing, but they’ve been a complete disaster this season overall. While West could start to yield some opportunities to Kenneth Dixon, he’s seen a heavy workload each of the past three weeks and delivered in the process:
He will definitely continue to see the goal line carries and should be a solid RB2 in all formats.
Sit – Matt Forte – New York Jets – vs. Baltimore
After getting 52 carries over the first two weeks, his carry total has steadily decreased the past four weeks:
15 – 14 – 12 – 9
Bilal Powell is obviously playing an increasingly bigger role, and with a QB change already made its possible the team fully starts to turn its attention to the future. At 30-years old, Forte simply isn’t the future. The fact that Baltimore has allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing running backs only adds to the skepticism, so he should be viewed as a hands off option.
Sit – Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Minnesota
We talked about him earlier in the week (click here to view), so seeing his name here shouldn’t be a big surprise. The Vikings have allowed the fewest rushing yards to opposing RB this season and Mathews’ usage is currently a big question overall. He should hold value later in the season, but for this week he’s impossible to trust.
Wide Receiver (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start – Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders – at Jacksonville
While he’s coming off back-to-back poor performance (5 receptions for 57 yards), looking at his splits tell an interesting tale:
Jacksonville has allowed the ninth most points per week to opposing wide receivers, and given the questions surrounding the running game there’s a good chance that both Crabtree and Amari Cooper get enough opportunities to produce.
Sit – Julian Edelman – New England Patriots – at Pittsburgh
At the end of the day we know he has the most upside of any New England receiver, but surprisingly he has failed to produce since Tom Brady returned and he’s been held below 40 yards each of the past four weeks. Sooner or later he’s going to break out, and he has been targeted 17 times over the past two weeks, but in shallower formats until we start to see production you are probably better off looking elsewhere.
Wide Receiver (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – Kenny Britt – Los Angeles Rams – vs. New York Giants
There is a bit of boom or bust to his game, but he’s been a lot more “boom” at this point. The Giants’ secondary has allowed the fourth most yardage to opposing wide receivers (1,164 yards) and they’ve allowed five plays of 40+ yards (tied for sixth most in the league).
Sit – Will Fuller – Houston Texans – at Denver
He’s expected to return this week, but he draws the team allowing the fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers. Maybe they focus on stopping DeAndre Hopkins, opening things up for Fuller and others, but with 571 receiving yards and 1 TD allowed how many chances are there really going to be?
Start – Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers – at Atlanta
We always talk about how rookie tight ends take time to develop… However there are always exceptions to the rule and Henry is proving it. He’s scored in three straight games and has 60+ yards in four straight (three of which were 70+). With Antonio Gates banged up Henry is going to continue to be the go to option at tight end and it’s clear that Philip Rivers trusts him. With Atlanta being a poor defense against tight ends, there’s every reason to believe that he will continue producing.
Sit – Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Philadelphia
He’s had some big games, including scoring in three straight, and has seen 7+ targets in four out of five games this season. However the Eagles are among the best defenses at limiting opposing tight ends (93 yards and 1 TD total) and he’s coming off a 2 catch, 15 yard performance. At a deeper position there are better options to trust.
Sources – NFL.com, Yahoo!
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: