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Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Dez Bryant, Arian Foster, Eddie Lacy & More

Sunday, October 16, 2016 2:42
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by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 5 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

Dez Bryant – Wide Receiver – Dallas Cowboys
After practicing on a limited basis this week Bryant is shaping up as a true game-time call for the Cowboys.  Of course they don’t play until 4:25 PM EST, which generally puts fantasy owners in a tougher spot.  There also is a lot of skepticism regarding his availability, as Ian Rapoport (via Twitter) reported this morning:

“WR Dez Bryant (knee) will warm up but is a long-shot to play, despite returning to practice. A post-bye return is a near-certainty”

The matchup with the Packers appears to be a favorable one (they are allowing the sixth most points per week to opposing wide receivers), though the 49 receptions they’ve allowed is actually the third fewest in the league.  Couple that with the potential that Bryant is limited/used more as a decoy, as well as his limited production over the first three weeks of the season (11 receptions on 23 targets), and Bryant is a player to sit this week. 

Mike Wallace – Wide Receiver – Baltimore Ravens
While he’s listed as questionable, he’s expected to play today against the Giants.  He’s coming off a week that he saw heavy opportunity, thanks to the absence of Steve Smith, and that could once again be the case this week.  Of course his usage wasn’t just a one-time phenomenon, as he has double-digit targets in back-to-back games (21).  The problem is he’s turned those into just 11 catches and 103 yards.  He’s also lacked big play potential the past four weeks (10.1 yards per catch) and hasn’t scored since Week 2.

The matchup seems favorable, with the Giants giving up the tenth most points per week to opposing wide receivers, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a good bet.  Opportunity puts him on the WR3 spectrum, but don’t use it as a reason to consider him anything more than that.

Arian Foster – Running Back – Miami Dolphins
According to Barry Jackson (via Twitter):

“Gase said Reshad Jones and Arian Foster will be game time decisions.”

He’s been practicing on a limited basis this week, but even if he does play what are we looking at?  There are a few things that are going to work against him:

  1. Touches – You have to think that Miami will limit him, with Jay Ayaji and others also getting into the mix
  2. Matchup – The 351 rushing yards allowed by the Steelers (to opposing RB) place them with the 8th fewest

They have been prone to the pass, especially to RB (366 yards are second most), and we know that’s a role Foster could fill.  That’s going to make him a FLEX option if he dresses, but the risks of limited opportunities prevent him from being viewed as anything more.

Eddie Lacy – Running Back – Green Bay Packers
Listed as questionable, most expectations are that he’s going to suit up for today’s game.  With James Stark already ruled out, assuming Lacy plays he’s going to be a must use option as a RB2 with a heavy workload expected.  The Cowboys do represent a tough matchup (fourth fewest points per week to opposing RB), which does keep him from being thought of any higher.

Will Fuller – Wide Receiver – Houston Texans
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

“Texans’ WR Will Fuller is unlikely to play tonight vs Colts due to a hamstring injury, per source.”

The Colts and Texans play the Sunday night game, so waiting on Fuller (who was more of a WR3 anyways) doesn’t make much sense.  While there’s obvious upside, fantasy owners would be wise to utilize their alternatives earlier in the day.

Justin Forsett – Running Back – Detroit Lions
Theo Riddick & Dwayne Washington (according to Adam Schefter via Twitter) have already been ruled out.  Obviously the Lions could easily try to go pass heavy, though Los Angeles features a solid pass defense and that could lead to multiple dump offs to the running back.  Forsett has racked up as many as 44 catches in a season and he also is better than the 3.2 YPC he posted in three games with the Ravens earlier this season.  While he’s not a long-term solution, view him as a potential low-end RB2/FLEX option, especially in PPR formats.

Randall Cobb – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
With both Eddie Lacy and James Starks (already ruled out) banged up, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (click here for the article) speculates:

“He might have to be on high alert this week given the Packers’ uncertain situation at running back. Eddie Lacy and James Starks are banged up heading into Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.”

Obviously a lot of his runs have likely come off reverses or other “gimmick” plays, but Cobb has carried the ball 45 times for 314 yards over the course of his career.  The thought of him getting a few carries in the game certainly adds to his appeal, though continue to view him more as a high-end WR3 as opposed to a must use option.  This just gives him the edge over similarly valued players.

DeAndre Washington – Running Back – Oakland Raiders
Latavius Murray has already been ruled out and with the game expected to be played in less than stellar conditions (rain is potentially in the forecast) there would appear to be opportunities for the running game.  The problem, though, is who is going to carry the load?  Washington will likely continue sharing carries with Jalen Richard and Jamize Olawale, making all of them more FLEX options than players to trust.

Sources –, ESPN

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