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Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Tevin Coleman, Mike Gillislee, Spencer Ware & More

Sunday, October 23, 2016 2:17
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by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 7 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:

Tevin Coleman – Running Back – Atlanta Falcons
Obviously he’s had his moments, but over the past three weeks he’s totaled 19 carries for 60 yards and 0 TD.  While he also is a factor catching the ball, his numbers in these three weeks are skewed by one huge performance:

  • Week 4 – 3 receptions for 14 yards
  • Week 5 – 4 receptions for 132 yards and 1 TD
  • Week 6 – 1 reception for 7 yards

So he’s been a bust in two out of three games.  Granted the Chargers have struggled against opposing running backs this season, which puts Coleman on the FLEX map, but there’s no guarantee he gets enough touches to warrant utilizing him.  Consider him more of a low-end FLEX play.  If you have a player who is guaranteed touches (like Jacquizz Rodgers), they are going to be better options.

C.J. Anderson – Running Back – Denver Broncos
Troy E. Renck has reported (click here for the article):

“The Broncos figure to tweak their running game this week. Some outside plays could enter into the mix, and look for rookie Devontae Booker to receive additional reps after a strong showing at San Diego.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Anderson has struggled all season long.  In fact he hasn’t averaged more than 3.7 YPC in a game since Week 1, with 74 carries for 238 yards over the past five weeks (3.2 YPC).  This is going to likely fall into an even split or hot hand approach, and that makes Anderson a risky play.  It all depends on the alternatives, but consider him more of a low-end RB2/FLEX option for this week.

Mike Gillislee – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
According to Jason La Confora (via Twitter):

“Signs pointing to Shady McCoy at least playing in a limited role Sun I’m told. Expected to be active. Reported earlier in week he was 50/50”

Adam Schefter (via Twitter this morning) added:

“Bills’ RB LeSean McCoy, listed as questionable with hamstring, is expected to play today but could be on 25-35 play pitch count, per source.”

All of the reports have McCoy being far less than 100%, so it’s possible that he’s utilized more as a decoy as opposed to an actual threat (and the snap count helps to support that).  The Dolphins defense has allowed the fourth most rushing yards to opposing backs this season (720), and with the receiving corps banged up there’s a good chance Gillislee plays a significant role regardless of McCoy’s game day status.  While his potential value would take a hit if McCoy is active, consider him a viable RB2 regardless.

Tyler Eifert – Tight End – Cincinnati Bengals
Ian Rapoport (via Twitter), reported this morning that, “plan is for TE Tyler Eifert (back, ankle) to make his debut today, per source, assuming Marvin Lewis signs off on it. Limited snaps”.  There’s enough depth at the position that on limited snaps Eifert isn’t worth the gamble.  Come Week 8, though, he could easily rise to must use status.

Spencer Ware – Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs
On Friday BJ Kissel (via Twitter) reported:

“Jamaal Charles and Phillip Gaines are questionable for Sunday’s game. Charles had some knee swelling and was limited at Friday’s practice.”

Even if Charles is able to play (and reports this morning from Ian Rapoport, via Twitter, are that there’s “a lot of doubt” that he will), how many touches and how effective can we expect him to be?  The New Orleans Saints are allowing the most points per week to opposing running backs, and with Ware sitting atop the depth chart he’s a no-brainer must play in all formats.

Terrelle Pryor – Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns
As per Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):

“Officially a game-time decision, #Browns WR Terrell Pryor (hamstring) is expected to play vs. the #Bengals, barring a setback, source said.”

Pryor has 9+ targets in four of the past five games and should continue to be the top option in the offense if he’s on the field.  While it’s going to be tough to trust him, given the injury, it’s impossible not to consider him a viable WR3 as long as he’s on the field today.

Jimmy Graham – Tight End – Seattle Seahawks
According to Sheil Kapadia (via Twitter):

“Pete Carroll said TE Jimmy Graham (knee/hip) is “ready to go” and will play.”

Considering that he’s banged up and draws a difficult matchup against the Cardinals, being skeptical makes sense.  That said he’s posted three straight games of 89+ yards, including two above 100.  With at least 8 targets in each of them and little reason to think that type of opportunity won’t continue, he remains a TE1 in all formats.

Mike Wallace – Wide Receiver – Baltimore Ravens
It appears that Joe Flacco is going to play, but even if he were to sit Wallace would be a worthwhile option.  Steve Smith is out, which means Wallace is likely going to be the go to receiver against a Jets’ secondary that he been burnt time and time again (8th most points per week to opposing wide receiver).  Wallace is averaging 10 targets per game over the past three weeks and that type of opportunity is not abundant.  Dial him up as a potential WR2 and must use WR3 in all formats.

Latavius Murray – Running Back – Oakland Raiders
While he’s listed as questionable, expectations are that he’s going to play today against the Jaguars.  The problem is, how many touches is he realistically going to get?  While neither DeAndre Washington nor Jalen Richard took advantage of Murray’s absence, they are going to continue to see opportunities as Murray has underwhelmed himself (40 carries for 172 yards).  Maybe he returns to must use status, but for now he’s more a player to stash and monitor.

Jack Doyle – Tight End – Indianapolis Colts
Dwayne Allen is out, which will leave Doyle to operate as the “lead” tight end for the Colts (though Erik Swoope will also be utilized).  This past week the tight ends split 7 targets:

  • Doyle – 4 targets (4 receptions, 53 yards, 1 TD)
  • Swoope – 3 targets (2 receptions, 42 yards)

Phillip Dorsett is also out, which will add a few more opportunities to go around.  Doyle should be considered a borderline TE1, though a better fit as a TE2 against a Tennessee defense that hasn’t given up too much to tight ends.

Mike Davis – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers
With Carlos Hyde out Davis and Shaun Draughn are expected to share the load in San Francisco’s backfield.  That alone brings some uncertainty, as it’s impossible to predict how many carries either will get.  Neither have done much this season and Tampa Bay’s defense is allowing just 3.7 yards per carry to opposing running backs.  In other words, if you are desperately looking for an option as a FLEX you can consider Davis.  For most, though, this is a situation to avoid.

Travis Benjamin – Wide Receiver – San Diego Chargers
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) reported this morning that:

“*Chargers’ WR Travis Benjamin, listed as questionable with knee injury, is expected to play vs. Falcons”

San Diego is short at WR, so being active at least puts Benjamin on the WR3 radar.  That said he’s been under 50 yards in two of the past three games, including 3 receptions for 17 yards against the Broncos in Week 6, and doesn’t have the easiest of matchups.  Don’t consider him a must play by any stretch.

Sources –, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings:


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