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 – Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – vs. San Francisco
Over his past two games Palmer has finally erupted, throwing for 342 yards (vs. Seattle) and 363 yards (at Carolina). While he didn’t throw a TD against the Seahawks, he did throw 3 against the Panthers (though he did throw an interception and fumbled twice). Some will use the potential for a turnover as a reason to downgrade him, but the matchup against the 49ers is an extreme positive.
San Francisco has allowed 18 passing TD (tied for fourth most in the league) and have mustered just 5 INT. Coming off their bye week they were torched for 323 yards and 3 TD by Drew Brees and over the past four weeks (3 games) they’ve allowed 8 TD vs. 1 INT (the seventh most points per week to opposing QB).
Sit – Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. Minnesota
Cousins is coming off back-to-back monster games in terms of yardage (301 and 458), but we have to remember that those were against two of the weaker passing defenses in the league (Detroit and Cincinnati, who have allowed the second and seventh most points to opposing QB). While the Vikings have been slipping of late, over the past four weeks they still have allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing QB (and the fewest passing yards, at 609). It’s still a hard matchup, so especially in single-quarterback formats don’t do anything dramatic to get him in your lineup.
Start – Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams – at New York Jets
It’s been a down season for Gurley, though now is not the time to start writing him off. While the thought is that the Jets are a tough matchup, they were gashed by Jay Ajayi in Week 9 (111 rushing yards) and the week before watched Duke Johnson total 116 yards (29 rushing yards on 4 carries, 87 receiving yards).
Gurley is going to factor into the passing game (5+ targets in five of six games, and he had 4 targets in the other game). He also should see more work in the running game, after he was given a season low 12 carries in Week 9. Increased workload plus a struggling defense (despite it’s potential) is a promising place to be.
Start – Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Denver
He will likely continue sharing time with Tim Hightower, but Ingram’s 158 yards and 1 TD on 15 carries in Week 9 is going to lock him into a significant role. That’s a good thing, as the Broncos’ rushing defense has been in free fall of late:
While we’d feel better if Ingram was locked into the bulk of the carries, he should get enough opportunities in a favorable matchup to deliver.
Sit – Christine Michael – Seattle Seahawks – at New England
His stock is in an utter free fall, as he’s now gone five straight games averaging 4.0 YPC or worse (this past week he took 5 carries for 1 yard). Sure he’s been finding the end zone, but the Patriots have allowed just 4 rushing TD to opposing backs thus far this season. Throw in 620 rushing yards allowed, and even though Thomas Rawls isn’t going to be ready he’s impossible to trust. C.J. Prosise should see his role increase, especially with New England struggling against receiving running backs (410 yards is sixth most in the league).
Sit – Rashad Jennings – New York Giants – vs. Cincinnati
The offense is going to be based around Eli Manning and the passing game, plus the emergence of Paul Perkins is going to cut into Jennings playing time/touches (Perkins was the one on the field late, as the Giants tried to ice the game). In other words there’s simply too many questions in regards to his usage in order to trust him.
Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start – Jordan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Atlanta
He’s been a target monster over the past two weeks, which alone should make him a viable option:
There’s little reason to think that type of usage won’t continue, especially against a Falcons defense that has allowed the second most points per week to opposing wide receivers (including 14 TD, tied for second most in the league).
Sit – Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers – at Tennessee
After combining for 30 targets over his previous two games, Adams saw just 8 passes thrown his way in Week 9 (which he turned into 4 receptions, 41 yards and 1 TD). The fact is, with Randall Cobb, Ty Montgomery and Jordy Nelson in the fold, as well as a potential return for James Starks looming, the number of opportunities Adams is going to get is a bit unstable. In shallower formats, he’s going to be tough to trust.
Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins – vs. Minnesota
It may seem odd to have his QB as a sit, yet Crowder as a good start in deeper formats. That said he has clearly become the go to receiver over the past two weeks, totaling 22 targets and posting back-to-back 100+ yard games. While we saw a similar high usage early in the season, only to see him regress for a few weeks, there’s little reason to think things are going to change this time around.
Sit – Cole Beasley – Dallas Cowboys – at Pittsburgh
Sure you could make the argument to use him, but the Steelers do represent a difficult matchup (fourth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers). You also have to wonder how many opportunities he’s going to get, with Jason Witten stepping up as of late and Dez Bryant returning. As it is he’s topped 7 targets just once all season (Week 1) and hasn’t exceeded 75 yards in a game. Using him would mean banking on a TD, and in this matchup that’s hardly something we can expect.
Start – Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Miami
Sure Hunter Henry is back, but that’s done little to impact Gates and his opportunities. He’s now been targeted 9+ times in three straight games and has scored in two straight. There’s always going to be risk, given a viable alternative in the huddle with him, but he’s as good a bet as any if you don’t own one of the top tier options.
Sit – Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots – vs. Seattle
Naming him here probably means that he’ll explode once again, but after scoring 3 TD he’s combined for 10 catches (on 12 targets), 88 yards and 0 TD over the subsequent three games. With those types of numbers he’s simply impossible to trust.
Sources – NFL.com, Yahoo!
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings: