by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 8 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:
Charcandrick West – Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs
With Spencer Ware already rule out, West is set to carry the load for the Chiefs (does anyone really expect Bishop Sankey to play a big role?). While he hasn’t had much work yet this season, West averaged 4.0 yards per carry on 160 carries in ’15. He had three straight weeks with 20+ carries in the middle of the season, posting strong results in the process:
That’s an average of 92 yards and 1 TD per game. Considering that the Jaguars are allowing the sixth most points per week to opposing running backs over the past four weeks, there’s every reason to believe that West should at least get to those numbers with the potential for even more. Fire him up as a RB1 this week in all formats.
Randall Cobb – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
While he was listed as questionable, listening to Cobb you would think that there’s little chance he suits up. Ryan Wood of USA Today Network recently published the following quote from Cobb (click here for the article):
“Nine games in a row coming up,” Cobb said. “We don’t really have a bye, we don’t have much time (off). It’s going to go straight into the playoffs. We have to make sure that we’re looking big picture.”
It would make sense for the team to be conservative, and even if he does play he is certainly going to be limited. With numerous other options (like Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and Ty Montgomery), there’s simply too much risk in trusting Cobb. Plan on utilizing other options.
Terrelle Pryor – Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns
While he was on the injury report earlier in the week, he was removed on Friday and obviously is going to play today. The return of Corey Coleman could cut into his opportunities, but Cody Kessler being under center helps his cause. In the three games that Kessler has attempted at least 30 passes, Pryor has accumulated 35 targets (no less than 9 in a game) and has scored all three of his touchdowns.
The Cowboys don’t necessarily make for an easy matchup, but it’s also easy to imagine a pass heavy approach as the Browns fall behind. Consider Pryor a viable WR2 in all formats.
Ty Montgomery – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
It was a surprise when he was inactive in Week 8, but he’s not on the injury report and is going to play today. With Randall Cobb’s status in serious question and a gaping hole at RB, Montgomery is going to play a massive role in the offense. He’s going to run the football and he also is going to get ample opportunity on dump offs and screen passes. That type of workload puts him in prime position to produce, and you could easily argue that he’s a better play than Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson. Fire him up in all formats.
LeSean McCoy – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
McCoy’s hamstring injury has him listed as questionable, and with a Monday night game against the Seahawks on the docket that’s a tough spot to be in. It doesn’t help that we aren’t getting any definitive word on his status, as Mike Rodak of ESPN recently published the following:
Rex Ryan says he’s “confident” LeSean McCoy will play Monday night in Seattle.
What else would we expect Ryan to say? It really comes down to your alternatives, but consider McCoy a risky player to trust. If you are lacking alternatives it could make sense to roll the dice, but if you have someone else you may want to take the conservative route this week.
Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback – Pittsburgh Steelers
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) reported last night:
Steelers have not yet decided which QB will start Sunday at Baltimore, per league sources. It is expected to be “a true gameday decision.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2016
We all know Roethlisberger’s reputation, so it’s hard to imagine him not taking the field today. Monitor the news, but at least we’ll have clarity early in the day (1:00 PM EST start). If he’s on the field he’s a viable QB1, but have a contingency plan in place just in case.
Theo Riddick – Running Back – Detroit Lions
While he was listed as questionable, Riddick is going to be on the field today. He returned last week, getting 19 touches for 133 yards and 1 TD, and should once again be the unquestioned leader of the backfield (Zach Zenner was the only other running back to get a touch last week, with 3 carries and 1 reception). The Vikings are not the easiest matchup, but Riddick is a must use RB2 given his ability to make plays both on the ground and through the air.
DuJuan Harris – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers
With Carlos Hyde looking like he’s going to sit, Harris should step in to lead the committee. As ofthis morning it wasn’t a certainty that Hyde would be out, but according to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):
49ers expect RB Carlos Hyde’s status to be a pre-game decision, but it does not sound promising that he will be active, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 6, 2016
While he wasn’t stellar last week against the Buccaneers, he did get 13 touches for 57 yards and the Saints have allowed the second most points per week to opposing running backs (thanks to 13 total TD). While it’s hard to bank on him as a trustworthy option, he does provide sleeper appeal as a RB2/FLEX depending on your alternatives.
Paul Perkins – Running Back – New York Giants
According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanen (click here for the article):
Paul Perkins‘ role will increase significantly, beginning this week. He may not start or dominate the snaps, but he’ll be further integrated into the Giants’ offense as they move away from their power-run game in hopes of creating more plus-plays on the edges.
It will be interesting to see exactly how many touches Perkins gets, but obviously an increased role for him means fewer opportunities for Rashad Jennings. Until we get a better feel for the plan this is going to be a situation to avoid, unless you are in desperate need of a FLEX, but the Giants clearly need to make changes in their running game. Perkins is a player worth stashing in all formats.
Jerrick McKinnnon – Running Back – Minnesota Vikings
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):
Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon, listed as questionable for Sunday with ankle injury, is expected to play vs Lions, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 6, 2016
He should share time in the backfield with Matt Asiata, which makes for a difficult situation to trust. Asiata is the more trustworthy option, but two weeks ago he only out-touched McKinnon 18-to-12 and he struggled last week with 42 yards on 14 carries. Figure Asiata for RB2 and McKinnon as an upside FLEX option.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: