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Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Todd Gurley, Thomas Rawls, Jordan Matthews & More

Sunday, November 20, 2016 3:41
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by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 11 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:

Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks – Running Back
John Boyle of the Seahawk’s official website (click here for the article) posted the following quotes from head coach Pete Carroll in regards to Rawls this week:

“I don’t have any problem with playing him quite a few plays,” Carroll said. “I have no problem with that. I just want to see how it’s going, how it is working. C.J. did a really nice job last week, he’s ready to go, so we’re in a good situation right now.

“There’s no easing in with him. He’s going. We’re just cutting him loose and he’s going.”  

The original thought was that Rawls would be limited, and maybe that’s still going to be the case, but this certainly goes against that mindset.  While it obviously would have a negative impact on C.J. Prosise, he should still be viewed as the better option as a FLEX play this week.  Rawls looks a little bit more appealing, but he’s still too risky to trust in his first game back (unless you are desperate).

Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs – Wide Receiver
With Jeremy Maclin ruled out, Hill could once again be in line for a heavy workload.  Last week against the Panthers, with Maclin sidelined, Hill turned 13 targets into 10 receptions and 89 yards (he also took 1 carry for 12 yards).  Fumbling the ball twice is a bit of a concern, but there’s reason to believe that he’ll remain one of the focal points of the offense.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have allowed the most points per week to opposing wide receivers this season, making this an ideal opportunity to try to exploit.  There’s still risk, so consider Hill a risky WR2 and a must play WR3.

Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams – Running Back
There are a lot of things that appear to be stacked against Gurley this week:

  • He’s listed as questionable due to a thigh injury
  • He has a rookie QB under center making his NFL debut
  • The Dolphins are not an easy matchup (216 rushing yards allowed over past 4 weeks is the eighth fewest in the league)

Obviously declaring Gurley as a “sit” would be a stretch, assuming he plays, but it’s reasonable to be skeptical and knock him down a few pegs on your rankings.  He’s still usable, it all just comes down to your alternatives.

Julian Edelman – New England Patriots – Wide Receiver
Both Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan are out this week, which will leave Edelman and Rob Gronkowski to lead the passing game.  The 49ers have been routinely torched by opposing WR this season and Edelman is coming off his best performance of the season (7 receptions for 99 yards).  There’s every reason to believe that he’ll post a similar, if not better, line and that puts him on the WR2 spectrum.

Jordan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver
There had been concern over his availability, but a full practice on Friday gives plenty of reason for optimism.  He’ll draw a Seahawks defense that hasn’t been as good as expected, including allowing the fourth most yards to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks (771).  Matthews, meanwhile, has turned up the production over the past three weeks:

  • at Dallas – 11 receptions (14 targets) for 65 yards and 1 TD
  • at New York Giants – 6 receptions (10 targets) for 88 yards
  • vs. Atlanta – 6 receptions (10 targets) for 73 yards

Given that many opportunities, Matthews is well worth considering as a WR2 in all formats.

Will Fuller – Houston Texans – Wide Receiver
According to Aaron Wilson (via Twitter):

“Will Fuller determination coming Monday, Bill O’Brien says he feels pretty good about his prospects for playing Sunday”

With the Texans taking on the Raiders on Monday night, Fuller (who would’ve been a risky play to begin with) is virtually unusable.  Move on to Plan B if you were thinking about using him.

DeSean Jackson – Washington Redskins – Wide Receiver
According to NBC Sports (click here for the article):

“Washington receiver DeSean Jackson is officially listed as questionable for Sunday night against the Packers, but he’s planning to play.”

The fact that the Redskins do not play until Sunday night adds a little extra spin to this, as we won’t have any true clarity until after the late games kick off.  The Packers do represent a favorable matchup, though Jackson hasn’t topped 55 yards since Week 3 and has scored just 1 TD this season.  In other words even a healthy Jackson wouldn’t have been a given to produce.  With the uncertainty, fantasy owners would be wise to look towards alternatives (if possible).

Torrey Smith – Wide Receiver – San Francisco 49ers
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

Considering that he hasn’t had more than 4 targets in the past three games and has a grand total of 17 catches on the season, he would’ve been a sit regardless of his health.

Akeem Hunt – Houston Texans – Running Back
With Alfred Blue out, Hunt will operate as the secondary back on Monday night.  Forced into action last week Hunt actually impressed, taking 8 carries for 52 yards.  The Raiders have not been great against the run overall this season, though over the past four weeks they’ve actually allowed the sixth fewest points per week to opposing RB (including 191 rushing yards, tied for the fifth fewest in the league).  While he may get some work, he’s still not worth a consideration.

Sources –, ESPN

*** Pre-Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $5.50 By Clicking Here!! ***

Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


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