Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Kelvin Benjamin, Jimmy Graham, Bishop Sankey & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 6 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:

 

Bishop Sankey – Running Back – Tennessee Titans
Shonn Greene will be out for the second consecutive week (he’s officially listed as “doubtful), leaving Sankey to operate as the team’s lead back once again.  Last week he was the only running back to have more than two carries, picking up 18 rushes for 61 yards.  Of course a lot of his production came courtesy of one 22 yard rush, so it was hardly an impressive performance.

Dexter McCluster could see an increased role and the Redskins have been among the best rushing defenses in the league (they are allowing just 3.9 yards per carry tied for ninth fewest).  It’s certainly not a favorable situation despite Greene’s absence.

Start/Sit Advice – Still the lead back, consider him more of a FLEX option dependent on your alternatives

 

Kelvin Benjamin – Wide Receiver – Carolina Panthers
According to Joe Person (via Twitter):

“WR Kelvin Benjamin (concussion) made the trip to Wisconsin, per team official. All signs point to him playing Sun.”

This morning Ian Rapport added:

It’s good news, but it hardly makes him a must start option this week.  The Packers secondary ranks in the bottom half of the league in points allowed to opposing wide receivers this season with their 783 receiving yards allowed coming in at the eighth fewest.  Benjamin has had at least 8 targets in every game and Cam Newton is just now rounding into shape.  There’s a little bit of risk, but plenty of upside.

Start/Sit Advice – As long as he does dress, he’s a solid WR2 in all formats

 

Jimmy Graham – Tight End – New Orleans Saints
While there’s no official word, the fact that Tom Crabtree was released yesterday is a very good sign for Graham’s availability.  The Saints now have just three tight ends on the active roster (Josh Hill & Benjamin Watson join Graham) so it appears he’s going to be active. Adam Schefter tweeted this morning that:

Even if Graham is limited, there’s too much red zone potential not to have him active.  We all know what he’s capable of and it may only take him being on the field 25% of the time to produce elite numbers.  Luckily the team plays at 1:00 PM EST, so we will have clarity to the situation prior to the start of today’s games.

Start/Sit Advice – If he’s active for the Saints he’s worth starting as a TE1

 

Zac Stacy – Running Back – St. Louis Rams
He’s listed as probable and is going to be a part of the Rams’ backfield rotation against the Seahawks on Sunday.  While no one would’ve expected it to be the case, Stacy has clearly played himself out of lead back duties as he’s averaged a meager 3.9 yards per carry on the season.  Rookie Tre Mason was the most impressive running back of the trio last week against the 49ers in his first usage of the season:

  • Tre Mason – 5 carries for 40 yards
  • Benny Cunningham – 7 carries for 21 yards and 1 TD
  • Zac Stacy – 8 carries for 17 yards

Look for Mason’s role to continue to grow, further hurting Stacy’s potential value.  As it is, the matchup against the Seahawks isn’t a promising one.

Start/Sit Advice – Too risky to trust, as is all of St. Louis’ backfield options

 

Michael Floyd – Wide Receiver – Arizona Cardinals
He has been a pretty big disappointment thus far, though he’s not alone among Cardinals’ wide receivers:

  • Michael Floyd – 16 receptions (36 targets), 306 yards, 1 TD
  • Larry Fitzgerald – 19 receptions (34 targets), 262 yards, 1 TD
  • John Brown – 15 receptions (28 targets), 156 yards, 3 TD

The return of Carson Palmer should go a long ways in helping all of them improve their numbers.  Floyd found the end zone for the first time this season in Week 6 (4 receptions for 47 yards and 1 TD) and should be able to continue to build on those numbers.

Start/Sit Advice – Should be considered a WR2 and viable option in all formats

 

Storm Johnson – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars
According to Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union (click here for the article):

“Minus Gerhart, Bradley said the running back plan will be Storm Johnson and Denard Robinson splitting first- and second-down snaps and Jordan Todman handling the third-down duties.”

Last week this split led to 10 carries for Johnson, 5 for Robinson and 3 for Todman.  While the Browns have allowed the ninth most points to opposing running backs this season, does anyone truly believe that Johnson or anyone else is going to get enough touches to hold value?  This is a situation to avoid if possible.

Start/Sit Advice – Johnson, as well as Robinson/Todman, are nothing more than desperation plays

 

Golden Tate – Wide Receiver – Detroit Lions
Both Calvin Johnson & Eric Ebron are not going to be active today, leaving the Lions to likely go with a ground based attack via Joqiue Bell & Reggie Bush.  That said we know Matthew Stafford is going to throw the football and Tate clearly will be the go to receiver.

The Saints are allowing the fourth most points to opposing wide receivers.  Tate has been targeted at least 9 times in each of the past three games, including a pair of 115+ yard performances.

Start/Sit Advice – With WR1 potential, he’s a must start in almost all formats

 

Jarvis Landry – Wide Receiver – Miami Dolphins
Brandon Gibson is expected back this week, but it’s easy to envision the rookie Landry playing over him.  Gibson has 7 catches on 13 targets over four games while Landry broke out in Gibson’s absence last week turning seven targets into 6 receptions for 75 yards and 1 TD (he has 18 receptions for 25 targets on the season).  That’s not to say that we should count on Landry replicating last week’s success, but another strong performance will certainly put him on fantasy radars.

Start/Sit Advice – More of a dynasty league stash, but those in redraft leagues should be watching his performance closely

 

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2014): Week 8: Carson Palmer, Ronnie Hillman, Andre Johnson & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2014): Week 7: Matt Ryan, Jerrick McKinnon, Ruben Randle & More

31 comments

  1. Randy says:

    In a 10-team standard league, I have Ball, Jennings, Sankey, Andre Williams, and McKinnon at RB. I’ve had a lot of bad luck with this team and I already dropped Stacy for McKinnon and am already emerging must-win territory. My question is…would you drop any of these RBs for Jonathan Stewart (to play him today)? I’m currently starting Williams and Sankey, and due to roster limits, I’d have to drop a different RB to make it happen. Thanks!

    • If you are in must win, I’d go Stewart over Sankey for this week (who would’ve thought that)

      As far as who to drop, amazingly it could actually be Ball who goes. Talk is that he’s not locked into starting when he returns in a few weeks if Hillman is producing

  2. Chris says:

    Sankey or garçon as this weeks flex?

    • Tough call. I would lean Garcon because he is likely a little bit safer, has a favorable matchup and is due for a big game. Tennessee has actually allowed the fourth most receivers to opposing WR

  3. denz says:

    Could you help me out?

    Carson Palmer or Matthew Stafford at QB?
    Storm Johnson, Pierre Thomas, Bishop Sankey, Jimmy Graham at Flex? I need to start two. I’m leaning towards Sankey and Graham (if he’s active).
    Pierre Garcon, Wes Welker, Andre Roberts, Doug Baldwin at WR? I need to start three. I’m leaning towards Welker to the bench.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • QB – Palmer
      RB – I’d agree on Graham & Sankey
      WR – I’d consider Garcon/Welker the best starts. Roberts generally only sees a few targets a game, so I’d lean Baldwin (who should have an expanded role)

  4. Bone Crusher says:

    hurting for flex ppr Stacy, S. Jackson or B. Pierce?

  5. sahel kazemi says:

    Professor,

    I can’t help but notice you have been championing the unlikely canidate in J.Stewart as a weekly play. In that case, in a 14 team .5 point ppr league would you plug-in the ole vet in Stewart over Andre Williams, J.McKinnon, or Jeremy Hill. I currently have A.Williams starting as my Rb2, but the piece you wrote and posted yesterday got me thinking otherwise. Thanks sir.

    • Ray wrote that article, but that’s alright 🙂 Over McKinnon & Hill, I’d absolutely go Stewart. Williams is a bit of a different story. I’d go Williams the safer option, but Stewart has the higher upside actually. It depends on your roster a bit, but i’d go with the safer option

  6. Corey says:

    I was able to pick up Jordan Reed in every league I have Graham. Still put Graham in my lineup if he’s playing?

    • That’s really close actually. Tennessee has been among the worst defenses at stopping opposing TE so you can make the argument. Reed is def. safer at this point, but Graham has the higher upside if he’s playing. It depends on your roster and if you need to take a little bit of risk, but I’d lean Reed (though just know the risk of leaving Graham on your bench)

  7. Bob says:

    I was planning on going with Kelce at TE and Bishop Sankey at FLEX until news broke that Graham is expected to be active this morning. Who do I go with now?

  8. Lorenzo says:

    Hey, any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated.

    In a standard league, I need to start either Ronnie Hillman or Storm Johnson today.
    I also have the following recievers, with 2 slots open + a flex slot for either the RB I don’t play (Hillman/Johnson), or one of the other receivers : DeAndre Hopkins, DeSean Jackson, Andre Holmes, Malcolm Floyd, Torrey Smith.

    Thank you!

  9. Crusher says:

    Sankey or TRich?

  10. Bob – I’d use Graham over Kelce. As for the FLEX, don’t love either but Sankey has more upside

    Lorenzo – Hillman for sure. I’d go Holmes/Smith in the WR spots. As for the FLEX, I’d probably go Jackson due to the matchup

  11. Kermit says:

    I have Jimmy Graham plugged in now for week 7, putting Larry Donnell on the bench. The standard reply would probably be “good move” or “duh” – or something like that, no? Next question, Fred Jackson or Lamar Miller? Thanks.

  12. Brad says:

    Need to start one of following in Flex (10 team PPR) – Crabtree, Beckem Jr, Andre Holmes, McKinnon, Ingram.

  13. snoopyP says:

    Brian Quick or Bishop Sankey at flex? Thanks!!

  14. Crusher says:

    Kap or M. Ryan?

  15. Corey says:

    Brown or Dixon the back to own in Buffalo now?

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