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. St. Louis
Palmer has played five games this season and has thrown for at least 2 TD and 249 yards in all of them. The Rams’ passing defense actually hasn’t been too bad this season, with their 1,889 passing yards allowed as the sixth fewest in the league, but that’s hardly a deterrent. Worried since St. Louis piled up 8 sacks this past Sunday? Arizona has allowed just 13 all season, so don’t be.
Sit – Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – at Detroit
While the Dolphins are coming off an impressive performance against the Chargers, don’t get too caught up in it. The Lions are allowing the fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks, including just 9 TD passes. Tannehill has also gotten a boost with his legs, running for 47+ yards in four straight games. Of course, Detroit has allowed 53 rushing yards to opposing QB all season, while also registering 23 sacks.
Start – Bobby Rainey – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
The Buccaneers inexplicably got away from the run last week, a mistake we wouldn’t expect them to repeat. There’s going to be some concern that the debut of Charles Sims could eat into his touches, but all expectations are that he will be eased into the offense. Rainey had 87 yards on 19 carries last week and should be the featured back against the worst rushing defense in the league (12 TD allowed).
Start – Justin Forsett – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Tennessee
There’s been a lot of love for Lorenzo Taliaferro, but what has he done to really deserve it? While he nearly split the carries with Forsett this past week, he took 7 carries for 21 yards while losing a fumble. Forsett, meanwhile, averaged 4.2 YPC on his 9 chances and also had 5 catches for 68 yards. Consider Forsett the leader of this backfield and a borderline RB1 against a Tennessee defense that’s allowed 970 rushing yards and 8 TD.
Sit – Chris Ivory – New York Jets – vs. Pittsburgh
It wasn’t long ago that he was the clear leader of the Jets’ backfield. However he virtually split carries this past week against Arizona (Chris Johnson had 11 while Ivory had 8), and he was hardly impressive (22 yards). A virtual non-factor in the passing game, would it really be surprising if the Jets fell behind early and had to play catchup?
Sit – DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Philadelphia
Finally back and healthy, Williams was simply outplayed by Jonathan Stewart this past week. This will likely remain a time share, which further hurts his cause coming off an 8 carry, 20 yard performance.
Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start – Mohamed Sanu – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
The thought was that with A.J. Green back Sanu could be forced to take a back seat. That wasn’t really the case last week, as Sanu turned 8 targets into 4 receptions, 95 yards and a TD. He’s now had 95 yards or more in three of his past four games and takes on a Cleveland defense that has allowed 32 passing plays of at least 20 yards (sixth most in the league). With 9 receptions of at least 20 yards (tied for 14th), look for him to make some big plays again this week.
Sit – Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals – vs. St. Louis
While Carson Palmer is worth using, Floyd unfortunately is too big of a risk in shallower formats. The Cardinals have been moving the ball around a lot, making Floyd dependent on finding the end zone to have value. Over the past three games he’s been targeted 8 times, just proving the point.
Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – Martavis Bryant – Pittsburgh Steelers – at New York Jets
He has five touchdowns over the past three games and, against a miserable Jets secondary, should be put in position to score again this week. Obviously it’s hard to bank on any quarterback throwing 6 TD a game, but would 4 surprise you? We’d anticipate at least one of those going to Bryant, who has been targeted 17 times over the past three games.
Sit – Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at Buffalo
He failed to score against the Jets this past week and the Chiefs have yet to throw a TD pass to one of their wide receivers. Do we really need any other reason?
Start – Mychal Rivera – Oakland Raiders – vs. Denver
The Broncos are allowing the seventh most points per week to opposing tight ends, while Rivera has seen his role grow significantly over the past two weeks (15 receptions, 121 yards, 2 TD). Given all of the bye weeks, he’s a good gamble to take.
Sit – Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Carolina
A major bust thus far, Ertz has seen his playing time fall over the past few weeks. If he’s not on the field, how can we expect him to make plays? There’s simply too much risk.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com