Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2015): Week 8: Start Antonio Andrews, Sit James Starks & More

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:

 

Quarterbacks
Start – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
Dalton has actually been one of the best quarterbacks in the league through seven weeks, with 1,761 yards, 14 TD and 2 INT. Teams have been able to throw against the Steelers, who have allowed the fifth most passing yards (2,046) and managed just 5 INT. Dalton was also pretty good against Pittsburgh late last season, throwing for 546 yards, 4 TD and 2 INT in two games (he’s thrown 2 TD in each of his past three meetings with the Steelers). The Bangals have a strong running game, don’t be afraid to utilize Dalton in all formats thinking he’s bound to regress.

Sit – Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Dallas
He has yet to score a TD on the ground, which certainly takes away a lot of his appeal (especially since he’s averaging just 238 yards per game through the air). He’s also often struggled on the road, throwing all five of his interceptions. There’s too much risk, given a tough matchup, in single QB formats.

 

Running Backs
Start – Antonio Andrews – Tennessee Titans – at Houston
Entering the season a matchup with the Texans would likely be one we’d look to avoid, but seven weeks into the year that’s just not the case.  They have allowed the fifth most points per week to opposing running backs, including 776 rushing yards (fourth most) and 6 TD.  While there are questions about the breakdown of the Titans backfield, Andrews appears to have separated himself as the early down runner (especially after taking 10 carries for 57 yards this past week).  With Terrence West off the map, Bishop Sankey becoming an afterthought and David Cobb not yet back on the field, Andrews is well worth utilizing in this one.

Start – Charcandrick West – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Detroit
Not only is West coming off a big day (22 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD vs. Pittsburgh), but he also draws a favorable matchup.  Over the past two weeks the Lions have allowed 215 rushing yards and 104 receiving yards to opposing running backs (as well as 2 TD).  We all know that Alex Smith will always be willing to check down to his running backs and it certainly appears like West is going to get the first opportunity to replace Jamaal Charles.  Don’t be shy in utilizing him.

Sit – James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at Denver
Are you willing to bet that he’s going to remain the “lead” back?  There’s numerous reasons to think that he won’t:

  • The team is coming out of their bye week, giving Eddie Lacy additional time to get healthy
  • The matchup is not an easy one (Denver’s 487 rushing yards allowed are the second fewest in the league)
  • He’s not going to replicate his performance from Week 6 (10 carries for 112 yards and 1 TD against the Chargers)

There’s simply too much risk if you can avoid him.

Sit – Orleans Darkwa – New York Giants – at New Orleans
Sure he has a favorable matchup, but does anyone really think the Giants are simply going to hand him lead back duties?  Is Shane Vereen not going to play a role?  Is Rashad Jennings going to ride the pine?  This has pure committee written all over it, making it a situation to avoid wherever possible.

 

Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Format)
Start – Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings – at Chicago
He has answered all of the questions over the past three weeks:

  • 6 receptions (10 targets), 87 yards
  • 7 receptions (9 targets), 129 yards
  • 6 receptions (9 targets), 108 yards, 1 TD

You could easily argue that he’s passed Mike Wallace as far as fantasy value and the return of Charles Johnson clearly was a non-factor in his role.  Diggs has not only been getting opportunities, but he’s delivering on them.  The Bears have allowed 11 receiving TD to WR thus far and over the past two weeks they are allowing the most points per week to opposing WR (though it was only one game).  Don’t be afraid to try and exploit this matchup.

Sit – Anquan Boldin – San Francisco 49ers – at St. Louis
We all know how bad Colin Kaepernick and the offense has been and this matchup certainly doesn’t give much hope for a breakout performance (the Rams have allowed the fifth fewest points per week to opposing WR).  Sure Boldin had a nice two game stretch recently, but he was stymied by the Seahawks (3 receptions for 39 yards) in Week 7 and could face a similar fate this season.

 

Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders – vs. New York Jets
With a potential date with Revis Island looming, it makes sense to be a little bit skiddish.  Granted the Raiders are not the Patriots, but the offense has proven capable of putting up some points.  While Cooper has been a bit hit or miss this season (three games with fewer than 50 yards), there’s simply too much upside to shy away from him despite the “scary” matchup.

Sit – Terrence Williams – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Seattle
Forget about the potential return of Dez Bryant, Williams simply hasn’t performed (18 receptions, 293 yards, 2 TD).  While the Seahawks also haven’t been the Seahawks, they still are allowing the fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers.

 

Tight Ends
Start – Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – at Kansas City
We all know that it generally takes tight ends a year or two to acclimate themselves to the NFL.  Ebron certainly appears to be coming into his own, when healthy, and is coming off his best game of the season (5 receptions, 89 yards, 1 TD).  Given the uncertainty of many of the options, this is a good “gamble” to take.

Sit – Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cincinnati
Sure he would benefit from the return of Ben Roethlisberger, but he hasn’t been targeted more than 3 times since Week 1.  How could anyone be willing to trust him?

 

Sources – CBS Sports, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Dez Bryant, Reggie Bush, Latavius Murray & More
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Christine Michael, Antonio Gates, John Brown & More

23 comments

  1. Brian says:

    Hi Prof,

    Who should I start at flex this week, 14 team PPR, Travis Benjamin or Davante Adams?

    Thanks man

  2. Vmoney says:

    Hey Professor,

    10-team WR2 and flex help:

    T.Y. Hilton, Latavius Murray, Danny Woodhead, Jarvis Landry, or Brandon LaFell?

    As always, thanks for the help!

  3. Brian – Benjamin is certainly the safer play

    Vmoney:
    WR2 – Landry
    FLEX – Woodhead (if PPR). I want to say Murray, but tough matchup

  4. Ray says:

    Hi Rotoproffessor,

    I have an IR spot in my league. Yesterday, I used it on David Cobb. Is that a worthy stash, or should I drop him and pick up Tony Romo? We have two flex spots and can use a QB in one of them – essentially making it a 2 qb league. The two QBs I currently have are Brady & Bridgewater.
    Thanks!

  5. Brian says:

    One more question…

    I have Latavius, Duke, Sims, Abdullah, Michael and Karlso at RB and TY, E Sanders, Landry, J Brown and Aiken at WR

    Would you trade E Sanders for Woodhead and Watkins?

    Thanks for the advise

  6. LP says:

    Hey Prof,

    Who would you start between Latavius Murray and Dion Lewis this week? (assuming Lewis is playing) Thanks!

  7. Viking says:

    Hoyer or Stafford this week, thanks Mr Roto!

  8. Billy says:

    Hi Professor,

    I’m in a 3-receiver format and I need a little help for my WR2 and WR3 this week. I have J. Edelman, S. Diggs, A. Cooper, and Martavis Bryant.

    Thanks for the help!

  9. Ray – I like Cobb, but in a two-QB league Romo is a no-brainer stash

    Brian – You certainly could use Woodhead, but Sanders is a bit too high of a premium. You should be able to get more than him.

    LP – Murray, I can’t trust Lewis if he plays or not.

    Viking – Stafford

    Billy – I’d use Bryant/Diggs

  10. Jaden says:

    Hey Professor,

    trade question…. 10 team standard, 6pt passing tds

    My team:

    Matt Ryan
    AP
    Lacy
    Marshall
    Jeffery
    Aj Green -wr/rb flex
    Olsen

    Bench –
    Cutler
    Tyrod Taylor
    Melvin Gordon
    Tevin Coleman
    Allen Robinson
    Michael Floyd
    Desaun Jackson
    Austin-Sefarian

    Would you trade Cutler, Marshall and Jackson for Rivers and Maclin to upgrade my QB since Ryan seems to be stinkin a bit and falcons seem more commited to the run or would you just hold with this lineup. Ryan just doesnt seem to be making any deep passes this year and Jones seems banged up.

    Thanks for your advice.

  11. Mike says:

    Hello Roto – Flex advice needed please: J. Landry, J Hill, Blue, or Decker? I’ve had Landry slotted in but I have been overthinking it all day (I’m a patriots fan) so I am debating on going with another option. What would you do? Thanks in advance!

  12. Donnie says:

    Hello Roto,
    I am in a ten team standard league. Having a hard time filling in my two flex spots. I could go with Latavius Murray,TY Hilton,Stefan Diggs or Amari Cooper. Any advice would be great. Thank you.

  13. austin creed says:

    Hey Prof

    in 12 team league standard

    I was just sent an offer steve smith sr for crabtree,D. Johnson jr and McFadden my roster is
    Rivers
    L.Bell, Gurley, L.Miller, Mcfads, Johnson jr. abdulluh and r Matthews
    K. Allen, R.Cobb, Crabs, Marv Jones and V. Jackson
    Ebron

    would you consider making that trade?

  14. Jaden – You definitely have WR depth to deal from. Is there another QB you might be able to target though? Not sure that truly represents a major upgrade, though does give you more QB depth.

    Mike – I do like Hill, but the Dolphins should have to pass to keep up (which should mean ample opportunities for Landry). It’s a tossup, honestly.

    Donnie – I want to say Murray/Diggs, but Murray has an extremely tough matchup. That’s the high upside duo, if you want to be “safe” go Diggs/Hilton.

    austin creed – You need the help at WR for sure and you do have RB depth. Is there a FLEX? If you only start 2 RB I would do it.

  15. matt says:

    Professor,

    Should I start L. Murray against the Jets or A. Andrews against the Falcons? Decision is killing me all week.

    Thanks

    Matt

    • Murray is “safe” but hard to trust. Andrews actually has the higher upside this week.

      If I wanted to gamble, I’d go Andrews thanks to the matchup/opportunity that appears to be there for him. I’m a big Murray fan, but it will likely be tough sledding

  16. Richard says:

    Professor,

    12 team, PPR League – I plan to start Run DMC & Antonio Andrews for RB1 & 2. WR1 & 2 are Megatron & Mike Evans. Flex I am planning to play Stefon Diggs. However, on my bench I have Duke Johnson, Jr. Tyler Lockett, & Melvin Gordon… Wondering if Diggs or Duke would make best flex??? Any thoughts overall? Thanks!

  17. Sketch says:

    Hi Prof! Need advice on starting 2 WRs + Flex:

    Sanders
    Diggs
    Marvin Jones
    Cooper
    Ginn

    I was thinking Sanders & Diggs + Jones at FLEX… I have Dalton as QB so I trust him, but with the Raiders facing the Jets, though Cooper has more upside, I’m leaning more towards Jones based on match up.

    What do you think?

  18. Ryan says:

    PPR league, for my flex do i start: steve smith, Dez Bryant or Stewart? Everything I’m reading says that dez will play but not sure if he will be limited to a snap count

  19. Richard – Tough for me to trust Duke Johnson, given the alternatives the team has. Diggs is shaping up like the top receiver for the Vikings and has a highly favorable matchup. It’s Diggs for me.

    Sketch:
    WR – Sanders
    WR – Diggs
    FLEX – Cooper (I understand having faith in Jones, but I’d still go for the upside. Taking the “safer” route isn’t crazy, though)

    Ryan – Dez will play, but doesn’t matter. You can’t sit Stewart

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