by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 12 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:
Spencer Ware – Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs
With Charcandrick West looking unlikely to play, Ware will once again get an opportunity. Sure he made a huge splash last week (11 carries for 96 yards and 2 TD), but that came against a horrific San Diego run defense. While the numbers may indicate that the Bills have struggled a bit of late, they’ve actually done a good job of shutting down the starters:
- Week 9 – Lamar Miller – 12 carries for 44 yards
- Week 10 – Chris Ivory – 18 carries for 99 yards
- Week 11 – LeGarrette Blount – 16 carries for 56 yards
Miller did score twice, which was the only thing that saved his day. As a featured back Ware will have value, but he’s nothing more than a RB2/FLEX option given the risk and the matchup.
Tevin Coleman – Running Back – Atlanta Falcons
With Devonta Freeman ruled out due to a concussion, Coleman is set to start against the Vikings. Minnesota ranks 26th in regards to points allowed per week to opposing running backs, showing that it’s a difficult matchup. Couple that with Coleman’s less than stellar performance in his rookie season (59 carries for 231 yards and 1 TD) and the potential for Atlanta to easily go pass heavy behind Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and there’s reason to be skeptical. Consider him a FLEX option at best.
Jarvis Landry – Wide Receiver – New York Jets
Chris Perkins (via Twitter) is reporting that:
“Campbell said Landry (knee) sat today to be ready for Sunday. Campbell feels good about Landry playing Sunday.”
The Jets are going to be without Darrelle Revis (who suffered a concussion), though after DeAndre Hopkins torched him last week there would’ve been hope regardless. That said, Landry is a much better option in PPR formats than standard leagues, as he’s only topped 83 yards once all season and has scored 3 TD (split between two games).
He has gotten red zone opportunities (15 targets ties him for fourth in the league), but he hasn’t capitalized on them and is averaging 65 yards per game. He’s worth utilizing, but consider him more of a WR2/WR3.
Jeremy Hill – Running Back – Cincinnati Bengals
The fact that he shares carries with Giovani Bernard is enough of a reason to be skeptical of utilizing Hill (even after his 2 TD day a week ago). ESPN’s Matthew Berry hammers it home with these numbers, though:
“The Rams are allowing the fewest yards per rush after contact (1.28) and for a big guy, Hill sure has been easy to bring down this season: He’s averaging 1.38 yards after contact per rush, 44th out of 49 qualified RBs. Out of his 132 touches, zero has gone for longer than 15 yards. “
If you can avoid utilizing him, do so.
Emmanuel Sanders – Wide Receiver – Denver Broncos
He’s listed as probable, but how much are we going to trust him given the matchup (New England) and the unknown chemistry with Brock Osweiler (Sanders missed this past week’s game with the Chiefs), despite what he may be saying? Obviously it’s impossible to sit him, unless you are loaded at the position, just keep in mind that there’s significant risk involved this week.
Lamar Miller – Running Back – Miami Dolphins
He’s still the lead back for the Dolphins, but as ESPN’s Matthew Berry points out his usage and blocking are trending in the wrong direction:
“So, not only was Miller’s snap count down last week (68.8 percent of snaps after having played 81.4 percent in the previous two weeks), but he was asked to block on 21.2 percent of them. Meanwhile, Jay Ajayi’s snap percentage is on the rise (10 percent in his first game, 18.6 percent in his second game, 25 percent last week), and when they bring him in, they’re not asking him to block (he’s played 32 snaps and was asked to block just three times).”
The matchup with the Jets actually isn’t terrible (422 rushing yards over the past four weeks is the fifth most and they’ve also allowed 263 receiving yards to RB), and that’s going to keep Miller as a RB2-type. Just know the usage risk, especially as Ajayi becomes a much more integral part of the offense.
Keshawn Martin – Wide Receiver – New England Patriots
Danny Amendola has officially been ruled out, leaving the Patriots incredibly thin at wide receiver. Martin, who hasn’t played since Week 6 with a hamstring injury, could ultimately start if he’s ready to play. He had 6 catches for 95 yards and 1 TD in three games with the Patriots, though he had just 38 receptions over 48 games in three seasons with the Texans.
Could he step up and surprise? Absolutely, and if you are desperate he’s worth the gamble (even against Denver). However there’s significant risk and he’s obviously a tough player to depend on.
Malcolm Floyd – Wide Receiver – San Diego Chargers
According to Michael Gehlken (via Twitter):
“Chargers WR Malcom Floyd is probable to face Jaguars on Sunday, three weeks after suffering torn labrum. His career won’t end on that note.”
Floyd is a boom or bust option to begin with, so the fact that he’s banged up and faces a Jacksonville defense that has allowed 30 passes of 20+ yards (tied for 24th in the league) makes this a hands off situation. There’s simply far too much risk and better gambles to take.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, CBS Sports