Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2015): Week 13: Start C.J. Anderson, Sit Brandin Cooks & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the Thursday games behind us we are left to pick up the pieces and start setting our lineup for the rest of the week.  Who should we be trusting?  Who should we be avoiding?  Let’s take a look:

 

Quarterbacks
Start – Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee

Over the past four weeks the Titans are allowing the fourth most points per game to opposing quarterbacks, including the most yards (1,176).  Allen Hurns is unlikely to play and Bortles struggled just a few weeks ago against Tennessee (242 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), which could cause some to be skeptical.  That said Bortles is still going to have Allen Robinson, his rapport with Julius Thomas is improving (9 completions, 116 yards, 1 TD in Week 12) and the Titans have done a good job of stopping the run.  With the way Bortles has played overall this season he’s well worth utilizing.

Sit – Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – vs. Houston
While the Texans’ defense has disappointed this season, over the past few weeks they are playing as we had expected.  The 641 passing yards are third fewest over the past four weeks, while they’ve allowed 1 TD vs. 4 INT and are yielding the fewest points per game to QB over this span.  Will the Bills go with a more run heavy approach?  It’s possible, which would make Taylor’s value dependent on being able to find the end zone with his legs.  He hasn’t done that since October 11, and since returning in November he hasn’t broken a run of more than 15 yards (25 carries for 103 yards).

 

Running Backs
Start – C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos – at San Diego

Over the past two weeks he’s suddenly rediscovered the form that helped to make him a first round pick entering the season:

  • Week 11 – 12 carries for 59 yards
  • Week 12 – 15 carries for 113 yards and 2 TD

Ronnie Hillman isn’t going to disappear, but there should be more than enough opportunities to go around against a Chargers’ defense that’s allowing the most points per week to opposing RB.  Instead of leaning on Brock Osweiler, look for the RB to run rampant once again.  In fact, while Anderson is the preferred option Hillman is also a viable play in all formats.

Start – Javorius Allen – Baltimore Ravens – at Miami
Allen played fairly well in his first start, producing 84 yards and 1 TD on 16 touches.  Terrance West did get a few more carries than anyone expected (7 vs. 12 carries for Allen), but there’s no reason to be concerned.  Allen is going to be the lead back and has an extremely favorable matchup against a Dolphins defense that has been susceptible to the run all year long.

Sit – Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
The matchup alone would make us skeptical, but Gore’s age and previous workload could be becoming a factor as the season wears on.  It’s been five games since he’s broken a run of more than 17 yards and he’s failed to average more than 3.2 yards per carry over four November games.  In fact he’s been trending in the wrong direction:

  • November 2 – 3.2 YPC
  • November 8 – 3.0 YPC
  • November 22 – 2.4 YPC
  • November 29 – 1.3 YPC

Over the past two weeks his longest run is 9 yards and it’s not like it’s been against devastating defenses (Atlanta & Tampa Bay).  At this point there’s simply far too much risk compared to the potential reward.  On the flipside, his struggles make the wide receiving corps (most notably Donte Moncrief) potential plays in all formats.

Sit – Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
Don’t get us wrong, depending on your alternatives there is more than enough talent and upside to keep Murray in your lineup (especially as a FLEX).  That said he’s struggled over the past two weeks (35 carries for 87 yards and 1 TD) and faces a Chiefs’ defense that has been among the best at stopping opposing running backs each week (though the absence of Justin Houston could help Murray’s cause) while they’ve consistently been exposed by the pass.

 

Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start – Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington

We saw what an elite wide receiver can do against the Redskins last week, thanks to Odell Beckham Jr.  Granted the Cowboys passing attack is hard to depend on right now, with Tony Romo out again, and we also have to wonder if Bryant is healthy (11 receptions on 29 targets over the past three weeks).  That said the matchup is way too appealing and the upside is way too high to ignore, even in shallower formats.  Just know the risk going in.

Sit – Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
We all know the upside that he’s shown in recent weeks, but like the entire New Orleans passing game he struggled this past week against the Texans (5 receptions for 35 yards) and he could have a date with Josh Norman.  The latter is the biggest issue, especially in shallower formats.

 

Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – Anquan Boldin – San Francisco 49ers – at Chicago

In the two games since returning from injury Boldin has produced 93 receiving yards in each game, with 13 receptions on 18 targets.  In deeper formats that’s more than enough, especially since the team needs to throw the ball to someone.  Is he a high level option?  That’s impossible, especially with Blaine Gabbert at QB, but there’s enough upside to utilize him depending on your alternatives.

Sit – Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Seattle
While the Steelers threw against the Seahawks this past week, remember it wasn’t Antonio Brown (6 receptions for 51 yards) who did the damage.  Diggs is considered Minnesota’s best wide receiver and he is going to get the big name corner backs covering him.  Diggs has also slowed down his production, having failed to find the end zone over the past four games and topping 46 yards just once in that span (66).

 

Tight Ends
Start – Scott Chandler – New England Patriots – vs. Philadelphia

Chandler should assume lead tight end duties with Rob Gronkowski out and that’s going to yield opportunities, regardless of if Danny Amendola returns or not.  Coming off a game where he was targeted 11 times and the Patriots inability to run the football, look for Chandler to get ample opportunities to produce.

Sit – Vernon Davis – Denver Broncos – at San Diego
There was hope that Davis had become a significant part of the offense, but he was targeted just twice this past week against the Patriots while Owen Daniels turned 6 targets into 5 receptions and 48 yards.  This is a time share, but it’s also easy to imagine Denver going run heavy (as mentioned earlier).

 

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

*** Want a chance to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with a “Thor” inscription?  Find out how by clicking here!! ***

Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Matt Forte, Sammy Watkins, David Johnson & More
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Spencer Ware, Tevin Coleman, Jarvis Landry & More

28 comments

  1. Gern says:

    Hey Prof, hope you had a great holiday last week.

    A couple questions for this week:

    1. Stafford or Bortles
    2. Amendola (pending a healthy designation) vs. Evans WR3
    3. Kelce vs Gates

    Another team:
    1. Pick two: Freeman, McCoy, and Williams (RBs)
    2. Amendola or D. Bryant (WR3)

    As always, thank you for your thoughts.

    Also, sometime you’ll have to enlighten me about the joys of playing other league (MLB/NBA) fantasy…

    • Gern says:

      Okay, I should have read earlier articles before asking my first question. Looks like Bortles over Stafford this week, right?

  2. Romo says:

    Hey roto! Standard PPR. I need 1 qb. Tannehill, mariota, e manning. As a flex, who would u choose between yeldon and Blount?

    Another standard PPR league. I need 2 qb. Dalton, rivers, Big Ben.

  3. Gern:
    Team 1:
    1) Bortles
    2) Amendola (assuming healthy)
    3) Gates

    Team 2:
    1) Williams/McCoy (I’m afraid Freeman shares touches, but if he’s the workhorse I’d use him over McCoy)
    2) Amendola

    Romo – Manning // Blount (they have to run more, right?) // Dalton/Roethlisberger

  4. Eric says:

    Eric — need help and you know your stuff. I have A. Cooper, Cobb, Desean Jackson, and Stevie Johnson as WR’s. Picked up David Johnson as new rb ( I have Ivory and McCoy ). Which three would you start?? I’m leaning toward starting Johnson in flex and cooper and Jackson as wr’s ( I don’t trust Cobb). Help!!!

  5. Barnkowski says:

    Hi professor,

    For my flex; Lamar Miller or Donte Moncrief this week? Thanks.

  6. KB says:

    Hey Professor – I’m in bad need of a Gronk fill-in in my deep PPR dynasty league: McDonald, L. Wilson, Brate, Celek, L. Green or Will Tye? Thanks!

  7. Ry Gy says:

    Redskins D vs Cowboys or Bears D vs 49ers…thanks!

  8. Sam says:

    Prof:

    WR/WR/Flex: pick 3: Danny Amendola, Brandin Cook, Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Langford, Melvin Gordon, Stefon Diggs and Sammy Watkins

    Leaning Cooks, Amendola, Watkins but wanted your input!

  9. KB – Brate id Seferian-Jenkins is still out, otherwise McDonald (for this week anyways)

    Ry Gy – Chicago

    Sam – Amendola is the lock if healthy. As for the other two, I could see going Watkins/Langford actually. All of the WR are big risks, though

  10. Jaden says:

    Hey Professor,

    Tough one im dealing with for my flex spot in a standard league…Delanie Walker or Brandon Lafell??

    Thanks in advance!

  11. Ram says:

    Hello,

    My team – I was like totally confused whom to start and sit this week. Absolutely need your input in choosing WR, TE and flex position

    Julio jones, Des Bryant, Emmanuel sanders, Brandon latell, Jordan reed, Julius Thomas and Tyler eifert.

    Please advise!
    Thanks in advance.

  12. Brandon says:

    1 of PPR. Rawls or Demaryious Thomas? Gut was saying DT but with the news of Linvale Joaeph being out I’m leaning Rawls now

  13. Haggy says:

    Langford, Hill, Ware, or Chandler for Flex. Thinking I would pick your brain one last time before Sunday Prof. Langford and Hill have great matchups and Chandler should see lots of targets unless NE runs all day. I go back and forth between Chandler and Langford. ??

  14. LiveAloha says:

    C West, TY Hilton or Crabtree in my flex I’m in a standard league. My first playoff match is stressing me out! lol

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