Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Karlos Williams, Doug Baldwin, Randall Cobb & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 16 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:

 

Karlos Williams – Buffalo Bills – Running Back
Chris Brown of the Bills’ official website (click here for the post) recently published the following quote from Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan:

“I would think so,” said Rex Ryan of the likelihood of a heavy rushing attack for both teams. “I think with the weather, I think we’re gonna get a lot of run. I mean it sounds like we’re gonna get some Buffalo wind and so I think that’ll probably lead to the fact that we’ll probably see more run.”

Williams has been working his way back from a shoulder injury, which is likely one of the reasons he had fewer opportunities than Mike Gillislee a week ago.  That said there should be plenty of chances to go around, making Williams well worth using against a Cowboys’ defense that is allowing the sixth most points per week to opposing running backs.

 

Willie Snead – New Orleans Saints – Wide Receiver
While he was already on the WR3 spectrum against the Jaguars (middle of the pack against opposing wide receivers, though they’ve allowed the eighth most yards to them over the past four weeks).  With Marques Colston likely out, that should mean increased opportunities.  He’s already had 8+ targets over the past three weeks, putting in the following performances:

  • 4 receptions for 50 yards
  • 7 receptions for 122 yards
  • 10 receptions for 76 yards

While he’s only scored 3 TD (split between two games), there’s enough here to consider him a must use WR3 with the potential to produce like a Top 20 option.

Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks – Wide Receiver
Adam Caplan (via Twitter) reported yesterday:

“WR Doug Baldwin (hamstring-questionable) went through a full practice on Friday, which is a good sign that he’ll be able to play.”

He’s been on an unbelievable run, with 10 TD over his past four games.  The promotion of Kasen Williams off the practice squad yesterday adds a little extra concern though, as the team has said he’ll be a game-time decision with a late start.

Obviously if he’s on the field he’s a must use option, especially against a Rams defense that has allowed the eighth most points to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks.  There are risks, with signs that he could sit as well as the potential that he’s on a “pitch count” even if he does play, so downgrade him to a WR2 type.  If possible fantasy owners would be wise to protect themselves with Tyler Lockett or Jermaine Kearse, just in case.

 

James White – New England Patriots – Running Back
Trusting a Patriots running back is never easy, but according to Mike Reiss (via Twitter):

“Patriots rule out WRs Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, and safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung for Sunday’s game vs. Jets.”

As it is White has 21 receptions over the past three weeks, racking up 224 yards and 2 TD.  The Patriots have to throw the ball to someone, and with Rob Gronkowski garnering significant attention White should continue to see ample opportunities.  While we wouldn’t necessarily trust him as a RB2, as a FLEX option he’ll be worth it in PPR formats.

 

Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers – Wide Receiver
According to Mike Jurecki (via Twitter):

“Peterson most likely on Cobb, last week the Cardinals secondary did play some zone defense vs Eagles.”

It’s not like Cobb has been a very good option this season to begin with, so this news just makes it that much worse.  Consider him more of a WR3/4, at best, and someone we’d avoid if at all possible.

Zach Miller – Chicago Bears – Tight End
According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson:

“With Alshon Jeffery dinged up, and the tailbacks splitting carries, the best fantasy option in Week 16 is tight end Zach Miller. Miller is a steady performer with big-play capability. He has steadily become one of Cutler’s go-to targets. Don’t be surprised if Chicago features Miller at Raymond James Stadium.”

He has 6 targets in each of the past two games, but easily could see 8+ opportunities this week.  Of course Tampa Bay has been one of the better defenses against opposing tight ends this season, including allowing 0 TD over the past four weeks.  Opportunity is king, especially at tight end, so put him on the TE1 radar.  While we’d prefer someone like Will Tye, Miller is a solid fallback option.

 

Kendall Gaskins – San Francisco 49ers – Running Back
Shaun Draughn has already been ruled out, leaving Gaskins, recently signed DuJuan Harris and fullback Bruce Miller in the backfield.  While Gaskins should lead the committee, that doesn’t make him a very enticing option.  Granted the matchup is favorable, chances are Miller operates as the short yardage/goal line back (he scored this past week against the Bengals).  With fantasy titles on the line, this isn’t the time to be gambling.

Terrance Williams – Dallas Cowboys – Wide Receiver
Dez Bryant has already been ruled out, you would think that Williams would be in line for a big day.  However the weather and quarterback certainly aren’t conducive and he’s repeatedly disappointed/failed to produce this season.  At this point it’s impossible to trust him in all formats.

 

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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29 comments

  1. C says:

    Hey professor,

    Got the championship game this week, but I’m not feeling good about my RB2 situation. I’ve got Miller, Ajayi and Abdullah to choose from. Do I dare risk the season on Ajayi getting as many carries as a lot of people think?

    Also, with Brees being injured, would you still start Cooks or go with Michael Floyd instead?

    Thanks a lot!

    • It’s a huge gamble to go with Ajayi, though I’m a huge fan. Miller is the “safer” choice, but I’d actually be surprised if Ajayi didn’t lead the split.

      As for the WR, I’d still go cooks

      • C says:

        Alright, this is my RB/WR/Flex situation right now:

        Martin, Miller
        A. Robinson, Cooks
        Martavis

        Bench: Ajayi, Abdullah, M. Floyd.

        Any objections? Relly appreciate the input, I keep changing my mind!

  2. dz says:

    Hey Prof, I need help one last time. 12 team standard, I need to start two at RB and two at Flex:

    M. Wheaton vs BAL
    G. Barnidge vs KC
    C. Michael vs STL
    S. Ware vs CLE
    G. Bernard vs DEN
    B. Powell vs NE
    K. Gaskins vs DET
    J. Bell vs SF
    J. McKinnon vs NYG

    I’m lost. Leaning Michael and Powell at RB and Wheaton and Barnidge at Flex, but I don’t know. Also I’m starting the KC D, is Barnidge still a good idea? Any advice? Thanks!

  3. Yea, Michael & Powell at RB.

    As for the FLEX… I’d actually use Bernard, as you would think they’d still try to be RB heavy with McCarron under center. As for the 2nd option, Wheaton it is (but it’s really a coin flip with Barnidge)

  4. Frank says:

    Who do I start? Cooks or hurns? I have bortles at qb too

  5. Billy says:

    Hi Prof,
    I’m in a league that relies heavily on a passing QB play that they get +1 pt. per completion.
    Tom Brady’s been my saving grace this year but with Lafell questionable and with Danny & Julian out I picked up Big Ben as insurance because I’m going up against Cam & Gronk this week in the Championship. Who do you think will have the better passing attack this week, Brady or Big Ben against the Ravens’ funnel defense?
    Also, would you go with Baldwin (assuming he plays) or Watkins at Flex?

  6. Jason says:

    Do I roll with Baldwin if he plays or do I go with Ginn, Aiken or Julio Jones? Little worried about the Jones matchup.

  7. Corey says:

    FLEX Hightower or Karlos Williams? Thanks!

  8. Matt Walsh says:

    Need help! Marshall trust super low. Choices for flex: Ginn Jr, Zach Miller, Geo Bernard, Gurley. Who should I start??

  9. Jeremy says:

    1 PPR, pick one of Miller, Powell, Aljayi, Michael, Abdullah or D Robinson? Thanks

  10. RT says:

    RP – For the championship. Would you start Karlos Williams over Giovanni Bernard?

    Thanks!

  11. Sahel Kazemi says:

    Professor,

    I already laid a dud at flex with Cooper’s showing, but redeemed myself with Reed going bananas last night.
    I already have Nuk locked in at WR1 & now with AJ’s back ailing I wasn’t sure if I should gamble with him or go with Snead. Keep in mind Brees is my qb. Do I really sit AJ championship weekend?

  12. Chad says:

    Good morning prof! Due to crippling injuries and only 10 PU a season, I’m in a tight spot: Ajayi or Crowell for my final RB2 spot. Yes, that stinks. But who would you go with. Thank you very much.

  13. Billy – I’d probably still go Brady, but it’s ultra-close. As for the WR, I’d go Baldwin.

    Jason – I can’t sit Julio Jones

    Corey – I’m going Hightower, especially with Brees banged up

    Matt Walsh – Brandon MArshall? I’m going with him over those other options

    Jeremy – Robinson

    RT – Yes sir, I would

    Sahel Kazemi – I can understand the Green concerns and while the upside is higher, I do like Snead this week so I’d lean that direction

    Chad – Ajayi. I’m a huge fan and wouldn’t be surprised for the team to see what they have in him

  14. Chad says:

    Thank you PROF. Win or lose, it’s great you took the time. Happy Holidays!

  15. Kristopher Estrada says:

    Do I go wth Doug Baldwin or Karlos Willams at flex? Standard scoring
    Thanks!

  16. Sheldon says:

    Thanks for all the help, Prof, through the the season! Happy holidays. Cheers.

  17. Aaron says:

    Hey professor,

    Having trouble deciding which 3 receivers to start:
    Dem. Thomas
    S. Watkins
    Michael Floyd
    Allen Robinson

    Thanks.

  18. Kristopher Estrada – Williams the safer play

    Sheldon – No problem, good luck!

    Aaron – Thomas/Robinson/Watkins

  19. Jon says:

    Should I start Ted Ginn Jr over AJ Green, thanks Professor

  20. Shaun says:

    Flex spot who to start??
    D Robinson, Karlos Williams, or Artis-Payne??

  21. Josh says:

    So I need 3 wr’s. Baldwin, Julio, Decker, Maclin?

  22. Sorry I missed the last few comments, as my son needed me. Good luck to everyone on their quest for a title!!

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