Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Sammy Watkins, Christine Michael, Brandon Marshall & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 3 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:


Christine Michael – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks
With Thomas Rawls listed as doubtful and unlikely to play, Michael appears primed to operate as the lead back in what should be a favorable matchup with the 49ers.  That said, San Francisco has allowed 187 rushing yards to opposing running backs over the first two weeks, which puts them in the middle of the pack, and is only yielding 3.2 yards per carry.  They also have yet to allow a rushing touchdown, so don’t consider it a lock that Michael lights up the scoreboard.

Of course Michael has made the most of his chances thus far (25 carries for 126 yards), has proven capable of making plays in the passing game (5 receptions) and Russell Wilson is banged up.  That all comes together to help boost his stock, but he’s still more of a mid-tier RB2 this week.

Verdict – Start ‘Em as a RB2


Brandon Marshall – Wide Receiver – New York Jets
Listed as questionable, Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning:

The Chiefs wouldn’t be an easy matchup, even if Marshall were healthy, and the emergence of Quincy Enunwa could help to limit the opportunities a banged up Marshall gets.  While he would generally be viewed as a potential WR1, Marshall tumbles down the rankings to a risky WR2/WR3 play depending on your alternatives.  He’s hardly a must use given the potential that he’s used more as a decoy than an actual target.

Verdict – If active, risky WR2/WR3-type option


DeVante Parker – Wide Receiver – Miami Dolphins
Sure he was listed as questionable, but he’s going to be on the field.  He also has a few things working in his favor:

  1. He’s coming off a big day (8 receptions for 106 yards)
  2. He has a favorable matchup with the Browns, who are allowing the eighth most points per game to opposing WR

You could argue that he’s a viable WR2, but as a WR3 he’ll be a must start option.

Verdict – Borderline WR2, Must start WR3


Shane Vereen – Running Back – New York Giants
He’s generally viewed as nothing more than a PPR option, but Rashad Jennings (questionable) is battling through a broken thumb and is going to be limited if he’s dressed to play.  Vereen, for his part, has shown a little bit in the running game this season (4.0 YPC on 20 carries) and he’s always going to be a significant factor catching the football.  The Redskins are currently allowing the second most points per week to opposing running backs, including 245 yards and 4 TD.  There’s obviously going to be some questions, but in PPR formats he’s a must start option.

Verdict – Must start RB2 in PPR formats


Jay Ajayi – Running Back – Miami Dolphins
With Arian Foster out, and struggling when healthy, this is going to be Ajayi’s chance to stake his claim on lead back duties.  With a favorable matchup we want to believe that he’ll take advantage, but there’s no guarantee he is utilized as a workhorse (with Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams potentially also in the mix). This tweet from Ian Rapoport just hammers that home:


There’s simply too much risk involved in utilizing him this week.

Verdict – Tempting, but Sit ‘Em


Alshon Jeffrey – Wide Receiver – Chicago Bears
He’s listed as questionable, so with a Sunday night game it makes his status a little bit “murky”.  That said, everyone is reporting that he’s expected to play tonight and you could argue that Brian Hoyer taking over at quarterback would actually improve his stock.

Fantasy owners would be wise to have an alternative option playing either on Sunday night or Monday, just to be safe, but Jeffrey appears primed to be fired up as a WR1.

Verdict – Start ‘Em


Cameron Artis-Payne – Running Back – Carolina Panthers
According to Steve Reed (via Twitter):

“Ron Rivera said that Cameron Artis-Payne will start, he expects carries to be pretty equal to become him and Fozzy Whittaker.”

It’s a good opportunity, but the timeshare and matchup make this a situation to avoid in most formats.  The Vikings are allowing the third fewest points per week to opposing running backs, with more damage coming through the air (92 receiving yards, 2 TD) than on the ground (98 rushing yards, 0 TD).  Artis-Payne caught just 5 passes in his seven games during his rookie season, while Whitaker caught 3 passes in Week 2 alone.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em


Sammy Watkins – Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills
According to Adam Schefter:


With a 1 PM EST start we’ll at least we’ll have team confirmation early in the day.  Of course, even if he plays could we really trust him?  He’s coming off a miserable performance (2 receptions for 20 yards) and draws a difficult matchup against the Cardinals.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em


Willie Snead – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints
He’s listed as questionable and appears primed to be a game time decision.  That creates a problem for fantasy owners, with the Saints set to play on Monday night.  Unfortunately this makes him nearly impossible to depend on, so if you have a viable Sunday option you are better off playing it safe.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:

Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Jeremy Hill (Start), DeVante Parker (Borderline) & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2016): Week 3: Start Isaiah Crowell, Sit Doug Baldwin & More


  1. Mark says:

    So if my options are tyrell Williams,Sanu,devonte Parker and ajayi which 2 would you start?

  2. SunnyB says:

    Half point ppr need to start one out of: M. Floyd, Riddick or Baldwin. Thanks.

  3. Randy says:

    In a standard league, can you rank the following WRs in terms of who you’d want to roster? Parker, Shepard, Fuller, Dorsett, Sharpe, and Tyrell Williams.

    Also, is Dwayne Washingon the only player I can drop when my other RBs and WRs are Miller, Deangelo, Jennings, Gore, Henry, Crowell; and Julio, Evans, Cobb, Josh Gordon, and Dorsett? A couple other WRs comparable to Dorsett are on the wire, if it makes him the other droppable option. We start 2/2/flex. Thank you!

  4. trevor leitch says:

    In a standard league, which two should I start? Tyrell Wiliams, Michael Floyd or Enunwa. I also have Marshall but like you stated he may be used as a decoy.

  5. trevor leitch says:

    Who should I start Christine Michaels or Spencer Ware for standard league.

    • glennjamin says:

      I have the same issue, I feel like the Jets could go ahead early, but ware has been awesome receiver ugh..check out my thought process below, I failed to mention chip Kelly offense will give sea more offense looks

  6. SunnyB – I’d use a healthy Baldwin, but he’s risky. Riddick is “safest”

    Randy – I like them all! lol..Shepard/Parker/Williams the Top 3 in that order. Yes, with other guys on wire Dorsett definitely droppable

    trevor leitch Williams/Enunwa. As for the RB, I’d roll Ware

  7. glennjamin says:

    Spencer ware, Latavious Murray or Christine Michael? Tough d match ups, but Michael should get big workload (pretty sure Rawls is out), home game, Russell injury, big spread favors Seattle (should run the ball)? Thoughts?

  8. trevor leitch says:

    who should I start ware or vereen.

    also whether to start mike wallace, marvin jones or tyrell williams

  9. glennjamin – Gotta go Latavius, as he’s the most “trustworthy” of those

    trevor leitch – Ware // Williams

  10. Jim says:

    Would you start Blake Bortles or Dak Prescott?

  11. Jim says:

    Start Spencer Ware or Dez Bryant at flex?

  12. K says:

    PPR, currently have these guys starting:
    QB: Ryan
    WR: Green, Cooper
    RB: Gordon, Forte
    W/R/T: Gurley

    Swap in anyone from the bench? Palmer, Baldwin, Snead


  13. Jrod says:

    In looking at your comments and rankings in a flex position who would you start, Brandon Marshall or Christine Michaels ?

  14. Jim – Bortles by a lot // Dez

    K – Roll with what you got & Maclin

    Jrod – Michaels. Marshall is too big of a wild card

  15. Mike says:

    Sterling Shepard (vs Redskins) or Charles Sims (vs Rams) in 1PPR Flex? Thoughts?

    RB: L. Miller and D. Freeman
    WR: Maclin and Marvin Jones


  16. Mike says:

    Marvin Jones, Dez Bryant, Jarvis Landry, and Allen Robinson

    Need to start 3, who do you go with?

  17. trevor leitch says:

    ware or enunwa flex standard

  18. Mike – I’d go Sims, though I’d also play Shepard over Jones

    Mike – I’d sit Jones

    Mike – Ware

  19. Martin Bartholomay says:

    Have Dallas Kicker Bailey trending down with improving red zone offense and trending up Washington Kicker Hopkins available for week 4 and beyond. Make the switch?

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