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:
Start – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Washington
If you just look at their ranking in points allowed against opposing quarterbacks (Washington ranks 24th), you probably wouldn’t consider Dalton a must start. However the Redskins have actually allowed 1,820 yards (12th most) and mustered 4 INT. What has kept them from giving up gaudy numbers is the 7 passing TD allowed.
For his past Dalton has thrown for 250+ yards in all but one game. While he hasn’t thrown for a significant number of TD (8 TD), he’s now gone four straight games without an INT and even if Josh Norman returns it’s not a huge concern.
Sit – Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
It would easy to get excited about Prescott, but there are two things that could easily work against him:
- The Matchup – Philadelphia is allowing the fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks
- The Dez Bryant Factor – You would think his expected return would be a good thing, but does he have a rapport built with Prescott? Could the rookie try to force the ball to his star receiver, causing issues?
Combining those two things makes Prescott an extremely risky play in single quarterback formats.
Start – Matt Forte – New York Jets – at Cleveland
After struggling to get touches in recent weeks Forte was handed the ball 30 times in Week 7, leading to 100 yards and 1 TD, while adding 4 catches for 54 yards and another TD. While we wouldn’t necessarily expect that type of workload once again, Bilal Powell being banged up should help keep Forte heavily involved. For now he’s going to continue in the lead role, against one of the weaker run defenses in the league. Fire him up in all formats without a second thought.
Start – Devontae Booker – Denver Broncos – vs. San Diego
With C.J. Anderson suffering a knee injury there is no doubt that Booker is going to act as the lead back for the Broncos. They had been talking about expanding his role and he certainly delivered on thay opportunity, with 17 carries for 83 yards and 1 TD against the Texans in Week 7. He should easily get 20+ touches and have a chance to score a TD against a defense that has allowed 8 rushing and 2 receiving TD to opposing running backs. Fire him up as a borderline Top 10 option.
Sit – LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
Here we go again… You’d think that the Bills would’ve learned their lesson from Week 7, but at this point they still look to be pushing to get McCoy dressed and ready to play for Week 8 against the Patriots. Even if he does, it’s more likely that he suffers a setback in game then it is that he stays healthy and produces for 60 minutes. Hopefully the team makes this decision easy (which they should), but even if they don’t you shouldn’t make the mistake of trusting him.
Sit – Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
It’s hard to recommend sitting any potential “lead” back when there are six teams on bye, but is Mathews’ any certainty? Week 7 was the first time since the opening game that he had more than 11 carries (14 for 56 yards), but he also lost a fumble (the second time in three games) and that’s going to put his role into question. He also has been a virtual non-factor in the passing game, further hurting his upside. While he’s a viable FLEX play, as a RB2 I’d be looking at a better option.
Wide Receivers (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start – Ty Montgomery – Green Bay Packers – at Atlanta
You could argue that he’s more running back than wide receiver at this point, and in Week 8 that helps his value. The Atlanta Falcons have been consistently burnt by running backs who can catch the football, having yielded a league high in yardage (476) and the second most receiving TD (3) and receptions (58). There’s little question that Montgomery is quickly becoming a focal point in the offense, with 20 receptions (on 25 targets) for 164 yards over the past two weeks. Throw in his potential for carries (he had 9 carries in Week 7) and you get a solid play in all formats.
Sit – Travis Benjamin – San Diego Chargers – at Denver
This goes for any Charger receiver, but Benjamin is the “leader” so he’s the one that gets the spot here (though you could argue for Julian Edelman as an ideal candidate as well). The last time the Chargers and Broncos squared off Benjamin mustered 3 catches for 17 yards (Philip Rivers only threw for 178 yards), and considering the multiple options there’s no guarantee that he’s going to see targets (7 or fewer in five of the past six games).
Wide Receivers (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start – Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Seattle
We all know that the Saints offense is dynamic at home, and the Seahawks have actually allowed back-to-back 300+ yard passing games. While Brandin Cooks is going to get all of the attention, Thomas is coming off a monster game (10 receptions, on 13 targets, for 130 yards). Having scored a TD in three previous games, even with what would appear to be a difficult matchup he would be worthy of utilizing.
Sit – Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Green Bay
He was supposed to be the big addition for Atlanta, but the production simply hasn’t been there. He’s topped 50 yards just once all season, and that came back in Week 1 (80). He’s only found the end zone twice and has been targeted 6 times or fewer in five of the past six games. How is that someone you want to trust, under any circumstance?
Start – Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Kansas City
He’s now scored in back-to-back games and the Colts receiving corps banged up (even if Donte Moncrief returns, there are questions), which is going to keep Doyle as one of the focal points of the offense. Coming off a 10 target day, there’s going to be ample opportunity to make plays. At the tight end spot, that’s a big part of the battle.
Sit – Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
Injuries played a role early, but in three games since returning he’s managed just 3 targets per game. He’s turned those into 5 receptions and 73 yards, so it’s clear that at this point he’s not a key part of the game plan. Hopefully that changes, but until it does he’s impossible to trust.
Sources – NFL.com, Yahoo!
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: