Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Mark Ingram, Tyrell Williams, Jordan Matthews & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 13 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit?  Yesterday we took a look at the potential usage of Martellus Bennett & Vernon Davis (click here to view), but what about the other questionable situations? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:


Mark Ingram – Running Back – New Orleans Saints
According to Nick Underhill (via Twitter):

Ingram said his toe felt good today. On Sunday: “We’ll see.” Said his toe was just sore.

Ingram is coming off a monster week, where he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, putting up 146 yards and 1 TD and adding 1 catch for 21 yards and 1 TD.  With Tim Hightower also in the mix it’s possible that Ingram sees a reduced workload, getting more in the 8-12 touch range.  That’s going to put Ingram’s usage into a little bit of question and completely depends on your alternatives on whether or not he’s in your lineup.  It’s hard not to use him, but at the same time he’s hardly a must trust option.


Jordan Matthews – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles
While not yet officially ruled out, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Twitter):

“Eagles’ Jordan Matthews expected to be out vs Bengals, Nelson Agholor to be active Sunday:”

Matthews would’ve been a tough play against a Cincinnati defense that has allowed the third fewest yards to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks (378) and the fourth fewest on the season (1,580).  Don’t look towards Agholor or another Philadelphia wide receiver as a replacement.


Tyrell Williams – Wide Receiver – San Diego Chargers
He returned to practice on Friday and is fully expected to play today against Tampa Bay.  How effective will he be, though?  That’s a different story as he will be playing through a torn labrum in his shoulder.  For his part Williams is claiming that it won’t be an issue, as he was quoted by Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (click here for the article) as saying:

“I feel good so far,” Williams said. “I should be 100 percent by Sunday. I feel fine. I feel fine.”

Obviously there’s risk, but there also is a ton of potential reward.  He’s now scored in three straight games and has been targeted 25 times over his past two games.  That’s simply too much opportunity to ignore, so as long as he’s dressed he’ll be a worthwhile WR2/WR3.


Sammy Watkins – Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills
Ian Rapoport tweeted on Friday:

After a week of consternation about his foot, #Bills coach Rex Ryan says of WR Sammy Watkins, “He’s going to play.”

That’s the good news, but he’s obviously still not 100% and he was targeted just 3 times in his first game back (though he did turn them into 80 yards).  The risk easily could outweigh the potential reward, so proceed with caution at this point.


T.J. Yeldon – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars
With Chris Ivory already ruled out it would be easy to thrust Yeldon into your lineup.  However according to Mike DiRocco of ESPN:

“Jaguars coach Gus Bradley says it will be a game-time decision regarding how much RB TJ Yeldon (ankle) will play. Lots of work for Denard Robinson regardless.”

As if an injury weren’t enough, Yeldon has struggled and has hardly gotten carries this season.  He’s reached double digit carries just twice and over the past three weeks his longest run is 7 yards (19 carries total).  At best he’s a FLEX option, but chances are you have a more trustworthy option available.


Wendell Smallwood – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles
Ryan Mathews is out, which should mean opportunities for Smallwood.  That said the team was in a similar situation in Week 12 and Smallwood was given 9 carries (which he took for 37 yards).  Of course he was the “workhorse”, as Darren Sproles had 3 carries (and 5 receptions), and the Bengals have allowed the fifth most rushing yards to opposing RB this season (1,113).  Smallwood has 35 carries over the past three weeks and could see another little boost (12-15 perhaps) with Jordan Matthews likely sidelined as well.  Consider him a viable RB2 and a solid FLEX play in all formats.


Tyreek Hill – Wide Receiver – Kansas City Chiefs
Just look at the things that are working in his favor:

  1. Jeremy Maclin is out
  2. Hill is coming off a monster performance (3 total TD)
  3. Hill should work as the top receiver

Atlanta may not be the most ideal matchup but he’s a play maker and you know the Chiefs will want to get the ball into his hands.  While he isn’t a must play, as a WR3 he’s worth it.


DeVante Parker – Wide Receiver – Miami Dolphins
Adam Schefter tweeted this morning:

“Dolphins’ WR DeVante Parker, listed as questionable with a back injury, is unlikely to play today vs. Ravens, per source.”

Parker had finally been emerging in recent weeks (averaging 82 yards per game over his past three games) and would’ve been an intriguing play if healthy (Baltimore has allowed 18 TD to opposing WR).  Kenny Stills should see additional opportunities in Parker’s absence and is an intriguing WR3 flier for those in need.


Marvin Jones – Wide Receiver – Detroit Lions
According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):

“#Lions WR Marvin Jones (thigh) is a long-shot to play vs. #Saints, source said. Promoting WR TJ Jones from the practice squad spoke to that”

As Rapoport notes, the promotion of TJ Jones late in the week indicated that this was a situation of concern.  Of course Marvin Jones hasn’t been all that productive over the past month anyways, and outside of a 94 yards performance, has been at 54 yards or fewer in six of his past seven games (under 40 yards in five of those).  He had a great start, but wasn’t going to be a recommended option even if healthy.


Brandon Marshall – Wide Receiver – New York Jets
There was concern about his status for Monday night, but after practicing in full on Saturday there is no doubt.  Marshall draws an extremely favorable matchup against a Colts defense that has allowed the most points per game against opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks (589 yards and 7 TD).  While the quarterback play does leave a lot to be desired, he is coming off a solid day (6 receptions, 67 yards and 1 TD) and is a good bet to post a strong line once again.  Consider him a worthy WR2 in all formats.


Tavon Austin – Wide Receiver – Los Angeles Rams
Listed as doubtful, Austin is highly unlikely to play today against the Patriots.  Even if he did he clearly wouldn’t be at full strength and as it is he hasn’t topped 60 yards since Week 3 (and has been under 50 yards for four straight games).  Don’t consider him a usable option in any format.


Sources –, ESPN

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

Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 14: Tyreek Hill, Jeremy Maclin, Latavius Murray & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2016): Week 13: Cam Newton, Allen Robinson, Tevin Coleman & More


  1. Randy says:

    Good morning! In a 10-team standard league, I must win to be in the playoffs. We start 2RB/2WR/Flex and have roster limits (no more than 5 at each position). My RBs are Miller, Ware, Smallwood, Booker, Dixon. My WRs are Michael Thomas, Moncrief, Watkins, Pryor, A-Rob. I am wondering who to start, and also, if it matters, my opponent needs to pick up a WR and I could pick one up to play this week or just as a defensive maneuver but would have to drop one of mine. Options include A. Boldin (Marvin Jones looks out and is who my opponent has), Innman, Malcolm Mitchell, and M. Wilson. I’m not sure I’d normally drop anyone for one of these, but I happen to like them today and next week may not even matter. I was thinking A-Rob might be the one to drop given he plays, Broncos, Vikings, and Texans. Thanks!

  2. dodge10 says:

    lamar miller or lativus murray

  3. dodge10 says:

    lamar miller or michael thomas standard flex

  4. darrick says:

    Hey professor, who should I start this week in 1/2ppr league l.miller, ingram or rawls

  5. dodge10 says:

    kaepernick or tyrod taylor

  6. Randy – I understand wanting to drop Robinson, but for me the upside is too high to just drop him. As far as who I’d roll this week:

    WR – Thomas & Moncrief
    RB – Ware & Miller
    FLEX – Smallwood

    Q1 – Miller
    Q2 – I like Thomas’ upside, but it’s real close (he’s riskier, so depends on how you want to play it)
    Q3 – Kaepernick

    darrick – If Ingram were healthy it would be him by a lot. If you want the highest upside, could still go him. Safe play is Miller

  7. Andrew B says:

    Hey Professor,

    1 start out of these 3 in PPR.

    Crowder, Tate or Devante Adams.

  8. dodge10 says:

    tyrell williams or brandin cooks

  9. Wolverine says:

    Pick one (std): Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyrell Williams, Donte Moncrief

    Thanks for the insights through the season to get me to the playoffs!

  10. dodge10 says:

    fitzpatrick or carson palmer

  11. Thain says:

    Which of J Landry, Gurley, K Dixon, Inman, and M. Mitchell for the FLEX?

    Assuming you like Ajayi and Jennings for RB and
    Dez (already played) and Brandon Marshall in WR.

    PPR league. Thanks RP!

  12. Thain says:

    Also do you like Cousins today or would you waiver wire Kaepernick, TTaylor, or Winston?

  13. Toby says:

    Hi Prof,

    need some advice for 2 WR and 1 Flex:
    Demaryius Thomas, Hilton, K. Benjamin, Fuller, Gabriel, Rawls, Starks

    Thanks in advance

  14. Chu says:

    Tevin Coleman or Tyreek Hill as flex?

  15. Sahel kazemi says:

    Which 2 of 4?
    Cooks, Tyrell, Booker, or Vernon Davis?

  16. Kenny says:

    Miller or Doug martan

  17. Kenny says:

    3 keepers who do I keep Ryan, Miller howard cooper Evans and cousins. Evans and Howard can’t decide on3rd

  18. xxxog says:

    Need a RB in 16 team league to start {injury depleted} only waiver backs left with slight value Rex Burkhead or Denard Robinson…which one should I chance as a starter……

  19. Billy says:

    Hi there Prof,
    Need a little help at Flex this week in standard scoring:
    Watkins, Tyrell Williams, Dion Lewis, Steve Smith, Mark Ingram (Q)?

  20. Elizabeth says:

    For RB2 and flex, PPR league – M. Ingram, L. Blount, and E. Sanders?

  21. BWAY says:

    TE V Davis or L Kendricks?

    PPR 1 pt. Rank there players this week
    Blount, Moncreif, or Latavius Murray

  22. RT says:

    RP, need you help with my iineup. Russell W is the one the gets me anxious. He’s not had a good year. Let me know.



    Russell W
    Davonta Freeeman
    Carlos Hyde
    Brandon M
    Mike Evans
    CJ Fiedorowicz
    Tim HIghtower
    Steven Hauschka
    Arizona D

    Tyrrod T
    Rob Kelley
    Theo R
    James Stark
    Doug Baldwin

    • I can understand wanting to sit him, but tough with Taylor as the only alternative.

      I also wouldn’tbe trusting Hightower. I like Riddick’s upside more, and Baldwin hard to sit

  23. LK says:

    Last minute, thanks! PPR Rawls or TyBoyd?

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