by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 11 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:
Mark Ingram – Running Back – New Orleans Saints
Listed as questionable, Ingram is expected to play today against Tampa Bay. Of course that doesn’t make him a must use running back by any stretch, as the usage is going to be questionable and the matchup is not an easy one. The Buccaneers have allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing running backs over the past four weeks, with the Ravens being the only team to have allowed fewer.
Ingram has been productive when he’s gotten touches of late (21 carries for 183 yards and 6 receptions over the past two weeks), but it’s hard to bank on that type of performance. Consider him a risky RB2/RB3 depending on your alternatives.
Julio Jones – Wide Receiver – Atlanta Falcons
D. Orlando Ledbetter tweeted yesterday in regards to Jones’ potential role in Week 14:
“He’s going to be a decoy at best.”
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) added yesterday:
“This is how tenuous Julio Jones is for Sunday: Spoke to two Falcons officials tonight – One thinks Jones plays vs Rams, the other doesn’t.”
There’s obviously a very real chance that he misses the game and, even if he plays, he’ll be impossible to trust (especially with a 4:25 PM EST start time, limiting the replacement options). Fantasy owners need to be looking towards alternatives in a crucial week.
Jordan Reed – Tight End – Washington Redskins
According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):
“TE Jordan Reed (shoulder) will be back today vs. the #Eagles, source said. He misses just one game with an AC joint separation”
It’s good news, but how effective he will be in a matchup against Philadelphia, who has allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing tight ends, is an unknown. While Reed had been heating up prior to the injury (10 catches, 95 yards, 2 TD), remember he’s only scored in three games this season. He has an incredibly high ceiling, so it does depend on your alternatives in determining if he’s an option to utilize or not.
Ryan Mathews – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles
Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning:
“RB Ryan Mathews (MCL sprain) and WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) are both expected to play today vs. the #Redskins, sources say.”
Mathews is virtually unusable, given the unknown usage, and his return further limits the potential appeal of Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood. At this point this is a situation you’ll want to avoid unless you don’t have a choice.
Marvin Jones – Wide Receiver – Detroit Lions
While he’s listed as questionable, after missing Week 13, expectations are that Jones is going to play today against the Bears. Of course, after a big start to the season his production has regressed significantly. Just look at the numbers over his past four games:
- October 30 (at Houston) – 3 receptions for 33 yards
- November 6 (at Minnesota) – 1 reception for 5 yards
- November 20 (vs. Jacksonville) – 1 receptions for 15 yards
- November 24 (vs. Minnesota) – 4 receptions for 54 yards
There have been opportunities, 25 targets, so the lack of efficiency is obviously a significant concern. Given the risks, especially with Golden Tate going well, Jones is going to be impossible to trust unless you are truly desperate.
Ladarius Green – Tight End – Pittsburgh Steelers
Michael Rothstein of ESPN (click here to view) published the following quote from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
“In other words, he’s expecting more one-on-ones. With Sammie Coates not all the way back and Eli Rogers still too unreliable for fantasy, Green’s role should only grow — not necessarily in snaps, as I believe 30-40 is his range because of the Steelers’ run-heavy sets — but he’ll get a healthy dose of targets. His chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger is obvious.”
Obviously the snap count is a little bit of a concern, but the opportunities should be there once again (he had 6 catches for 110 yards and 1 TD last week, being targeted 11 times). Continue to view him as a viable TE1.
Jordan Matthews – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles
According to Jeff McLane (via Twitter):
“WR Jordan Matthews said he’s “definitely” playing Sunday. Still has to go through treatment, obviously. But sounds good to return.”
The matchup isn’t a terrible one, though the recent emergence of Zach Ertz could eat into Matthews’ opportunities plus it’s hard to know exactly how much (if at all) his sprained ankle will limit him. He’s a viable WR3, depending on your alternatives, but not a must play option.
Charles Sims – Running Back – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He may not get many carries, behind Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers, but the team is very thin at wide receiver without both Adam Humphries and Cecil Shorts. That could lead to some immediate PPR appeal for Sims, even in his first game back. He has 14 catches for 112 yards and 1 TD in four games in 2016 after racking up 51 receptions for 561 yards and 4 TD a year ago.
Obviously he’s not a recommended option, though as a desperation play it’s not unreasonable to plug him in there.
Justin Forsett – Running Back – Denver Broncos
According to Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post (click here to view)
“Forsett said 99 percent of the Broncos offense is the same as when he was with Kubiak in Baltimore in 2014. That familiarity has Kubiak expecting Forsett to make an immediate impact Sunday.”
While it’s impossible to trust Forsett (especially considering the matchup), he’s well worth stashing considering the struggles of Devontae Booker and the lack of options behind him. Forsett has the potential to emerge as a viable RB2 before the fantasy finals.
Martellus Bennett – Tight End – New England Patriots
He’s clearly not 100%, as he is battling multiple injuries. While he’s expected to play tomorrow night, it’s impossible to trust him given his recent struggles. Sure it would be easy to think that there will be opportunities without Rob Gronkowski, but Malcolm Mitchell is a much better flier to take.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings: