by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Thursday games are often tricky, because there isn’t necessarily a reason to take any undue risks with questionable options (which could set you back and spoil your week). Who are the borderline players that should be in lineups? Who should be sat down? Let’s take a look at the skill players taking the field tonight and try to answer those questions:
Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley – Running Back
Part of the problem is likely the supporting cast, and that’s fair, but regardless of the reason Gurley has taken a massive step backwards from his rookie season. Just look at the numbers thus far:
- 2015 – 229 carries, 1,106 yards, 10 TD
- 2016 – 227 carries, 740 yards, 5 TD
That said, he’s one of the few running backs who you can expect a heavy workload from each week and he’s also taken a big step forward in the passing game (35 catches for 272 yards). That’s going to help, but against the Seahawks (they’ve allowed the third fewest points to opposing RB this season, including allowing 70 total yards to Gurley back in Week 2) it’s not enough. Maybe he’s a desperation RB2/FLEX, but owners would be better off finding an alternative with their season on the line.
Kenny Britt – Wide Receiver
Britt leads the Rams in receptions (63), targets (99), receiving yards (937) and receiving TD (5). The Seahawks have also allowed the second most points to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks, so you’d think things are pointing in the right direction. That said Britt needs a QB who can get him the football, and is anyone confident Jared Goff can do that in a tough matchup? There’s obvious risk here, which is going to keep Britt as a WR3 at best (and eliminates the value of the rest of the receiving corps), but we’d be better off locating a potential alternative if possible.
Lance Kendricks – Tight End
He showed some value at times and could operate as a safety valve, but over the past two games he’s totaled 3 catches for 26 yards (on 8 targets). In other words, forget it.
Jared Goff – Quarterback
If you are considering using Goff at this stage of the season, how is your team still competing? Even in two-quarterback formats there has to be better options available than the #1 overall selection from 2016. Completing just 55.1% of his passes with 4 TD and 5 INT (as well as 2 fumbles), Goff’s rookie season has been disastrous. Maybe he figures it out at some point, but he has miles and miles to go.
Russell Wilson – Quarterback
Wilson is coming off a disastrous game, where he threw 1 TD against 5 INT. It would be easy to simply chalk it up to one bad game, but he now has 1 TD vs. 8 INT over his past three games and has gone four straight games with 1 TD or fewer. In other words, just when we thought he was finally turning up the dial he has taken a significant step backwards.
Of course the matchup with Los Angeles is one that can’t be ignored, as they are allowing the third most points per week to opposing QB over the past four weeks (including a league high 10 TD). That’s got to keep him on radars and leaves him as a low-end QB1 and a must use QB2. The upside is still there and it’s hard to imagine him not posting a strong rebound (especially at home, where he’s thrown just 2 of his 10 INT), isn’t it?
Jimmy Graham – Tight End
Sure he’s coming off a bad game (1 catch for 16 yards), but all of the Seahawks are. Over the two previous games he had 12 catches (on 16 targets) for 130 yards and 1 TD. As long as Wilson bounces back strong, something we’ve already said we’d expect, Graham should go with him. There is a little bit of risk, which doesn’t put Graham in the Top 5-8 options, but after that he’s as good as any option in the league. Consider him a viable TE1.
Tyler Lockett – Wide Receiver
Sure he’s seen a “surge” of late, but he still hasn’t eclipsed 6 targets in any game since Week 1. That’s simply not enough opportunity to trust this early in the week.
Jermaine Kearse – Wide Receiver
He had a big game in Week 13 (5 receptions, on 9 targets, for 68 yards), but that was sandwiched between a pair of duds:
- Week 12 – 1 catch for 18 yards
- Week 14 – 1 catch for 7 yards
Throw in 0 TD on the season and the concern about the number of targets and he’s an easy pass.
- Thomas Rawls – Running Back
- Doug Baldwin – Wide Receiver
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
*** Pre-Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $5.50 By Clicking Here!! ***