Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Wayne Gallman, Davante Adams, Melvin Gordon & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 5 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:


Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – Running Back
Paul Perkins was ruled out for this week and after missing Week 4 it’s possible that Orleans Darkwa is limited (assuming he returns).  That clears an opportunity for Gallman, who looked more impressive than Perkins and Darkwa have at any time this season in Week 4:

11 carries for 42 yards (he also caught 2 passes, including 1 for a TD)

This could be Gallman’s opportunity to seize the job moving forward, and he has a favorable matchup to do so.  The Chargers, who are traveling to the East Coast for an early game, are allowing the eighth most points per week to opposing running backs (due to a league leading 611 rushing yards).  They were also torched by LeGarrette Blount a week ago, who took 16 carries for 136 yards.  While Gallman isn’t quite a trustworthy option, he’s a viable FLEX (and potentially a RB2).

Verdict – Borderline RB2, solid FLEX


LeGarrette Blount – Philadelphia Eagles – Running Back
Speaking of Blount, he should get a lot of touches again this week with Wendell Smallwood likely out.  He does not have an ideal matchup, with Arizona having allowed just 277 rushing yards to opposing RB on the season.  They are traveling east for an early game, however, so there is a little bit of hope.  He’s more of a risky FLEX play given the matchup, though it all comes down to your alternatives.

Verdict – Potential FLEX play


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Rishard Matthews – Tennessee Titans – Wide Receiver
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

“Titans QB Marcus Mariota, considered game-time decision due to hamstring, not expected to play vs. Dolphins, per source. Matt Cassel starts.”

Obviously Mariota needs to be benched, the question is what impact does his absence have on the skill players around him.  You would think they will go with a run based attack, meaning both DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry get a slight boost in value.

The impact is on Matthews, who was viewed as a borderline WR2 entering the week.  As it is his numbers aren’t very impressive, turning 32 targets into just 17 receptions, 250 yards and 1 TD.  With the downgrade in QB he’s barely on the WR3 spectrum and should be avoided due to the downside risk.

Verdict – Sit unless absolutely desperate


Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers – Running Back
It’s been a disappointing season for Gordon, though he had a big Week 3 against the Chiefs (17 carries for 79 yards and 1 TD) and this could be a nice rebound week.  Gordon was quoted by ESPN’s Eric Williams after Week 4 (click here for the article) as saying:

“I’m super frustrated at the moment, but I can’t let it break me,” Gordon said after the game. “It all falls under the same thing. But obviously not getting the touches and not getting the win — the win is the biggest thing. But then the fact that you feel like you can’t even help, you’re just kind of sitting back, it sucks because I just feel like I’m kind of helpless back there.”

Look for the Chargers to try and feed him the ball this week, especially against a Giants’ defense that’s averaging 4.5 yards/carry to opposing running backs.  While the Giants defense could be stout against the run, this is a must play situation.

Verdict – Must play in all formats


Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers – Wide Receiver
According to Rob Demvsky (via Twitter):

“Davante Adams is traveling to Dallas and has cleared the concussion protocol, per source. He’s expected to play”

It will be interesting to see if he’s limited in any way, but the Cowboys are a solid matchup in a game that should be a bit of a shootout.  While the risk does knock Adams down a bit, consider him a potential WR2 and a must use WR3 (at worst).

Verdict – Potential WR2, depending on your alternatives


Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders – Wide Receiver
Cooper has been practicing and was removed from the injury report, but does that make him a trustworthy option?  Everything seems to be working against him:

  1. Derek Carr is likely to miss the game
  2. The matchup is poor, with the Ravens allowing the fourth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers
  3. Cooper has been miserable, turning 31 targets into 12 receptions and 110 yards (plus his lone TD came in Week 1)

If you are desperate for a WR3 then maybe, but in most cases the risk outweighs the potential reward.

Verdict – WR3, at best


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This weekend only, Pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $6.25!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.


Jamaal Williams/Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – Running Back
Ty Montgomery was listed as doubtful, opening things up for Green Bay’s pair of rookie running backs to step up.  The question is who is the better option for fantasy owners?  Dallas’ defense has been far more susceptible to opposing running backs who can catch the football:

  • Rushing – 357 yards, 1 TD
  • Receiving – 30 receptions, 272 yards, 2 TD

Neither of Green Bay’s rookies have displayed much in that regard quite yet, though Aaron Jones does appear to have the edge.  According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter), “Fantasy alert: The #Packers RB who has been taking first-team reps this week is Aaron Jones. Ty Montgomery not expected to play.”

That puts Jones as a decent FLEX play (though we’d put him behind Gallman on the perspective plays), with Williams as a player to avoid.

Verdict – Jones is a viable FLEX play, Williams should be avoided


Elijah McGuire – New York Jets – Running Back
Matt Forte has been ruled out, leaving McGuire and Bilal Powell to share the backfield.  That’s going to lead many to jump on the McGuire bandwagon, though he’s going to continue to play second fiddle.  He got 12 touches a week ago, and that’ll be right around where we’d expect him to be (8-12 touches is a good estimate).  While the matchup may not scare you, with limited touches and the unlikelihood that he matches the explosiveness from Week 4 (131 yards and 1 TD) he’s going to be a tough player to trust.

Verdict – Borderline FLEX play, but not a must start


John Brown – Arizona Cardinals – Wide Receiver
Adam Schefter tweeted this morning that, “Cardinals WR John Brown, listed as questionable due to quad injury, is expected to play Sunday vs. Eagles, per source.”  Considering a favorable matchup you would think that would put Brown on the map, but the risks still outweigh the rewards:

  1. Will he be limited in terms of snaps?
  2. When he’s on the field how often will he be targeted, with Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson all in the mix
  3. There’s general risk for a West Coast team traveling east and playing an early game

Verdict – Sit ‘Em, as risks outweigh the potential rewards


Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – Quarterback
On the fence about utilizing Prescott this week against Green Bay?  You shouldn’t be, after he posted a pair of strong performances against them a year ago (549 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT).  Just to make things even more attractive, look at this stat about the Packers’ defense courtesy of ESPN’s Matthew Berry:

…since the start of last season, opponents have completed 69 percent of passes and scored 28.9 points per game at home against them compared to 61.4 and 19.0 at Lambeau

This game could easily be a shootout, so consider Prescott a solid QB1 in all formats.

Verdict – Must start (unless you have one of the elite)

Sources – ESPN,


Make sure to check out all of our Week 4 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends

** PRE-SALE **
This weekend only, Pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $6.25!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 6: Carson Wentz, Devin Funchess, LeGarrette Blount & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2017): Week 5: Carson Wentz, Marshawn Lynch, Latavius Murray & More


  1. Dev says:

    Hello professor

    12 teams; Full PPR

    Who may posses the highest upside Jaron Brown, Kendall Wright or Deonte Thompson?

    Thank you

  2. dnz says:

    Yo Prof,

    10 teams standard. Do I flex Frank Gore or Eddie Lacy?


  3. Brian says:

    Hey Prof….

    Cohen or Abdullah at Flex….1pt PPR

    • I’d call Abdullah “safe”, but Cohen has the higher upside. I’d expect Chicago to go run based, with a rookie making his first start at QB, so I’d lean towards taking the gamble and going Cohen this week

  4. darrick says:

    hey professor, which rb should i start this week in 1/2 ppr league..mixon, crowell, gallman or alex collins

    • I’d actually lean Crowell, who I think is primed for his breakout game. Mixon is the “safer” choice.

      I really like Gallman with Perkins out, but there’s still a ton of risk there so for me he’s behind the other two

  5. Eric says:

    Std league– Adams or Watkins?

  6. Brian says:

    Sefarian Jenkins or Rudolph…1 pt PPR

  7. Tiffany says:

    Good morning Prof, my QB is on bye this week and the following are available o the waiver Smith, Rivers, Brissett, or Kizer, who would you roll with? 10 team PPR league. Thanks!

  8. K says:

    I know you recommend not starting Cooper unless absolutely necessary…start him at WR3 over Marvin Jones and Marqise Lee?


  9. Dan. says:

    Sammy watkins or javorius allen flex.

  10. Dan. says:

    Jimmy graham or evan engram te1

  11. Kib says:

    Hey professor, should I start A. Thielen or D. Adams

  12. Max says:

    With Mariota out should I start Matthews or Alshon Jeffery?

  13. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    10 team standard. You mentioned Robbie Gould as a good kicker this week. You like Gould over Dan Baily, A. Vinitari, and K. Fairbairn? Or are they all close?

  14. Beans says:

    Hey I own Corey Davis in two leagues. Is he a hold or drop? Nothing great on on wire really but with byes here not sure what to do. Thank you

  15. Too Tall says:


    I have Rivers to plug in as Matt Ryan on bye. Some concerns there on the road. You like T. Taylor, J. Brissett, Hoyer, Keenum, Cutler, Kizer, Bortles, Dalton, McCown or Rivers? Or stick with Rivers?

  16. Too Short says:

    Standard league-

    Should I go with Watkins or Fuller?


  17. Danny says:

    Hi Professor! PPR league do I go with Aaron Jones or Christian McCaffrey? Why do I have a hunch that Jones will have a good game today?

  18. John says:

    I was gonna start Smallwood in the flex but obviously a no go. Sammy Watkins is really my only other choice. Should I go ahead with him or pick up Lacy, Clement,or John Brown to replace Sammy at flex? I’d be dropping Derrick Henry, alf Morris or James Connor. Which one to drop?

  19. Derrick says:

    Should I start Gore, Aaron jones, or Wayne gallman at flex?

  20. Joshua says:

    16 man ppr league. Wayne gallman or alex collins for my flex?

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