Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Samaje Perine, Adam Thielen, Ty Montgomery & 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:


Samaje Perine – Washington Redskins – Running Back
Rob Kelley is out, and that leaves Perine to carry the early down work in what should be a favorable matchup against San Francisco.  Obviously Chris Thompson will play a role and the 49ers have been bad against pass catching RB (300 receiving yards, 2 TD), but it’s not like San Francisco has been good against the run itself (528 yards and 3 TD).

We’d feel better about Perine if he had been producing in his rookie season, averaging 3.1 YPC and doing even worse in the games where he had 19+ carries:

  • at Los Angeles Rams – 21 carries for 67 yards
  • vs. Oakland – 19 carries for 49 yards

He’s on the RB2 spectrum, but he’s hard to trust.

Verdict – Borderline RB2 due to matchup, worth the gamble as a FLEX


Ty Montgomery – Green Bay Packers – Running Back
Working his way back from broken ribs, there are a few factors working against a productive day from Montgomery:

  1. The breakout of Aaron Jones
  2. The matchup (Minnesota is allowing the second fewest points per week to opposing RB)
  3. He’s going to be limited in his opportunities, at least you would think, both due to health and sharing the load

He is going to play as Adam Schefter tweeted, “Packers RB Ty Montgomery (ribs), listed as Q, is expected to play today vs. Vikings and is not expected to be limited going in, per source.”  The problem is that Montgomery isn’t going to have the same type of workload, regardless of his health, and is a better fit for those in PPR formats.  Throw in the risk of a setback and he’s more of a PPR FLEX play.

Verdict – Viable PPR FLEX play, but risky RB2


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Elijah McGuire – New York Jets – Running Back
Matt Forte is returning from injury this week, though Bilal Powell is out according to Ian Rapoport as he tweeted:

“RB Bilal Powell (calf, questionable) is out for today’s game vs. the #Patriots, sources say. Good timing for Matt Forte’s return.”

McGuire and Forte should lead the backfield into a favorable matchup, and you would think that New York will try to go run heavy and control the clock.  McGuire is coming off a highly disappointing performance against the Browns, taking a season high 11 carries for 20 yards (and adding 2 catches for 10 yards).  Things should be better this week, but he’s going to share the load with Forte and that limits his upside.

Verdict – FLEX play


Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – Tight End
According to JP Finlay (via Twitter):

“TE Jordan Reed said he’s still not 100 percent healthy yet but he’s “good” for 49ers game”

Coming off the bye week it obviously is concerning that Reed is still not fully healthy, but he isn’t listed on the injury report.  That said, couple the quote with the matchup (San Francisco has allowed the fewest points per week to opposing tight ends) and it’s fair to be conservative.  It all depends on your alternatives, but given the state of the position he remains a viable low-end TE1.

Verdict – Low-end TE1 given risk


Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – Quarterback
According to Michael Gehlken (via Twitter):

“Raiders QB Derek Carr was a full participant in practice today. Off the injury report. Will officially start Sunday vs. Chargers.”

Battling a back injury, the original projection was that he’d be out 2-6 weeks.  Instead he’ll miss just one game, though it’s hard to imagine him being fully healthy for the Raiders matchup with the Chargers.  Los Angeles is tied for fourth in the league in sacks (17), and we should look for them to bring the pressure.  At less than 100% and with Amari Cooper struggling, Carr is nothing more than a QB2.

Verdict – Too risky in single QB formats


Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings – Wide Receiver
Stefon Diggs has been ruled out, meaning both Thielen and Kyle Rudolph will see a bump in value.  Then again Sam Bradford has also been ruled out, leaving Case Keenum under center.  While he’s been decent overall, the numbers are skewed by one big day against the Buccaneers (25-33, 369 yards, 3 TD) and that is going to work against the Vikings’ receiving options.

So where does that leave us?  There’s good and bad surrounding Thielen, though with Green Bay allowing the second fewest points per week to opposing TE there’s a good chance that he is the one to get the biggest boost due to Diggs’ absence.  Don’t consider Thielen a must start, but he’s a viable WR2 and a solid WR3 in all formats.

Verdict – Borderline WR2 (depending on alternatives), viable WR3


** 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.


Taylor Gabriel – Atlanta Falcons – Wide Receiver
With Mohamed Sanu ruled out, the thought is that Gabriel will take on a bigger role in the offense.  Of course Julio Jones is healthy and will be the featured receiver, and the team also has Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman operating out of the backfield.  Austin Hooper is also coming off a big game (5 receptions for 50 yards), and he could take a good amount of the targets Sanu leaves behind as well.

While Gabriel could see an uptick in opportunities, he’s going to be a boom or bust option regardless of who is playing and who isn’t.

Verdict – High risk WR3


Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – Tight End
He’s expected to return on Monday night, but he’s exceeded 41 yards just once in four games and has not yet found the end zone.  Averaging just 9.6 yards per reception, he’s going to be dependent on targets to generate value.  That’s hard to depend on, making Doyle more of a TE2 for this week.

Verdict – Too risky


Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders – Running Back
Many had high expectations for Lynch entering the season, but he’s been a disappointment averaging a mere 3.4 yards/carry.  He’s coming off a decent performance (12 carries for 43 yards and 1 TD) and has about as good of a matchup as you can have.  Just look at these numbers, courtesy of ESPN’s Matthew Berry:

Fantasy points by RB1s vs. Chargers this season:

Week 1: C.J. Anderson 9.8
Week 2: Jay Ajayi 14.6
Week 3: Kareem Hunt 25.3
Week 4: Wendell Smallwood 17.9, LeGarrette Blount 16.6
Week 5: Orleans Darkwa 14.2, Wayne Gallman 13.2

Considering the performances from Ajayi and the Giants’ duo, as well as the return of Derek Carr keeping the defense honest, it’s obvious that Lynch has as high of an upside as anyone this week.  Lynch is a must use option in all formats.

Verdict – Must play


Jeremy Maclin – Baltimore Ravens – Wide Receiver
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter), “Ravens WR Jeremy Maclin, listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, is a pre-game decision today based on an exam, per source.”  Of course he only has 16 receptions on the season, so even if he plays he’s a tough sell (especially since he’d likely be limited if he does play).  Move on.

Verdict – Must sit


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 7: Tyreek Hill, Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2017): Week 6: Adrian Peterson, Demaryius Thomas, Derek Carr & More


  1. dnz says:

    Yo Prof,

    10 team standard. Do I flex Will Fuller, Frank Gore or Terrelle Pryor?


  2. Roc says:

    Flex help please, PPR- Jaron Brown, C. Kupp, or M. Mack thanks

  3. darrick says:

    hey professor which 3 wrs do i start in 1/2 ppr league. m.thomas, hill, garcon, or k.allen. also which 2 rbs do i go with crowell, gallman, a.collins or i can pick up foreman from houston, forte or perine

  4. James says:

    Would you start Thielen over crabby?

  5. trevor says:

    ppr buck allen or duke johnson
    ppr buck allen or chris thompson
    ppr golden tate or desan jackson

  6. trevor says:

    ppr doug martin, chris thompson or kumara

  7. trevor says:

    also wanted to include mckinnon to the last question

  8. trevor says:

    ppr duke johnson or chris thompson

  9. trevor says:

    ppr flex crabtree, desean jackson or thielen

  10. trevor says:

    ppr flex crabtree, buck allen chris thompson

  11. trevor says:

    ppr flex mike evans, marshawn lynch, duke johnson or buck allen in order of preference. Thanks

  12. trevor says:

    ppr mike evans or crabtree

  13. Matthew says:

    Hey professor! Frank Gore or Chris Thompson?

  14. Trey says:

    PPR flex M.Mack or Juju

  15. darrin says:

    I need two of these 3, amari cooper, ty montgomery, and Mike wallace mike wallace? Thanks

  16. Toby says:

    Hi Prof,

    Non PPR, J. Reed or D. Walker?

    Thanks in advance

  17. The40thieves says:

    Flex spot

    Elijah McGuire
    Demaryius Thomas
    Tarik Cohen
    James White

  18. Hope says:

    Hey Prof,

    Who do I start: Aaron jones, Elijah McGuire, Perine or Adrian Peterson?

  19. Toby says:

    Forgot one, sorry…

    Also Non PPR, Perine oder Mack?

  20. Jarrod says:

    Should I go perine, McGuire, or possibly even gallman for my flex. I’m thinking perine….

  21. C3-C7 Smokey says:

    I’m down 20 pts & I have to choose between Mariota or Brissett and Demarius Thomas & Rishard Matthews. Do I go with Thomas tonight or wait to stack the Titans or default to Brissett if Marcus doesn’t go?

  22. House of Pain says:

    Hello Professor;

    Quick question of the night. Is it time to drop Crowder in every fantasy format? What a huge disappointment has he being…thank you

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