Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2017): Week 15: Derek Carr, Alshon Jeffery, Greg Olsen & More

by Will Overton

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

 

Quarterbacks
Start – Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins vs. Arizona
The Washington Redskins season is over and it could be easy to say they’ll be mailing it in. However Kirk Cousins still has a pretty good reason to be going all out right now, and that’s his upcoming free agency. He is still looking to lock down a huge contract at the end of the season and certainly will still be looking for big numbers to pad his stats. The Cardinals have Patrick Peterson, but the secondary outside of him has been very bad and I expect Cousins to expose them this week in a pass heavy attack.

Sit – Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys
Last season people were touting Carr as the next big thing at quarterback, but he seems to have regressed. Carr has only one game with multiple TD passes the last six weeks and I don’t think he’ll be able to do it this week either. The Cowboys secondary isn’t great or anything, but the Raiders passing game just isn’t clicking. There are owners out there riding Carr on the merits of last season, but that might be a mistake.

 

Running Backs
Start – Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers @ Carolina

Last week there was doubt about Jamaal Williams being a starting running back in fantasy because Aaron Jones was back and everyone thought he’d take away too many touches. Then Williams went out and played 50 snaps, touched the ball 22 times and had 118 total yards, seven catches and 2 TD. This week there is doubt around him because Aaron Rodgers is returning and that will change the game script. The Packers passing more isn’t necessarily bad for Williams, as he is the clear best receiving back they have active and he’s the best back in pass protection. I think he keeps getting touches in bunches and for the second week in a row I am saying you need to start him.

Start – Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
The workload of Riddick has increased the last two weeks with Ameer Abdullah out and last week we saw him run in 2 TD, while running one in the week before. Riddick seems to shine anytime Abdullah is out, and while Abdullah may return this week, I still want to play Riddick. There is a lot of speculation that Abdullah was actually a healthy scratch last week and I have to wonder if the Lions aren’t starting to consider whether Riddick might be the best back on the team. I personally believe he is the team’s most talented and whether Abdullah comes back or not I think Riddick’s volume stays higher and that makes him very playable.

Sit – Alfred Morris – Dallas Cowboys @ Oakland
I could be wrong here, it’s possible the Dallas Cowboys blow the Raiders out and Morris racks up 20 – 25 carries. That said, I am banking on Morris not getting it done. The Cowboys have relied a lot on the passing game lately and Rod Smith has been increasingly more involved. Morris has had a couple of decent games with Ezekiel Elliot out, but he isn’t really getting into the end zone. I think there are other backs in the same range who have more upside with a similar floor.

Sit – Jerick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati
When Dalvin Cook first got hurt it was McKinnon who showed up big and made a fantasy impact. Fantasy owners seem to still be riding on that success, but in reality he hasn’t done much of anything lately. McKinnon hasn’t hit 60 yards in five games in a row. I think the Vikings are going to blow the Bengals away and with that game script in mind I anticipate it being a lot of Latavius Murray running the ball down the Bengals throats while McKinnon watches.

 

Wide Receiver (Two Receiver Formats)
Start – Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles @ NY Giants

The temptation will be there to bench Jeffery with the recent season ending injury to Carson Wentz, but I think that would be unwise. Nick Foles is not Wentz, let’s get that straight right now, but I do believe he is a better backup QB than most. I also know that Foles will be looking for a safety outlet and who better than Jeffery, one of the 20 best receivers in the league. Jeffery has been on a bit of a TD run lately and I believe he’ll keep it going.

Sit – Robby Anderson – New York Jets @ New Orleans
Here is the opposite of the Jeffery situation, where I believe a QB injury does hurt Anderson’s value. Anderson has been a Top 20 WR with Josh McCown, but I don’t know if that’ll happen with Bryce Petty. I do believe Petty likes to throw to Anderson, but can he get the ball there? Also, Anderson will most certainly draw the attention of Marshon Lattimore this week, which is even more bad news. I have been riding Anderson for a while now, but this might be the week to jump off.

 

Wide Receiver (Three Receiver Formats)
Start – Chris Hogan – New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh

The first week back wasn’t super encouraging to Hogan owners when he caught one pass for one yard. He played a ton of snaps, which is encouraging, and he came away from the game healthy. The whole Miami game was a rough showing for New England and I’m trying not to take too much away from it. I think we see Hogan surface back as a Top 25 – 30 receiver this week and everyone will forget about that Monday Night Football game.

Sit – Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle
I do like Woods and I am a believer in what he was doing earlier this year before getting hurt. I am not as much of a believer this week though. He has been out for the last three weeks and a return against the Seahawks isn’t a great return opponent. Seattle isn’t the same team they used to be, but they are still better than average and I assume they’ll lock in on Woods this week.

 

Tight End
Start – Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City
I am all about having a lot of exposure to the Chiefs and Chargers game this weekend in fantasy football, and Henry is on my must play list. He hasn’t completely made good on his potential this season, but he has been on these last three weeks. Henry has 16 catches in his last three games for 207 yards and a pair of TD. I think the good times keep rolling against a bad Chiefs defense that has been struggling to defend the tight end since week one when Eric Berry went down.

Sit – Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay
For one reason or another there seems to be some hype behind Olsen this week and I am hearing people in the fantasy world pushing for him to be started.  It was encouraging to see Olsen play almost every snap last week, but he still did nothing, not catching a pass and being targeted just once. That was a tough matchup with Minnesota, but Green Bay is also extremely tough on tight ends and I want to see him get something done before I am willing to use him or advocate others to do so.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster & More
Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 15: C.J. Anderson, T.Y. Hilton, Demaryius Thomas & More

42 comments

  1. RJ says:

    Nice write up Prof. Was doubting if to roll with Hogan or Woods as wr2 with AB. You confirm my gut feeling,

    Hogan wasn’t the problem on MNF, Patriots as a whole did’t do much on offense nor defense. On the other hand, Miami defense had a very solid game with huge pressure on Brady. At least Hogan played 91% of the snaps with no set back, which is great to hear. Gronk not playing was also a huge factor, his return opens de deep ball threat to Hogan.

    As for Woods, he had been solid and a perfect replacement of Hogan when he go injured, but a month without playing and a Seattle match up for a return sounds scary for championship semifinal,

  2. Stephen says:

    Mike Davis over McKinnon?

  3. Joel Macke says:

    Asked this earlier in the week, bit coming back since a few things have changed. Lewis, gio bennard, Mike Davis, K Williams, or McKinnon. I’m leaning Mike Davis and d Lewis but part of me is thinking of subbing k Williams for Lewis since he’s guaranteed touches.

  4. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    Standard league.

    I have M. Goodwin, M. Lee, DeDe Westbrook,
    G. Tate, R. Anderson, A. Morris, J. McKinnin, J Williams, L. McCoy.

    Need 2 WR, 2 RB, and a flex. Thanks.

  5. BigD says:

    Hi professor

    WR 3 From:

    Nelson @Car, Landry @Buf, Crabtree vs dal, Baldwin vs LAR, Westbrook vs Hou, Woods @Sea

    Much appreciated!

  6. John says:

    Would you start either Ajayi or Kerwynn Williams over Morris then? I like Ajayi this week it’s just hard to pull the trigger on him

  7. George says:

    Hello Professor! Please need help in PPR league, pick 2RB 3WR and 1Flex: Ajayi, Hunt, Jamal Williams, crowell, Duke Johnson, Mike Davis, evans, diggs, golden tate, corey coleman and watkins? Thank you fir the help and love the site!

  8. Jim says:

    PPR

    Pick two
    J Williams, Burkhead or Westbrook.

    Thanks

  9. Sheldon Williamson says:

    Hi, Prof! Need to start one. Robby Anderson @NO or Mike Wallace @CLE? Thanks.

  10. Jaden says:

    Hi Professor,

    10 team standard league, i need to pick 2 players (1 wr and 1 wr/rb flex) out of these players…Doug Baldwin, Mike Evans, Jay Ajayi, Dez Bryant and Rex Burkhead.

    Tjanks for your help!

  11. reggie says:

    Hi Professor – one more question for you

    standard scoring

    I have Melvin, Burkhead, Michael Thomas, and Josh Gordon in lineup

    without Fournette should I flex Mike Davis or Jordy? (also have Yeldon and Ivory but they may split the load and I’m starting Bortles)

    as always thank you for your work and the fine responses to all these questions – you are the best!

  12. reggie says:

    I’m starting to get the playoff cold sweats! 🙂

  13. Sheldon Williamson says:

    Hi, Prof! RB to start at FLEX: Rod Smith or Peyton Barber? Thanks.

  14. Harleycops says:

    Standard league: playing RB: L.Murray, Morris, WR: D.Hopkins, Baldwin. Choose best flex: M.Davis, K.Williams, Rob Woods, Hogan, or D.Westbrook?

    Defense this week: Seahawks or Chargers?

  15. Haggy says:

    Morris,Perine, or Kerwynn Williams.

  16. Krysta says:

    Would you still start Seals-Jones over Greg Olsen?

    Assuming I make it through this week (Wentz owner..although w/even w/a loss i’m then playing for 3rd place next week), since Coleman is out w/a concussion, hold onto Tevin Coleman or look for another RB? I currently ONLY have Melvin Gordon and Duke Johnson. Top available are Chris Ivory, Aaron Jones Matt Forte, Wayne Gallman.

  17. Marion says:

    Limping in as #1 seed with Fournette, Zeke, Mixon, AP, and others…good timing. Need to fill Flex via FA pool: Choose 1 in ppr=.5

    MARQISE LEE
    DEDE WESTBROOK
    MARQUISE GOODWIN
    CHRIS HOGAN
    STERLING SHEPARD
    KERWYNN WILLIAMS
    PEYTON BARBER
    TJ YELDON
    GIOVANI BERNARD

    Thanks as always!

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