Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Leonard Fournette, Aaron Rodgers, Phillip Lindsay & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 2′s Sunday action 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:

 

Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – Quarterback
Despite returning to the game last week after suffering a knee injury there were significant questions whether or not Rodgers would start today against the Vikings.  Things appear to be heading in the right direction, though, as Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning:

Absent a setback, #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will start today vs the #Vikings, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. He’s still sore and swollen because of a sprained knee, but sounded like practice Saturday impressed everyone. Should be good to go.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2018

That said the matchup is a difficult one, with Minnesota holding Jimmy Garoppolo to going 15-33 in Week 1, while adding 3 INT.  Obviously Rodgers is better than Garoppolo and when healthy he’s a must start regardless of the matchup, but if he’s limited in any manner it’s easy to envision him struggling and we also have the risk of a setback hanging over him.  This one all depends on your alternatives, but drop Rodgers down to a low-end QB1 given the risks as opposed to a can’t miss must start.

Verdict – Risky QB1, but not must start

 

Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers – Wide Receiver
It appears that the Packers are getting good news about another one of their questionable players, as Rapoport also tweeted:

Not only are the #Packers slated to have QB Aaron Rodgers, but standout WR Davante Adams (shoulder) is expected to play, as well, I’m told. He was listed as questionable.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2018

That said Adams is banged up and draws an extremely difficult matchup (assuming he’s shadowed by Xavier Rhodes).  While he’s still usable, he’s more of a WR2 (and not a must start in shallower formats).

Verdict – Risky WR2 (depending on alternatives)

 

Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – Running Back
Lindsay seemingly came out of nowhere in Week 1, sharing the workload with the highly hyped Royce Freeman:

  • Lindsay – 15 carries for 71 yards
  • Freeman – 15 carries for 71 yards

Lindsay added 3 targets in the passing game, turning them into 2 catches, 31 yards and 1 TD.  Fantasy owners shouldn’t underestimate him, as he had a strong preseason to claim the #2 spot on the depth chart.  That said, listed at 5’8” and 190 lbs., the undrafted free agent isn’t likely to see this type of workload on a regular basis.  Instead he should operate as a change-of-pace type pass catcher, who still could get 10-15 touches per week depending on game flow.  He’s not going to be a must play each week, but against Oakland, who allowed 113 rushing yards to opposing RB in Week 1, he’s a potential RB2.

Verdict – Viable FLEX (low-end RB2)

 

Leonard Fournette/T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars – Running Back
Multiple reports have Fournette likely out for today’s game (and promoting Brandon Wilds from the practice squad helps to support that assumption), but we may not have complete clarity before the start of the 1:00 PM EST time games.  Even if he plays it would appear that he’d do so with some type of limitations, and the risk makes him impossible to trust.

The benefactor is obviously Yeldon, who took 17 touches (14 carries and 3 receptions) for 69 yards and 1 TD in Week 1 against the Giants.  The Patriots allowed 134 rushing yards to opposing running backs in Week 1, so that alone makes him a potentially intriguing option as a workhorse back.  Of course the Patriots could also get out to a big lead, forcing Jacksonville out of their comfort zone and into more of a pass heavy approach.  That can’t be overlooked, though Yeldon has caught as many as 50 balls in a season (2016) so even if that were to happen he’d still make an impact. He has the upside of a Top 15 RB.

Verdict (Fournette) – Too risky to trust
Verdict (Yeldon) – High upside RB2

 

Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – Quarterback
Mariota is nursing an elbow injury, which alone would hurt his outlook.  Things got worse with this tweet:

.@Titans QB Marcus Mariota is still be evaluated. Vrabel said he expects Blaine Gabbert and Mariota to both play va @HoustonTexans

— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) September 14, 2018

So he’s injured and going to share the job against the Texans if he’s even able to play (and things this morning seem to be slanting towards him sitting)?  That makes him a hands off option, unless you are desperate for a QB2.

Verdict – Too risky to trust

 

Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – Running Back
Devonta Freeman has been ruled out and is expected to miss the next few games.  That’s going to open the door for Coleman, who struggled in a tough opening night matchup with the Eagles (9 carries for 19 yards and 1 TD).  Things may not get significantly easier against the Panthers, and the Falcons should run their offense through Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and potentially first round rookie Calvin Ridley.  Coleman still has upside, but he’s more of a FLEX option for this week (though he’ll be more of a must use option moving forward).

Verdict – Potential RB2, but more of a FLEX

 

Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – Running Back
Mack’s Week 1 absence opened the door for an alternative to step up and claim a big chunk of the opportunities, but no one seized it:

  • Jordan Wilkins – 14 carries for 40 yards (2.9 YPC)
  • Nyheim Hines – 5 carries for 19 yards (3.8 YPC)
  • Christine Michael – 2 carries for 9 yards (4.5 YPC)

Having been sidelined with a hamstring injury, even if he does play can we expect Mack to take on the lion’s share of the workload immediately?  He didn’t return to a full practice until Friday and likely will be part of a convoluted committee.  He has the highest upside and could be on FLEX radars, but it all comes down to your alternatives.

Verdict – High Risk FLEX (but confirm he’s active)

 

Dante Pettis – San Francisco 49ers – Wide Receiver
Earlier this week Joe Fann tweeted:

“Dante Pettis would have a huge role again in Week 2 should Goodwin be out against the Lions.”

Goodwin has officially been ruled out and that is going to put Pettis squarely on the WR3 spectrum against a Detroit Lions secondary that allowed Sam Darnold to go 10-14 for 153 yards and 2 TD to his wide receivers in Week 1.  Pettis is a rookie, but he has a more experienced and established quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo throwing him in the football.  It’s interesting that he was not heavily targeted in Week 1, finishing fourth on the team with 4 targets, but he was second in yards (61) and found the end zone.  It all depends on your alternatives, but consider him a high risk/high reward WR3.

Verdict – Potential WR3

 

Nelson Agholor – Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver
In Week 1 Agholor tied Zack Ertz for the team lead in targets with 10.  With Alshon Jeffrey out again and Darren Sproles also ruled out, there are going to be ample opportunities for Agholor to do the job and be among the team leaders in targets once again (with 10+ almost a given).  Taking on a Tampa Bay secondary that was torched in Week 1 (268 yards and 2 TD to opposing wide receivers) things look that much better.  Just think about the formula:

Opportunity + Favorable Matchup = Success

Verdict – Must start

 

DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins – Wide Receiver
After missing Week 1 Parker is ready to roll for Week 2.  That said, how many opportunities are there going to be?  Kenny Stills appears to be emerging and developing a strong rapport with Ryan Tannehill after turning 5 targets into 4 receptions, 106 yards and 2 TD.  Parker will also have to battle Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola, while Kenyan Drake is also going to play a big role in the offense.

Parker has often been hyped, but until we see consistent production on the field he’s impossible to trust.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

DeSean Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Wide Receivers
Ian Rapoport (via Twitter) reported this morning that:

For the #Bucs, WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder, concussion) is expected to clear the protocol and play, while DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s knee injury is considered minor, sources say.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2018

It’s not a given that he clears the concussion protocol ahead of the matchup with a difficult Philadelphia defense.  Even if he’s on the field are you willing to trust him?  Sure he had a monster Week 1 performance (5 receptions, 146 yards, 2 TD), but Tampa Bay isn’t going to replicate it’s 48 point outburst and Jackson isn’t going to be the primary option if he’s even on the field.  Remember he averaged less than 4 catches per game in ’17 and hasn’t scored more than 4 TD in a year since 2014.

Verdict – Borderline WR3, but not a trusted option

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 3 (2018): Sam Darnold, Carlos Hyde, Quincy Enunwa & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Week 2: Deshaun Watson, Devin Funchess, Jay Ajayi & More

30 comments

  1. David says:

    Hi Prof,
    Tevin Coleman or Royce Freeman in Standard League?
    Thanksgiving!

  2. Steve Escobar says:

    Star Taylor or Big Ben?

  3. Gail Uhl Jolly says:

    Nelson Agholor over Golden Tate?

  4. raul s tiongson says:

    RP,

    Carlos Hyde or Philip Lindsay as flex?

    Thanks!

  5. Jeff says:

    Dante Pettis or Duke Johnson ppr

  6. Joseph Davis says:

    Brandon Marshall or Phillip Lindsay?

  7. Jake says:

    Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers

  8. Vince says:

    ppr league

    start kenyan drake or lindsay?

  9. ossqss says:

    Twilight zone today prof. Pick one WR and bring me out of it. Lockett, Robby Anderson, Garson, Cobb or Keelan Cole. Leaning Locket, but Garson is attractve …. Indy’s Grant is out there also along with B Marshall.

  10. Romo says:

    Hey roto!

    PPR. Howard, Morris, Coleman, or Lindsay?
    Wilson or stafford?

    Non PPR. Sanders or Marivin Jones
    Flex. Peterson, Morris, or Lindsay?

  11. Cecily says:

    Kirk Cousins or Aaron Rodgers?

  12. Steve says:

    Larry fitz or golden rate?

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