by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
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:
Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks – at Oakland
Obviously Baldwin is coming off a disastrous week, with just 1 catch for 1 yard against the Los Angeles Rams. It seems impossible to make sense of, as it’s not health related at this point. Do we completely call it an aberration though? We wouldn’t go that far either considering the lack of attempts for Russell Wilson (26 or fewer for three straight weeks). We all know he’s banged up and you have to wonder if his lack of mobility is going to have a widespread impact on Seattle’s offense.
The matchup with the Raiders this week is a significantly more favorable one, as Oakland has allowed the fifth most points per week to opposing wide receivers. At the same time, who is to say the targets are going to be redirected towards Baldwin? Just look at last week’s breakdown:
- Tyler Lockett – 5 targets
- David Moore – 4 targets
- Doug Baldwin – 1 target
There is upside, but with limited opportunities and the risk that they go elsewhere we’d keep him as more of a WR3 option.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (but only as WR3)
Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
After scoring a TD in each of the first three weeks, Godwin was only targeted twice in Week 4 (he also had an incomplete pass negated due to a penalty). All three looks came courtesy of Jameis Winston, who will make his first start in Week 6 and continually struggled to build a rapport with DeSean Jackson a year ago (50 completions on 91 targets). Could Godwin start to absorb some of those opportunities, operating more as the WR2 behind Mike Evans? It’s going to be interesting to watch, and against a defense that has already allowed 10 TD to opposing wide receivers he’s going to have a chance to get off on the right foot. While there’s risk, as he could also fall into being the fourth option (behind Cameron Brate/O.J. Howard), if you are looking for a WR3 there’s too much upside to ignore.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (as a High Risk/High Reward WR3)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
It was another disappointing “performance” for Fitzgerald, who caught 2 passes (on 3 targets) for 35 yards in Week 5. He now has:
- Caught 3 passes or fewer in each of the past four games
- Failed to surpass 35 yards in four straight games (hasn’t had more than 76 yards in a game this season)
- Yet to score a TD
You would think that he’d find the end zone, sooner or later, but the Cardinals are also going to continue to try and protect their rookie QB (who also appears to have a better rapport with Christian Kirk). If we are only going to get value if he finally finds the end zone, is that really worth the gamble?
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Keelan Cole – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Dallas
The question for Cole is which Blake Bortles are we going to get this week? Are we going to get the quarterback who lit up the New England Patriots (376 yards and 4 TD) or are we going to get the quarterback who tossed 4 INT against the Chiefs in Week 6? That’s the big issue, especially against a Cowboy defense that has been among the better groups in stopping opposing wide receivers (seventh fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers).
You also have the potential for the opportunities to go to either Donte Moncrief or Dede Westbrook, further clouding the issue. At this point he’s a tough sale.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Josh Gordon – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
It’s been a slow start to Gordon’s New England career, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. He needs to build a rapport and has also been banged up, leading to these minuscule numbers:
- Week 4 – 2 catches for 32 yards (2 targets)
- Week 5 – 2 catches for 50 yards and 1 TD (4 targets)
Obviously there are multiple alternatives, with Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, James White and others all in the mix. That said, this should be a shootout with a Chiefs’ defense that has allowed 27 passing plays of at least 20 yards this season (the most in the league). Gordon is going to be a boom or bust option, but against this defense and with Tom Brady at QB wouldn’t you be willing to bet that he “booms” in Week 6?
Verdict – Start ‘Em (Potential WR2/Must Start WR3)
Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans – vs. Baltimore
After a big Week 4 (9 receptions for 161 yards and 1 TD), Davis’ numbers expectedly took a step back in Week 5 (4 catches for 49 yards). In fact that Week 4 performance looks like the aberration, as it’s the only time this season that he’s surpassed 62 yards. Tennessee is not a pass happy offense (they are averaging 30 attempts per game), and that is obviously going to help to cap Davis’ upside value. While the Titans’ don’t have too many alternatives, if they aren’t going to throw the ball very much does it matter? Obviously Davis has enough upside to consider him a WR3, but he’s hardly a player we’d be fully comfortable trusting.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (Borderline WR3, at best)
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: