Thursday Night Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 7 (2018): Philip Lindsay, David Johnson, Demaryius Thomas & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Thursday games are often tricky as it is, because there isn’t necessarily a reason to take any undue risks with questionable options (which could set you back and spoil your week).  Who are the borderline players that should be in lineups?  Who should be sat down?  Let’s take a look at the skill players taking the field tonight and try to answer those questions:

 

Denver Broncos

Case Keenum – Quarterback
The Arizona Cardinals have been among the toughest defenses against opposing quarterbacks this season, allowing the 7th fewest points per week and just 6 passing TD (tied for the second fewest in the league).  After a slow start Keenum has played better of late, throwing for 699 yards, 4 TD and 2 INT over his past two games, but is that going to be enough to excite you?

Overall he has 7 TD vs. 8 INT on the season and over his two game “explosion” he’s thrown the ball 92 times.  It’s easy to imagine that type of workload decreasing and with the matchup his production upside will go with it.  There’s simply not enough to consider him.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Philip Lindsay – Running Back
The Arizona Cardinals have been allowing the most points per week to opposing running backs, so that will put both of Denver’s running backs squarely on radars.  Lindsay has been the more impressive of the two, which comes as a surprise, as he’s chipped in both running and catching the football:

  • Rushing – 346 yards (5.7 yards/carry), 1 TD
  • Receiving – 14 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD

While we’d like to see him finding the end zone a bit more, his ability to impact the game in both categories against a defense that has struggled in both areas (832 rushing yards, 342 receiving yards) makes him a must use option in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

 

Royce Freeman – Running Back
While he hasn’t been as good as everyone projected, he has averaged 4.7 yards/carry and scored 3 rushing TD.  The question basically is if he’s going to get enough touches to make an impact, as he’s had 9 touches or fewer in four of the past five games.  That said, given the matchup we’d expect more of a run-based attack.  Freeman appears to be the one who should get the goal line opportunities, and with Arizona allowing a league high 8 rushing TD that should give him an opportunity to rack up the points (even with limited touches).  There’s obviously risk, but the reward is there to make him worth the gamble.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (def. FLEX option, potential RB2)

 

Emmanuel Sanders – Wide Receiver
The Cardinals are allowing the second fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, which would make it tough to trust any Broncos’ option.  That said Sanders has been the go to guy over the past two weeks, averaging 12 targets per game, and overall he has 40 catches for 501 yards on the season.  There’s obviously risk, but he’s proven capable enough to keep him as a viable WR2 in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

 

Demaryius Thomas – Wide Receiver
He’s been saved by finding the end zone in each of the past two weeks, something we can’t count on happening.  Even as Case Keenum has produced over the past two weeks, Thomas is averaging just 4 catches on 5 targets over that span (28 catches on 43 targets overall this season).  In other words he’s clearly fallen behind Sanders on the depth chart and against a tough defense the limited opportunities means he needs to find the end zone in order to be viable.  Maybe he does it, but is that a gamble you want to take?

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (usable as a WR3 if you are strapped for options)

 

Courtland Sutton – Wide Receiver
He’s had a few moments, but he’s still a rookie with a pair of solid veterans ahead of him on the depth chart.  There’s simply too much risk to even consider using him.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Arizona Cardinals

Josh Rosen – Quarterback
Rosen is a rookie quarterback who has averaged 27.7 attempts/game and 196.7 yards/game, while throwing for just 2 TD, over his three starts.  What about those numbers would entice you, regardless of the opponent?  While Denver has not been as good of a defense that we had expected, and they are also banged up in the secondary, that’s hardly enough.  Even with the bye weeks Rosen hasn’t shown nearly enough to consider him anything but a desperation play in all formats.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

David Johnson – Running Back
Johnson simply hasn’t been as good as expected this season, averaging 3.2 yards/carry.  He has seen his workload increase over the past three games (19.3 carries/game), and while the actual yardage hasn’t been impressive (60.3 yards/game) he has rushed for 4 TD over this span and has a TD in each of his past four games (overall this season he has 5 rushing TD and 1 receiving TD).

That alone would keep him as a strong play, and then we get the matchup against a Denver defense that has been among the worst in the league (third most points per week to opposing running backs).  They’ve allowed a league high 909 rushing yards and it’s come on just 155 carries (5.86 yards/carry).  This is going to be Johnson’s opportunity to really explode, and while he may never be the elite running back we had envisioned he didn’t just lose his talent overnight.  While you may be down on him, he’s a RB1 for the coming week.

Verdict – Must Start

 

Larry Fitzgerald – Wide Receiver
We recently dubbed Fitzgerald as a potentially droppable option (click here for the article), as the production simply hasn’t been there.  At his age and with Christian Kirk emerging as the more explosive receiver, Fitzgerald’s viability is quickly disappearing.  Considering that you can argue he doesn’t belong on your roster at all, he certainly doesn’t deserve a spot in your starting lineup.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Christian Kirk – Wide Receiver
Kirk has shown an ability to make big plays, including a 75-yard catch in Week 5 against the 49ers.  At the same time, if he’s unable to turn in one of those types of plays is he going to produce enough to be considered viable?  He’s a boom or bust option with a quarterback who is still trying to find his footing in the NFL.  He has more upside than Fitzgerald, though that doesn’t say much, and could be used as a WR3 if you are desperate for an option.  That said, it’s hard to get excited and you run the risk of putting yourself in a hole early in the week.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (usable as a high risk WR3)

 

Ricky Seals-Jones – Tight End
As a position tight end is getting healthier in a hurry, with Greg Olsen and O.J. Howard already returning and Evan Engram likely to return this week.  That hurts the “secondary” options, which certainly is all Seals-Jones is.  He’s coming off a nice game, turning 6 targets into 5 receptions and 69 yards, but overall he’s turned 30 targets into just 15 catches and has scored 1 TD.  In other words he’s more of a desperation play this early in the week.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Running Back Edition: Week 7: Corey Clement, Marlon Mack & More
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Dalvin Cook, Adrian Peterson, Greg Olsen & More

12 comments

  1. Eric B says:

    Hey Prof. With AB out I need some advise. I have Tyreek Hill and am ovbvoously starting him but out of Corey Davis Kenny Golladay & newly acquired Albert Wilson which 2 would u start. Also Austin Hooper or OJ Howard Thanks

  2. Neil says:

    I have JuJu on bye. Keelan Cole and Anthony Calloway only available. Who to grab.

  3. Curious says:

    I’ve been offered Fournette for Edelman in a .5 PPR with two WR, two RBs, two WR/TE flex, and one WR/RB flex (with three bench slots and an IR).

    I currently have:
    WR: Green, Edelman, M. Jones Jr, Cole, and Westbrook
    RB: Ingram, McCoy, Crowell, Drake, and Bell (IR)

    I’m puzzling and thought I’d seek your input.

  4. Eric says:

    STD league— L. Miller, D. Thomas, M. Crabtree or C. Davis? Thanks

  5. LP says:

    Hi Prof,

    I am trying to decide who to start between AP and Royce Freeman this week. Who are you liking?

    Thanks!

  6. smidge says:

    Do you like Lindsay in the Flex over Yeldon this week
    Full point PPR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>