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:
Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins
at New York Giants
While Peterson has been banged up a little bit, it hasn’t stopped him from producing when game flow has justified it. Just look at his production over the past four games:
- vs. Green Bay – 19 carries for 120 yards and 2 TD
- at New Orleans – 4 carries for 6 yards
- vs. Carolina – 17 carries for 97 yards
- vs. Dallas – 24 carries for 99 yards
The Redskins went down big against the Saints, losing 43-19, so it makes sense that he didn’t see much action. That’s not a threat this week against the Giants, so it’s fair to assume that he’s going to get in the 18-20 carry range.
The Giants have been tough against the run, allowing 3.9 yards/carry to opposing running backs (though without Damon Harrison it’s easy to imagine them struggling). While usage is going to keep him on radars, if he doesn’t find the end zone (and he’s only rushed for 3 TD this season) his value is going to be minimal. That means he’s nothing more than a low-end RB2/FLEX play, but hardly a must use option.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (but not a must start, depending on alternatives)
Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders
Most are going to turn their attention to Doug Martin with Marshawn Lynch hitting IR, but it’s Richard who likely will see the biggest boost in value (especially this week). Keep in mind the Colts have been fairly good against the run this season, allowing the 17th most points to opposing running backs, though they have been susceptible to both the run (669 yards) and the catch (384 yards). It’s been their ability to keep the ball out of the end zone that’s helped, allowing just 4 TD, but for someone like Richard that’s not going to keep him from viability.
Richard has quietly amassed 31 receptions for 253 yards, with at least 6 receptions in three of his past four games. With Amari Cooper also out of the mix there’s a good chance Richard’s workload only increases, meaning he could get 12-15 touches this week. Over his career he owns a 5.3 yards/carry and with the pass catching ability the value is obvious.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (must start in PPR formats)
Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers
at Los Angeles Rams
Since returning from an early season suspension Jones has been the leader in the Packers’ backfield, though he’s yet to exceed 65 yards on the ground and has been under 50 yards in three out of four games. That alone is going to make him a TD dependent option, something that we aren’t willing to bank on considering a matchup against one of the best rushing defenses in the league. On the season the Rams’ have allowed the eighth fewest points to opposing running backs, including just 3 TD allowed (and only 1 TD has come in the past four weeks). If you are desperate maybe Jones has enough upside to consider as a FLEX play, but for most he’s not worth considering.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (desperation FLEX play)
T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars
Yeldon has had a strong season, filling in for the injury Leonard Fournette, but things are highly complicated this week. Carlos Hyde, who was acquired late last week, should be active and ready to assume some of Yeldon’s touches. Then you have the matchup, taking on a Philadelphia defense that’s allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing running backs. There is a little bit of hope, as the Eagles have had issues against running backs who can catch the football:
- Rushing – 387 yards
- Receiving – 371 yards
That said, is it enough to consider Yeldon a “strong” play? Absolutely not, as there are obvious limitations and questions about his usage.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (only as a FLEX)
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: