Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Matt Breida, Adrian Peterson, Randall Cobb & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 8′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:

 

Raheem Mostert – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) is reporting this morning:

49ers’ RB Matt Breida, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals due to an ankle injury, is expected to play but be limited, per source. The 49ers want to use caution with him with all he has battled.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2018

Obviously Mostert would have more value if Breida was out completely, but how many touches the latter gets remains to be seen.  Breida has actually had less than 10 carries in three of his past four games, and it’s a good bet that he’s limited to the 5-8 range once again (if that).

Over the past two weeks Mostert has taken 19 carries for 146 yards (7.7 yards/carry) as he’s put himself on fantasy maps (he also caught 4 passes last week).  The Arizona Cardinals have been the worst defense in the league against opposing running backs, allowing 959 rushing yards and 10 TD.  Even if Mostert were just to get 10-12 carries he’d be a good play as a RB2, but the upside is there for even more.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

 

Marlon Mack – Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
While he’s listed as questionable, Mack practiced in full on Friday and is expected to play against the Oakland Raiders.  That’s always going to be viewed as a positive matchup, and with the way Mack has played the past two weeks the upside is obvious:

  • Week 6 – 12 carries for 89 yards; 1 reception for 4 yards
  • Week 7 – 19 carries for 126 yards & 1 TD; 2 receptions for 33 yards & 1 TD

That’s an average of 6.9 yards/carry.  Barring some last minute second back he’s going to be considered a must play in all formats given the matchup and production.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

 

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Adrian Peterson – Running Back – Washington Redskins
The return of Chris Thompson is going to make some people think twice about using Peterson, but with Damon “Snacks” Harrison traded and little chance that the Giants get out to a big lead everything skews in Peterson’s favor.  In Washington’s wins he’s averaged 21.5 carries per game and the only time he had fewer than 11 carries was the blowout loss to New Orleans.  With 15 carries as his floor and the potential for the less imposing Giants’ line to struggle, Peterson is a good bet for another strong performance.  Maybe he’s not a RB1, but consider him a must use RB2 in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (as a RB2)

 

LeSean McCoy – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

Bills’ RB LeSean McCoy, listed as questionable for Monday night’s game vs. Patriots due to a concussion, is expected to play, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2018

That’s good news, but is that enough to consider him a good start?  The fact that he’s yet to be cleared from the league’s concussion protocol, though that could come today, is obviously going to add a level of risk.  Then you have McCoy’s relative lack of production (3.9 yards/carry) and the very real potential of the Bills falling behind early and needing to go pass heavy in an effort to keep up, both of which further call question to his upside.  That doesn’t mean that McCoy can’t be used, but he’s certainly not a trustworthy option.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (consider him a dart throw FLEX)

 

Taylor Gabriel – Wide Receiver – Chicago Bears
According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):

#Bears WR Allen Robinson, questionable with a groin injury, is not expected to play today, source said. The hope is a week off gets him right.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2018

It’s a shame, though it also shouldn’t be considered a big surprise, as the Bears are set to take on a Jets’ secondary that will be without Trumaine Johnson and may also be missing Morris Claiborne.  Overall the Jets have allowed the sixth most points to opposing wide receivers, though over the past four weeks they have been the second worst (behind only Atlanta).

While Trey Burton (9 receptions, 126 yards, 1 TD) and Tarik Cohen (8 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD) could once again dominate the opportunities, Taylor Gabriel is also a good bet to produce as the clear top receiver in Robinson’s absence.  While it’s impossible to call him a must start, as a WR3 he’s a good play.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (must start as WR3, potential WR2)

 

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Phillip Lindsay – Running Back – Denver Broncos
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Royce Freeman will miss today’s game, and that opens the door for Lindsay to take on a workhorse-like workload.  Devontae Booker could be in the mix, as he did when Lindsay was ejected early in Week 3, and that’s something that can’t be overlooked but it’s not enough.

The Broncos take on a Kansas City defense that has been torched by running backs who can catch the football, allowing a league high 511 yards and 3 TD.  That’s the ideal role for Booker, who has 5 receptions in a game twice this season.  That said Lindsay is no slouch in that area either, just a week removed from a 6 catch game, and he’s averaging 4.8 yards/carry.  He’s averaging roughly 13 touches per game (and that’s dragged down by the game in which he was ejected) so assuming 18+ touches isn’t outrageous.  With that kind of workload and his potential, he should be considered a borderline RB1 in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

 

Rob Gronkowski – Tight End – New England Patriots
After missing Week 7 Gronkowski is listed as questionable but by all reports is going to play on Monday night.  That said we won’t truly know with certainty and that, along with his limited performance, brings a new risk.  While he did amass 97 yards in his last start, it came on only 4 targets so it’s hard to expect him to replicate that.  He’s averaging 5.8 targets per game, hasn’t scored since Week 1 and draws a Buffalo defense that has allowed just 6.86 points/game to opposing tight ends.  If he plays he’s a TE1, but if you have another viable alternative that’s playing on Sunday you may want to consider him.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (if you have a viable alternative)

 

Latavius Murray – Running Back – Minnesota Vikings
As expected Dalvin Cook is out again, leaving Murray to carry the load against the New Orleans Saints.  It seems like an unfavorable matchup, with the Saints allowing the third fewest points per week to opposing running backs.  Of course a lot of that has to do with limited carries against them, with the 104 being the third fewest (though 2.75 yards/carry tells us they are difficult), and while that’s discouraging Murray has scored 3 TD over the past two weeks and has also shown capable of catching the football.  As the short yardage back, with a good chance to find the end zone once again, he’s going to be a viable option despite the tough matchup.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (TD dependent RB2)

 

Randall Cobb – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
Ian Rapoport (via Twitter) is reporting this morning:

#Packers WR Randall Cobb, listed as questionable with a hamstring, is expected to play today vs. the #Rams, source said.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2018

While Cobb got off to a good start he managed just 8 receptions for 52 yards in the last two games he played before being sidelined.  He’ll also have to battle Geronimo Allison and the emerging Marquez Valdes-Scantling, not to mention Devonte Adams, for opportunities.  That combination is going to make Cobb far too risky to trust outside of in the deepest of formats.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

** PRE-ORDER SALE **
Pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $6.75!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 9 (2018): Jalen Richard, Matt Breida, Jordy Nelson & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Wide Receiver Edition: Week 8: Allen Robinson, Geronimo Allison & More

22 comments

  1. Matt says:

    ?Lost Fuller this week (WR2)-can I count on Crabtree or Ridley ROS to replace? Or try to sell high on Drake? .5 PPR?. Who could I look at in a potential Drake trade? Thanks!

  2. Brian says:

    Yeldon or Chris Godwin in Flex. 1 point PPR…thx

  3. Dave says:

    Hi Prof,

    PPR 1 Flex , who would you start?

    C Thompson, Howard, Mostert, Barner

    Thanks!

  4. Brian says:

    Hey. Roll the dice with Gronk tomorrow or Vance McDonald today?

  5. Greg says:

    .5 ppr flex should I start john brown or nick chubb ?

  6. Romo says:

    Good morning roto.

    Non PPR
    These are my 2 wr: e sanders and m Jones
    Flex: Peterson
    Bench: j Howard, l Fitzgerald, j Richard.
    Should I roll with what I have?

  7. Will J says:

    Hi Mr Professor! . 5 ppr, Chubb or Mostert? And then Goff or Dalton.

    Thanks!

  8. Hai says:

    .5 PPR Flex

    Mostert or Gabriel?

  9. RT says:

    RP. Pick a flex for me please. Crabtree or Jalen R. PPR. Thanks

  10. mike says:

    Drop Corey Davis or Corey Clement? PPR. Have Gordon, Murray and Howard at RB, and Davis is my number 5 WR. Need a backup TE to cover a bye next week.

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