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:
Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers
vs. Tampa Bay
Funchess has been the Panthers’ top receiver this season, though there was a bit of a shift in Week 8:
- Devin Funchess – 3 receptions (3 targets), 27 yards, 0 TD
- DJ Moore – 5 receptions (6 targets), 90 yards, 0 TD
Moore added 39 yards on two rushes and now has at least 67 total yards in three of the past four games. Are we willing to label Moore’s breakout for real and that he will continue to out-target Funchess moving forward? That’s a stretch, especially with it being the first time it’s happened, and even if it did happen again the matchup this week should yield enough production for both receivers. Tampa Bay has allowed the third most points per week to opposing wide receivers, including 13 TD (tied for most in the league), and with Funchess leading Carolina in receiving TD he’s the best “bet” to take.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR2)
Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
vs. Los Angeles Chargers
While Tyler Lockett has been the team’s best receiver, that’s a role that Baldwin was supposed to fill. Partly due to injuries he’s turned in just 14 receptions and 159 yards, while he’s yet to find the end zone. Even with his “breakout” Week 7, Baldwin has been outproduced by David Moore since he returned on September 30:
- Doug Baldwin – 14 receptions, 159 yards, 0 TD
- David Moore – 11 receptions, 221 yards, 4 TD
Moore has at least 1 TD in three straight games and clearly has been the bigger play threat. While Baldwin is still going to be intriguing, he may be the third option for an offense that’s taken a run heavy approach. That’s going to be a tough sell.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (low-end WR3)
Danny Amendola – Miami Dolphins
vs. New York Jets
DeVante Parker is going to get a lot of attention coming off a big Week 8 (6 receptions for 134 yards), but Amendola has consistently been getting opportunities (he’s averaged 8 targets per week over the past three weeks). He also draws a Jets defense that’s allowed the seventh most points per week to opposing wide receivers, including the fourth most yards (1,535) and the most receptions (129). You can argue that Amendola is more of a possession receiver, but that plays into the matchup and the opportunities should yield results.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (low-end WR2 / solid WR3)
Chris Goodwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Over the first three weeks, with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Goodwin scored a TD in each game racking up 13 catches (on 20 targets) for 171 yards and 3 TD. It’s easy to look at the scores and think Goodwin would be an obvious play, but with DeSean Jackson still in the mix that obviously hurts his upside (as does the emergence of O.J. Howard). The only way Goodwin could be viewed as a strong play would be if Mike Evans’ injury was worse than expected (which it’s not, having been removed from the injury report), especially with the Panthers only yielding 5 receiving TD on the season and Goodwin not guaranteed to get a lot of targets.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Tre’Quan Smith – New Orleans Saints
vs. Los Angeles Rams
There was a lot of hype coming after he exploded against the Redskins (3 receptions, 111 yards, 2 TD), but over the past two weeks he’s totaled just 6 catches, 62 yards and 0 TD. Of course those two games came on the road, where the Saints’ offense has notoriously struggled to produce. While the Rams defense is supposed to be good, they are actually tied for the third most passing plays of 20+ yards (32) and the most of 40+ yards (10). Smith showed that big play ability against Washington (62 yard reception) and the rookie could easily pop off a few big plays in this one. There’s a lot of boom or bust to his game, but with the bye weeks sometimes you need to take a gamble.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (high risk, high reward WR3)
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: