Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Latavius Murray, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Chris Carson & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 9’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:


Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – Running Back
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

Seahawks’ RB Chris Carson, listed as questionable for Sunday due a hip injury, will be tested pre-game to determine whether he can play, per source. For now it’s being called a “game-time decision.”

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2018

The San Diego defense has struggled against running backs who can catch the football, though they’ve been stingy against rushing yardage:

  • Rushing – 590 yards and 3 TD
  • Receiving – 469 yards and 2 TD

This season Carson has caught 8 passes and has 15 catches over 10 career games.  In other words it’s hardly a strength, and with a 4:05 PM EST start time fantasy owners would be better served to sit Carson given the matchup and uncertainty.  As for his potential replacement, Mike Davis would likely step up and help to fill the role but he too is tough to trust.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em


Latavius Murray – Minnesota Vikings – Running Back
The news that Dalvin Cook was going to play has sent fantasy owners second guessing their decision to start Murray.  However according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN (click here for the article):

“If Cook is good to go, he’ll be on a limited pitch count, which is expected to be around 15 to 20 plays, according to a source.”

That’s not enough to warrant sitting Murray, who has scored 4 TD over the past three weeks, especially since Cook is no guarantee to play.  As Adam Schefter noted on Twitter, “Vikings have thought the same with Cook before, only to have him struggle pregame and deactivate him.”.  Even with Damon Harrison now in the mix for Detroit, there’s a good chance Murray finds the end zone and should be seen as a borderline RB1.

Verdict – Start ‘Em


Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans – Wide Receiver
The Athletic’s John Glennon tweeted on Saturday:

#Titans final inj report for MNF: Morgan (shoulder) is out, Compton (hamstring) is questionable. Everyone else, including Corey Davis (hamstring), Josh Kline, Q. Spain and K. Vaccaro, is good to go. Those 4 players were full practice on Saturday.

— John Glennon (@glennonsports) November 3, 2018

Of course Davis draws the Cowboys’ Byron Jones, which won’t be an easy matchup.  That said it’s not like Dallas has had the toughest matchups, but when DeAndre Hopkins faced them a few weeks ago he burnt the Dallas secondary for 9 catches and 151 yards.  While Davis isn’t likely to put up those types of numbers, especially with the questionable quarterback play, he shouldn’t be completely avoided.  Consider him more of a WR3.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (outside of WR3)


Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers – Wide Receiver
With Geronimo Allison already officially ruled out, the role of Valdes-Scantling is going to grow regardless of if Randall Cobb plays (and according to Ian Rapoport he is expected to play).  Remember between the games on October 7 and October 15, when both Allison and Cobb were out, Valdes-Scantling combined for 10 receptions (on 17 targets), 171 yards and 1 TD.

The Packers and Patriots also could be in store for a shootout, meaning there could be more than enough opportunities.  While he’s not a must use WR2, he’s a viable one and a solid WR3 option.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR2)


Laquan Treadwell – Minnesota Vikings – Wide Receiver
While Stefon Diggs’ hasn’t officially been ruled out, seeing Minnesota add a wide receiver off the practice squad certainly makes you think that he is going to be sidelined.  That should mean more opportunities for Treadwell, as well Kyle Rudolph and maybe Latavius Murray, who has been averaging 4.625 targets per game as it is.  If he gets into the 7-8 target range there should be enough potential to put him on the WR3 spectrum, especially against a Detroit defense that’s allowed the second most points per week to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks (607 yards and 6 TD).  That damage was done by players like:

  • David Moore – 4 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD
  • Danny Amendola – 6 receptions, 84 yards, 1 TD
  • Equanimeous St. Brown – 3 receptions, 89 yards
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 7 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD

Considering those names, if you need a gamble at the back of your lineup he seems like a good one to take.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR3 “gamble”)


Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens – Running Back
Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning:

The Steelers have allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing running backs and with Ty Montgomery joining Javorius Allen to help supplement Collins there’s no guarantee of touches.  Considering those two things, as well as Collins’ underwhelming performance overall (3.7 yards/carry), he’s nothing more than a TD dependent FLEX option.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (nothing more than a TD dependent FLEX)


Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers – Running Back
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) reported that:

Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon, listed as questionable for Sunday due to a hamstring injury, will play vs. Seahawks, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2018

Having sat out Week 7 and then having the bye week last week it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he will be on the field.  While Seattle has been good against the run this season, in his last five games Gordon has 6 rushing TD and 3 receiving TD with his “worst” yardage coming against Buffalo in Week 2 (he had 66 total yards, but scored 3 TD).  In other words, as long as he’s on the field he’s a no-brainer start.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 10 (2018): JuJu Smith-Schuster, D.J. Moore, Ben Roethlisberger & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Running Back Edition: Week 9: Aaron Jones, LeSean McCoy & More


  1. promillo says:

    Hi prof!

    Choose 3 out of: Chris Godwin, Aaron Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Elijah McGuire, Trey Burton

    Thank you!

  2. Chris says:

    Hi Prof, Aaron Jones or Dion Lewis in PPR? Thanks

  3. Trevor says:

    Dion Lewis or Mike Davis if Carson can’t play.

  4. George says:

    Good morning Professor! Just a couple quick ones to double check please, both are PPR:

    pick a Flex: Valdes-Scantling, Aaron Jones or DJ Moore??

    Pick a Flex: Bibbs, Riddick, Jamaal Williams, Treadwell or Higgins??

    Thank you for the help and good luck this week!

  5. Greg says:

    If Diggs is out would you start Rudolph over Trey Burton in .5 ppr?

  6. Max says:

    Got two PPR decisions to make.
    Bring Cook off the bench or roll the dice with Sony Michel? I can use Barner if Michel is a late scratch. Second, Locket, or Demaryius Thomas. DJ Moore, Tre’Quan Smith, and Valdes-Scantling are available on waivers.

  7. reggie says:

    good morning professor

    have some bye week holes to plug

    standard scoring

    Courtland Sutton or MV Scantling ?


  8. Romo says:

    Good morning roto!!

    Non PPR.
    Marvin jones or Keenan Allen?
    I have Hunt, Lindsay starting, and Petersen as my flex. I have jordan Howard and Arron Jones in my bench. Should I keep my current lineup?

  9. ossqss says:

    Mornin Prof!

    Some PPR flexercise.

    Sutton, Gabriel, Collins, or Baldwin? Thx and make it a good day.

  10. K says:

    What are your thoughts on Davis ROS? I’ve got him now, but someone dropped Tyler Boyd because of a bye week crunch and I was thinking of scooping him up and dropping Davis.

    As always, thanks Prof!

  11. Dat man says:

    I give James white, I receive Jordan Howard and Julian Edelman.

    .5 ppr my bench RB cook, bell, Carson, brieda
    WR alshon, galladay, Sutton, D parker
    Figured I needed the help at WR

    Should I trade

  12. Ryan says:

    Mornin Prof,

    Pick 3 non ppr: Gordon , Mccaffrey, Cohen, murray ? Gracias!!

  13. C L says:

    I have 3 on that list… with Barkley on BYE. Murray, Collins, Carson. Murray is a yes, and I guess it depends on Carson last minute, but sounds like he might sit. Is Collins safer?

  14. Ph says:

    Hi Prof!

    A healthy Drake (1pm start) or wait to see if Carson can go at the 4pm (I picked up Davis just in case)

  15. Jr says:

    Standard, pick 2…
    Landry, Watkins, MVS?

    Full PPR, pick 2 one being a flex play…
    Baldwin, Parker, A. Cooper?

  16. Joe says:

    Hi professor who should I start I can choose 3 Ridley John brown Scantling desean jackson?

  17. Mmposu says:

    I’m having a tough decision to make. I grabbed mike Davis off waiver and have McGuire in my flex. Even with a late play time should I put in Davis??
    Thank you

  18. Rob says:

    Flex ppr corey davis, MVS, or Dj moore

  19. Will Murphy says:

    Chris Carson or Devante Parker (since Stills is out and vs. Jets) as my flex play in a heavy bye week? Thanks Professor.

  20. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    Standard league.

    I have TE Chris Herndon. If Diggs is out, should I get Kyle Rudolph off the wire to play today?


  21. Rel says:

    Drake or L.Murray? PPR.

  22. BBH says:

    Professor, which 2 are best to start: Courtland Sutton, DJ Moore, Emmanuel Sanders?

  23. joseph says:

    Chubb or Murray? Non-ppr.

  24. Jonathan says:

    Cousins wilsonor Ryan

  25. jake says:

    Latavius or Kenyan drake

  26. Jr says:

    Baldwin or Lockett PPR?

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