Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Melvin Gordon, Tom Brady, Doug Baldwin & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 11’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:

 

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

Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon, listed as questionable for Sunday due to knee and hamstring injuries, plans to play vs. Cardinals, per source. Gordon convinced coaches this weekend to give him a chance, despite some organizational interest in resting him for maintenance.

Obviously things are always subject to change, depending on how he feels in pregame warmups.  That does complicate things, as the Chargers aren’t scheduled to play until 4:05 PM EST against a Cardinals’ defense that has allowed the third most points per game to opposing running backs (1,286 rushing yards is the second most, behind Oakland) including 13 total TD.

If healthy and on the field Gordon is a must play option.  This all comes down to the alternatives you have at your disposal as to whether or not you “gamble” on Gordon.  As long as he’s playing, even in a limited role, he should be a productive option so unless the rhetoric changes more likely than not he should stick in your lineup.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable RB2, even with the questions)

 

Matt Breida – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers
With Pierre Garcon out and Marquise Goodwin moved to doubtful due to a “personal issue”, the 49ers receiving corps is left to be some type of ugly mixture of:

  1. Dante Pettis
  2. Kendrick Bourne
  3. Trent Taylor
  4. Richie James

It obviously is impossible to trust any of those options, as the offense will focus on George Kittle (already a must use option) and Breida.  Those in PPR formats may not have been quite as high on Breida, but he should see additional pass catching opportunities and is coming off a game where he racked up 3 catches, 31 yards and 1 TD (to go along with 17 carries for 101 yards and 1 TD).  Over the past four weeks Tampa Bay has allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing running backs, and overall they’ve allowed 17 TD.  Breida was always a viable RB2, but he could easily amass RB1 numbers this week.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (borderline RB1/must start in all formats)

 

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Doug Baldwin – Wide Receiver – Seattle Seahawks
According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):

Even if Baldwin does play you have to wonder if he:    

    • Will he be limited in any fashion?

 

  • Will get enough opportunities to be productive?

 

 

He is coming off his best game of the season, turning 10 targets into 7 receptions, 52 yards and 1 TD (his only touchdown of the year).  With Tyler Lockett and David Moore in the mix, as well as a suddenly deep running game, you have to wonder if Baldwin will be used more as a decoy than an actual option.  Given his general performance this season there’s simply too much risk to trust him. Verdict – Sit ‘Em     Jimmy Graham – Tight End – Green Bay Packers You would think that a broken thumb would keep a pass catching tight end on the sidelines, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.  According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):

Of course over the past four weeks the Vikings have allowed the fewest points per week to opposing tight ends and Graham has been a complete bust in three of his past four games (1 reception in each of those games with 21 yards or fewer).  Considering the injury and the production, even at a shallow position he’s impossible to trust. Verdict – Sit ‘Em     ** BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL — PRE-ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2019 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE ** Pre-Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.00 this Black Friday!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.   Tyler Boyd – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals There was hope early in the week that A.J. Green would return to the field, including opening the week listed as questionable.  However he ultimately didn’t practice, was downgraded to doubtful and is highly unlikely to take the field.  That leaves Boyd as Cincinnati’s top receiving option against a Cleveland defense that’s been middle of the pack against opposing wide receivers this season. While they haven’t always been efficient opportunities, Boyd has been targeted at least 10 times in two of the past three games (and at least 7 times in seven of the past nine).  Considering the matchup it’s more likely that he turns those chances into at least solid (if not above average) results. Verdict – Start ‘Em (solid WR2)     Tom Brady – Quarterback – New England Patriots Brady has dealt with a variety of issues this week, as noted by ESPN’s Mike Reiss:

That just adds to the concern that fantasy owners already had with Brady, who hasn’t been very good over his past three games (1 TD vs. 0 INT).  The Jets have been better against opposing quarterbacks than you’d think and Brady hasn’t been particularly good on the road against the Jets (as per Michael Giardi via Twitter):

That’s not to say that he’s unusable, especially with Rob Gronkowski expected to return (and he’s a viable TE1 given the questions at the position), but he’s more of a low-end option as opposed to a trustworthy must start.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (though it depends on your alternative)

 

Other Players of Note:

  • Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN) – No longer on the injury report he is going to play on Monday night, but he’s nothing more than a dart throw QB2
  • Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE) – As noted earlier he’s expected to play today and given the uncertainty at the position he’s a viable TE1 in all formats
  • DeSean Jackson (WR, TB) – According to Ian Rapoport Jackson, “who injured his thumb in last week’s loss, is listed as questionable but expected to play”.  The 49ers represent a favorable matchup, but it’s hard to guarantee that the opportunities go in his direction making him more of a desperation WR3 than anything.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

** BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL — PRE-ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2019 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE **
Pre-Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.00 this Black Friday!!  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 12 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 13 (2018): Dak Prescott, Mark Ingram & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): WideReceiver Edition: Week 12: Corey Davis, Marquez Valdes-Scantling & More

22 comments

  1. mike says:

    Corey davis or doug baldwin ppr? Thanks professor.

  2. Smidge says:

    Ppr. Mixon, Brieda, Lindsay, Boyd and DJ Moore
    Need 1Rb and a flex

    Please and thank you

  3. Greg says:

    .5 ppr would you start melvin gordon at flex or sub in josh gordon or tyler boyd? melvin starts later and im not sure if i should gamble on his usage against the cardinals or play it safe

  4. George says:

    Hi Professor! A couple quick questioms please, both are in PPR,

    Pick one: Valdes-scantling, Corey Davis or DJ Moore??

    Pick 3: Barber, Sutton, Kirk, Corey Davis, graham and enunwa??

    Thank you and all the best this week!

  5. Eric says:

    PPR- Doyle or Brate? Thanks prof

  6. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    Josh Adams or Aaron Jones today? Standard league. Thanks.

  7. James says:

    Flex- Baldwin or drake?

  8. RT says:

    RP- Which QB? Thanks!

    Wentz
    Wilson
    Winston

  9. andre Alt says:

    Hi Professor, need your help with a trade that has been offered to me:
    Receive: Thielen, Zeke.
    Give: Kamara, Gus Edwards and Allen Robinson.
    It is a good trade for me?
    my other players WR and RB are: Mixon, Aaron Jones, Josh Gordon, Hopkins, Keke

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