Thursday Night Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 13 (2018): Dak Prescott, Mark Ingram & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Thursday games are always tricky, but when you have three of them it’s impossible to completely avoid.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the more questionable decisions for tomorrow’s games and try to decide who we should trust and who should be avoided:

 

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott – Quarterback
Prescott had a big week throwing the football in Week 12 (289 yards and 2 TD), though his value of late has come from three straight games with a rushing touchdown (and 1 TD in five of his past six games).  Is that really something you want to depend on continuing, especially with Ezekiel Elliott manning the backfield?

The fact is that even in a favorable matchup Prescott is going to be a hard quarterback to trust, having not thrown for more than 300 yards in a game yet this season.  The offense is going to run through the team’s star running back and depending on a rushing touchdown is therefore something we aren’t willing to do.  He’s a viable QB2, but if you play in single quarterback formats he’s best left on your bench.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (only usable as a QB2)

 

Amari Cooper – Wide Receiver
The Cowboys paid handsomely to acquire Cooper with hopes that he’d emerge as the team’s top receiving weapon.  He’s coming off his best game since the trade, catching 8 passes for 180 yards and 2 TD.  We aren’t going to expect him to post those numbers again but there is going to be some upside while the Cowboys try to keep pace with the high-powered Saints’ offense.  He and Prescott have clearly formed a rapport quickly, and Cooper has been getting ample opportunities (8 targets in three of his four games since the trade).  While Prescott’s upside may be limited, since a lot of the chances should be slanted in Cooper’s direction there’s enough upside in a possible shootout.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR2)

 

Cole Beasley – Wide Receiver
In the four games since the acquisition of Cooper Beasley has seen his role virtually disappear, being targeted 5 times or fewer three times (including 2 targets in Week 12) and never exceeding 51 yards.  Considering that he’s only scored 2 TD, and both came on October 14 against the Jaguars, he’s a completely unusable option.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Must Start:

  • Ezekiel Elliott – Running Back

 

New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram – Running Back
While Ingram plays second fiddle to Alvin Kamara in the backfield and isn’t coming off a very impressive day (11 carries for 52 yards, 2 receptions for 14 yards), the Saints have proven that there are enough touches to go around.  He’s had at least 10 touches in every game he’s played this season, and in the two weeks prior to Week 12 he had really been thriving:

  • Week 10 (at Cincinnati) – 13 carries for 104 yards, 3 receptions for 58 yards and 1 TD
  • Week 11 (vs. Philadelphia) – 16 carries for 103 yards and 2 TD

Dallas has been strong against opposing running backs this season, allowing the sixth fewest points per week overall.  Playing as the second running back that will help to cap Ingram’s upside, though the way he’s produced and with how impressive the offense has been keeps Ingram as a viable option as a RB2/FLEX in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (low-end RB2/must use FLEX)

 

Tre’Quan Smith – Wide Receiver
Smith sat out last Thursday’s matchup with the Falcons, but signs are pointing towards his return this Thursday as he’s gotten practice time in early in the week.  Of course the potential for him to be limited in any way just adds to the potential risk, as Smith has had one “boom” day (10 receptions, 157 yards, 1 TD) after numerous busts before it.  While we’ve been waiting for him to evolve into a viable weekly option, he’s going to continue to play behind the running back duo and Michael Thomas.  At best he’s the fourth option in the offense, and while they are going to score the fact that he’s also banged up and could suffer a setback makes him a tough sell this early in the week.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Benjamin Watson – Tight End
The Saints’ “top” tight end, he has 4 targets or fewer in each of the past five games (and hasn’t been targeted more than 6 times in a game all season).  Over his past three games he has 2 receptions for 21 yards and 0 TD…  Total.  That tells you all you need to know.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Must Start:

  • Drew Brees – Quarterback
  • Alvin Kamara – Running Back
  • Michael Thomas – Wide Receiver

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Running Back Edition: Week 13: Tarik Cohen, Lamar Miller, Kenan Drake & More
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Melvin Gordon, Tom Brady, Doug Baldwin & More

9 comments

  1. Meta says:

    Thoughts on the playoffs:
    I’ve got Fournette, Conner, Ekeler, J Howard, Yeldon, & Burkhead.

    Has Howard become expendable enough to drop to pick up a handcuff, either Samuels on Pitt or someone like a Ware/Malcolm Brown?

    Thanks, Prof!

  2. Daniel Gray says:

    Having a hard time with WR this week. Need 2. Half PPR

    Tyler Boyd
    DJ Moore
    Adam Humphries
    Josh Reynolds.

    On paper, Boyd/Moore seem the most obvious but I keep looking at Reynolds. Am I overthinking it?

    Thanks, Professor.

  3. Mitch says:

    Should I start Gus Edwards or Ingram this week?

  4. Chris says:

    Need help for flex prof

    Pick 2, j adams, m ingram or g edwards

    Thanks

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