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:
Josh Reynolds – Los Angeles Rams
In the first game since Cooper Kupp was lost for the season Reynolds had a big day, turning 6 receptions into 80 yards and 1 TD. Of course that game was a shootout with the Kansas City Chiefs and it’s not like Reynolds was the favorite for opportunities:
- Brandin Cooks – 12 targets
- Robert Woods – 11 targets
- Josh Reynolds – 8 targets
- Tyler Higbee – 7 targets
Gerald Everett had 4 targets, so the tight end combination was clearly a big part of the game plan. Todd Gurley also wasn’t a big factor in the passing game, with just 3 targets. Considering his 56 targets overall it’s easy to envision a bigger role moving forward.
While the Lions aren’t a “tough” defense, are you willing to bet that Reynolds gets enough opportunities to produce? Cooks and Woods will remain the top receiving options, Gurley is going to play a significant role and both tight ends appear to be in the game plan… That’s a lot of mouths to feed.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (Risky WR3/FLEX)
Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears
at New York Giants
Since blowing up against the Lions a few weeks ago (6 receptions, 133 yards, 2 TD), Robinson has totaled 5 catches for 76 yards in the subsequent two games. While Robinson will battle Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller for opportunities, after watching Josh Adams run roughshod in the second half of Week 12 there’s a good chance Chicago relies heavily on Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard (especially with Mitchell Trubisky already ruled out). A battle for targets? A potential run heavy approach? Without having to maneuver bye weeks there’s too many questions and too much risk of a bust.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (desperation WR3, at best)
Josh Gordon – New England Patriots
Gordon has been settling into his role with New England and now has 70+ yards in four of his past five games. While he hasn’t turned the yardage into TD as of yet, would it be surprising for that to come in time? Of course the matchup is not an easy one against a Vikings’ defense that has allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers and Gordon could also be buried down the depth chart (Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Sony Michel and James White could all be bigger options in the offense). He’s a boom or bust option, but with the recent production there’s still value.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR3)
Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals
Will this be the week that A.J. Green returns to the lineup (Yes!)? Even if he doesn’t, would we want to trust Boyd? We have to remember that Andy Dalton has been lost for the season, meaning Jeff Driskel is going to assume the starting quarterback role. Whatever you think of Dalton this is a massive downgrade and hurts the appeal of any of Cincinnati’s receivers.
Green is officially set to return, and that means Boyd shifts back into a secondary role. With the questionable QB play and the potential for a run heavy approach, that makes Boyd more of a desperation play as opposed to a trustworthy option.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (risky, desperation WR3)
Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks
vs. San Francisco
Over the past three weeks Lockett has found a rapport with Russell Wilson, making the most of his opportunities. He’s been targeted 16 times over these three games, but turned them into 15 catches for 245 yards and 2 TD. While it’s impossible to expect a sudden spike in chances, San Francisco has been among the worst defenses against opposing wide receivers this season (1,829 yards and 15 TD) and Lockett has continually shown a nose for the end zone (8 TD, tying him for fifth most receiving touchdowns). There is a little risk, but he should be viewed as a viable starter given the production and upside.
Verdict – Start ‘Em
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: