Thursday Night Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 14 (2018): Corey Davis, Dion Lewis & 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:

 

Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota – Quarterback
The Jaguars are seemingly in a free fall, though they did hold Andrew Luck to 248 yards and 0 TD despite 52 attempts in Week 13.  That doesn’t lead to a strong endorsement for Mariota, who has had his issues as he’s battled injuries for the bulk of the season.  A few weeks ago he was limited by a neck injury, though it didn’t cost him any starts, and he also missed Week 2 due to an elbow injury.  On Monday he was listed as “limited” due to a hand injury, according to Paul Kuharsky (via Twitter), just adding to the health questions that have been hanging over him all season.

How much did those injuries impact his relatively poor performance back in Week 3 against the Jaguars (12-18, 100 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT)?  Maybe it did, marginally, but keep in mind that in his past four starts against the Jaguars his high is 215 yards.  He’s a mid-level QB2 and nothing more.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Dion Lewis – Running Back
What happened to the 20 carries (22 total touches) he had a few games ago against the Patriots?  The performance and usage in the subsequent three games has been highly disappointing:

  • at Indianapolis – 11 touches for 32 yards
  • at Houston – 14 touches for 41 yards
  • vs. New York Jets – 8 touches for 34 yards

Considering those recent performances and a matchup against a defense that has been stingy against opposing running backs (second fewest points per week) is there any reason you want to consider Lewis?  Maybe as a desperation FLEX, but since he could be TD dependent and he has 2 TD on the season (while the Jaguars have allowed 5) even that’s a stretch.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Derrick Henry – Running Back
At least he’s run for 5 TD, right?  We talked about the matchup when it comes to Lewis, so that obviously also hangs over Henry.  Just to further complicate things Henry hasn’t had more than 12 carries in a game since Week 3 and has accumulated 12 receptions all season long.  With limited touches and a difficult matchup, Henry too is basically completely unusable.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Corey Davis – Wide Receiver
He’s scored in three of his past four games, though even during this stretch he’s appeared to bring a bit of boom or bust to his game:

  • vs. New England – 7 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD
  • at Indianapolis – 2 receptions, 30 yards
  • at Houston – 4 receptions, 96 yards, 1 TD
  • vs. New York Jets – 3 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD

His Week 12 was saved by that TD so it’s easy to call him a 50/50 proposition (especially with just 4 targets in two of the four contests).  Obviously that adds to the risk in a difficult matchup (even though they haven’t been quite as dominant in recent weeks).  That’s going to create a bit of a boom or bust situation, so while he’s not unusable as a WR2 we’d be far more comfortable with him as a WR3.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (risky WR2/usable as a WR3)

 

Jonnu Smith – Tight End
He’s made some big plays of late, but he’s had more than 3 catches in a game just once…  He’s also been targeted more than 3 times in a game just once…  That’s really all you need to know.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Other Quick Thoughts:

  • Taywan Taylor (WR) – He’s a big play threat, as he showed against the Jets in Week 13, but does anyone really expect him to “boom” against Jacksonville?
  • Tajae Sharpe (WR) – Just like with Taylor, in a tough matchup and questions with the quarterback is there any reason to even consider him this early in the week?
  • Anthony Frikser (TE) – Over the past three weeks he’s turned 10 targets into 10 receptions and has at least 42 yards per game.  He also scored a TD in Week 13 against the Jets.  Is that enough?  Probably not, but considering the state of the position it wouldn’t be surprising if Frikser surprised and continued to produce.  That said he’s still better left as a desperation TE2.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Donte Moncrief – Wide Receiver
You may want to consider him Jacksonville’s “top” receiver, basically by default, but just look at the performance over the past three games:

  • vs. Pittsburgh – 1 reception, 12 yards
  • at Buffalo – 1 reception, 29 yards
  • vs. Indianapolis – 3 receptions, 40 yards

He’s been targeted 10 times over these three weeks, further dragging down his “upside”.  While he showed some potential midseason, at this point he’s a completely hands off thought especially given the quarterback mess.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Dede Westbrook – Wide Receiver
Westbrook has put up 44 yards or fewer in seven straight games and only twice has been above 55 yards.  He has at least seen consistent targets, with 4+ each game (he’s averaging 5.9 targets/game) and against a Tennessee defense that’s allowed the 12th most points per week against opposing wide receivers that at least puts him on the map.  He’s a high risk WR4, but if you are desperate for a WR3 he brings some opportunity.  That said, this early in the week is it really a risk you want to be taking?

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (extremely high risk, desperation WR3)

 

Must Start Options:

  • Leonard Fournette – Running Back

Other Quick Thoughts:

  • Cody Kessler (QB) – Is there any reason to even discuss him?  Averaging 5.7 yards/attempt in an offense that’s going to filter through Fournette, even in two-quarterback formats there’s little reason to consider him.
  • Carlos Hyde/T.J. Yeldon (RB) – With Leonard Fournette back from his one-game suspension will there be enough scraps left for either of the other running backs to be productive?  With the Titans allowing the sixth fewest points per week to opposing running backs coupled with limited touches they are completely hands off.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Running Back Edition: Week 14: Jaylen Samuels, Jeff Wilson & More
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Josh Adams, Marlon Mack, Stefon Diggs & More

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