Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Jaylen Samuels, T.Y. Hilton, Matt Breida & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 15’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:

 

Matt Breida – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers
According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):

#49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle) is listed as questionable but is expecting to play, source said. He should be back after a short absence. WR Marquise Goodwin (calf) and WR Dante Pettis (foot) shpuld also be good.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2018

This creates a muddy situation for fantasy owners, after Jeff Wilson has dominated the carries over the past two weeks and produced:

  • at Seattle – 23 touches for 134 yards
  • vs. Denver – 24 touches for 96 yards

A rematch with the Seahawks awaits today, a team that has allowed the sixth most points per week to opposing running backs over the past four weeks.  A lot of that damage has come to running backs who can catch the football (league high 347 receiving yards and 3 TD), which is where the bulk of Wilson’s success came in that contest.  Given that Wilson has a slight edge (especially in PPR formats), but there’s a good shot that this is a timeshare and that makes both difficult to trust.  Neither should be considered more than a FLEX play.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (viable FLEX, but there’s a lot of risk)

 

T.Y. Hilton – Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts
There are obvious questions facing Hilton for today, as Ian Rapoport (via Twitter) described:

#Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) did not practice all week, and he’ll be a game-time decision, source said. But given his level of toughness — and that he played without practicing last week — there is a very real shot he’s on the field.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2018

With a 1:00 PM EST start time we at least will have an answer early in the day.  Just looking at the numbers over the past few weeks tells you what type of upside Hilton has as he’s averaged 11 targets per game and turned them into 33 catches and 556 yards (125+ yards in three of the four games).  Dallas has been a good defense against opposing wide receivers this season, but so has Houston (and Miami hasn’t been bad) and Hilton and Andrew Luck have been toasting them routinely.

There’s obviously some risk, but if Hilton is active he’s going to be worth using as a WR2 unless you are extremely deep at the position.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable WR2)

 

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Jaylen Samuels – Running Back – Pittsburgh Steelers
With James Conner listed as doubtful this should be Samuels’ opportunity to carry the load like he did last week against the Raiders.  While he struggled to get going on the ground he saved his day with his ability to catch the football:

  • Rushing – 11 carries for 28 yards
  • Receiving – 7 receptions for 64 yards

The matchup between Pittsburgh and New England could easily turn into a shootout, and with New England allowing the sixth most receiving yards to opposing running backs this season (710 yards) there’s every reason to believe that Samuels plays a significant role.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

 

Doug Baldwin – Wide Receiver – Seattle Seahawks
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

Seattle WR Doug Baldwin, listed as questionable for Sunday due to a hip injury, is expected to play vs. 49ers barring any pregame setbacks, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2018

Injuries have been a consistent issue for Baldwin, only once exceeding 77 yards in a game as he’s been more of a possession receiver (37 catches for 388 yards).  You also have the question as to how many opportunities that he’ll get, with the team taking more of a run-centric approach and Tyler Lockett, David Moore and others stepping up.  While there appears to be some name appeal, the risk outweighs the reward.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

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Chris Ivory – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) is reporting:

LeSean McCoy, listed as Q for Sunday due to hamstring, not expected to play vs. Lions, per source. Bills also could be without RB Chris Ivory, who won’t decide till pre-game whether he can play w/ shoulder injury. If Ivory can’t go, Keith Ford+Marcus Murphy would be Buffalo RBs.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2018

A healthy Ivory would likely dominate the backfield, and taking on the Lions that could mean a solid day at the office.  With a 1:00 PM EST start time we should know his status before the bulk of the games, but of course it’s not like Ivory has thrived this season (3.4 YPC) and even with 12 carries in Week 14 he managed just 42 yards.  Even if he’s active there’s potential that he’s limited or suffers a setback, making the risk outweigh the potential reward.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Matthew Stafford – Quarterback – Detroit Lions
While Stafford is expected to play today against the Bills, does anyone really care?  Over the past four weeks Buffalo has allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks, while Stafford has been a disaster over the same period:

  • 245 yards or fewer in each of the past four games
  • 2 total touchdowns
  • 3 interceptions

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

LeGarrette Blount – Running Back – Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson has been ruled out, leaving Blount to carry the load once again.  Of course he’s been trending in the wrong direction over the past few weeks:

  • vs. Chicago – 19 carries for 88 yards (4.6 YPC)
  • vs. Los Angeles Rams – 16 carries for 61 yards (3.8 YPC)
  • at Arizona – 12 carries for 33 yards (2.8 YPC)

Given that and a relatively tough matchup, does anyone want to trust him?

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

 

Sterling Shepard – Wide Receiver – New York Giants
Odell Beckham has been ruled out once again, and in a similar situation last week Shepard struggled as he turned 6 targets into 2 receptions and 17 yards.  While his day was saved by a TD, look for Eli Manning to continue to move the ball around while the offense should run through Saquan Barkley.  As the “top” receiver or not, there’s simply too much risk.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (desperation WR3 and nothing more)

** PRE-ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2019 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE **
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Running Back Edition: Week 15: Derrick Henry, Josh Adams & More

17 comments

  1. Chris says:

    Hi prof! Keenan Allen’s goose egg has already put me behind the 8 Ball in the semifinals 🙁

    PPR, pick 1: D Lewis, Mack, or K Dixon?

    Thanks!

  2. Eric says:

    PPR- Fitzgerald or Jordy Nelson… old war horses I know but Beckham killed me but Nelson has gotten active last two games

  3. Trvor says:

    Rodgers or Lamar Jackson
    Doug Martin, Tyler Lockett, Mark Ingram or Josh Gordon std flex
    Dion Lewis, Gus Edwards or Tyler Boyd std flex

  4. Cameron says:

    PPR would you play tyler boyd, golladay, pettis, or i have curtis samuel

  5. Greg says:

    Dak or Winston? also Golladay, Curtis Samuel, Josh Gordon or Derrick Henry? need one WR and one Flex .5 ppr

  6. Trevor says:

    Rodgers or Lamar Jackson
    Josh Gordon or lockett

  7. Richard says:

    What do you feel about Marcus Murphy with McCoy and Ivory out? Would you start him over Dixon and Pettis?

  8. Tuler says:

    Do I start jaylen samuels or t.y. Hilton at flex? I feel Samuel is the obvious pick but I’m in the playoffs in two leagues and in my other league he’s starting samuels. Do I start Hilton hoping he has a down game and win in both leagues or roll with samuels?

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