Must Start Options
Quarterback - Drew Bree’s (NO), Matt Ryan (Atl)
Running Back - None
Wide Receiver - Roddy White (Atl), Julio Jones (Atl), Marques Colston (NO)
Tight End - Jimmy Graham (NO), Tony Gonzalez (Atl)
Open for Discussion
Running Back – Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints
We all know that Sproles’ value comes from his ability to catch the football, as he hasn’t gotten more than seven carries in a game this season. In his first game back he wasn’t given a handoff, but did bring in seven receptions for 65 yards. In a game that is likely going to be a shootout, this gives him the highest upside of any Saints’ running back (as is the case for most weeks).
However, that doesn’t make him a recommended option. There’s just too much uncertainty and too many other weapons to say for sure tha Sproles is going to post big numbers. Could he have the type of day he did against the Panthers (13 receptions for 128 yards)? Absolutely, but he could just as easily post a line like the one he had against San Diego (5 receptions for 28 yards). He is electric, which keeps him as a FLEX option, but you likely have a better option for a RB2 spot.
Running Back – Pierre Thomas/Chris Ivory/Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
It is easier just to lump these three together, because their situation is identical. It was difficult to determine which would be the better back when Sproles was out of action, as they all shared touches. Now that he is back and they all have lost snaps because of it, the situation becomes impossible to predict. Unless you are desperate, you can’t trust any of these three.
Running Back – Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons
You would’ve thought that he would be an easy play, especially against a Saints defense that is allowing the most rushing yards per game this season (156.5). However, he has slowly started to lose opportunities to Jacquizz Rodgers. In fact, in three of the past five games Rodgers has led the team in rushing yards. Actually, it’s not that impressive of a feat. Only three times in 11 games has a Falcons running back rushed for over 65 yards. That said, opportunity is opportunity and it’s far from a given that Turner gets it.
This is a passing attack, though you have to think that they are going to run the ball given the matchup this week. With the recent trend who is to say that it will be Turner and not Rodgers getting the majority of the chances (it’s safe to say that neither is going to get the “bulk” of them)? While I would still prefer Turner, the questions make him more of a FLEX option. However, it really depends on your alternatives as to if he is a recommended option or not.
Running Back – Jacquizz Rodgers – Atlanta Falcons
You can take everything that was said about Turner and basically copy it here word for word. The difference is that Rodgers is more of a hugh risk/huge reward option at the FLEX. While he has the chance to emerge (especially give his role in the passing game), he also may not get the opportunities. Unless you are desperate, would keep him tucked away on your bench until he officially overtakes Turner on the depth chart.
Wide Receiver – Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints
While he had a big game against Oakland (scoring a pair of touchdowns), Moore’s numbers really haven’t been there of late. He has three receptions or fewer in four of his past five games (with 61 yards or fewer in four of the five games) and has scored a touchdown in three games all season. Taking on a good passing defense, is this the type of early week gamble you want to take?
Wide Receiver – Devery Henderson – New Orleans Saints
He gets fewer opportunities than Moore. Yes, it’s a high powered offense, but there is way too much risk to trust him.
Wide Receiver – Henry Duglas – Atlanta Falcons
With Julio Jones returning to health, there’s just too much risk. Sure, he could make a play but he could just as easily be shutout.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: