Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 15: Robert Griffin III, Ryan Mathews, Dez Bryant & More

Just hours before the start of Week 15 (for most teams anyways) 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:

Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins – Quarterback Adam Schefter (via Twitter) is reporting that:

“At team meeting minutes ago, Redskins players were informed Kirk Cousins will start at Cleveland, according to text from person in room.”

It’s surprising news, especially after Griffin had been practicing this week (albeit on a limited basis).  Griffin has been among the elite fantasy players in the league, but you are going to be forced to battle for your title without him.  Hopefully you planned accordingly earlier in the week and have a viable alternative.

Kirk Cousins will get the start and, while he did play well last week in relief, is still a rookie himself and an unknown (just look at Nick Foles for how up-and-down rookies can be).  Chances are Alfred Morris is going to become an even bigger part of the offense.  Already a must start, he can actually be nudged up a few more spots on the rankings.

David Wilson – New York Giants – Running Back
With Ahmad Bradshaw already ruled out and the Giants shallow at the position, Wilson is inline to carry the load.  Granted, the team could easily put the ball in the hands of Eli Manning even more than usual, but seeing Wilson get at least 15-20 touches is very realistic.

He showed what he could do last week, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries (not even counting the electric day he had returning kicks).  He also faces a Falcons defense that has allowed seven rushes of at least 40 yards (most in the league), 12 rushes of at least 20 yards (tied for sixth most in the league) and 14 rushing touchdowns (fifth most in the league).

Big play running back + Rushing defense susceptible to big plays = Ideal fantasy matchup

Consider Wilson a good play in all formats as a RB2/FLEX option.

Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – Running Back
According to Michael Gehlken (via Twitter):

“If Ryan Mathews doesn’t break career high in touches (28) Sunday, may be close. Team wants RM heavily involved w/ Ronnie Brown likely out.”

While Mathews has generally been a disappointment this season, with 685 rushing yards and 1 TD, this news comes at the perfect time.  We may not want to trust him, but he is going to take on a Panthers defense that is allowing 121.6 rushing yards per game and 11 TD.  They have also allowed 24 points per game, 12th most in the league.

It’s hard to call him a must start option, with a big workload seemingly on the horizon he should be in store for a solid afternoon.  As a RB2/FLEX, he’s worth using in all formats.

Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – Wide Receiver
According to Calvin Watkins (via Twitter):

“Filed to, Cowboys expect Dez Bryant to play Sunday vs. Pittsburgh.”

While Bryant does have tremendous potential, his production is going to be a complete unknown as he likely will be sporting a splint for his broken finger.  He does remain a viable option, if you use him or not completely depends on your alternatives.  This is simply a case-by-case situation.

Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – Quarterback
Listed as probable, it appears Cutler is going to be on the field this week.  Of course, that doesn’t mean he should be in your fantasy lineup.  In Week 2 against the Packers all Cutler did was post 126 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.  While he did have over 300 yards in his one 2011 matchup, in three games in 2010 (he met them in the playoffs) he failed to exceed 221 yards while throwing one touchdown vs. four interceptions.

In other words, a matchup with the Packers is rarely a positive for Cutler.  Coupled with his overall performance this season he can only be considered in two quarterback formats.

Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – Tight End
List as questionable (like the majority of Patriots players), Gronkowski isn’t expected to play (unlike Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Lloyd).  According to Albert Breer (via Twitter):

“I’m told that, though he did get out to practice today, it’s still considered unlikely that Rob Gronkowski will play on Sunday.”

In other words, don’t plan on using him.

Danny Amendola – St. Louis Rams – Wide Receiver
Amendola is listed as probable, so it looks like he’s going to be back on the field against the Minnesota Vikings.  Does that mean he’s trustworthy, however?  That’s a tough pill to swallow with your fantasy title hanging in the balance.

He’s suffered setbacks before and has been used as nothing more than a decoy when he did dress.  That’s not to say that he’s not going to play a vital role, but just that it’s hard to depend on him to do so.  In PPR leagues or three receiver formats things are a little bit different.  That said, he’s probably a low-end option based on the risk.  It fully depends on your alternatives on if he is your fantasy lineup or not.

Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – Wide Receiver
He’s listed as questionable for their matchup with a banged up Giants secondary, so fantasy owners are going to have to keep a close eye on the news this morning.  If he’s playing, he’s going to be worth using based on the matchup.

Shonn Greene/Bilall Powell – New York Jets – Running Back
With Powell listed as probable for Monday night, this is looking like a time share once again.  While both were productive in Week 14, both should be considered risky plays this week despite a favorable matchup.  If you need an option in a deeper league both are worth considering, but neither is more than a low-end RB2/FLEX option because of the uncertainty of their role.

***** Pre-order the Rotoprofessor 2013 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide today for just $6!!  Expanded rankings, prospect lists, Top 25 sleepers and so much more!  To order, or for more information, click here. *****

Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings:

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 16: Stevan Ridley, Tony Romo, Danario Alexander & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 15: David Wilson, Josh Freeman, Darren McFadden & More


  1. S says:

    Is Browns D usable now that RG3 is out?

  2. Mark says:

    With rg3 out would you still start garcon? I have kenny britt and heyward bey on the bench to use in his place

  3. Tito says:

    Hi Roto Professor,

    I keep switching back and forth between lineups so your expertise would be most welcome. Who’s you choose out of this heap?

    QBs(2): Stafford, Fitzpatrick & Kaepernick
    RBs(2): Gore, D. Martin & S. Greene
    WRs(3): Welker, Lance Moore, Danario or Givens
    TE(1): Jimmy Graham or Owen Daniels
    (1)R/W/T Flex spot out of whoever’s left over
    K(1): Walsh or Barth
    Def: Rams or Patriots. I can also pick up the browns before the game starts.

    Thanks in advance for any input!

  4. Tom says:

    Why is Greene a risky play if Powell is probable?

    Should I start Ridley over Greene?

  5. Mark – I would consider Britt, but I still anticipate Garçon making a few big plays. I would stay the course.

    QB – Stafford & Kaepernick
    RB – Martin & Gore
    WR – Welker, Alexander & Moore
    TE- Graham (though both are good plays)
    FLEX – Greene (by default)
    K – Barth
    D – I’d go Pats

    Tom – because Greene is goin o lose touches nd, if Powell gets hot, who is to Sy he won’t get the bulk of the chances. That said, Ridley is just as hard to trust, so I would go with Greene

  6. Cecily says:

    Should I stick with Doug Martin and Trent Richardson over David Wilson?

    • Yea, but it’s surprisingly close with Richardson

      • Cecily says:

        Never wold have thought Wilson would be outscoring Martin. With him and Freeman on my team this is pretty painful. Especially since my opponent this week is playing Drew Brees.

        • Cecily says:

          Still pulled out the win! (Only by 2 points this week… But I won by 48points the week before so I had a nice cushion.) now I’m going to the championship in my first year of playing fantasy football. Thanks for the advice and all your posts. :)

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