by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 12 (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:
Knowshon Moreno – Running Back – Denver Broncos
According to Irv Moss of The Denver Post (click here for the article):
“Del Rio reported that Moreno did all of his work in practice Friday. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s game. Rookie Montee Ball has been backing up Moreno.”
Moreno’s production had been down in general, but he’s coming off a monster week (37 carries for 224 yards and 1 TD) and Monte Ball continues to struggle with fumbles. If Moreno plays he’s a must use option, even against the Kansas City defense (he had 79 total yards against them in their prior meeting in Week 12).
The game isn’t until 4:25 PM EST, so hopefully we get definitive word on his status. As of right now, however, he appears to be worth gambling on (though it depends on your alternatives) just make sure you have a viable alternative in place with a later start time. Even if it’s Ball or C.J. Anderson, just have someone else there as an emergency option.
Zac Stacy – Running Back – St. Louis Rams
Reports have Stacy cleared to play this week against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s a relatively tough matchup, though the 49ers have not been lights out against opposing running backs this season (10 total TD).
Stacy is the key to the Rans’ offense, and there’s no reason to think things won’t continue to run through him. While he may not be a RB1 option due to the matchup, he’s a must use RB2 now that he’s going to play. Don’t keep him out of lineups.
Tony Gonzalez – Tight End – Atlanta Falcons
Gonzalez has officially been listed as questionable, but is expected to play. That said, while he’s had a few big days he’s eclipsed 65 yards just once in his past six games with 1 TD in the process. The Bills have also done a good job at shutting down opposing tight ends, allowing the third fewest receptions (39) and the second fewest yards (382, just behind the San Francisco 49ers at 373). There’s a lot of risk involved in trusting him today. I’d consider him more of a high-end TE2 as opposed to a viable TE1.
LeSean McCoy – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles
According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (click here for the article):
“The discrepancy isn’t as dramatic as some have suggested, but McCoy rushed 96 times for 532 yards (5.4 average) and three touchdowns with Vick and has run 117 times for 486 yards (4.2 avg.) and two touchdowns when either Foles or Matt Barkley has been at quarterback.”
It does make sense, with opposing defenses not having to account for Vick’s mobility. Does it do anything to downgrade McCoy’s appeal? It shouldn’t, as he’s still producing at an extremely high level. Continue to view him as a RB1 and a must use option in all formats.
Andrew Luck – Quarterback – Indianapolis Colts
There are several reasons not to like Luck this week, but ESPN’s Matthew Berry adds another (click here for his Love/Hate column):
“In his first seven games this season (prior to Reggie Wayne’s injury), Luck’s average pass traveled 9.4 yards downfield, seventh in the league. Since the injury, Luck’s average pass has traveled 7.2 yards downfield, 24th in the league.”
Now add in a few other things:
- The Titans have allowed 8 TD to QB, fewest in the league
- Luck has 2 TD and 4 INT in his past three games (and under 240 yards in his past two games)
- The last time Luck faced Tennessee he had 232 yards, 0 TD and 0 INT
Everything seems stacked against him, so unless you are in a two-quarterback format you should be able to find a more trustworthy option.
Alshon Jeffery – Wide Reciever – Chicago Bears
He has at least 7 targets in each of his past five games and actually has been below 7 just twice all season. In fact, he has 10+ targets in five of the past eight games. How many wide receivers in the league can say that? The truth is you can probably count them on one hand.
Now add in that the Bears are taking on the Minnesota Vikings (156 catches, 2,022 yards and 12 TD allowed to WR) and what’s not to like? While Brandon Marshall gets all the attention, Jeffery also should be considered a very good option in all formats.
D’Angelo Williams – Running Back – Carolina Panthers
He was listed as questionable and, according to Joe Person (via Twitter):
“DE Charles Johnson (knee) out for 2nd week, and Ron Rivera says “a lot of concern” with RB DeAngelo Williams (quad), listed as questionable.”
Given the depth at the position Williams wouldn’t have been a viable option anyways. Even with him out, it’s tough to trust Jonathan Stewart or Mike Tolbert, who will continue to share carries if he is out against a Tampa Bay defense that is no slouch.