by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – at Minnesota
Would anyone have expected Foles to emerge as a must start option this season? He finally threw his first interception of the year in Week 14, leaving him with 20 TD vs. 1 INT. While he has thrown for under 250 yards each of the past two weeks (including 179 through inclement weather last week), he clearly has been playing like one of the elite.
Now, factor in the matchup. The Vikings are just behind the Cowboys in points allowed to opposing QB, including a league leading 28 TD passes and the third most yards (3,850). The Eagles have shown a willingness to throw the ball, even with LeSean McCoy, and there’s no reason to think Foles won’t rip them to shreds.
Sit – Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – at Tampa Bay
I’m not about to declare him absolutely unusable, but he certainly wouldn’t be my top choice with my fantasy season on the line. The Buccaneers have actually been a borderline Top 10 defense against opposing quarterbacks over the past four weeks, including 12 INT. While Kaepernick has been playing better of late, he still has only one game over 235 yards throwing in his past seven and hasn’t rushed for more than 31 in each of his past five games. Throw in 1 TD or less on five of his past seven games and is there really a sense of optimism?
Start – Shane Vereen – New England Patriots – at Miami
We’ve all seen how bad the Patriots offense can be without Rob Gronkowski, but let’s not forget that they were also missing Vereen. He may not get many carries, but he has 40 receptions in just five games and should continue to be a major cog in the offense.
Start – Steven Jackson – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Washington
Jackson has 60+ yards in three straight games, which doesn’t sound like much but it’s something (especially when paired with 3 TD). Over the past four weeks the Redskins have actually allowed the most rushing TD in the league (6), while also giving up over 100 yards per game. Sure there’s some risk, but he’s a viable RB2 with the matchup.
Sit – Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Arizona
The Cardinals run defense is stingy (198 yards and 2 TD over the past four weeks), making him a questionable play as it is. Now, you have to factor in the rumors that the team is preparing to move on, which makes you think we may really start seeing more and more of Shonn Greene. The latter has gotten 19 carries over the past two weeks and is coming off a game where he averaged 5.1 yards/carry and scored 2 TD. There’s just a lot of risk in Johnson.
Sit – Carolina Panthers RB – vs. New York Jets
The injury to Jonathan Stewart does help to clarify things, but that’s not enough. This is a tough matchup and you would still expect the team to ride the hot hand between D’Angelo Williams and Mike Tolbert. In other words, there’s just too much risk.
Wide Receiver (Two-Receiver Format)
Start – Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Washington
He has been a bitter disappointment this season, but over his last two games he has 18 receptions for 217 yards. If we want to nitpick he hasn’t found the end zone, though the Redskins have allowed 25 passing TD this season (tied for third most in the league).
Sit – Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans – vs. Arizona
The Cardinals haven’t allowed a passing touchdown in the past four weeks and Wright is coming off a surprisingly poor showing against the Broncos (2 catches for 17 yards). That’s not to say that he’s unusable, but he’s awfully tough to trust.
Wide Receiver (Three-Receiver Format)
Start – Rod Streater – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
Over the past four weeks the Chiefs have allowed the most receptions (60) and receiving yards (972), while also allowing 5 TD. Streater is coming off a huge game against the Jets (7 catches for 130 yards and 1 TD) and has 80+ yards in three of his past four games.
Sit – Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – at Seattle
Tough matchup and he continues to struggle (49 receptions and 0 TD this season). Even in deeper formats, how can we trust him?
Start – Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Arizona
While the Cardinals have stopped receivers, they’ve struggled to stop opposing tight ends. In fact, over the past four weeks they’ve been the worst against them (25 receptions for 337 yards and 5 TD). It’s easy to forget about Walker, having missed time due to a concussion, but he’s expected to play this week and is a must use option.
Sit – Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cincinnati
It’s a tough matchup and, while Miller has produced, he has struggled finding the end zone (1 TD). It’s looking like last season’s TD fest was an aberration, doesn’t it? It’s extremely hard to trust him.