by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
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:
Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings – Running Back
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter) this morning):
“#Vikings are expected to be without star RB Adrian Peterson (foot) today, as well as without backup Toby Gerhart (hamstring), per source”
The Vikings play at 1:00 PM EST, so we’ll have definitive word early in the day. That said, fantasy owners need to scramble and find a viable alternative immediately. The only other running backs on the roster are Matt Asiata and Joe Banyard (just promoted from the practice squad), meaning neither are very trustworthy options.
If you had to gamble on one it would be Asiata, but fantasy owners would be better served to look elsewhere.
Reggie Bush – Detroit Lions – Running Back
It was just one week ago that Bush aggravated his calf injury in warmups and ultimately didn’t play a snap. Now, with a Monday night game and having missed practice time how can we really trust him?
Unless you have Joique Bell as a handcuff, there’s way too much risk involved (unless you have no trustworthy options playing on Sunday). Simply put, don’t sit a comparable option with a little less upside while banking on Bush playing. He’s far from a lock to even play, and you would have to expect a time share even if he does.
Alfred Morris – Washngton Redskins – Running Back
I know the Redskins are an absolute mess, and that’s going to make you nervous. That said, the Altanta Falcons have been making all the running backs they face look like Adrian Peterson of late. Over their past four games Atlanta has allowed 720 total yards and 7 TD to opposing running backs. That’s just nuts.
With Kirk Cousins under center the Redskins should look to build a strong running game to help keep the defense honest. Don’t get cute here, even though Morris has struggled over the past few games. There’s way too much upside not to have him in your lineup.
Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – Quarterback
They have announced that he’s starting, but does that mean he’s necessarily going to finish the game? Over the past three weeks McCown’s worst yardage was 348 and he has 8 TD vs. 1 INT. With the Bears tied with the Lions for first place in the division, it’s obviously a must win situation against the Browns.
So, what if Cutler gets off to a slow start? Do we really think the team will stick with him? With the way McCown has been playing you could certainly argue that he doesn’t deserve to sit. In one-quarterback formats, Cutler offers too much risk coming off a lengthy absence and with the potential for being yanked.
Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – Wide Receiver
He’s done little since returning (6 receptions for 108 yards), is battling an ankle injury and draws Darrelle Revis and a Tampa Bay defense that has arguably been the best in the league over the past four weeks (82 points allowed, 12 sacks, 12 INT). In other words, outside of a desperation WR3 play, there’s just too much risk in trusting Crabtree today.
Cecil Shorts – Jacksonville Jaguars – Wide Receiver
If he plays, he’s going to once again be playing hurt. It’s a shame, because the matchup with the Bills had the potential to be a favorable one (something he hasn’t had in weeks).
Jacksonville plays at 1 PM EST, so we should get clarification early in the day. With TD in back-to-back games and having proven that he can perform at less than 100%, if Shorts plays he’s going to be a viable option in all formats.
Garrett Graham – Houston Texans – Tight End
According to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter):
“#Texans expect to be without TE Garrett Graham (hamstring) for tomorrow’s game vs. #Colts. Helps Indy a bit, given issues at TE for Houston”
Graham has been a major force over the past four weeks, being targeted at least 9 times each game. Unfortunately fantasy owners need to move on to the next option.