by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 16 (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:
Ryan Tannehill – Quarterback – Miami Dolphins
There has been a lot of love for Tannehill over the past few weeks, and for good reason. However, before you lock him in for your championship game today consider these stats from ESPN’s Matthew Berry:
“So, this stat you probably know. No quarterback has been sacked more than Tannehill this season. This stat you might not: When under duress, Tannehill has completed only 38 percent of his passes. And I bet this one takes you by surprise: The Bills lead the league in sack rate (sacks per opponent dropbacks) this season. In fact, over the past five weeks, only the Seahawks have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Bills.”
Also keep in mind that in their first matchup Tannehill managed to go just 19-for-37 with 194 yards and 2 INT (though he did throw 3 TD). It’s been a great run, but this isn’t the matchup to try and exploit.
Larry Fitzgerald – Wide Receiver – Arizona Cardinals
The health concerns are one thing (between Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer), but the matchup is another. Just look at how he’s fared against Seattle recently:
- 2012 Week 1 – 4 receptions for 63 yards
- 2012 Week 14 – 1 reception for 2 yards
- 2013 Week 7 – 2 receptions for 17 yards
Yea, it’s been bad. While the suspensions to Seattle’s secondary give hope, there’s way too much risk involved in this one. Consider him more of a WR3, at best, and it completely depends on your alternatives. With a 4:00 PM EST start, if you have a safer option playing early, you may want to utilize it.
Adrian Peterson – Running Back – Minnesota Vikings
After missing last week’s game, Peterson is all set to return this week. When active, he’s a must play optin in all formats. It should go without saying, but get him back out there with your title on the line.
Ryan Mathews – Running Back – San Diego Chargers
Don’t let any limited practices this week fool you. Mathews finally appears to have figured it out and has assumed the role of backfield horse in San Diego:
- Week 14 – 29 carries for 103 yards and 1 TD
- Week 15 – 29 carries for 127 yards and 1 TD
This week he draws an Oakland defense that has allowed 10 total TD to opposing RB over the past four weeks. Granted, they have allowed just 380 rushing yards over that span, but it’s hardly enough to deter us. With his recent success Mathews is firmly locked in as a RB2 this week.
Jordan Todman – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars
Unfortunately we won’t know Maurice Jones-Drew’s status until game time, but with a 1:00 PM EST start we will at least know early enough to set our lineups. That said, with the way Todman played in Week 15 and with Jones-Drew only practicing on a limited basis, there’s a good chance Todman carries the load anyways.
Taking on a Titans team that is among the worst against the run this season (1,430 rushing yards, 18 TD), that would make Todman a very good play. Yes there’s some uncertainty, but consider him a viable RB2 with RB1 potential.