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 – Sam Darnold – New York Jets (at CIN)
While the Jets haven’t had the stiffest competition over the past few weeks, it’s promising to see Darnold performing well (especially after the “seeing ghosts” issue a few weeks ago). Just look at the numbers he’s posted over the past two weeks:
- at Washington – 19-30 (63.3%), 293 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
- vs. Oakland – 20-29 (69.0%), 315 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
It’s also not like the competition gets any tougher, with the Bengals allowing the third most points per week to opposing quarterbacks (fourth most over the past four weeks). Part of Cincinnati’s issues have been quarterbacks who can use their legs (432 rushing yards is by far the most in the league), but with only 5 INT and with the way Darnold has been playing he remains a solid option.
Sit – Phillip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)
Rivers has thrown 7 INT over his past two games, suddenly bringing him to 15 TD vs. 14 INT on the season. Two of those INT came against Denver earlier in the season, when he was held to 211 yards and 0 TD (he’s thrown 2 INT in each of the past three games against Denver). He’s not alone in struggling against the Broncos, as they’ve allowed 12 TD throws all season (tied for sixth fewest in the league). So with the way he’s been playing and with the matchup ahead of him, why would we view this as a get right spot?
Other Quarterbacks to Start –
- Aaron Rodgers (GB at NYG) – We all know how bad the Giants’ young secondary has been this season, and that’s something that Rodgers should be able to take advantage of. It makes sense to be a little bit skeptical, considering he’s thrown for 233 yards or fewer in three straight games (including 104 yards against the 49ers this past week). Of course he also has 18 TD vs. 2 INT on the season and the Giants have a habit of making mediocre quarterbacks look good. Just imagine what a great QB can do.
- Carson Wentz (PHI at MIA) – Pick on the Dolphins… That has been a running trend this season and more times than not it’s worked, so why stray from it now? Overall they’ve allowed 26 TD vs. 7 INT, and while you’d likely feel better about Wentz if his allotment of weapons was at full health they should still have more than enough fire power to produce.
Another Quarterback to Sit –
- Jimmy Garoppolo (SF at BAL) – The 49ers are a run first offense taking on a Baltimore defense that’s allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks. What about that statement would make you think that Garoppolo would be a good selection for this week?
Start – Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)
Indianapolis tight ends have generally lost value due to having to share opportunities. However with Eric Ebron hitting the IR that no longer should be an issue for Doyle. As it is he has 3 TD on the season (including 2 TD in his past four games) and he draws a Tennessee defense that’s in the bottom half of the league at stopping opposing tight ends. Considering the uncertainty at the position from top to bottom, Doyle is a gamble worth taking.
Sit – Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers (at NYG)
Sure we are all going to want to utilize Green Bay’s passing attack this week, but it hasn’t been opposing tight ends that have done the damage against the Giants. In fact they’ve allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing tight ends. Now consider this “production” from Graham over the past four games:
- at Kansas City – 3 catches for 20 yards
- at Los Angeles Chargers – 4 catches for 17 yards
- vs. Carolina – 2 catches for 59 yards
- at San Francisco – 1 catch for 7 yards
Another Tight End to Start –
- Ryan Griffin (NYJ at CIN) – Griffin has scored in back-to-back games and draws a Cincinnati defense that has given up the most points per week to opposing tight ends over the past four weeks. With a quarterback who is finding his footing, he’s as good of a gamble as any at the position.
Another Tight End to Sit –
- Vance McDonald (PIT vs. CLE) – The Steelers are going to be trying their third quarterback this week, while McDonald hasn’t topped 40 yards in a game yet this season. What about that combination would make you think he’s a strong play?
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: