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 – Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos (at Minnesota)
The Minnesota Vikings have allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing wide receivers this season and they’ve been even worse as of late (903 yards and 8 TD over the past four weeks). While there are going to be questions about the Broncos’ passing attack, there’s no question that Sutton is “the man” with Emmanuel Sanders now playing for the 49ers.
As it is Sutton has been targeted at least 5 times in each game, and 7+ in eight out of nine. He’s also been consistent in terms of yards, with under 50 yards just once. With that type of opportunity/production coupled in a positive matchup? He has the potential to produce like a WR1 this week and is an easy start in all formats, even with the team’s questions at quarterback.
Sit – Alshon Jeffrey – Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New England)
Just look at what Jeffrey has done over the past three games:
- at Dallas – 2 catches for 38 yards
- at Buffalo – 4 catches for 64 yards
- vs. Chicago – 4 catches for 36 yards
That type of production, barely catching 50% of his targets (10-of-19), should be enough to scare you off. Now put that against a New England defense that has given up the fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, including just 1 TD, and he’s completely unusable.
Start – Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens (vs. Houston)
Brown doesn’t always get the opportunities that other wide receivers do (he’s been 8 times in two games since returning to the field) based on Baltimore’s focus on running the ball. That said he’s clearly the team’s best receiver and has consistently shown the ability to make big plays (he’s scored 4 TD and is averaging 16.2 yards/reception).
Put that against a Houston defense that’s allowed the third most points per week to opposing wide receivers, including 13 TD, and it’s a solid matchup. Brown has already had 4 receptions of at least 40+ yards (tied for fifth in the league) and would it be surprising if he broke another?
Sit – Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams (vs. Chicago)
One thing we know with the Rams is that you never know where the targets are going to go. Sure Woods was targeted 11 times in the Rams’ last game (7 catches for 95 yards), but it was the week before that he was targeted just twice for 36 yards and four games ago that he was held without a catch.
Even when he’s had the opportunities Woods has yet to find the end zone and has now gone 13 games without scoring (including last year’s playoffs). With the Bears having allowed the fifth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, including just 4 TD, it’s an impossible matchup to try and exploit. Maybe if we were to believe that the targets would definitely be there, but since that’s not the case the situation is even cloudier (especially since Gerald Everett could become a focal point).
Additional Wide Receivers To Start:
- Calvin Ridley (Atlanta Falcons at CAR) – He’s had less than 50 yards in three of the past four games, but Atlanta is banged up and that should mean ample opportunities for both Ridley and Julio Jones. While the matchup isn’t necessarily ideal, the Panthers also aren’t among the elite defenses. There should be more than enough chances for Ridley to thrive.
- Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals at OAK) – The Oakland Raiders haven’t been particularly good against wide receivers this season, allowing the seventh most points per week to them (1,712 yards and 12 TD). While there haven’t been many TD recently, they’ve allowed the second most yards over the past four weeks (849 yards, 4 TD). Obviously a rookie QB could help to limit Boyd and his upside, but he’s consistently gotten opportunities (10.33 targets/game over the past three weeks). In this matchup that should be more than enough to use him as a WR2.
Additional Wide Receivers To Sit:
- Marvin Jones (Detroit Lions vs. DAL) – Both Jones and Golladay get dragged down due to the matchup alone, with the Cowboys allowing the second fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers (only the Patriots have been better). With Matthew Stafford looking like he’s going to miss his second consecutive game, the outlook for the Detroit wide receivers gets that much worse. At this point even if Stafford plays, just how much can you really expect from him?
- DeVante Parker (Miami Dolphins vs. BUF) – Buffalo is not an easy matchup for any wide receiver and while Parker has gotten opportunities (62 targets) he hasn’t generally made the most of them (33 receptions). The big draw is that he’s scored 4 TD over his past six games, but Buffalo has allowed just 4 TD to opposing wide receivers and without that his value would be nearly nil.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: