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:
Boston Scott – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles
Source: Eagles’ RB Miles Sanders will not make the trip to Washington and, due to a hamstring injury that had him listed as questionable, is out for Sunday’s opener against the Washington Football Team.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2020
This news should lead to Scott operating as the lead back for the Eagles in Week 1. While Washington allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing running backs last season, they hired Ron Rivera as their head coach and Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator this offseason. Those changes coupled with what should be a strong defensive front should make for some tough sledding for any running back.
Scott only got more than 10 carries in one game last season, turning 19 carries into 54 yards (2.8 YPC) and 3 TD in the final regular season game of ’19. He was targeted at least 6 times in each of the past four games, turning 25 targets into 23 catches.
It’s hard to call Scott a must use, given the matchup and limited production (4.0 YPC in ’19), but he’s definitely a worthy FLEX in all formats (and a borderline RB2, though a better play in PPR formats).
Verdict – Start ‘Em
Courtland Sutton – Wide Receiver – Denver Broncos
Vic Fangio tells reporters that if WR Courtland Sutton (sprained AC Joint) can do 10 jumping jacks pregame he can play. “The most primitive test there is.” But if Sutton does it … he’ll be a go Monday night.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 12, 2020
The problem here, obviously, is that Sutton is the late game on Monday night. That means that if he is forced to sit your options to replace him will be severely limited. That alone should be the deciding factor in making your decision, as the best bet is to find an alternative on Sunday that you can depend on.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
James Robinson – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson, an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State, is slated to get the start for Jacksonville after Leonard Fournette was released and Ryquell Armstead was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The problem is, are we willing to bet that he’s locked into a full-time role? As it is you’d have to think the Jaguars were leaning towards a committee, after the departure of Fournette, though both Chris Thompson and Dare Ogunbowale (recently added) are both known more for their pass catching abilities.
That could mean Robinson gets the bulk of the early down carries, with the other two getting more looks in third down/hurry up situations. Robinson showed the ability to handle a heavy workload over his final two years in college:
- 2018 – 205 carries for 1,290 yards & 12 TD
- 2019 – 364 carries for 1,899 yards & 18 TD
The Colts were middle of the pack in terms of points allowed to running backs in ’19. While the questions regarding his usage does suppress the value slightly, he’s a viable FLEX depending on your alternatives.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (as a FLEX)
Mike Evans – Wide Receiver – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#Bucs WR Mike Evans, listed as doubtful just yesterday before being upgraded to questionable, is now likely to play despite his hamstring injury, source said. Evans may be on a pitch count, but barring a setback, there is optimism for him to be on the field against the #Saints.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2020
While Evans has a good shot at suiting up in what promises to be a high-scoring affair, the problem is the “pitch count”. Could he still be productive, even if he’s not getting the anticipated number of targets? If you look at his last three matchups against New Orleans, it’s fair to be skeptical:
Evans didn’t have Tom Brady at quarterback for those games, though we all know Brady isn’t quite the same player he once was. The game plays at 4:25 EST, so we may not have a definitive answer to his status until after the early games have started. That complicates things a little bit, and it all depends on your alternatives.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (if you have a strong alternative) otherwise roll dice
Chris Carson – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll hints at going with the hot hand approach with Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde on Sunday. I think that’s mostly coach speak. Carson is the guy, but I do think it’s a more even split than we saw last year.— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) September 11, 2020
While you have to be slightly concerned that Carson could lose a few touches, the workload should still be heavy enough. The news pushes more to being a low-end RB2, with Hyde a risky FLEX, but don’t make the mistake of ignoring him.
Verdict – Start’ Em
David Montgomery – Running Back – Chicago Bears
David Montgomery practiced in full for the second day in a row. He’s questionable.— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) September 11, 2020
Also practicing in full and listed as questionable: Cordarrelle Patterson, Jason Spriggs, Javon Wims, Germain Ifedi, Buster Skrine.
Montgomery is working through a strained groin, so while he’s going to play just how much is he going to be able to do? The fact that he’s been practicing helps, though you have to wonder if Tarik Cohen will get a few more touches than usual. Montgomery averaged just over 15 carries per game last season, while Coleman was utilized solely in a pass catching role (only 64 carries total and only twice over 6 carries).
The questions regarding his touches is going to limit Montgomery’s potential value, so consider him more of a FLEX than a viable RB2.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (but only as a FLEX option)
Jalen Reagor – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles’ first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who was limited some at practice last week before practicing in full Friday due to a shoulder injury, will play today vs. the Washington Football Team.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2020
While Reagor is expected to take the field, as a rookie without a normal offseason does anyone really want to believe in him as a trustworthy option? As it is Reagor is likely a WR3/4 to open the season, and given the risk in Week 1 he’s an unusable option.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings: