Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (Week 11): Damien Harris, Adrian Peterson, Allen Lazard & More

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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:

Teddy Bridgewater (QB) – Carolina Panthers

Bridgewater suffered a “minor” MCL sprain in Week 10, and it appeared unlikely he was going to play this week. As the week has progressed that has changed, with Bridgewater potentially suiting up in what should be a favorable matchup. Detroit has allowed the 11th most points per week to opposing quarterbacks overall, including 17 TD vs. 5 INT.

The problem is what happens if Bridgewater’s mobility is limited? What happens if he suffers an in-game setback? As a QB2 he’s worth the risk, but it’s not like he’s been a world beater in 2020 (13 TD vs. 7 INT). As a QB1, fantasy owners will likely want to take a conservative approach.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Damien Harris (RB) – New England Patriots

Harris has been on a great roll, averaging at least 5.1 YPC in each of his past four games. Included in that run are a pair of 100+ rushing yards (121 yards on 22 carries in Week 10), and while Rex Burkhead is going to be a significant factor in the passing game this matchup lines up well for Harris.

The Houston Texans have allowed the third most points per week to opposing running backs, but just look at the rankings in terms of rushing yards:

  • Houston Texans – 1,389 yards
  • Dallas Cowboys – 1,139 yards
  • Detroit Lions – 1,137 yards

That’s not a typo, the Texans have allowed 250 more rushing yards than any other team. As long as Harris doesn’t suffer a last second setback, fire him up in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Adrian Peterson (RB) – Detroit Lions

D’Andre Swift would’ve been a must start, but he’s sidelined with a concussion and could miss Thursday’s game as well. It appears likely that Peterson will take the early down work with Johnson stepping in for passing situations. That puts both players on RB2/FLEX radars against a Carolina defense that hasn’t been good against opposing running backs:

  • Rushing – 1,088 yards and 10 TD
  • Receiving – 445 yards and 2 TD

That puts Carolina has having given up the fourth most points per week to opposing running backs. Given those numbers, Peterson is likely the preferred option for fantasy owners.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Matthew Stafford (QB) – Detroit Lions

While Stafford is going to play, he will be without D’Andre Swift and Kenny Golladay. Both will hurt the offense, though Stafford has been producing, with 3 TD in two of his past three games. Carolina has also given up the second most points per week to opposing QB over the past four weeks, including 9 TD vs. 1 INT (as well as 3 rushing TD).

If Stafford had his full compliment of weapons he’d be an easy start, but with the injury and the guys missing his upside could be limited. Think of him as more of a QB2 as opposed to a QB1.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Drew Lock (QB) – Denver Broncos

Lock is coming off an absolutely miserable day, with 4 INT against the Raiders. Miami doesn’t offer an easier matchup, as they have allowed just 13 TD through the air to opposing quarterbacks. Mix the matchup with his most recent performance, and the potential for Lock to be pulled if he struggles again, and it’s impossible to trust him.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Allen Lazard (WR) – Green Bay Packers

We already know Lazard is going to be on a snap count, which alone is going to limit him and makes it nearly impossible to trust him. It’s not like Lazard is going to step into a lead role, with Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling potentially dominating the targets. In other words there’s more downside than upside, making Lazard a hands off proposition for Week 11.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Calvin Ridley (WR) – Atlanta Falcons

Ridley hasn’t played since getting injured in Week 8, but he’ll return for Week 11 against a middle of the pack New Orleans defense (12 TD allowed to opposing wide receivers). Obviously Ridley is going to share the chances with Julio Jones, but there should be more than enough opportunities to go around. Fire Ridley up as a WR1 in all formats.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Mecole Hardman (WR) – Kansas City Chiefs

Hardman has been activated off the COVID-19 list and will play tonight against Las Vegas. It would be easy to point towards him as a good play, especially with Sammy Watkins sidelined, but Hardman has proven to be more bust than boom this season.

Hardman has only be targeted more than 4 times twice all season, and he’s been at 57 yards or fewer in all but two games. While he has the potential to make some big plays, it’s impossible to trust him. If you are desperate for a FLEX than maybe, but for most he can be ignored.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses



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