Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (Week 11): Miles Sanders, David Montgomery, Zach Pascal & More


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:

Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – Running Back

With Darren Sproles ruled out for the remainder of the season, Howard’s absence leaves Sanders, Ajayi (who was signed late in the week) and Boston Scott as the Eagles’ running backs for the week. While Ajayi should get at least a few touches given his familiarity with the offense, he hasn’t had much time to get up to speed so Sanders should be considered the “leader” heading into the game. In almost any other week that may add significant appeal, but facing off with the Patriots (who have allowed the fewest points per week to opposing RB) limits the potential. In PPR formats Sanders is a potential FLEX option, but he’s not going to be more than that.

Verdict – Nothing more than a FLEX

David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – Running Back

A healthy Montgomery was only a borderline RB2 (he was initially ranked #20 on our Top 40 Running Back rankings for the week), as he’s generally been a TD dependent option (5 TD scored, 4 coming over his past five games). Of course he’s averaged 3.6 YPC overall this season, and has been ever worse over his past two games (31 carries for 100 yards, good for 3.2 YPC).

The Rams are coming off a good showing against the Steelers in Week 10 (66 total yards) and an 8:20 PM EST start time further clouds the issue. Considering the questionable outlook and the limited replacements if you roll the dice, for most the risk is going to outweigh the reward.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (unless you have a viable Sunday/Monday night alternative)

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Ty Johnson – Detroit Lions – Running Back

Johnson has cleared the concussion protocol, leading to him being removed from the injury report. In other words he’s going to play today against the Cowboys, though that was always the expected outcome. Dallas has had more issues with running backs who can catch the football:

  • Rushing – 765 yards and 8 TD
  • Receiving – 479 yards (fifth most in the league) and 0 TD

Johnson hasn’t been all that impressive in recent weeks, with 99 yards on 31 carries (3.2 YPC) over his past four games. The matchup and potential game flow could lead to J.D. McKissic being the favored option, though it’s a situation you’ll want to avoid if possible. Johnson is nothing more than a desperation FLEX play.

Verdict – Desperation FLEX

Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens – Wide Receiver

The Houston Texans have allowed the third most points per week to opposing wide receivers, in large part due to 13 TD allowed (5 TD over their past four games). Brown is rarely going to be a 10+ target receiver, considering the run first offense he plays in, but he’s a big play threat that could easily exploit a porous defense. There’s some boom or bust to his game, but as a high upside WR2 he’s well worth utilizing.

Verdict – Start ‘Em as a WR2

George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – Tight End

This shouldn’t come as surprising news, as he was already listed as doubtful. At a thin position fantasy owners may need to scrape the bottom of the barrel for a potential replacement.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

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Gerald Everett – Los Angeles Rams – Tight End

Everett is listed as questionable, but by all reports is going to play today against the Chicago Bears. The only thing that complicates the issue is that the Rams don’t play until Sunday night, so by depending on him you’ll lose the opportunity at many replacements. That said there’s enough upside here to roll the dice, as Everett has been a featured part of the offense several times in recent weeks (10+ targets in three of the past five games).

Chicago has also been fairly hospitable to opposing tight ends over the past four weeks, allowing the fourth most points per week (308 yards and 2 TD). If there’s a similar upside player available who goes earlier in the day it’s fair to make the swap, but given the state of the position he remains worth the gamble.

Verdict – Worth the gamble as a low-end TE1

Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – Running Back

Mostert received a questionable tag after being limited in practice, but barring a significant change he should be on the field and the primary backup behind Tevin Coleman (Matt Breida is listed as doubtful). With the San Francisco passing game potentially being without their top two weapons (George Kittle has already been ruled out and Emmanuel Sanders is listed as doubtful), they could focus on the run despite the matchup seemingly calling for a bit more pass heavy of an approach.

Arizona has allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing running backs over the past four weeks:

  • Rushing – 397 yards, 4 TD
  • Receiving – 208 yards, 1 TD

Whenever Mostert has gotten an opportunity he’s delivered, averaging 5.5 yards/carry on 61 attempts this season. He’s not an ideal FLEX option, given the potential lack of touches, but depending on your alternatives he’s not a crazy choice either.

Verdict – Desperation FLEX option

Zach Pascal – Indianapolis Colts – Wide Receiver

Jacoby Brissett is set to return for the Week 11 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, while both T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell have been ruled out. That’s good news for Pascal, who should operate as the top receiver once again (though Brissett could also target his tight ends, while Marlon Mack should be the center point of the offense).

Pascal has been targeted 13 times over the past two weeks, primarily with Brian Hoyer under center (he has 7 catches for 102 yards and 1 TD). He may be a bit TD dependent, and Jacksonville has only allowed 6 TD to opposing wide receivers this season (and only 1 over the past four weeks). While the situation is favorable, the matchup is not.

Verdict – Pascal remains a low-end WR3

Sources – ESPN,

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

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


    • Standard John Brown or Chark — Chark
      Standard Pascal or Marquise Brown — Brown
      Standard Mark Ingram or Coleman — Coleman
      Standard Mack or Ekeler — Mack

  1. Montgomery questionable in the late game or Ty Johnson? McKissic and Mostert available on the wire. Full PPR.
    Malcolm Brown and Darrel Williams also available in the late games.

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