Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (Week 13): Zach Ertz, Tyreek Hill, Chris Carson & 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:

Zach Ertz – Tight End – Philadelphia Eagles

This puts fantasy owners in a bit of a tough spot. A healthy Ertz is an easy start, but with the wide receiving corps getting healthy in a game that could get lopsided quickly it’s easy to envision the Eagles putting him on a pitch count. Could he make an impact with 3-4 targets? Absolutely, but the tight end looks could also be directed at Dallas Goeddert instead.

The position is shallow, so if you are desperate for a fill in it makes sense to roll the dice. If you have a second usable option, though, take the conservative approach.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (if you have a suitable alternative)

Tyreek Hill – Wide Receiver – Kansas City Chiefs

Hill was injured in Week 11, but he benefited from the bye week and is ready to return. Could he be limited in any way by the injury? It seems unlikely that the Chiefs would risk it, even in a divisional matchup against the Raiders, with their need for him long-term.

It’s been an injury plagued year for Hill, but when he’s healthy he continues to be a focal point and as dynamic as ever (33 catches, 543 yards and 5 TD), especially since he’s really only played 5 games (he has 2 targets in two other appearances).

Verdict – Must Start in all formats

Chris Carson – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks

After Carson was seemingly benched in Week 12 after yet another fumble (his 7th of the season) and watching Rashaad Penny thrive, the assumption was that Carson would fall into a secondary role. However that doesn’t appear to be the case as according to Brady Henderson of ESPN:

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said he liked seeing Rashaad Penny get rewarded for the work he put into transforming his body with his big game last week. Penny ran for 129 yards and a touchdown in Philadelphia while getting 14 carries to Chris Carson’s eight, a departure from the usual split. Schottenheimer said they want to get Penny his touches but won’t force it. “Chris is our guy,” he said. “We know that.”

At this point the number of opportunities between the two is a mystery, and it’s possible that it ultimately is an even timeshare. With the questionable usage and a difficult matchup with the Vikings (fourth fewest points per week to opposing running backs), and this becomes a situation to avoid if possible.

Verdict – Both Carson & Penny are nothing more than FLEX plays and should be avoided, if possible

Kyler Murray – Quarterback – Arizona Cardinals

Injuries that crop up late in the week are always difficult, but it appears that Murray is going to be good to go today. Over the past four weeks the Rams have allowed the sixth most points per week to opposing quarterbacks. Maybe Murray scrambles a little less than normal, but he remains a locked in QB1 heading into today’s games.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Tevin Coleman – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers

If you were hoping to play Breida as a FLEX, starting searching for your alternative. As for the rest of the running back corps in San Francisco, nothing changes regardless of who’s healthy. Tevin Coleman will share the workload with Raheem Mostert & Jeff Wilson.

While Coleman is the “leader”, he’s had 40 yards or fewer in four straight weeks, with 15 receiving yards or fewer in two of those games. He remains nothing more than a desperation play, especially against a Baltimore defense that’s given up the seventh fewest points per week to opposing running backs.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

LeSean McCoy – Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs

Damien Williams has already been ruled out, leaving McCoy, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson to carry the load. Oakland has allowed 10 TD to opposing running backs this season, 5 rushing and 5 receiving. That’s good news for both McCoy and Darrel Williams, both of whom have been utilized heavily when Damien Williams has been sidelined:

  • LeSean McCoy – 400 rushing yards (5.1 YPC), 4 total TD
  • Darrel Williams – 128 yards (3.7 YPC), 3 total TD

It would appear that McCoy is the better option, and a viable RB2. Williams shouldn’t be ignored, but we’d trust him more as a FLEX than anything.

Verdict – McCoy is a solid RB2, Williams a viable FLEX

Alshon Jeffrey – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles

Jeffrey hasn’t played since November 3, and he hasn’t surpassed 76 yards in a game all season. Obviously Zach Ertz’ availability/role will have an impact on Jeffrey, and the matchup against the Dolphins appears to work in his favor. Of course Miami has been just as susceptible against running backs, and it’s easy to envision Miles Sanders and Jay Ajayi (and Jordan Howard, if he dresses) being the focal points of the offense.

Jeffrey has WR2 upside, but the risk of being eased back into action and falling victim to a run-first attack limits his usage.

Verdict – Viable WR3

Sterling Shepard – Wide Receiver – New York Giants

Both Golden Tate and Evan Engram are out for Week 13, and that leaves Shepard and Darius Slayton to lead the way in the passing game against the Green Bay Packers. It’s possible that New York has to throw the ball more often in order to try and keep up with Aaron Rodgers and company, though that doesn’t necessarily mean Shepard is going to thrive:

  • While he’s struggled Saquan Barkley is still in place
  • Green Bay has allowed the ninth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers
  • Shepard struggled in his return, turning 9 targets into 5 catches and just 15 yards

While Shepard can’t be ignored, he’s nothing more than a low-end WR3.

Verdict – Usable as a WR3

Sources – ESPN,

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


  1. mornin’ Professor

    standard scoring

    Flex Carson or Darrel Williams? (RB Fournette & Mixon) also have Kareem Hunt as a reachy option

    I have Tyreek also – usually dont like to double up on team mates unless fairly significant edge

    big thanks as always!

    • At this point I’d trust Hill of those if he’s a choice, otherwise I guess I’d go Carson. It sounds like he’s stil going to play a big role in the offense

      • K – thanks – yeah Hill is my WR with Godwin – just meant Id rather not play 2 Chiefs unless Da Williams was better option over Carson

        I’ll roll with Carson 🙂

        thanks – you’re the best!

  2. What’s up Professor?
    1- Ertz, Hollywood or Shepard at PPR FLEX?
    2- Choose 1 from Robert Woods, McLaurin and Mark Andrews for PPR FLEX?

    • 1- Ertz, Hollywood or Shepard at PPR FLEX? — Hmmm…. I’d lean Speard given all the injuries the Giants have
      2- Choose 1 from Robert Woods, McLaurin and Mark Andrews for PPR FLEX? — Andrews for me

  3. Non-PPR 2 RB, 2 WR & a Flex Currently Ingram & J. Williams with Henry at flex. Adams & Godwin at WRChark, Jr. on bench. Leave it or Ingram to the bench and Chark to Flex?

  4. How’s it going prof?

    Bad breaks all season this year, so I need a win (or a fair amount of points) to stumble into the playoffs.

    Picked up Darrel Williams this week to see what happens, so I currently don’t carry a kicker.

    Pick two for RB2 and flex: Carson, Jamaal Williams, Darrel Williams.

    Also, been carrying 2-3 TEs. Plan was to trade away at least one but it didn’t happen. Would you drop Waller or Engram to pick up a kicker, or would you drop a lottery ticket like Darrel or Mattison instead? Starting Hunter Henry.
    Thinking of seeing how Sunday’s games develop. Could pick up Bailey for MNF if I need to. But Lambo is an FA..

    Sorry for the long post. Appreciate your thoughts as always!

  5. RPF, does the significant wind/weather change any positioning this week for applicable players? Looks like Baltimore and the Giants games will be impacted in a big way, along with some other windy conditions in Jax, KC, and possibly Cincy, @ well over the 15mph impact level.

    Not sure if the link will be permitted, but these guys have been on target with their NFL forecasts…

    • It’s hard to say, but teams generally aren’t going to stop passing so I wouldn’t downgrade them much. May just be a difference maker if two guys are close

    • Hopkins or Sanders at flex? — I’d still go Hopkins, though Sanders is the “safe” choice given the matchuo
      Olson or Griffin at TE? — Olson
      Lamar or Winston QB? — Jackson

  6. Hi,

    Mixon, Snell, Sony Michel, Darrel Williams, A.J. Brown, marquis brown, Auden Tate, Allen Hurns, Alshon Jeffrey.




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