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:
Josh Jacobs – Running Back – Oakland Raiders
#Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder), who is trying to play through a broken shoulder plate, is a true game-time decision, source say. No guaranteed he can play today, thought he’s trying.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2019
With the Raiders not starting until 4:25 PM EST, fantasy owners are in a little bit of a tough spot here. A healthy Jacobs would be a good play against Tennessee, but even if he dresses you would think that his touches would be severely limited.
The decision on whether you want to wait out more clarity solely depends on who your alternatives are. If you have a viable starter who plays in the late games (or Sunday/Monday night), waiting to get more news on his status makes sense. If your alternatives are all at 1:00 PM EST, go with the safer option.
Verdict – Wait for more news, if possible, otherwise go with the safe option because there’s far too much risk
Bilal Powell – Running Back – New York Jets
With Le’Veon Bell ruled out for today, Powell is expected to share running back duties with Ty Montgomery. While neither have been overly impressive in 2019, Powell is been the more utilized handcuff over the past four weeks:
- Bilal Powell – 23 carries for 86 yards
- Ty Montgomery – 8 carries for 20 yards
Powell also has a history of stepping up when given the opportunity, with 60+ yards in three of the four games he had at least 12 carries last season. The matchup with Miami also works in his favor, and if he’s going to get the touches he should be productive.
Verdict – Viable FLEX option
Miles Sanders – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles
I didn't mention Jordan Howard here. He's not cleared for contact yet. So he won't be able to play until that happens. I don't expect that to happen by Monday. https://t.co/Tm392JtboU— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) December 7, 2019
Another week without Howard should mean Sanders leading the way for the Philadelphia backfield (with Jay Ajayi mixed in). Over the past two weeks Sanders has totaled 37 touches for 191 yards and 1 TD. While the Giants defense has been bad, they’ve actually done a good job stopping opposing running backs in recent weeks (eighth fewest points per week over the past four weeks).
Sanders is a viable option, but he’s still more RB2/FLEX.
Verdict – Startable, but depends on your alternatives
Benny Snell – Running Back – Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers will be without both James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster for another week, leaving Snell as the potential focal point of the offense. He’s had at least 16 carries in three of the past four games and is coming off a solid performance against a tough Cleveland defense (16 carries for 63 yards and 1 TD).
This week he draws an Arizona defense that’s consistently been torched by opposing running backs, especially recently, having allowed the third most points per week to them over the past four weeks. Of course they’ve been more prone to those who can catch the football (275 yards and 1 TD), which isn’t Snell’s forte, but he should at least be a solid RB2.
Verdict – Start ‘Em as a RB2
Zach Pascal – Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts
T.Y. Hilton remains sidelined, and that should mean another big day for Pascal. Targeted 10 times last week he delivered 7 catches for 109 yards against Tennessee. This week he draws an even more favorable matchup, taking on a Tampa Bay defense that’s allowed 864 yards and 7 TD to opposing wide receivers over the past four weeks (a league high 2,442 yards all season).
Verdict – Consider him a viable WR2 and a must start WR3
Adam Thielen – Wide Receiver – Minnesota Vikings
Vikings’ WR Adam Thielen, listed as doubtful for Sunday with a hamstring injury, is not expected to play vs. the Lions, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2019
With fantasy titles hanging in the balance fantasy owners will have to wait another week for Thielen’s return. You’ve survived without him this long, so you should already have a replacement at the ready.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings: