Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (Week 6): Alvin Kamara, Tyreek Hill, George Kittle & More

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Just hours before the start of Week 6’s Sunday action I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit?  Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

Malcolm Brown – Los Angeles Rams – Running Back

Brown steps into a difficult matchup against the 49ers. Only the Patriots have allowed fewer points per week to opposing running backs, with San Francisco having yet to allow a running back to score a TD.

While Brown made an impact early in the season, over the past three weeks he’s taken 9 carries for 24 yards. Over this stretch he hasn’t had a run of more than 6 yards and he also hasn’t shown much of a presence in the passing game (1 reception overall). While there is potential, the chance of a timeshare and the general risk limits him more to being a FLEX option.

Verdict – Viable FLEX, but not a must use

George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – Tight End

Late week injuries are never a good thing, but all signs point towards Kittle’s groin injury as being minor:

Whether he plays a full array of snaps remains to be seen, but taking on a Rams’ defense that allowed 91 yards to opposing tight ends last week (and TD the two weeks before that) and with his upside he is a must start option.

Verdict – Continue to view him as TE1

Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs – Wide Receiver

Even with Sammy Watkins also unlikely to play, the Chiefs have enough depth that they don’t need to force the issue with Hill. Even if active you have to wonder if they will shut him down on the early side, especially if they get out to a big lead, or if they limit his snaps regardless. While a healthy Hill would be a WR1 against a leaky Texans’ defense, there is risk here and that caps him as a WR2 though we’d be much more comfortable utilizing him as a WR3/FLEX option given the potential limitations,

Verdict – Viable WR3/FLEX, but could be used as a WR2 if needed

Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals – Wide Receiver

There was some potential value for Kirk, given the matchup, but it appears he won’t be available for fantasy owners today. Those who own Larry Fitzgerald can bump him up a few extra spots and utilize him as a solid WR2 option.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (obviously)

David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – Running Back

Of course we saw Chase Edmonds erupt last week for 68 yards and 1 TD on just 8 carries (a week after going for 37 yards on 6 carries). It’s very easy to envision the team going with a more even split this week, just to make sure Johnson doesn’t have any type of setback.

That’s not to say that he shouldn’t be used, because if Johnson is on the field he’s a must use option in all formats. Just go in with your eyes open and drop him down a few spots on your rankings given a little additional risk today.

Verdict – Must Start

Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – Running Back

Could he be limited in any way today? It’s possible that the Saints give Lavatius Murray a few more touches, especially against a Jacksonville defense that’s allowed the fifth most rushing yards to opposing running backs (610 yards) as well as 5 rushing TD.

Of course, if he’s on the field in a positive matchup would anyone really consider sitting Kamara? He can make an impact on only a handful of touches and needs to be fired up as a RB1.

Verdict – Must Start

Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens – Wide Receiver

This isn’t surprising news, as it had been heading towards him sitting all week. The absence of Brown hurts Lamar Jackson slightly, though he can always make plays with his legs (and also utilize TE Mark Andrews even more).

Verdict – Obviously Sit ‘Em

Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers – Running Back

Charean Williams of NBC Sports has reported the following (click here for the entire article):

“You could see Melvin’s rep count going up,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Friday. “I mean, I think last week Austin [Ekeler]’s rep count was much higher than Melvin’s. You could see Melvin’s going up this week.”

That’s good news for fantasy owners, as Gordon continues to round into form after his early season holdout. Gordon failed to break a run of more than 7 yards in Week 5, though increased usage and a matchup with a Texans’ defense that’s allowed ninth most points per week to opposing running backs should help get him on track.

That doesn’t mean Austin Ekeler should be avoided, as his pass catching ability should alos be utilized (Houston has allowed 336 receiving yards to opposing RB). Fire both backs up as viable RB2.

Verdict – Must use RB2

Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – Running Back

Jamaal Williams appears to be returning for Monday Night football, which is going to have an influence on the opportunities Jones is given. Just look at the number of touches Jones has received over the first five weeks:

  • Week 1 – 14 (13 carries, 1 reception)
  • Week 2 – 27 (23 carries, 4 receptions)
  • Week 3 – 11 (10 carries, 1 reception)
  • Week 4 – 19 (13 carries, 6 receptions)
  • Week 5 – 26 (19 carries, 7 receptions)

Williams averaged 13 touches in Week 2 & 3, and it’s fair to wonder if he could eat into Jones’ touches once again. That said it’s not like he’s generally been a pass catching force throughout his career (60 receptions in 36 career games) or is a TD monster. His return shouldn’t change Jones’ outlook, who remains a must start option, with Williams being limited to more of a FLEX.

Verdict – Must Start

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

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