Thursday games are always tricky, especially in Week 5 when we are going more based on assumptions than actual facts (that’s even more true this season, when most teams hardly used their regulars in the preseason). Let’s take a quick look at some of the more questionable decisions for tonight’s game and try to decide who we should trust and who should be avoided:
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff – Quarterback
Goff is coming off a huge performance against Tampa Bay (517 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT), though the game devolved into a shootout. How often is Goff going to throw the ball 68 times? Prior to that he had posted rather pedestrian performances, never topping 283 yards and combining for 4 TD and 3 INT over the first three games.
The matchup against Seattle isn’t as difficult as it used to be, though after allowing 418 passing yards in Week 1 they have kept teams at 241 or lower each of the past three weeks. While he’s not unusable, depending on your alternatives, he’s a better fit as a QB2 this early in the week.
Verdict – Borderline play, but better as QB2
Cooper Kupp – Wide Receiver
It’s interesting that his quarterback is a borderline option, but Kupp himself appears to be well worth the start. While there were questions entering the year as to where the targets would be directed, Kupp has averaged 11.5 targets/game and has really exploded over the past three weeks:
- Week 2 – 5 receptions for 120 yards
- Week 3 – 11 receptions for 101 yards and 2 TD
- Week 4 – 9 receptions for 121 yards and 1 TD
While there is competition for opportunities, Kupp has been too productive of late to consider sitting him.
Verdict – Must start
Robert Woods – Wide Receiver
Woods is coming of a seemingly breakout performance, with 13 receptions for 164 yards, but prior to that he had totaled 13 receptions for 143 yards over the first three games. He also has yet to find the end zone, further hurting his appeal this early in the week.
That’s not to say that he’s unusable, but at best he’s a WR2 and given his performance and the way Seattle’s defense has been playing even that is not a guarantee.
Verdict – Potential WR2, better play as WR3
Brandin Cooks – Wide Receiver
Cooks has 14 receptions for 183 yards over the past two games, but he’s a boom or bust receiver who was targeted 10 times over the first two weeks. That’s not to say that there isn’t reward, but given the potential limitations to the passing game and the production of Kupp and Woods the risk may outweigh it. He has WR2 upside, but is a better fit as a WR3 in your lineup.
Verdict – Solid WR3
Must Start Options:
- Todd Gurley – Running Back
Chris Carson – Running Back
Just when it looked like Carson was going to lose his role as the lead back for Seattle, Rashaad Penny went down with an injury. Sitting out Week 4 Carson was left to carry the load and delivered, taking 22 carries for 104 yards while adding 4 receptions for another 41 yards. The real key was the fact that he held onto the football, after losing a fumble in each of the first three games.
The Rams have allowed the ninth most points to opposing running backs, allowing 541 total yards and 5 TD. Even with Penny set to play, Carson should remain the leader of the backfield (as long as he holds onto the football). In a favorable matchup, that makes him a strong option.
Verdict – High-level RB2
Rashaad Penny – Running Back
As we noted above Penny is set to play, having been removed from the Seahawks’ injury report. However just how many touches is he going to get? He may have missed his opportunity to overtake Carson and he didn’t top 10 carries over the first two weeks. Positive matchup or not, if we are talking 10 touches or less there is far too much downside to consider.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
DK Metcalf – Wide Receiver
Metcalf has had some solid performances this season, though he is coming off a one catch performance (for 6 yards) and hasn’t had more than 7 targets in a game. He’s clearly behind the likes of Tyler Lockett and are you really willing to gamble that he’ll “pop” a big play this early in the week? Easily replaceable, Metcalf is an easy sit.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Will Dissly – Tight End
He’s shaping up to be a TD dependent option, as he’s averaging just 9.5 yards/reception. That said he’s scored in each of the past three games (4 TD), and he has at least 50 yards and has averaged 6 receptions per contest over this run.
The Rams have allowed a TD to a tight end in each of the past two weeks, and given the state of the position that’s enough. Obviously if you have one of the truly elite he’s not someone to trust, and we also wouldn’t consider him as a FLEX option, but if you are in need of a tight end he’s as good of an option as there is.
Verdict – Viable TE1
Must Start Options:
- Russell Wilson – Quarterback
- Tyler Lockett – Wide Receiver
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: