Thursday Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 1 (2020): Should We Trust David Johnson, Is Mecole Hardman A Viable Option & More

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Thursday games are always tricky, though that’s not groundbreaking news.  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:

Houston Texans

David Johnson (RB)

There was a time where Johnson was among the elite running backs in the league, but those days are long behind him.  Part of the issue has been due to injury, but over the past two seasons he’s averaged just 3.6 yards/carry and 3.7 yards/carry, respectively.

He has proven to be capable of catching passes, even during these struggles, with 86 catches for 816 yards and 7 TD over the past two seasons.  There are a lot of targets up for grabs thanks to the departure of DeAndre Hopkins, and we also can’t ignore that Duke Johnson was targeted 62 times a year ago.

In PPR formats he’s going to be an intriguing option, especially with the Chiefs having allowed a league high 951 receiving yards to running backs last year.  Considering that, he’s well worth using.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Will Fuller (WR)

No longer in the shadow of DeAndre Hopkins, can Fuller finally stay healthy and produce a monster season?  He’s shown signs, including setting career highs in receptions (49) and receiving yards (670 yards) in 11 games last season.  He also was targeted 8 times in their playoff loss to the Chiefs, turning it into 5 catches and 89 yards.  A former first round pick in 2016, there’s no question that the upside is there to emerge as a high-end WR2.

While he’s not there yet, he’s a definite WR3 (and borderline WR2).  Consider him well worth using.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Brandin Cooks (WR)

This is team #4 for Cooks, whose name brings intrigue but the production hasn’t always.  Last year he managed just 42 catches for 583 yards and 2 TD for the Rams, and those numbers this early in the week are not very appealing against a Kansas City defense that allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Darren Fells (TE)

While Fells found the end zone often last season (7 TD), he did it on just 34 receptions and 341 yards.  Who’s willing to bet on that this early in the week?

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Must Use Options

  • Deshaun Watson (QB)

Kansas City Chiefs

Sammy Watkins (WR)

In his two years in Kansas City Watkins has struggled to post consistently impressive numbers, despite the high-powered offense:

  • 2018 (10 games) – 40 catches, 519 yards, 3 TD
  • 2019 (14 games) – 52 catches, 673 yards, 3 TD

He was targeted 90 times last season (6.4 targets/game), but he failed to cash in those opportunities.  Considering the lack of production and the other options, he’s impossible to trust.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Mecole Hardman (WR)

Hardman is the Chiefs’ big play receiver, averaging 20.7 yards/reception in his rookie year.  However he’s obviously boom or bust, as he posted 26 receptions for 538 yards and 6 TD.  Over the final 8 weeks of the regular season he was targeted more than twice in just one game, and that carried into the playoffs (he was targeted 4 times, 1 time and 1 time).  While it’s possible he “booms”, this early in the week is anyone truly willing to roll the dice?

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Must Use Options

  • Patrick Mahomes (QB)
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB)
  • Tyreek Hill (WR)
  • Travis Kelce (TE)

Sources – NFL.com, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

4 COMMENTS

  1. What’s up Professor? Hope all is well. First of many to come this yr. Lazard or Reagor? For PPR or drop Jonu Smith and roster both? Hunter Henry my other TE. Thanks for the time

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