Thursday Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 8 (2020): DJ Moore, Matt Ryan & 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:

Has DJ Moore Re-Emerged As A Trustworthy Option…

While it appeared that he had lost top receiver duties to Robby Anderson, Moore enters Week 8 with just 6 fewer targets. Moore currently has 31 catches for 567 yards and 3 TD, so while the completion percentage has not been efficient there has been plenty of production. He’s particularly picked it up over the past three weeks:

  • at Atlanta – 4 catches for 93 yards and 1 TD
  • vs. Chicago – 5 catches for 93 yards
  • at New Orleans – 4 catches for 93 yards and 2 TD

He’s been targeted 5 times in two of these three games, so he has seemingly improved his rapport with Teddy Bridgewater. More opportunities would go a long ways, though with Christian McCaffrey potentially back in the mix that’s hardly a guarantee.

Still, Atlanta has allowed the fifth most points per week to opposing wide receivers, including the second most receiving yards (1,561). While there are questions, he should be viewed as a high-level WR2.

Verdict – Start ‘Em

Should We Trust Matt Ryan & Company…

Matt Ryan has posted some strong numbers thus far this season, throwing for 2,181 yards, 12 TD and 3 INT over his seven games this season. He’s thrown for at least 273 yards five times this season, but he’s thrown for multiple TD in less than half his starts (3). With a pair of 4 TD games, he has 4 TD throws in his other five starts. He also struggled against the Panthers the first time he faced them in 2020:

21-37 (56.8%), 226 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Overall the Panthers have allowed the fifth fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks. While he’s not a completely hands off proposition, he’s much better suited as a QB2 than a locked in QB1.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Carolina Panthers Start/Sit Decisions:

  • Teddy Bridgewater (QB) – Start ‘Em (Low-End QB1)
  • Christian McCaffrey (RB) –
  • Mike Davis (RB) – Start ‘Em
  • DJ Moore (WR) – Start ‘ Em
  • Robby Anderson (WR) – Start ‘Em
  • Curtis Samuel (WR) – Sit ‘Em
  • Ian Thomas (TE) – Sit ‘Em

Atlanta Falcons Start/Sit Decisions:

  • Matt Ryan (QB) – Sit ‘Em (More of a QB2)
  • Todd Gurley (RB) – Start ‘Em
  • Julio Jones (WR) – Start ‘Em
  • Calvin Ridley (WR) – Start ‘Em
  • Russell Gage (WR) – Sit ‘Em
  • Hayden Hurst (TE) – Start ‘Em (Borderline TE1, betters as TE2)

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

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