Rotoprofessor’s Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 7

Oct 23, 2010

By Eric Stashin, www.rotoprofessor.com
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Image courtesy of Icon SMI
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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:
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Quarterbacks
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Start – Matt Cassel – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Jacksonville
While the Chiefs offense is clearly built around the run, we all knew that the passing game was better then shown to date.  While Cassel may not have had his biggest game of the season (20-29, 201 yards, 3 TD), it was by far the most promising, getting Dwayne Bowe into the mix (6 receptions, 108 yards, 2 TD).
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The pass has burnt the Jaguars defense early and often this season.  They have allowed 263.7 yards per game, and also have allowed 14 TDs.  It’s not too hard to imagine Cassel and Bowe remaining in sync, putting up strong numbers once again.
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Other quarterbacks to start:

  • Kevin Kolb – Philadelphia Eagles – at Tennessee
  • Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Buffalo

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Sit – Donovan McNabb – Washington Redskins – at Chicago

While McNabb has been strong this season, it’s tough to imagine starting him this week against the Bears (despite their defense coming in the middle of the pack with 220.8 passing yards per game).  However, they have allowed just three touchdowns, tied for the fewest in the league.  Add in seven interceptions (tied for sixth) and a receiving corps that is lacking an imposing figure (especially if Chris Cooley is forced to miss the game).
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Yes Fred Davis could step in, but if the Bears can take Santana Moss out of the game (37 catches, 485 yards and a touchdown), it could be a long day for McNabb with few other options.
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Other quarterbacks to sit:

  • Brett Favre – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay (based on his injuries and the likely return of Clay Matthews)

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Running Backs
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Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – vs. New England

This may seem like an easy decision, but having been sharing time with Mike Tolbert (or sidelined with injuries) may have caused some owners to be a little gun shy.  However, Mathews did retake lead back status in Week 6, getting the bulk of the carries (though falling behind early limited his touches).  Mathews had 12 carries, though he made the most of them, gaining 64 yards (Tolbert had three carries for three yards).  He also picked up three receptions for 12 yards.
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Mathews was highly sought after prior to the season, with owners thinking that he could be the next LaDanian Tomlinson in the Chargers offense.  While he hasn’t gotten there yet, he is averaging over five yards per carry.  The Patriots are weaker in their passing defense (fourth worst in the league), but running backs have given them troubles in recent weeks, like Ray Rice (126 total yards) and Ricky Williams (101 total yards and a touchdown).
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Don’t give up on him yet.
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Start – Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – vs. Oakland
A lot of people believed that 2010 would be the year that Moreno fully emerged as a fantasy football force.  Unfortunately, injuries have completely stymied that hope.  To date he has just 51 rushes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

Lucky for him (and his owners), the Broncos are more or less void of other options on the roster.  Correll Buckhalter, Laurence Maroney and company have under whelmed, meaning tat a healthy Moreno is the unquestioned lead back.  With the Raiders rushing defense allowing 149.5 rushing yards per game, not to mention six touchdowns and a league leading eight rushes of at least twenty yards, Moreno is an unquestionable must play this week.

Other running backs to start:

  • Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – at Chicago
  • Christopher Ivory – New Orleans Saints – vs. Clevleand

Sit – Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – at Denver
With Darren McFadden nearing his return and Bush struggling badly in Week 6 (47 yards on 20 carries), you have to think that his hold on lead back duties is slipping away.  Assuming McFadden is able to suit up (the Raiders have said he won’t play unless he’s 100%) and considering what he did earlier in the season, you have to think that he’s going to get the bulk of the carries.
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Even if McFadden was deemed a game time decision, it’s a tough call.  With a 4:15 PM game start, if McFadden does play you won’t have many replacement options.  There’s too much risk involved to trust him, even with a favorable matchup.
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Sit – Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Arizona
Wasn’t he supposed to be the lead back for the Seahawks?  Despite seeing less carries, Justin Forsett (10 carries) was more productive then Lynch (17 carries) with 64 yards vs. 44 yards.  Yes, they both scored a touchdown, but if Forsett continues to out produce Lynch, the Seahawks have no reason not to continue feeding him the ball.
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At this point, it’s anyone’s guess one who is going to be the lead back.  That’s not a risk you want to take if you can avoid it.
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Other running backs to sit:

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at San Diego
  • Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at Seattle

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Wide Receivers (Two Wide Receiver Formats)
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Start – Johnny Knox – Chicago Bears – vs. Washington

The Redskins have been downright awful against the pass this season, allowing 298.2 passing yards per game and a league leading 22 plays of at least 20 yards.  That is music to the ears of Knox owners.
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He doesn’t have many catches this season (18), but he makes the most of them.  He has 392 yards, averaging 21.8 yards per catch.  With Jay Cutler back and the two looking good in Week 6 (5 receptions for 120 yards), it’s not hard to imagine him posting another strong game.
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Other wide receivers to start:

  • Deion Branch – New England Patriots – at Chicago
  • Roy Williams – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Giants

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Sit – Hines Ward – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Miami

In larger formats he’s a good play as a WR3, but owners in shallower leagues may want to shy away.  The Dolphins are not a bad defensive team against the pass (201.8 passing yards per game) and with Ben Roethlisberger back at quarterback, they are more likely to go for the big strike.  That means more shots to Mike Wallace, with Ward being more of a possession receiver.
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While Ward did score in Week 6, chances are that Heath Miller also becomes a much bigger red zone threat.  He’s just not really trustworthy at this point.
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Other wide receivers to sit:

  • Donald Driver – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota

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Wide Receivers (Three Wide Receiver Formats)
Start – Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – at Carolina

He’s actually even become a borderline play in two wide receiver leagues.  He had four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown in Week 6, his second straight game with a touchdown.  Over the past three weeks he has 18 catches for 220 yards and 2 TD.
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The Panthers have nine interceptions and have been weak against the run (seventh worst in the league), which is why he’s questionable in shallower formats.  In deeper leagues, however, his recent surge has certainly made him into a viable option.
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Other wide receiver to start:

  • Patrick Crayton – San Diego Chargers – vs. New England
  • Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans – vs. Philadelphia

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Sit – Lee Evans – Buffalo Bills – at Baltimore

The Ravens have the third best passing defense in the league (175.0 yards per game) and it’s not like Evans has been setting the world on fire.  For the season he has just 15 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown.  Is being the top receiver for a bad team enough to make you usable?  Unfortunately it’s not.
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Other wide receivers to sit:

  • Mike Williams – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Arizona
  • Mario Manningham – New York Giants – at Dallas

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What are your thoughts on these decisions?  Who would you start?  Who would you sit?
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Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 7 Rankings:

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Also check out:

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