FFStatistics Start or Sit: Week Seven Edition
As we jump into the week seven edition of the FFstatistics start or sit, allow some reflection on week six. Last week’s article finished with a 63.3% hit rate. The hits were good and the misses were whiffs, as often is the case with our beloved hobby. Still, the goal is an improvement in the process that leads to helping people maximize their rosters. For any interested, a recap of week six can be found here.
Before we jump into the content, remember the following teams are on bye this week. The Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Remember to remove these players from your lineups, and if you are struggling with roster management, our own Jeff Smith has an excellent weekly waiver wire article.
Some start or sit decisions are less obvious than others. Here, we try to bring you some suggestions based on statistical analysis.
FFStatistics Start or sit: Week Seven Edition
Quarterbacks: Start or Sit
Start: Josh Allen vs. Miami
One of the factors that have kept second-year slinger Josh Allen‘s fantasy floor safe, has been the athletic use of his legs. While his rushing has been down from what we all remember from the 2018 season, he still ranks fourth in rushing yards (158) among the position. All in all, it has been a slow start for the Bills big-armed quarterback.
He ranks 18th overall in fantasy points among the position. His five-to-seven touchdown to interception ratio is un-sexy, and he has been sacked 13 times thus far. There have always been questions concerning his accuracy. This may seem like an odd way to begin an attempt to convince people that he is a solid start this week. However, this is all based on addressing the concerns that owners may have in setting him in their lineups this week.
Allen is due for one of his big games and what better time than against the hapless Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have allowed every quarterback they’ve faced to throw at least two touchdowns. (Except Robert Griffin III who entered in relief of Lamar Jackson in week one in an absolute blowout.) They are allowing an average of 341 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks.
Again, Allen is due for a big week where he gets both his arm and his legs going. Allen has real potential to land among the top-12 quarterbacks this week. He can be started in most 12-team leagues and is a high-ceiling option in superflex formats.
Start: Matt Ryan vs. Los Angeles Rams
Before we get too deep into the reasoning here; both quarterbacks in this matchup are startable in most leagues this week. Matt Ryan has been on an unintentional tear through six weeks. The gameplan was never meant to include chucking the ball 40-plus times a game. But, the defense has succumbed to injury and inefficiency leading to the Matty Ice Airshow.
So here is the case for a top-eight finish from Ryan this week. He has thrown for 300-plus yards in each game, and multiple touchdowns in five of six. The Rams defense has not been as solid against quarterbacks as they were last season. They also just placed Aqib Talib on injured reserve, which improves Ryan’s outlook. Both Jameis Winston and Russell Wilson lit them up for four touchdowns apiece. With what the Falcons defense is going to allow, expect a shootout. Ryan is a locked-and-loaded start this week.
Sit: Sam Darnold vs New England Patriots
With his return to the lineup, Sam Darnold breathed life into the Jets offense last week. His highlight-reel 92-yard catch-and-run pass to Robby Anderson in week six was a thing of beauty. He looked sharp, decisive, and delivered in that game.
However, this week Darnold should be left on fantasy benches. The Jets tangle with the New England Patriots defense that has been really good against mostly mediocre quarterbacks. While the competition they have faced has allowed some scrutiny about how stout this defense truly is, it will nevertheless pose a threat for Darnold and company. Daniel Jones was the first quarterback of the season to toss a touchdown against this secondary that has reeled in a gaudy 11 interceptions. Darnold should fare better than Luke Falk did in week three, but the ceiling remains relatively low in this game.
Running Backs: Start or Sit
Start: Phillip Lindsay vs. Kansas City
Allow this to begin by covering the immediate concerns with this as a start. Yes, Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are in the closest fifty-fifty split at the position in the league. Neither back has had a huge, week-winning type of game; largely due to split in workload. Through the first six weeks, Lindsay has maintained a slight edge over Freeman with his four rushing touchdowns.
The Broncos are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. They are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs. In fact, only one backfield has rushed for less than 100 yards against them, and that was Jacksonville way back in week one. Expect the Broncos to come out utilizing Lindsay out of the backfield. This is a team that can be beat on the ground, and Lindsay will lead the one-two punch of the backfield. He is in the conversation for high-end RB2/fringe RB1 production this week.
Start: Josh Jacobs vs. Green Bay
No one really expected rookie Josh Jacobs to explode the way he did against the Chicago Bears defense in week five. The volume has been decent, but he has seen 10 or more carries in each start, and more than 15 carries in three of those weeks. The Green Bay Packers have been solid against the pass, but susceptible to the run. They are allowing the third-most points to the position and just a tad over five yards-per-attempt. The Raiders are skimpy on receiving options and should try to establish the run early for chunk plays. Expect an RB2 type of finish for Jacobs in this contest.
Sit: Adrian Peterson vs. San Francisco
Yes, the same Adrian Peterson that I named as a must-start last week has now landed on the do not start list. This is true. To be clear, there are not a lot of games left in the season in which Peterson can be started as anything other than a desperation flex play.
As shown in the chart, we were able to isolate the best matchup in which Peterson could be started, and hopefully, owners or streamers were able to take advantage of a great matchup.
This week facing the 49ers, Peterson should be benched, or maybe even dropped for a high-level handcuff. The 49ers defense is legit and allowing the 2nd fewest points to the position. Peterson’s best game of 2019 has come and gone, move along, nothing to see here.
Wide Receivers: Start or Sit
Start: Cooper Kupp vs. Atlanta
Okay, let’s open up a little bit. Owners of any Rams players got hurt last week. Like, listening to a love song in the rain kind of hurt. Jared Goff served up a stinker that affected every skill player on the roster. The 49ers defense has been incredibly good and showed it against an offense that just last season was among the top-three in the league in points-per-game.
Prior to last week’s dumpster fire, Kupp was nothing short of spectacular to start the season. He has posted 100-plus receiving yards in four of six contests and scored in three of those. He has only seen less than 10 targets in two games this season. If there is a get-right game for this offense, it is the Atlanta Falcons. Goff, Robert Woods, and Kupp are all strong plays this week. Wipe off last week’s dud-burger and fire up Kupp as a high-end WR1 this week.
Start: Michael Gallup vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, Michael Gallup was also mentioned last week. That did not exactly pan out as expected. I am returning to the well with this one for a couple of reasons. First, Amari Cooper‘s status for this week’s matchup is still very much up in the air. Second, Gallup has played very well in the games he has appeared in, seeing at least seven targets per contest.
The Eagles defense has allowed the most points to receivers through the season, setting up what should be a nice game for Gallup. Gallup should be viewed and started as high-end WR2 this week.
Sit: Allen Robinson vs. New Orleans Saints
The Chicago Bears offense is not nearly as reliable as their defense. Mediocre quarterback play along with some questionable offensive schemes and plays has rendered them a Jekyll and Hyde type of offense. Among the questionable pieces and performances, Allen Robinson has been the most solid producer in this offense. Through their first five games, Robinson has seen at least seven targets per contest and hauled in two touchdowns. (Both of which came from Chase Daniel)
This week the Bears host the Saints in what should be an interesting defensive battle. The Saints are allowing the 10th most fantasy points to the receiver position. However, there is a caveat here. Most of that production has come from slot receivers. Expect Marshon Lattimore to be smothering Robinson all afternoon. Thus far, Lattimore has corralled Brandin Cooks, Amari Cooper, blanked Mike Evans and shut down D.J. Chark.
With all of the players on bye this week, owners may be required to put Robinson in play. He should be viewed as middling WR3/flex play this week but expectations should remain limited.
Tight Ends: Start or Sit
Start: Hunter Henry vs. Tennesse Titans
Welcome back, Hunter Henry. Someone should conduct a scientific study into the frequency and severity of how many players get injured in Los Angeles. Henry has had to major injuries in the last two seasons and remarkably bounced back quicker than anticipated in both. His health and injury history may come into question, but his talent certainly cannot.
After mentioning that he may be on a more limited snap count in his first game back Henry finished with eight receptions, 100 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
The tight end position has been fairly awful outside of the top-eight performers. The Titans are weak against tight ends allowing the ninth-most points to the position. Henry can be safely rolled out this week as a top-ten option.
Sit: Eric Ebron vs Houston Texans
As limited as options are at the position, Eric Ebron may seem like a play this week.
Ebron has been targeted 20 times and only reeled in nine receptions. Granted two of those have been touchdowns. The fact is, if Ebron does not score, he hurts fantasy teams. This week the Colts face a Texans defense that has yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end. Ebron is a strong sit recommendation this week.
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