In a completely new and original idea (*insert sarcasm here*), I have decided to write a start/sits column. The reason for this, is we get a lot of requests for start/sit advice. However, it tends to come without context such as scoring format, what position etc. And that information is important in order for it to be good advice. As much as we need data to make an informed decision, which you guys clearly value, hence the questions, we also need the full landscape and context of the picture.
Now this column isn’t going to give you all the answers. However, the plan is to give you 5 starts (however I did 6 this week) and 5 sits every week. So I’m not going to be telling you to start Devante Adams or Christian McCaffrey. Your draft position and where you took them makes them a must start in all circumstances. This is more for those more tricky players and what should you do with really close calls. However, if your player isn’t on here, then you should get in touch with us via twitter @5yardrush and we will do our best to get to all of them. DM’s tend to work better but any method is fine. We will try to get to all your start/sits.
Daniel Jones is a must start this week. Now most of us, myself included, mocked the Giants for taking Jones at 6. However he had an impressive start against a good Tampa Bay defense. That’s why we told you to pick him up in our Waiver Wire column. His numbers with his legs, especially the Touchdowns, is what really stands out. In addition, he’s just a solid upgrade on Eli Manning regardless.
This week he faces a Washington Defense that gave Mitchell Trubisky a shot in the arm on Monday night. There is nothing that helps a Quarterback more than short field position all night long. And without Barkley requiring 20 plus rushing attempts a game, Jones can be the star again and sling the rock through the air. Of all the start/sits this is one of the easiest.
If anybody needs a get right game at the moment, its James Conner. According to PFF, Conner is tracking last in tackles broken amongst regular starting Running Backs. This means he is just going down on first contact far too often and proving too easy to tackle. However, this week, he has two things going for him.
Firstly, Conner has Mason Rudolph under centre. Rudolph threw less passes beyond the line of scrimmage (2) of any QB making his first start in the NFL since Tim Tebow. Amazingly, both of those went for Touchdowns. Because of this, you can point to playcalling being an issue. Rudolph is just throwing the ball around the line of scrimmage. Which means there should be more opportunity for catches for Conner.
Secondly, he is facing the Bengals at home. The Bengals have allowed a whopping 34.5 PPR Points per Game to Running Backs so far in 2019. In addition, they have conceded 174.7 yards a game to Running Backs (both rushing and receiving combined) and almost 2 Touchdowns a game. They rank 2nd in most fantasy points allowed by a defense (not surprisingly, Miami ranked first). So Conner will have the right game script, against a poor defense, at home, with negative play calling assisting him. Wheels up this week on Conner. Another easy one for the start/sits.
Sanders is coming off his best week so far and is now facing the Packers. The common thought is that the Green Bay Defense has been elite this year. And that, by and large is correct. However, when it comes to defending the run, it has been pretty poor. So, the Packers are currently ranked 4th in most fantasy points allowed by a defense this season (according to Full Time Fantasy). Running Backs have scored a total of 33 Points Per Game on average so far this season.
Now, to put that metric into context, that is the total amount of points allowed to all the total Running Backs in the game, not each Running Back. So you cannot expect Sanders to get 33 PPR Points this week. However, you can apportion a share of those points to him. And based on his average volume in the receiving and passing game, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see Sanders get between 16-20 Fantasy PPR Points this week. So start him if you have him.
Sterling Shepard is fit. Therefore, you must start Sterling Shepard. Because he is going to get a lot of volume this week. With no Barkley, Shepard will probably be second in receptions, behind Engram. And this Washington Defence has allowed the most points to Wide Receivers so far in 2019 (again, according to Full Time Fantasy). Shepard led the Giants on Sunday with 9 Targets, and converted that into 7 Rec for 100 Yards and a TD, with 21 yards on the ground.
So you have a high volume receiver, coming off a productive game, to come play at home, against the worst passing defense in the league from a fantasy perspective? Need I say more?
Williams is a player that has really struggled to live up to his ADP so far. However, he has not had the volume so far, with just 3 targets in Week 1, 3 in Week 2 before a solid 7 in Week 3.
Keenan Allen had 17 targets on Sunday. That is an outlier and not a sustainable target number. Now, Phillip Rivers will not be throwing the ball 46 times on Sunday like he did against the Texans, chasing the game. However, he is sure to give Mike Williams more looks this week. And against this appalling defense that has given up over 500 yards to receivers this season already, and 7 Touchdowns, you can take to the bank that Williams will score his first Touchdown of the season. As well as add some nice catches and yards to his numbers also.
Dissly is already averaging a Touchdown a game so far this season. But now he has the opportunity to extend that record, and even improve upon it further, against the Cardinals. The Cardinals have allowed over 200 yards and 4 Touchdowns to Tight Ends this season. That Touchdown figure, is the most allowed by a Defense to Tight Ends this season. Dissly has had health issues in the past. But he appears to be fit and healthy so far this season. Also, the Seahawks have just traded Nick Vannett to the Steelers. This should see Dissly on the field even more than he has been this season.
Unless you have the following players, I would be considering a start for Dissly in your team this week:
And, yes, over Zach Ertz. This is your bonus start in this weeks start/sits column.
There aren’t many people hyping up Josh Allen more than me this season. I even proclaimed that I wanted a Josh Allen jersey in the 5 Yard Rush Staff Group Chat. However, for this week, he is going to need to take a seat on the bench. Putting him in the sits of this start/sits column is tough for me.
The Patriots defense has not allowed a passing Touchdown this season. They will dial up the pressure and take away Allen’s down field options. The Patriots D is only giving up 5.9 fantasy points per game to QBs, which leads the league. And whilst Allen is the best QB they have faced so far this season, the ceiling for him is very small. Make sure you have a bench spot for him this week, as you don’t want to drop the QB9 on the season.
One of the most disappointing rookies so far this season is David Montgomery. Montgomery has not seen the opportunity that we expected him to see. And this week, he has the pleasure of going up against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have been very good against the run, only conceding 1 Rushing Touchdown all season. Montgomery struggled against the Redskins, and didn’t get much headway against the aforementioned Packers run defense either. He is currently averaging just 4.0 yards per attempt rushing and just the 1 Touchdown.
So not only will Montgomery find it tough sledding, against a good team, but he will also has to be part of a Bears offense that has yet to really fire this season. All arrows are pointing downwards for Montgomery. So don’t sweat it, and bench him.
Todd Gurley was a player most people were sleeping on, or passing, going into their drafts. However, he was a player that was still drafted in the top 2 rounds of Fantasy Football drafts. And we were very high on him, when others pivoted against him.
But this matchup is just straight-up a bad one for Gurley. He is up against the Buccaneers Defense that leads the NFL in Run Defense. Running Backs against the Buccaneers are averaging a league low 2.71 yards per rush attempt so far this season. They have also not even conceded a Rushing Touchdown this season. These are the Running Backs that the Buccaneers have blanked so far this season: Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley (until injured in the Second Quarter) and Wayne Gallman (from the Second Quarter). The Buccaneers haven’t even conceded 80 yards receiving TOTAL to Running Backs so far this season.
Now, if Todd Gurley was on MVP form, or even with his previous volume, then you would consider starting. But since Gurley is only getting 14.7 rushing attempts and just 1 Rushing Touchdown this season, averaging 67.7 rushing yards a game, then he has to be sat this weekend if you have a better option. Gurley will be a start/sits regular I feel this season.
Allen Robinson is up against one of the best Cornerbacks in the game this week when he comes up against Xavier Rhodes of the Vikings. As much as David Montgomery is a fade this week, Robinson is also a huge fade. In the games in which he played in and completed in 2018, his second worst performance was against Rhodes and the Vikings. Coming off the back of a 133 yard game, Rhodes restricted Robinson to 3 receptions for 39 yards last year. With the pressure being dialed up on Trubisky and the run game being shut down, do not expect Robinson to come and save the day. This isn’t a good matchup for any Bears on your roster, so best to sit them, if you can. If I could put all the Bears in the sits section of this start/sits piece, I would.
John Ross was a buy candidate for us on the Waiver Wire previously. However, he is also a sit candidate this week. The Steelers are going to be putting the pressure on Andy Dalton. And with that, will see a downturn in passing attempts. Afterall, Dalton’s attempts have decreased in every game so far. And when Dalton’s attempts decrease, John Ross’ targets decrease. So when John Ross’ targets decrease, his receptions decrease. And because his receptions have decreased, that’s right, his yards have decreased.
Now, last week, John Ross has 2 receptions for 22 Yards against Buffalo. It will increase from this, but I wouldn’t be projecting Ross to have more than 5 Receptions for 60-70 yards. And that is his ceiling. So he becomes a Touchdown or bust pick this week. Mitigate the risk and select another WR this week. However, I do expect Ross to bounce back in future weeks. He will be a start in this start/sits piece before long.
That’s it for this week. Do follow us on twitter @5yardrush and if you do have questions this column hasn’t answered, then do send us a message. But until next week, when I bring you more start/sits, Keep Rushing!