Last week, we launched this new Start/Sits column. And for the most part, it was a success. Our sits were right on the money. Gurley might have got two Touchdowns and a decent day in the air, but he did nothing on the ground. The call and the process was correct. The Rams might have done something that was not expected, but you can’t play players based on information you don’t have. That’s why we do this column. So you can see the process for thought, and make the best informed calls you can for your Start/Sits.
Our starts were a mixed bag. Jones should have done better, as too, should have Miles Sanders. Who could have predicted Jordan Howard would score 3 Touchdowns! The Packers gave up the yards, but they didn’t all go to Sanders. And Jones wasn’t terrible. He was in the middle of the pack, and he provided a safe floor. It just wasn’t quite the low end QB1 numbers I was hoping for. And we had no information on Williams at the time of writing. But that’s why we gave you six starts instead of five last week ;). But Dissley, Shepard, Conner, all produced as expected. So Start/Sits has so far been a success.
So now we look to Week Five. 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.
Winston is coming off a week where he was the QB1 in Fantasy Football. QB1! Most people benched him despite a good performance against the Giants in Week Three. This week he takes this Buccaneers offense into the Superdome against a New Orleans defense that is second worst against QBs so far this season. The Saints have given up 1,180 yards passing and 10 Touchdowns (6 Passing, 4 Rushing) to QBs in 4 games so far this season. The only team that ranks worse against QBs is Miami. 25.7 Fantasy Points a game against QBs, and this went down after a win against the Cowboys. Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich look like they are cooking up a storm.
Winston has always struggled when the pressure is on, but the numbers are trending up. He looks deadly on every series and had 7 Passing TDs and only 1 INT in his last 2 starts. Don’t overthink it. Play him. An easy Start/Sit scenario solved.
This seems like an easy call. He was drafted in the 1st round after all in everyone’s Fantasy Drafts. However, he is only averaging 43.3 rushing yards a game so far this season. He also has no rushing Touchdowns. Johnson is also averaging more yards in receptions than he is on the ground.
But, you can expect that to change this week. Johnson is facing the Bengals, in what can only been seen as a “pad your stats game” to all Running Backs in the league. Last week we told you to start the struggling James Conner. And he didn’t disappoint. Ok he only had 10 carries for 42 yards on the ground, but he did have 8 rec for 83 yards and a score also.
David Johnson, I feel, is good for 80+ on the ground and maybe the same again in the air. I also think this will be the first time he runs in a Touchdown this season, and could also add to his tally of two through the air. This might be one of the only times DJ ends up in this Start/Sits column this season. And it would not shock me to see DJ end up as a top 3 scoring RB this week.
Mark Ingram is having himself a season! Owners were disappointed that he was only good for 71 yards rushing a 1 receiver yard on Sunday. That shows how far he has come in 12 months. Ingram has 5 Touchdowns so far this season, however none of them have come at home. I expect that to change on Sunday.
Pittsburgh have been truly awful against the run. They currently rank in the bottom 5 defense against the run in the NFL, and they have yet to face a top 12 back this season. Ingram is ranked 6th in PPR and 5th in Standard scoring amongst all Running Backs. And with 2 100 yard rushing games under his belt so far this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it 3 on Sunday.
It’s fair to say that Tyler Boyd has yet to get his season up and running yet. He is ranked as a WR4 in Standard (39th overall) and a WR3 in PPR (26th overall). Monday night saw him have a dismal 3 catches off 6 targets for 33 Yards. He has only hit more than 70 Receiving Yards once this season (in Week Two against the 49ers).
However, he has faced 4 elite defenses so far this season. In fantasy scoring, he has faced the 4th highest scoring (the 49ers, who have only played three times), the 7th (Steelers) and 8th (Bills) highest scoring, and also the 11th highest scoring defense (the Seahawks). His fixtures don’t get much easier from Week Six until the bye either. However, for this one week, the clouds part and he has the 27th highest scoring Fantasy Football defense in the Cardinals this week.
The Cardinals are giving up 182 yards per game to Wide Receivers and 38.3 Fantasy Points per game to them. If Boyd gets 55-60% of the Wide Receiver production, that we could expect, then he could be in line to pass 20 PPR Points and get himself back on track. Trust the process and trust the Start/Sits.
If this isn’t a game where you start Jared Cook, then I don’t know why he is still on your bench. Cook has been nothing short of abysmal so far this season. He is currently the TE35 in Standard scoring and TE33 in PPR Scoring. He also has a high of just 8.5 Fantasy Points in PPR so far this season (Week Two) and a high of 37 Yards (Week One).
But, this week should be the turning point. The Buccaneers are the best defense in the NFL against the run, having stopped everyone in their tracks so far. This will mean Bridgewater will have to sling the rock more in this game, if they are to be successful. The Buccaneers forced Jared Goff into throwing the ball 68 times on Sunday, the 3rd most attempts ever by a Quarterback.
Cook has been getting targets. Last week he had 6 targets, and in Week Two he had 7. I would expect him to have more volume this week, and therefore more receptions. The Buccaneers are also the second worst team against Tight Ends this season, having given up Touchdowns in their last two games to Evan Engram and Gerald Everett respectively.
Something has to give with Cook. If he blanks in this game, then he is probably a drop candidate, and this will be the last time you see him in this Start/Sits column. If you still own him and have endured four weeks of his lack of productivity so far, then I expect this is the game you have been waiting for.
He might be the QB4 on the season, but Dak Prescott didn’t look anything like that on Sunday against the Saints. Prescott, went 22/33 for 223 Yards, 0 TDs and an INT. There was as well only 1 rush for 7 Yards. This is the same Saints defense that, as previously mentioned, had given up 10 Touchdowns to QBs in their opening 3 games.
Dak had the luxury of starting with arguably the easiest set of games in NFL history. However, both he and Kellen Moore muffed the first game that was considered to be a challenge.
This week, they face the prospect of one of the most improved defensive fronts in the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have given up as many Touchdowns as they have made Interceptions (4). But they have faced the Eagles, the Bears and the Vikings, as well as the Broncos. Two of those teams were playoff teams a year ago. In addition, the Packers are only giving up 208 Passing Yards a game this season, as well as a measly 11.5 yards a game on the ground to QBs. The Packers are also the third best defense when it comes to Quarterback Fantasy points allowed, giving up a lowly 12.5 PPG on average. If this wasn’t enough, they are only giving up, on average, a 43% completion rate to Wide Receivers. This mark is over 5 percentage points greater than the next best team (New England Patriots).
This matchup looks to be very Zeek and ground heavy. So if you have another QB option, I would be leaving Dak on the bench this week and leave him to fight another day. Controversial Sit for the Start/Sits but something doesn’t look right to me.
Wayne Gallman was fantastic last week. He really went to town on the Washington Redskins. In addition to this, he perhaps thought that maybe for a second, he was really Saquon Barkley. However, Wayne Gallman is not Saquon Barkley. And he is also not matchup proof.
The Giants have rebounded. Danny Dimes is Lord of New York and Wayne Gallman has people going “Saquon who”. However, all good things must come to an end. And whilst Danny Dimes is probably start-able this week, just, Gallman, is not.
The Vikings have only given up 1 Rushing Touchdown and 1 Receiving Touchdown to Running Backs this season, and they were both given up in the First Quarter to Green Bay when the Packers stormed to a 21 point lead early in that game. So that is 15 quarters this year, in which they have not given up a score to a Running Back. The backs they have shut out, Josh Jacobs, Davonta Freeman, Ito Smith, David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, and Mike Davis.
Now, you might look at some of those names and not look too impressed. However, all of these players have been making an impact in the NFL and making plays well before Wayne Gallman feasted like a king against the Redskins. Gallman wouldn’t even be owned on 99% of rosters had Barkley not gone down. And do you know why? Because he’s actually not that good. Because even when facing the Redskins, he still could only manage 3.5 yards per carry.
He now faces a Vikings defence that is keeping a teams Running Back compliment to just 17.9 PPR points a game between them. I don’t think Gallman is going to exceed more than 12 PPR points in this game, so I would sit him unless you are desperate. However, that Start/Sit decision lies with you.
Le’veon Bell is a player that most analysts didn’t know what to expect out of for 2019. Because on the one hand he has such incredible talent. But on the other hand, he has had to contend with two top 10 defensive performances in the Patriots and the Bills, and Adam Gaze, with his unusual play calling and not using him to his full potential.
The current form of Bell is a horrible 2.9 yards a carry, with a season-high 68 rushing yards, as well as 20 Receptions for 121 yards, an average of 6 Yards per Catch. His longest rush for the season so far is 12 yards and he has just 1 receiving Touchdown to his name all season, against the Browns.
This week he faces the Eagles, who have only given up 2 Rushing Touchdowns, and no Receiving Touchdowns to Running Backs so far in 2019. We also have question marks over the availability of Sam Darnold as he is fighting Mono.
The Eagles have players coming back from injury, so it is not a great time to play them. Especially as they will be full of confidence from their astonishing win at Lambeau Field over the Packers.
I would say at this point, the only reason you are starting Bell is because you don’t have anyone else. And this is the tricky thing with Start/Sits. Because if that is still the case come Thursday/Friday, then start him at the weekend. But I seriously would be looking to buy a Running Back from somewhere. Because if you stick with this version of Le’Veon Bell, on this Jets team, you might be out of the running for the playoffs come the crucial business end of the season. His value is probably at his lowest right now, so just hold him and sit him, if you can afford to.
Let’s make the assumption that McLaurin is fit for Week Five, which is possible, but not definite. There is a whole host of reasons why McLaurin needs to take a seat on the bench in Week Five and why he is in this Start/Sits column.
Shall we start with the Quarterback? First of all, we don’t know who it will be. Will it be Case Keenum? Or will it be Colt McCoy? Maybe it’s Dwayne Haskins. We just don’t know yet. But, and let’s be brutally honest here, do any of those options excite you. Because they don’t to me.
But then, even if we can get on board with the Quarterback, and he is 100% healthy, there is still the small challenge of facing the New England Patriots defense this week. The Redskins in Week Four scored a miserable 3 points against the Giants defense. And the Giants have been scored on for fun for the first three weeks of the season.
The Patriots defence has, through four games, given up zero Touchdowns to Wide Receivers this season. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they have also given up the fourth fewest amount of total Fantasy Points Per Game to Wide Receivers in the league.
So quick recap. Injury concern, horrible Quarterback option, playing against an elite defense who have not given up a Touchdown in the air this season. Sit this rookie for a week, by order of the Start/Sits column!
Chark is having a wonderful season. However this week, he needs to take a seat on the bench. After a tough match-up this week, he now finds himself being shadowed by James Bradberry, who is having an All-Pro kind of season at Cornerback. For more information, see Stocks Lock-Down column coming out later this week.
The Panthers defense has only given up two Receiving Touchdowns so far this season. They have also kept quiet some excellent offensive teams. The Texans, for example, were restricted to just a single DeShaun Watson rushing score and a Field Goal. Just 10 points. Nuke Hopkins was kept very very quiet. D.J. Chark might be good, but he isn’t Hopkins good. He also has Kyle Allen throwing to him and not Watson.
Chark has appeared as Gardnew Minshew’s number 1 target. And most weeks, he has to be a start consideration. However, for this week, going against Bradberry and a defense giving up only 33 PPR Points Per Game total amongst all Wide Receivers in a game (So share that number out between 4 or 5 receivers) and you are going to have someone like Chark post 10-12 PPR Points this week. There are better options this week on your roster, or on the Waiver Wire. Trust the Start/Sits process and sit him on the bench this week.
That’s it for this week. Do follow us on twitter @5yardrush and if you do have questions for Start/Sits this column hasn’t answered, then do send us a message. But until next week, when I bring you more Start/Sits, Keep Rushing!