Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Derek Dimino, Staff Writer

  Start’em Sit’em
Quarterback Kirk Cousins – Recovering from a tough start to the season, Cousins maintained his composure and triumphed over their division rival in week three, throwing just under 300 yards and two touchdowns. While Cousins struggled in the red-zone, he was able to go without throwing an interception for the first game this season. The Redskins have more than enough weapons at the receiver position, between veteran Pierre Garçon, to speedsters Desean Jackson and Jamison Crowder. Combine that with Cousins’ increased chemistry with his receivers and the Redskins disappointing running attack, the Redskins are in a good position to trounce the Cleveland Browns through the air in week four.


Joe Flacco – Despite being undefeated this season, Flacco has thrown three touchdowns and four interceptions through just three games. If it weren’t for a rushing touchdown, last week’s performance would have only yielded single digit fantasy points. There has yet to be a clearly defined number-one receiver in the Ravens passing attack, flipping between Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr., and Dennis Pitta, and the rushing game has been a minor contributor in the Ravens’ success. While we know Flacco has the ability to put up big numbers, until the passing insecurities are sorted out you can bet on many more interceptions being thrown.
Running-Back Charles Sims – Depending on the health of Doug Martin, Sims has a good chance to get another 10-15 touches against the savage Denver defense. Sims was handed the rock 13 times for 55 yards and a touchdown, while racking up six catches on eight targets for 69 yards in week three against L.A. Doug Martin certainly has way more upside as the RB1 for the Bucs in the run game, but Sims offers much more ability in the pass game, and while he’s the starter, offers the Tampa Bay offense a dual-threat back. Expect a similar stat line against the blitz-heavy Broncos defense.


Matt Jones – With three games under his belt, Jones has tallied up 37 rushes for 150 yards and a touchdown, and an additional four catches for 27 yards. Jones has appeal being the clear starting running back in the Washington offense, but remains hindered while Washington is in scoring position. With only seven rushing attacks in the red-zone this season, only one of which came from inside the 10-yard line, the end zone will continue to be an unlikely place to find Matt Jones. Jones will continue to be rushed heavily, but lacks the high ceiling fantasy owners have grown to covet.
Wide-Receiver Sterling Shepard – A definite number-two receiver behind the mesmerizing Odell Beckham Jr. has cemented his value in the Giants passing game. In a season where Eli Manning is having some difficulty getting the ball to OBJ, Sterling Shepard has been able to slide in as a playmaker, scoring in two of the first three games. In three games, Shepard has proven his consistency and sharp route running ability with 16 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns. As OBJ continues to draw the top coverage each game, there is much opportunity for Sterling to overcome the mismatch the defense leaves him with, and carve out an even bigger role in the high powered passing game. This will be no exception against the Minnesota defense.


Golden Tate – With much hype and anticipation this offseason, Tate has yet to live up to the expectations. Tate continues to be heavily targeted, but has yet to turn anything into a big play. Tate may continue to be heavily targeted, but until he’s able to turn his targets into drastically more receiving yards, and points for his team, he has earned himself a spot on the bench.
Tight-End Kyle Rudolph – With major complications at the Quarterback position, due to injuries and acclimating a new QB to the offense, Minnesota has been going through much change. Kyle Rudolph looks to be given a bigger role as a result of this change. In week three, Vikings Quarterback Sam Bradford targeted Rudolph a team high ten times of which seven were completed. Aside from the ten targets last week, Rudolph has consistently been targeted in many of their red-zone opportunities, hauling in two touchdowns and missing out on another, due to a drop. Going up against a strong secondary and a weak linebacker core in the Giants in week four, look for Bradford to continue targeting Rudolph, especially in the red-zone.


Dwayne Allen – Allen has been more than unimpressive through the past two weeks. After looking like a solid contributor in Week one, catching four-of-six targets for 53 yards and a touchdown, he has barely been able to beat those numbers in the last two games combined. Allen is also sharing targets with Jack Doyle. While he remains the TE1 in the Indianapolis offense, he’s been consistently less productive than Doyle. With the dual tight-end look in the Colts offensive scheme, combined with volatility personified in Andrew Luck, Dwayne Allen should be catching splinters on the bench.

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