Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Derek Dimino, Staff Writer

  Start’em Sit’em
Quarterback Winston has been far from consistent. His passing touchdown to interception ratio is unimpressive, sitting at twelve to nine with an additional rushing touchdown, and the Buccaneers are fighting to stay at .500 on the season. Fortunately for Jameis Winston and the Bucs they seem to have found a worthy rushing attack with Jacquizz Rodgers leading the pack. In the last two games since Charles Sims went down, Winston has thrown for 488 yards and four touchdowns while only turning the ball over one time. Combine their recent success with their favorable matchup against the struggling Oakland Raiders defense; Winston can yield another 250 yards and two-touchdown performance through the air.



The Jaguars are studded with young talent.  From Offensive weapons, such as Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and T.J. Yeldon, to their defensive rookies, Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey. Blake Bortles is no exception. At the beginning of the season, fantasy analysts thought that because of the increased talent from the prior year, the Jaguars won’t be playing from behind as much, forcing the passing attack to stay conservative and be limited to the earlier quarters. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that hasn’t been the case in the slightest. They have still been playing from behind in most of their games, but without the garbage time stat flair that they added last year. The problem is that Bortles has been unable to find his biggest offensive playmaker, Allen Robinson, and has instead caught a turnover bug. In the games the Jaguars lost, Bortles has only scored six touchdowns compared to his eight interceptions. Blake Bortles is an ill-advised starter in week eight.


Running-Back For all the Fantasy owners who have Jamaal Charles, I understand the roller coaster of emotions Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid has put you through, especially the last two weeks. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely for the ride to stop here. After sitting out all of week seven, Jamaal Charles still seems to be having problems with sore knees. The Chiefs have proved that they’re willing to take their time bringing their superstar back to full production, especially with continued success from back-up Spencer Ware. Ware has been the lead back all season, and has proven that he deserves a role in the offense regardless of Charles’ health. In the last two games, Ware has provided over 200 yards and a touchdown on the ground and an additional 76 yards and a touchdown receiving. Ware has yet to rush for under 57 yards in a game this season, so look for him to be a healthy reliable start against the abysmal Colts run-stoppers.


As the Yang to Devonta Freeman’s Yin, Tevin Coleman has rounded out the impressive Atlanta rushing attack. Unfortunately, this past weekend Coleman went down with a slight hamstring injury that could hold him out for a week. Devonta Freeman can handle the full running back duties in Coleman’s absence, so there’s no rush to get him back to the field. As we’ve learned last week from LeSean McCoy in Buffalo, rushing the player back to the field after a hamstring injury could do more damage than good, increasing the risk of aggravation, elongating the players’ journey to full health. In week eight, the Falcons play Green Bay. The Green Bay run stoppers are some of the best in the game, but their secondary is dwindling due to three different injuries to starting defensive backs. We can surely expect Matt Ryan to take advantage of this, assuring Julio Jones another monster game.


Wide-Receiver After finding the end zone five times in the first four games, Jordy Nelson has kept quiet the last two games. This is merely a fluke. Both Randall Cobb and Davante Adams have out-targeted him in the last two games, but a bounce back game against the Atlanta Falcons is likely. Except for last week, Jordy hasn’t had a game with less than four receptions this season. Look for him to again be a favorite red-zone target for Rodgers.



As the leading receiver on Kansas City, Jeremy Maclin certainly serves as the centerpiece of the passing game. While hauling in 27 receptions this year, he has racked up 333 yards. Sadly, this volume of receptions has only yielded one score. Maclin seems pretty cemented in his role, and likely to be in the three to five receptions a game range. Alex Smith has found red zone success in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Combined with the increased stability of Spencer Ware’s rushing attack, there is not much space for Maclin to grow. While he remains a great receiver, playing his role extremely well in a balanced offense, his fantasy value is not quite there. Maclin should sit in week eight against the Colts.


Tight-End Depending completely on Jordan Reed’s health over the coming week, Vernon Davis could return to the gridiron as the Redskins starting tight-end for week eight. With Jordan Reed’s enormous production capacity, Vernon Davis had large shoes to fill. He was able to turn his two starts with Redskins into seven receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. This years strict concussion protocol has hindered many players from returning to the field at the speed they would like, so it would be no surprise if Reed needs to take another week to get his head right. If that’s the case, look for Davis to be a valid starter that you could get off waivers.


With extreme upside playing in the pass heavy Saints offense, Coby Fleener has yet to become a focal point. To say Fleeners’ production has varied week to week would be a huge understatement. He has gone from having games with six receptions, 74 receiving yards, a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown, to games where he only caught two passes for 44 yards. Coby has scored the majority of his fantasy points in two games against defenses with holes the size of Pluto. Although there is so much room for receiving production with Drew Brees at quarterback, there are a plethora of weapons. From Brandin Cooks to Michael Thomas to Willie Snead, these men need to eat. With each one of these receivers playmaking abilities far outshining Fleener’s, it is no surprise why Fleener has faded to the background in some of these games. Going up against the larger-than-life Seattle Defense in week eight, Fleener should be sat.


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