Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Derek Dimino, Staff Writer

  Start’em Sit’em
Quarterback  Sam Bradford – The Vikings have lost more offensive weapons this year than just about anyone, yet through five regular season games they remain undefeated. Though the Vikings defense remains the crème de la crème and deserves much of the credit for the aforementioned success, Bradford has served as a solid fit into their offensive void. He has averaged 248 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a game through four starts and has yet to turn the ball over. While many fantasy analysts would tell you to sit Bradford against one of the top defenses in the league in week seven, I see him coming out the gates with something to prove against his former team. We must remember, this off-season the eagles toyed around with Bradford, signing him to a new contract then going out and drafting another quarterback with their second overall pick. Sam Bradford has seemed more and more acclimated to the Vikings offense each week, and coming out of a bye week, he is poised to settle a personal vendetta with his former team.


Ryan Tannehill – Starting off the season at 2-4 there is not much to applaud the Dolphins for. Ryan Tannehill has been able to put up a ton of yards through the air, but has had a hard time translating it to the scoreboard.  He’s only managed six passing and one rushing touchdown so far, which are far outweighed by his seven interceptions and two lost fumbles. Going up against the Buffalo Bills in week seven, we can expect coaches Rex and Rob Ryan to cause their usual mayhem in the Dolphins backfield. We’ll see plenty of rushed passes from Tannehill because of the Bills reluctant five man defensive rush. With an already underwhelming start to the season and an unfavorable matchup in week seven, Ryan Tannehill should be a definite sit against a strong Buffalo defense.
Running-Back Jay Ajayi – After the biggest game of his career, Jay Ajayi has leased another week of life as the featured back in the Dolphins run game. Going up against a Pittsburgh defense that has only allowed 77 yards per game, Ajayi proved he belonged with 204 yards and two touchdowns on 25 rushing attempts.  Since starter Arian Foster went down in week two, Jay Ajayi had been rather unimpressive until the last two games, in which he has averaged 6.5 yards per carry and has found the end-zone three times. With a great deal of pressure to perform or be replaced, Ajayi finds himself in a good position to hold on to the top spot against the mediocre Buffalo run-stoppers.


Isaiah Crowell – Isaiah Crowell started off the season as one of the leagues top running backs through the first four games, while playing in a dual running back role with Duke Johnson Jr.. Crowell has since only rushed for 38 yards on 22 touches and three receptions for an additional 38 yards. The Browns offense is in shambles. They’ve gone through five Quarterbacks in six games. They were counting on a troubled playmakers return, which never came to fruition. They’re best option is a failed Quarterback turned Wide receiver who adds some electricity to every aspect of the offenses production. With the Browns rushing attack so volatile, staying away from Crowell is advised against the Bengals in week seven.


Wide-Receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. – Terrelle Pryor does just about everything for the struggling Cleveland Browns. From catching, to carrying, to throwing the football, Pryor is the closest thing to a renaissance football player that you will find. Though the Browns remain win-less, Pryor remains their only chance at being successful. The good thing about that is the Browns know it. Week in and week out Terrelle Pryor Sr. is being heavily targeted, regardless of the matchup. Coming off a close week six loss to the Titans, Pryor hauled in 9-of-13 targets for 75 yards and two touchdowns. As long as Pryor’s hamstring is healthy for week seven against Cincinnati, we can expect him to be an essential part of Browns offense, in every facet of the game.


Golden Tate – Don’t be fooled by his monster game, Golden Tate is still not the go-to wide receiver on the Lions. Coming into this game he had an abysmal 134 yards on 17 catches and had yet to score. He managed an impressive eight receptions, 165 yards and a touchdown in week six against the strong Rams defense. Golden Tate was seen as a legitimate playmaker coming into the season but has been a complete bust prior to this game. Tate will remain behind Marvin Jones Jr., and has much to prove to fantasy owners, in order for him to be trusted with a start. We will monitor him over the next coming weeks, incase he may have turned out to have gotten off to a slow start.


Tight-End Hunter Henry – One week removed from a strong performance against the defending super bowl champs, Hunter Henry has solidified a spot for himself in the Chargers offense. Henry has had four straight games with 60 plus receiving yards, while hauling in a touchdown in three of four of the games. Most fantasy owners were hesitant to start Henry because of the looming return of Antonio Gates as the main pass catcher for the chargers at tight-end, despite the start worthy numbers Henry has been able to maintain this far. Since Gates has been back, Henry has remained a heavily targeted receiver in the chargers offense the last two weeks, especially in the red-zone. Though Gates may steal some of Henry’s targets, Henry will continue to be more than just a dish-off receiver for Rivers.


Coby Fleener – For being in an offense with such high throwing production, Fleener has yet to carve out a consistent role for himself. His catch percentage is just over 50%, making it extremely unpredictable as to how much he will be able to produce. On top of that Drew Brees has the ability to spread the ball around nicely, scoring 14 touchdowns with eight different receivers, so theirs no saying as to how often he’s going to get targeted in the red-zone. Coby Fleener is the obvious fourth option in the Saints offense, being fourth in both receptions and yards. Until, Fleener can consistently haul in targets, especially in the endzone, I would shoot for more reliable starters for your tight-end position.


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