Last Sunday, I was watching the Eagles VS Jets game with one of my oldest college friends (both in time known and age), who I’m still lucky to hang out with once in a while after all these years. Of course, if he’s reading this, “Eat a bag of #$^#, douche canoe! I’m coming for you in the league in a few weeks!”
It’s all love.
He reads my stuff whenever he can, and he noticed that I was writing this weekly “Start, Sit, & Spin” column. Of course, he decided to bring to my attention how hilarious this is because, in the league I’m in with him, I’m 0-3. And it is hilarious. Who am I to tell anyone who to start and sit with a record like that? I’m at the point where I’ll probably have to run the table to slide into a playoff spot. And it can very well happen. I’m just waiting for Arian Foster to get back on the field, and Martavis Bryant to stop being suspended. And maybe Todd Gurley to fulfill his destiny and prove Jeff Fisher isn’t blowing smoke again. Hey, Duke Johnson is getting better, too. Soon I’ll have more talented running backs that starting roster spots.
So listen to me, or don’t. I give my stats each week to be as transparent as possible in a weekly game that is, literally, a crap-shoot when all the points are tallied. I’m just here to try to instill some logic into the outcomes.
The stats for “Start, Sit, & Spin” so far:
Please note: there are certain players that can be considered “set ’em and forget ’em.” We don’t include them in our “Start” segment because it usually goes without saying that if you drafted someone in the first two rounds, you’re sticking with them unless they are injured or on a bye.
Quarterback: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
I almost didn’t put Carr as my start option. It’s not because I don’t think Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are stellar weapons in a passing offense, or that the Chicago Bears can stop anything. I just thought there would come a point in the game where the Raiders could stop scoring and just hand off to Latavius Murray for the second half of the game. While that may happen anyway, the potential of Alshon Jeffery returning could make this game more of a shootout until expected. I’m sure Jimmy Clausen can find Jeffery in a sea of silver and black.
I would start Derek Carr over: Russell Wilson (SEA), Eli Manning (NYG), Sam Bradford (PHI)
Running Back: Arian Foster, Houston Texans (if healthy)
What does “if healthy” mean to me when it comes to Arian Foster? It means, “If he is listed as active,” which means he is on the sidelines, which means he’s going to get the ball. The one thing you heard throughout Foster’s rehab from groin surgery was that he would return when 100% healthy. If he’s active, he’s 100%. Worried about rust? He’ll be running through a flimsy Falcons line, and catching against a Falcons secondary that has done okay as a “bend, don’t break” defense. Foster probably won’t rush for 200 yards, catch for 100 yards, and score three touchdowns, but he’ll be better than much of what’s out there now.
I would start Arian Foster over: T.J. Yeldon (JAC), Mark Ingram (NO), Carlos Hyde (SF)
Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
I know, Allen Robinson was my wide receiver start last week, and he tanked. Bill Belichick usually selects one player on the opposite team to shut down, and I knew it was going to be Robinson, but figured it wouldn’t matter when the Patriots were up by 30 points. I was wrong.
But the Indianapolis Colts don’t have the defense to shut down even one player, nevermind a whole team. Robinson will get his this week.
I would start Allen Robinson over: Brandon Marshall (NYJ), Jordan Matthews (PHI), Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
Tight End: Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
It seemed as if Bills quarterback TyrodTaylor was looking Clay’s way every play that they didn’t run the ball. Not just as a security blanket, but as a legitimate receiver. With Sammy Watkins questionable to play and how horrible the New York Giants are defending tight ends, look for Clay to put up another great stat-line.
I would start Charles Clay over: Jordan Cameron (MIA), Jason Witten (DAL), Kyle Rudolph (MIN)
DST: Green Bay Packers
It’s come down to this: high-scoring offenses causing the San Francisco 49ers to chuck the ball, and lose in the process. Next up: the Packers.
I would start the Packers DST over: Texans (HOU), Rams (STL), Bills (BUF)
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders aren’t going to get into the end-zone every possession. Sometimes they will kick a field goal as well.
I would start Sebastian Janikowski over: Justin Tucker (BAL), Mike Nugent (CIN), Dan Carpenter (BUF)
Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
It looks like the Seattle Seahawks defense is going to eat the Detroit Lions offense alive. This is good for the Seahawks, but bad for Russell Wilson’s value. He won’t have to do too much later in the game except hand the ball off to whoever is healthy: Lynch or Rawls. The Lions giving up an average of over 100 rushing yards per game doesn’t help things.
Replacements: Derek Carr (OAK), Tyrod Taylor (BUF), Philip Rivers (SD)
Running Back: DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles
No one probably listened to me last week about sitting DeMarco Murray last week. Well, you probably did by default, since he was an injury scratch. While Ryan Matthews rushed for 108 yards against the New York Jets, I don’t expect Murray to do the same. Murray may have even lost a few touches to Matthews due to that last game.
Replacements: Karlos Williams (BUF), Melvin Gordon (SD), Chris Ivory (NYJ)
Wide Receiver: Steve Smith Sr, Baltimore Ravens
Yes, I saw Steve Smith blow up last week with a billion yards on a million catches with thousands of touchdowns, but let’s face it: Smith is old, and he’s on a short week with a Thursday night game. You probably won’t sit him, but temper expectations.
Replacements: Donte Moncrief (IND), James Jones (GB), Michael Crabtree (OAK)
Tight End: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
With a game against the Denver Broncos, the question is: “Who is Teddy Bridgewater going to throw to?” He’s going to have to throw to someone, right?
Unfortunately, I think Kyle Rudolph will have his hands full trying to protect Bridgewater and Peterson and won’t have many chances to run down the field. Play him if you got him, but be aware.
Replacements: Charles Clay (BUF), Heath Miller (PIT), Eric Ebron (DET)
DST: Miami Dolphins
Defenses need practice time to game plan, and rest. The Dolphins will be losing both heading to London for a 9:30am EST game against the Jets. If you haven’t dropped them yet, now is the time.
Replacements: Packers (GB), Eagles (PHI), Chargers (SD)
Kicker: Caleb Sturgis, Philadelphia Eagles
Cody Parkey went on IR after I told you to sit him last week. I hope Caleb Sturgis doesn’t get that sort of whammy, but it’s still tough to start an Eagles kicker. Even if they actually score, you can’t expect that they’ll kick the field goal, especially with the weather that’s coming this weekend.
Replacements: Sebastian Janikowski (OAK), Josh Lambo (SD), Josh Brown (NYG)
Quarterback: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
If you drafted Andrew Luck in the first 4 rounds of your draft, you can’t can’t be happy with the production. At the same time, you have to understand that he’s gone up against some of the best defenses in the leagues: the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. Better days are ahead. The question is: “How much will Luck really have to do against the Jaguars this week?”
Running Back: Duke Johnson Jr, Cleveland Browns
In the battle of rookie running backs, Duke Johnson has fallen to the wayside. But Josh McCown used to lean heavily on a running back who could catch passes: Matt Forte. If you think of Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson as the sum of Matt Forte, then the Duke should climb into the flex spot of your roster once again, with the potential to expand his role as he has each game so far.
Wide Receiver: Rishad Matthews, Miami Dolphins
No one else seems to be doing much in the Dolphins offense, so Matthews has been fed quite a bit these past few weeks. However, DeVante Parker has been getting a little bit more every time as well, and Matthews may have a trip to Revis Island in store for him this week with Jarvis Landry in the slot.
Tight End: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
One more week, and PHilip rivers’ go-to guy will return from suspension. This is good news for teams that stashed Gates, bad news for owners with Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson.
DST: Houston Texans
Maybe Gary Kubiak was good at something. The Texans were great during Kubiak’s tenure, and are now close to droppable. The Denver Broncos are now one of the hottest defenses in the league.
Kicker: Josh Scobee, Pittsburgh Steelers
Will Michael Vick take up the mantle that Ben Roethlisberger laid down about going for 2-point conversions all the time? Yeah, Scobee has been that bad.
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