Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, vs. Oakland
The Raiders have allowed 20 passing touchdowns (one behind the league-leaders) and appear to be little threat to intercept a pass (six on the season). Dalton, meanwhile, has six touchdowns without throwing an interception over the past two weeks.
Sure, the yards haven’t been huge (429), but this is a touchdown-driven league. There is no reason to think that he isn’t going to put up big numbers in this favorable matchup.
Sit: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, vs. Baltimore
Yes, the Ravens' defense is banged up and they give up some yards, but they also have allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the league (8). Rivers, meanwhile, has thrown five interceptions over his past three games and has 14 on the season.
Rivers has also been a worse quarterback at home (229.5 yards per game, 7 TD, 8 INT) than on the road (257.2 yards per game, 10 TD, 6 INT) and has played two fewer games at home. The Chargers in general appear to be a disaster right now, meaning there are a lot better gambles to take.
Start: Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins, at Dallas
It has been four games since Morris last found the end zone and he hasn’t surpassed 76 yards in his past three games. You would think that combination would put him on shaky ground. However, it appears like the Redskins are actually expanding his role in the offense. According to the Washington Tmes (click here for the post):
Rookie Alfred Morris often states his desire to become a complete NFL running back. His promotion to third-down back in Sunday’s 31-6 win over Philadelphia was an important step toward that goal. Coach Mike Shanahan replaced second-year running back Evan Royster with Morris, and Morris played nine of the Redskins’ 11 third downs.
In other words, Morris could be developing into one of the few every-down backs in the league. That is certainly not someone you want to have slotted on your bench due to his spotential to produce.
Start: Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders, at Cincinnati
Reece continues to produce and the Raiders continue to be non-committal when it comes to the return of Darren McFadden. Even if McFadden is on the field, who is to say that he can overtake Reece, conidering how well the latter has played? At this point, Reece appears to entrenched himself as a viable fantasy option.
Sit: New Orleans Saints Running Backs, vs. Sam Francisco
Couple an extremely difficult matchup with the sheer number of options the Saints have and do you want to try and predict who is going to get opportunities and who won’t? A healthy Darren Sproles would be the closest thing I would trust, but even that could be a stretch with a full slate of games.
Sit: Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins, vs. Seattle
Bush has simply disappeared in recent weeks, averaging 48.8 total yards per game over the past four weeks. He also has managed to score just one touchdown over that span, while losing a pair of fumbles. It seems like only a matter of time before Daniel Thomas gets his opportunity to overtake Bush as the lead back.
Wide Receiver (Two-Receiver Formats)
Start: Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens, at San Diego
He was awful last week against the Steelers, with one catch for seven yards. However, let us not forget that he had caught three touchdowns in the previous two games and has seven scores on the season. The Chargers have allowed 17 passing touchdowns this season, so you would think that there will be some opportunities to make plays.
Sit: Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks, at Miami
He’s been hot lately, having scored four touchdowns over his past three games. Of course, he also hasn’t gone over 55 yards in a game and has six total catches the past two weeks. Throw in how poor Russell Wilson has played on the road this season and you don’t want to get too caught up with Rice.
Wide Receiver (Three-Receiver Formats)
Start: Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars, vs. Tennessee
Last week’s performance from Justin Blackmon certainly stole Shorts’ thunder, but he had five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown himself. In fact, he has been on a roll over the past four weeks averaging five receptions and 89.5 yards per game (as well as having scored two touchdowns).
While Blackmon is the better option long-term and coming off a monster game, Shorts is the guy that has established himself as the top option in Jacksonville. He’s a borderline WR2, but a must-use option in three-receiver formats.
Sit: Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots, at New York Jets
Is there any way anyone can trust him at this point? While there will be hopes he plays a larger role with Rob Gronkowski out of action, Lloyd is averaging 31 yards per game over his past four games, hasn’t eclipsed 50 yards in six of his past seven games and hasn’t had a reception of more than 27 yards all season (and that came in Week 1). There’s way too much risk at this point.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: