Fantasy Football: sit or start?

What you’re about to read isn’t necessarily fantasy related; at least not the first part.  I’ll get to my starts and sits, but first I wanted to touch on something that is very, well, touchy.

This past week has been arguably the worst week in NFL history.  Videos of women being knocked out, pictures of a child covered in lacerations and countless allegations – not to mention all of the violence carried out by men who are built like a house of pure muscle. It’s sickening.

There’s probably a number of you who are ready to drop football altogether.  You’re probably thinking, “These men are paid millions and given all the fame in the world just to play a game, and this is how they act.”  I beg you to wait.  Give it one last chance.  And I’ll give you a reason why.

You may have never heard of Devon Still, but let me introduce you.  Devon is a defensive tackle out of Penn State University, 25 years old, and was in training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals.  He didn’t quite have the skills to make the team and was cut – a normal occurrence for more than a thousand NFL hopefuls every year.

However, Devon has one major difference in his story:  a 4-year-old daughter with pediatric cancer.  So what do the Bengals do?  Put him on the practice squad so he can continue receiving a paycheck.

Next?  They put him on the 53-man game-day roster to receive a larger paycheck.  And then?  The team announced all funds from the sale of Devon Still jerseys will go towards pediatric cancer research.

Just watch a video about it or look at some of the pictures.  I doubt you won’t shed a tear.  That is why, through all the bad we’ve heard about, I will still support the NFL.  Let’s get to it:

I really like Andrew Luck and his matchup.  He takes on Jacksonville, which allowed Kirk Cousins to start a game 12-for-12 and look like a Hall of Famer.

Matt Stafford will probably be in a shootout against his counterpart, Aaron Rodgers.  I prefer Stafford here, though.

While Gio Bernard doesn’t have the greatest on-paper matchup, you have to start him no matter what.  A player who has his agility and receives goal-line touches?  It just doesn’t happen very often.

When a RB carries the ball at least 15 times, there’s a decent chance he’s putting up some worthy numbers.  That’s exactly what Rashad Jennings can bring to the table for your team.

Andre Johnson should have his breakout game of the season this week.  His QB is playing well, now it’s just time for the looks to start going toward Johnson.  My guess is they will.

On the flip side of the coin, one WR already had his breakout game.  That receiver is Sammy Watkins, who put up 117 yards and a TD last week.  Play the hot hand and keep Watkins in your lineup.

I’ve been trying to write Antonio Gates off for the longest time.  He’s old.  He’s slowing down.  But the big man made all those arguments look silly after his three-TD game last weekend against a stingy Seahawks D.  Start him against Buffalo.

Tread carefully when it comes to Drew Brees this week.  I know my Vikings just got walloped against the Patriots, but it wasn’t necessarily because of poor defensive play.  There were a lot of missed opportunities and Tom Brady still only had nine fantasy points.

Even though he’s taking on one of the worst run defenses, I think Trent Richardson should be on the bench.  Ahmad Bradshaw looks like the better back in Indy.  You should treat them as such – start Ahmad, bench Trent.

I can see why all the experts are ranking Jordy Nelson so high this week.  Yet, I could make an argument as to why he shouldn’t be that high.  In the first week, he put up eight points.  A lot of it depends on whether he gets the big-play catch and I think those go to a different Green Bay receiver this week.

I’ll keep putting Rob Gronkowski in the “Sit” section as long as everyone keeps giving him such high rankings.  His QB isn’t playing up to standards and Gronk is coming off an ACL surgery.  I just don’t trust him at this point in the season.

 

ANTHONY WATSON

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