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Week 6’s Toughest Start/Sit Decisions: Andy Dalton, Darrell Henderson, Chase Claypool

Oct 16, 2020

Every week fantasy football owners are confronted with difficult lineup questions. Who should you start, and who should you sit? That’s what many are left asking, often with little help. It’s good you landed here, as we can help each week using our Who Should I Start tool. Simply type in several players that you are deciding between per position or for your flex and we will let you know who the experts would start and who they would sit.

Here’s a look at the toughest start and sit decisions of the week along with our expert’s advice.

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Start Matt Ryan (QB – ATL) or Andy Dalton (QB – DAL)?
58% of Experts Would Start Ryan

Ryan has not played well the past three weeks. He’s only thrown one touchdown over the past three games, but he has a fine matchup here against the Vikings secondary. With that being said, you simply can’t trust him in your lineup right now. He’s a mid-range QB2 in week six.

It’s not the ideal circumstances for Dalton to be taking over as the quarterback for the Cowboys, as everyone in the fantasy/real world roots for a speedy recovery to the superstar Dak Prescott. Dalton lacks the mobility that Prescott had, which could be a problem behind the crumbling Cowboys offensive line, though it certainly helps that the Cardinals just lost their best pass-rusher/defensive player in Chandler Jones, who tore his bicep. That’s really bad news for a team that’s averaged just a 27.6 percent pressure rate (ranks 8th-lowest) with him on the field. Even with him there, the Cardinals have 18.5-plus fantasy points to every quarterback not named Joe Flacco or Dwayne Haskins. Despite Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Matthew Stafford not throwing the ball no more than 37 times, they all threw for at least 259 yards and two touchdowns against this defense. We’ve seen the impact of losing an elite pass-rusher can do, right? Look at the 49ers. The Cardinals defense has clearly taken a step forward this season while limiting passers to just 7.32 yards per attempt, but they may’ve just taken a step back. We have nothing to go off with Dalton in a Cowboys uniform outside of his 9-for-11 passing for 111 yards in Prescott’s relief last week, but we do know that he’s flashed top-five upside with Marvin Lewis as his head coach. Remember that? Dalton should be considered a high-end QB2 with the artillery he has at his disposal.

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Start Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS) or Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)?
66% of Experts Would Start Gibson

For the second time this year, we saw Gibson out-snap McKissic, though it hasn’t been in back-to-back weeks, so there’s not a clear takeover situation. Still, this is a game that should benefit Gibson’s role as the primary 1-2 down back with some passing duties mixed in, as the game’s spread is very tight. Gibson’s role has certainly grown over the last two weeks, but so has McKissic’s with the elimination of Barber from the offense. The Giants have faced an average of 28.4 touches per game to running backs, so there should be enough opportunity for both of these running backs to produce fantasy relevant numbers. They’ve allowed just 3.93 yards per carry on the ground (12th-fewest) but 7.22 yards per target (4th-most), so it could benefit McKissic’s role as the primary pass-catcher (109 routes to Gibson’s 72). But again, in a neutral gamescript, we should see a lot more of Gibson this week, provided they don’t fall behind early. Gibson should be played as a high-end RB3 who might exceed expectations this week, while McKissic is a legitimate flex/RB4 option during bye weeks.

We have no clue what to do with Moss at this point, as he’s not touched the ball since Week 2 and was inactive on Tuesday night where T.J. Yeldon ate into his potential workload. Singletary didn’t look good against the Titans, so it’s hard to say how this backfield will look moving forward, though I suspect Singletary will remain the most valuable. It’s an important question considering the matchup they have in front of them, as the Chiefs have continually been one of the worst teams in the league against the run. After allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs last year, they rank as the 10th-worst in the league this year, and that’s despite allowing just three touchdowns to them. Based on yardage, they’ve allowed 913 of them, which is 44 more yards than any other team in the NFL. Dating back to last year, in the same scheme, with very similar personnel, the Chiefs have allowed 23 running backs to hit double-digit PPR points against them. Keep in mind that’s a span of 21 games, so more than one per game. 15 of those running backs broke the 15-point barrier. The total weighted opportunity against the Chiefs for running backs is the second-highest mark in the league behind only the Panthers, so we want some action on Bills running backs. For now, Singletary should be considered as a low-end RB2 with more upside than most in that territory, though he would get a bump in the rankings is Moss is inactive again. If Moss plays, he’s nothing more than a risky RB4 who’s been out of the lineup for three weeks.

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Start Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA) or Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)?
62% of Experts Would Start Gaskin

I was going through opportunity for DFS purposes last week, trying to decide on a running back and Gaskin kept popping up. He’s averaging the 16th-most weighted opportunity in PPR formats, which is extremely valuable, though I was worried about him losing the high-value touches in the red zone. Well, had I known Jordan Howard was going to be a healthy scratch, I would’ve played Gaskin. He finished with 21 opportunities against the 49ers and turned them into 20.1 PPR points, good enough for a top-10 finish. That was a brutal matchup, so why should we care about the tough matchup against the Jets? Well, to be fair, it hasn’t been that tough in 2020, as there have been nine different running backs who’ve posted at least 10.1 PPR points against them and finished as top-32 running backs. They’ve played five games. It feels like a team that’s simply given up on the current coaching staff, as the 0.98 PPR points per opportunity they’ve allowed is head and shoulders above the 0.75 PPR points per opportunity they allowed last year. Over the last four weeks, no team of running backs have finished with less than 96 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while four of the five teams they’ve played have totaled at least 39 yards through the air with their running backs. 2020 has thrown a lot at us, but maybe none more odd than me saying Gaskin is a solid RB2 this week who should have at least 18 opportunities in this game against a team that’s seen 30.2 running back touches per game. He’d become even safer if Howard were out again, though Lynn Bowden has taken a few touches in his place.

This backfield has been productive, though it’s been difficult to know who is going to go off any given week, especially now that Akers is back in the swing. There has been opportunity for the lead back, but it’s shifted from game-to-game. Sean McVay talked about wanting to replicate the 49ers rushing attack, so here, he’ll go against his mentor. The 49ers have dealt with a multitude of injuries – and still are – but they’ve still yet to allow more than 63 yards on the ground to any running back. In fact, they’ve been very good since Week 1. Over their last four games, they’ve allowed just one running back to finish better than RB32, though lack of competition was a real thing with matchups against the Jets, Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins. The one running back who did finish better than that was Myles Gaskin, who posted 20.1 PPR points and finished as the RB8 on the week. Still, there’s been no team of running backs to rush for 90 yards against them through five weeks. They have allowed three running backs to compile 30-plus receiving yards over the last two games, which helps, but again, we don’t know which Rams running back to trust. Henderson would certainly be my choice if picking one, even with that hiccup in Week 4, but it’s tough to say he’s more than an RB3 in a tough matchup. Brown has had what I’d deem the most consistent opportunity but lacks upside with both Henderson and Akers involved. He’s just an emergency RB4. Akers might gain steam, but we haven’t seen him in anything close to the lead role just yet, so just continue to hold as a handcuff.

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Start Darius Slayton (WR – NYG) or Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)?
63% of Experts Would Start Slayton

He did what we’d hoped last week, turning in 8/129/0 against a weak Cowboys secondary. He’s now seen at least six targets in each of the five games they played, and at least seven targets in the three games that Sterling Shepard has missed. If Shepard comes back this week, we’d have to be more concerned about his target floor. Washington has been better against wide receivers than anyone expected given the lack of talent in the secondary, but their pass rush has helped mask a lot of that. They’ve now allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the position, behind only the Rams and Bears. Crazy, right? It’s not just lack of volume, either, as they’ve allowed just 1.65 PPR points per target, which ranks as the fifth-lowest mark in the league. Now it is worth noting that when they do allow a catch, it typically goes for a lot of yards, as the 14.07 yards per reception suggests. Slayton has the highest average depth of target on the team at 13.0 yards, so that’s what you’re hoping for; a big play. It is worth noting that even though it was a different scheme, Slayton torched Washington’s new cornerback Ronald Darby last year when they played, racking up 8/154/2 in Week 14. Again, it is a new defense and Darby has played considerably better. Consider Slayton a boom-or-bust high-end WR4 option who either hits or he doesn’t, as I don’t think there’s much of an in-between result here. If Shepard returns, I’d move him into the mid-tier WR4 who has an even lower floor.

We knew last week’s matchup was going to be a tough one for Boyd, who finished with just four catches for 42 yards against the Ravens. Don’t panic, as it was likely the toughest matchup he’ll have all year. The Colts defense has been good against wide receivers as a whole, but they haven’t been untouchable. In fact, three of the top-four performances they’ve allowed to wide receivers this year have gone to those who play in the slot on a regular basis. We watched Keelan Cole finish with 5/47/1, Braxton Berrios 4/64/1, and Jarvis Landry 4/88/0 against them, so while the ceiling doesn’t appear very high, they’ve struggled the most over the middle of the field. Even going back to last year, you’d see they struggled against the slot and allowed 8/123/1 to Keenan Allen, 7/72/1 to Dede Westbrook, and 7/91/0 to Chris Godwin, so it’s not a fluke; it’s the scheme. The six touchdowns the Colts have allowed to wide receivers ranks as the seventh-most, as teams have struggled to run the ball against them. You should be starting Boyd as a WR2 moving forward.

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Start Chase Claypool (WR – PIT) or Jamison Crowder (WR – NYJ)?
56% of Experts Would Start Crowder

Kaboom. After his Week 5 explosion, he now has five touchdowns on 17 touches. His 3.53 PPR points per target is head and shoulders above any other player in the league (Allen Lazard is closest with 3.06), which obviously screams regression. Everyone sees the fantasy points scored, but you should probably look closer. In terms of routes run, both Smith-Schuster (34) and Washington (32) ran more routes than the 23 that Claypool ran last week. Not many know that Washington has been playing ahead of him all season, though they’ve been splitting snaps as the team’s third wide receiver. If Johnson plays, that’s likely to continue. Sure, this is a high-powered offense, but if you’re not running the routes, it’s going to be difficult to be relied upon for fantasy production. It’s a situation to monitor as the week goes on, as Claypool would obviously get a big boost if Johnson can’t go. It certainly helps that the Browns have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. They have seen the second-most targets in the league, as receivers have averaged a massive 24.8 targets per game, which allows for multiple receivers to be productive. It’s going to be hard to take Claypool off the field after that performance last week, so it’s possible he passes Washington in the pecking order, though that’s far from a guarantee. If Johnson plays, Claypool is a risk/reward WR4 option who has a lower floor than you’d think. If Johnson is out, Claypool should have enough opportunity to be considered an upside WR3.

I’ll admit it… I’m too low on Crowder, but I want you to understand where I’m coming from. Yes, he’s totaled at least seven receptions and 100-plus yards in each of the three games he’s played this year, but that’s such a small sample size on his career with the Jets. There were seven games he finished with at least five receptions and 66 yards last year, but there were also eight games where he finished with 40 yards or less and no touchdowns, which left you high-and-dry. What has changed in the offense? They lost Robby Anderson, which certainly helps his target floor, but that was never really a problem. This week should be an interesting test for him, as the Dolphins have been doing a solid job with slot receivers, though not perfect. Over the first five weeks, here are the slot-heavy receivers they played with their results: Julian Edelman 5/57/0 on seven targets, Cole Beasley 5/70/0 on six targets, Keelan Cole 4/43/0 on five targets, Tyler Lockett 2/39/0 on four targets, and Kendrick Bourne 2/30/1 on four targets. None of them seen the type of targets that Crowder has, and I’d say he compares most to Cole Beasley, who was quite efficient against them, but is there a reason that slot receivers haven’t been funneled more targets? The 15.1 yards per reception the Dolphins have allowed tends to say they’re weaker deeper down the field, but we know Crowder will get targets with the lack of weapons they have on offense. Crowder should be plugged in as a high-end WR3 until we’re proven otherwise, even if I’m too low on him.

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Start Eric Ebron (TE – PIT) or Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL)?
53% of Experts Would Start Schultz

He got the opportunity we wanted last week when he saw six targets against the very-beatable Eagles defense, and while he tallied five catches for 43 yards, he also lost a fumble, and then had another pass that was ruled as an interception due to his drop, but was ultimately overturned on review, as it hit the ground. Now that there are suddenly four wide receivers competing for targets, it’s harder to see a large portion of the pie going to Ebron. It certainly helps to know that the Browns have seen 43.0 pass attempts per game through five weeks, so there’s plenty of production to go around. As a whole, the Browns have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to opponents, with 20.2 percent of the production to skill-position players (RB, WR, TE) going to the tight end position, which is the eighth-highest percentage in the league. They’ve allowed at least four catches and 31 yards to every tight end they’ve played this year, including four tight ends who’ve scored 11.5 or more PPR points. Even better news is that two of those tight ends were C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample, so it’s not just big names producing against them. Ebron is always going to come with some risk considering the talent around him, but he should be considered a high-end TE2 this week who can be streamed considering he’s seen at least five targets in each of his last three games.

What happened to Schultz last week? We talked about his injury that he had at the end of Week 4, so was that the reason for his lack of involvement? He wasn’t listed on the injury report, and he did run 29 pass routes, so we have to assume it was just the gameplan. He hadn’t finished with less than four catches or 48 yards in his previous three starts, so don’t panic too much. Remember when the Cardinals were the team to attack with tight ends last year? You know, that historically bad team that allowed 13 top-10 performances to tight ends? Well, they sadly don’t seem to exist anymore, as they’ve held every tight end they’ve played to 53 yards or less. It’s a very small sample size, so what about the level of competition? George Kittle played them in Week 1 and was hurt before halftime, finishing with 4/44/0 on five targets. Outside of him, it’s been Logan Thomas, T.J. Hockenson, Ian Thomas, and Chris Herndon. Can we really judge them on that competition? They still would’ve allowed all of them top-12 production last year, so there’s improvement, but I’m not convinced tight ends are immune to production against them. Knowing Schultz has seen six-plus targets in three of his four starts, he can be played as a low-end TE1/high-end TE2.

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