Did you survive Week 9? By comparison, this week is much better. Only four teams—The Ravens, Bengals, Patriots, and Jets—are on a bye. That leaves many more options, but probably still leaves you with some decisions. Combined with injuries, you’re likely looking at some tough choices. Such is life in the NFL. While we’re all blissfully rejoicing in the return of the NFL, with it comes the specter of lineup decisions. Who should start? Who should sit? Let this weekly post be your guide as I go on a journey with you these next 18 weeks.
The criteria are simple: I pick one sit and one start from each position (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end). This is based on my rankings for each week, which you can find in full at www.campus2canton.com. The standard is Top 12 for quarterbacks and tight ends, and Top 24 for wide receivers and running backs. Each week I’ll begin with a review of how I did the previous week because accountability is a part of this process.
Before we move forward, let’s look at how I did in Week 9.
Starts Week 9
QB: Tua Tagovailoa, QB4 Hit. Tua continues to shine.
RB: Aaron Jones, RB29 Miss. The Packers forgot about Jones, which is why they’re 3-6.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, WR21 Hit. Not a great game, but still in the window.
TE: Gerald Everett, TE13 Miss. I just barely missed… that touchdown on MNF doomed me.
Start Record: 2-2
Sits Week 9
QB: Matthew Stafford, QB22 Hit. The Rams’ offense is a mess.
RB: Tyler Allgeier, RB15 Miss. The Falcons got Cordarrelle Patterson back and Allgeier STILL finished Top 15…
WR: Chase Claypool, WR59 Hit. Claypool will have better days, but he helped the Bears’ offense.
TE: Cole Kmet, TE2 Miss. Kmet got two touchdowns. What are you gonna do?
Sits Record: 2-2
Start: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
About: After a slow start, Fields has exploded. He was QB1 in Week 9, with the Bears adding Chase Claypool, Fields even has some weapons. And now, Fields is QB7 on the season and gets to host the Detroit Lions and their porous pass defense. It’s wheels up for Fields, especially in a week with Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson on a bye.
Sit: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
About: It’s like we’re in the 2021 NFL Draft all over again. Lawrence went first overall and seemed to be a can’t-miss prospect. He struggled in year one but seemed to get a lift with the hire of Doug Pederson. Still, since the Jaguars’ big win over the Chargers in Week 3, Lawrence has been uneven. He’s QB15 during that stretch but hasn’t yet had a bye week. He’s averaging just 14.69 points per game. This week he gets a stout Chiefs team. I’m not trusting Lawrence as a Top 12 option just yet.
Start: Ken Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
About: Since Walker got the starting gig for the Seahawks, he’s been on fire. For the past four weeks, he’s been RB3, rushing for more than 400 yards and eight touchdowns. The Seahawks are one of the better teams in the NFC and they love to run the ball. That makes Walker a prime asset for a team that is looking to remain in the thick of the playoff hunt. The Buccaneers’ defense was once one of the best but of late the team has struggled. I like Walker to keep his hot streak going in Germany.
Sit: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
About: What to do with CEH. He started the season strong, which is one of the reasons he sits as RB22 on the season, averaging 12.2 points per game. But of late, he’s been sharing the backfield with Isiah Pacheco and Jerrick McKinnon. That hasn’t made him the most reliable. Since Week 4, in five games, CEH is averaging just 8.9 points, only about two points more per game than McKinnon, and he’s RB35. Last week, he had just four carries for five yards. I’m staying away from the Chiefs’ backfield.
Start: Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
About: The Saints will be without Michael Thomas for the rest of the season. He’s on IR and done with a toe injury. The Saints have been without Jarvis Landry for much of the season. It’s unclear when or if he’ll be back, and what kind of production can be expected when he returns. Meanwhile, rookie Chris Olave continues to carry the Saints’ passing attack. Olave is WR15 on the season, averaging 14.6 points per game. He’s been a reliable start and a player who’s developed great chemistry with Andy Dalton. I’m firing him up.
Sit: Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
About: The Cowboys seemed to choose Gallup this off-season, signing him to a long-term deal and trading Amari Cooper. Gallup is returning from a season-ending injury a year ago that left him out of the lineup to start the season. Upon his return, there was the excitement he’d be able to put up good numbers with Dak Prescott. It hasn’t happened. He’s played five games since returning and during that time he’s seen 23 targets, catching 12 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. Can he get back to a high level of production? Perhaps, but the Cowboys’ attempts to add a receiver in trade or sign Odell Beckham, Jr., seem to indicate a need to add to the group. For now, Gallup isn’t a reliable starting option.
Start: T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings
About: I was skeptical about Hockenson’s trade to the Vikings but it turns out that was pointless. The tight end saw nine targets, catching all of them for 70 yards in his debut. This week, the Vikings play the Bills in a fierce battle that looks to be somewhat up-tempo. I suspect Hockenson will be heavily involved again. He’s TE5 on the season, averaging 12.7 points per game. I suspect he has Top 5 upside again in Week 10.
Sit: Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders
About: A few years ago, Thomas was a boon at tight end. Many still want to cling to that potential but it’s time to realize that potential isn’t being realized this season. In six games he has 13 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. That level of production isn’t consistent enough for Thomas to remain a viable starting option.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network