October is here, but judging by some of the starting options, it might feel more like Week 15 than Week 5. Such is life with injuries and inefficiencies in the NFL. While we’re all blissfully rejoicing the return of the NFL, the specter of lineup decisions comes with it. 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.

First, let’s see how I did in Week 4.

Week 4 Starts

QB: Trevor Lawrence, QB30 Miss. The Jaguars played tough, but it wasn’t Lawrence’s best week.
RB: Cordarrelle Patterson, RB32 Miss. Patterson scored but left with an injury, now on IR. The premise was solid.
WR: DeVonta Smith, WR69 Miss. Smith wasn’t featured as the Eagles’ pass offense took a back seat to the run game.
TE: Kyle Pitts, TE41 Miss. Pitts didn’t get the volume expected.
Start Record: 0-4. It wasn’t my week.

Week 4 Sits

QB: Justin Fields, QB26 Hit. Darnell Mooney got involved, but the pass offense in Chicago is still poor.
RB: Darrell Henderson, Jr., RB43 Hit. Henderson did better than Akers but wasn’t a quality start.
WR: Allen Robinson, WR85 hit. Robinson continues to be MIA in the Rams’ offensive attack.
TE: Dawson Knox, TE20 hit. Despite a good offense, Knox isn’t getting consistent volume with the Bills.
Sit Record: 4-0. At least I nailed my sits.

Quarterbacks

Start: Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Courtesy of Nic Antaya/Getty Images

About: The Lions are the league’s No. 1 offense through four weeks. The team is 1-3, but it’s not for lack of trying on offense. And Goff has been a huge part of that, serving as QB5 on the season. He’s even done well without Amon-Ra St. Brown, finishing as QB1 in Week 4. That’s good news since St. Brown is likely out again. The Patriots’ defense is solid but not spectacular. I expect Goff to continue and the Lions to get the win.

Sit: Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

About: I was excited when Stafford came to the Rams last season. I thought it was the perfect marriage of an underrated passer and a team a quarterback away from a title. The 2021 season bore that out. I still believe in Stafford’s talent and potential with the Rams but the 2022 season has shown there are some kinks in the game. The offensive line is struggling, the running game is struggling, and the Rams are still trying to find ways to incorporate Allen Robinson into the passing game. All that has led him to be QB25 through four weeks. I think the Rams will pick it up, but Stafford is out of my lineup for now.

Running Backs

Start: Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans

Courtesy of David J. Phillip/AP

About: Week 1 of the season, we expected Pierce to be a good play. Instead, it was all about Rex Burkhead. Since then, Head Coach Lovie Smith has committed to Pierce, and we’re all reaping the benefits. Pierce is RB14 overall on the season and RB8 through the last three games. He keeps getting stronger. This week the Texans battle the Jaguars, and I expect Pierce to be in line for another good game as the Texans fight to keep up with the Jaguars.

Sit: James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

About: Conner was one of the success stories of the 2021 season. He finished as a top running back and was a league winner due largely to his 18-touchdown season. That high scoring rate covered some of the other inefficiencies in his production. But the Cardinals committed to a three-year deal this off-season gave us reason to be optimistic. The truth is, Conner is a touchdown-dependent option. He’s catching some passes and getting rushes, but he hasn’t had more than 55 yards rushing in any game. He’s also scored only one touchdown. That’s why he’s RB28 on the season. He’s still a flex consideration, but it’s hard to count on him getting Top 24 numbers, especially against a strong Eagles’ defense.

Wide Receivers

Start: Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

About: Ja’Marr Chase gets a lot of the focus for the Bengals. He is a great talent. But he also gets plenty of the defense’s attention. That’s perhaps why it’s been his teammate, Higgins, who’s been producing so well. Chase sits at WR12 on the season, but even with missing most of Week 1 with a concussion, Higgins sits as WR15. He’s been a big part of Joe Burrow’s attack, particularly the last two weeks where he sits as WR5. The Ravens have struggled in pass defense this season, so I expect Higgins to do well Sunday night.

Sit: D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers

About: I love Moore’s talent. I love his potential. I hate his situation. He’s WR51 through four weeks. He sits behind Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones, Greg Dortch, Mack Hollins, and Isaiah McKenzie, among others. Baker Mayfield hasn’t been the answer, and the Carolina offense appears stuck in the mud with coach Matt Rhule. A matchup against the San Francisco 49ers and possibly the league’s best defense aren’t going to help.

Tight Ends

Start: Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

About: The Rams’ offense is struggling. Cooper Kupp has still been incredible, but Cam Akers, Allen Robinson, and the rest have struggled to get going. You saw above my hesitation about Stafford. One of the only other bright spots is Higbee, who’s been rock solid at tight end. He’s TE5 on the season, catching at least four passes each game. He’s seen double-digit targets twice and nine in a third game. That gives him steady opportunity and production at a position that’s been nothing short of a toss much most of the season.

Sit: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

About: Gesicki got the Franchise Tag this off-season, which gave fantasy players hope for another big season. Unfortunately, while Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have soared, Gesicki has been the odd man out. He’s seen only ten targets all season, just a single target in two of his four games. He’s currently sitting as TE27 and absent a touchdown; he’s not seeing the volume to make your fantasy day. Coming off a big season, it makes sense you grabbed him hoping for more of the same, but right now, that’s not a bet worth taking.

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.

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