Injury Based Start and Sit Analysis: Start Blount and Sit Stafford
Tyrod Taylor BUF - START 'EM
The case for Taylor can be made pretty quickly: he's playing the Browns. While Taylor hasn't been spectacular this season, his rushing ability always gives him a decent enough production floor and he gets a cupcake matchup with Cleveland, which should allow him to hit some explosive plays down the field. With Sammy Watkins getting healthier, that should help Taylor even more with getting the ball down the field. Taylor vaults into QB1 contention, especially with many top quarterbacks slumping, injured or going up against tough opponents this weekend.
While Stafford's finger issue isn't supposed to cost him any actual playing time, the injury will almost certainly affect how he is able to execute the Detroit offense. Stafford also risks worsening the injury by playing through it. The Inside Injuries algorithm has him listed as a high injury risk due to the finger issue, meaning Fantasy owners can't feel good about the possibility of Stafford getting hit on his throwing hand and having to come out of the game due to the finger worsening. Even if Stafford escapes without re-injury, he will be playing outdoors in New York with an injury that may affect his ball handling. Not good. Throw on top of all of that the fact that he's going up against a Giants defense that is playing terrific, and there just isn't much optimism for Stafford this week. He is a stay away for sure this week.
LeGarrette Blount NE - START 'EM
The Patriots' matchup with Denver this weekend sets up perfectly for Blount. Bill Belichick and company rework their game plan more than any team on a week by week basis based on matchup, and the Broncos defense, while terrific against the pass, has been very vulnerable to the run this year. That run defense could be even more porous this week if inside linebacker Brandon Marshall, who hasn't practiced yet, sits out again for Denver. With the Patriots’ offensive line playing the best it has in years, Blount should be able to take advantage of a game flow that should favor him. He is a must-start in all formats.
Mark Ingram NO - SIT 'EM
Ingram has had a weird, up and down season to say the least. The Saints’ leading rusher is now dealing with a toe injury that has landed him a high injury risk and poor Health Performance Factor designation from the Inside Injuries algorithm. He still appears on track to play but will likely be limited and give up carries to Tim Hightower. The Saints also get a tough matchup in Arizona, making it less likely for Ingram to benefit from a bounty of goal-line carries. Stay away from Ingram this week if there are any other decent options.
DeSean Jackson WAS - START 'EM
DeSean Jackson has finally started catching the deep ball again. He had been quiet for much of the season until recently, but once Jackson gets hot, he is a player you can ride. Jackson is likely producing now because he is the healthiest he has been all season, as we have him listed with an above average Health Performance Factor. Now that Jackson is rolling and his shoulder is healed up, he gets a Panthers' secondary that has struggled mightily covering players with Jackson's speed. He should get deep at least once in this one, making him a high upside play this week.
Donte Moncrief IND - SIT 'EM
Moncrief appears unlikely to play this week, and he shouldn't be in your Fantasy lineup even if he does suit up. We have him listed as a high injury risk with a poor Health Performance Factor, so he will likely be very limited even if he is active. Combine his health concerns with the matchup against the Vikings and it's hard to see a touchdown-dependent player scoring this week. Moncrief is a big time stay away this week.
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