Injury-Based Start and Sit Analysis: Start Tyreek Hill, Sit Thomas Rawls
Kirk Cousins WAS - START 'EM
Cousins is hot coming into this week's matchup against Green Bay and it should only get better going up against a Packers team that has been awful defensively the last few weeks due to myriad injuries on that side of the ball. Green Bay could be without Clay Matthews (elevated injury risk category, above average health performance factor), Jake Ryan (elevated IRC, above average HPF), Damarious Randall (elevated IRC, below average HPF), and Micah Hyde (high IRC, below average HPF), on top of slot corner Sam Shields, who has been out for most of the season. In any event, Cousins should feast on the Packers, especially if he has his full compliment of weapons.
Alex Smith KC - SIT 'EM
Smith has a solid matchup against Tampa Bay on Sunday, but he shouldn't be trusted this week due to his track record in such matchups this season. Kansas City's conservative offense simply doesn't lend itself to big days for a Fantasy quarterback, even against poor pass defenses. Also, Smith is still likely to be without Jeremy Maclin (high IRC, below average HPF), who is still dealing with a groin injury. Without his full compliment of weapons, Smith is a low-end option at best this week in all formats.
James Starks GB - START 'EM
Starks returned last week and scored a touchdown in the Packers’ blowout loss to Tennessee. He should be ready for a fuller load, as we have him listed as an elevated injury risk with an above average Health Performance Factor. Starks should get the majority of the snaps out of the Packers backfield and could put in a solid performance against a Redskins defense that has struggled against the run, save for their performance against the putrid Vikings last week. Green Bay needs to get back to the run at least a little bit, and Starks should key in that this week. He is a solid flex play for Week 11.
Thomas Rawls SEA - SIT 'EM
Rawls should return this week for the Seahawks against the Eagles. However, Rawls will likely be eased back in, with the Seahawks featuring C.J. Prosise for the majority of the game. Throw on top of that the fact that Philly has been great up front this year, and that makes it tough to imagine Rawls putting up huge numbers in his return. It will be good to see him healthy and there is hope for him to become a player down the stretch, but there are better options this week.
While expectations for the Chiefs’ passing game as a whole should be tempered, Hill has the opportunity to put up another solid week if his usage stays up. And up it should stay, as long as Maclin is out as expected. He has big play ability, and if you couple that with the target share he got last week (13 against Carolina), he finally has a solid floor to go with a rather high ceiling. Hill is a solid flex play this week in a plus matchup against the Buccaneers.
Victor Cruz/Sterling Shepard NYG - SIT 'EM
Cruz is still hampered by an ankle injury (elevated IRC, below average HPF), even though he is expected to play this week against Chicago. A hampered Cruz isn't a great Fantasy play, and his return makes rookie Sterling Shepard a less enticing play this week, even in a plus matchup against the Bears. Odell Beckham is still the only receiver getting consistent targets, and he is the only one who should be in lineups this week.
Martellus Bennett NE - START 'EM
With Rob Gronkowski now a serious question mark, Bennett becomes a big time factor at tight end for the Patriots in a very favorable matchup with the 49ers. Gronkowski will likely be out, as we have him listed as an elevated injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor, and the Patriots are always cautious in these situations with him. Bennett is a top flight tight end this week.
Zach Ertz PHI - SIT 'EM
Ertz has been producing recently, but he suffered a hamstring injury Wednesday at practice, which caused him to miss practice Thursday. Ertz (elevated IRC, above average HPF) is very questionable this week. Throw on top of that a very difficult matchup with the Seahawks, and the conclusion is that there are better options this week.
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