Injury Based Start or Sit Analysis: Start Kirk Cousins, Sit Mark Ingram
Kirk Cousins WASH – START ‘EM
Cousins is coming off his best game of the season, in which he picked apart the Packers for 375 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover, so this should come as no surprise. While the Dallas defense should provide a tougher test than the Packers’ decimated unit, Dallas is still struggling with injuries on their defense as well. With Morris Claiborne and Barry Church still out, and Cousins having his full complement of weapons, he should have another big day through the air. Cousins is a top end QB1 this week.
Sam Bradford MINN – SIT ‘EM
Bradford got some love as a streaming play earlier in the week due to a good matchup with the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, but with top wideout Stefon Diggs out, Fantasy owners should stay away. Bradford will be limited in what he can do in an offense without its best receiver and an offensive line decimated by injury. With the Lions’ defense getting healthy with the return of Darius Slay (elevated IRC, above average HPF), Bradford doesn’t really have much of an advantage anywhere on the field in this one. There are plenty of better streaming options out there.
Theo Riddick DET – START ‘EM
Riddick is active today and should be full go for the Lions, as we have him listed as an elevated injury risk with an above average Health Performance Factor. The Lions have zero running attack, which is actually a plus for Riddick because of the way they use him as a receiver out of the backfield. Going up against a tough Minnesota defense, Detroit will likely lean on Riddick in the screen and misdirection game. He should have an easy path to double-digit targets, which gives him tremendous value, especially in PPR formats.
Mark Ingram NO – SIT ‘EM
The latest reports out of New Orleans are that running back Mark Ingram is still in the concussion protocol, even though he claimed to be feeling fine and on track to play Sunday. We have him listed as a high injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor, so we are less bullish on his ability to play this week than Ingram himself. Even if Ingram does play, he will continue to be in a timeshare with Tim Hightower and will be facing a stout Los Angeles defense. Ingram’s uncertainty combined with his poor matchup make him a player to avoid this week.
Adam Thielen MINN – START ‘EM
Thielen is far from a star, but with Stefon Diggs out today, look for Thielen to get a chance to put up solid numbers for the Vikings, who will need to give the ball to someone, anyone on offense. Thielen has been putting up solid number in recent weeks, including last week when he caught a deep touchdown. Thielen’s increased target share should land him in flex consideration this week.
Donte Moncrief IND – SIT ‘EM
Moncrief suffered a hamstring strain at practice this week and is a game time decision for tonight’s matchup with Pittsburgh. We have Moncrief listed as a high injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor, so he will likely not be at 100 percent even if he does suit up. Combine his injury status with the fact that Andrew Luck will be out for the Colts, and Moncrief’s value goes right out the window. A hampered Moncrief trying to catch passes from Scott Tolzien against a Pittsburgh defense that allows very few fantasy points to opposing receivers? No thanks.
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