The playoffs are in full swing and every start-sit decision is crucial. This week, we give permanent green-light status to a rookie QB, consider benching one of Buffalo’s unappreciated running backs, and throw up the red light for one star running back.
Green Light: Russell Wilson
It has been a pleasure to watch Russell Wilson develop this season. With 15+ fantasy points in each of the last 5 weeks vs CHI, MIA, MIN, NYJ and DET, he’s proven that owners don’t need to flex him out against good defenses anymore. Critics cautioned he would struggle in the pros because he wasn’t tall enough to see over the offensive line. Yet somehow, Wilson has gone through the season with just eight interceptions, while getting just 1.4% of his passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage (the league average is 1.9%).
Taking on an Arizona Cardinals defense that has allowed the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season appears to be a daunting task. Not for Wilson. In seven road starts, he has eight TDs and eight INTs. Yes, that means he has zero interceptions at home and 11 touchdowns to boot. With Sunday’s game coming at home in Seattle, I’m giving Wilson the full green light.
Yellow Light: CJ Spiller
Benching one of the most dynamic runners in the game is always risky business, as Spiller is never more than one carry away from putting up huge numbers. There are two things that will limit CJ’s production this Sunday. He is facing a St. Louis Rams defense that’s tightened the screws in recent weeks. They allowed fewer than 65 rushing yards to both the Cardinals and the 49ers – the performance against the Niners being especially impressive considering San Fran’s success on the ground this season.
Spiller owners also have to deal with the constant presence of Fred Jackson. Last week, Jackson took 25 carries, while Spiller got just 14. Jackson is considered the short-yardage back, meaning he will be ready to vulture any touchdowns from the five-yard line and in. Until CJ can become the lead-back on a team with a solid defense, he will never reach his lofty ceiling.
Red Light: Alfred Morris
My apologies, Lewis is not eligible to return from the IR until Week 15 against the Broncos. I would still try to avoid playing Morris against a Ravens defense that has thrived in Lewis’ absence. Jameel McClain has filled in admirably for Lewis, recording 31 tackles over the last four weeks. As a group, Baltimore ranks ninth against the run, and they have managed to produce the second most fumbles of any defense in the league (nine).
The Ravens haven’t allowed 100 rushing yards in four straight weeks and they’ve allowed just one rushing touchdown over the last five weeks. Morris might convert a score from the red zone, so if your next option is a platoon-back, stick with Morris. In all other cases, it’s time to throw the red light up.
Feel free to post any start’em/sit’em questions you may have in the comments and I’ll give you my two cents worth.