ONE TO START, ONE TO SIT
One to start, One to sit is a weekly column where each NFL game will be evaluated and the best/worst fantasy match-ups will be listed.
Tonight’s Matchup: Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings
WASH- Jordan Reed
MIN- Christian Ponder
You’re gonna start RG3, Morris, and Garcon if you have them, so who’s left? Jordan Reed is still unknown to some fantasy owners and may still be on the waiver wire in some leagues. He’s quickly becoming RG3’s 2nd favorite option, having scored at least 5 fantasy points in 5 of his 7 starts. His targets are increasing as well, while only having 5 last week against the Eagles, prior to that Reed received 35 targets in the 4 games prior to that (nearly 9 a game!). Last week, Jason Witten torched this Vikings squad for 102 yards and a TD on 8 catches, and Minnesota has given up an average of 291 yards through the air per game, with 18 passing TD’s given up. Washington should have no problem putting up points in this one, and Reed should be a valuable player in the passing game.
Since taking back the reigns of the Vikings offense two weeks go, Ponder has put up
pretty moderate stats (31 fantasy points in the last 2 weeks). While his fantasy stats have been inflated by his rushing ability (2 Rushing TD’s and 5 rushing fantasy points in the last 2 games), it still doesn’t hide the fact that Ponder can be considered to be a duel threat in the red zone. The Redskins give up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QB’s and have averaged at least 2 passing TD’s per game. While the bye week doesn’t hurt many owners in terms of QB’s (only Brady should be considered as a weekly starter), Ponder is still a viable option in any 2 QB league or even as a spot start. Some may think you’re crazy for starting him, personally, I see it as a very sneaky play.
Morris owners, I can’t say I told you so, friends of mine thought I was mad when I said I would never draft Morris in the first or second round due to him being under Shanahan. Well who’s laughing now? 6 TD’s vultured away from him in the past 3 games. Now I could go on a rant on how Shanahan is doing this to just screw with owners (He’s the Fantasy Football version of the Devil), but that’s a whole other story. Fact is, Morris has competition, especially in the red zone. Funny thing is, Morris has produced a TD in 3 of his last 4 games and hasn’t produced less than 7 fantasy points this season. So why is he here? Believe it or not, Minnesota isn’t that bad against the run. Sure they’ve given up 9 rushing TD’s this season (tied for 24th), but over the last 5 weeks, they’ve given up an average of 56.4 yards per game (3.3 ypc) against opposing rushers. Granted they’ve given up 7 rushing TD’s but again, if it’s in the goal line, you can’t be certain that Morris will be on the field.
I know the matchup plays in Jennings favor, I know Washington is one of the more passer friendly defenses in the NFL, and I know I have Ponder as my best option. But Ponder and Jennings have not mixed at all this season. Jennings best game was when Matt Cassel was throwing the ball (3 catches, 92 yards, and 2 TD). With Ponder under center, Jennings has posted just 1 game with 8 or more fantasy points (coincidentally, 8 points is Jennings 2nd highest fantasy game this season). He is averaging 45 yards a game with Ponder, and while Ponder does give him the targets (over 6 a game per average), Jennings hasn’t had the return value for a WR of his stature. I know the matchup makes Jennings more enticing to start, but don’t be surprised if yet again, he lets you down with another poor fantasy performance.