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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Rishard Matthews in Week 12?


November 24, 2016

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Coming into the season, Rishard Matthews was a relative afterthought in fantasy football drafts. The hype machine was with Tajae Sharpe and his promises to #MakeAmericaSharpeAgain. Unlike President-Elect Trump, Tajae’s followers were not led to victory. Instead, he took a back seat to other parts of the Titans’ passing game.

While the Titans floundered in the pass game early trying to get Exotic Smashmouth™ off the ground, but Marcus Mariota has turned it on over the last couple of months. As he’s gotten better, the rising tide has lifted the boats of his receiving options. While Delanie Walker is his primary target, Rishard Matthews is quickly gaining steam on Walker’s target volume, and may even surpass him soon as Mariota’s primary option.

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Rishard Matthews is coming off a season-high 122 yards on a season-high 13 targets and a season-high 9 catches. To put it another way, Matthews had his best game of the season last week, after getting just five targets the week prior. The real impressive streak for Matthews, and the reason why you’ll want to get him into your lineups this weekend is his scoring.

After not scoring in the first four weeks of the season, Matthews has scored six touchdowns in his last seven games, and has gone ramped up his target volume, going from four targets per game in weeks one through six to eight targets per game in his last five games, including double-digit targets in two of his last three. He’s coming on as the primary wide receiver in the Titans’ passing game, despite the surging Tajae Sharpe and the presence of Kendall Wright.

This week the Titans take on a Bears defense that is shedding good players left and right. After losing Alshon Jeffery to suspension, Jay Cutler, Zach Miller, Leonard Floyd, Jerrell Freeman and Kevin White all received bad news. While only Floyd and Freeman will play defense, the Bears will be featuring Matt Barkley throwing to Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal this weekend.

They’re going to go three and out a lot, leading the way for the Titans offense to lay the hammer. And the hammer they shall lay. While the Bears are decent overall on defense (before injuries), they have been abysmal at stopping wide receivers. They are third on the season for fantasy points to the position, and are only getting worse due to injury. Rishard Matthews was likely a waiver pickup, and unless you have multiple studs at the position, he is a receiver you should be getting into your lineup this weekend.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com