Daily Dr. Roto — October 31, 2019
Week 9 Thursday Night Preview
While I love Murray's athleticism, it's hard for me to recommend starting him this week. Firstly, the 49ers defense has been close to the best in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have struggled to score. If it helps you make your decision, know that I am benching Murray in all my leagues too.
Jimmy G has turned into little more than a glorified game manager. Kyle Shanahan has done his best to limits his mistakes and put him into positions where he can have success. With the running game being so successful, I would doubt that he throws it more than like 28 times. For that reason alone, I think he needs to be on more benches than active rosters.
With David Johnson and Chase Edmonds both injured, the Cardinals went out and traded a late-round pick for Drake. Drake was incredibly unhappy in Miami and should love playing in the Air Raid offense. The biggest problem I have with playing him is that he is entirely new to the offense and hasn't had much of a chance to practice with the team since it's been a short week. The 49ers have the top run defense in the NFL, so I don't see Drake breaking many big plays, but he could be a decent outlet for Murray out of the backfield if given a chance. With the lack of running back depth out there, Drake is probably worth the start, but don't expect a huge game from him.
Zenner's been with the team for two weeks, which is one more week than Drake. If Drake is not comfortable with the offense or if Kliff Kingsbury is not ready to give Drake a full load of carries, Zenner might be able to siphon 5-10 touches. I would only start him as a cheap DFS contrarian play and not in seasonal formats.
I have never been more wrong on a Fantasy player than I have been on Coleman. He's been an absolute beast this season, running hard and showing a nose for the goal line. He's getting great blocking in front of him, and he's also getting consistent carries, which is something he lacked in Atlanta. Outside of Kittle, he is the one other sure-fire play in tonight’s game. Fire him up and hope that he has another huge night.
Raheem Mostert/Jeff Wilson/Matt Breida
Right now, the only thing we know for sure about the 49ers running game is that Tevin Coleman is healthy and starting. Breida and Mostert are both dealing with injuries, and Fantasy owners will need to check the inactive list around 7:30 pm to see who is playing. Kyle Shanahan loves rotating his running backs, so whoever is active should see 5-10 touches. In general, I prefer Breida and Mostert in PPR formats and Wilson in standard leagues.
I don't feel great about starting any Cardinals player, but if there were one player who would most likely make my active roster, it would be Kirk. Kirk is Kyler Murray's favorite target, and he looks to him as the first option on almost every passing play. I expect that Kirk will see a lot of 49ers CB Richard Sherman on Thursday, but Kirk still has the skillset to dominate even the tough Sherman. Look for Kirk to have about ten targets in this game as the Cardinals most likely play from behind.
Fitz has put up three catches for 20 yards in the past two games, which is completely baffling to his Fantasy owners who are used to him getting 5-6 catches on eight or so targets each week. Is Murray afraid to throw to him? Is Fitz not getting open? I am not sure about either answer right now, but I know I need to watch Fitz more carefully before I feel comfortable starting him again. For now, I would leave Fitz on your bench until we see what the reason is for his lack of recent production.
I love the acquisition of Sanders. He's a great route runner, and he gives Jimmy G a valid WR1 target who can get open against the best opposing CBs. I don't like his matchup this week against Patrick Peterson, and I also think that the 49ers will be conservative in their offensive scheme. I would start Sanders if I didn't have better options, as I believe he is going to put up 12 to 16 fantasy points this week.
Samuel flashed a bit last game as the 49ers made a concerted effort to get him the football. Samuel will have his number called now and then, but I don't see him getting more than four or five targets tops. The 49ers don't pass enough to make their WR2 worthy of Fantasy consideration.
Pettis has been supplanted by Sanders and Samuel and is best left off Fantasy rosters right now.
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Can Clay make the occasional play? Sure. But can he be counted on to provide substantial Fantasy numbers? No way. Clay gets like two or three targets per week. I can't imagine those numbers leading to great Fantasy success.
If there is one 49ers player that needs to be started, it's Kittle. The Cardinals are the worst team statistically against opposing tight ends, and Kittle is Jimmy G’s favorite target by a mile. Kittle has been close to scoring the past couple of weeks only to have penalties kill his big plays. Look for him to find the end zone this week and put up about 20 fantasy points.