Start or Sit Vance McDonald in Fantasy Football Week Five?
Full disclosure on my relationship with Vance McDonald. He spent four years in San Francisco after the Niners, my favorite team, drafted him in the second round of the 2013 draft. I watched as fantasy football touts would annually predict a Vance McDonald breakout, only to then incredulously watch him drop pass after pass, with balls squirting off his hands week after week. When all was said and done with McDonald’s 49ers career, he sat at a 53.4% catch rate. The final straw I had with him was December 20, 2015. McDonald had one catch for ten yards, a whole awful stat-line. What the stat-line doesn’t show was not one but two Blaine Gabbert passes clanking off his Teflon-coated hands. If you don’t believe me, you can see the interceptions here, and here. Just completely unacceptable. I literally cheered when the 49ers traded him away after the 2016 season. He was so bad. Anyway, should you start or sit Vance McDonald in week five?
The answer might surprise you! Ben Roethlisberger loves throwing to his tight ends, especially in the red zone. This season, Steelers TEs average the third-most fantasy points out of all TE groups. Only Travis Kelce domination in KC and Eric Ebron becoming the best tight end in the universe keep the Steelers TE group out of the top spot. McDonald’s benefitted most from this in recent weeks. After missing week one, McDonald has five targets in each of the three games in which he’s played this season. This is especially good, considering he’s caught twelve of his fifteen targets so far this season. 80% is great! I would have killed for him to get 80% over any fifteen targets in San Francisco, which he never did. Don’t fact check me on this part, it may be true or it may be the angry ravings of an emotionally damaged 49ers fan.
This week, Vance takes his requisite five targets back home to take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are a middling defense on paper, but digging deeper into their matchup shows that they are a team that you can, and should, pick on with tight ends. They are completely destroyed up the middle on the second and third levels. They’re currently starting backups at linebacker and safety, which was a strength of their defense with Deion Jones and Keanu Neal. They’ve played two quality tight ends since everything fell apart (the last two weeks), and Ben Watson & Tyler Eifert combined to score 21.4 fantasy points in half PPR against them. They can be defeated, and with an implied Vegas total for the Steelers at week-high 30.5 points, it’s likely the fireworks will fly. I’ll take a big target catching a lot of passes in a high-flying matchup. If you’re wondering if you should start or sit Vance McDonald… you should start him this week.
If we helped you decide whether or not you should start or sit Vance McDonald this week, maybe you have these other guys on your fantasy football squad and need some additional help.
Start or sit TJ Yeldon?
Start or sit Mike Davis?
Start or sit David Njoku?