Fantasy Football Week 15: Start or Sit Samuel, Lockett, or Robinson?

Curtis Samuel Start or Sit
Fantasy Football Week 15: Start or Sit Curtis Samuel, Tyler Lockett, or Allen Robinson?

It’s the fantasy football semifinals, which means it’s literally win or go home for you and your fantasy football squads! Well, I guess you’re already home. It’s literally win or stop paying attention to fantasy football while you get angry you started the wrong guy! Maybe spend some time with your significant other that you’ve been mostly ignoring for four months! There we go, that tracks. It’s win or pay attention to your significant other time, and we’re here to help. Every week, we take a look at players at each position on the edges of startability, we help you decide if you should start or sit them. This article below takes a look at three guys with good matchups on the fringe of fantasy football starting wide receiver rankings.

Start or Sit Curtis Samuel versus New Orleans

Devin Funchess Stans pointed to this matchup when pointing out why you should hold onto Funchess coming out of his game missed due to injury. What they forgot to account for is that Devin Funchess stinks out loud at tight end, and he’s the third-best wideout on his own team, behind D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, and the Panthers believe that, too. After seeing his snaps trend downward for weeks, Funchess has seen his snaps crater over the last two games. He sits far, far behind D.J. Moore (92% of snaps) and Curtis Samuel (88% of snaps), and is getting out-snapped by Jarius Wright (53% of snaps to Funchess’s 42%). What does this mean for Samuel? Well, an actually good player is going to absorb the matchup that Devin Funchess fans pointed to as salvaging his value. Samuel’s uptick in snaps have a corresponding uptick in fantasy points scoring: he has at least 80 yards or a touchdown in four of his last five games, and he’s done that with Cam’s balky shoulder for the last two (which doesn’t concern me). He’s good, folks, and he’s finally getting targets.

This week, he gets the best possible matchup, as the New Orleans Saints come to town. Their one-two punch of Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple somehow allow the most fantasy points to wide receivers, despite being quality WRs. People want to say that they’re getting better in that department, but they’ve allowed 9.5 points in half-PPR to six different wide receivers in the last three games, while only allowing one touchdown. That means there aren’t any three catches, twenty yards and a score cheapies stuck in there. 9.5 points puts you as a back-end WR3 in most weeks, and that’s the floor for Samuel this week. If you’re trying to decide if you should start or sit Curtis Samuel, I would start him with confidence. He couldn’t do worse than Keenan Allen, at least.

Start or Sit Tyler Lockett at San Francisco

Tyler Lockett is a hard nut to crack, as he hasn’t topped six targets since week two at Chicago, but given how Seattle has turned it around, those seven targets might as well have been with him playing alongside Sidney Rice or Nate Burleson. Despite Lockett’s limited target volume, he has been on an absolute tear lately, posting four 11+ fantasy point days in half-PPR in his last seven games. The problem with Lockett is his volume also leads to duds mixed in there (3 catches, 22 yards in week nine, for example). However, against this dreadful Niners team, he only needs one target. Well, two, technically. It was just two weeks ago that he caught just one-of-two catches for 52 yards and a score against this very dreadful Niners secondary. This week, the game is in San Francisco and is set to have a good amount of rain, but I still don’t fear his workload. Outside of Richard Sherman, the 49ers are starting or giving heavy rotation snaps to Marcell Harris, Antone Exum, D.J. Reed, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams, and Greg Mabin. Don’t worry, I’m a 49ers fan, and I haven’t heard of half these guys, either. It’ll be a bad day for the 49ers defense, and Tyler Lockett will be the rainmaker on a wet day in Santa Clara. He’s not as much of a slam dunk as Curtis Samuel, but if you’re in a pinch trying to decide if you should start or sit him as an underdog this week, he has a pretty good chance to pop off. I would start Tyler Lockett this week.

Start or Sit Allen Robinson versus Green Bay

First off, if a Google search for Allen Robinson got you here, then let me put on my beat reporter hat: Allen Robinson was a full participant in Friday’s practice. He’s on track to play on Sunday versus Green Bay, so don’t worry your pretty little head. Well, that was easy. Is that all beat reporters do? Pass on facts? Seems like a cushy gig, if you can get it. Definitely not the sort of thing that someone should get all huffy and self-important over, right? Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, bub. Anyway, back to fantasy football analysis. Robinson, since returning from injury in week ten, has led Chicago wide receivers in snap count, though Taylor Gabriel is right on his heels. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to turn that into sustainable production. After popping off for 133 and two touchdowns in his return from injury, he has fewer than 45 yards in three of his last four games, which is not good. The encouraging factor for Robinson breaking out of his funk is that he has at least seven targets in all but one game since coming back from his injury, so the Bears are getting him right back into the thick of it. I’m also not concerned with production from Chase Daniel, or a rusty Mitchell Trubisky last week. Give me eight targets against Green Bay from a recovered Troobs any day of the week.

This Green Bay secondary’s full ineptitude was on display last week, with Falcons wide receivers combining for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Now, Robinson is no Julio Jones, but he’s better than Justin Hardy, who scored against them last week. This recency-bias soaked awful game is to say: their third-best WR matchup rank is not a fluke. If you drafted Allen Robinson, you likely found alternative sources of fantasy football production this season. If you are in a position to decide if you should start or sit Allen Robinson this week, I would plug him back in there and start him this week.

All three of these wide receivers should have top-thirty WR weeks, with WR2 upside. Remember what is at stake here: the ability to continue to ignore your friends and family. This decision is important. If I was trying to decide who I would start or sit among these three guys, I would start them in this order:

  1. Curtis Samuel
  2. Allen Robinson
  3. Tyler Lockett

Looking for more week fifteen start or sit advice? Check out our additional pieces below!
Start or Sit Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, or Lamar Jackson?
Start or Sit Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, or Kirk Cousins?
Start or Sit Adrian Peterson, Kenyan Drake, or Josh Adams?
Start or Sit Jaylen Samuels, Doug Martin, Gus Edwards, or Elijah McGuire?
Start or Sit Calvin Ridley, Kenny Golladay, or Kenny Stills?
Start or Sit Gerald Everett, Dallas Goedert, or Chris Herndon?
Start or Sit Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, or Blake Jarwin?

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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