It’s week fifteen, which means the fantasy football semi-finals, and that means that you have to ride with the guys who brought you. But, what if the guys who brought you are hurt? What if you own Adam Thielen? T.Y. Hilton? DeVante Parker? What happens if you have to decide who to start or sit between the three of these guys? This could drive you insane, but luckily, there’s a right answer for all three players. Let’s look at each of these start or sit questions in turn.
Start or Sit Adam Thielen?
We already played this game with Adam Thielen once this year. Thielen returns from a hamstring strain and says he’s good to go. Last time this happened, he scored as many points as everyone reading this article did. He reaggravated his injury after one target and zero catches in week nine, to the ire of fantasy football owners everywhere.
This time, it’s different. Leading up to the game last time, he was a true game-time decision, from all reports. Thielen remained on the injury report as Questionable right up until he played. Also, it was two weeks after the injury. He wasn’t healthy, but he was healthy enough to play. This time, he’s off the injury report entirely. This suggests to me that the hamstring is no longer a concern after allowing it four games to heal. While a different injury isn’t out of the cards, this one is behind him. That was always the plan, and it wasn’t one they rushed.
There is the question of the extended absence, and if he just plain won’t play well in his return. I don’t see that as a worry, given that the goal was to play when he was ready to come back and contribute. I’m going to start Adam Thielen in week fifteen, with no built-in pivots.
Start or Sit DeVante Parker?
Concussions are tricky beasts. Sterling Shepard cleared the protocol, then re-entered it earlier this year. I don’t know why, but a memory of this happening to Terrelle Pryor (when he was still a quarterback) etched itself into my brain. As of writing this, Parker isn’t fully cleared from the concussion protocol but practiced in full on Friday. Luckily, this game has the full pivot available for you. As it is in the early window, we will know 90 minutes before kickoff if Parker is active, AKA the time you frantically tinker with your final lineups. It looks like Parker is playing, against a defense that was already terrible and cut one of its best players this week.
If I own DeVante Parker, I am going to start DeVante Parker in week fifteen. The built-in pivot is literally every other wide receiver available. If you want an in-game pivot, do like the Dolphins did and focus on Isaiah Ford (1% owned).
UPDATE: DeVante Parker cleared concussion protocol. Fire him up!
Start or Sit T.Y. Hilton?
On Saturday, Adam Schefter reported T.Y. Hilton and his balky calf are true game-time decisions. The only problem with this as a fantasy football owner of T.Y. Hilton is… it’s Monday Night Football. You have extremely limited options possible waiting for a T.Y. Hilton injury to clean up. Hopefully, you don’t put yourself in a position where you’re dependent on Hilton. You can’t do that; even if he’s active, remember Thursday Night Football against the Texans? It was really bad.
You can’t start T.Y. Hilton, given that limited pivot options exist, and even if he plays, he still gets Marshon Lattimore. Sit T.Y. Hilton in week fifteen, and the only viable pivot is Zach Pascal (48% owned). Find another option.
Ultimately, these three guys are going to cause a lot of problems for fantasy football owners this weekend. If you somehow have all three on your roster, I am starting them: DeVante Parker > Adam Thielen > T.Y. Hilton. There’s a chance that Thielen has to work his hamstring back into game shape, there’s a chance Hilton doesn’t play at all, and DeVante Parker just has to clear concussion protocol to get a juicy matchup.
(Header Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Josh_Norman%2C_T.Y._Hilton_%2844727187761%29.jpg, edited under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en)