Last Second Decisions: Mike Evans or T.Y. Hilton?

On Sunday morning, fantasy owners will inevitably struggle through decisions of which similarly priced players to start. Let fantasy expert Ricky Sanders guide you through five difficult decisions many will be dealing with heading into Week 8:

QB – Matt Ryan/Andrew Luck – No team is implied to score more points than the Falcons this weekend so why would one want to fade Matt Ryan? The only reason would be because Andrew Luck gives him a run for his money in terms of projected fantasy-points-per-dollar. While the matchup looks incredible for Ryan and the Falcons passing game against a banged up Packers secondary, the matchup against a Chiefs secondary that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing WRs is not too shabby either. Right now, the Packers simply do not possess anyone who has a prayer of covering Julio Jones between LaDarius Gunter, Micah Hyde, Josh Hawkins, Demetri Goodson and the newly signed Jermain Whitehead. Even so, Andrew Luck has been a monster in games where his offensive line’s protection has held strong and given him time to throw. He has been sacked two or less times in three games this season and has thrown for 331-plus yards in each. His opponent, the Chiefs, have both produced the fewest amount of sacks and pressured the QB the least of any defense in football. For those reasons, saving salary and rostering Luck, who should put up a similar total, is the preferred play of the two. Verdict: Andrew Luck

RB – David Johnson/Christine Michael – In name value alone, David Johnson feels like above and beyond the better play…but is he? Christine Michael draws a matchup against a Saints defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing RBs including the most rushing TDs (10) and most total TDs (12) to the position. In each of the past four weeks, Michael has touched the ball at least 19 times and has caught at least two passes in every game this season. At home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Saints defense has allowed a whopping 39.3 points per game. Not fantasy points….actual points! Opposing offenses have been able to move the ball against them and punch it into the end zone so saying Michael has 100-plus rushing yard, two TD upside goes without saying. Still, if speaking cash games, how can you fade the best RB in football (Johnson) who received a whopping 41 touches this week and is probably the best receiving back in football as well? The case for Michael is strong but Johnson is just too much of a freaking stud to overlook. With that being said, please have some exposure to Michael in GPPs. Verdict: David Johnson

RB – Mike Gillislee/Matt Asiata – Two cheap options about to handle a full workload are staring fantasy owners in the face but which is the preferred option? Mike Gillislee draws the more difficult matchup but the complementary rushing QB always seems to help open up rushing lanes. Although the Packers have allowed the ninth fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs, they have given up the fifth most receiving yards to the position (341). Unfortunately, that statistic is not very applicable to Gillislee who has only been targeted four times this season. In other words, Reggie Bush should benefit from that aspect of the defense. Sure Gillislee has averaged 6.2 yards per carry (YPC) but the Patriots have only allowed 3.8 YPC so something has got to give. Meanwhile, Matt Asiata too will handle more of the workload than usual because Jerick McKinnon has been deemed out for Monday Night Football. Without scoring, Asiata put up 14.00 fantasy points last week due to catching 6-8 targets. The Bears offense is bad and turnover prone and the Vikings defense is elite so it is entirely possible the Vikings fall into red zone opportunities by default. Without any competition, Asiata is clearly the pass-catching back in the equation as well. With 15-plus touches headed his way, including goal line work, Asiata should easily exceed value whether it be due to scoring to catching a healthy amount of passes. He is the safer play of the two. Verdict: Matt Asiata

WR – Mike Evans/T.Y. Hilton – Since I love Luck, pairing him with T.Y. Hilton is absolute necessary in GPPs…but is it necessary in cash? Julio Jones is a lock against the terrible Packers secondary but the WR2 decision is a difficult one. The lack of scoring kept Mike Evans out of the WR1 conversation last year but he certainly has had no issue with it this season; he has already scored twice more TDs in 2016 (six) than he did last season (three). Furthermore, the Raiders have allowed the most passing yards per game of any team (302) including the most yards to opposing WRs (1,399). Evans has now flirted with 100 yards in three of his last four games and scored four TDs during that span so he is feeling it. As if that were not enough, the game is projected at the third highest over/under of the weekend. On the other hand, the only difficult individual matchup for opposing WRs against the Chiefs is the one against Marcus Peters. According to Pro Football Focus, he remains on the right side of the formation 92-percent of the time and Hilton moves around everywhere. In other words, he should run free all afternoon and his QB should be able to buy time for him to get down the field. This is one of the hardest possible decisions of the season for me honestly but I am going to play the numbers in cash games and give Evans the slight advantage for that reason and that reason only. With that being said, I think exposure to both is absolutely necessary. Verdict: Mike Evans

TE – Jack Doyle/C.J. Fiedorowicz – The entire Colts offense is in play on Sunday but Jack Doyle may be the one most affected by the return of Donte Moncrief. Last week, Doyle enjoyed the role of number two target in the passing offense with Moncrief, Dwayne Allen and even Phillip Dorsett inactive but he moves does the totem pole with each player’s return. Therefore, this is the easiest decision of the entire article because C.J. Fiedorowicz is ascending in his offense as evident by his season-high 74.3-percent offensive snaps played in Week 7. Now, Fiedorowicz draws a matchup against a Lions defense that has allowed the most passing TDs to the TE position including 19 TDs in the last 23 games. Hell, Vernon Davis finished as TE4 last week against the Lions without scoring a TD (and he even dropped a TD so it could have been better). Expect a similar performance from Fiedorowicz at literally the exact same price ($5,600). Verdict: C.J. Fiedorowicz

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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