Last Second Decisions: Davante Adams or Ty Montgomery?

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 9:

QB – Aaron Rodgers/Drew BreesWith Ty Montgomery expected to be active for Aaron Rodgers, what is not to like about this matchup? The Packers offense is probably going to equipped with at minimum four solid pass-catchers (assuming Randall Cobb plays) and one of them is coming out of the backfield which makes this passing offense incredibly difficult to defend. On the other hand, Drew Brees faces a 49ers defense that ranks 20th in passing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. Notably, their corners have struggled against opposing number one WRs as they rank dead last in DVOA against the position and Michael Thomas has emerged as their top dog. Still, the home/away splits do not favor Brees and there is almost no downside to the Rodgers matchup; the Colts have allowed the seventh most fantasy points to opposing QBs including the third most yards and 10th most TDs. Vegas implies the Packers will score the most points of any team this weekend and the team has no true rushing threat at running back (since Montgomery is a receiver). This should lead to Rodgers attempting 38-plus passes for the fifth consecutive game and clearly deems him the top overall play at the position this week. Verdict: Aaron Rodgers

RB – Ezekiel Elliott/Le’Veon Bell – Okay so there probably is no wrong answer here, and you can easily fit both in a cash lineup, but let us assume you can only play one for a second. Le’Veon Bell should possess the higher floor in theory because he is so involved in the passing game whereas Elliott has not exceeded four targets in any game this season. With that being said, he has been targeted exactly four times in each of the last three games which are tied for his highest totals of the season. Now factor in Elliott has rushed for at least 130 yards in four of his last five games and at least 96 yards in each of his last five games and it becomes increasingly clear what sort of potential he possesses. Oh by the way, his opponent, the Browns, have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing RBs including the second most rushing TDs (10) and most overall TDs (12). While Bell is always enticing, Elliott’s matchup is the “nuts” (a poker term meaning the “absolute best”). Verdict: Ezekiel Elliott

RB – Charcandrick West/Darren Sproles – Take the guaranteed volume for Charcandrick West or Darren Sproles and his better suited skill set for the PPR format? If last week were any indication, it is not as if Sproles is lacking in the touches department because he carried the ball a season-high 15 times for 85 rushing yards and even caught five passes in Week 8. Coach Doug Pederson deemed Ryan Mathews still the “lead back” earlier this week even though Mathews only touched the ball a total of five times last week. Basically, Pederson’s public declaration means nothing as Sproles has clearly emerged as the guy in an offense being schemed by Frank Reich. Why is that important? He schemed a similar player, Danny Woodhead, all the way to RB4 in PPR last season. Still, the matchup against the Giants is not great and there is at least some level of uncertainty to his workload. Therefore, West gets the nod at home against a Jaguars team that has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to the RB position. Expect 20-plus touches and all the goal line work which in tune creates an incredibly safe floor. Verdict: Charcandrick West

WR – Davante Adams/Ty Montgomery – Since Rodgers is quite clearly the play, which receiver is worth pairing with him? Both are in play, especially with Randall Cobb looking unlikely, so it is certainly difficult to distinguish between the two. Amazingly, Adams has been targeted 14-plus times in back-to-back games and has caught a whopping 25 passes during that stretch. However, it should be noted Montgomery missed last week’s game so he no doubt would have eaten into that workload. Prior to Montgomery’s illness, he too had an impressive streak going where he was targeted 25 times in a two game span and caught exactly 10 passes in each game. According to Pro Football Focus, Adams draws one of the 11 most favorable individual matchups this week as he will square off against against Colts corner Patrick Robinson. The Colts have fared miserably against opposing RBs as well as they have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to the position including the seventh most receptions and seventh most receiving yards. Scheming for a WR playing RB is damn near impossible as a coach has to decide whether to treat the player as a RB or a WR. If they consider Montgomery a RB, they will line up in base coverage and a linebacker will be in a mismatch every time. Assuming they consider him as a WR, they will line up with an additional corner and will make it easier for the team to run (and probably give Rodgers more time to throw). All-in-all, the mismatches Montgomery creates are too substantial to overlook and he earns the nod over Adams slightly. Verdict: Ty Montgomery

TE – Antonio Gates/Kyle Rudolph – Potentially Travis Benjamin will be out on Sunday (listed as questionable) which would add to the list of inactives in that passing game that already includes Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. In other words, Gates should fall into a healthy amount of targets by accident so the question is simply “what will he do with them?” Gates has yet to eclipse five receptions and 38 yards receiving in any game so far this season and is averaging a career-low 3.9 yards per target (YPT). If that number holds, it would finish as nearly half the amount of his second highest career total in the category (6.7 YPT in 2012). The only way for him to come through at his price tag is for him to find the end zone. Even in his elder state where he has clearly lost a step, he has been targeted on 22.4-percent of Philip Rivers’ targets in the red zone (ninth highest red zone target percentage of any TE). Meanwhile, Kyle Rudolph draws the dream matchup against a Lions TE defense (or lack thereof) that has already surrendered eight TDs to the position. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing TEs than the Lions and Rudolph ranks fourth at the position in TDs (three) and second in red zone target percentage (behind only Greg Olsen). In other words, he should be a lock for a TD and he is targeted much further downfield (6.0 YPT) than Gates. This is no contest. Verdict: Kyle Rudolph

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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