Some players are must starts (Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few), but here we work to give you value and over-performers, depending on what type of fantasy format you are playing. At this point we are breaking up start/sit for Thursday and Sunday/Monday games. We apologize to those who must have complete lineups in by Thursday’s game.
Matt Phillips is a multiple fantasy football champion, and co-host of the podcast “Pigskin Dynasty: Your Podcast for All Things Fantasy Football”. You can find him on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, and other podcast mediums. He also has live episodes on Facebook every Sunday morning at 9:00 am EST.
Well, the Steelers delivered on Thursday, and then some. Christian McCaffrey did his best to satisfy those who looked to Carolina for big points. Sunday doesn’t give us a match-up that offers potential from both teams, but you have to like what you might get from Atlanta, Kansas City, and sadly Indianapolis.
QB Andrew Luck, Colts or QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay
Matt and I disagree on this start. Matt sees an injured Jaguars defense ripe for Luck to continue his successful return. A dominant offensive line should allow for the Colts to move against the Jaguars who have averaged 21 or more fantasy points per game against opposing quarterbacks.
I’m hesitant because the Jaguars defense is not giving up a lot of touchdowns and are at their best against the pass. I think the Jaguars defense fairs better against a less mobile QB.
My start is Ryan Fitzpatrick who faces the 17th rated Redskins pass defense. Looking at what they yielded to Matt Ryan last week, the gunslinger that is Fitzpatrick should expect similar results. CB Quinton Dunbar is out which is a big advantage to the Bucs. I expect Tampa’s defense to require scoring from their offense.
Matt’s projection for Andrew Luck: 305 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception
Brian’s projection for Ryan Fitzpatrick: 337 yards passing with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception
QB Jared Goff, Rams
Has Goff not been a must start for you? Prior to his nice run his stats were hit and miss. However, after posting a 25 plus point outing in each of his last two games, Goff may extend that steak to three as he going up against the Seahawks and their weak defense.
Projection: 275 yards passing and 2 touchdowns
QB Matt Ryan, Falcons
He is on pace to break his stats from his MVP season. Next stop on his hot streak are the Browns who have given up 285 yards and around 28 points per game. It is a match-up dream, and if you are one of the few remaining Ryan skeptics this is not one to avoid.
Projection: 285 yards passing and 3 touchdowns
RB Dion Lewis, Titans
I do not regret picking him off the waiver wire.
This is a revenge game for Lewis playing against former team. The negative game script should help Lewis. He had 23 touches his last week, and is taking over that backfield must start. He is a great fit for a Mariota offense
Projection: 105 total yards 2 touchdowns
RB Jordan Howard, Bears
Howard has been a disappointment, partly due to the promise of his increased usage as reported during the preseason.
The match-up is enticing as the Lions average 31 PPR points to opposing backs and 6.3 yards per rush. While Howard received a nice load last week, the Bears are a hard team to trust. At this point you are probably wanting to start Howard and Cohen.
Projection: 76 total yards and 2 touchdowns
RB Mark Ingram, Saints
I know Kamara is making you hesitant to start Ingram. He had 10 touches compared to Kamara’s 23. However I think that is based more on script and I believe this week game against Cincinnati will favor Ingram. Their defense averages 128 yards per game and around 29 points. I see touchdown opportunities for Mark.
Projection: 84 total yards and 1 touchdowns
WR DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay
Another revenge game! People go off when the play their former team. The Redskins have allowed 9 touchdowns and over 30 PPR points per game to Jackson’s position. Start him. He’s a Fitz favorite.
Projection: 5 receptions for 132 yards and 1 touchdown
WR Josh Gordon, Patriots
Flash is performing well, and is behaving. He has proven to be one of Tom Brady’s best targets, having his best fantasy day last week. Reaching at least 13 Fantasy points per game in three of last four games, his ceiling is high. He could easily get two or three touchdowns with Gronk out.
Projection: 6 receptions for 75 yards and 1 touchdown
WR Maurice Harris, Redskins
He seems to be the go to guy with Crowder out. Crowder is set to be out another game and Harris has been killing it. He had career highs in catches (10) and yardage (124). I expect a good amount of catches this week against a poor Bucs defense.
Projection: 8 receptions for 85 yards and 1 touchdown
TE Trey Burton, Bears
He was on my sit list last week and if it wasn’t for that late touchdown he would’ve been a bust. However, I believe he has a pretty decent game this week. He will be Trubisky’s top target in spite of the Lions being successful against opposing tight ends. Roll the dice. I think he gets a TD.
Projection: 4 receptions for 39 yards and 1 touchdown
TE Ben Watson, Saints
The position is thin with injuries and byes, but Watson is in a great offense with a great quarterback, giving him opportunities to score. I’ll start him this week as I think he finds the end zone. While the injury is a bad break for Dez, it helps Ben not lose looks.
Projection: 3 receptions for 34 yards and 1 touchdown
K Mason Crosby, Packers
After posting a stinker of five points last week I expect a rebound performance from Crosby as the Dolphins have given up 15 field goal conversions and average 9 fantasy points per game to kickers. Green Bay should move at will.
Projection: 3 for 3 on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points
New York Jets Defense
The Bills finally realize Nathan Peterman is a dead end, forcing them to start Matt Barkley. New face, same results. Buffalo is a turnover machine, with opposing defenses averaging around 21 points in the last four games (since week 6).
Projection: 10 points allowed with 3 turnovers, 5 sacks and 1 touchdown
QB Matt Stafford, Lions
Labeled as a sit last week....you’re welcome. He had single digit points in standard scoring against the Vikings. He got toasted for 10 sacks, and this line that can’t protect him is going up against the Bears who have 24 sacks this year. I don’t foresee a good day for Stafford.
Projection: 256 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception
QB Marcus Mariota, Titans
You know we are not a fan of Mariota.
He had his best performance last week scoring three touchdowns but I don’t for see that happening against the New England Patriots. The only positive here is that he may have a negative game script, resulting in him throwing the ball a lot and getting garbage points.
Projection: 246 total yards with 2 total touchdowns and 2 interceptions
QB Derek Carr, Raiders
I don’t trust any Raider. Jon Gruden is over payed and is the worst coach in the league. He is purposely tanking and Derek Carr is a victim of this. He is going up against the Chargers who held him to one touchdown in week 5. Sit him.
Projection: 235 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception
RB Derrick Henry, Titans
Maybe you like that he’s scored in his last two games. Don’t do it this weekend.
He’s kind of an obvious sit due to the projected game script. At this point, the Titans don’t see him as the go to back and in spite of scoring he is seeing fewer touches. He may get you a touchdown but hoping for one is risky. They could be down a lot and if so the Titans will lean on Lewis as more effective back.
Projection: 43 total yards
RB Kerryon Johnson, Lions
His hot streak finally reached an end after posting single digit fantasy points against the Vikings. That doesn’t worry me too much as people have bad games, but what does cause pause is his percentage of snaps dropping significantly due to Theo Riddick returning. Sit him.
Projection: 75 total yards
RB Kenyan Drake, Dolphins
Curse you Frank Gore! Curse you and all your offspring!
That is what every Drake owner is saying. He is getting out touched and out snapped by Gore, leading to one of his worst stat lines ever. I’ll fade on him as game the script is key for him and I don’t know if Miami will use him enough
Projection: 75 total yards
WR Golden Tate, Eagles
Remember when the thought of Tate as an Eagle was the greatest thing ever?
I think this trade actually regressed his stock! On a team that has a lot of options, and with Tate as a volume type of player in a new offense, you can’t expect him to be on it on his first game. I’ll fade on him until I see his usage, but consider it a soft sit.
Projection: 5 receptions for 51 yards
WR Marvin Jones, Lions
Match up sit! It maybe tough to sit Jones based on teams in a bye, but the Bears have only allowed three receivers to reach top 14 PPR rankings and two of them were during week 1, so really it’s just one receiver. I’ll temper expectations this week with another soft sit.
Projection: 5 receptions for 55 yards
WR Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay
I love Fitzpatrick back at the helm, and it is easy to buy into him making the whole receiving corps better. However, the Redskins are tough against the slot, averaging just above 10 PPR points to slot receivers. I wouldn’t go crazy and follow points after a career game from him last week. Sit him.
Projection: 4 receptions for 45 yards
TE Nick Vannett, Seahawks
He somewhat broke out last week, but I would not go overboard here. The Rams are very tough against tight ends and I feel he had a special showing last week. The Rams have allowed on two touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Projection: 3 receptions for 41 yards
TE Eric Ebron, Colts
He saved the day with a touchdown catch last week but only played 17 snaps! 17! You practically have to hope for a TD with this guy or he is a dud. Unless Doyle is not playing, I will not start him.
Projection: 3 receptions for 35 yards
K Matt Prater, Lions
He is at the mercy of his offense, which is facing another weekend of tough sledding. I don’t expect many kicking opportunities for Prater. Maybe you get lucky with the long one but I’m not starting him.
Projection: 1 for 1 on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points
Jacksonville Jaguars Defense
Matt and I agree you sit the Jaguars defense, but differ on the stat line.
Their defense is riddled with injuries, the schemes aren’t playing to strengths, and Andrew Luck is hot (see start list). Plus, I don’t trust the Jaguars offense to lighten the load. I feel like there will be situations in which they give the Colts premium field position which is detrimental to the defense. Sit them this week.
Matt’s projection: 28 points allowed with 3 sacks and 1 turnover
Brian’s projection: 20 points allowed with 2 sacks and 2 turnovers