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.
Tyrod Taylor Browns
He is my streaming QB of choice this week. In sloppy conditions Tyrod posted 24 points, aided by 77 rushing yards. It is hard to believe the Saints defense is exploited for a second week in a row, but I do envision the Browns being down in this game and therefore needing to throw the ball. Look for garbage time stats for Taylor.
Projection: 252 yds passing, 52 yds rushing with 3 total touchdowns and one interception.
Jimmy Garoppolo 49ers
Jimmy G is like big Ben in that he plays much better at home. In his last two home games, against the Jaguars and Titans, his lowest point total was 22. Marquise Goodwin is out, but George Kittle and Dante Pettit are worthy options. Much easier defense this week.
Projection: 313 yards, 3 total touchdowns and 32 rush yds.
Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
Do not get distracted by the injury. He plays much better at home, and he should see much better conditions. The matchup is enticing as the Kansas City Chiefs bring an offense that will make this a shootout. This could be easily one of big Ben’s four or five touchdowns game.
Projection: 385 yds and 4 touchdowns.
Dion Lewis Titans
He had 21 touches and completely out preformed Derrick Henry. At this point he is the back to own for the Titans not only for carries but also for receptions. The Patriots James White, a similar back, showed how to exploit the Texans on the ground and through the air. I expect the versatile Lewis to open up an offense needing something with the loss of Delanie Walker.
With tackles Tyler Lewan and Jack Conklin both out, and with the QB spot looking to be a Gabbert/Mariota carousel, Lewis may be a primary option.
He is a must start in all formats especially PPR.
Projection: 84 total yards, 6 receptions, and a touchdown.
Alfred Morris 49ers
The Lions got torched by Isaiah Crowell and Blial Powell, with Crowell scoring on a 62 yard scamper. San Francisco has a similar zone blocking scheme as the Jets, and Detroit had no answer for it. Morris is a cheap option in Daily formats, and is a good roster spot if your cash strapped. For standard PPR leagues, avoid Morris as you should not expect any value from him as a pass catching back.
Projection: 64 yds and a touchdown.
Chris Thompson Redskins
So much for not being ready week 1. I know Peterson stole the show, but Thompson got double digit touches, totaling 128 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Averaging 13 YPC on 5 carries while seeing more targets than any receiver or tight end, Thompson looks like he did before breaking his leg.
Projection: 105 total yards, 5 catches and a touchdown.
Royce Freeman Broncos
With a Daily price tag of 4600 dollars, he is a steal. I know he got overshadowed by Philip Lindsay, but they both had equal touches. What Freeman offers is that PPR advantage. The Broncos are going up against the Oakland Raiders who are playing off a short week in high altitude. He is my breakout player of the week.
Projection: 115 total yds, 3 receptions and a touchdown.
Jarvis Landry Browns
You knew he was going to get the majority of the targets, and he did not disappoint with 15 last week. He is my major BOOM. With the news that Josh Gordon is to be released by the Browns, I have no doubt in my mind Landry will continue to be Tyron’s first look. They are going to feed the beast! I might actually underestimate his production if the Saints defense of last week shows up.
Projection: 9-101-1 on 17 targets.
Tyler Lockett Seahawks
I believe he is the biggest beneficiary of Doug Baldwin being out. A historically reliable slot receiver, the Seahawks should be happy watching tape from the Bears/Packers game. As you’ll read in my “sit” section, I also see Lockett benefitting from some of the looks Dissly received.
Chris Godwin Bucs
If you have Mike Evans he is a must start, but Godwin might be your option if you need to fill your flex spot. I was intrigued by Godwin before the season, and this weekend gives him a chance to shine. While DeSean Jackson did pass the concussion protocol, Godwin may benefit from Jackson not being 100%.
Expect the Eagles to force Fitzpatrick to look beyond Evans and Jackson.
Projection: 10 targets with 6 receptions for 85 yds and a score.
George Kittle 49ers
My third Niners on this list but Kittle was a target machine. Jimmy G loves him (9 targets and 5 catches), but the main reason he is on my start list is that the Lions got torched from the slot giving up 70 Plus yards and a score. Kittle ran close to 30 routes from the slot. Start him.
Jack Doyle Colts
I am comfortable now to start Jack Doyle every week. He played 40 more snaps than Ebron (who played great too),and got a lot more targets and catches. He is going to catch a lot of balls. This game can be high scoring, and I expect Doyle to be one of the feature receivers. I love him in PPR leagues.
Projection: 7-72 yards
Evan Engram Giants
Engram is not going up against a stout Jaguars defense this week. The Dallas Cowboys defense is not up to elite standards. You can worry about the drops, but you have to think he bounces back from last weeks performance, showing what made him a threat last year.
Harrison Buckner KC
You love kick for an explosive offense. Looks like the Chiefs are going to move the ball with success, and if Pittsburgh bounces back like I expect them to, points will be plenty. I do not expect the Chiefs to equal their touchdown count from last week.
Projection: 3 field goals and 2XP.
Will Lutz NO
The Browns were a bend don’t break type of defense last week which favors the kickers. The Saints will move the ball, and with the Browns defense looking very improved, they should manage to hold the Saints out of the end zone enough to give Lutz his shots.
Projection: 2 field goals and 3 XP.
I’m not confident in the Dallas Cowboys offense. Other than Elliot there isn’t much for Dak to work with. The absence of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant is significant. The Giants are good sneaky Daily start.
Projection: 17 points allowed with 3 sacks and one turnover.
Oh was I wrong last week on them…forgive me. But I’m going all in on them again. They are playing against the Bills, who are starting Josh Allen. Need I say more.
DON’T YOU SAM DARNOLD ME ALLEN!
Projection:10 points 3 total turnovers 3 sacks
Matt Ryan ATL
Remember when Ryan was a must start?
He was pitiful last week in the season opener, and I don’t think that’s going to change. This week he gets a ferocious Carolina Panthers defense. Also, in his last seven games at home he’s failed to get to 20 points.
Maybe he surprises me, but I’ll side with the numbers.
Projection: 225 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 int.
Dak Prescott Cowboys
Speaking of the Panthers, let’s talk about the last victim.
I was right about Prescott last week, and I’m going to be right about Prescott this week. The Giants held him to one touchdown in two career games at home. They have his number. Plus, he has no help and his mechanics are awful. Sit every cowboy besides Zeke!!
Projection: 235 yards, 1 touchdown with a pic and a fumble.
Sam Bradford Cards
Sam Bradford might lose his starting job to Josh Rosen after this game. This weeks opponent is possibly one of the better defenses you ever see at least on paper. They made David Carr look like a high school quarterback, and at this point I’m staying away from any quarterback is going up against the Rams.
Projection: 245 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 int.
Derrick Henry Titans
Surely you saw this coming.
Henry only played 29% of the snaps against the Miami Dolphins. It wasn’t like the game was a blowout and they needed a pass catching RB. It was a close game, with rainy conditions, but the Titans chose Dion Lewis. Henry is a volume runner. He needs touches to explode and I think the Titans favor the three down capabilities of Dion Lewis.
If you start him you are gambling.
Projection: 30 yards on 8 touches
Jamal Williams Packers
He may not be worthy of a roster spot as Aaron Jones is coming back next week. Williams is going up against the Vikings who are the one of the most stingiest run defense out there. I don’t like the matchup, and with the Aaron Rodgers variable nothing about Green Bay is appealing.
Projection: 13 touches for 47 yds.
Cris Carson Seattle
The Seahawks get a Bears team, playing at home and coming off the heartbreak loss to the Packers. Jamal averaged just over 3 YPC last week, and I am not convinced the Seattle running attack is much better than the Packers. You also have to wonder whether Rashaad Penny steals touches.
Projection: 10 touches for 54 yards.
Chris Hogan Patriots
He was such a disappointment last week and made me look bad as he was one of my starts.
He’s going up against the Jacksonville Jaguars who have one of the most dominant cornerbacks duos in the league. If the Patriots want to move the ball by the passing game, they’re going to do it through Gronk and James White and his fellow RBs.
Projection: 4 catches for 43 yards
Randall Cobb Packers
Cobb is not at his best when playing against the Vikings. You have to go back to 2015 for the last time Cobb found the end zone against the Vikings. Combine that with Rogers possibly not playing, or even Rogers less than 100%, and I don’t like cops his chances to produce I’ll definitely pass on him.
Amari Cooper Raiders
For the second straight week in a row I am sitting Amari Cooper, and sadly this may become a habit.
I don’t know what’s going on with the Raiders, and they cannot give this man the ball. He’s also playing against Denver who he has a hard time playing against.
Amari was targeted only three times last week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins Jaguars
Blake Bortles did a nice job of spreading the ball around, and ASJ was third highest with five. However, this is not the weekend to take the risk and start him.
The Pats are stingy against the TE position on the road, allowing on average 10 points. In last years AFCC game, Jaguars tight ends were virtually non-existent in the passing game.
Projection: 3 -25 yds
Will Dissly Seahawks
I bet you are tempted. I bet you look at last week and think, “Russell likes him.”
Let’s calm down just a bit on Drissly. He is not going to catch 66 yards passes all the time. I’m not sold on him being a reliable fantasy tight end on a weekly basis. Plus I feel like he may be in the game to block as they are facing Khalil Mack.
Junno Smith TE Titans
Consider this game an opportunity to gauge Smith’s value. Under awful conditions.
Don’t give me wrong I love Smith as a talent being that I drafted him in one of my dynasty leagues, but I just don’t see production against a pretty good Texans defense. I expect a lot of Dion Lewis and Cory Davis in this game.
Oh, and he will probably see passes from Gabbert and Mariota, who will try to be successful behind a line without either starting OT.
They are no longer the legion of boom. They gave up a lot of points last week, 3 turnover games will not save them every week.
Projection: 25 points against, 2 sacks and 1 turnover.
Fact: Kansas City has not won in Pittsburgh since 1986 (0-6). The Steelers play much better at home, and I expect them to project their Browns tie anger on the Chiefs.
Projection: 28 points against and 3 sacks.
Mason Crosby GB
I am basing this projection on Rodgers not playing, or being very limited. The theme this week is to not trust Kizer. Start Crosby at your peril.
Projection: 1/1 FG and 1 XP.