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.
So Matt Ryan is now the rushing attack for the Atlanta Falcons?!
So Amari Cooper gets a god-like performance form David Carr?!
Why God?! Why?!
Consider tonight’s recommendations being delivered to a desperate audience. Well, most of them. Apart from the Cleveland Browns defense (which I’m oddly high on... and yes, I did add them as my starting defense, but mostly because the waiver wire is weak and I had the Pittsburgh Steelers), much of what you get for tonight’s game is filler.
*Editors Note: Matt and I worked this prior to knowing the weather report was looking up. Thanks Mother Nature!
QB Tyrod Taylor, Browns
Let me start out by saying that I am not particularly fond of both match ups for Taylor and Darnold. Both defenses are stingy but I feel Taylor is in a better situation in terms of offensive talent and his running backs aren’t as good as Darnold’s. Because of this, I feel he will need to throw.
I also like that Taylor has experience in bad conditions from his Bills past.
Additionally, Taylor is always a running threat, and I expect him to find success in that area. That being said, don’t expect big fantasy numbers but he will be decent for a streaming option, possibly for someone in a two quarterback league.
Projection: 218 total yards, 2 total touchdowns, and 1 interception
RB Bilal Powell, Jets
I believe he is the running back to start this week for the Jets over Crowell. His rushing stat line last week wasn’t impressive (5-6), but the reason I’m starting him is his impact to the passing game.
After two games he has 6 catches for 79 yards on 8 targets and one touchdown. The Browns have given up 11 receptions to opposing running backs.
The running lanes may be clogged but the passing lanes will.
Projection: 83 total yards on 5 catches... and what the heck, 30 yards rushing
WR Jarvis Landry, Browns
Everyone, including myself, was expecting a breakout game last week from Landry. I lost my game in part because he laid an egg. Disappeared. I’m done.
That didn’t happen, but he still posted a decent stat line (5-65). The Browns traded Josh Gordon which means Landry is the guy! He was already a target monster to begin and I expect a good amount of catches against the jets who given up the 7th most points against wide receivers.
Projection: 79 total yards on 7 catches and 1 touchdown
WR Antonio Calloway, Browns
Most likely the biggest beneficiary with Josh Gordon being traded is Antonio Callaway. He played over 80 percent of the snaps and nabbed three of his four targets with one being a 42 yard touchdown. I think he is the big play guy that the Browns will need. I believe he is worth the start even though he is a rookie and Rishard higgens may take some targets away from him.
If you are desperate for a flex player take the risk. While I don’t see him finding the end zone, it wouldn’t be a shock if he did.
Projection: 80 yards on 4 catches
WR Quincy Enunwa, Jets
He saw double digit targets last week and appears to be Sam Darnold’s number one guy. The Browns are a stingy defense that only allowed one pass over 25 yards against Drew Brees, but I believe that benefits Enunwa. He is the security blanket and I expect a lot of slants and crosses to beat the Browns defense.
Projection: 102 yards on 6 catches and 1 touchdown
K Jason Myers, Jets
Shocking, right? Meyers missed and extra point.
I think the Browns will bend not break and give him a chance to kick a long one. The weather scares me but I’m still confident. Start him if you are desperate, and if your league gives points for distance.
Projection: 2-for-3 on field goals, including one for 50+ yards
Browns and Jets D/ST
I really expect like this game to keep the over at 42 points as both defenses are good. They are aggressive and deserve starts in streaming options for your regular leagues.
I’m always in favor of streaming defense instead of wasting a draft pick on a defense. I favor the Browns slightly as Darnold is a rookie and is coming off a bad performance. Also the weather is supposed to be pretty bad, week one all over again for the Browns.
Lots of turnovers! Plus, you have to believe this prime time home game brings out a Cleveland win.
Browns projection: 17 points allowed, 4 sacks, 3 turnovers
Jets projection: 21 points allowed, 2 sacks, 2 turnovers
QB Sam Darnold, Jets
334 yards and a touchdown isn’t bad, but he had two really bad picks. The Browns defense held Drew Brees to 243 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he had to do that mainly with underneath routes. Darnold is no Brees, and Sam has the elements working against him..
Projection is 215 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions
RB Carlos Hyde, Browns
The Jets do a very good job of stopping the run. They are currently giving up the fourth fewest against opposing running backs. I don’t like the matchup and I advise sitting him.
Projection: 17 carries for 54 yards and 2 catches for 10 yards
RB Duke Johnson, Browns
Duke Johnson is off to a very rough start to his football season. He managed 35 yards of 11 touches which isn’t good. I’m not expecting anything to change as it appears the Browns will not be giving him increased touches.
I want to see his usage go up before starting him.
Projection: 4 catches for 42 yards and 5 carries for 12 yards
WR Robby Anderson, Jets
He is currently a boom or bust type player. He saw five targets last week, only catching 3 (27 yards). He is getting out targeted by Enunwa 21 to 6 through 2 games. This offense favors underneath routes and shorter pass. Doesn’t really favor the deep shots that make Anderson valuable.
Projection: 3 catches for 52 yards
WR Terrell Pryor, Jets
Another boom or bust candidate. Pryor finds himself the number 3 receiver in this offense. The Jets offense doesn’t really feature Pryor.
This environment is not where he will shine.
Projection: 3 catches for 45 yards
TE David Njoku, Browns
I believe he has tremendous upside especially with Gordon on his way to New England. However, I don’t think he will have a good game this week. The Jets have given up less than three points per game against opposing tight ends.
Granted, Njoku is a better athlete than Benjamin Watson or Luke Wilson so I expect him to get more than three points, but not enough to make your mouth water.
Projection: 4 catches for 45 yards
K Greg Joseph, Browns
The Browns kicking sorrow will continue through week 3 as they release Gonzalez after his pitiful performance. They sign Joesph who was an undrafted free agent from Florida Atlantic. He was undrafted for a reason as he converted just 69.5 percent of his kicks.
Pray for the Browns.
Projection: 1-for-3 on field goals and 2 extra points