Criteria for the Start/Sit categories
Auto start players would be guys you don’t have to think twice about, guys that will be starters no matter the matchup. Starters are players that are most likely in your lineups unless you have auto start players that can be played in their spot instead. Sit players are players I’m not playing in lineups based on the matchup and other possible reasons. I would not play these players in the sit category unless your options are limited. Don’t Sweat It players are players that are irrelevant at the moment, they should be nowhere near your starting lineups.
Don’t Sweat It:
The best matchup of the week goes to this Thursday night showdown which should give us a glimpse at who’s the top dog in the NFC West. I picture Russell Wilson carving up the Rams defense similar to Jameis Winston last week with Tyler Lockett and Will Dissly as the beneficiaries of Russ Buss’s offensive assault. With Jared Goff throwing nearly 70 times against the Bucs, all three Rams WR’s gave fantasy owners respectable production for their lineups and I expect a similar game against the Hawks. My only questionable pick on this list would be Todd Gurley as a sit based on the usage in a pass-first barely existent run game offense. He always feels risky to me and for that reason, I’m out if I have other options.
What to do with Sony Michel? That is the question The answer is, don’t start him. His fellow teammate James White is currently outproducing him despite Sony’s 15.5 carries a game. Fun fact, Sony has only been targeted once this year in the passing game…….big yikes. I do like Julian Edelman this week being that Josh Gordon hasn’t really had the great start most of us owners were hoping for and I don’t believe last week is reflective of what Tom Brady is in fantasy. For the Redskins, there looks to be a QB crisis as no one knows which QB is playing. We hope that Gruden properly prepares Dwayne Haskins this week so that we can get a look into the future of what he and Terry McLaurin can do together in this offense. That being said, if McLaurin is healthy, he lines up across from Stephon Gilmore, one of the league’s best cornerbacks and I’m benching him if that’s the case.
The Battle of the Back-ups is what I’m calling this matchup. However, this is really Fournette vs. McCaffery as both offenses run through these guys as much as possible. For me, this one isn’t too difficult and I’m only rolling the dice on DJ Moore assuming Jalen Ramsey isn’t playing. Curtis Samuel could be a great DFS play but outside of that he just feels too risky with a QB who has 5 fumbles in two games going into a game against a top defense. For the Jaguars, the only other fantasy play is DJ Chark who is WR8 on the year. He’s a hot commodity and I think it’s fair to stay in the flames with how well he’s been playing.
It’s sad to see Christian Kirk go down with an injury and it looked way worse than it is. He most likely won’t play on Sunday and if that’s the case it’s wheels up for Larry Fitzgerald. Play him, play him, play him, and don’t look back. This Bengals defense and team as a whole is a train wreck and this game will prove to be a fantasy gold mine for Kyler Murray and David Johnson as well. Speaking of the Bengals, John Ross III is done and done for a while so only focus on Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd from here on out while Andy Dalton shouldn’t be anywhere near your lineups. Expect this type of narrative for the Bengals offense all year long.
I don’t care what the haters say, this will be a good game and an even better fantasy matchup. Two passing offenses facing off with two of the best WR’s in the league between Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins, what else can you ask for? This is one of those “don’t overthink it” types of situations I mention every week. Don’t forget about Austin Hooper either, he’s coming off of a 9 reception 130 yard performance and is the 2nd best TE in fantasy through 4 weeks.
We finally got what we wanted out of the Buccaneers offense last week. From this point forward we can officially confirm Chris Godwin is the real deal. For those who drafted him, you’re allowed to take a victory lap while shaming your opponents you took down in Week 4. I have Ronald Jones as a sit but after last week I think he’s very close to becoming a flex spot starter as long as this offense continues to click. For the Saints I’ll make it short and sweet, only play Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. If you’ve watched the Saints enough this year, these are the only two guys capable of consistent fantasy points but you should already know that.
Drama is surfacing in Minnesota especially among the WR’s but it doesn’t appear that Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have problems with their mediocre quarterback Kirk Cousins. No, in fact, it sounds like they’re frustrated with their game plan week in and week out. A game plan that Dalvin Cook benefits from mainly but not really anyone else. For the Giants, Golden Tate will make his 2019 debut but I doubt that will slow down Sterling Shepard or Evan Engram both of whom should be in your lineups even against a solid Vikings secondary. Fortunately for Giants fans Saquon Barkley should be back sooner than expected but until then Wayne Gallman didn’t look half bad and as long as he isn’t too banged up you must start him.
I will be doing something better than spending my time watching this game. Thank god for NFL Redzone. Against debatably the best defense in the league in Chicago, the Raiders have only one player worth starting and that’s Darren Waller especially at a position in fantasy with so much variance. I would consider benching him as well. For the Bears it doesn’t look much better. With Mitchell Trubisky out and Chase Daniel in I really only like David Montgomery even though he has been average in fantasy at best.
Jets are back from a bye but I really don’t care until we get Sam Darnold and Chris Herndon back on the field so that Le’Veon Bell isn’t the main target for defenses. Until then Bell should be your only Jets starter. For the Eagles, Jordan Howard is coming off a 3 TD week even though his fellow teammate Miles Sanders is the better player. Howard is touchdown-dependent and as long as he keeps getting goal-line carries he’s worth a start I guess. I’m not too thrilled about the Eagles passing options outside of Zach Ertz but I lean towards Alshon Jeffery as long as DeSean Jackson remains sidelined.
Don’t Sweat It:
There are a quality number of starts on this list after watching the Steelers put it to the Bengals last week. The only disappointing part of the Steelers offense is JuJu Smith-Schuster, somebody feed this man. Keep playing James Conner for now despite him taking on a minor injury every week. Jaylen Samuels is chomping at the bit to get more touches, it might be proactive to pick him up. For the Ravens, Mark Ingram is touchdown-dependent but the usage is consistent making him a safeish play in your flex. Mark Andrews is good to go in case you were worried about his status. Plan on leaving Andrews in your tight end spot all year long especially while Lamar Jackson is QB #1 in fantasy.
I’m not going to stay on this matchup too long. Is it impressive that Marcus Mariota is the only quarterback in the NFL without a turnover? Yes. However, only AJ Brown and Delanie Walker produce fantasy points in this passing offense and barely at that. Side note, last week Austin Hooper went off against the Titans so I’m banking on Walker this week to do the same. With how difficult of a matchup the Titans defense will be for the Bills without Josh Allen, Frank Gore would be a sneaky good play as long as Devin Singletary is out. Last week, Gore had over a 100 yards against the best defense in the NFL in the Patriots. Can’t believe I’m actually saying something like that in 2019.
I’m going to vent a little here. HOW MANY GAMES ARE THE BRONCOS GOING TO LOSE BY A LAST SECOND FIELD GOAL?!?!?! I’m so frustrated watching John Elway run this team into the ground. It’s time Denver fans, we must get rid of our beloved general manager and President of Football Operations. Anyways back to fantasy, I’m only confident in Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton in this offense until one of Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman can take the reins at running back. For the Chargers, we get to see Melvin Gordon even though I’m crossing my fingers that they bench him so my Broncos have a chance but benching him is unlikely. In addition, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to play Austin Ekeler either. Keenan Allen gets Chris Harris Jr. which is never a good matchup but being one of the three wide receivers left in LA, Allen will always be a start in fantasy.
No Davante Adams this week so fire up MVS and Geronimo Allison in your flex. Aaron Rodgers is coming off his best game of the year but that trend is unlikely to continue without Adams. It could be a big Aaron Jones week and with Jamaal Williams out the backfield is all his. For Dallas, if Michael Gallup is back, play him, Dallas needs all the help they can get at wide receiver. If you’re looking for a trustworthy play at tight end I’ve been picking up Jason Witten everywhere. He either has a touchdown or at least 50 yards in every game he’s played. There aren’t many tight ends that are consistent and he’s most likely on your waiver wire.
I actually love this matchup because I’m really curious to see if Jacoby Brissett can continue to put his team in winning situations. However, it’s going to be difficult without TY Hilton and until he comes back I still think Parris Campbell is on the cusp of breaking out. For the Chiefs, the starters are the usual and I really don’t want to take a gamble on Mecole Hardman or Demarcus Robinson. Neither one has taken on the WR2 role on this team. That being said, Is Tyreek Hill back yet?
I haven’t given up on the Browns yet this season but I have given up on them in this matchup. Where in the world is Odell Beckham Jr. at? What’s going on with Baker Mayfield? At the very least we get to see Nick Chubb dominate and the answer is yes, he is an elite running back in the NFL. As you can see above there aren’t many starts for either team. For San Francisco, George Kittle is on the verge of getting back to his old ways and Matt Breida is still the back to own in SF.
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