We’re In This Together
My goal is to make the tough decisions for you. You won’t see the obvious starts or sits on these lists. I want to help you choose who to flex between guys like Robert Woods and Kareem Hunt. Or help you pick which QB to start while Patrick Mahomes is on a bye. Or, maybe even help you decide which defense you should stream for a given week. I want YOU to win a championship. Let’s do this together!
Matthew Stafford has been featured on my list a few times, and for a good reason. The Los Angeles Rams QB has been a top-10 fantasy QB for the entirety of the season and should be a regular in your lineup by now. This week, Stafford and the Rams face the Seattle Seahawks and a defense that has given up the 7th most points to QBs this season. Guys like Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins have had quality games. Imagine what kind of numbers Stafford is positioned to put up.
I have had Trevor Lawrence on the “sit em” side a few times, but this week, he is a starter. The Jaguars are taking on the Tennessee Titans who recently lost to the JETS of all teams. The major factor in the loss? Well, that was the defense. The Titans have surrendered eight passing TDs and nearly 1,100 yards to opposing QBs, according to Pro Football Reference. That is good for bottom 10 in each category. Look for the Jags to fall behind fast and light it up through the air.
Did I mention that the Titans’ defense stinks? Great, because this week I am doubling down on Jaguars players. James Robinson is a must-start for anyone rostering him. The Illinois State product is taking on a defense in the bottom 10 for rushing touchdowns and he is coming off of his best performance of the season (78 yards, two TDs). Get him in your lineup this week, folks!
I hate to keep speaking ill of the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense, but they are pretty bad. That is why Zack Moss needs to be in your lineup this week. The Buffalo Bills back splits carries with Devin Singletary – you could also start him – and has seen an uptick in work recently. He has scored at least one touchdown and had ten or more touches each week since week two. Not to mention, the Chiefs are currently bottom five in touchdowns allowed, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns allowed, and allow 15/19 red zone attempts to turn into scores. Moss should have a nice day.
Remember all of those stats I laid out about the Chiefs defense? Well, the only defense worse than the Chiefs in total yards and rushing yards allowed is the Seattle Seahawks. So put Darrell Henderson in your lineup! The RB is top 25 in fantasy points even with a missed week. In each week he has played he has recorded at least 100+ yards or a TD. Henderson has been the model of consistency and is due for another solid game this weekend.
Calvin Ridley has mostly been a disappointment for fantasy players this year. Projected to be a top-five receiver prior to the season, he is sitting right #25 in PPR formats. Ridley has not had bad performances, he has just under-performed. But this week, we should see his highest total yet. The Falcons are taking on a NY Jets defense that has allowed the 3rd least points to fantasy receivers, but when a team is blowing out another team, they do not need to pass. The Falcons defense is terrible, so I expect the Jets to hang around in the one, allowing Ridley to do his thing.
Terry McLaurin, Scary Terry! McLaurin has been a BAAAAAD man this year and this week is no different. McLaurin and Heinicke have some nice chemistry brewing and I expect them to exploit the weaknesses in the Saints’ passing defense. The Saints have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to wide receivers so far this season and with McLaurin sitting at #6, you can expect him to do some damage.
Next, you should consider this Clemson product as a flex/low-end WR2: Hunter Renfrow. Derek Carr has been connecting with Renfrow on several occasions throughout their first four games. Serving the Raiders offense in an Edelman/JuJu type of role, he has been targeted 30 times and caught 22 of those targets. Not to mention, he is currently on a two-game TD streak. Chicago has allowed the 7th most points to the wide receiver position, so I would expect him to see some nice volume this week.
Speaking of volume, Emmanuel Sanders has been the top receiver in Buffalo, receiving at least six targets in each game. The 34-year-old receiver has been incredibly efficient with those targets also, turning in a number good enough to find him in the top-25 in PPR formats. Add in the fact that he is playing a weak Kansas City defense and you have a recipe for a good game.
Noah Fant has been everything you would need from a TE not named Kelce, Waller, Kittle, or Gronkowski. Sitting in the top-10, he has become a reliable target for Broncos QBs receiving at least one red one look per game. This week, the Broncos take on the Steelers. Look for a low-scoring affair with a Noah Fant red zone TD serving as one of the few points the Broncos score.
Dalton Schultz and the Dallas Cowboys are taking on the G-Men at home in Arlington, TX. Schultz has exploded the last two weeks, putting up 12 catches, 138 yards, and touchdowns TDs. Ride the hot hand with this one and let Schultz carry you to a dub against a defense that has allowed the 4th most points to opposing fantasy tight ends.
Kicker & Defense
For kicker this week, I have Matt Gay as a must-start. The Rams-Seahawks game has high-scoring potential and that is the perfect stage for a kicker to feast. Gay has been incredibly efficient with his field goals as well, hitting 8/9 with the one miss coming from 40+.
The New England Patriots are taking on the Houston Texans this week. That really should be all I have to say about this one. Defenses have had a field day with this team, look for Belichick and the Pats to have some fun.
The star off all of your favorite commercials, Baker Mayfield, needs to ride the bench this week. The Browns are taking on the LA Chargers who just bullied Derek Carr and the Raiders into submission. Mayfield has not scored above 20 fantasy points this year, and I do not see it happening this Sunday. Consider some other options this week.
Speaking of Derek Carr, he is the other QB that will be on my bench this week. He had a tough game against the Chargers and the slate does not get easier this week against Chicago. They are a top-10 defense against fantasy QBs, and Khalil Mack has some skin in the game this week. I see a bunch of pressure, and in the words of Joey Bosa, Derek Carr, “curling up in a ball.”
Another letdown so far this year, Myles Gaskin. The Dolphins running back exploded during the 2020 season and has barely shown flashes of that skill up to this point. We have seen fellow-back, Malcolm Brown, get the bulk of the work in recent weeks. I hardly expect him to get more opportunities against the Buccaneers either. As Gaskin continues to fade into the background, you will need to find some better options on the waiver wire.
The Detroit Lions RB, D’Andre Swift has had some rough luck so far this year. Between injuries and the emergence of Jamaal Williams as the #1 back, it has been a tough pill to swallow for fantasy players rostering Swift. He has still been able to earn his keep on occasion, but it is obvious that Williams is their guy. Swift, until further notice, is boom or bust.
This last running back has sort of been a letdown as well. Many fantasy experts expected Javonte Williams to quickly rise to the top of the Broncos’ depth chart. However, we have yet to see him fully gain control of the reins in Broncos country. Denver squares off against Pittsburgh and their stingy run defense That has allowed the top five least points to fantasy running backs. I would let Williams sit the bench this week.
The first receiver I want to cover is Brandon Ayiuk. The second-year San Francisco 49ers receiver has not seen the volume that most fantasy players expected from him thus far. Deebo Samuel is the guy in San Fran and that does not appear to be changing any time soon. Even against a bottom five passing defense, I would leave him on the bench.
So, I did something I thought I would not have to do this year. I dropped JuJu Smith-Schuster in one of my leagues. He is yet to catch a receiving touchdown, and even though he is getting a decent amount of targets, his efficiency on those targets has been awful. On top of that, they are playing a tough Broncos secondary this week. So until further notice, JuJu needs to ride the bench.
O’Dell Beckham Jr. is entering game three since recovering from his torn ACL in 2020. In the first two games, he has been heavily targeted but has not been able to produce much from the opportunities. This week the Cleveland Browns take on the Chargers and their #2 defense against fantasy wide receivers. Take this opportunity to leave him on the bench as the Browns running backs do what they do best.
Another fantasy football disappointment, Allen Robinson, has been sad this year. Matt Nagy and the Bears have not given him the best opportunities to succeed, and his play has suffered. David Montgomery also suffered a knee injury this week, so without a reliable run game, I do not expect the passing game to develop very well. If you haven’t already, find a replacement for Allen Robinson this week.
Zach Ertz has been having some strong games the last two weeks, leaving Dallas Goedert as the second option. Outside of a healthy matchup against Kansas City last week, his recent games have left much to be desired. The Eagles go on the road to face a tough Carolina defense. Let’s see how Goedert and Ertz do against a tough defense from the bench.
I had Dan Arnold here last week, and I plan on keeping him here again this week. TE options are limited, and unless you are rostering Logan Thomas and Gronk, you should be able to find some better options. I think he has some potential down the line, but the chemistry between him and Lawrence needs to keep developing.
Kicker & Defense
Chris Boswell, the kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has been pretty average up to this point. But the Steelers and their limitations on offense Do not leave me much confidence to get the kicker in field goal range often. This Broncos and Steelers game should be a pretty low-scoring match. Try and stream a better option this week.
The Buffalo Bills are taking on Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday night. Patrick Mahomes and Co. have allowed the least amount of points to opposing fantasy defenses. Leave the number one fantasy defense on the bench this week, it will not be as luxurious as that matchup against the Texans last week.