Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.
Each week this space will be dedicated to identifying whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers — He
has at least one touchdown pass in all but one game this season and faces the 21st-ranked team in points allowed to quarterbacks.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys — The rookie should fare well against a bad Browns defense. He’s been running a bit more of late, and that only adds to his value.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s arguably on the hottest streak for a quarterback in fantasy. He’s thrown 10 touchdown
passes against just one interception in his past four games. His running ability will help him against Joey Bosa and the Chargers’ pass rush.
Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings — This should be a streaming option only. If you’ve got Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton or Kirk Cousins, you could do worse than Bradford as a bye week replacement. He gets to face the Lions, who are 30th in points allowed to quarterbacks.
Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — He’s coming off of two straight weeks with at least 18 touches and faces an Oakland team that has trouble limiting running backs in fantasy scoring.
Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks — He should be assured his touches facing the Bills this week. They’re just middle of the road in points allowed to running backs.
Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs — Spencer Ware is unable to go, so that means West should start for your team against the Jaguars.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins — You don’t want to sit a guy who’s gained more than
400 yards in his past two games.
Packers receivers — Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb all could end up with solid scores after facing the Colts. Other than Aaron Rodgers, there isn’t much of a running game to speak of, and this could be a shootout.
Colts receivers — T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief should both perform well. Again, this game could see a lot of points.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins — He’s got a very satisfactory floor, but he could outperform usual expectations facing a Jets defense that is no longer good against the pass.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints — Speaking of a high floor, in every game so far Thomas has caught at least four passes and totaled at least 58 yards. Expect no less in a 49ers-Saints matchup that should be a high-scoring affair.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns — The Cowboys have been playing well on defense but will be missing half their starting defensive backfield.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants — He’s facing an Eagles defense that’s seventh in points allowed to quarterbacks. Manning’s had only two good games all season.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions — The Vikings are fourth-best in limiting quarterbacks’ fantasy points, and Stafford has to face them twice in his next three games.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — No matter how many times he says it, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson simply isn’t giving Mathews the touches required to be successful.
Duke Johnson, RB, Browns — Johnson faces the Cowboys, who have surprised with how well they defend. They’re not world beaters by any stretch, but they are ranked third in limiting running backs in fantasy scoring.
Frank Gore, RB, Colts — Facing the defense that’s best in points allowed to running backs makes Gore a tough start this week. I’d look for an option with upside.
Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys — He made a clutch catch last weekend, but Dez Bryant is getting so many targets.
Marvin Jones, WR, Lions — It was an exciting start to the season, but playing as the No. 1 target is tougher than being a complementary receiver. The Vikings are second-best at limiting wideouts in scoring.
Broncos defense/special teams — They have a lot of banged-up players, including starting cornerback Aqib Talib, and the Raiders have a potent passing attack. There are better options out there.