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.
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals — Palmer
is coming off a bye and gets to face a 49ers defense that gives up 235 yards passing per game. More important , it has allowed 18 touchdown passes. It is also in the bottom third of the league in points allowed to quarterbacks.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys — He has 12 touchdown passes against just two interceptions since Week 3. The Steelers are pretty good at
defending quarterbacks, but this should be a high-scoring affair, and the Cowboys are the underdogs . That means they could find themselves trailing and needing to throw.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers — Winston has a good matchup, facing the Bears. He has eight touchdown passes in his past three games and should continue to produce.
Jay Cutler, QB, Bears — If you’re looking for a streaming option, you could take a chance with Cutler, who faces a really poor Buccaneers pass defense. Cutler was actually OK against a tough Minnesota D two weeks ago.
Lamar Miller, RB, Texans — He should find success against a Jaguars defense that gives up a lot of points to running backs. He’s had a bye week to help him deal with a shoulder injury, and he should provide a solid score for owners.
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears— Howard had a surprising performance against a tough Vikings defense two weeks ago. He’s had a bye to prepare for a Bucs defense that is 24th in points allowed to running backs. He should be in for a big day.
Gio Bernard, RB, Bengals — Before last week’s bye, he had four straight solid starts. The Bengals will need to get back to throwing him the ball, and I think they will against the Giants this week.
Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles — Sproles has had at least 16 touches in each of his past two games. He’ll take on
the Falcons’ defense and should do well catching the ball out of the backfield.
Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — He should have done better against the Raiders, but I think he bounces back in a big way against the Saints, who are 31st in points allowed to running backs.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears — If I’m going to start Jay Cutler, you know I’m going to start Jeffery. He’s really had only two bad games despite shaky quarterback play for much of the season, and the Bucs are
woeful at limiting wideouts.
Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos — If it looks
as if I’m picking on the Saints’ defense, it’s because everyone picks on the Saints’ defense. They give up 300 yards passing per game, last in the NFL, so Denver’s top two targets should produce.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans — He’s usually a must-start, but his past two games — and Brock Osweiler — might
scare off some owners. Have some faith as he faces the Jaguars after a bye week.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers — You might
be enticed by his 398 yards and two TDs last week, but don’t go chasing points. He faces the Cardinals, who are second-best at limiting quarterbacks.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins — A matchup against the Vikings’ defense won’t yield positive results for Cousins. He won’t throw for 458 yards as he did against the Bengals before last week’s bye.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — Doug Pederson finally admitted that Darren Sproles is the true No. 1 running back in Philadelphia. Mathews might
still fall into a touchdown every now and then, but you can’t depend on him.
Robert Kelley, RB, Redskins— Kelley is expected to get the start, but he’s not a good play against the Vikings’ defense.
Willie Snead, WR, Saints — Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas are clearly ahead in the pecking order. Even Coby Fleener could take some targets away. What’s more, h
e’s facing the Broncos.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets — It should be a low-scoring game, and I don’t trust Ryan Fitzpatrick
with a WR2 right now.