Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 6

So, I think I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth when it came to fantasy football last week. Despite starting two less-than-stellar running back, I won one match-up by about four points. In another league, I played without a QB and with just one RB due to bye weeks…I won by about 30 points. I had most of my team on a BYE in another league and won 91-90. I won one matchup by 10 points despite just scoring 67, and won another league’s game 112-106…

In the NFL, however, it’s a whole different story. The New York Giants are savaged with injuries and an 0-5 record. Ben Roethlisberger had a raspberry-worthy performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And somehow, someway, the New York Jets are 3-2, Mitchell Trubisky is starting for the Chicago Bears, and Cam Newton thinks all women know nothing about sports.

It’s a crazy time in the NFL. But, fantasy football goes on. And I usually try to not go with the obvious who the experts are going with, but I’m in complete agreement. Thus, here we go with the Week 6 start ’ems and sit ’ems.

Start ‘Em:
QB Deshaun Watson: Just wow. Three weeks, 12 touchdowns, 90 fantasy points. And a match-up against the Cleveland Browns this week. If Watson isn’t in a fantasy starting lineup in a fantasy football league, that’s crazy.

NFL: Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers

RB C.J. Anderson: One team’s curses is another team’s opportunity. And, boy, oh boy, is the opportunity truly there for Anderson. Nothing has gone right for this Giants team — they’re coming off a bad loss against the Los Angeles Chargers, thanks in part to another abysmal performance by the offensive line. Most of their receiving unit is injured, with Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall both done for the year. It’s not a fun time to be a Giants fan, but it’s going to be a big game for Anderson, as the G-Men’s defense has given up 12-plus PPR points to four runners in five weeks, and 28.10 PPR points per game to running backs in general. Maybe that’s why Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walked out on the team.

CJ Anderson 2

WR Adam Thielen: I know, I know. Here it comes: Am I crazy for choosing to start a guy against the Green Bay Packers defense? Well, yes, but there’s no reward without a little risk (I mean, look what I did last week…). The Packers have let up an average of 186 receiving yards thus far in the year, they have given up the fourth-most PPR points to wideouts on the road, and slot receivers have three touchdowns on that defensive unit. Not to mention, if Stefon Diggs can’t go, Thielen’s output could increase.

jea 2529 gophers ucla.JPG

Sit ‘Em:
QB Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger had five picks against Jacksonville, and after the game he stated he’s not sure if he has it anymore. Well, as someone who is working as a combat sports writer, UFC President Dana White always states, “If the R word comes into your head, maybe it’s time to get out.” Doesn’t help the Steelers offense has had its fair share of struggles all around, and the team is 3-2. Not to mention, he’s struggled consistently on the road since 2014, and he’s playing in Kansas City, against an undefeated Chiefs team. Not looking good for Big Ben.

Ben Roethlisberger

RB Adrian Peterson: So AP has moved from the New Orleans Saints to the Arizona Cardinals. Maybe Arizona is desperate with their running game since David Johnson’s probably not coming back until December, when it’s likely too little, too late to save the season. So, instead, they get the experienced Peterson (not to mention cut Chris Johnson, who ironically stated on Twitter that Peterson needed more reps in New Orleans). While a new team presents new opportunities, a matchup against the hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the first week on a new team isn’t exactly the best risk option right now. Not to mention Arizona needs to rebound after a bad loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Could AP have a spark late in the year? Maybe. But, not feeling him this week.

Adrian Peterson 2

TE Martellus Bennett: I was banking on Bennett this year, but my fantasy patience might be wearing thin. Yes, him and his team are facing the Minnesota Vikings — but like I hinted with Thielen, maybe there are some Vikings you should consider starting and some that need to sit. Bennett has been in No Man’s Land with this Green Bay offense, ranked 25th on the tight end rankings of fantasy football. He has yet to get a touchdown this season. How much longer do we need to wait on him? I say, until he does something productive on the field fantasy-wise, it’s wise to stash him a spot on your bench.

Martellus Bennett

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Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 5

By Thomas Albano

If there’s anything last week in the NFL proved to us, it’s that we are still living in bizarro world. Now we enter Week 5, and it’s time for the bye weeks to give all of you fantasy owners hell. Sometimes what would be a guaranteed win may be a struggle now if your best guys are all out in the same week.

But as is weekly tradition, here are my start ’em and sit ’em picks for this week. And spoiler alert, my start ’ems for this week is a WR triple threat.

Start ‘Em:
WR Larry Fitzgerald: I want to personally give this man a hug for helping me secure a win in one of my leagues last week with his touchdown in OT against the San Francisco 49ers. And for the past two weeks, Fitzgerald has done his part. In week 3, he saw 13 receptions and turned that into 149 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. Last week against the Niners, Fitzgerald only saw four receptions and 32 yards, but he was still able to give his owners some decent fantasy points. I’m hoping he continues his roll against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals

WR Adam Thielen: Sure, Thielen was only able to put up five receptions and 59 yards last week — and he’s fumbled the football a couple of times — but he has shown against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he can hold his own. There’s also some potential that Sam Bradford could return to the quarterback helm on Monday. And with a matchup against the Chicago Bears, who have let up the second-most touchdowns to slot receivers thus far, it feels like this could be the week Thielen finds the end zone at last.

Adam Thielen

WR Stefon Diggs: And while we’re on the topic of the Vikings and their quarterbacks, Diggs hasn’t been hurt too much by Case Keenum taking over the role in place of the injured Bradford. And truthfully, Diggs’ Week 2 outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers seems to be the only down spot in his production thus far. If Thielen deserves a start, then so does Diggs. Hell, if you have both, use both.

Stefon Diggs

Sit ‘Em:
QB Mitch Trubisky: I know, this may sound obvious to some. But there are others out there who feel maybe Trubisky is worth a start because the Vikings may not be expecting what Trubisky can pull out. Also, some people are just that desperate thanks to bye weeks. To those people, I say “NO! Don’t you even dare!” And even if he does prove to do well against Minnesota, only rub it in my face if he does well against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6, or against the Carolina Panthers in Week 7, or against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10. Point is, Trubisky has to prove his worth after the stupid move the Chicago Bears pulled off in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Mitch Trubisky

TE Julius Thomas: There was thought going into this season that maybe Thomas can prove himself to be at least a backup TE or a FLEX play. But Thomas has struggled in the Miami Dolphins’ first three games, getting no more than three receptions this week with little yardage to show. He may be in the 30s-range in TE rankings, but there’s no point in trying to trust him.

Julius Thomas

Green Bay Packers D/ST: I know it’s Green Bay, but the Dallas Cowboys have let up more than five points to just one D/ST so far. If there’s a better option out there, don’t use Green Bay for this week.

Clay Matthews

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 4

By Thomas Albano

So last week in the NFL was…maddening, wasn’t it? Not only did we have the war of words and protests between the NFL and President Trump, but we also had several big shockers, upsets, and players that came out of a nowhere  — many of whom were probably left on fantasy benches.

But it’s the birth of a new week, so let me give my start ’em and sit ’em recommendations for Week 4.

NOTE: Remember that Sunday’s New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins game will take place in London and start at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Start ‘Em:
QB: Dak Prescott: Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys struggled against the Denver Broncos in Week 2, but there was a certain bounce back in Week 3. Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, Prescott went 13-for-18 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, along with a rushing touchdown. And with a match-up against the LA Rams this week, Prescott definitely may have a top ranking among QBs this week.

Dak Prescott

RB: C.J. Anderson: Last week was a rough outing for Anderson, Between producing just 43 yards last week in Buffalo, as well as sharing carries with Jamaal Charles, it’s fair to say he let down all of his fantasy owners. But, honestly, I feel last week was just a bad week. He’s still getting most of the load compared to Charles, and he scores at least 19 points at home in PPR leagues.

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos

WR: Larry Fitzgerald: Just because Fitzgerald is an aging veteran, it doesn’t mean that Fitzgerald is damaged goods. In fact, some may say he ages like a fine wine. Last week, he saw 149 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions. Despite the loss to the Cowboys, Fitzgerald has the chance for another great game against the San Francisco 49ers and its weak defense.

Larry Fitzgerald

Sit ‘Em:
TE: Evan Engram: Remember when I said in Week 2 that the only Saints you should be starting are Drew Brees and Mark Ingram? Well, for the Giants (and this pains me to say as a Giants fan), I wouldn’t start anyone other than the defense and Odell Beckham Jr this week. An 0-3 Giants against this year’s Bucs team doesn’t sound good. Engram has arguably brought in the most offensive production (at least among the first 11 quarters of the G-Men’s 2017 season), but the Bucs’ defense has done well against tight ends thus far.

Evan Engram

QB: Jacoby Brissett: Brissett put up an unexpected performance this week, throwing 259 yards and a touchdown. It’s certainly a relief for Colts fans to see, even if it’s against a team that still has yet to get a win this year. But against Seattle? That’s too scary of a match-up to hope for a second strike of good lightning from Brissett.

Jacoby Brissett

RB: Frank Gore: Gore has run at least 40 yards over the last three weeks, along with a rushing touchdown in each of the last two games. But against the Legion of Boom? It sounds like some of his production will decrease this week and he may not live up to expectations, even with the run-focused Indianapolis offense.

Frank Gore

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 3

By Thomas Albano

It’s Week 3 of the NFL season, and either your fantasy team is off to a strong start (2-0), a normal one (1-1), or you may be thinking about next season already (0-2). But no matter your situation, don’t worry, Cheap Seats Tom is here to help! Here’s my take on three guys you need to start, and three that should absolutely warm the bench.

NOTE: Remember that Sunday’s Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game will take place in London and start at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Start ‘Em
RB Ty Montgomery: Despite a loss to the Falcons, Montgomery had quite the day — 35 rushing yards, along with 75 receiving yards and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). This was also the second consecutive week Montgomery has seen 65+ snaps. And if Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb aren’t good to go in Week 3 (or are limited), Montgomery’s value definitely increases. He may be entering RB1 territory if he keeps it up.

Ty Montgomery

QB Cam Newton: Last week, Newton went 20-for-32, throwing 228 yards, but he was also sacked six times. Newton seemed more on-point with his throws against the Buffalo Bills, but he still missed at least one passing touchdown attempt. We’re not sure if he’s overcome his shoulder problem in full, but Newton and the Carolina Panthers have a very favorable match-up this week against the struggling New Orleans Saints.

Cam Newton

Miami Dolphins D/ST: Yes, you read that right. Miami. I know it may seem hard to trust — the Miami D let up 17 points to Phillip Rivers and the LA Chargers last week. But, they’re facing the New York Jets. Plus, Miami did nab the win last week. If you’re a streaming defense person, there’s no time better than now to take a chance on the Dolphins.

Miami D

Sit ‘Em
WR T.Y. Hilton: This is definitely shaping into a “what could have been” kind of season for Hilton, on both the real and fantasy level. Limited to just 57 yards against the LA Rams and 49 against the Arizona Cardinals, things don’t look too bright for the Indianapolis wide receiver. Sure, the team is facing the also 0-2 Cleveland Browns, but if you ask me, Cleveland might be the favorite in that game. Start Hilton if you dare, but you’ll probably be sorry when it’s too late.

Colts Jets Football

QB Russell Wilson: What the hell is going on with Seattle’s offense? A combined 21 points while opening up the season 1-1 doesn’t smell all that great. Their defense might be the Legion of Boom, but for these past two weeks, the Seahawks offense has been the Legion of Poop. In Wilson’s case, it means two straight weeks of failing to throw 200 yards, completing just a little more than half of your passing attempts in the first two weeks, and a fumble in Week 1. I get it the nightmare of Super Bowl XLIX must run around Pete Carroll’s head a lot, but no one on this offense is getting the job done. Don’t waste your time with any of Seattle’s guys this week…

Russell Wilson

TE Jimmy Graham: ESPECIALLY THIS GUY! Just eight yards on three receptions in Week 1 plus one yard on one reception in Week 2? Bench until further notice!

Jimmy Graham

TE Tyler Eifert: Eifert sort of made up for Week 1 with 3 receptions and 42 yards…but sort of won’t cut it here. He has barely been targeted at all in Cincinnati’s horrific offense (so horrific their offensive coordinator was fired two weeks into the season). Plus, Eifert is questionable as of Wednesday night, as he’s pretty banged up. Give him some rest.

Tyler Eifert

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 2

By Thomas Albano

So, I was decent in my Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em predictions last week. Dalvin Cook performed well, as did C.J. Anderson, but Kelvin Benjmain busted and Matthew Stafford exceeded my expectations. I ended up doing fairly well in week 1 fantasy, but lost several players due to injury, with other team members affected by said injuries, and other players just not living up to expectation.

Throw in David Johnson’s injury, and you have one of the most bizarre week 1s you could have (Week 1 is traditionally strange already, but this year may take the cake). So, what should you do for Week 2? Here’s my take on three guys you need to start, and three that you shouldn’t.

Start:
QB Derek Carr: Carr went 22-for-32 last week at Tennessee, throwing 262 yards for two touchdowns and leading the Oakland Raiders to a 26-16 win. And this week, the Raiders take on the juggernaut known as…the New York Jets (aka that team with the most probability of an 0-16 season). The Jets D let up about 18 fantasy points to Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor. I think it’s safe to say you should expect good things from Carr in your lineup this week.

Derek Carr

RB Marshawn Lynch: And with starting Carr, you know who else should be in starting lineups? (I can’t believe I’m going to say this but…) Marshawn Lynch. I will admit, I was wrong in the very short-term. He had 18 carries and rushed for 76 yards last week, and he looked like he hadn’t missed a day of an NFL season. I’ll admit, while there’s still 15 games to go, he exceeded my Week 1 expectations. Now watch him run over the Jets, who let up nearly 30 points to Buffalo’s running game last week and, again, most likely team to be 0-16.

Marshawn Lynch

RB Terrance West: Yes, yes, it may seem like I’m just picking on some of the lesser teams in the league, as West and the Ravens gear up to face the Cleveland Browns this week. But it’s not about as it is about Danny Woodhead’s injury. With Woodhead leaving the game last week, West stepped up and had a nice day against the Cincinnati Bengals, who were the only team shut out in Week 1. And as long as Woodhead is out, expect West’s production to continue to be in, at least, the RB2/3 category.

Terrance West

Bonus Sleeper Pick: RB Jacquizz Rodgers: Due to Hurricane Irma, the Bucs will open their season this week with a battle against the Chicago Bears. Last season, with 129 rushing attempts, Rodgers ran for 560 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to 98 yards on 13 receptions. There’s a lot of hype around this young man, and many are considering him to be a sleeper for this week, if not this season. If there’s room in your lineup at RB2/3 or FLEX, give Jacquizz a chance.

Jacquizz Rodgers

Sit:
RB Adrian Peterson: I was really hoping for something better from AP last week, but alas, he was a flop. In fact, he was so bad, he may be demoted on the depth chart in favor of rookie RB Alvin Kamara. I would say unless you’re absolutely desperate and would take the chance, sit him on your bench for the season. Also, if you’re really thinking about starting any Saint other than Drew Brees and Mark Ingram, don’t. Remember: they’re playing the Patriots…a team who is probably out for blood after being manhandled by a rookie last week.

Adrian Peterson

WR T.Y. Hilton: In most cases, I would not be playing Hilton this week. The fact that QB Andrew Luck will not be cleared for Week 2, and is probably out until October, really hurts the potential of receivers on that Indianapolis squad like Hilton. Not to mention, this week Indy plays the Arizona Cardinals, projected to be one of the better defenses in fantasy this season, even if they let up 35 points to the Detroit Lions. The only way I’m starting Hilton is if there are no potential sleepers on your team, and/or as a last-resort FLEX play.

T.Y. Hilton,Robert Nelson

TE Julius Thomas: On paper, this might be one of the better matchups for QB Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins (I’m surprised Cutler has an NFL job again, too.) But, still, there’s not a lot of expectation for Thomas this week. Anyone in Miami outside of RB Jay Ajayi doesn’t deserve a top fantasy starting spot because it’s such a risky wild card of a team. Doesn’t help that Los Angeles gave up just 4.1 catches per game to tight ends at home last year. There’s not a lot of hype for LA’s tight end, Hunter Henry, this week either. But if you were to hold a gun to my head and make me start either of the two, I’d pick Henry over Thomas in the blink of an eye.

Julius Thomas

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 1

All the long waiting and suffering is over — fantasy football is back! Now that your league has drafted and your team is set, it’s time to figure out who you should put in your starting lineup and who should be locked into your bench come game time. Here’s my advice on a few players to watch out for this week.

Remember: The Tampa Bay-Miami game is POSTPONED TO WEEK 11. Don’t blame me if you forget to take those guys out of your Week 1 lineup.

Start:
QB Marcus Mariota: Last season, Mariota threw 3,426 yards for 26 touchdowns and a QB rating of 95.6. There’s a lot of hype in Tennessee this season and a lot of thoughts that Mariota could emerge as the next big quarterback in the AFC. He’ll have his whole receiving corps against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and that team gave up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last year. Unless you have another big fantasy QB (ex: Rodgers, Brady), then Mariota better be in your lineup this week.

Titans Jaguars Football

RB C.J. Anderson: I know, I know. Anderson has a bit of a streak of not living up to his potential or getting hurt when it comes to fantasy. But, he had a decent preseason and should place ahead of Jamaal Charles and De’Angelo Henderson as the Denver Broncos’ main running back (Devontae Booker will be out due to injury). But, it’s the start of a new season. And with the Los Angeles Chargers — who let up the eighth-most points to RBs last year — missing middle linebacker Denzel Perryman this week, the opportunity is there for Anderson.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos

RB Dalvin Cook: It’s Cook’s NFL debut; all aboard the hype train! Even if Latavius Murray gets most of the touches, Cook’s production shouldn’t be hurt too bad. The New Orleans Saints finished let up the third-most points to backs last season, and the expectation is that trend will continue. Even if its just RB2/FLEX value, Cook should still provide for a fair showing for fantasy owners in his first NFL game.

Cst 46341 Vikings training camp

Bonus start: WR Kelvin Benjamin: Oh, look, it’s a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers — sounds like a gimme. Well, it kind of is. Last season, the 49ers were second in most touchdowns allowed, and ninth in most targets allowed and in most fantasy points given up to road wide receivers. Benjamin’s stock value didn’t really rise until late, but if there’s any time for him to show what he can do, it’s against what is still (at least I feel) a very, very weak San Francisco team.

CARvsTEN 2016 Preseason

Sit:
QB Matthew Stafford: If you must (due to anything from being in a 2-QB league to having him as your only active QB), then start Stafford. But, this matchup with the Arizona Cardinals is a little tricky. He gave up three interceptions to the Arizona defense the last time the Detroit Lions faced off with them (in 2015). Even though it may have lost a step here or there, Arizona’s still got some tough backs on defense. Let this be a “prove me” week for Stafford, but if possible, you may want to reserve a spot for him on your bench.

MatthewStafford

QB Phillip Rivers: If you’re depending on Rivers for this fantasy season, you better have a good excuse, or stop playing fantasy immediately. Denver’s defense is still one of the toughest in fantasy, and it’s already bad enough Rivers has gotten 20+ fantasy points against this defense just one time in six years. Rivers rarely (if ever) deserves a fantasy starting slot.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers

WR Kenny Britt: On paper, no surprise sitting a Cleveland player. But Britt finished 26th in fantasy points for WRs last year, so he’s definitely got the ability to produce. But a matchup for Cleveland against Pittsburgh? Yeah, one to avoid.

Kenny Britt