Every week fantasy football owners have to make decisions on who to start, who to sit and who potentially to go pick up off the wavier wire to play. Sometimes those decisions can be tough. For help with that check out Breaking Football’s weekly rankings. In addition to that, I will be giving my weekly take on starts, sits and sleepers.
Each week I will be giving two players I like starting, two guys I would like to bench and one sleeper per position (except for D/STs, there will only be one start and sit). Now of course every week you would start Aaron Rodgers, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, among others, assuming they play. This weekly article is to help fantasy owners decide on their “non-stud” players. If you have more specific questions regarding fantasy football, ask me on twitter (@MikeSports22) and as always happy hunting fantasy friends.
This week the Saints and the Dolphins play in London. That game kicks off at 9:30 am EST so set your line ups early.
Trevor Siemian vs Oakland: After starting the season with two games of 20 plus fantasy points, Siemian came back down to earth last week finishing with just 7.6 points in a loss to the Bills. However, I have faith in Siemian. It is tough for a team from the west to go play on the east coast with a 1 pm EST kick off time. Last week Kirk Cousins touched the Raiders for 26.8 fantasy points and Siemian should be in line for another 20 plus point performance against them this week.
Kirk Cousins at Kansas City: Speaking of Cousins and his 26.8 fantasy performance last week, hopefully you traded for him when his value was low; as Cousins only scored 22.5 fantasy points in the first two weeks combined. Cousins and the Redskins typically start out of the gate slow then pick up the pace around week three. Expect Cousins to play as a top seven fantasy quarterback for the rest of the season.
Jameis Winston vs New York: In two games so far this season, Winston is averaging just 14 fantasy points per game and is coming off a three interception game verse the Vikings. Facing the Giants this week, Winston could have another high interception game. I don’t trust Winston against a strong secondary like the Giants. If you have another option I would strongly consider it.
Cam Newton at New England: Averaging just 11.1 fantasy points per game so far this season, Newton is no longer a QB1 like he was in 2015. Newton had just 8.3 fantasy points last week against the Saints horrible defense that was missing two cornerbacks. Newton should be dropped in all 12 team or smaller leagues; this is simply not the same Newton.
Carson Palmer vs San Francisco: Despite coming off a season high 21.7 fantasy points verse the Cowboys, Palmer is still just owned in 20% of ESPN leagues. The 49ers are giving up on average 17.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks but they have gotten worst each week. After giving up 13.1 fantasy points to Cam Newton and 15.3 to Russell Wilson in weeks one and two respectively, the 49ers gave up 23.6 to Jared Goff in last week. Expect Palmer to have another 19 plus point performance against the shaky 49ers defense.
Jay Ajayi vs New Orleans: It’s a home coming game for Ajayi, who was born in London. Don’t be scared off by last weeks’ 4.5 fantasy point game, Ajayi gets to redeem himself against the Saints terrible run defense. The Saints rank 32nd against running backs and is giving up 34 fantasy points per game. Ajayi was a late first or early second round pick in most draft so you have to start him weekly, but start him this week with confidence.
Joe Mixon at Cleveland: Last week Mixon had 21 touches while Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill had 13 touches combined; this is clearly Mixon’s starting job now. This week he faces the Browns who have given up an average of 25.9 fantasy points to running backs the last two weeks. Mixon should only get better each game and if you still can, trade for him while his value is still low.
Lamar Miller vs Tennessee: Currently Miller is the RB24 in PPR scoring but is losing touches quickly to D’Onta Foreman. Last week Miller had 15 touches for 63 yards while Foreman had 10 touches for 90 yards. Miller is struggling and Foreman could take over as the starter sooner than later. The Titans are giving up just under 22 fantasy points per game to the running backs. With Miller and Foreman splitting touches, bench Miller this week as he is trending in the wrong direction.
Isaiah Crowell vs Cincinnati: Despite comments from Hue Jackson that he wanted to feature Crowell more this season, that hasn’t led to Crowell producing. Currently Crowell is the RB40 and averaging just 7.2 fantasy points per game. The Browns are trailing all the time and Crowell isn’t getting enough touches, just 43 in three games. The Bengals held Ty Montgomery to 13 fantasy points last week and get Vontaze Burfict back from suspension this week. Try to trade Crowell while you still can.
Chris Carson vs Indianapolis: For now it seems like Carson is the feature running back for the Seahawks. However, despite putting up 13.2 fantasy points last week Carson is owned in just 64% of ESPN leagues. If for some reason Carson is available go grab him now! The Colts rank 22nd against running backs and with C.J. Prosise expected to miss the game, Carson will get even more touches in the passing game.
Dez Bryant vs Los Angeles: Enough with the “tough schedule” stuff. Bryant had 18.9 and 9.2 fantasy points the last two weeks despite playing the Broncos and Cardinals on the road. Last week the Rams gave up 21.2 fantasy to Pierre Garcon. Bryant should have a strong game and finish around 17 fantasy points this week. The following two games for Bryant is the Packers and 49ers; buckle up he’s about to take off!
Golden Tate at Minnesota: Yes the Vikings have a strong defense and shut down cornerback Xavier Rhodes. However, Rhodes won’t follow Tate into the slot, where he does most of his damage from. Tate is averaging seven catches a game and is coming off a 18.8 fantasy point performance against the Falcons and Desmond Trufant. Start Tate this week in what I expect to be a high scoring game.
T.Y. Hilton at Seattle: Last week Hilton broke out for 28.3 fantasy points after scoring just 17.6 the first two weeks combined. However, Hilton faced the Browns at home last week and now travels to Seattle to face the “Legion of Boom”. Expect the Colts offense to struggle and Hilton come back down to earth. Bench him if you can till Andrew Luck is back.
Pierre Garcon at Arizona: Garcon exploded last week with seven catches for 142 yards and 21.2 fantasy points. By comparison, in the first two weeks combined Garcon had nine catches for 107 yards and just 19.7 fantasy points. This week he faces Patrick Peterson, who gave up zero catches last week to Dez Bryant. Garcon should be on your bench even in favor for a high upside, unknown wild card wide receiver.
Josh Doctson at Kansas City: This is a deep, deep sleeper. Doctson has done nothing the first two weeks of the season but in week three he had one catch for 52 yards and touchdown. The Redskins know he is a deep threat and just need to get him going in the offense. Chiefs’ Terrance Mitchell is one of the most targeted cornerbacks in the league and gives up plenty of fantasy points. Doctson should get more snaps this week and while it’s a long shot, Doctson could give you a chance if you need to chase points this week.
Jared Cook at Denver: To be fair, I was down on Cook entering the season. However, he is currently TE10 and averaging 10.5 fantasy points per game. The Broncos are giving up 16.5 fantasy points per game to the tight end position this season. With the Raiders two dominate receivers struggling against the “No Fly Zone” look for Derek Carr to target Cook a lot this week. If you are streaming tight ends, Cook, owned in just 33% of ESPN leagues, is the guy you want this week.
Jack Doyle at Seattle: Last week Doyle flopped against the tight end friendly Browns, scoring just 1.6 fantasy points. However, I think it’s a fluke. In week two against the Cardinals, Doyle was targeted eight times, caught 100% of his targets and had 79 yards. The Seahawks gave up 17.8 fantasy points to the Titans’ tight ends last week. Doyle should be a frequent target of Jacoby Brissett this week as T.Y. Hilton won’t be able to make plays downfield like last week.
Tyler Eifert at Cleveland: Eifert is dealing with a back issue and is expected to miss multiple weeks with it. Even when he plays Eifert has been ineffective, averaging 4.3 fantasy points per game in the two games he has played this season. Unless your league has a very deep bench or an IR spot, Eifert should be dropped.
Coby Fleener at Miami: After two strong weeks to start the season, Fleener came back down to earth last week scoring just 3.1 fantasy points verse the Panthers. Now the Saints get Willie Snead back from suspension and face a Dolphins defense that ranks 18th against wide receivers this season. Expect the Saints to throw plenty to their wide receivers deep, leaving Fleener as a check down option underneath. With Snead back it’s time to put Fleener on the wavier wire.
Jesse James at Baltimore: Last week the Ravens gave up 28.2 fantasy points to Marcedes Lewis after he had zero fantasy points the first two weeks combined. James is averaging 10.9 fantasy points per game and is currently the TE8. The Ravens have given up 22.8 and 30.4 fantasy points to the Browns and Jaguars tight ends the last two weeks. Look for James to get in the end zone this week and finish with around 14 fantasy points; a nice streaming option.
Cardinals vs San Francisco: Hopefully fantasy owners benched the Cardinals D/ST last week against the Cowboys; if not they got you two fantasy points. However, this week they face the 49ers and opposing D/STs are averaging 8.3 fantasy points against the 49ers. Despite burning the Rams D/ST getting last week the 49ers offense doesn’t scare me. Start the Cardinals with confidence.
Broncos vs Oakland: In most leagues the Broncos was the first D/ST drafted. However, they are just the seventh ranked D/ST this season and now face the Raiders. Despite giving the Redskins D/ST 16 fantasy points last week, opposing D/STs are averaging just 3.7 fantasy points per game verse the Raiders. The Broncos have an excellent defense, but this week they face the best offense they have seen so far this year. If you can afford to roster a second D/ST this week do so, if not play the Broncos and pray for another off game from Derek Carr.
Giants at Tampa Bay: The Giants D/ST is currently ranked 24th this season. However, the Buccaneers offense has given up four sacks and four turnovers in two games this season. In deeper leagues, the Giants are a good D/ST to stream against the Buccaneers.