You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.
Hey, remember that time when we all panicked about Ja’Marr because he dropped a few balls in the preseason. Well, you did. I hung tough and never flinched. I knew that Ja’Marr didn’t just forget how to play football over the summer the way I forgot how to speak French when I went from my freshman to sophomore year at Corona High. Ja’Marr wasn’t targeted as much as you would have expected in Week 1 against the Vikings, but he made the big plays when he needed to. And that was kind of a big problem for the Bears on Sunday night, giving up the big plays.
I honestly didn’t like the matchup for Williams last week against the FT and even though it feels like point-chasing right now, I don’t see how you can bench Williams this week against the Cowboys. Well, I guess if you’re in a league with no flexes, and you start just two receivers and you have Tyreek Hill and Amari Cooper, fine. Then you could bench him. But I love him this week. It’s incredible he still managed to get 12 targets with Keenan Allen also getting 13. But the Chargers have a big three with those two and Austin Ekeler (who wasn’t targeted in this one) so it’s safe to ride with all of them in this expected high-scoring game.
It’s one game so let’s not get super-crazy. But DJ was the targets leader for the Steelers with 10, followed behind JuJu Smith-Schuster. Chase Claypool is good, but he’s still a guy who is going to have his designed plays and going to do well with them. But when I see a great matchup like the Raiders, I want to make sure I’ve locked-in the volume guy. Diontae is that guy. I don’t know how much we really learned about the Raiders in Week 1. But I do know that I’m going with the Steelers receivers here.
These things can always vary from week-to-week, but Matthew Stafford really seemed to like Kupp in Week 1, going with 10 targets which he turned into seven receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. The big play was a 56-yard bomb for a touchdown with no Bears player even in the vicinity. And what’s funny, if you used Next Gen stats to take a look at Tyler Lockett and Kupp’s route charts from Sunday, both scored on deep passes lined up from the same spot on the field.
I can’t imagine Tom Brady neglecting Mike Evans for a second-straight week because he’s going to want to get everyone involved. But Godwin smoked the Falcons last year, scoring three touchdowns in two games. He had five receptions for 133 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 17. But I’m going to be telling you right now. Antonio Brown is also somebody who needs to start this week. He had 15 targets for 11 receptions for 138 and two touchdowns last year against the Falcons. I’m almost to the point where I can’t even list AB here because you should know this by now. What I’m telling you is Godwin and Brown are great starts this week. And if you have a team with both AB and Evans, Brown is my must-start every week.
There are times you have a player who you really love, but you never seem to click with in fantasy. Moore is that player for me. I love him. I just never seem to do right by him with starts and sits. It’s like a friend I had who I once dropped a fridge on his hand when we were moving him. I accidentally ate a burrito he was saving for his wife. And, needless to say, I know longer talk to this person. That’s me and D.J. So I was thinking maybe we should stay away this week because the Saints were excellent in Week 1 against the Packers. But D.J. tore them up last year with a combined nine receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns (both in Week 7) on 16 targets (including 11 in Week 17). I think we have to start him. Well, you do. Out of deference and respect, I couldn’t take him this year.
I like Mike, I really did. But I had a feeling this was going to be the case. Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor both had more targets in Week 1 and I’m looking for this to be a trend that continues. And let’s not even talk about Zach Pascal scoring two touchdowns in this one, either. The Rams actually did a great job with Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney on Sunday night. I figure the Colts keep the football near the line of scrimmage going to the running backs.
I know, it seems like I’m ignoring Chark’s 12 targets. And I kind of am. I mean, maybe I should take a closer look because the Jaguars could be throwing a lot this season, but Chark still had just three receptions on those 12 targets. And 41 of his 86 yards came on his touchdown reception. And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s the whole, “if you take away his touchdowns, he never scored” mentality that permeates the internet. But I feel like I still want to be a bit more cautious with the Jaguars' receivers moving forward until we see how this develops. I still kind of like Marvin Jones a bit more.
I thought the Packers had a good defense and they probably are pretty good for the long run. I mean, there are a lot of good players out there, especially in the secondary. But while I’ve always kind of thought of Cephus as a tantalizing prospect, he was fourth in the team in targets behind the running backs and T.J. Hockenson. I don’t see that changing all that soon. Cephus did have the touchdown, and that’s the rub. He’s extremely touchdown dependent moving forward.
O.K., what was that? Aiyuk was one of my favorite prospects coming out of ASU and I thought he was inclined for a second-year breakout. But Week 1 was kind of a terrible start. And I don’t want to punish the man for one bad game in Week 1 because it’s also dangerous to play this game where you overreact to Week 1. Sure, there were fears he wasn’t going to be as productive with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle back -- kind of like it was last season -- but this was way worse. I’m not sure how you can trust starting him until you see some consistency. You will likely miss his breakout performance this year but how many weeks are you going to burn waiting for it?