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.
Tagovailoa returned in Week 7 against the Steelers and was able to score 15.94 fantasy points. Sure, it was solid, and enough to make him a QB1 on the week, which says more about the position than Tagovailoa, but it was still disappointing given the matchup and how he started that game. Tua, though, has a chance to right the ship this week against the Lions. Detroit has allowed an average of 20.8 fantasy PPG to QBs, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. The Dolphins offense lives and dies with its receivers, so anticipate a bunch of volume for Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in this fantastic matchup. The good thing is, anything that they do, Tagovailoa gets points for, as well. He remains a start in another fantastic matchup.
Cousins has been steady, averaging 16.3 fantasy PPG this season. But this could be a week where he gets to show off his ceiling against the Cardinals. On the year, Arizona has allowed the sixth-most fantasy PPG to QBs (19.5). Last week, the Cardinals allowed 361 yards and four scores to Andy Dalton. The other thing is, while they don’t always look like it on the field, there is a lot of talent in the Cardinals offense. If the Cardinals are able to put up points on the Vikings, then it only means Cousins will have to throw more. He is never going to blow you away, but given the QB landscape through seven weeks, you could do much worse than Cousins. Get him in your lineup with a great matchup this week.
Dimes, man. Give it up for the QB9 on the season right now! Yeah, did you know that he's currently a top-10 fantasy QB? That was after he finished as the QB2 overall in Week 7, going for nearly 29 fantasy points. That was largely because he ran for 107 yards and a touchdown, but that has become more and more a part of his game. Jones has now rushed for over 20 yards in all but one game this season. He has topped 37 in three of his last four games and has three rushing touchdowns in that span. Part of it is because defenders become so locked in on Saquon Barkley, they don’t even realize Jones is running past them with the ball. But either way, it has led to a lot of fantasy success. Jones has a safe but not very high floor. He brings upside because of his leg, especially in favorable matchups, which is what he has this week against the Seahawks. Seattle is in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to QBs on the year and in the month. Jones is an option for those who drafted disappointing quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, and the list goes on.
Carr disappointed in Week 7 largely because all the touchdowns went to Josh Jacobs. Luckily, this week looks like a week where Carr can get in on the fun, as well. The strength of the Saints defense is against the run, while it has struggled against the pass, especially with its secondary banged up. Carr has shown to be more of a safe-floor QB than the high ceiling one many expected we’d see this season. He has yet to top 20 fantasy points, but he never has the type of performance that just crushes your team. This week against the Saints, who have allowed the fourth-most production to QBs over the past month (20.04) and the second-most over the past two weeks (28.26), Carr is in play. It also doesn’t hurt that the team allowing the most is the Raiders, so this could low-key be a high-scoring game. If Jameis Winston suits up, he is a sleeper for sure.
It’s been a rough go for the G.O.A.T., a.k.a. the Pharaoh. It's easy to blame his troubles on the offensive line and they certainly deserve some of the blame. Brady currently has just 2.43 seconds to throw, the fewest in the NFL. However, part of that is by design because even in the past two seasons, Brady would get rid of the ball quickly. His 3.3% sack rate is tied for the highest since he has been a Buc, but his 17% pressured rate is much lower than it was in 2020 (26%). Teams are able to get to Brady without throwing as much at him. But Brady is not without blame here, as well. It’s weird because we have never seen Brady struggle for an extended period of time, and even him struggling is having the best TD-to-INT rate in the NFL. Still, just eight touchdowns through seven weeks is a problem.
Part of what is plaguing Brady is the lack of the deep ball in this offense. His air yards per throw is down to 6.6, after being 7.4 or higher in his two previous seasons in Tampa Bay. His completion percentage on passes of 20-plus air yards is just 29.6% after being 34.8% or higher the previous two seasons. That is with his expected completion percentage on those throws being 36.5%, his highest as a Buc. He has just one touchdown on long balls this season. The Bucs do have as many drops on those passes as they did in the past two years -- looking at you Mike Evans, who dropped a wide-open, near-70-yard touchdown this week. Brady is still on par with the past two years when it comes to short and intermediate passes. Perhaps the offensive line is fully responsible for the struggles on the deep ball. Perhaps it is the new system with the change in head coach, or perhaps, at 45 years old, we are starting to see the first signs of decline from Brady. Either way, it has led Brady to topping 15 fantasy points just twice this season. Next up he faces the Ravens, who have been getting better and better in terms of their play against opposing QBs. With only two teams on bye, you can get away from the G.O.A.T. until he shows signs of bouncing back.
Rodgers is in a similar boat as Tom Brady, but for different reasons. He too has not had much time to throw -- only Brady has gotten the ball out quicker this season. He is getting sacked more; his 5.8% sack rate is the highest of the past three years. His completion percentage has dwindled to by far his lowest of the past three seasons; Rodgers is currently at 66.8% after never being below 69% in his MVP seasons. That is despite his expected completion percentage being the highest it has been in that span at 68.1%; his previous high during this time was 66.4%. Part of it is Rodgers just looks, well, past his prime. His placement of balls has not been what it has been in the past. It has led to more turnovers and fewer completions. But the biggest woes are what’s happening on the deep ball. His air yards per attempt have dwindled to 6.6 after being 7.7 and 8.2 the past two years. On passes of 20-plus air yards, he has thrown just one touchdown and one interception. In the previous three years, that was 18 TDs and three interceptions. His yards per attempt on passes that travel 20 air yards is just 7.5. Let that settle in. Rodgers is averaging seven and a half yards per throw on his throws that travel at least 20 air yards. In the past, that number was 16.5 and 13.9. His completion percentage on those throws is down to 23%, when in his two MVP seasons it was 42 and 38.
While Rodgers just hasn’t looked like the same QB this season, the lack of deep balls in this passing attack has made it far too predictable and easy to stop. It has led to Rodgers not topping 17 fantasy points or throwing more than two touchdowns in a game this year. This season, he is the QB15 in total points and QB23 in fantasy PPG. He is purely a name at this point. Do not expect it to get better this week against the Bills, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs (10.79). Go in another direction.
Lawrence is coming off a nice game where he went for 18.7 fantasy points. He did so while throwing for 310 yards and no touchdowns, but rushing for a score. Lawrence has scored three rushing TDs in the past two weeks. It's an awesome element to his game, but it's hard to count on every week. That would be fine, if Lawrence was putting up safe numbers with his arm. However, in the past three games he has thrown one touchdown. If he does not have the rushing TD, his floor is very low, especially in the toughest possible matchup that a QB can have in the Broncos, who have allowed just 9.59 fantasy PPG to QBs, the fewest in the NFL. Broncos second-year cornerback Pat Surtain II is a magician who makes receivers disappear each week. Do not risk it with Lawrence this week.
Garoppolo is like the salad at a Brazilian steakhouse. You know you shouldn’t do it, but sometimes you’re hungry enough and it looks great. That is Jimmy G with all the weapons he has around him. Garoppolo scoring over 16 fantasy points in his last three games is making you hungry enough where you want to stream him. In Week 4, he played the Rams and went for 13.86 fantasy points while throwing for 239 yards and a touchdown. Last season, he played the Rams three times and twice was held to under 235 passing yards. He threw two passing touchdowns twice and had a turnover in two of the games. The Rams have also held QBs to just 8.47 fantasy PPG in the past month, the fewest in the NFL. There are better streaming options this week.