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Week 5 fantasy football matchups preview

Struggling to set the perfect fantasy lineup? Let us be your guide. Each week the NFL Fantasy staff will provide you with game-by-game, player-by-player matchup breakdowns in this column to help you set a winning lineup. Think of this as the one-stop shop to crushing your opponent in fantasy football.

Now, onto the best and worst Week 5 fantasy matchups.

Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos: 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX


Matt Ryan, QB -- SIT: After an outrageously hot start, it's hard to go away from Ryan. However, he's now in an outrageously tough spot. Only two quarterbacks have gone for over 16 fantasy points in Denver when facing the Broncos since the start of 2015.

Devonta Freeman & Tevin Coleman, RB -- FLEX: The Broncos run defense hasn't been elite this season but still gives up under four yards per carry. With this being a committee backfield the floor is low for both of these backs.

Julio Jones, WR -- START: If you're the type of person who can do anything but make Jones a must start after last week, even if the matchup is tough, well then that is your deal.

Jacob Tamme, TE -- START: The Broncos consistently finish in the top half of the NFL in allowing yards to the tight end position because of the way they suffocate outside passing yardage. Tamme could exploit that.


Broncos QBs -- START: Either of a healthy Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch would make a good streamer this week. The Falcons allow a league high 13 passing touchdowns and the second most yards to quarterbacks.

C.J. Anderson, RB -- START: The volume is secure for Anderson even if the efficiency hasn't been there the last two weeks. The Falcons are soft up front and allow the most receptions to running backs for the second year running.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR -- START: With Thomas and Sanders about equal players it will be tough to decipher whether Sanders as the No. 1 draws shadow coverage from Desmond Trufant. Whether he does or not, Sanders has too much volume to sit.

Demaryius Thomas, WR -- FLEX: Having rookie Paxton Lynch under center might actually benefit Thomas as a downfield threat. Either way, he should be able to get over when lined up against Atlanta's No. 2 corner.

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS


Andy Dalton, QB -- START: From a fantasy standpoint, Dalton has been sort of meh this season. He'll get you about 300 yards and probably a touchdown, which is just fine if you love being boring. He needs Tyler Eifert back, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen this week.

Jeremy Hill, RB -- START: Hill is the running back you start and pray to the fantasy gods for a touchdown, because without one, he's not getting you the points needed. He's now gone 20 straight games without a 100-yards rushing, but his tendency to fall into the end zone keeps him afloat as a fantasy asset.

Giovani Bernard, RB -- LOW-END FLEX: Bernard probably isn't a great option unless you know that the Bengals will have to come from behind in the second half. He's averaging just 2.7 yards per carry this year, and save for his big Week 2 outing, has been a non-factor in fantasy.

A.J. Green, WR -- START: Green leads the NFL with 32 receptions through four games. He is an elite fantasy option and is a must-start this week, as he was last week and will be every week going forward.

Tyler Eifert, TE -- SIT: Eifert was trending up early in the week, but he reportedly suffered a setback and was listed on the Bengals injury report as a "did not practice" with back and ankle ailments. Look for other options at tight end for now.


Dak Prescott, QB -- SIT: Over the last two weeks, Prescott is fantasy's second-highest scoring quarterback. It's a promising start, but matchups against the Bears and 49ers don't scream "difficult." This week against the Bengals, we'd be more cautious and roll with another more proven option with a better matchup.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB -- START: Zeke has posted 317 yards from scrimmage in his last two games, leads the NFL in rushing through four contests, and has looked more and more comfortable running behind the Dallas offensive line each week. He's an RB1 despite the matchup against the Bengals.

Dez Bryant, WR -- SIT (INJURY): Dez will likely miss another game with a knee injury. But you knew that already, right?

Jason Witten, TE -- SIT: Witten is tied for the most targets (29) on the Cowboys, but he hasn't been able to convert his opportunities into major fantasy points. There are at least 10 other tight ends with more upside that you can start over the veteran.

Cowboys WRs -- SIT:Brice Butler, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams ... with a rookie quarterback, it's difficult to predict which Dallas wideout will produce. You're better off steering clear of this group against the Bengals.

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS


Tyrod Taylor, QB -- SIT: Without Sammy Watkins, Taylor is going to have a tough time producing the fantasy numbers we knew he was capable of coming into the season. Leave him on the bench in a tough matchup against the Rams.

LeSean McCoy, RB -- START: McCoy has played a workhorse role for the Bills and that likely isn't going to change. With 100-plus scrimmage yards in each of his last two games and touchdowns in three of his last four, he's got RB1 upside in all formats and will be the engine of Buffalo's offense.

Bills WRs -- SIT: Whether it's Robert Woods or ... wait, who else catches balls in Buffalo? Right, just stick with Shady.

Charles Clay, TE -- SIT: With just 11.4 points through four weeks, Clay is a non-factor in fantasy. Even with Watkins out, he's not a startable option.


Case Keenum, QB -- SIT: The Rams signal-caller is throwing for 189.6 yards per game and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 7-to-4 in his last eight starts. His 18 fantasy points against the Cardinals is likely as good as it gets so don't chase last week's performance in hopes of a repeat.

Todd Gurley, RB -- FLEX: Gurley regressed to his less-than-average self last week. He had a mere 33 rushing yards on 19 carries. Don't let the Bills rushing touchdowns allowed (five) fool you, Buffalo's defense has actually been good at stopping the run. Gurley is a flex at best.

Tavon Austin, WR -- SIT: Dear Tavon, why you do dis? After posting 16 points in Week 3, Austin followed up with 0.8 in Week 4. He's simply not consistent enough to start unless you're in absolute dire straits.

Brian Quick & Kenny Britt, WRs -- SIT: Talk about chasing the points. Don't buy into Quick's three scores in the last two games. Remember, Case Keenum is the quarterback here. Britt is the more consistent play, but we still can't recommend starting either.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS


Philip Rivers, QB -- START: The Raiders only sack opposing quarterbacks on 3.1 percent of their dropbacks and allow the most passing yards in the league. Rivers should be able to keep the offense moving through the air and is a low-end QB1.

Melvin Gordon, RB -- START: Even though Gordon hasn't been very efficient with his rushes lately (2 yards per carry average on his last 35 attempts) he continues to find the end zone with regularity. Fantasy owners can't turn away from Gordon at this point.

Chargers WRs -- FLEX: It's hard to predict which Chargers wideout will have the big game between Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and Dontrelle Inman. If you have one on your roster, they're worth trotting out in the flex this week against a bad Oakland secondary.

Hunter Henry, TE -- START: Henry has played nearly 100 percent of the Chargers' snaps the last two weeks with Gates out and seen 14.6 percent of Rivers' targets. He's a locked-in TE1 as long as Gates is out.


Derek Carr, QB -- START: The Chargers secondary just lost it's top cornerback for the season (Jason Verrett, knee). Carr was already a strong starting option but now should be a lock for a top-five finish this week.

Latavius Murray, RB -- SIT: Murray missed practice on Wednesday and has been losing work consistently to DeAndre Washington and Jalin Richard. This backfield needs to remain on the fantasy bench until some semblance of clarity arises from this muddled mess.

Amari Cooper, WR -- FLEX: Cooper is off to a slow start in fantasy, with just 318 receiving yards and no touchdowns through four weeks. His end-zone drought could come to and end this week against a Chargers defense that continues to suffer significant losses.

Michael Crabtree, WR -- START: Is Crabtree the new No. 1 wide receiver for the Silver and Black? It sure looks that way as he leads the team in targets (37) and touchdowns (four). While he might only be a 1a to Cooper's 1b, if that, Crabtree's hot-start makes him worth a start.

Clive Walford, TE -- SIT: Even with several marquee tight ends on byes this week, look for a replacement elsewhere.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers: 8:30 p.m. on NBC


Eli Manning, QB -- START: The Packers defense allows over 300 yards per game and the second-highest yards per pass attempt (8.9) in the NFL and will be withouth their top corner (Sam Shields, concussion) again. Manning is a strong start.

Rashad Jennings, RB -- SIT (INJURY): Jennings has a "realistic" chance to play. If he does, it's likely still as part of a crowded committee as he's not full strength. The Packers also have the best run defense in the league right now. Stay away from Jennings for now.

Orleans Darkwa, RB -- SIT: Darkwa found the end zone last week and averaged 4 yards per carry, but the Packers run defense is stout and if Jennings plays he'll eat into Darkwa's already minimal touches (12 carries in Week 4).

Bobby Rainey, RB -- SIT: This backfield is back to it's frustrating committee ways. Steer clear until we have more clarity.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR -- START: With Sam Shields (concussion) out again for the Packers, this looks like the perfect get-right game for OBJ. The Packers have allowed opposing No. 1 wide receivers to post a combined stat line of 21-459-3 through three games. Don't get cute. Start Beckham.

Victor Cruz & Sterling Shepard, WRs -- FLEX: Cruz and Shepard have been playing on about the same amount of snaps and are seeing similar amounts of targets (24 to 26). Both will be solid flex plays against a Packers secondary that has struggled to defend strong passing games thus far.

Will Tye, TE -- START: With Larry Donnell in the concussion protocol, Tye should see starter reps and a larger share of targets against a Packers defense that has struggled to cover the position thus far.


Aaron Rodgers, QB -- START: The Giants defense has done well to keep opposing passing attacks out of the end zone (four touchdowns allowed), but with Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie banged up, Rodgers and the Packers offense should be able to do work.

Eddie Lacy, RB -- FLEX: The team wanted to recommit to the ground game in Week 3, and Lacy saw a season-high 17 carries as a result, which he took for 103 yards (6.1 per carry). The Giants revamped defense line is stout though (3.39 ypc allowed to running backs), so Lacy feels like a better flex play this week.

Jordy Nelson, WR -- START: Nelson owns 28.7 percent of Rodgers' targets thus far and is still tied for the league-lead in red-zone targets (eight) even though he's coming off his bye. He's a low-end WR1 for Week 5.

Randall Cobb, WR -- FLEX: Cobb has had a disappointing start to the season, but could get back on track against the Giants. They allowed nearly 400 receiving yards to players lined up in the slot in 2016, where Cobb plays 64 percent of his snaps.

Richard Rodgers, TE -- START: Tight end is a disaster, and with Jared Cook (ankle) out, Rodgers could see an uptick in targets. Like with Cobb, Rodgers could have a decent day attacking the Giants in the middle of the field and out of the slot. He's a low-end streamer.

Packers D/ST -- START: The Giants have given away nine turnovers, fifth-most in the league. The Packers defense should welcome back several key starters from injury, including Clay Matthews. At home, this unit is worth a start, even against a strong Giants offense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers: 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday)


Jameis Winston, QB -- START: The Panthers just allowed 500 yards to Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Winston hasn't played well since Week 1, but this should be a time for him to rebound against a waffling defense.

Charles Sims, RB -- FLEX: The Panthers are still a tough run stopping defensive front allowing just 3.5 yards per carry to running backs. However, he's tough to sit with the locked-in volume he gets in this offense.

Mike Evans, WR -- START: The NFL's leader in targets, Evans is simply balling out right now. After Julio Jones just tore through the Panthers for 300 yards, one can only imagine what is upcoming for Evans.

Cameron Brate, TE -- START: Now officially a starter, Brate played 86 percent of the snaps in Week 4 and saw six red-zone targets the last two weeks. The Panthers allow the eighth most yards to tight ends through four weeks.


Cam Newton, QB -- START: The reigning MVP is questionable for Monday night. If he goes, however, he's in a tremendous spot. The Buccaneers pass defense ranks 27th in Football Outsiders' DVOA and they allow a 9-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. Even if Derek Anderson has to play, he can post solid numbers.

Panthers RBs -- SIT: The Bucs allow a mere 3.27 yards per carry and this game script is tough to read with Cam Newton potentially out. These two backs, Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne, are best left on the bench.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR -- START: After two slower weeks Benjamin is in a prime blowup spot against an inferior and small group of Bucs corners. Even if Anderson starts, the volume will be there for Benjamin. He handled 21 targets in two games that Anderson started in 2014.

Greg Olsen, TE -- START: You never sit Greg Olsen. Even in a week where he sat on zero catches for the majority of the game, Olsen finished with 13 targets for over 70 yards and a score.

Completed Games

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers: 8:25 p.m. ET on CBS/NFL Network (Thursday)


Drew Stanton, QB -- SIT: Stanton didn't look great taking over for Palmer last week against the Rams. Don't expect a big step forward this week.

David Johnson, RB -- START:David Johnson no matter what.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR -- START: Fitzgerald could have a big day without Jimmie Ward at the slot corner position and Stanton not wanting to push the ball downfield.

John Brown, WR -- FLEX: Brown had his biggest game of the season last week and looks healthy and dangerous once again. But can Stanton get it to him?

Michael Floyd, WR -- SIT: It's hard to trust Floyd who has a 38 percent catch rate and is starting to lose snaps to Jaron Brown.

Cardinals D/ST -- START: The Cards have given up a lot of points, they've made up for it with turnovers. They should have Blaine Gabbert looking like Mr. Krabs.


Blaine Gabbert, QB -- SIT: The talk in the Bay Area is that Gabbert is barely hanging on to his job. This isn't likely to be the week that he makes a positive statement.

Carlos Hyde, RB -- FLEX: Hyde looks like a good fit in Chip Kelly's uptempo, high-volume, run-heavy offense. Remaining involved even in garbage time has upped his stock.

Jeremy Kerley, WR -- FLEX: Kerley has far and away been the Niners best receiver. If they're playing from behind, he could see quite a few targets and be a nice PPR start.

Torrey Smith, WR -- SIT: Smith is the second-most targeted player on the roster, but fourth in receptions. It's hard to make a living as a deep threat against this defense.

Vance McDonald, TE -- SIT: It's possible that McDonald might not play this week. But even if he does, you can find better options on the waiver wire.

New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Tom Brady, QB -- START: Have you heard? Tom Brady's back! He should have a nice day against Cleveland but don't be surprised if the Pats lean on LeGarrette Blount a little bit.

LeGarrette Blount, RB -- START: It helps that the Browns are one of the league's worst run defenses. He might also be asked to salt away a win in the fourth quarter as the hammer.

Julian Edelman, WR -- START: Few should be as excited about Brady's return as Edelman. He'll go back to being a targets machine with TB12 back in action.

Rob Gronkowski, TE -- SIT: Gronk still isn't up to full speed and could once again be a decoy (at best) in the Patriots offense. You might need to look elsewhere.

Martellus Bennett, TE -- START: Bennett leads the Patriots in receiving yards and has been a legitimate threat in the offense. With Gronk not likely a full go, the Black Unicorn will ride.


Cody Kessler, QB -- SIT: No. Just ... no.

Isaiah Crowell, RB -- START: Few are talking about how good Crowell has been this season. The matchup might not be good but the volume of touches makes him relevant.

Duke Johnson, RB -- FLEX: An uptick in touches the past few weeks has Johnson's arrow pointing up. If the Browns are playing from behind, it could mean more snaps and targets.

Terrelle Pryor, WR -- FLEX: Pryor could have a rough go against New England, but he's the clear No. 1 receiver in this offense and should see a lot of targets.

Gary Barnidge, TE -- SIT: Barnidge has been all sorts of mediocre this season and has yet to find the end zone. His quarterback situation means he'll continue to be an untrustworthy start.

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Carson Wentz, QB -- START: Wentz has scored 19 or more fantasy points in two of his first three NFL contests and now faces the second-worst defense against fantasy quarterbacks.

Ryan Mathews, RB -- START: The Lions haven't allowed a rushing touchdown, but they are giving up five yards per carry. That's good news for Mathews.

Darren Sproles, RB -- START: Even before Mathews' injury, Sproles was dominating the backfield snaps and is the team leader in scrimmage yards.

Jordan Matthews, WR -- START: No team has allowed more red zone scores to receivers than the Lions. Matthews leads Philadelphia in red zone targets.

Nelson Agholor, WR -- SIT: Agholor's made some nice individual plays but hasn't produced enough to warrant a spot in your lineup.

Zach Ertz, TE -- START: The Lions defense couldn't locate a tight end with Google maps. Now that Ertz is back, get him in your lineup.


Matthew Stafford, QB -- SIT: Stafford failed to take advantage of a good matchup last week and now faces one of the league's tougher defenses.

Theo Riddick, RB -- SIT: Riddick isn't likely to rack up rushing yards and the Eagles aren't in the habit of allowing receiving yards to running backs.

Zach Zenner -- FLEX: With Dwayne Washington looking doubtful for Week 5, Zenner could get a lot more work ... especially near the goal line.

Marvin Jones, WR -- FLEX: Jones is worth a play because of the nine targets per game that go his way. But beware the Eagles' ball-hawking secondary.

Golden Tate, WR -- SIT: Tate ended up on the Lions' bench for a portion of Week 4. He should be on yours for all of Week 5.

Eric Ebron, TE -- SIT (INJURY): No team has given up fewer catches or yards to tight ends so far this season and Ebron is likely to be out while he recovers from multiple injuries.

Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Brian Hoyer, QB -- START: If you're streaming quarterbacks or in a 2QB league, Hoyer makes sense for the second week in a row. The Colts secondary is broken and this game should be fairly high-scoring. Hoyer has 697 yards and four touchdowns so far this season without an interception.

Jordan Howard, RB -- START: The rookie runner is a fringe RB1 play this week. Howard passed his initial test as the starter last week and the Colts just allowed 5.07 yards per carry to T.J. Yeldon last week after he averaged 2.89 in his first three games.

Alshon Jeffery, WR -- START: The veteran receiver's lack of a prominent role in this offense has been confusing as he's led the team in targets just one game so far. However, with Kevin White now on IR once again, Jeffery could finally get back to a dominant market share of the targets.

Eddie Royal, WR -- FLEX: If you need a spot start Royal makes some sense after coming off a 111-yard game in Week 4. He'll do battle against the Colts slot corner Patrick Robinson who is nothing more than a journeyman. Just keep an eye on his staus as he missed some practice time this week.

Zach Miller, TE -- START:After snagging three touchdowns in two games with Hoyer, it is fair to assume Miller's role in the offense is on the uptick. The Colts allowed 17 of the 18 tight end targets against them in Weeks 1 through 4 to be caught.


Andrew Luck, QB -- START: At this point, it is fair to assume we are not going to get every-week starter numbers from Luck. This, however, is a good week for him. The Bears continue to suffer injures on defense and allow a 65.9 completion rate.

Frank Gore, RB -- FLEX: The Bears have Football Outsiders' 20th ranked run defense. Gore played much better the last two weeks after starting slow and racked up 150 rushing yards, six catches and two scores.

T.Y. Hilton, WR -- START: The Colts top receiver has double digit targets in every game so far this season. With Donte Moncrief out that volume is unlikely to go down anytime soon.

Phillip Dorsett, WR -- SIT: Dorsett hasn't had more than six targets in any game and his snap share did not go up with Moncrief's injury. He's a boom-or-bust dart throw.

Colts TEs -- SIT: The Bears are not a particularly leaky defense to tight ends and the Colts duo split the snaps.

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Marcus Mariota, QB -- SIT: Not only does Mariota lack dynamic weapons in the passing game outside of Delanie Walker, but he's just flat out playing poorly. Even against a bad Miami secondary, it's too risky to start Mariota.

DeMarco Murray, RB -- START: The demise of DeMarco Murray was greatly exagerrated. He currently is the RB1 in fantasy and ranks second in the league in receptions by a running back with 19 (Theo Riddick, 20). He's playing great on a bad offense and is a must-start against Miami.

Derrick Henry, RB -- SIT: We still love Henry's talent, but he's simply not playing enough to be started in even the deepest of leagues.

Titans WRs -- SIT:Tajae Sharpe, Rishard Matthews, Andre Johnson. Name a less iconic trio of fantasy wide receivers. We'll wait.

Delanie Walker, TE -- START: Walker was pummeled with 27.6 percent of Mariota's targets in his return to action last week, but could only haul in two for 34 yards. Still, that's volume that simply cannot be ignored at a wasteland position like tight end.


Ryan Tannehill, QB -- SIT: The Titans defense has played well this year, and Tannehill hasn't. There are far better streaming options available than the inconsistent Miami signal-caller.

Dolphins RBs -- SIT: Friends don't let friends start non-Arian Foster Miami running backs in fantasy.

Jarvis Landry, WR -- START: Landry has found the end zone just once, but has yet to see fewer than 10 targets in a game in 2016. He's a must-start in PPR formats, though he's safer as a flex in standard.

DeVante Parker & Kenny Stills, WRs: -- LOW-END FLEX: Which boom-or-bust wide receiver will hit this week for the Dolphins? We don't know either, but both of these players have touchdown-upside as the red-zone and deep threat in this offense, respectively.

Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Kirk Cousins, QB -- START: Cousins has 300-plus passing yards or multiple touchdown passes in every game so far in 2016, and averages 18.4 fantasy points per game over his last three contests. He's a solid start against a Ravens secondary that was just shredded by Derek Carr.

Matt Jones, RB -- FLEX: Jones has been inconsistent so far this year but is coming off his best game (22-117-1, 5.3 yards per carry). The Ravens allow just 3.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs, though, so Jones could find it hard to get going as he did last week.

DeSean Jackson, WR -- FLEX: Jackson disappointed last week, though he was locked down by Joe Haden. The Ravens secondary had issues with Corey Coleman's speed in Week 2, so Jackson has a chance to make some noise here. He's a boom-or-bust play.

Jamison Crowder, WR -- SIT: Crowder was averaging over eight targets per game heading into Week 4, but Cousins only targeted his wideouts 10 times combined (three for Crowder) against the Browns. Making matters worse, Crowder's playing time has dipped in recent weeks. He's best left on the bench.

Jordan Reed, TE -- START: Reed finally found the end zone in Week 4 when (shockingly) Cousins targeted him in the red zone. Reed remains a locked-in TE1.


Joe Flacco, QB -- START: Flacco has been hit or miss so far in fantasy, but a potential shootout against Washington and it's pass-happy offense could be a recipe for fantasy success. He's worth streaming against a defense allowing over 8 yards per pass attempt.

Terrance West, RB -- START: West was given a shot at the starting role in Week 4 and ran away with it (21 attempts, 113 yards, touchdown). Washington allows the most rushing yards (532) and yards per carry (5.11) to running backs in the league. West should eat.

Steve Smith Sr., WR -- START: With 22 targets over the last two weeks, it's safe to say Triple S. is back. Bench him at your own peril.

Mike Wallace, WR -- LOW-END FLEX: Wallace averages 6.75 targets per game, but needs to find the end zone in order to be fantasy relevant. He hasn't hit the painted area since Week 2, so perhaps this is his week.

Dennis Pitta, TE -- START: Pitta had an off week with just four targets, but should bounce back against Washington. He remains Joe Flacco's second-favorite target after Smith.

Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Brock Osweiler, QB -- SIT: There are weeks to stream Osweiler. This is not one of them.

Lamar Miller, RB -- START: Miller leads all running backs in touches (106) but has yet to find the end zone. His volume makes him a must-start, even in a tough matchup.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR -- FLEX: It's hard to advocate sitting a talent like Hopkins, but he'll likely be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes who just shut down Odell Beckham Jr. Making matters worse, Hopkins is averaging 8.25 targets per game in 2016 after averaging 12 per game in 2015.

Will Fuller, WR -- SIT: The Vikings corners excel at playing physical at the line of scrimmage and at the contested catch point. Those are two areas Fuller can struggle at, making this matchup even tougher for him.

Texans D/ST -- START:Sam Bradford has played well thus far, but we know he has turnovers in him. A talented defense like the Texans could force a few. But being on the road lowers this group's upside.


Sam Bradford, QB -- SIT: Since Bradford's surprising performance against the banged up Packers defense in Week 2, he averages 216.5 yards and one touchdown per game. He's not a viable fantasy starter.

Jerick McKinnon, RB -- FLEX: McKinnon had one touchdown vultured by Matt Asiata, but found paydirt later and is CLEARLY the better back here. Hopefully Minnesota realizes and starts giving him even more work. He's a solid flex play.

Stefon Diggs, WR -- FLEX: Diggs hasn't crossed 50 receiving yards since his Week 2 explosion against the Packers. Still, he's #goodatfootball and worth a start against a Houston secondary that has hardly been tested in 2016.

Kyle Rudolph, TE -- START: Rudolph ranks third at his position in targets (33), red-zone targets (seven), and is tied for first in touchdowns (three). He's emerged as a weekl TE1 with Sam Bradford under center.

Vikings D/ST -- START: The Vikings are second in the league in sacks (15), interceptions (six) and fumble recoveries (five), while leading the league in fantasy scoring. They're a no-brainer start at home against a turnover-prone quarterback.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB -- SIT: Yeah, we're not falling for this one until Fitz figures out his turnover issues. Nine picks in the last two games is equivalent to negative 18 fantasy points in most leagues. Woof.

Matt Forte, RB -- FLEX: Right now, Forte is trending down in terms of his fantasy production since Week 1. He's still a decent option at running back though, and is good for anywhere from 15-20 touches per game. He's safe to start as a flex against a banged-up Pittsburgh defense.

Bilal Powell, RB -- FLEX:Powell took a backseat to Forte in the Jets first two games, but has seen his snap share rise in recent weeks. He's out-produced Forte in each of the last two games on fewer touches and seems to have an increasing role in a struggling Jets offense. His fantasy value may be game-script dependent so there is an inherent risk here, but the Jets may lean on him more as a pass-catcher with Decker sidelined.

Brandon Marshall, WR -- START: With players like Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks, Jeremy Maclin and Doug Baldwin on byes, B-Marsh is a must-start against Pittsburgh. Just hope Fitzpatrick can get right after two atrocious outings.

Quincy Enunwa, WR -- FLEX: With Eric Decker out last week, Enunwa had six receptions on seven targets against Seattle. He's worth flexing against the Steelers suspect pass defense that is allowing 316.5 passing yards per game thus far.


Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- START: When Big Ben is at home, he's a must-start. He has more completions of 25-plus air yards (11) than any other quarterback in the league. Now that Le'Veon Bell is back, expect the Pittsburgh passing game to keep rolling as it did last Sunday night.

Le'Veon Bell, RB -- START: Bell is arguably the best running back in fantasy with his versatility to line up all over the field and get a ton of yards both as a runner and receiver. Just leave him in your lineup each week until the Steelers' Week 8 bye.

Antonio Brown, WR -- START: Brown scored two touchdowns last week but had just 64 receiving yards. The last six times Brown has had fewer than 100 receiving yards in a game, he's responded with 100-plus in his next contest. Not like that matters. You're starting him.

Jesse James, TE -- SIT: James did score last week but had just two receptions. He hasn't had more than 31 yards in a game yet this year and should stay on your bench.

DeAngelo Williams, RB -- SIT: Williams' workload saw a devastating drop-off with Le'Veon Bell back in action. He will get some work here and there, and maybe vulture a goal-line carry, but it's not enough to warrant a start.

Sammie Coates, WR -- FLEX: Coates led the Steelers in targets and receiving yards among the teams' wideouts last week. There's a chance that he's coming around as a real weekly fantasy asset. We can see a situation where you throw him in your flex and he gets 70 yards and a touchdown against the Jets. Why not?

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