OffSEASON OUTLOOK ON WRS FOR THE 2021 nfl season

SOME FREE AGENT WRS PROVEN WRS IN THE DRAFTPOTENTIAL TRADE TARGETSTEAMS THAT NEED WRSTEAMS THAT MIGHT WANT WRS
A. RobinsonJa’Marr Chase LSUMichael ThomasGB PackersNY Jets
A. GreenDeVonta Smith ALABAMAJulio JonesNE PatriotsWAS Football Teams
W. FullerJalen Waddle ALABAMAOdell Beckham Jr.BAL RavensSF 49ers
K. GolladayTerrance Marshall Jr. LSUDeVante ParkerMIA DolphinsCLE Browns
C. GodwinKadarius Toney FLORIDAAmari CooperDET LionsNY Giants
A. BrownMarquez Stevenson HOUSTONTEN Titans
J. Smith-ShusterChris Olave OHIO STATENO Saints
M. JonesRonald Moore PURDUE
T. HiltonRashod Bateman MINNESOTA
L. FitzgeraldRylan Wallace OKLAHOMA STATE
S. Watkins
D. Bryant
C. Davis
J. Ross
J. Gordon
B. Perriman
D. Amendola
K. Bourne
D. Robinson
C. Samuel
M. Sanu
N. Agholor
R. Higgins
T. Austin
L. Treadwell

WEEK 8: Plug em in/ sit em out

Quarterbacks 

Plug em in 

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (SF 49ers):
    • Divisional header versus the Seattle Seahawks who are allowing 26.4 fantasy points a game on average to opposing QBs.
    • Must win game for the Niners in the toughest division in the league. 
    • Last week Garoppolo threw two picks, one of which came with 10 secs in the half when he had to throw it deep. 
    • Jamaal Adams might still be out this week which would leave George Kittle to feast on the Seahawks weak secondary. 
  • Derrick Carr (LV Raiders):
    • Derrick Carr and the Raiders are playing a Browns team that is allowing the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs (21.3 avg). 
    • Ruggs is finally healthy. 
    • Agholor is stepping up.
    • Renfrow is a great 3rd down option.
    • Darren Waller. That’s it. 
    • The Raiders will be looking to win after getting blown out by the Bucs offense. 
  • Ryan Tannehill (TEN Titans):
    • The Titans will look to show out after taking their first loss of the year to the Steelers during week 7. 
    • The Titans play the Cincinnati Bengals this week.
    • The Bengals are allowing almost 20 points a game to opposing QBs. 
    • The Cincinnati Bengals also have a turnover differential of -2. 
  • Other plus: Carson Wentz (PHI Eagles), Joe Burrow (CIN Bengals), Teddy Bridgewater (CAR Panthers)

Sit em out

  • Mathew Stafford (DET Lions):
    • The Lions play the Colts this week. 
    • This is a must win for the Lions as they are in a tough division and have a shot to make the playoffs.
    • That being said, the Colts have the best defense in the league. Colts are allowing a league low 11.7 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs, 
  • Jared Goff (LA Rams): 
    • The Rams take on the Dolphins led by Tua during this week’s matchup. 
    • The Dolphins cornerback duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones has been allowing a mere 16.8 fantasy points to opposing QBs. 
    • Jared Goff has also been unimpressive lately.
      • In the past 4 weeks; having only 1 game over 20 points, thrown 2 interceptions and averaging 2 Tds a game. 
  • Daniel Jones (NY Giants):
    • Daniel Jones has had one game over 20 fantasy points (20.68) and that was due to his 80 yard rush. 
    • Jones has just been unimpressive this year. 
    • Jones also has a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have been allowing a low 13.6 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs. 
    • The Buccaneers secondary is very tough.
  • Other sits: Tua Tagovailoa (MIA Dolphins), Drew Brees (NO Saints), Kirk Cousins (MIN Vikings)

Running Backs

Plug em in  

  • Todd Gurley (ATL Falcons):
    • Gurley might’ve choked the win for the Falcons last week but he did drop over 20 PPR fantasy points. 
    • Gurley finds himself in another favorable matchup on Thursday Night Football against the Carolina Panthers.
    • Panthers are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing backs at 23.1 per game. 
  • Kareem Hunt (CLE Browns):
    • Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. are both out for the Browns.
    • Kareem Hunt will look to carry the load this week against a Raiders weak run defense. 
    • The Raiders defense is allowing the third most fantasy points to backs at 25.4 per game. 
    • Hunt has double digit points in every game except the Steelers who are very tough against backs. 
  • Jonathan Taylor (IND Colts): 
    • Jonathan Taylor hasn’t broken out like everyone thought he would. 
    • Taylor has yet to crack 20 fantasy points or go over 60% snap share. 
    • However, coming back from a bye week against an easy rushing matchups in the Detroit Lions JT will look to show out. 
    • JT also has a top 3 offensive line blocking for him, his breakout is inevitable. 
  • Other Plugs: Le’veon Bell (KC Chiefs), Boston Scott (PHI Eagles), Darrell Henderson (LA Rams)

Sit em out

  • Carlos Hyde (SEA Seahawks):
    • Chris Carson might have a shot to play this week as he is GTD.
    • Carlos Hyde is dealing with an injury of his own that makes him QUES.
    • Even if Hyde plays and Carson sits, look for Deejay Dallas to get carries as well because of Hyde’s injury.
    • The Niners Defense is also allowing a league low 12.7 fantasy points to opposing backs. 
  • JK Dobbins (BAL Ravens):
    • Mark Ingram might be out this week and we might finally see the Dobbins show.
    • But Gus Edwards will liley take all the goal line work and split some of the first down work. 
    • Dobbins also faces a Steelers defense allowing the third least points to backs at 13.4 per game. 
    • This game is likely to be a shootout as well. 
  • Chargers RBs:
    • Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley are splitting running back duties 50/50.
    • Neither of the backs have stepped up in Austin Ekeler’s absence. 
    • To make matters worse, the Chargers play a Denver defense allowing the second least points to backs at 12.7 per game. 
  • Other sits: Latavius Murray (NO Saints), D’andre Swift (DET Lions), Ezekiel Elliot (DAL Cowboys)

Wide receivers 

Plug em in 

  • Robby Anderson (CAR Panthers):
    • DJ Moore is also a great start, as well as Curtis Samuel in deeper leagues. 
    • Divisional header and a must win for the Panthers in a tough division. 
    • Falcons are allowing 29.6 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs which is the fifth highest in the league. 
    • Thursday night primetime matchup.
    • Anderson has double digit points every game this year and only two games with less than 8 targets. 
  • Travis Fulgham (PHI Eagles):
    • Jalen Raegor is a great sleeper option this week as well.
    • Desean Jackson is out and Alshon Jeffery is questionable. It might go down to Fulgham season once again. 
    • In these 4 games, Fulgham has gotten 13.70, 31.20, 19.50 and 12.30 fantasy points respectively. To make matters even more impressive all of those showings were against top 10 secondaries. 
    • Cowboys are allowing the 4th most points to WRs this season at 30.0 points per game. 
  • Rashard Higgins (CLE Browns):
    • OBJ is out for the season and so look for Higgins to step up in his replacement. 
    • Last week after OBJ wnt down Higgins stepped up and caught 6 passes for 110 yards. 
    • Higgins has another favorable matchup against a Raiders defense allowing 27.2 fantasy points per game. 
    • The Raiders have allowed a 100 yard receiver every week since week 4. 
  • Other plugs: Tee Higgins (CIN Bengals), Brandon Aiyuk (SF Niners), Marquise Brown (BAL Ravens)

Sit em out

  • Robert Woods (LA Rams):
    • Robert Woods has shown a tendency to be locked down in tough matchups as well. 29 yards against Jason Verrett, 22 yards against Fuller, 36 yards against James Bradberry and 14 yards against Darius Slay. 
    • Robert woods finds himself in another tough matchup against the Dolphins secondary. 
    • The Dolphins are allowing 23.0 fantasy points to WRs but with everyone fully healthy and the CB duo of Byron Jones and Xavien Howards Woods will struggle. 
  • DK Metcalf (SEA Seahawks):
    • Jason Verrett is currently a top 3 cornerback in the league. 
    • Last week DK struggled for the first time this season against Patrick Peterson. 
    • Look for the Niners to to gamescript DK and Lockett out this week since Kuan Williams is also returning from IR. 
    • Tartt and Ward might also make a return this week for the Niners. 
    • The Niners are allowing the 4th least points to WRs at 18.8. 
  • JuJu Smith-Shuster (PIT Steelers): 
    • Juju finally woke up last week and had a great performance. 
    • This week the Steelers play a Ravens defense allowing a mere 19.5 fantasy points to backs which is the 6th least in the league. 
    • Big Ben has also found his favorite target in Dionte Johnson. 
  • Other sits: Preston Williams (MIA Dolphins), Julio Jones (ATL Falcons), Denzel Mims (NY Jets)

Tight ends

Plug em in 

  • Jonnu Smith (TEN Titans):
    • Jonnu Smith has a great matchup this week.
    • Jonnu scored less two weeks ago due to an injury he suffered early. He struggled last week because he had a tough matchup. 
    • Jonnu is still a top 10 tight end in the league. 
    • The Bengals are allowing the third most points to opposing tight ends.
    • It’s a “REEEJONNUVATION!”
  • Richard Rodgers (PHI Eagles):
    • Rodgers stepped up in the absence of Ertz and Goedert last week catching 6 passes for 85 yards and was a few yards away from a TD. 
    • If Goedert is out again this week, start Rodgers. 
    • Rodgers faces a Dallas defense allowing the 8th most points to opposing tight ends. 
  • Other plugs: Jimmy Graham (CHI Bears), Drew Sample (CIN Bengals)

Sit em out

  • Mark Andrews (BAL Ravens): 
    • The only reason Andrews is a reliable start is because he is a TD machine. 
    • Other than that he sees 3-5 targets most games. Lamar doesn’t throw enough.
    • Andrews plays a Pittsburgh team allowing the 4th least points to tight ends. 
  • TJ Hockenson (DET Lions): 
    • Hockenson plays the Colts this week, the toughest defense against tight ends allowing a league low 2.3 points per game.
  • Other sits: Trey Burton (IND Colts), Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett (LA Rams)

D/ST

Plug em in 

  • KC Chiefs D/ST
  • LA Rams D/ST

Sleeper pick

  • Bills D/ST
  • Chargers D/ST

Desperate pick

  • Colts D/ST
  • Titans D/ST

Sit em out

  • Niners D/ST
  • Bears D/ST

Week 4 game by game starts/flexes/sits

Game by Game Starts/flexes/sits

Start= Solid start.

Flex= Be wary, try to replace but isn’t the worst start.

Sit= Do not start.

Game 1: Broncos Vs. Jets

  • Sam Darnold: Sit
  • Jets Rbs: Sit
  • Jamison Crowder: Start 
  • Chris Herndon: Flex
  • Chris Hogan: Start if Crowder is out otherwise Sit (Flex not start)
  • Braxton Berrios: Start if Crowder is out/ Sit if Crowder plays
  • Jeff Driskell: Sit
  • Melvin Gordon: Flex
  • Phillip Lindsey: Flex (Watch Injury Report)
  • Jerry Jeudy: Flex
  • Noah Fant: Start

Game 2: Saints Vs. Lions

  • Drew Brees: Start
  • Trequon Smith: Flex
  • Emmanuel Sanders: Sit
  • Alvin Kamara: Start
  • Jared Cook: Start
  • Matthew Stafford: Start
  • Kenny Golladay: Start
  • Marvin Jones: Flex
  • D’andre Swift: Flex
  • Adrian Peterson/ Kerryon Johnson: Flex/Sit
  • TJ Hockenson: Start

Game 3: Chargers Vs. Buccaneers

  • Tom Brady: Start
  • Chris Godwin: Start
  • Mike Evans: Start
  • Leonard Fournette: Sit
  • Bucs TEs: Sit
  • Austin Ekeler: Start
  • Joshua Kelley: Flex
  • Keenan Allen: Start
  • Hunter Henry: Start 
  • Justin Herbert: Start

Game 4: Jaguars Vs. Bengals

  • Gardner Minshew: Start
  • D.J. Chark: Start
  • James Robinson: Start
  • Keela Cole: Flex 
  • Lavishka Shelnut Jr.: Flex/ Start if Chark is out
  • Joe Burrow: Start
  • Joe Mixon: Start
  • Sample: Sit
  • AJ Green: Flex
  • Tyler Boyd: Start

Game 5: Vikings Vs. Texans

  • David Johnson: Start
  • Brandin Cooks: Start
  • Deshaun Watson: Start
  • Will Fuller V: Start
  • Duke Johnson: Sit
  • Adam Thielen: Start 
  • Justin Jefferson: Start
  • Dalvin Cook: Start
  • Kirk Cousins: Sit
  • Kyle Rudolph: Sit

Game 6: Seahawks Vs. Dolphins

  • Chris Carson: Start
  • Carlos Hyde: Start if Carson misses time 
  • Russell Wilson: Start
  • D.K. Metcalf: Flex
  • Tyler Lockett: Flex
  • Devante Parker: Start
  • Preston Williams: Flex
  • Mike Gesicki: Start
  • Myles Gaskins: Flex
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: Flex 

Game 7: Steelers Vs. Titans

  • Ben Roethlisberger: Start
  • James Connor: Start
  • Benny Snell Jr.: Sit
  • Juju Smith-Schuster: Start
  • Dionte Johnson: Start
  • James Washington: Start if Johnson is out
  • Eric Ebron: Sit
  • Ryan Tannehill: Flex
  • AJ Brown: Flex
  • Corey Davis: Flex  
  • Jonnu Smith: Start
  • Derrick Henry: Start 

Game 8: Browns Vs. Cowboys

  • Baker Mayfield: Flex 
  • Odell Beckham Jr.: Start
  • Jarvis Landry: Flex
  • Nick Chubb: Start
  • Austin Hooper: Sit
  • Kareem Hunt: Start
  • Dak Prescott: Start
  • Amari Cooper: Start
  • Michael Gallup: Start
  • CeeDee Lamb: Start
  • Ezekiel Elliot: Start
  • Dalton Shultz: Start

Game 9: Cardinals Vs. Panthers

  • Kenyan Drake: Start 
  • Kyler Murray: Start
  • DeAndre Hopkins: Start
  • Christian Kirk: Flex
  • Mike Davis: Start
  • D.J. Moore: Flex
  • Curtis Samuel: Sit
  • Robby Anderson: Start

Game 10: Colts Vs. Bears

  • Allen Robinson: Start
  • Anthony Miller: Flex
  • Nick Foles: Start
  • David Montgomery: Start
  • Jimmy Graham: Flex
  • Johnathan Taylor: Start
  • Nyheim Hines: Flex
  • Philip Rivers: Start
  • T.Y. Hilton: Start

Game 11: Ravens Vs. Washington

  • Lamar Jackson: Start
  • Marquise Brown: Start
  • JK Dobbins: Flex
  • Mark Ingram: Flex 
  • Mark Andrews: Start
  • Terry McLaurin: Flex
  • Dwayne Haskins: Sit
  • Antonio Gibson: Sit
  • Logan Thomas: Sit

Game 12: Giants Vs. Rams

  • Daniel Jones: Sit
  • Golden Tate III: Start
  • Sterling Shepard: Flex
  • Giants RBs: Sit
  • Darius Slayton: Sit 
  • Evan Engram : Start
  • Jared Goff: Start
  • Malcolm Brown/ Darrell Henderson: Start if Akers is out; Sit Brown
  • Robert Woods: Start
  • Cooper Kupp: Start
  • Tyler Higbee: Start

Game 13: Patriots Vs. Chiefs

  • Patrick Mahomes: Start
  • Tyreek Hill: Start
  • CEH: Start
  • Travis Kelce: Start
  • Sammy Watkins: Flex
  • Mecole Hardman: Sit
  • Cam Newton: Start 
  • Julian Edelman: Start
  • Sony Michel : Sit
  • Damien Harris: Flex if he plays
  • Kneal Harry: Flex 

Game 14: Bills Vs. Raiders

  • Josh Allen: Start 
  • John Brown: Start
  • Bill’s Backfield: Flex
  • Stefon Diggs: Start
  • Josh Jacobs: Start
  • Henry Ruggs: Flex 
  • Bryan Edwards: Sit
  • Darren Waller: Start
  • Derrick Carr: Sit

Game 15: Eagles Vs. 49ers

  • Jimmy Garoppolo/Nick Mullens: Start/ Sit
  • Jerrick Mckinnon/ Jeff Wilson: Start
  • George Kittle: Start
  • Niners WRs: Sit
  • Desean Jackson: Flex
  • Miles Sanders: Start
  • Zach Ertz: Flex
  • Dallas Goedert: Flex
  • Carson Wentz: Sit
  • Jalen Raegor: Flex

Game 16: Falcons Vs. Packers

  • Matt Ryan: Start
  • Todd Gurley: Flex
  • Julio Jones: Start
  • Calvin Ridley: Start
  • Russell Gage: Flex
  • Hayden Hurst: Flex
  • Aaron Jones: Start
  • Aaron Rodgers: Start 
  • Allen Lazard: Flex/ Start if Adams is out or limited
  • Davante Adams: Start
  • MVS: (Flex for deeper leagues)

WEEK 4: PLUG EM IN/SIT EM OUT

Quarterbacks

Plug em in 

  • Matt Ryan (ATL Falcons): Matt Ryan has been on a mission offensively this year, if it wasn’t for the Falcons weak defense they would have a lot more wins. Missing his favorite targets, Julio Jones and Russell Gage, in week three’s matchup hurt his performance. Week 1 and 2 he had 24.90 and 28.52 fantasy points, but in week 3 it dropped to 12.42. This week Ryan faces a favorable matchup on Monday Night Football against the Packers who have allowed a 22.76, a 17.16 and a 22.52point performance to opposing QBs weeks 1-3 respectively. With Jones (hamstring) and Gage (concussion) likely to have time to recover due to a long week (MNF) I would expect them to be back in the mix which should bode well for the former MVP. 
  • 49ers QBs (SF 49ers): If Jimmy Garoppolo suits up this week I would expect a big week from him. If Garoppolo is out, Nick Mullens will have the start once again and fill in for him. Either way both QBs have a favorable matchup against an Eagles defense that has struggled all year recording 0 interceptions, and only 1 forced fumble this year. Nick Mullens played really well during week two’s matchup, throwing for 343 yards and 1 touchdown. He will have another strong performance if Jimmy sits. To make things better for the Niners QBs, last year’s receiving leaders for the Niners, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, are likely to be back into the mix. Raheem Mostert and Jerrick Mckinnon also have a shot at suiting up this week. With a thin waiver wire for quarterbacks this week, both these QBs are in for a big week. 
  • Joe Burrow (CIN Bengals): Joe Burrow currently ranks at the 10th best QB, which is surprising given the quality of the Bengals team. The last two weeks Burrow has played very questionable pass defenses in the Browns and the Eagles, and dropped 22.54 and 20.38 fantasy points respectively. This week Burrow is up against another bottom ten pass defense in the Jaguars. The past two weeks the Jaguars have allowed Ryan Tannehill and Ryan Fitzpatrick to finish with  26.76 and 25.20 fantasy points respectively. Joe Burrow has been on fire lately and I expect him to continue his hot streak this week against the Jaguars.
  • Other plugs: Teddy Bridgewater (CAR Panthers), Aaron Rodgers (GB Packers), Baker Mayfield (CLE Browns)

Sit em out

  • Ryan Tannehill (TEN Titans): Ryan Tannehill has a tough matchup this week against a Steelers defense that has a forced turnover every single game. Tannehill will have trouble passing the ball this week especially with his favorite target, AJ Brown, most likely missing more time. Tannehill had trouble last week as well against one of the weakest pass defenses in the Vikings. He only scored 11 fantasy points and threw an interception. I would be wary of Ryan Tannehill this week against a tough Steelers secondary. 
  • Tom Brady (TB Buccaneers): Tom Brady had a nice game last week against a weak Broncos defense, throwing for 297 yards and 3 TDs. Tom Brady has yet to crack 300 pass yards and he will not this week against the Chargers secondary that even shut down Patrick Mahomes for the first half (until Mahomes popped off in the second half). With Casey Hayward on Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out due to injuries, Brady will have a tough time. I would be more comfortable leaving Tom Brady on the bench this week in this tough matchup. 
  • Cam Newton (NE Patriots): Cam Newton has had one of his best seasons so far with the Patriots. This week however, I expect Newton to struggle against a Chiefs secondary that has shut down opposing QBs. Week 1 Deshaun Watson had 7 fantasy points at half and gained the rest during a garbage time rushing TD. Last week, Lamar Jackson was completely shut down dropping only 12 fantasy points against the Chiefs defense. With an already weak receiving core of the Patriots and the Chiefs defense, Cam Newton will have trouble getting more than 15 fantasy points this week. 
  • Other sits: Dwayne Haskins (WAS Football Team), Derrick Carr (LV Raiders), Phillip Rivers (IND Colts)

Wide Receivers 

Plug em in

  • Allen Lazard (GB Packers): Lazard finally broke out last week when Davante Adams sat out due to an injury. I have been on the lizard hype train since the offseason and I was so happy to see him shine and drop 26.40 fantasy points. This week Lazard is up against a weak Falcons defense that is allowing an average of 463.3 yards per game to opposing offenses. Davante Adams is also questionable once again this week after missing week three’s matchup against the Saints. Even if Adams suits up there will be more than enough yards to go around for both WRs.
  • Stefon Diggs (BUF Bills): Stefon Diggs has been an absolute monster this year mainly due to Josh Allen’s MVP run so far. Diggs currently ranks at WR number 4 in PPR among all WRs. This is actually the first time the star wideout has a decently favorable schedule with Raiders standout CB, Damon Arnette likely to miss this week’s game due to an injury. Raiders defense has also allowed 406 yards per game on average to opposing offenses. This might just be a huge game for Bills WR1, Stefon Diggs. 
  • Cooper Kupp (LA Rams): Cooper Kupp had become an afterthought when we saw how Mcvay was running his offense. It seemed to favor Robert Woods and his tight ends as well as the run game. However, last week with Tre White on Robert Woods we got to see Kupp breakout for the first time since 2019. I expect that trend to continue this week as the Rams face the Giants defense that has over 300 yards every week and just allowed a backup RB and QB to drop 420 yards last week. Cooper Kupp along with the rest of the high powered Rams offense should have a huge week offensively. 
  • Other plugs: Scotty Miller (TB Bucs), Russell Gage (ATL Falcons), OBJ (CLE Browns)

Sit em out

  • DK Metcalf (SEA Seahawks): DK Metcalf might just be matchup proof after dropping 19.20 fantasy points on Sephon Gilmore. However, I would still be wary of him this week against an underrated Dolphins secondary that has been tough on opposing WRs. The duo of Byron Jones and Xavier Howard is one that’s not talked about as much just because of how weak the Dolphins are as a team. If Jones and Howard are healthy and good to go this week I would expect DK to have trouble even with Russell Wilson throwing to him. 
  • Eagles WRs: Eagles are up against the Niners during Sunday Night Football. The Niners are without their pro bowl corner, Richard Sherman once again this week but even then they are really tough on opposing offenses. Last week, Jason Verret and Emanuel Sanders filled in for the Niners and held the Giants receivers to 179 yards and no touchdowns. The Eagles might also be without Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery this week as they are both questionable. Dallas Goedert and Jalen Reagor have already been ruled out. Greg Ward is likely to be the number 1 receiver for the Eagles this week… I would steer clear of this offense especially this week. 
  • Mike Evans (TB Bucs): Mike Evans basically did nothing last week, grabbing two 1 yard catches for two touchdowns. These touchdowns which could go to Leonard Fournette in the future are not enough to give Evans value. This week Evans has a really tough matchup against Casey Hayward. Casey Hayward held AJ Green to 10.10 and DJ Moore to 8.50 fantasy points in the previous weeks. Hayward also shut down Tyreek Hill for the most part, with Chris Harris Jr giving up Hill’s sole deep touchdown. Be wary of starting Mike Evans this week against the Chargers. 
  • Other sits: K’Neal Harry (NE Patriots), DJ Moore (CAR Panthers)

Running Backs 

Plug em in

  • Jeff Wilson Jr. (SF 49ers): Jeff Wilson scores a touchdown every time he touches the ball, this man has a nose for the red zone. Wilson Jr. only played the late third and the 4th quarter (28% of the snaps) after Jerrick Mckinnon left with a rib injury. In those limited carries he was able to drop 21.90 fantasy points. With Raheem Mostert missing practice today and Jerrick Mckinnon questionable to go for Sunday night, Wilson might be in for an expanded role. Eagles defense has also been weak against the run game allowing 191 yards to the Rams during week 2. The game script will also favor the Niners run game this week as they are expected to blow the Eagles out. 
  • Darrell Henderson (LA Rams): Darrell Henderson has finally been named the starter for the LA Rams. With Cam Akers still recovering from his rib injury and Malcolm Brown nursing his finger, Henderson should once again get the majority of the backfield share. Henderson had 12 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles week 2 and 20 carries for 114 yards and 1 touchdown week 3 against a tough Bills defense. This week the Rams are up against a weak Giants run defense that just allowed 3 rushing touchdowns to the Niners during week 3 and 135 yards to the Bears week 2. Henderson is a must start this week and also a player to trade as Brown and Akers get healthier and start taking carries. 
  • James Robinson (JAC Jaguars): James Robinson has quickly emerged as a favorite for the Jaguars backfield gaining rushing attempts and passing targets. After rushing for 102 yards during week 2 against Tennessee, he dropped 30.90 fantasy points against the Dolphins playing a big role in the passing game. Robinson now ranks as the 5th best PPR back. James Robinson has a great matchup against the Bengals defense this week who have struggled against the run all season. Bengals have allowed teams to rush for more than 100 yards in all their matchups and since Robinson gets the majority of the carries in the Jags backfield I expect him to produce. 

Sit em out

  • Miles Sanders (PHI Eagles): Miles Sanders is one of the only healthy options left for Carson Wentz this week as most of the team is dealing with injuries. However, I expect Sanders to struggle this week against a Niners defense that has shut down opposing running backs. The Niners run defense even with all the injuries  have yet to allow a running back to get more than 63 rush yards. They also have a really good linebacker core which makes it difficult for running backs to gain yards after the catch. Sanders is tough to bench being a workhorse back so I would recommend you to be wary of starting him week 4 against the 49ers. 
  • Jonathan Taylor (IND Colts): Jonathan Taylor has emerged to be a workhorse back for the Colts… or as it seemed after week 2 where he had 18 attempts at half! Week 3 against a weak Jets team in a game which was a blowout, Taylor only played 40% of the snaps and Hines was the running back involved in the passing game. It’s tough to predict what the Colts have in plan for their running backs as there has been a different situation every week. Either way I would be wary of starting Taylor this week as he is not a part of the passing attack and the Bears defensive line with Khalil Mack on the other end. The game script is also not likely to favor Taylor as I expect this to be a close game. Be wary of Taylor in your lineup this week. 
  • Antonio Gibson (WAS Football Team): Antonio Gibson has emerged as the main back for Washington after Derrius Guice was cut. Gibson has yet to have his breakout game however as the Washington offense has struggled to get much going. This week I would definitely avoid Gibson as the Football Team takes on the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have been one of the toughest teams against offenses allowing no running back to surpass more than 64 rush yards. Another red flag for Gibson is the game script. Washington is likely to trail early and will have to pass a lot to stay in the game which means no Antonio Gibson. 
  • Other sits: Bucs RBs, Joshua Kelley (LA Chargers), Giants RBs

Tight Ends

Plug em in 

  • Tyler Higbee (LA Rams): Tyler Higbee has been very inconsistent so far this year but so have most tight ends making Higbee the 4th best PPR TE. This week Higbee has a favorable matchup against the Giants. The Giants last week allowed big plays for the Niners backup TEs to make big plays. Ross Dwelley the third sting TE had 4 catches for 49 yards after Jordan Reed went down. Reed had 2 catches for 23 yards on 6 targets and dropped a TD. Tyler Higbee should have a good game in this favorable matchup against the Giants. 
  • Noah Fant (DEN Broncos): The Broncos lead the league in injuries and it has been rough for them. There is also a third string QB in for the Broncos this week on Thursday Night Football. Brett Rypien will be in for the Broncos against a weak Jets defense that have been torched by the tight end position. Backup QBs also tend to throw their TE and RBs a lot since they play the role of the safety receiver. Fant should eat up against a Jets defense that has allowed 2 top 5 TE in the past 2 weeks. 
  • Other plugs: Hayden Hurst (ATL Falcons), Ian Thomas (CAR Panthers), Evan Engram (NY Giants)

Sit em out

  • Zach Ertz (PHI Eagles): Zack Ertz has not been the TE1 we have known for the past two seasons. With Carson Wentz on the struggle bus and the rest of the team down with injuries, Ertz has been getting all the attention from opposing defenses. This week Ertz has one of the toughest matchups against a Niners defense that hasn’t allowed a TE to get over 5 fantasy points this season. I would bench Zach Ertz this week who is likely going to be dependent on a TD this Sunday night. 
  • Logan Thomas (WAS Football Team): Logan Thomas gets targeted so much by Haskins (8,9,7 targets weeks 1-3). Yet Thomas has not done anything with those targets averaging only 4 receptions from them and less than 10 yards each receptions. The potential is there, I see it but his breakout will have to wait. The Washington Football Team faces the Baltimore Ravens this week, a team that has continued to be tough against TEs since 2019. The Ravens had Travis Kelce get his worst week as well even though it was 14.50 fantasy points but come on that’s Kelce. Bench Thomas this week!
  • Other sits: Eric Ebron (PIT Steelers), Sample (CIN Bengals), Rob Gronkowski (TB Bucs)

D/ST

Plug em in

  • Rams D/ST: Plug of the week
  • Niners D/ST
  • Seahawks D/ST
  • Ravens D/ST

Sit em out

  • Packers D/ST: Sit of the week
  • Patriots D/ST
  • Colts D/ST
  • Steelers D/ST

Week 3: Plug Em In/ Sit Em Out

Week 3 Plug Em In/ Sit Em Out:

Quarterbacks

Plug em in

  • Aaron Rodgers (GB Packers): This week Aaron Rodgers faces the Saints on Sunday night football. Rodgers is coming off of scoring 30.8 and 18.76 fantasy points respectively in his first two performances. In week 2, his numbers dropped due to Davante Adams going out with a hamstring injury and Aaron Jones tearing up the Lions defense. During week 2’s matchup against the Raiders, the Saints secondary allowed Derek Carr to have a 120.7 passer rating. Expect Aaron Rodgers to have a big game during primetime football in week 3.
  • Cam Newton (NE Patriots): Cam Newton. WOW. After the thrilling Sunday night game against the Seahawks, Newton has shut down all his doubters. Cam Newton has scored 2 rushing touchdowns in each of his first two games He also passed for 397 yards on during week 2. Cam Newton’s Dual threat ability makes him a steal in fantasy football allowing him to score 25.7 and 34.6 fantasy points respectively. This week the Patriots are up against the Las Vegas Raiders that has a defense that ranks in the bottom 15 allowing 30 points to the Panthers week 1 and and 24 points to the Saints in week 2. Expect Cam to eat up the Raiders young defense this Sunday.
  • Ben Roethlisberger (PIT Steelers): Big Ben is back baby, and he has the Steelers looking like a real threat this season. In both of his games this season Roethlisberger has scored 22.1 and 18.2 fantasy points respectively. This week he is up against another weak defense in the Texans. Start Ben Roethisberger this week.
  • Other plugs: Matthew Stafford (DET Lions), Justin Herbert (LA Chargers)

Sit em out

  • Teddy Bridgewater (CAR Panthers): Teddy Bridgewater is up against a tough Chargers defense this week. The Chargers defense has allowed a 66.09 rating for Joe Burrow and 90.91 rating for the former MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Chargers has one of the best CB duos in Casey Hayward and Chris Harris, along with a top 5 defensive line. Expect Bridgewater and the Panthers to struggle this week.
  • Baker Mayfield (CLE Browns): Who was that Thursday night against the Bengals, because it did not look like the Baker Mayfield that we have seen lately. Expect Mayfield to struggle this week against a ferocious Washington front seven. The Washington Football Team, though weak offensively, have made a statement defensively. They have yet to let up receiver get over 100 yards this season. Be cautious of having Mayfield in your lineup this week.
  • Deshaun Watson (HOU Texans): Deshaun Watson has scored 20.82 and 14.7 fantasy points respectively with most of the points in the first game coming during garbage time. Watson had a tough matchup against the Ravens last week getting sacked 4 times. This week the Watson has to face one of the best defensive lines led by TJ Watt in the Steelers. The Texans offensive line has struggled to allow Watson time in the pocket and will have a tougher matchup this week. Avoid Watson this week.
  • Other sits: Daniel Jones (NY Giants), Phillip Rivers (IND Colts)

Running Backs

Plug em in

  • Jerrick McKinnon (SF Niners): Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are likely to miss a couple weeks, with Coleman likely missing 3-4. The next running backs up are Jerrick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. I would predict a split in early down work and goal line carries, with pass down work going solely to McKinnon. In weeks 1 and 2 McKinnon was splitting work with Coleman and Mostert and he got 13.40 and 13.70 fantasy points respectively. Kyle Shanahan recently said “With those two being out (Mckinnon) should get more opportunities.” I would start McKinnon this week in what I expect to be a close game with Nick Mullens under center.
  • Austin Ekeler (LA Chargers): Austin Ekeler has been a disappointment so far in 2020. In week 2 Ekeler and Josh Kelley nearly split the backfield work even though Ekeler averaged over 5 YPC while Kelley averaged 3 YPC so I would expect Ekeler to get an increase in carries. Also Tyrod Taylor is out for the season and Justin Herbert is likely to get the start. This is beneficial for Ekeler owners as Herbert (7 targets) passed to his running backs a lot more than Taylor did (1 target). The Chargers are up against the Panthers this week, whose defense has let up two top 5 running back performances (Josh Jacobs 35.90 fp and Leonard Fournette 27.60 fp). Start Austin Ekeler this week against the Panthers.
  • Jonathan Taylor (IND Colts): I had to check the stat sheet twice during half time when I saw that Taylor had 18 carries at half! He went on to run for 101 yards and 1 TD from 26 carries. Even though he only averaged 3.9 YPC he was used as a true workhorse back. This week the Colts are up against the Jets. The Jets defense has been very bad this year allowing Bills to rush for 98 yards week 1 and Niners to rush for 182 yards week 2. This game also has a high chance of being a blowout by the Colts so look for the Colts to control the clock with their run game (bad news for Hines owners).
  • Other Plugs: Deandre Swift (DET Lions), Chris Carson (SEA Seahawks)

Sit em out

  • David Johnson (HOU Texans): David Johnson played an astounding 95% of snaps against the Ravens in week 2. However he had trouble anything going, he rushed for 34 yards from 11 carries. With Duke Johnson likely returning this week I expect the snap % to drop. The Texans are also against the Steelers this week who have arguably the best front 7 in the league. With Texans horrible offensive line and Steelers astounding front 7 I would bench David Johnson this week.

  • Rams RBs (LA Rams): Rams backfield is a big mess as of now. There is no clear RB1 as Malcolm Brown led the backfield week 1 and Darrel Henderson led the backfield week 2. Cam Akers is likely out due to a rib injury so he will not play a factor this week. However, Brown or Henderson could lead this week and get goal line carries. To make matters worse for the Rams, they are up against a stellar Bills defense that hasn’t allowed a running back to rush for over 50 yards. I would be wary of starting either of these backs this week in this unpredictable backfield.
  • Mike Davis (CAR Panthers): Mike Davis is next up for the Panthers this week after CMAC went down with an ankle injury. But expect Davis to have trouble this week against a Chargers defense that shut down Joe Mixon week 1 (69 rush yards on 19 carries) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire week 2 (38 rush yards on 10 carries). Mike Davis hasn’t gotten more than 5 carries since 2018 so he will likely have a slow going on his first start as well. I would be cautious starting Davis this week, at best he is a low end flex with some upside.
  • Other sits: Todd Gurley (ATL Falcons), Giants RBs

Wide Receivers

Plug em in

  • Marquise Brown (BAL Ravens): Marquise Brown had a great week 1 putting up 5/101/0, in week 2 he had a tougher going putting up 5/42/0. Both weeks he has 6 targets in two blowout games. This week against a Chiefs secondary that has allowed 253 pass yards week 1 and 311 pass yards week 2, expect Brown to play a bigger role. The Chiefs versus Ravens game will be a close high scoring game and Brown will get more than 6 targets. I am expecting a big week from Marquise Brown.
  • CeeDee Lamb (DAL Cowboys): CeeDee Lamb has passed Michael Gallup as the WR2 for the Cowboys. Lamb had 6 and 9 targets in the first two games while Gallup had 5 both games. This week the Cowboys are against the Seahawks in another high scoring affair. Seahawks have let up two 395+ yard QBs in both their matchups. Dak Prescott will have a field day against the Seahawks defense this week allowing Amari Cooper, Dalton Shultz and CeeDee Lamb to eat.
  • DK Metcalf (SEA Seahawks): DK Metcalf seems to be Russell Wilson’s favorite target this season getting 4/95/1 on 8 targets week 1 and 4/92/1 on 6 targets week 2 against the reigning DPOY. Russell Wilson is putting up MVP numbers so far in the season and has seem unstoppable. The Cowboys are up next against the Seahawks this week and are missing Byron Jones (Dolphins) and Leighton Bander-Esch on their defense. They Just allowed Matt Ryan to throw for 273 yards and 4 TDs. Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf will both have a big game this week against the Cowboys in this high scoring affair.
  • Other plugs: Julian Edelman (NE Patriots), TY Hilton (IND Colts)

Sit em out

  • DJ Chark (JAX Jaguars): DJ Chark is questionable this week and even if he does play he will be shadowed by standout corner, Xavien Howard in the Thursday night primetime matchup. DJ Chark hasn’t been the top 10 receiver we saw last year either getting only 11.50 and 12.40 fantasy points this year. Its sam\fe to say bench DJ Chark this week and look for Laviska Shenault Jr. to be a sneaky start.
  • DJ Moore (CAR Panthers): DJ Moore is another player who was on my start list last week and put up 8/120/0 on 13 targets. This week though I would bench the third year receiver. Moore will likely face Casey Hayward, who is a top 5 CB in the NFL. Hayward held AJ Green to 51 yards week 1 yet allowed Tyreek Hill to get 99 yards on only 5 receptions from 13 targets (majority came on a 1 deep TD throw). I would expect DJ Moore to have trouble against this tough Chargers defense. Robby Anderson however, could be sneaky start as Curtis Samuel will be guarded by Chris Harris Jr. .
  • Tyreek Hill (KC Chiefs): Tyreek Hill is tough to bench as he is too fast to be shut down completely. However, I would advise you to be wary of Hill in this tough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Since Ravens signed Marcus Peters they have yet to allow a receiver get over a 100 receiving yards. In the 2019 matchup against the Ravens, no Chiefs WR hit a 100 yards. The closest WR was Mecole Hardman who had one big play as he got 2 catches for 97 yards and 1 TD. Tyreek Hill is at best a TD dependent flex this week.
  • Other sits: Golden Tate (NY Giants), Robert Woods (LA Rams)

Tight Ends

Plug em in

  • Mark Andrews (BAL Ravens): Mark Andrews should have a big game this week against the Chiefs who rank in the bottom third against tight ends. Andrews has been Lamar Jackson’s favorite target since 2019. In the Ravens 2019 matchup against the Chiefs, Ravens TEs accounted for 87 yards on 9 receptions. This year so far, Mark Andrews, has scored 22.80 and 3.90 fantasy points respectively. The low points in week 2 are likely due to the game script as Lamar only threw for 204 yards on 18 completions. Expect Mark Andrews to play a big role in this weeks matchup.
  • Logan Thomas (WAS Football Team): Logan Thomas has come to become one of Dwayne Haskins top targets. Week 1 he was targeted 8 times and in week 2 he was targeted 9 times, the volume is there and Thomas should produce. This week Thomas has another easy matchup against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have allowed 2 top 10 TEs in their matchups (Mark Andrews 22.80 and CJ Uzomah 14.20). Logan Thomas should have a nice day especially if Haskins continues to look his way.
  • Other plugs: Dalton Shultz (DAL Cowboys), Tyler Higbee (LA Rams), TJ Hockenson (DET Lions)

Sit em out

  • Austin Hooper (CLE Browns): Austin Hooper has been a big disappointment so far in 2020. I was high on him before season started and now I don’t believe he is worth rostering. Baker Mayfield isn’t talented enough to support more than one fantasy viable candidate receiver per game. Mayfield has thrown for 300 or more yards only 6 times since he was drafted in 2018 and 10 times for less than 200 yards. This season so far he has thrown for 189 yards and 219 yards respectively. As long as Baker Mayfield continues to struggle, only OBJ is worth starting as a receiver for the Browns.

  • Evan Engram (NY Giants): Evan Engram has had tough matchups against the Steelers and Bears to start the season. He has another tough matchup this week against the SF Niners. Even though Niners lost many defensive starters over the past two week, their linebacker core has stayed healthy. In 2019 the Niners were the 5th hardest team against TEs. With Kwon Alexander healthy this year (missed 10 games due to pec injury in 2019) they have an even better linebacker core. Evan Engram will continue to have trouble getting much going this week even with Sterling Shepherd out.
  • Other sits: Be wary of Chris Herndon (NY Jets), Eric Ebron (PIT Steelers), Kyle Rudolph (MIN Vikings)

D/ST

Plug em in

  • Buccaneers D/ST: The Buccaneers D/ST was the top scoring defense last week accumulating 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions against the Panthers. Week 1, the Bucs defense shut down Michael Thomas to less than 30 yards. The Bucs defense is legit and has another easy matchup this week against a Denver Broncos team that will be without Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton and Philip Lindsay this week. Bucs D/ST should have another bog day this week.
  • Other plugs: Colts D/ST, Chargers D/ST

Sit em out

  • Rams D/ST: Rams defense has so much talent in Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, both top 3 at their positions. This week the Rams are against a Bills offense that has got over 400 total yards week 1 and over 500 total yards week 2. Josh Allen is quietly putting together a nice season as well. I expect the Rams defense to have trouble this week against the explosive Bills offensive.
  • Other Sits: 49ers D/ST, Bills D/ST

Week 2: Game by Game Starts/flexes/sits

Start= Solid start.

Flex= Be wary, try to replace but isn’t the worst start.

Sit= Do not start.

  • Bengals @ Browns
    • Joe Burrow: Sit
    • Joe Mixon: Start
    • CJ Uzomah: Flex
    • AJ Green: Flex
    • Tyler Boyd: Flex
    • Baker Mayfield: Sit 
    • Odell Beckham Jr.: Flex 
    • Jarvis Landry: Flex
    • Nick Chubb: Start
    • Austin Hooper: Flex 
    • Kareem Hunt: Flex
  • Broncos @ Steelers 
    • Drew Lock: Sit
    • Melvin Gordon: Flex
    • Phillip Lindsey: Flex (Watch Injury Report)
    • Jerry Jeudy: Sit
    • Noah Fant: Start
    • Ben Roethlisberger: Sit 
    • James Connor: Sit
    • Benny Snell Jr.: Start
    • Juju Smith-Schuster: Start
    • Dionte Johnson: Flex
    • Eric Ebron: Sit
  • Niners @ Jets
    • Jimmy Garoppolo: Sit
    • Raheem Mostert: Start
    • George Kittle: Start 
    • Niners WRs: Sit
    • Sam Darnold: Sit
    • Jets Rbs: Sit
    • Jamison Crowder: Start 
    • Chris Herndon: Sit
  • Rams @ Eagles
    • Jared Goff: Start
    • Malcolm Brown: Start 
    • Robert Woods: Start
    • Cooper Kupp: Start
    • Rams TE: Flex
    • Desean Jackson: Start
    • Miles Sanders: Sit
    • Zach Ertz: Start
    • Dallas Goedert: Flex
    • Carson Wentz: Start
  • Jaguars @ Titans 
    • Gardner Minshew: Sit
    • D.J. Chark: Start
    • James Robinson: Flex 
    • Lavishka Shelnut Jr.: Flex 
    • Ryan Tannehill: Sit 
    • AJ Brown: Flex
    • Corey Davis: Flex  
    • Jonnu Smith: Sit 
    • Derrick Henry: Start 
  • Panthers @ Buccaneers 
    • Christian McCaffrey: No Question
    • D.J. Moore: Flex
    • Curtis Samuel: Sit
    • Robby Anderson: Start
    • Tom Brady: Start
    • Chris Godwin: Start
    • Mike Evans: Start
    • Bucs Backfield: Sit
    • Bucs TEs: Flex Howard or Gronk if desperate
  • Bills @ Dolphins
    • Josh Allen: Start 
    • Bill’s Backfield: Flex
    • Stefon Diggs: Start
    • Devante Parker: Flex
    • Preston Williams: Sit
    • Jordan Howard/ Matt Breida: Sit Howard/ Sit Breida
    • Mike Gesicki: Sit
    • Gaskins: Flex
  • Vikings @ Colts 
    • Adam Thielen: Start 
    • Justin Jefferson: Sit
    • Dalvin Cook: Start
    • Kirk Cousins: Sit
    • Kyle Rudolph: Sit
    • Johnathan Taylor: Flex
    • Nyheim Hines: Flex
    • Philip Rivers: Flex
    • T.Y. Hilton: Flex
    • Michael Pittman Jr.: Sit
    • Parris Campbell: Start
  • Lions @ Packers
    • Matthew Stafford: Start
    • Kenny Golladay: Start
    • Marvin Jones: Flex
    • Lions Backfield: Sit (wait to see who emerges)
    • Aaron Jones: Start
    • Aaron Rodgers: Start 
    • Allen Lazard: Flex
    • Devante Adams: Start
    • MVS: (Flex for deeper leagues)
  • Falcons @ Cowboys 
    • Matt Ryan: Start
    • Todd Gurley: Start
    • Julio Jones: Start
    • Calvin Ridley: Start
    • Russell Gage: Flex
    • Hayden Hurst: Sit 
    • Dak Prescott: Start
    • Amari Cooper: Start
    • Michael Gallup: Start
    • CeeDee Lamb: Flex
    • Ezekiel Elliot: Start
  • Giants @ Bears
    • Daniel Jones: Start
    • Golden Tate III: Sit
    • Sterling Shepard: Flex
    • Saquon Barkley: Start
    • Darius Slayton: Flex
    • Evan Engram : Start
    • Allen Robinson: Start
    • Anthony Miller: Start
    • Mitchell Trubisky: Start
    • David Montgomery: Flex
    • Tarik Cohen: Sit
  • Washington Football Team @ Cardinals
    • Terry McLaurin: Flex
    • Dwayne Haskins: Sit
    • Antonio Gibson: Sit
    • Logan Thomas: Start
    • Peyton Barber: Flex 
    • Kenyan Drake: Start
    • Kyler Murray: Start
    • DeAndre Hopkins: Start
    • Christian Kirk: Flex
  • Chiefs @ Chargers
  • Patrick Mahomes: Start
  • Tyreek Hill: Start
  • CEH: Start
  • Travis Kelce: Start
  • Sammy Watkins: Flex
  • Mecole Hardman: Sit
  • Austin Ekeler: Start
  • Keenan Allen: Start
  • Hunter Henry: Start 
  • Tyrod Taylor: Flex
  •  Ravens @ Texans
  • Lamar Jackson: Start
  • Marquise Brown: Start
  • JK Dobbins: Flex
  • Mark Ingram: Flex 
  • David Johnson: Start
  • Brandin Cooks: Flex
  • Deshaun Watson: Start
  • Will Fuller V: Start
  • Patriots @ Seahawks
  • Cam Newton: Start 
  • Julian Edelman: Start
  • Sony Michel: Sit
  • Kneal Harry: Sit 
  • Chris Carson: Flex 
  • Russell Wilson: Start
  • D.K. Metcalf: Start
  • Tyler Lockett : Start
  • Saints @ Raiders
  • Drew Brees: Start
  • Trequon Smith: flex
  • Emmanuel Sanders: flex
  • Alvin Kamara: Start
  • Jared Cook: Start
  • Josh Jacobs: Start
  • Henry Ruggs: Flex (Watch Injury Report)
  • Bryan Edwards: Sit
  • Darren Waller: Start

Week 2 Plug Em In/ Sit Em Out

Week 2 is upon us! Week 1 was definitely a weird one with all the injuries and the surprising backfield snap percentages. Mainly I believe that due to no preseason, players are being eased into the offense and as the weeks progress we should see an increase in snap percentages. Without further ado let’s get into this weeks plug em and sit em’s!

Quarterbacks

Plug em in

  • Jared Goff (LA Rams): Goff had a great game against a stellar Cowboys defense, throwing for 275 yards on 20 completions. Malcolm Brown got both the touchdowns resulting to a low fantasy game for Goff. This week Goff is up against a very weak Eagles defense that blew a 17-0 lead to Dwayne Haskins. I’d expect Goff to air out this very weak Eagles defense that might be without DE Barrnet this week.

  • Tom Brady (TB Buccaneers): Brady had a poor first half against the Saints last week, he had trouble getting anything going. His main target, Mike Evans, was shut out by a very good Saints defense. This week, Brady is up against a Panthers defense that allowed Derrick Carr to throw for 239 yards and drop 34 points during week 1. With Evans back in the mix, I would expect this to be a blowout by the Bucs and Brady to take advantage of this week defense and regain his hype.

  • Mathew Stafford (DET Lions): Mathew Stafford looked great week 1 against a very good Bears defense and without his favorite target, Kenny Golladay. He threw for 297 yards to TJ Hockenson and Danny Amendola. With Golladay expected to be back for the Lions and Matt Patricia desperate to win, Stafford will air out the Packers who defensively did not look great in week 1. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings dropped 34 points on the Packers defense and Adam Thielen had 6/110/2 stat line. Big day coming up for the Stafford/ Golladay duo this Sunday.

Sit em out

  • Derrick Carr (LV Raiders): Derrick Carr was able to have a nice game against a weak Panthers defense. This will not be the case this week against a good Saints secondary that picked off Brady twice and shut down Mike Evans. With a young receiver core, Carr will struggle this week against the Saints.

  • Deshaun Watson (HOU Texans): The Texans offensive line looked absolutely horrendous in the season opener against the Chiefs. This made it very hard for Watson to find his receivers. Also majority of Watsons fantasy points last week, came during garbage time when Chiefs were up by 3 scores (only had 7 points first half). Texans are against the Ravens defense in week 2 that has an even better defensive line (Derek Wolfe, Calias Cambell, Mathew Judon, Brandon Williams) than the chiefs. The Ravens shut down OBJ (3 catches for 22 yards on 10 targets) and Baker Mayfield (189 yards and 1 int) in week 1s bout against the Browns. Even with Watson’s rushing ability I would be wary of starting him his week against the Ravens.

  • Daniel Jones (NY Giants): Jones had a decent game week 1 putting up 19.36 fantasy points against the Steelers in a close game. He will have a much harder time week 2 against a Bears defense that allowed an average of 13.7 fantasy points to QBs in 2019. The Bears defense includes many big names in Tashaun Gipson, Danny Trevathan, Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller Roquan Smith and Khalil Mack. Jones will have a tough time this week against a strong Bears secondary.

Running Backs

Plug em in

  • Raheem Mostert (SF 49ers): Mostert was the only thing going for the 49ers offense on Sunday against the Cradinals. The surprising part was that Mostert was given goal line work as well. With a 60% snap percentage among RBs in week 1, Mostert put up 25.10 fantasy points. This week Niners are up against a Jets defense that allowed 98 rushing yards to the Bills rushers (Allen, Singletary and Moss). I am expecting a blowout game this week considering how much the Jets offense struggled against the Bills defense, Mostert should have another nice game running out the clock. Deebo Samuel is also still out with an injury which bodes well for Mostert.

  • Todd Gurley (ATL Falcons): Todd Gurley put up 13.70 fantasy points playing only 46% of the snaps for the Falcons. This low percentage may be due to the Seahawks airing it out in the first half and HC Dan Quinn wanting to rest Gurley. Quinn did mention before season started that Gurley will see 15-25 carries a game on a weekly basis. Falcons are against a Cowboys defense that maybe without Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee in week 2. In week 1 Cowboys also let Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers run for a 100 yards against them and let uppitiest 2 rushing TDs. Gurley should see a higher snap percentage this week against the Cowboys week run defense.

  • Jonathan Taylor (IND Colts) : Phillip Rivers loves throwing to his running backs (Austin Ekeler owners you can cry its okay), in week 1 Rivers targeted Taylor 6 times and Hines 8 times as well as Mack 3 times before he got hurt. Now with Taylor having the starting role he will see an increaser in carries and targets. Colts are also against the Vikings this week who looked decent against the run but still allowed the Packers to have 158 rushing yards (mainly due to Packers running the ball with the lead). The promising part however, is the efficiency of the Packers backs in the passing game and that is where Hines and Taylor will shine this week.

Sit em out

  • Mark Ingram (BAL Ravens): 3 headed committee in the Ravens backfield as it seems from week 1. Ingram only played 36% of the snaps and wasn’t targeted at all in the passing game. Even though the Texans defense let CEH run all over them week 1 I would be wary of starting Ingram this week just because of Dobbins and Edwards stealing carries.

  • Kenyan Drake (ARI Cardinals): This one hurt to watch week 1. Drake and Edmunds seems to be in a full on committee in the Cardinals backfield. Drake got 16 carries and Edmunds got 6 however, Drake was barely used in the passing game only getting 2 receptions. Edmunds got targeted 5 times by Murray. Cardinals running backs also have a really tough game this week against Chase Young and the talented Washington front 7. Eagles only managed 57 yards with 17 attempts against Washington. Sit Drake this week against the Washington football team

  • Melvin Gordon (DEN Broncos): Melvin Gordon owners might have gotten a steal as Phillip Lindsey is expected to miss time due to turf toe. Even then I would bench Gordon this week against a Steelers defense that shut Saquon Barley down to 6 yards on 15 carries! This Steelers defensive line is legit.

Wide Receivers

Plug em in

  • Anthony Miller (CHI Bears): Anthony Miller (4/76/1) out played Allen Robinson (5/74/0) week 1 with only 42% snap share! Nagy was easing in Miller who’s returning from a shoulder injury especially since there was no preseason. I would expect this percentage to increase going into week 2 against a very weak Giants secondary that allowed JuJu (6/69/2) and Dionte Johnson (6/57/0) to have great games. If Mitchel Trubisky can keep up his performance I would expect both Robinson and Miller to have great games.

  • Cowboys WRs (Dal Cowboys): I was reluctant of drafting Cowboys WRs due to the insane amount of talent on the field however, Dak Prescott was able to get everyone the ball. Cooper, Gallup and Lamb had 18.10, 8.00, 10.90 fantasy points respectively against a good Rams defense that includes pro bowl corner back, Jalen Ramsey. This week against the Falcons who allowed Wilson to throw for 322 yards and drop 4 TDs I would expect the Cowboys offense to have field day.

  • Parris Campbell (IND Colts): It was Parris Campbell (6/71/0 on 9 targets) who was Phillip Rivers favorite target week 1 and not veteran TY Hilton (4/53/0 on 9 targets). Campbell plays the same role for the Colts that Keenan Allen played for the Chargers making him a go to target for Rivers. A favorable matchup against a Vikings defense that got aired out by Rodgers in week 1 bodes well for Campbell and the Colts WRs.

Sit em out

  • DJ Moore (CAR Panthers): This ones an easy sit em for this week and there are two reasons why. First reason is that Teddy Bridgewater and DJ Moore will be up against a tough Buccaneers defense that shut down Drew Brees (18/30 for 160 yards and 2 tds) and Michael Thomas (3/17/0). Second reason is that DJ Moore wasn’t Teddy Bridgewater favorite target week 1, it was actually Robby Anderson who had 6 receptions fro 114 yards and 1 touchdown. DJ Moore is a must sit this week in a tough matchup.

  • DJ Chark (JAC Jaguars): Minshew Mania is back BABY! However, it seems like Chark got left behind. Out of Keelan Cole, Laviska Shenault and DJ Chark, Chark had the least amount of targets with 3 and Cole led the way with 5. I don’t expect it to stay the way but I would be wary of Chark until I see him lead the pack. Jags also play the Titans defense this week that have a solid corner back in Malcolm Butler. There are better options available than Chark this week.

  • AJ Green (CIN Bengals): AJ Green is finally back and ready to take the league by storm… it might have to wait a couple weeks. Green had a tough matchup week 1 against Casey Hayward and was held to 51 yards and no touchdown. Green has another tough matchup week 2 against Denzel Ward who ranked as a top 25 CB in 2019 according to PFF. Joe Burrow is also getting eased into the NFL and without a preseason its going to take a few weeks. I would be wary of Green this week in a tough matchup.

Tight ends

Plug em in

  • Logan Thomas (WAS Football team): Logan Thomas is this years Darren Waller. Thomas and Haskins have already developed a really promising connection. Thomas led the Washington football team in targets (8) against the Eagles week 1. He hauled in only 4 receptions but got 37 yards and 1 td from it. The promising part are the targets. Week 2 the Washington football team are up against the Cardinals who allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2019. With Scary Terry likely to be covered by Pro Bowl corner, Patrick Peterson, Haskins will be looking at Thomas a lot this week.

  • CJ Uzomah (CIN Bengals ): Rookie QBs love their tight ends and that was evident in the Bengals versus Chargers game last Sunday. Joe Burrow targeted Uzomah 5 times from which Uzomah hauled in 4 receptions for 45 yards against a tough Chargers defense. This week the Bengals are up against the Browns who just let up 2 TDs to Mark Andrews in week 1s matchup against the ravens. With Denzal Ward on AJ Green and Joe Mixon struggling on the ground, CJ Uzomah and Tyler Boyd are in for a big game on Thursday night.
  • Other starts: Tyler Higbee (LA Rams), Jared Cook (NO Saints), Eric Ebron (PIT Steelers)

Sit em out

  • Noah Fant (DEN Broncos): Noah Fant was the only viable fantasy starter for the Broncos since Courtland Sutton did not play week 1. Fant flourished catching 5 passes from 6 targets for 81 yards and 1 touchdown. For a relatively new QB like Drew Lock, a tight end can really be a quarterbacks best friend. I would expect this connection to struggle however in week twos matchup against the Steelers who shut down Evan Engram to 2.90 fantasy points and ranked 5h in 2019 against TEs. If Sutton is able to suit up this week expect Fants numbers to drop even more.

  • Rob Gronkowski (TB Bucs): Gronkowski has been on our do not draft list since the Bucs added him. Once again this week, he isn’t someone you should start. OJ Howard led all tight ends for the Bucs in targets and receptions. Howard also got looked at in the red zone. Gronk on the other hand did not get a single red zone target. The Panthers defense was surprisingly tough on Darren Waller last week and held him to 45 yards and 0 TDs. I just don’t like Gronk as a fantasy viable TE this year.
  • Other Sits: Hayden Hurst (ATL Falcons), Chris Herndon (NY Jets), Jack Doyle (MIN Vikings)

D/ST

Plug em in

  • Rams D/ST: Rams are up against a weak Eagles offense that is missing 3 starting offensive linemen and let the Washington defensive line sack Carson Wentz 8 times week 1! Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd are going to eat this week. Also the Rams Secondary led by Jalen Ramsey are much stronger than the Washington secondary so expect more turnovers.
  • Other Starts: Bucs D/ST, Niners D/ST, Bills D/ST

Sit em out

  • Cowboys D/ST: Matt Ryan and the Falcons aired out the Seahawks defense throwing for 450 yards during week 1. Cowboys also lost Leighton Vander Esch during week 1s loss to the LA Rams. I am expecting this game to be a shootout and neither of these defenses will show up this week.
  • Other sits: Titans D/ST, Patriots D/ST, Chargers D/ST

WEEK 1: PLUG EM IN/ SIT EM OUT

This article goes into depth of some players you should start (plug em in) or bench (sit em out) during week 1. This doesn’t include the top 5 at every position as they are always must start and not dependent on matchups. As always comment any questions and what y’all think!

‘Plug em in’ Quarterbacks

  • Ben Roethlisberger: The Giants have arguably the worst defense in the NFL. They lost key pieces of their secondary over the last two seasons, including Landon Collins, Deandre Baker, Eli Apple and Janoris Jankens. Even with last week’s addition of Logan Ryan, the Giants will struggle to shut down opposing offenses. Ben Roethlisberger is coming off an injury but has been having a great training camp. In 2018, (the last time Big Ben played a full season), he led the league with 5129 yards. Expect a big game from Roethlisberger and the Steeler’s passing offense. 
  • Matt Ryan: The Atlanta Falcons play the Seahawks this week in a game that should be a shootout due to both teams lackluster defenses and high powered offenses. The biggest weakness of the Seahawks defense is their defensive line. With the loss of Jadeveon Clowny and Frank Clark over the past two seasons their d-line lacks the ability to create QB pressure it once possessed. This will allow Matt Ryan to have an abundance of time in the pocket to read the defense and complete passes. Ryan also benefits from his WR duo that includes Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, along with the Falcon’s new offensive weapons, Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst. The Falcons are also getting back their right guard, Chris Lindstorm, who was held out his rookie season in 2019 due to an injury. Sit back and watch Matt Ryan air out the Seattle defense. 
  • Cam Newton: Dual-threat Quarterbacks are always valuable in fantasy football. Cam Newton is up against a developing Dolphins defense. Since he got signed, Cam has been on a mission to regain his spot as an elite NFL QB. Patriots coaches and players report that Newton practices nonstop, being the first one in and last one out. It’s been a while since Newton has seen the field. He was reinjured early in 2019 after initially injuring his shoulder in 2018. In 2018 Newton was averaging over 20 fantasy points a game before his injury. Now that he is healthy and has new offensive weapons in Julian Edelman, James White, K’Neal Harry and one of the greatest coaches in our generation in Bill Belicheck, Cam Newton should have a good game against the weak Dolphin’s front-seven. 
  • Carson Wentz : The Washington Football team has a really good defensive line, but their defense has lots of missing pieces. Their secondary ranks at 30th overall according to PFF for 2020. With the loss of their star CB Quinten Dunbar, WAS’s secondary will be even weaker than last year. Offensively, Wentz will have Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery back as weapons. He will also have Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert in the passing game. In 2019 the two games against Washinton, Wentz had 25 and 19 fantasy points respectively. Carsen Wentz should be in for a big game on sunday. 
  • Sneaky starts QBs: Daniel Jones, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garroppolo

‘Sit em out’ Quarterbacks

  • Aaron Rodgers: Aaron Rodgers is not the same since his injury and one of the biggest reasons for that is the lack of receiver talent for the Packers. Other than Devante Adams the Packers don’t have a clear WR2  rather they have two WR3s. Matt LeFluer also did not make any attempt during the draft to grab one, instead he drafted QB, Jordan Love in the first round. They also grabbed running back AJ Dillon in the draft. Matt Lefluer is also leaning towards running the ball a lot more in Green Bay. Finally looking at Aaron Rodgers’ two games against Minnesota in 2019 he scored 13 and 9 fantasy points respectively. There are lots of better options than Rodgers this week don’t settle. 

  • Kirk Cousins: It’s very simple to dissect why Cousins is a bench player for this week. First of all the Packers defense is very good, especially their pass rush led by Za’darius Smith and Preston Smith. Cousins will be under pressure all game and will need to get that ball out quick. This results in a problem because Packers have Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos sitting in the secondary awaiting a bad throw. Secondly, the Vikings lack a receiver other than Adam Thielen. Thielen will be the primary target of the Green Bay defense. Justin Jefferson is a rookie and this will be his first NFL game (due to no preseason), in a tough matchup here it’s likely he struggles. Lastly in 2019 Cousins scored 8 and 7 fantasy points respectively against the Packers and ended as QB20 overall. Kirk Cousins will be a matchup dependent starter for 2020. 

  • Phillip River: Phillip Rivers is coming into a run heavy offense with the Indianapolis Colts (in 2019 Colts ranked 4th with 29.4 rush attempts per game). In San Diego with Keenan Allen, Rivers ended as QB6 however, you should expect his numbers to drop without his star wideout and in Frank Reich’s offense. The Colts are also up against a very lacking Jaguars team in a game that is likely to be a blowout. Colts will be running out the clock with the dynamic duo of Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor. Finally the Colts receivers are still very underdeveloped outside of TY Hilton and Jack Doyle. Rivers will likely lean on the run game for week 1 as well as for the majority of the season. 

  • Ryan Tannehill: There is no doubt that the Titans are a run heavy offense. In 2019 the Titans ran 48.79% of the time which was the third highest in the league. Week 1 the Titans are up against a very formidable Broncos defense. The biggest talents on this defense include their front seven as well as a solid corner in Bryce Calahan. This will make it very hard for Tannehill to get the ball into his star wideout, AJ Brown’s hands, as he is likely to be shadowed by Callahan or AJ Bouye. Outside of Brown this team lacks reliable receiving targets. Against this tough Broncos defense bench Ryan Tannehill. 
  • Bust QBs: Drew Lock, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater 

‘Plug em in’ Running backs

  • Marlon Mack: Marlon Mack has been getting the majority of the first team work throughout training camp. Mack has notably been excelling with passing work, catching everything Philip Rivers throws in his direction. His backup, Jonathan Taylor, has been struggling throughout camp with receiving work and pass blocking. Taylor is likely to get some of the first down work but expect the majority of it to go to the Colts star back who ran over a 1000 yards last season. The Colts are also up against a poor Jaguars defense that has lost its talented players over the past two seasons. Other than Josh Allen, the defensive line includes a few unproven no names who will have trouble stopping Mack and the Colts O-line. Colts are likely to go up in score early and just run out the clock with Mack and Taylor. 

  • David Johnson: David Johnson is getting another shot in 2020 with the Houston Texans. Bill O’Brien traded potentially the best receiver in the league for Johnson in the offseason and has claimed he wants the Texans to start running more this season. The Texans offensive line (ranked 22) is also a moderate improvement over the Cardinals offensive line (ranked 29). David Johnson has proven himself as a receiving back for the Cardinals, so in a high scoring game against the Chiefs, Johnson should get his share of targets. The Chiefs also allowed 124.8 rush yards per game last season, which ranked 8th highest in the NFL. In his Texan’s debut, David Johnson should act as a workhorse back and gather a touchdown or two. 

  • Todd Gurley: Gurley has a chance to be one of the biggest steals of 2020. As previously mentioned, the Falcons-Seahawks game is projected to be one of the highest scoring games of the week. In a game that is set to be an offensive battle, Gurley should run through Seattle’s defensive line that is devoid of talent. Todd Gurley is coming off a great training camp receiving praise from coaches and players like OT Jake Mathews and FB Keith Smith. The OC for the Falcons has also stated that Gurley will be given 15-25 carries a game, which could give him RB1 potential. Gurley has also said his knees feel much better from the past two seasons. The Falcons have spent numerous high-value draft picks on offensive lineman the past two seasons, and the signing of Todd Gurley makes their intent to run the football more obvious. Plug in Gurley in your lineups this week!

  • James Conner: James Conner and the Steelers are up against a weak Giants defense in week 1. The Steelers will be running the ball a lot to control the clock and keep the ball way from Saquon Barkley and the talented Giants offense. James Conner missed 6 games in 2019 due to assorted injuries saw his rushing numbers drop tremendously. Now fully healthy and with Ben Roethlisburger under center, James Conner can hopefully get back to his 2018 pro bowl form. This favorable matchup for the Steelers lead back is a great opportunity for fantasy owners to regain trust in him. 
  • Sneaky start RBs: Jordan Howard, James White, Boston Scott 

‘Sit em out’ Running Backs

  • David Montgomery: David Montgomery is returning from an injury he suffered at camp just a few weeks ago. It is likely he will need some time to fully recover before he cant get back to his 2019 form. The Bears are also up against a high scoring offense on the Lions. The Bears will have to pass the ball a lot more this game to keep up with Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. The Lions front seven also added two new weapons in DT Nick Williams and LB Jamie Collins Sr. David Montgomery will have a tough time producing to start off 2020. 

  • Lions backfield:  The Lions backfield is a mess fantasy wise. With the addition of rookie, D’andre Swift, and veteran, Adrian Peterson, to the 1-2 punch of Kerryon Johnson and Ty Johnson, the Lions backfield is too crowded. D’andre Swift is a player to keep on your bench for now as he is the RB4 in the Lions depth chart currently. Swift is also returning from an injury he suffered at camp a few weeks back. Adrian Peterson will steal goal line work from Kerryon Johnson as well as some early down work. This would ideally lead to Kerryon Johnson as being a weak flex however, this week he is someone you should bench. This is because the Lions are up against a top 5 defensive line and both Johnson and Peterson are unlikely to produce. If you have any of the Lions running backs on your roster, just wait and see how the season progresses and who emerges as the lead back. 

  • Miles Sanders: Miles Sanders is a stud and it will be very tough for you to bench him as he was likely an early round pick. However, I advise you to be wary of him and see if it’s possible to rely on him a little less in week 1. Washington’s defensive line is projected to be one of the best in 2020. With the addition of Chase Young to Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and Daron Payne, this group will be very tough to run against. Not to mention that Miles Sanders is coming off an offseason injury and will be slow to start. Another reason to be wary is that the Eagles offensive line has lost three starters over the past couple of months. Running the ball may not be as easy with a group of lineman who haven’t had any game time to garner chemistry. More so I would expect the Eagles to go up early and run out the clock with backup RB, Boston Scott in order to keep Sanders healthy. Don’t expect Miles Sanders to put up RB1 numbers during his week 1 match up.

  • Melvin Gordon: Melvin Gordon is now in a full blown committee in Denver with Phillip Lindsey and Royce Freeman. What makes it worse is that Gordon is coming off a rib injury that kept him out of practice just last week. This led to Lindsey and Freeman cutting into Gordon’s first team reps. The Broncos are also up against a former playoff contender, the Titans. The Titans were also ranked 13th in 2019 in rush yards allowed per game. With the tough matchup and the limited reps it’s safe to say bench Gordon week one. 
  • Bust RBs: Jags RBs, Bucs RBs, Cam Akers

‘Plug em in’ Wide Receivers

  • Jamison Crowder: Jamison Crowder looks to be the newest PPR darling in fantasy football. He doesn’t get a whole lot of YAC and doesn’t get many deep targets, but Darnold loves to hit him on short passes. Against Buffalo last season, Crowder scored 24.3 and 20 fantasy points in PPR leagues. Crowder should be able to avoid All-Pro CB Tre’davious White by moving into the slot, where he does most of his damage. With Darnold under center, Crowder is set to produce a consistent 15+ points, and should be considered a high-end flex or WR 2 every week.

  • DeSean Jackson: Jackson has been performing great in training camp and is set to explode this week. The Eagles are projected to blow WAS out this week in what should be a decently high scoring performance by PHI’s offense. With rookie WR Jalen Reagor expected to miss the first game, DeSean Jackson should slot in as the #1 option for QB Carson Wentz. WAS also traded away star CB Quentin Dunbar, who was the best coverage back in the NFL according to PFF. Last season, in week 1 against WAS, Jackson caught 8 targets for 154 yards and 2 TDs. While he likely won’t achieve that same level of production, Jackson is the #1 option for a quality quarterback and should see his fair share of targets. I would definitely start him as a high-end flex if you were able to draft him.

  • Michael Gallup: All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey will have the responsibility of shadowing WR Amari Cooper on Sunday Night Football. This means that both Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb should be inline for more targets than normal. The Rams-Cowboys game should be a high-scoring affair on both sides of the football and Dak Prescott should have a good game. While Cooper will likely get his fair share of targets, Gallup should see an increased workload with Ramsey on Cooper. I like his odds of ending as a WR 2 this week and I think he should be started in all leagues.
  • Sneaky Start WRs: Calvin Ridley, DK Metcalf, Dionte Johnson

Sit em out’ Wide Receivers

  • Devante Parker: While Devante Parker was able to get the better of Stephon Gilmore in their second matchup last season, I would stay wary of starting him. The reigning DPOY is still a tough matchup and Parker has been limited in practice with an injury. If you have other options to start over Parker I would definitely use them. I would consider Parker a low-end flex this week.

  • Terry Mclaurin: While the hype on McLaurin has been out of control this offseason, his week 1 matchup doesn’t look great. Newly acquired CB Darius Slay should shadow McLaurin for most of the game. With a ferocious Eagle’s pass rush, QB Dwayne Haskins will have to get rid of the ball quickly. This means McLaurin will have to win his matchups with Slay, which is no easy task. Whie he likely won’t be shut down, I don’t think McLaurin is a dependable WR 2 this week, and should be relegated to your bench.

  • AJ Green: A.J. Green faces CB Casey Hayward in his first game since 2018. While Green was dominant when healthy, he hasn’t played in almost 2 seasons. He comes back to face one of the top corners in football. To add onto that, rookie QB Joe Burrow will take the stage for the first time in his NFL career. With Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram rushing Burrow, I don’t like the Bengal’s passing offense week 1. That being said, as Burrow acclimates to the NFL after the first few weeks (and Green stays healthy) I think Green can become a dependable WR 2 for the future. This week, I would try and find a better option.

  • Amari Cooper: Amari Cooper will be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey in week 1. As previously mentioned, Ramsey is one of the top corners in the NFL, and Cooper likely won’t be as effective as usual. Cooper, who tends to be a boom-bust receiver, is set up to bust in week 1. I personally wouldn’t start Cooper if I had better receivers with more favorable matchups, but if you are desperate then he is a high-risk, medium-reward level play.
  • Bust WRs: Allen Lazard, Tyler Boyd, Deebo Samuel 

‘Plug em in’ Tight Ends

  • Hayden Hurst: The Falcons are playing the Seahawks in a high scoring matchup. Everyone on the field should have a nice outing, especially Falcons newest addition, Hayden Hurst. In 2019 Falcons TE, Austin Hooper, ranked seventh in PPR PPG with only thirteen games under his belt. It seemed like the Falcons finally utilized their TE under their new OC Dirk Koetter. Koetter specifically traded for Hurst for this high powered Falcons offense for 2020. Moreover Seattle is very weak against TEs, in 2019 they allowed 70.8 yards per game to TEs which was the third most in the league. 

  • George Kittle: George Kittle is an absolute beast and is a must start most weeks, especially week one against the Cardinals. In 2019 Cardinals allowed the most points to opposing TEs with 13.1 fantasy points per game! Even with the addition of rookie Isiah Simmons, expect this number to stay relatively high mainly with Kittle, who is arguably the best TE in the league. Another reason to expect Kittle to produce this week is that this Niners versus the Cardinals game is a set to be a high scoring divisional game. Expect many targets to George Kittle as Deebo Samuel is likely to be shadowed by standout CB Patrick Peterson. 

  • Austin Hooper: Austin Hooper finally broke out in 2019 with the Atlanta Falcons. In 2020 he finds a new home with the Browns. Throughout training camp it’s been reported that Hooper and Mayfield have a real connection on the field and that Mayfield has found him multiple times in the endzone. Expect this connection to carry over to the week one matchup against the Ravens. The Ravens were tough against TEs in 2019 allowing only an average of 5 PPG. However, they lost Tony Jefferson and Earl Thomas during the offseason so expect this number to rise. Especially against a stacked Browns offense because the main targets for the Ravens defense will be to stop Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt. Hooper is our high-risk high-reward starter of the week!
  • Sneaky start TEs: Tyler Higbee, Blake Jarwin, Will Dissly 

‘Sit em out’ Tight ends

  • Mike Gesicki: Gesicki developed a ton of offseason hype over the past few months. However expect him to under-produce during the start of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has gotten the start over Tua which will lead to less receptions to the TE, as Fitzpatrick rarely targeted his TE in 2019. Rookie QBs tend to target TEs more due to them being a security blanket for dump offs. Until Tua gets the start I would be wary of Gesicki. Another reason to bench Mike Gesciki week one is because they are up against a tough Patriots defense that only allowed 6.6 fantasy points to opposing TE in 2019. The first game in 2019 against the Patriots, Gesicki only scored 2.10 fantasy points. It’s safe to say be wary of Mike Gesicki until Tua gets the start.

  • Chris Herndon: Chris Herndon will be a vital part of the Jets offense in 2020 however, it’ll have to wait till week two. The Jets are up against a tough Bills defense that only allowed 5.8 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. In 2019 the Jets also had a tough time involving a TE into their offense. When Herndon went down due to an injury, Ryan Griffen stepped up and also played no role in that Jets offense. With no preseason this year it will take time for Herndon to learn to play a big role in this offense and this tough Bills defense doesn’t bode well for him. 

  • Rob Gronkowksi: Rob Gronkowski has been reunited with QB, Tom Brady in Tampa Bay and expectations are high for this duo. However we are not on this hype train especially against the Saints who allowed only 7.1 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs in 2019. The Buccaneers offense includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and rookie Ke’shawn Vaughn. So Gronk will have to compete for targets with all these offensive weapons when he is on the field. Not only that but Gronk will have to compete for field time with Cameron Brate and OJ Howard as Bruce Arians has mentioned he wants a TE committee to keep all his TEs fresh. 
  • Busts TEs: Dawson Knox, Packers TEs, Maxx Williams 

‘Plug em in’ D/ST

  • Eagles D/ST: Eagles D/ST is up against a weak Washington offense that only has Terry Mclaurin as a weapon. Mclaurin will likely be shadowed by Darius Slay leading the offense to get shut out. Eagles defense also made many new additions during the offseason that include CB Darius Slay, DT Javon Hargrave, CB Nickel Robey-Coleman, LB Jatavius Brown as well as a rookie LB in the third round of the 2020 draft. The defensive line for the Eagles is fully healthy as well. Expect the Eagles D/ST to put up solid numbers against the Washington Football team. 

  • Colts D/ST: Colts are up against the Jaguars in week one. Jaguars have one of the weakest offenses heading into the 2020 season. With the loss of Leonard Fournette and Nick Foles during the offseason this offense which ranked the 13th lowest in 2019 is expected to be worse heading into 2020. The Colts also made a big upgrade to their defensive line by adding a top 5 DT in Deforest Buckner. Expect Buckner to make an immediate impact on their defense. The Colts D/ST also has a very underrated secondary in Malik Hooker, Xavier Rhodes and Rock Ya-Sin who will make more plays now that the defensive line, led by Buckner, will be pressuring opposing QBs. 

  • Chargers D/ST: The Chargers are up against a newly led offense, the Bengals. Without a preseason it’s hard to predict how Joe Burrow will perform in his first NFL game. To make matters worse for Joe Burrow, he is up against a top ten defense in the Chargers. With the loss of Derwin James during the offseason this defense will take a big hit but that impact will be limited due to the Chargers newest additions. The Chargers drafted Kenneth Murray, LB in the first round who is expected to be their starting LB. They also added a top 5 slot CB, Chris Harris Jr. in the free agency. Their standout LE, Joey Bosa is expected to be fully healthy heading into the 2020 season. The Chargers D/ST is a must start this week against the Bengals. 
  • Sneaky stats D/ST: Colts D/ST, Titans D/ST, Bills D/ST

‘Sit em out’ D/ST

  • 49ers D/ST: The Niners arguably had the strongest defense in 2019. However, they went all the way to the super bowl so it’s likely they show a slight regression. With the loss of Deforest Buckner and no new additions to their CBs, the Niners defense will struggle against a tough matchup against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. The Cardinals added Deandre Hopkins, arguably the best WR in the league during the offseason. Since Richard Sherman doesn’t follow and stays on only one side of the field, Hopkins will have a few favorable matchups against Emmanuel Mosely. Against the Niners as a rookie in 2019, Kyler Murray was able to amass 391 passing yards, 4 pass td’s, 0 interceptions, 101 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. It’s clear that even the 49’ers dominant defense wasn’t able to stop him. This is also a divisional game, expect it to be high scoring and controlled offensively. 

  • Patriots D/ST:  The Patriots D/ST in 2019 was absolutely insane, averaging a whopping 14.8 fantasy points a game. Expect this number to drop a lot heading into 2020. The New England Patriots had a league high covid-19 opt out with 8 players. Two of those players are linebackers Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung. The Patriots also arguably have a weaker offense than in 2019 due to the loss of Tom Brady and no sign of a clear running back. A weaker offense puts more pressure on the defense to finish games. There is also a trend of the Dolphins showing out against the Patriots every year. Devante Parker destroyed standout CB, Stephon Gilmore in their 2019 matchup getting 8 catches for 137 yards. I would avoid the Patriots D/ST this week. 
  • Bust D/ST: Cowboys D/ST Ravens D/ST, Vikings D/ST, Browns D/ST

Defense/ST Fantasy OUTLOOK for 2020:

Every year there is that one defense that surprises everyone and ends up being a league winner. In 2019, that was the Patriots D/ST who averaged 11.8 Fantasy ppg. It’s unlikely that another team in 2020 will do that well because the Patriots had an absurdly easy schedule last year that helped their already-strong defense succeed. In this article our analysts will list teams that are the most likely and the teams that are least likely along with some sleeper defenses to target late in the draft. 

This is list is based on:

  • Strength of schedule 
  • Division 
  • Last year rankings
  • FA and post draft additions 

As always if there are any questions about our decisions leave a comment!

Defenses primed for regression:

Hamza + Eric + Javier (same consensus by all analysts)
1. Niners D/ST: Loss of Buckner.Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, K’Wuan Williams dealing with soft tissue injuries.Had a superbowl run so the team has had less rest time. There is a trend that the best defense from the previous always experiences a slight regression. (Ex: Bears 2018-2019). Also is in one of the toughest divisions in football (NFC west). 
2. Patriots D/ST: Many key defensive players opted out due to COVID. Dolphins and Bills got stronger offensively (divisional teams). Also one of the toughest schedules for 2020. 

Defenses to avoid:

HamzaEricJavier
1. Bears D/ST: A struggling offense combined with a tough division puts the Bears defense in a bad position. Lost HaHa Clinton-Dix in the offseason.NE D/ST: Being drafted at number 6 amongst all defenses is way too high for the reasons stated above. Rams D/ST: The Rams have two of the best defensive players in football with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. These two helped them finish top 5 last year with 146 points an average of 9.1 points. However, their week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys will prove to be tough after the great additions the Cowboys have made this offseason. You are better off looking elsewhere.
2. Broncos D/ST: 12th hardest schedule for 2020 according to NFL.com. Offense hasn’t found their groove yet. Same division as Chiefs and chargers. Loss of Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe. Texans D/ST: Loss of DJ Reader, Jonathan Joseph, Mingo and Tashaun Gibson. In 2019 they ranked 19th overall as a defense after ranking 11th in 2018.Play the Chiefs week 1.Same division as Colts and Titans.Tampa Bay D/ST: The Buccaneers were able to finish in the top 10 last season by having the 5th highest turnovers in the league. Tom Brady’s arrival will also put the defense in better game scripts. However, they get a nightmare week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. They are not worth drafting and will be better off as a waiver wire pickup if available. 

Defenses to target:

HamzaEricJavier
1. Vikings D/ST: Free agency additions- Michael Pierce, Trae Waynes, Anthony Zettel. Also drafted CB Jeff Gladney at pick 31 in the first round. Cowboys D/ST: The Cowboys have relatively easy matchups against the NFC East opponents. Finishing last year at 17, the Cowboys have added Dontari Poe, Everson Griffen, and Aldon Smith. Their front seven is greatly improved and should be able to force turnovers with ease.Bills D/ST: Talented defense and mediocre division. Offense will put them in favorable game scripts leading to opposing teams having to air it out. AFC east QBs they will face six times a year: Newton/Stidham, Darnold, Fitzpatrick/ Tua.
2. Colts D/ST: Added Deforest Buckner, Sheldon Day, Xavier Rhodes in free agency with Juston Houston, Darius Leonord, Malik Hooker and Kenny MooreChargers D/ST: Finishing last season at 7, the Chargers added top CB Chris Harris Jr. and DT Linval Joseph. While they do face the Chiefs twice a year, they should be considered otherwise weekly starters.Colts D/ST: Easy schedule and great front seven for those sack points.
3. Saints D/ST: 9th easiest schedule. Ended 9th in 2019 in fantasy football at 8.4fppg and managed to keep most of the defense. Ravens D/ST: Safe pick as the Ravens have been the second best in the league since 2018. They have added rookie Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison and Justin Madubuike. Chargers D/ST: Formidable defense that added Chris Harris and Linval Joseph in free agency, then drafted Kenneth Murray. 

Sleeper Wide Receivers to target late in your drafts

  1. Anthony Miller

ADP: 12.10

Team: Bears 

The Bears have the easiest schedule in the NFL with Allen Robinson as their WR 1 (ADP of 3.10). The only other receiving threat for the Bears is Anthony Miller with the exit of TE Trey Burton. The QB position for the Bears is still up in the air, although it seems Mitchel Trubisky will start and Nick Foles will back him up. After ending as QB19 in 2018, Trubisky had an abysmal season and ended as QB28 in 2019. His low production only allowed Allen Robinson to produce in 2019. However, in 2020 Trubisky has the easiest schedule for a QB, has a top ten defense and more importantly is playing for his starting job. Even if Nick Foles takes over, expect Miller’s production to stay high. In 2017 during his astounding playoff run, Nick Foles had Nelson Agholor in the slot who averaged 12 yards per reception. Anthony Miller also plays slot receiver, and should be in line for a healthy amount of targets if Foles takes over. Anthony Miller has also improved dramatically since his rookie season. From 2018 to 2019 Miller’s drop percentage went from 7.4% to 3.5% and his receptions increased from 33 to 52 in 2019 even with Trubisky’s slump. We saw glimpses of what Anthony Miller could do in a few games in 2019, specifically week 12 against Detroit where he got 9 catches for 140 yards on 13 targets and week 14 against Green Bay where he got 9 catches for 118 yards on 15 targets. There was a trend, from weeks 9 through 14 (before his shoulder injury) where Anthony Miller averaged 6.6 receptions, 10.4 targets and 86.2 yards per average and got his only 2 touchdowns on the season during that stretch. If he can maintain anywhere close to this production this season, Anthony Miller could end up being the sneaky pick that might even lead you to a victory this season! 

  1. DeSean Jackson

ADP: 11.10

Team: Eagles 

DeSean Jackson’s 2019 season was cut short due to a core muscle surgery that kept him out basically all season. In the one game that Jackson played in he got 8 catches for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Clearly Carson Wentz felt an instant connection with Jackson. The Eagles are desperate for a healthy wide receiver for Wentz as their 2019 receiver core was torn apart by injuries. Moreover the Eagles recently drafted rookie Jalen Raegor (GeekSports analyst Eric will talk more on Raegor), and are expecting Alshon Jeffery to return from injury. However even with two solid receivers, there will be plenty of targets to go around and Jackson will likely face cornerback 2s and 3s since Jeffery and Zach Ertz will get most of the looks by opposing defenses. The last time Jackson had a 1000 yard season was in 2016 but that was also the last time Jackson had a top tier QB in Kirk Cousins who ranked as QB6 in 2018 . From 2017- 2018 Jackson had Jameis Winston under center who clearly struggled as he was QB16 in 2017 and QB26 in 2018. Jackson was vocal about his displeasure with the Buc’s system and left for the Eagles in hopes of being more involved in the offense. 2020 might be the first time in years that Jackson will play a full season with a top tier QB and the sky’s the limit for Jackson. Jackson’s ADP of the eleventh round might be a massive steal if he can stay healthy, offering a valuable role in what should be a much improved offense. 

  1. Allen Lazard 

ADP: 14.05

Team: Packers

Allen Lazard is an obvious sleeper for 2020. The Packers have one receiver in Devante Adams (who is top 5 at his position). The Packers made no effort to sign or draft receivers during the offseason and lost Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham. The Packers also have the second easiest schedule for receivers and quarterbacks, which should give Lazard favorable opportunities when Adams is doubled. Aaron Rodgers has proved time and time again to be a productive top tier quarterback. Rodgers averages around 4000 passing yards a season. Assuming Adams reaches ~1400 yards, that leaves about 2000-2500 yards for Aaron Jones, Marques Valdez-Scantling, Jace Sternberger and Allen Lazard. Last season, Lazard got his first start in week 6 and since then has put up 35 receptions on 52 targets for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lazard had to work his way up to WR2 on the Packers after he started at the bottom of the depth chart. Matt Lefluer, Aaron Rodger and Devante Adams all mentioned Allen Lazard when asked about the receiver position for the Packers. Matt Lefluer also has said Allen Lazard is “coming into his own” and mentioned him many other times during the offseason. Also it was reported on August 25th that Lazard had a great day at camp, catching multiple passes and showing a real connection with Rodgers. At his current ADP, Lazard isn’t someone many people are looking at but could be someone who could be a weekly starter on your team!

  1. Preston Williams

ADP: 12.09

Team: Dolphins

The hype on the Dolphins has recently been skyrocketing as Tua Tagovailoa hopes to play this upcoming season. With Tua under center for the Dolphins can we finally expect a fantasy relevant Dolphins player? Preston Williams in his only 7 starts in 2019 had 60 targets for 32 receptions 428 yards and three touchdowns! These stats were also with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will likely start in the beginning of the season. With Fitzpatrick and possibly Tua under center, Williams production could increase. While Preston Williams is coming off an ACL injury that took him out for the majority of the 2019 season, reports from the Dolphins camp say Williams looks completely healed from his November surgery. Preston is in line to be the WR2 option across from Devante Parker at the beginning of week 1. The concern with Williams is that the Dolphins have one of the toughest receiver schedules in the league. Notable cornerback matchups include Stephon Gilmore, Richard Sherman, Tre’davious White, Chris Harris Jr., and Jalen Ramsey. However, these cornerbacks are likely to shadow Devante Parker who finally broke out late in 2019. This will leave Preston Williams with easier cornerback matchups. The Dolphins have also lost WRs Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson as they have opted out due to COVID. With a weaker defense and a huge amount of missing targets, Williams could play an important role in the Dolphin’s catch-up endeavors, which will likely happen more often rather than not. Preston Williams is the least talked about second year receiver (Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, Hollywood Brown, AJ Brown) who might end up being the most productive from the group.