As always who you start and sit depends on your available options at the position. When choosing your lineup between comparable players though we are able to give some advice.
Redskins at Packers
Start ’em: QB Aaron Rodgers & QB Robert Griffin III – 2 top tier QB’s against 2 way below average pass defenses. I know RG3 showed some rust last week, but he still wound up being an excellent fantasy start.
Sit ’em: RB Alfred Morris – obviously there are not going to be a lot of fantasy teams deep enough to sit Alf. But this is is just a warning not expect big things from him this week. For all the attention the “rust” of RG3 got, Alfred actually had a worse game – fumbling and missing cutback holes. Combining his sluggish start with a better than average Green Bay run defense, and the potential for an aerial shootout – means Morris owners will likely have to hope for some goal line carries to salvage the day.
Start ’em: WR Jordy Nelson, WR Randall Cobb, WR James Jones, and TE Jermichael Finely. I know normally these guys cannibalize each other, but it’s tough to toss away a 25% chance at fantasy dominance in any given week. Against a good defense in SF last week 3 out of 4 of them had good days – and I have a feeling poor James Jones’ day is coming. Keep tabs on Finely’s developing toe issues – but if he plays start them all.
Panthers at Bills
Start ’em: RB CJ Spiller – ok again, I know there aren’t a lot of teams deep enough to consider benching Spiller – but here’s a little reassuring pat on the back. The Panthers front 7 is good, and last week held Marshawn Lynch down – but Spiller gets out on the edge of the defense much better- and then there’s his role in the passing team. He’ll remind owners why he was such a high pick this week.
Start ’em: TE Greg Olsen – Olsen should be a key factor this week facing a Bills secondary that is thin at the safety position. I expect him to do a lot of work in the middle of the field, a hopefully get a TD to go with close to 100 yards receiving.
Sit em: WR Stevie Johnson – he had a TD last week, but it’s too early to expect consistency from the Manuel/Johnson connection. And frankly without a TD Johnson’s weekly fantasy output will be very questionable as the Bills bring along the rookie QB conservatively.
Start ’em: RB Deangelo Williams – Ok I’m taking a little leap of faith here, and banking on Williams to show up 2 weeks in a row. But I just can’t see how you bench a guy that ran for over 5 yards a carry vs Seattle. As always a TD with him is a little less than a 50/50 likelihood….but I’m not gonna bet against him this week.
Titans at Texans
Sit ’em: RB Ben Tate. What’s that you say? But Headcoach Gary Kubiak said that he needed to get Tate more touches, and take over a larger part of the split with Arian Foster. That’s great, but two things are working against Tate here the 1st is the Titans run defense is better than the Chargers. And the 2nd is that Foster didn’t score a TD in week 1, and he was seen a little upset at being removed from the game in some key moments. To me this screams that even if he loses touches the Texans are going to do everything possible to get Foster a score this week – and I simply don’t know how much ground work the Texans will get on the Titans and if they’ll be enough for Tate leftover.
Sit ’em: WR Kenny Britt I love Britt’s talent, but I’m beginning to think the best way for him to succeed after getting a mere 2 targets last week – is to pull a Jared Cook. I know he hasn’t been the most stable person, and definitely not the healthiest – but how can they not be using this guy?! Kenny, just stay healthy man and leave at year’s end for some team with an offensive clue, and a QB not completely terrible (if I have to tell you to sit QB Jake Locker, you need a lot more help that this column).
Start ’em TE Owen Daniels: While Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson continue their joyful reunions on the outside, Daniels should thrive in the middle. Schaub seems to have the TE as his only redzone read these days, so Daniels looks like a lock for 50 and a TD.
Dolphins at Colts
Start ’em: RB Lamar Miller What? With a terrible opening week performance and the rumors that Daniel Thomas may steal more workload? Yes. The Colts run d, is not Cleveland’s run defense. Miller having renewed pressure may very well thrive here, and let’s face it…Danniel Thomas is the Lamar Miller of game 1 over 2 full seasons.
Sit ’em: Brian Hartline –Admit it, you thought I was gonna say the other Miami WR, but this isn’t opposite day it’s time to look at…
Start ’em: WR Mike Wallace. Whatever you believe about whether Wallace is a cancer to a team, or whether he publicly should air his frustration one simple fact is true: no way will the Dolphins risk alienating their #1 off season pick up with 2 weeks in a row of one catch. They will scheme for him, they will force it to him, and Wallace is always a good bet to torch someone for a long gainer. Because of this focus, and because I expect the Dolphins to have more success running the ball – that hopefully explains my lowered expectations for Hartline this week.
Sit ’em – Ahmad Bradshaw is in a timeshare and looks every bit of 48…oh, he’s 27? I kid, the guy runs hard – but I don’t particularity believe in any one in the Colts rushing attack, and with Luck now stealing rushing TD’s- Bradshaw carries a lot of risk.
Jaguars at Raiders
Sit ’em: Everyone. God this is awful….
Ok, for real…
Start ’em: RB Maurice Jones Drew – MJD is not who he once was, but the Raiders haven’t been who they were on defense since the early 1980’s. And someone has to get that junk TD when Pryor gets picked off in the redzone.
Sit ’em: WR Cecil Shorts – The Raiders might have defensive issues but unfortunately for the Jaguars WR’s, they have QB Blaine Gabbert. I expect another day of around 40 yards and nothing for Cecil.
Start ’em: QB Terrell Pryor Last week we recommended benching him, this week we’re recommending him he’ll probably be terrible. You just never know week to week what you’ll see from him, so it’s a cautious recommendation from me. He’s a borderline top 10-12 guy, so in standard leagues you don’t start him over guys like Luck or Newton…but over guys like Alex Smith or Andy Dalton it becomes an interesting homerun option.
Steelers at Bengals
Sit ’em: RB Ben Jarvis Green Ellis & RB Gio Bernard – Pittsburgh has a lot of pride, and after last week’s offensive disaster what was overshadowed is that their defense yet again put in some work. At some point they will probably wear down from extra pressure, but it won’t be this week…at least not against the run. BJE is fine against normal defenses, but the Steelers will be stout. Gio may be involved more in the passing game this week, but he’s at least a half a season away from making a real fantasy impact.
Start ’em: QB Ben Roethlisberger – This premise rests a little on the Steelers and a little on the Bengals. I think even Todd Haley will recognize that the Steelers have no business running the football these days (that’s a full bench recommendation for any Steelers’ Rb’s) so I expect Ben to be throwing all day, and hopefully quantity equals quality. Also, for all that talk of how badass the Bengals defense and pass rush were going to be this year, they got blanked in the sack department against the Bears offensive line. Yes, the Bears – just because they’re better than last season doesn’t mean they’re great. So, I think Ben maybe facing the Bengals at a good time – sure they’ll find a way to blast him but I think we’ll see him rise to the occasion.
Start ’em: TE Tyler Eiffert – The rookie caught 5 for 47 last week, now all he needs is the redzone look. I think he gets it this week – and the trend to expand his role continues.
Browns at Ravens
Sit ’em: WR Marlon Brown – Brown had a nice opening week, but it’s too soon to expect week to week production. He remains one to watch, but not to start if you have better options – which you likely will in standard leagues.
Start ’em: TE Jordan Cameron – I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of Cameron as a rising sleeper TE this offseason. And his big 9 catch week 1, also featured a drop that cost his struggling QB an Int. But because Weeden is struggling Cameron should continue to get several targets – potentially being even a top 5 candidate at the position in PPR. I don;t know how long he keeps it up and I’m not in love with his talent – but it’s time to play him until he fails for you.
Guys you might want to Sit but realistically can not: RB Trent Richardson and RB Ray Rice. Richardson disappointed owners last week mostly because the game got out of hand thanks to Weeden’s mistakes. Ray Rice going against a good Browns defense a week after putting up a dud is more concerning. I am lower on Rice than Ron or Tim, but he has not shown burst recently and I am wondering if it’s not too long before the Ravens begin his workload limit. But, as you likely spent a high pick on him you probably don’t have better options this week – and the time for full out panic hasn’t arrived yet.
Chargers at Eagles
Start ’em: RB LeSean McCoy – Even more so than the celebrated Mike Vick, McCoy is the must start weekly from this offense – hopefully you knew that already.
Start ’em: QB Michael Vick – There’s the logic that says “wow Vick’s stats against the Redskins could’ve been even bigger if the game was closer and he had to throw more”, balanced out against the fact that many of Vick’s scores were set up by Washington turnovers. It was such a weird game I don’t know what to expect out of the Eagles in a normal game – are they the world beaters of the 1st half? Or the stymied team of the 2nd? I believe that until he “breaks”, that Vick is more on the elite side – the system is tailored for him, and unless you have a truly elite QB you start him. I would start him over guys like Cam Newton, Rg3, and Stafford right now – if he stumbles later so be it, but the guy has that type of potential again.
Start ’em: RB Ryan Matthews – the Chargers are likely to try against the Eagles what the Redskins tried – ball control. Matthews probably won’t have the fumbling problems that Alfred Morris had, and as a result should see plenty of opportunity to contribute in this one.
49ers at Seahawks
Start ’em: The QB’s – Wilson looked poised and efficient last week and Kaepernick looked ridiculous. I think the Defenses slow down the run games and its a old fashion QB duel in primetime Sunday night.
Start ’em: Vernon Davis – Seattle corners will handle the WR’s but few can handle Davis one on one. He will have a big game. Greg Olsen had some success last week and Davis will build on that.
Sit ’em: Anquan Boldin – If he has anywhere near 100 yards, let alone 200 yards, ill eat my hat. I think he comes back down to earth against the equally physical Seattle secondary.
Broncos at Giants
Start ’em: David Wilson – I think he has a big bounce back game, providing he holds on to the ball. He is really the only option here in the Giants backfield. You drafted him highly, have confidence in your pick and start him this week.
Sit ’em: Broncos Running game – Until this sorts itself out, it’s a total crapshoot between Moreno, Hillman and Ball. You can roll the dice if need be, but be prepared to be burned. With Peyton Manning, how much would you really want to run anyway…
Lions at Cardinals
Start ’em: Joique Bell – Reggie bush will start. Reggie will get the majority of the carries and targets, but Bell is the goal line back, short yardage back and relief for Reggie. Bush is also dealing with a thumb ailment. This all adds up to a good Flex start for Bell, the pride of Wayne State College.
Start ’em: Cardinals WR’s – I think they could pass 50 times this game. If Carson Palmer stays up right, Fitzgerald is an obvious great play (pending health) , Floyd and Roberts are also very solid options as WR2/3
Sit ’em: Defenses – There could be 800 yards of passing offense in the game. If you have a better option, avoid both of them.
Saints at Buccaneers
Start ’em: Kenny Stills – Quick who is the Bucs nickel corner? Too late. You lose and so do the Bucs. Stills has a shot to have a big game given the opportunity here. Because, really, you aren’t going to throw at Revis. He’s probably only a WR3 play in a deep league, but I really like his potential in this offense.
Start ’em: Doug Martin – I know there is little chance you don’t start him, but I really like him this week against a Saints D that, no matter what happened last week, is still in transition to the 3-4
Sit ’em: Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram – Tampa had the best Run D in the league last year and looked very strong in the Jets game last week. If you have them, go with other options here. Sproles is the only real option here.
Cowboys at Chiefs
Start ’em: Miles Austin – 10 for 72 last week. Not a great yardage total, but in PPR league he is great. As long as he keeps seeing the targets, there is no reason to keep him out of your WR3/Flex play
Sit ’em: KC Defense – If you are expecting another K.C. Masterpiece this week like last, you just burnt your brisket. Dallas is on a whole another level offensively as compared to the Jags. If they show something here, it could be the start of something in K.C.
Sit ’em: Dallas Defense – 6 turnovers just doesn’t happen that often. Alex Smith is careful with the ball and will take advantage of blown coverage’s. Please use your other defense this week.
Vikings at Bears
Start ’em: Jay Cutler- After seeing what Stafford did to the Vikings, Trestman and Cutler have to be licking their chops.
Start ’em: Alshon Jeffery- With Forte, Bennett and Marshall the Bears will be tough to stop. I think Jeffery could benefit from the focus on one of the other 3. Don’t bench your WR1 or WR2 for this guy, but depending on your situation, he could be a very solid flex play.
Sit ’em: Kyle Rudolph – OK,I have had enough of the hype. Yes, he caught 9 TDs last year but only 53 catches for 493 yards, but that barely TE 1 production. Last week he did nothing, 2 catches for 27 yards. He is a sit until proven otherwise.
Rams at Falcons
Start ’em: Steven Jackson – You think he doesnt want to run all over his old team? Nonsense. He was very effective last week even though he didnt get enough carries. He is also an effective check down weapon in the pass game.
Start ’em: Jarred Cook – Last week was no mirage. He is starting to produce like the talent he is. He could be a top 5 TE this year. Feel good about starting him this week.
Sit ’em: Darryl Richardson – He is nicked up. He is playing a fairly tough run D. If you have another option here, I would use it. He isn’t a bad play, but I don’t see him having a high upside for this game.
Jets at Patriots
Start ’em: Steven Ridley – Yes, we told you to start ’em last week. Yes, he has butter fingers. And yes, we know the jets have a tough run D. However, he is clearly a better runner than Blount. As long has he holds on to the ball, he will get chances.
Start ’em: Kellen Winslow- I really can’t believe I am writing this, but yes I am. Geno Smith looked to him often. If you have a better option, please use it, but if you are stuck at TE. He is probably worth the start.
Sit ’em: Jets Running game- Tampa has a Stout run D, but I really don’t see it getting much better for Powell of Ivory. These two have to show me something before I give them a start.
– Ron and Mike