Fantasy: Start Em, Sit Em for Sunday’s games
19 September 2020 Fantasy Football
Alright everyone, so going forward we’re going to be putting out a lot of fantasy as part of starting to expand the 4th and Jawn that you all love so much, and that we here are truly grateful for all of your support on the daily. If we help even one guy to win his league based off of these columns, it means a ton so hopefully we do even better than that.
So going forward, you’ll see all sorts of fantasy knowledge on the page, including your start/sits for each day’s games, streamers that we recommend, our rankings, and waiver wire pickups. You can follow me on Twitter, at http://twitter.com/swagman95, and you’ll be able to find my quick takes there as well.
Anyways, last week was a doozy. Not only did we FINALLY have some football after people going back and forth all summer on whether we would even have a season this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but week 1 gave everyone what they so very much missed and cherished: unexpected results! Michael Thomas only scored 4.7 points while in everyone’s lineup, and Dallas Goedert scored 24.1 while on everyone’s bench. People who drafted Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round got rewarded, and people who drafted James Conner suffered. It’s always a little weird in the beginning of the season.
Things start to become clear starting this week though, as everyone starts to shake off the rust and the dust settles. That being said, there’s a couple guys you definitely should be starting, and a few as well that may need you to walk away from them. Let’s get into it.
Josh Allen, Bills: Well you really don’t get more of a clearly great matchup than this one. Allen gets a downright bad rushing defense in Miami to go and do exactly what Cam Newton did last week. You can definitely expect the Bills to have more of the same game plan against Miami that the Patriots did, and that includes a lot of running for Allen. He rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown against the Jets and threw for two more, and really was able to impose his will. Allen isn’t one of the better passers in the league, and the Dolphins corners Xavien Howard and Byron Jones will limit his numbers, but his rushing ability against this defense should easily make him worth it.
Sleepers: Tom Brady vs Carolina, Ben Roethlisberger vs Denver
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers: Teddy actually looked pretty decent if we’re being honest last week, but we’re now talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who just played the Saints and looked pretty good defensively. They limited Drew Brees to 160 passing yards and Michael Thomas to 3 receptions for 17 yards. That’s not easy, guys. I would expect this to be a big Christian McCaffrey game, after Kamara completely gashed the TB defense for two touchdowns. Until I see Teddy do a little bit more, I would be fading him in most leagues, there’s better options.
Austin Ekeler, Chargers: Obviously you should be starting him if you have him, but this seems like a major plus matchup. Not only did Ekeler get 19 carries last week, he only got 1 target. So we have to think he’s in line for more targets, and mannnn do the Chiefs love to give those up to running backs. If you watched the NFL opener last Thursday, you would have seen David Johnson just slice and dice this defense to have a great night, even at the expense of the rest of his team. Ekeler is going to be fine, and do not panic about the low reception numbers until he truly gives us a reason to worry.
Sleepers:Johnathan Taylor vs Minnesota, James Robinson vs Tennessee
Frank Gore, NYJ: This one should be in big, bold letters: DO NOT START FRANK GORE. The 49ers are as fearsome as ever on the defensive line, they only allowed 17.45 points per game to running backs since 2019 and this would still be a sit if Le’Veon Bell was healthy and playing. If you are going to hurt the 49ers at all, it’s gotta be done the way the Cardinals did it, by throwing on them a massive amount. You just aren’t going to get much out of this matchup by throwing Gore into your lineup and actually thinking he’s got a shot to produce.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers: Not only is he one of my favorite fantasy players this year, he has a great matchup this week. On paper, the Broncos are just BAD at corner. Since Chris Harris, Jr. left, I don’t know who the best cornerback is on this team is, but they absolutely got bullied by the Titans receivers last week. That’s not a sentence that gets said often, so you know Johnson can definitely go off this week. You would have to think the #1 CB will latch onto Juju Smith-Schuster, so Johnson will be free to impose his will on whoever covers him. Upgrade Johnson in all formats, he seems like a good WR2 pick this week.
Sleepers:John Brown vs Miami, Anthony Miller vs NYG
D.J. Moore, Carolina: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just do not allow 300 yard passers anymore, I guess. They haven’t allowed one since week 10 of last year, and the youths of this secondary are just really really good. Look what they did to Michael Thomas last week! I can’t see a scenario where most people can just afford to sit Moore, since he’s either your WR1 or 2, but if you have a higher upside guy, you may want to roll the dice this week.
Jared Cook, New Orleans: Cook is going to be targeted extremely heavily by Drew Brees for the next several weeks, however long Michael Thomas is out. That’s probably the clearest thing to me from the injury fallout, and that means he’s going to make a lot of appearances on this list, for sure. Also, Cook had 75 air yards last week, fourth among tight ends, which means he can turn some of these into nice chunks. I say Cook is pass catching option numero uno in this offense without MT until we see otherwise, so feel free to start him wherever you can.
Sleepers: Noah Fant vs Pittsburgh, Logan Thomas vs Arizona
Greg Olsen, Seattle: In recent fantasy football, there are 3 things you’re supposed to follow. Start your studs, sit your duds, and most importantly, fade anyone who plays the New England Patriots. Still true, gents. Olsen is a sit not only cause its the Pats and they still have one of the best defenses in the league, but also because there’s really just no clear path to targets for him on this team. If it wasn’t enough that Lockett, and Metcalf are ahead of him, now it looks like Chris Carson has come out of nowhere to also pass him, and he still has to contend with Will Dissly, who I personally think is just better at this stage of their careers. The Pats also have only allowed 42.2 receiving yards per game to TE’s since 2019, the fifth best mark in football, per Adam Rank.
Start of the Week: Kansas City vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Chiefs should roll in this game against Tyrod Taylor. He didn’t look great against the Bengals in week 1, and the Chiefs looked great against Houston. They had four sacks and now they’re up against probably the worst offensive line in football that just lost Mike Pouncey to a season ending surgery. Chiefs should roll here.
Sit of the Week: Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons
Now I’m not saying that Dallas is going to get embarrassed by Atlanta, as much as my Eagles fandom wants me to. But this is a bad matchup for them. Dallas got shown out by the Rams receivers in week 1, letting Robert Woods hang 100+ yards on them. Both Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee are out for weeks, and there are precedents that say that Dallas plays much worse defense when either are out. Matt Ryan just passed for 450 yards vs Seattle with 3 different receivers going over 100 yards. This game could get out of hand in a hurry if Dallas isn’t careful.
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