As a friend once said to me “Fantasy football is a fickle beast.” Truer words have never been spoken. Trying to set the perfect lineup is an alchemy based on the assumption that real people will perform in accordance with the statistics they have produced so far and, obviously often they do not, because let’s face it, they are human and football is about as predictable as weather in an era of climate change. That being said, here are my picks for players you should start or sit based on their matchups with regards to fantasy points given up this season to their position group… and occasionally my gut. Because a whim is a win – with an extra letter.
Who To Start?
Eli Manning (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
Eli Manning has been underwhelming so far this season but if there was a week to change, this would be it against a Falcons defense that has been 2nd worst against opposing quarterbacks. Add to that he is currently being started in only 15% of fantasy teams so if you are looking for a bye week fill in you might consider him.
Joe Flacco (vs. New Orleans Saints)
The Saints have been 3rd worst against quarterbacks this season and at home I see Flacco having a good day with Crabtree, Snead and Brown all looking for targets.
Ito Smith (vs. NY Giants)
Devonte Freeman is now on IR, and rookie Ito Smith had been seeing his fair share of red zone opportunities and goal line carries before that was even the case.The Giants have been middle of the road against the run so far this season, but with Freeman out the opportunities for Smith will keep coming.
Frank Gore (vs. Detroit Lions)
After rushing for 101 yards last week look for “The Man That Time Forgot” Frank Gore’s production to continue against the Lions 3rd from bottom ranked run defense.
Latavius Murray (vs. New York Jets)
As it seems Dalvin Cook is out for another week nursing a hamstring injury Murray will look to repeat his success from last week when he rushed for 155 yards and a score.
Jarvis Landry (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The Bucs are 2nd worst in the NFL against wide receivers this year and in 1st place against opposing quarterbacks. Start your Browns this week.
Willie Snead (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Flacco has been spreading the ball around and last week Snead benefited most. That has every chance to continue against his old team this week and a Saints defense that has been 3rd worst against quarterbacks, and the bottom in the NFL against wide receivers.
David Njoku (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
As I said, start your Browns players this week, especially against the Bucs defense which currently ranks last in the NFL defending against tight ends.
C.J. Uzomah (vs Kansas City Chiefs)
With Tyler Eifert out for the season, Uzomah is a legitimate threat for Cincinnati. He wound the end zone last week and will look to do the same again against Kansas City
Redskins (vs Dallas)
It’s Beat Dallas Week in Washington and the Redskins defense will look to dampen the Cowboys spirits at FedEx. 4th ranked run defense will look to have Dak win it with his arm… Time for Josh Norman to feast again this week.
Who To Sit?
Drew Brees (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
This season Drew Brees has been sensational. He broke Peyton Manning’s record for most passing yards ever and has already thrown 1658 yards this season. He has thrown 11 TDs and is yet to throw an interception. His passer rating is 122.3 but this week he is outside the comfort of the Superdome and the Baltimore Ravens are statistically the best team in the NFL versus opposing quarterbacks. Temper your expectations with him in Week 7.
Andrew Luck (vs. Buffalo Bills)
After finally recovering from the shoulder injury that has seen him sidelined since the era of leather helmets, Andrew Luck is back. He has passed for almost 1800 yards already this season. But I’d be more worried about the 8 picks he has also thrown, as the Bills are currently ranked as the 3rd best team against opposition quarterbacks.
Sony Michel (vs. Chicago Bears)
Last week the rookie running back finally broke out – for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Chiefs but now faces a much sterner matchup against the Bears who have been 2nd best in the league defending the run through the last 6 weeks. Don’t expect a repeat of last week.
Matt Breida (vs. Los Angeles Rams)
The Rams have been solid against the run this year and if the Niners have to play from behind, Breida could be limited production-wise.
Will Fuller (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
After losing 40-7 to Dallas is it time to stop being afraid of the Jags defense? Not against wide receivers; as they still rank as the 2nd best team in the league defending against them. With either Ramsey or Bouye covering their main weapons, it will be a tough day for the Texans offense.
Dede Westbrook (vs. Houston Texans)
On the other side of the pitch Blake Bortles will be looking to redeem himself this week and he will look to Westbrook to help him do it. The Jags receiver seems to have risen to the top of the pile however he will face a stiff test against a Texans defense which is ranked 6th in the league against wide receivers.
Ben Watson (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
Watson hasn’t done much this season and I don’t expect a breakout for him this week as the Ravens are not only best in the NFL against quarterbacks as I mentioned earlier, but also against tight ends.
Jordan Reed (vs. Cowboys)
Alex Smith seems to be enjoying his reunion with Vernon Davis a little too much for my liking. Add to the fact the Cowboys (3rd) are just as good against defending against tight ends as Washington (2nd) this season.
Titans (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)
The Chargers have looked dynamic on offense of late and although Tennessee are a stiff test I still see Rivers and Gordon having a day. Look elsewhere for a bye week fill in.
Chris Milner aka “Proper Football” is co-host of the Same Level Fantasy Football podcast, a former Washington D.C. resident and Redskins fan (for his sins) he is a self styled fantasy football expert having won his league one time. He is also clearly a comedian.. Follow him on Twitter
@chrismilner or listen to the pod @samelevel #HTTR
Image credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports