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USATSI

Fantasy Football is all about the matchups. Even though you drafted your team with certain hopes and intentions, your weekly lineup decisions shouldn't be determined by the order you picked your players in. You need to check who your players play and make sure you've got the right guys in -- and the wrong guys out.

It's too early to be absolutely sure on which matchups will be easy and which ones will be tough, but we can take some educated guesses based on healthy personnel, defensive schemes, track records and key details of offenses. The things we know can help us minimize the impact of the things we don't know. This should lead to better decisions being made.

We'll go through every game and highlight the players who aren't obvious starts and sits (because you don't need to be told to start Jonathan Taylor). You should feel more comfortable starting or sitting players based on the information given, and feeling comfortable with your Fantasy lineup before the games start is the best feeling in the world.  

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Thu, Sep 22 at 8:15 pm ET •
CLE -4.5, O/U 38.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CLE Cleveland • #2
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs PIT CLE -4.5 O/U 38.5
OPP VS WR
29th
PROJ PTS
11.6
WR RNK
37th
YTD Stats
REC
12
TAR
16
REYDS
118
TD
1
FPTS/G
14.9
If you start Cooper, you're hoping for some decent work on nine or so targets. He is at best a flex start in PPR who may compile his way to better numbers than Elijah Moore and Tyler Lockett -- both of whom I'd rather use in half- or non-PPR. Sterling Shepard and Jarvis Landry are guys to sit for Cooper.

What to know:

  • Cooper has lined up wide almost exclusively through two weeks. He's also run routes of 16-plus yards on just 4 of his 61 routes. It's safe to say he'll continue to need a lot of targets and a touchdown to be real good for Fantasy.

  • Thing is, those are realistic possibilities. The Steelers have allowed three touchdowns, a 68% catch rate and 4.79 YAC/rec (yards after catch per reception) to outside receivers through their first two games. But improving their pass defense will be a point of emphasis after some breakdowns last week.

  • I expect the Steelers to play plenty of man coverage with a safety hovering toward Cooper, and I don't think they'll blitz a ton (Jacoby Brissett has actually beaten the blitz a few times already this year). Cooper has seen a 35% target per route run share against man coverage this year, but with inefficient results (57% catch rate, 8.3 yards per catch).   

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
MIA +5.5, O/U 52.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIA BUF -5.5 O/U 52.5
OPP VS TE
31st
PROJ PTS
7.8
TE RNK
16th
YTD Stats
REC
5
TAR
7
REYDS
46
TD
0
FPTS/G
4.8
Knox remains a streaming tight end with touchdown-or-bust potential. I'd rather start Logan Thomas, Irv Smith and even Tyler Conklin in PPR leagues.

What to know:

  • The Dolphins have allowed a 78.3% completion rate and 200 yards allowed (second-most) to opposing tight ends through two weeks. But more than half of the yards went to hyper-targeted Mark Andrews last week; Knox just isn't in the same class. 
  • The matchup has been favorable for Knox in the past against the Dolphins, but even when he's scored on them he's maxed out at 11 PPR points. 
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIA Miami • #1
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BUF BUF -5.5 O/U 52.5
OPP VS QB
1st
PROJ PTS
15.8
QB RNK
12th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
739
RUYDS
1
TD
7
INT
2
FPTS/G
33.8
If you start Tagovailoa, you're hoping he passes enough to fall into good production against the league's top defense minus a couple of their starters. That's absolutely reasonable, but it's also reasonable to expect Tagovailoa to struggle under pressure with some turnovers. Safer quarterbacks in more favorable matchups (Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow) are preferred to Tagovailoa, but other passers without the firepower and/or in tough matchups (Carson Wentz, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady) shouldn't be started over the Dolphins quarterback.

What to know:

  • This won't be easy for Tagovailoa. Not that he's a mess when he's blitzed but he's less effective then compared to not blitzed, and he's specifically worse against zone coverage (64.4% completion rate, 87.3 QB rating) than man coverage (89.5% completion rate, 156.5 QB rating). The Bills have played zone coverage on just over 90% of their snaps through two weeks and have the second-best pass rush pressure rate (41.6%) so far in 2022. They're going to try and get to Tagovailoa while keeping their defensive backs downfield so they don't give up the big play. 
  • It means Tagovailoa's going to have to get rid of the ball quickly a good amount of the time. Against zone coverage and with 2.4 seconds or less to throw, Tagovailoa has completed 69.6% of his throws (29th-best) over 23 drop backs (fifth-most!) for 5.87 yards per attempt (20th-best) and no touchdowns (not good). He's considerably more efficient when he has more time than that, but his completion rate is still an ugly 60% (21st best). 
  • Buffalo will be without both starting safeties, both starting outside cornerbacks (I'm including Tre'Davious White here) and massive D-tackle Ed Oliver. Technically, that's 45% of their starting defense. I am counting on some coverage breakdowns to help Tagovailoa's receivers. 
  • The Bills did a terrific job against Jaylen Waddle last year. Their results against Tyreek Hill when he was in Kansas City were great (under 75 yards per game) in the regular season; horrible in the playoffs (over 150 yards per game). Both figure to get a slew of targets, particularly since the defensive secondary is depleted. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
IND +6.5, O/U 49.5
Start Him in PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
KC Kansas City • #9
Age: 25 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ IND KC -6.5 O/U 49.5
OPP VS WR
11th
PROJ PTS
11
WR RNK
28th
YTD Stats
REC
9
TAR
11
REYDS
89
TD
0
FPTS/G
8
Smith-Schuster is definitely more of a touchdown-needy option in non-PPR, and that's something we shouldn't count on. You should start Smith-Schuster in PPR formats especially because he has six-catch potential. He's worth trusting in those leagues over Marquise Brown, Amari Cooper and Terry McLaurin.

What to know:

  • Cover-3 Captain Gus Bradley will bring his zone-heavy Colts scheme to keep Patrick Mahomes from throwing deep. In these situations, I love short-area targets like Smith-Schuster to come through for a volume-driven stat line.  
  • Last week Smith-Schuster's snaps were split evenly between the slot and out wide, a change from being more of an outside receiver in Week 1. My hunch is that Smith-Schuster will be even more in the slot this week to avoid coverage from Stephon Gilmore. Colts slot cornerback Kenny Moore has allowed an 81.8% catch rate on 11 targets through two games with a touchdown given up in each.
  • Mahomes has thrown 17 passes this season against Cover-3, completing 89.5% of his throws for 271 yards. Smith-Schuster is tied with Travis Kelce for most receptions against that coverage scheme (four). 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
CAR +3, O/U 40.5
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NO New Orleans • #80
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR NO -3 O/U 40.5
OPP VS WR
3rd
PROJ PTS
11.8
WR RNK
38th
YTD Stats
REC
11
TAR
14
REYDS
139
TD
0
FPTS/G
12.5
I wouldn't get too cute with Landry, but the matchup suggests he's in the flex conversation in PPR formats at a minimum and a super-sneaky DFS play. The whole world will talk about Chris Olave's 300-plus Air Yards last week, but I'd rather chance it with the safer secondary Saints receiver.

What to know:

  • We got Old Jameis Winston back, if only for one week. Winston went bonkers with the deep throws, averaging 13.22 Air Yards per pass attempt (tops among Week 2 starters by a mile, though not literally), but with two of his three interceptions coming on those long tosses.
  • Last year Winston was pressured on 58.6% of his pass attempts by the Panthers, third-most for any team in any week in 2021. He threw two interceptions and zero touchdowns in a Panthers blowout win. The Panthers rank 10th in pass rush pressure rate through two weeks.
  • So the bet is that Winston's coaches reel him in with shorter, quicker throws, which are better suited for Landry even though Landry himself got some deep targets in Week 1. 
  • Statistically, the Panthers pass defense has been great against receivers, but they've faced the Browns and Giants. Not that Landry is any better than Amari Cooper or Sterling Shepard, but the Saints will be a steeper test for them. And, for what it's worth, the Panthers' only pass-defense flaw so far this season has been a high catch rate allowed to slot receivers (88.2% ranks sixth-worst). Landry predominantly lines up in the slot.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
CHI -3, O/U 40.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #31
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CHI CHI -3 O/U 40.5
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
10.8
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
102
REC
2
REYDS
14
TD
0
FPTS/G
6.8
The rookie is clearly evolving as a tackle-beating rusher, so anything his improving O-line can do to find him space before contact will obviously fuel his efficiency, but running to the edges should benefit him too. His playing time should remain steady, if not favor him if Houston builds a lead. I'd give Pierce a nod over A.J. Dillon, Darrell Henderson and Travis Etienne.

What to know:

  • Pierce took some positive steps forward last week, playing 63% of the snaps and two of three inside of 10 yards. While his vision and patience aren't quite there yet, he flashed his power and burst on a number of runs last week. He was also helped by an improving Texans offensive line. 
  • Meanwhile, the Bears were blown apart by the Packers, allowing 5.85 yards per rush and winding up bottom-six in pretty much every rush defense metric imaginable. Notably, it's the second week in a row they've ranked poorly in yards before contact per rush allowed (1.79 yards on the season ranks seventh worst). Chicago has been especially beaten on edge runs (6.3 yards per carry allowed; 39.3% of runs resulting in a first down). 
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs HOU CHI -3 O/U 40.5
OPP VS WR
23rd
PROJ PTS
10.3
WR RNK
45th
YTD Stats
REC
2
TAR
5
REYDS
4
TD
0
FPTS/G
1.4
With his best matchup to date in front of him, Mooney's a safer flex in non-PPR than full-PPR but worth a nudge ahead of Sterling Shepard, Jarvis Landry, Jakobi Meyers and Josh Palmer in formats where catches don't count.

What to know:

  • This might be the game that makes or breaks Mooney. It's Chicago's first matchup of the year where Justin Fields shouldn't be under serious pressure -- his O-line has given up a pressure on nearly half of his drop backs. That's why Fields isn't throwing to anyone, not just Mooney. 
  • But make no mistake, Mooney is getting open and would have had nice numbers already if Fields had better protection. That should happen against the Texans, who are 25th in pass rush pressure rate despite being tied for 10th in blitzes called. 
  • The Texans are also bottom-10 in almost every single pass defense metric against wide receivers (including yards per catch, YAC/rec and tackles missed), save for two: Their 60.8% catch rate allowed is top-10 thanks to 11 passes defended (best in football).
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
MIN -6, O/U 53.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIN Minnesota • #8
Age: 34 • Experience: 11 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs DET MIN -6 O/U 53.5
OPP VS QB
29th
PROJ PTS
25.5
QB RNK
6th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
498
RUYDS
20
TD
3
INT
3
FPTS/G
16.9
Cousins has legit bounce-back potential in what's expected to be a high-scoring game. His track record and very nice receiving corps makes him a worthy start in Week 3 ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Joe Burrow.

What to know:

  • Cousins seemed very out-of-sync against Philadelphia. Many throws didn't have his usual velocity and he seemed focused on getting rid of the ball as quickly as possible. He threw three deep passes, had one picked off and would have completed two if not for a bad drop by Irv Smith. 
  • A matchup against the Lions should work out better -- Cousins will be at home versus a pass defense that let up three touchdowns and 337 yards last week to Carson Wentz and 12.08 yards per catch overall (sixth-worst) through two weeks. Cousins has also put up at least 23 Fantasy points in three of his past four against the Lions. 
  • Expect the Lions to dial up a lot of blitzes just as they have all season, but with zone coverage behind it. Cousins should be able to navigate past that with help from his offensive line. He should be good for at least 250 yards and a couple of scores, especially since he figures to get Adam Thielen more involved after barely connecting with him in Week 2 (or Week 1). 
Sit Him (Lineup Decision)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DET Detroit • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN MIN -6 O/U 53.5
OPP VS TE
22nd
PROJ PTS
8.7
TE RNK
11th
YTD Stats
REC
7
TAR
14
REYDS
64
TD
0
FPTS/G
6.7
Hockenson is at best a low-end starter in PPR with the hope he catches more than half of his targets. I'm far more excited to start Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

What to know:

  • The continued barrage of targets going to Amon-Ra St. Brown is putting a lid on Hockenson's upside. Hockenson still has a not-bad 19.4% target share through two weeks, but he's caught half of those targets for 9.14 yards per grab.
  • Hockenson is also not running downfield much -- of the 60 routes he's run, only 10 have been 11-plus yards downfield and only one of those 10 routes resulted in a target. It means he's much more of a short-area safety valve for Jared Goff and not a primary focal point. 
  • That goes double inside of 10 yards, where he's played 11 snaps but run just three routes and had zero targets. 
  • The Vikings aren't necessarily stalwarts against tight ends -- they've allowed a 78.6% catch rate so far this season, which is bottom-five. But Dallas Goedert's 5-82-0 stat line from last week seems awfully improbable for Hockenson given his limitations in the Lions offense. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
TEN +2, O/U 45.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LV Las Vegas • #4
Age: 31 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN LV -2 O/U 45.5
OPP VS QB
28th
PROJ PTS
20.2
QB RNK
11th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
547
RUYDS
9
TD
4
INT
3
FPTS/G
20.4
The matchup against the depleted Titans should fit Carr just right for another top-12 finish, albeit toward the bottom of the top 12. I'd start him ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Jameis Winston, but I think I'd prefer the upside of Tua Tagovailoa and Carson Wentz instead.

What to know:

  • The Titans allowed six passing touchdowns through, technically, seven quarters: two to Daniel Jones in Week 1, four to Josh Allen before the fourth quarter on Monday night. They've also underwhelmed in terms of getting to the quarterback, blitzing at a 10th-highest clip (27.8% of dropbacks) but applying pressure just under the league average amount (27.8%). Injuries have played a role.
  • Carr threw the ball better last week against Arizona (another team that blitzes a lot) and had a tidy 22 Fantasy points in OT without having to connect with Davante Adams for a huge number. They should get back to basics this week versus a Titans defense that got crushed by Stefon Diggs last week and Sterling Shepard on a deep ball the week before. Tennessee ranks bottom five in catch rate allowed (73%) and yards per catch to wide receivers (15.11). 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
WAS +6.5, O/U 47.5
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PHI Philadelphia • #6
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ WAS PHI -6.5 O/U 47
OPP VS WR
27th
PROJ PTS
11.8
WR RNK
32nd
YTD Stats
REC
7
TAR
11
REYDS
80
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.5
Smith is close to a low-end must-start in non-PPR ahead of DK Metcalf, Jahan Dotson and JuJu Smith-Schuster. In full PPR it's a little different, as he should start against Dotson along with Jarvis Landry and Darnell Mooney.

What to know:

  • It's hard to sit Smith after he caught all seven of his Week 2 targets for 80 yards. It's also hard to sit Smith after the Commanders allowed three touchdowns to Lions receivers last week!
  • The Jaguars and Lions have totaled seven pass attempts of 20-plus yards against the Commanders, fifth-most in football. Of the five that weren't completed, three were overthrows that would have otherwise been caught and one was a wounded-duck interception. If Jalen Hurts has the chance to dial up a deep pass to Smith, he should take it and he should be on-target with it.
  • On the season, Washington is ranked bottom 10 in many pass coverage metrics against wide receivers including YAC/rec, targets thrown and completions of 20-plus yards (some were shorter throws that went a longer distance). It would be unfair to not mention that they do rank 11th in catch rate allowed to receivers (61.7%) and top five in passes defensed against wideouts.
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #17
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs PHI PHI -6.5 O/U 47
OPP VS WR
17th
PROJ PTS
12
WR RNK
29th
YTD Stats
REC
6
TAR
12
REYDS
133
TD
1
FPTS/G
13
This is a good week to take the chance on sitting McLaurin since his history and matchup against the Eagles aren't great. His teammate, Curtis Samuel, is a better start in all formats (yep, even non-PPR), as are Garrett Wilson and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

What to know:

  • It's stunning that a receiver as good as McLaurin has just a 14.1% target share this season. Worse yet, his 13.5% target per route run rate ranks fifth out of six Washington players with at least 10 targets (Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic have a higher rate). And not to kick him while he's down, but McLaurin has a 50% catch rate.
  • The matchup is certainly not in his favor this week -- the Eagles just did a fantastic job limiting Justin Jefferson last week (10 PPR points) and have the combination of a pass rush and coverage unit to wipe McLaurin out.
  • It doesn't help that McLaurin has gone scoreless in three of his past four against the Eagles with under 65 yards in each game. That's before the Commanders built a receiving corps to flatten McLaurin's opportunities.
Start Him in PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #10
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs PHI PHI -6.5 O/U 47
OPP VS WR
17th
PROJ PTS
11.5
WR RNK
28th
YTD Stats
REC
15
TAR
20
REYDS
133
TD
2
FPTS/G
21.1
I'm good with starting the target-heavy Samuel over Allen Robinson, Marquise Brown, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in PPR, but not in non-PPR.

What to know:

  • A 23.5% target share and a 75% catch rate is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. Scoring touchdowns on top of that is ... well, whatever is better than a dream. Samuel is one of 15 players to post 15-plus PPR points in back-to-back weeks.
  • His role in the Washington offense is thought of as a short-area target, but last week he caught a 15-yard floater from Carson Wentz along with a well-devised deep ball where he was wide open for 27 yards. Suddenly, his average depth of target jumped from 1.0 in Week 1 to 6.11 in Week 2.
  • Samuel remains an alternative to running the ball, something Washington isn't totally confident in, nor should they be against a great Philadelphia front seven. The Commanders will be without at least one starting linemen, further pushing them to be pass-heavy.  
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
NYJ +5, O/U 45
Flex Starter in PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #17
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CIN CIN -5 O/U 45
OPP VS WR
7th
PROJ PTS
12.9
WR RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
REC
12
TAR
22
REYDS
154
TD
2
FPTS/G
19.7
Any wideout who earns a 28.8% target share over five quarters (or a 32.6% target share in four quarters) commands attention in Fantasy. Flacco's 12.6% off-target throw rate doesn't hurt, either. I'd start Wilson ahead of Sterling Shepard, Amari Cooper and Allen Lazard.

What to know:

  • Wilson barely played until the fourth quarter of a Week 1 blowout loss. Since then he's collected 21 targets for 11 grabs, 145 yards and two scores. That means Wilson has seen a 28.8% target share once he started playing regularly in the Jets offense.
  • Now's also a good time to mention the Jets have been the pass-heaviest team in football with an unheard-of 74.7% rate.
  • Cincinnati's pass defense has held up great against the Steelers and Cowboys. The Jets don't figure to be as big of a test in terms of quarterback play or offensive line, but the Bengals will have their hands full with Wilson, who averaged a not-too-shabby 6.6-yard cushion on his routes according to Next Gen Stats. That was 0.2 more than Cooper Kupp last week. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 1:00 pm ET •
NE +3, O/U 43.5
Flex Starter in Non-PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #37
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -3 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
17th
PROJ PTS
11
RB RNK
28th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
119
REC
4
REYDS
26
TD
1
FPTS/G
12.3
Give Harris a nod over a Rams running back or a Seahawks running back in non-PPR and hope he continues to play well versus a run defense that's had a hard time competing on the ground. He's actually a borderline starter in non-catch formats and maybe even a low-end half-PPR option as well.

What to know:

Expect the Patriots to test the Ravens front seven. Through two weeks the Ravens have seen the seventh-fewest rush attempts by running backs and have allowed 5.09 yards per carry and a second-worst 2.09 yards before contact per carry. Mind you, this was against the Jets and Dolphins, two teams with suspect offensive lines. 

It's specifically been those between-the-tackle runs that have been hardest on the Ravens -- they've allowed 5.39 yards per rush to running backs on those plays with seven missed tackles. Both are bottom-seven in the league. 

Harris is averaging 4.68 yards per carry on runs between the tackles with 26.3% of his runs resulting in a first down or touchdown. Those rank top-20 among his qualifying peers across the league, which isn't bad. He's also besting Rhamondre Stevenson in carries, snaps and nearly every efficiency metric for running backs through two weeks. 

Flex Starter in PPR (Lineup Decisoins)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #16
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -3 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
32nd
PROJ PTS
12.5
WR RNK
30th
YTD Stats
REC
13
TAR
19
REYDS
150
TD
0
FPTS/G
14.4
Meyers is worth a reboot as a flex in PPR leagues ahead of Allen Lazard, Elijah Moore, Darnell Mooney and Adam Thielen. All of those guys should slot in ahead of Meyers in non-PPR, though.

Stats to know:

  • The Ravens have played a ton of zone coverage through the first two weeks, including early in both of their matchups when their opponents weren't chasing points on the scoreboard. The Ravens have also league-average in pass-rush pressure rate and just below league-average at blitz rate, suggesting their pass rush isn't as dangerous as it has been in the past. 
  • Those factors help set up Meyers for another outing with some good volume. Meyers has seen at least 20% of his team's target share each week including a stunning 38% share in Week 2 against the Steelers. 
  • Obviously, the Ravens rank dead last in a bunch of pass defense categories after last week, but even on throws inside of 10 yards the Ravens rank dead-last in missed tackles on wideout catches with 10.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 4:05 pm ET •
LAC -7, O/U 47.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAC L.A. Chargers • #7
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs JAC LAC -7 O/U 47.5
OPP VS TE
12th
PROJ PTS
10.2
TE RNK
9th
YTD Stats
REC
9
TAR
14
REYDS
125
TD
1
FPTS/G
13.8
As long as Keenan Allen is out, Everett is a must-start ahead of Logan Thomas, T.J. Hockenson and Irv Smith. If Allen plays, Everett does deserve the nod over Dawson Knox, Mike Gesicki and Taysom Hill.

What to know:

  • Everett has posted at least 13 PPR points per game, including one where he scored and had 54 yards even with Keenan Allen on the field. Allen's return from a hamstring injury in Week 3 would obviously impact the tight end's target share.
  • However, the Jaguars' pass rush is starting to show itself to the rest of the league. They're blitzing at a top-10 rate and last week they pressured Matt Ryan quite a bit. L.A.'s offensive line isn't bad, but it's still susceptible to the Jaguars' rush. Everett and his 4.7 average depth of target would be a friendly outlet for Justin Herbert when he's under siege.
  • It's not the best matchup -- the Jaguars have done a nice job holding down Logan Thomas and Mo Alie-Cox through two weeks (54% catch rate allowed over 12 targets). Everett is a step up in athleticism from those guys, which gives the player an edge. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 4:25 pm ET •
TB -1.5, O/U 42
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
TB Tampa Bay • #12
Age: 45 • Experience: 23 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB TB -1.5 O/U 41.5
OPP VS QB
13th
PROJ PTS
19.3
QB RNK
18th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
402
RUYDS
-3
TD
2
INT
1
FPTS/G
12
Even if you started Brady, there isn't enough imagination in the universe to see him throw three touchdowns. You can definitely buy into Tua Tagovailoa, Carson Wentz or even Derek Carr finding three touchdowns this week (albeit with some turnovers for all three). Those guys should start ahead of Brady.

What to know:

  • I don't think I've ever recommended sitting Brady two weeks in a row, but this one seems too easy. Brady won't play with Mike Evans, won't have Chris Godwin, can't get great numbers out of Russell Gage, might have Julio Jones and would have Breshad Perriman as a top outside target either way. Behind an offensive line that's got its own issues, this is not ideal.
  • The Packers allowed a nice game to Kirk Cousins in Week 1 (23 Fantasy points), then rallied to stymie the Bears as per usual. Their pass rush is a unicorn -- they lead the NFL in pass rush pressure rate (42%) and are only blitzing on 22% of dropbacks (20th-most). Their 8.5% sack rate ranks top 10. They're going to get to Brady. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 4:25 pm ET •
ARI +3.5, O/U 48.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #27
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI LAR -3.5 O/U 48.5
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
11.7
RB RNK
22nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
94
REC
5
REYDS
26
TD
1
FPTS/G
11.5
Henderson remains the Rams' top running back for however long he plays effectively. The matchup is a good one for him, so I'd start him over Jeff Wilson, Travis Etienne and Chase Edmonds.
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #3
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI LAR -3.5 O/U 48.5
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
9.2
RB RNK
42nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
44
REC
2
REYDS
18
TD
0
FPTS/G
4.1
Akers just isn't getting the kind of valuable touches we'd like. The day will come.

What to know:

  • When the Rams were on third or fourth down, Henderson played 8 of 10 snaps. When the Rams were inside the 10, Henderson played 8 of 12 snaps (and had a touchdown). When the Rams were in the fourth quarter, Henderson played 12 of 18 snaps. It appears Henderson has a grip on the important playing time in this offense.
  • I did think Akers looked pretty good against the Falcons. He ran decisively with good vision and finished his runs. I wish he had broken more tackles/made guys miss but overall it was a positive. Is this enough to unseat Henderson without Henderson making a terrible mistake? I don't think so, but Akers' work in the offense isn't going to go away and will grow once Henderson messes up or misses time.
  • Both will run against a Cardinals defense that's yielded 4.58 yards per carry and 3.47 yards after contact per rush, both in the bottom 12 of the league. Keep in mind Arizona only looked good against the run when Josh Jacobs was trying to grind down the clock in the fourth quarter of Week 2; they otherwise struggled against the Chiefs in Week 1 and Jacobs was better in the first half last week. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 4:25 pm ET •
SEA -2, O/U 42
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #84
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA SEA -2 O/U 42
OPP VS RB
22nd
PROJ PTS
12.9
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
161
REC
3
REYDS
16
TD
1
FPTS/G
13.4
I'd sit Patterson for Dameon Pierce or one of the Packers running backs, but I'd still take him ahead of Chase Edmonds.

What to know:

  • After churning through the Saints run defense in Week 1, Patterson not only found tougher trails against the Rams but he lost playing time to rookie Tyler Allgeier. Patterson did better with his carries, but both had 10. And for the second week in a row, Patterson wasn't a part of the passing game for the Falcons. If there's a silver lining, it's that Patterson was the preferred running back on snaps inside the 10 (he played all four) and on third/fourth downs (he played 10 of 12 snaps).
  • Maybe Allgeier's ineffectiveness will open the door for more work for Patterson, but the Seahawks run defense hasn't been a pushover. The 4.13 yards per carry they've allowed to the Niners and Broncos is about league-average, but that's a win considering running backs have run on them 53 times through two games. Seattle also ranks well in yards after contact per rush allowed (an eighth-best 2.57 yards).
  • Considering how bad the Seahawks pass defense has been, it wouldn't be a shock if the Falcons did lean a little toward the pass instead of the run given the matchup. Tack on Marcus Mariota taking some carries of his own, including potentially near the goal line, and Patterson stands out as a feast-or-famine Fantasy quandary.
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #5
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA SEA -2 O/U 42
OPP VS WR
9th
PROJ PTS
13.6
WR RNK
19th
YTD Stats
REC
13
TAR
19
REYDS
160
TD
1
FPTS/G
18.5
If Marcus Mariota is looking for London, and the Seahawks are allowing incredibly efficient numbers to wide receivers, especially after the catch, expect another big game from the rookie. I'd start him over Brandin Cooks, D.J. Moore and any Washington receiver in PPR, and ahead of Allen Robinson, Marquise Brown and the Washington receivers in non-PPR.

What to know:

  • One look at the box score and you know London was a playmaker for the Falcons against the Rams. But I thought I saw Marcus Mariota look his way as his first read many, many more times than Mariota looked at anyone else. Clearly, the size-speed combination of London has attracted Mariota in a major way. If it continues, London should lock into at least six catches every week.
  • Seattle's defense against wide receivers is about as good of a matchup as it gets. On the season, the Seahawks have seen just 35 targets and have allowed an impressive 57.1% catch rate. However, on those catches the Seahawks have let up 15.05 yards per grab (fourth-worst) and a league-worst 8.15 yards after catch per reception.
  • YAC/rec is London's specialty; 44% of his yards in Week 2 came after the catch, and he's already top 30 in the category among qualified receivers.
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #16
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ATL SEA -1.5 O/U 42
OPP VS WR
30th
PROJ PTS
13
WR RNK
34th
YTD Stats
REC
12
TAR
15
REYDS
135
TD
0
FPTS/G
12.8
Though I am a little worried the Seahawks will be able to win without throwing more than, say, 24 times, I will still start Lockett as at least a flex with the hope he continues to see work as a short- and mid-range target who gets open for Geno Smith. I'd start him over Allen Lazard, Jahan Dotson and Elijah Moore.

What to know:

  • We all remember Lockett as the deep target anytime Russell Wilson made an improvisational play because he left the pocket. Well, Lockett did that for Geno Smith a couple of times last week. Lockett was also a reliable short-area target for Smith as he consistently separated with his speed and found spaces to get open. His 11 targets last week were a welcome sight.
  • Still, this is a Seahawks offense that doesn't throw at the same clip or play at the same pace as others around the league. For instance, last week they were down 20-0 at the half and Smith still finished the game with just 30 pass attempts over 21:40 of game clock.
  • Even if there's not as many targets for Lockett as last week, he should still do well with what he gets. The Falcons have allowed a 77.3% catch rate and five receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this year. Atlanta has also given up four completions of 20-plus yards, which is Lockett's specialty. 
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #20
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ATL SEA -1.5 O/U 42
OPP VS RB
6th
PROJ PTS
10.8
RB RNK
31st
YTD Stats
RUYDS
75
REC
2
REYDS
7
TD
0
FPTS/G
5.1
Though he will lose touches to Kenneth Walker, I still like Penny ahead of Damien Harris, both Jets running backs and Chase Edmonds in non-PPR.

What to know:

  • Atlanta's defense, at least in terms of run defense metrics, isn't bad against running backs. They've allowed 4.0 yards per carry and are right around league average in terms of yards before and after contact.
  • But they haven't quite been tested, only seeing 38 rushes against them through two games. Because of that, and because teams are converting third downs at a high rate against them on the ground, their defensive total rush EPA is third-worst. That's going to stand out to Pete Carroll.
  • Penny wasn't doing much in Week 2, not in terms of production or playing time. I have a hunch he'll see more work and find more success in what seems to be his easiest matchup yet this year. Not enough to call him a must-start, but certainly a flex. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 25 at 8:20 pm ET •
DEN +1.5, O/U 45
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN SF -1.5 O/U 45
OPP VS WR
1st
PROJ PTS
12.1
WR RNK
26th
YTD Stats
REC
7
TAR
11
REYDS
103
TD
0
FPTS/G
9
Play it safe and use Aiyuk as a flex who would have higher upside if he were in an easier matchup. I'd start him over Darnell Mooney and Terry McLaurin, but not the Seahawks' duo or Garrett Wilson.

What to know:

  • Fantasy managers are hoping for Brandon Aiyuk and Jimmy Garoppolo to rekindle their connection from late last year when Aiyuk had 13-plus PPR points in five of Garoppolo's last nine starts.
  • They got off on the right foot last week as Aiyuk had a massive 33.3% target share from Garoppolo in the 49ers' win over the Seahawks. Unfortunately, Aiyuk caught just four passes on seven targets for 38 yards. Here's hoping a week's worth of practice will get them on the same page on longer throws.
  • The Broncos pass defense is pretty loaded, and their numbers are especially inflated after taking on the Seahawks and Texans to start the year. No one has allowed fewer receiving yards to wideouts than Denver (212) and they have yet to allow a touchdown. But a big part of their pass coverage is outside corner Pat Surtain, who might miss Week 3. His absence would open a door for Aiyuk to have some numbers. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Mon, Sep 26 at 8:15 pm ET •
NYG -2.5, O/U 39
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DAL Dallas • #21
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYG NYG -1 O/U 39
OPP VS RB
16th
PROJ PTS
11.8
RB RNK
21st
YTD Stats
RUYDS
105
REC
2
REYDS
-7
TD
0
FPTS/G
6.3
I am at peace giving Elliott the must-start treatment in what seems like an advantageous matchup against the Giants. With the hopes of an end-zone visit and a bunch of yards, I'd chance it with him over James Robinson, Dameon Pierce and A.J. Dillon.

What to know:

  • After two tough matchups to begin the year, the heavens have opened up and Elliott has a cake walk. The Giants have allowed 5.02 yards per rush to opposing running backs (ninth-worst), 3.90 yards after contact per attempt (sixth-worst) and have missed 11 tackles on running back runs (sixth-worst). They have a brutal defensive total rush EPA and they'll be without arguably their best defender in Leonard Williams.
  • For all of Elliott's flaws through the first two weeks, he still has played more snaps than Tony Pollard and has actually produced a better rushing average (4.2 to 3.4) and is better before/after contact on a per-rush basis. He doesn't have any explosive runs (Pollard has one), but Elliott has hit five-plus yards on 12 of his 25 carries. Not bad.