You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.
All right, he made some mistakes against the Giants. But I think we need to accept that quarterbacks are going to have some bad games at times and live with it, especially younger quarterbacks. There are too many positives from Jalen this season to just move on from him. He’s averaged close to 60 rushing yards per game, and he’s had eight rushing touchdowns. Both of those figures are top-two for quarterbacks. The Jets are also a pretty good matchup as of late. I know they started off strong against quarterbacks (more like teams felt like they didn’t need to pass as much). But the Jets have allowed at least two passing touchdowns in seven straight games. Hurts will bounce back this week.
Look, I know I make fun of the Vikings -- and Cousins -- a lot. But dude has been a solid fantasy performer. And even if he wasn’t that great against the 49ers on Sunday, he’s now earned that trust where I won’t rage-bench him. He’s been that good. He’s top-seven in passing yards and passing touchdowns this year. And he’s damn good against the Lions, too. He’s averaged close to 23 points per game in his last three outings against the Lions. And I could make the joke that Cousins sees the Lions the way most of us see playing against the computer on rookie level on Madden. I could make that joke, but I won’t do that because I’m a gentleman and I wish nothing but the best for Cousins.
This is going to be a high-scoring game so it’s obvious we’re starting Justin Herbert. Like, I don’t need to list that here, do I? Good. I was worried for a moment. But we also love Joey B this week. I know that you can attack the Chargers on the ground. So, the Bengals RB1 should be able to do well this week. I’m still confident in Joey, though. He’s had at least two touchdown passes in eight games this season. Only Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen have more. And to go back to my original point, Chargers games have combined for 51.5 points per game this year. That’s the fourth-most in the NFL.
In case you missed it, Carr beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. David Carr almost missed it because he was on the air with me on NFL Network. But he eventually caught up with everything. What you also might have missed is Carr is once again the league’s passing leader. Carr has averaged a league-high 310.4 passing yards per game this year. This week, he’s got the Football Team which has allowed the most passing touchdowns and fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. We love this matchup.
I know you see this matchup and believe that this is an opportunity for Stafford to get right again. But this might not be the pushover that you think it is. The Jaguars have not allowed three-plus touchdown passes in any game this season. They are just one of four teams that can make that claim. Stafford himself has 15-plus fantasy points only once in his last three games. And forgive me for a football take, because I know a lot of you don’t want to read it: The Rams aren’t playing very well right now. And it’s going to take a bit of time for everyone to get together. But for the Rams offense to really work, they must run the football. The offense is at its best when it runs. Having Stafford throw 50 passes might seem cathartic this week against the Jags, but it’s not what is best in the long term for the Rams. I’m betting Sean McVay sees that, and we have Stafford throw for a modest 220 yards with a touchdown or two. I mean, not throwing a pick-six would be a huge help.
The ship might have sailed on Ryan being a reliable fantasy starter. He’s not a terrible option based on the matchup. But I’ve been down that road with Ryan this season. Like, you think he’s a good start based on the numbers, but then he fails to come through for you. Like a flakey friend who you think there’s no way he’s going to miss happy hour because that’s a slam dunk. And then, there you are, at Riip Beer Co. nursing a hazy pale ale by yourself. Ryan has one touchdown pass in his last three games. He hasn’t topped 190 passing yards in those games. I can’t do it. The Broncos should have traded for him.
This is a tough one, and you deserve answers so let’s talk about Russell for a moment. He ended up with 19 fantasy points against the Football Team on Monday night, thanks, obviously, to a 96-yard scoring drive that resulted in a touchdown. Not for nothing, but that was worth 7+ points on that drive, turning a miserable game into something that wasn’t bad. But what is important to note here is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to start Russell this week out of habit. I currently have him as my QB14, which is technically a sit. I would start all the “starts” above ahead of him but I’m certainly not putting him on the bench for guys like Jimmy Garoppolo or Zach Wilson. But he’s not a no-brainer like we previously thought. The biggest question to me, is whether to start him ahead of Carson Wentz or not. I currently have Wentz ahead of him (hit me up with your specific questions). This makes me super sad to do this. I feel like Shawn Michaels when he super-kicked Ric Flair in his retirement match at WrestleMania XXIV. Maybe this is what inspires him to do better? I don’t know. But it’s clear we can’t just put him out there for old time’s sake.
I will not stand for any Mac Jones slander. He’s good. Mac was my second-favorite quarterback prospect of this draft, just behind Justin Fields. Ask my friends on The Tape Never Lies Network. I was in on Jones (but loved Justin). He’s in a great situation and I like the Patriots to win this week. I’m just not sure this is going to be a big fantasy game for him. He topped 300 passing yards last week, just the second time he’s done so this season. Mac has been good with the touchdowns. But we are in a spot -- because of the matchup -- where I can’t stream him this week.