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.
After nearly giving it a go last week, Chase is set to return this week against the Chiefs. I do not want to say that Chase was held out last week to be healthy for this game, but the Bengals clearly have this week's matchup against the Chiefs circled on the calendar. Not only did the Bengals beat the Chiefs twice last year (once to go to the Super Bowl), but they currently sit atop the AFC. This is a huge game for both sides. Usually, it's smart to take a wait-and-see approach when players return from injury, but Chase is not like most players. He has a game-breaking upside on a weekly basis, especially this week against the Chiefs, who have allowed the seventh most fantasy PPG to wide receivers this season (38.1). That includes giving up the sixth most yards on passes of 20-plus air yards. I do not need to tell you how good the duo of Chase and Joe Burrow are on the long ball. But I will tell you that last year against Kansas City, Chase went off for 11 catches on 12 targets, for 266 yards and three scores. He went for 6-54-1 in the playoffs against them. If Chase plays for the Bengals, he plays for your fantasy team, especially in a game that could see a ton of points scored.
Kirk saw nine targets in Week 12, his fourth time in five games seeing at least that many targets. He only scored 8.1 fantasy points last week but did top 21 fantasy points in the two prior games and has topped 17 in three of his last five. He sees around a quarter of the targets each week, if not more. That sort of volume alone keeps him in play each week, and he has shown to have a safe floor of around eight to 10 fantasy points. He also has another chance to have one of those blow-up games this week against the Lions, who have allowed the third most fantasy PPG to receivers (39.7). Not only that, but since Detroit has been able to put up points, especially at home, this has the potential to be a sneakily high-scoring game. Kirk should find his way to your starting lineup this week. Zay Jones is also in play as a sleeper, if not a start in this matchup.
From one Christian to another! Watson has been red hot as of late, scoring six touchdowns in his last three games. He has scored at least 21 fantasy points in each of the past three weeks, averaging 24.9 fantasy PPG in that stretch. He has done so largely because of touchdowns, but do not overlook the fact that he has topped 100 receiving yards in two of those three games. He has won downfield and then, in Week 12, showed the ability to win after the catch, as he turned on the Jets and got behind the secondary for a 63-yard score. A player who has the ability to win that way, downfield and in the red zone, is rare. With that said, the ones who can do all three are elite fantasy options. Even on the touchdown to Randall Cobb, Watson was the first read on what would have been another end zone target. Although, if you are worried about the health of Aaron Rodgers, just know that the long TD last week came from Jordan Love. Plus, it's not like Rodgers has been setting the world on fire. The Packers also get the Bears in Week 13, who have struggled against receivers as of late, allowing the fifth fantasy PPG to the position in the past month (39.1). The Packers have a long track record of success in this matchup. Continue to ride out with Watson.
Garrett Wilson is a different receiver when Zach Wilson is not starting for the Jets. He has averaged 19.4 fantasy PPG in games without Zach Wilson. Meanwhile, in games that Zach Wilson does start, Garrett Wilson has yet to even score 19 fantasy points in any week. Yeah, it's been rough. In those four games, Wilson has seen a 24 percent target share and 31 percent air yard share, both are team highs. But last week with Mike White, those numbers jumped to 29 percent target share and 35 air yard share. He saw eight targets, no one else on the team saw more than three. Wilson, who was a top 10 pick for a reason, has the talent to make a difference at the NFL level. He just needs a QB who can get him the ball. We saw Elijah Moore go on a run without Zach Wilson last week, and Garrett Wilson could do the same this year. He is in play this week against the Vikings, who have struggled against receivers. On the season, they have allowed the fifth most fantasy PPG to the position (39.2). That jumps to the second most at 41.2 in the past month This could also be a game where the Jets have to try to throw more to put up points to keep up with the Vikings offense at home, especially considering that their backfield is banged up. Get Wilson in all your lineups this week.
Peoples-Jones had been playing extremely well, but that ended this past week as he saw just four targets, catching two for 16 yards. Yeah, 3.6 PPR points is not getting the job done. This week he is set to get a quarterback upgrade in Deshaun Watson, but it is his first game in 700 days. If you didn’t read the Watson part in the sit 'em QBs, the short version is he could have to shake off the rust. It’s a matchup they can heavily rely on the run game, and we are not sure about the connection he will have immediately with his receivers. Add in that the Texans have been stingy against receivers, allowing just 29.7 fantasy PPG, the seventh-fewest in the league to the position, which I get is mainly because they struggle against the run, but teams are not passing with much success against them. With just two teams on bye, I would get away from Peoples-Jones.
I had Thielen as a sit last week, and he went on to score 21 fantasy points. Roast me for it! But if you think that is going to scare me away from having him as a sit this week, you do not know me well enough. While he did see nice volume, he also scored one touchdown. Remember, Thielen has averaged just 9.3 fantasy points in games without one touchdown this season. He faces the Jets this week, who have allowed just nine touchdowns all season to receivers. All included, the Jets have allowed just 27.5 fantasy PPG to receivers, the third-fewest in the league. Given most weeks, Thielen has finished in single digits, and that's even with one touchdown. His ceiling is not too high. Pair that with the fact that there are only two teams on bye, I would get away from Thielen in this tough matchup.
Burks has played well since he returned from injury, having topped 17 fantasy points in two straight games. Although, for Week 12, that was inflated by a fumble recovery touchdown as Derrick Henry lost the ball on the one-yard line, and Burks was able to jump on it for the score. That was his first and only touchdown on the season. Burks has done so largely because of the deep ball. He has three catches of 40-plus yards in the last two weeks. Not one of the Titans has more than two catches for that distance on the season. So yeah, safe to say he is their best field stretcher. I just don’t feel as confident in Ryan Tannehill’s ability to consistently win downfield or this offense's ability to muster up those plays on a weekly basis. Especially not this week against the Eagles tough secondary, who will hone in on stopping Burks. Philadelphia has allowed just 29.8 fantasy PPG to receivers, the ninth fewest in the NFL. There are a lot of upsides here with Burks, and he is certainly a player I want on my rosters, just not in my starting lineup this week.
Samuel started the year as a valuable receiver who would get time in the pass game as well as some carries out of the backfield. But that was mainly because he would lead the Commanders in targets weekly with Carson Wentz at the helm. That has not been the case since the QB change occurred. In fact, Samuel has averaged just 3.7 targets and 2.3 catches per game with Taylor Heinicke as the starter. Since Heinicke took over in Week 7, Samuel has just 206 receiving yards, which would be a 17-game pace of 584 yards. He just has not been the same player that he was with Wentz. He has now scored single-digit fantasy points in three straight games and has four targets or fewer in five straight games, bottoming out last week when he did not see a target at all. This week he faces the Giants, who have been tough on receivers this season, allowing 28.3 fantasy PPG to the position, the fourth fewest in the NFL. Given his recent usage, it’s a week to get away from Samuel.