You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.
Fields exploded for 282 yards and four touchdowns through the air in Week 5, with another 57 yards on the ground. He finished with 32.98 fantasy points and the QB1 finish on the week. He has thrown for 617 yards and eight touchdowns while scoring 60.88 fantasy points over the last two weeks, returning to cheat code form. Now he gets the Vikings, who have allowed the 10th-most yards and fifth-most touchdowns through the air this season. They have allowed the ninth-most fantasy PPG to QBs. Fields is returning to must-start status.
A start in this space last week, Cousins threw for 284 yards and two scores against the Chiefs, finishing with 19.86 fantasy points -- edging out Patrick Mahomes in that same game. Cousins has now scored more than 19 fantasy points in three of his last four games. He has displayed a high ceiling and has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in every game. And he’s topped 280 passing yards in all but one game -- showing he also brings a safe floor. This week, he gets the Bears, who have allowed the most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. All but one QB has topped 22 fantasy points against them -- the one who didn’t, Baker Mayfield, hit 18.38. Cousins needs to be started this week.
Last week, I had Burrow as a sit. I advised benching him until he started to look like a healthy Burrow again. Well, he started to look like a healthy Burrow last Sunday in Arizona. He threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns, scoring 23.38 fantasy points. But it wasn’t just the stats. He was able to move around the pocket and avoid pressure at times -- he even scrambled to pick up a first down on one play. He has talked about feeling healthier and it showed last week. He has a tougher matchup this week against the Seahawks, a team that can generate more pressure than the Cardinals, so understand that the floor may not be all that high. But Burrow looked like Burrow again last week, so you can go back to starting him.
I had Purdy as a sit last week due to the tough matchup against the Cowboys. He went out and threw for 252 yards and four touchdowns, posting a season-high 26.08 fantasy points. He has now averaged 22.56 fantasy PPG over the last three weeks, with 20-plus in each of them. He had been off to a bit of a slow start, but that’s to be expected with him working back from offseason surgery. He’s excelling in this 49ers offense and has the best weapons in the league at his disposal. I know the Browns are a tough matchup, but so were the Cowboys. At this point, you just have to stick with Purdy.
IF YOU NEED DEEPER OPTIONS:
Matthew Stafford threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns in his first game with Cooper Kupp back. He now has two high-end receivers to throw to, with strong tertiary options, as well. He has proven to be more of a safe-floor QB, but his ceiling is certainly higher with Kupp back and healthy. And he has a great matchup this week against the Cardinals, who have allowed the fourth-most passing yards and the sixth-most touchdowns in the NFL. Dak Prescott is coming off his worst game of the season and had been held under 15 fantasy points in four of five. But this week's matchup has him in play as a streaming option. The Chargers have allowed an average of 328 passing yards per game and also have an offense that could put up points, meaning Prescott and the Cowboys won't be able to take their foot off the gas. A matchup where Dak's forced to throw, against a beatable defense? This is exactly what we have been waiting for with Prescott.
You can call me crazy, and maybe this one does indeed blow up in my face, but there are a number of things working against Goff this week. First, this is a road game. And while I don’t normally buy much into home/road splits, they are jarring with Goff. He has averaged 22 fantasy points per game at home and 12 per game on the road since last season. He’s averaged 2.5 passing touchdowns in 11 home games and 0.7 per game on the road in that span. His two down games this year both came on the road. But for added reassurance, the Bucs have allowed just 243 passing yards and one passing touchdown per game in 2023. If you have another option you feel good about, go in that direction.
Watson has topped 20 fantasy points in two of three games, but he has yet to reclaim his old, fantasy-dominant self. And according to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero, he remains day-to-day with a rotator cuff contusion. If he's able to go on Sunday, he will have his hardest task yet, facing the tough 49ers defense. San Francisco gets pressure at the seventh-highest rate in the NFL (40 percent). So far this season, Watson has the fourth-lowest passer rating when under pressure, ahead of just Jordan Love, Daniel Jones and Ryan Tannehill. He has the third-lowest completion percentage versus pressure, too. The Niners just shut down Dak Prescott, and Joshua Dobbs (of course) is the only QB to top 14 fantasy points against them so far.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: Watson has been ruled out for Sunday's game against San Francisco.
Howell has scored more than 19 fantasy points in three of his last four games and is coming off his best fantasy effort of the season. That may have you considering a stream this week. I would avoid it. The Falcons have been very stingy to QBs, allowing just 199.2 passing yards per game. They have given up just seven passing touchdowns in five games. They also tend to play slower-paced, lower-scoring games. Howell will not be in catch-up mode and dropping back 55 consecutive times (like last week). Unless you’re diving deep this week I would get away.
Carr is coming off his best fantasy outing as a Saint and his first multi-touchdown game of the season. The issue? He still scored just 15.7 fantasy points. The floor has been very low and the ceiling is not much higher. Now he faces the Texans, who’ve allowed just three passing touchdowns through five games -- and a league-low 18 since last season. Houston's also giving up just 233 passing yards per game. There are much better streaming options this week.