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.
McLaurin was a start last week and came through with 15 fantasy points. He now has more than 14 in two straight and three of his last four. He has topped double digits in five of his last six, establishing an extremely safe floor. Now he gets the Eagles, who allowed McLaurin’s best game of the season back in Week 4 (86 yards and 22.6 fantasy points). Philly has given up the fifth-most yards to receivers and the third-most fantasy PPG. They also run man coverage 32 percent of the time (league average is 28 percent), and McLaurin is ninth in the NFL in yards against man. With Halloween right around the corner, keep riding with "Scary Terry."
Flowers has hit double figures in all but one game this season. He has also topped 17 fantasy points twice, showing he brings both a safe floor and solid upside. The rookie has thrived against zone coverage, while struggling mightily against man. Well, this week he gets the Cardinals, who run zone on more than 80 percent of their plays (league average is 72 percent). So far this season, 88 percent of Flowers’ yards and his lone touchdown have come against zone. This is a week to force Xavien Kevonn Flowers into your lineup.
Do not forget how good Collins has been just because he was on a bye last week. He has topped 80 yards and 12 fantasy points in four of six games -- and has exploded with 27.6- and 35.8-point efforts, as well. Excellent floor, excellent ceiling. This week could be an upside game for Collins against the Panthers, who run zone defense the third-most in the NFL at 83 percent. Collins has picked up 70 percent of his yards against zone defenses. One of his two blowup games came against the Colts, one of only two teams running zone more often than the Panthers (the Texans are the other). Collins is a must-start option this week.
London was the lone Falcon who wasn’t frustrating for fantasy purposes last week. He led the team with seven targets, catching six for 54 yards. He has now topped 11 fantasy points in four straight and five of his last six. Expect him to build on that consistency this week against the Titans. Tennessee is in the top eight in fantasy PPG allowed to receivers. They give up 9.0 yards per attempt to receivers aligned out wide and also struggle against the deep ball -- areas where London can excel. Plus, Tennessee just traded safety Kevin Byard to Philadelphia this week. London is very much in play against what’s left of the Titans' secondary.
Rice was a start last week and rewarded believers with his best game of the season, going for 17 fantasy points on 60 yards and a score. He also played the third-most snaps and ran the second-most routes among Chiefs receivers -- while posting the second-most targets on the team (behind Travis Kelce, of course). Rice continues to see an uptick in usage and is starting to pull away as the No. 1 receiver for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. He has scored 11 or more in three straight and has just two dud games all year. He has been more of a safe-floor play, but the upside will be much higher as his role grows. He is very much in play this week against the Broncos, who allow a ton of production ... including allowing a season-high 72 yards to Rice himself in Week 6.
IF YOU NEED A DEEPER OPTION ...
I had Thomas as a sit last week and he was able to find the end zone for a season-high 13.2 fantasy points. He has shown to have a very safe floor, giving you more than nine fantasy points in every game. I have faded him in the past due to a lack of upside, but upside might be in greater supply this week. The Colts' run zone defense at the highest rate in the NFL (87 percent). Thomas leads the Saints in receiving yards against zone coverage. He also leads their receivers in passer rating when targeted and catch rate against zone. He’s a sneaky sleeper this week.
This is one of those calls that could blow up in my face, but shooters shoot, right? Higgins has enjoyed one big game this season, scoring fewer than five fantasy points in every other outing. Coming off the bye, the hope is that he and Joe Burrow are both healthy and ready to return to their regular selves. But a matchup against the 49ers will be their toughest test yet. The Niners get a ton of pressure on the QB and have been tough on receivers this season. They also run zone coverage the 10th-most in the NFL, and Higgins has struggled against zone this season (just 1.0 yard per route run, with a 37.7 passer rating when targeted and a 41 percent catch rate). I keep advocating to buy low on Higgins, but given the matchup, I am fine taking a wait-and-see approach this week, especially considering there are no byes.
It's been an up-and-down season for Hopkins, who is averaging fewer than 11 fantasy PPG. He has three games in double digits (but just one over 14) and three with eight points or fewer. He is coming off his worst game yet, with just one catch for 20 yards. Ryan Tannehill was banged up in that game (and is unlikely to play in Week 8). Now Hopkins gets the Falcons, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG to WRs. They have yielded an average of just 128 receiving yards per game to the position this season. Plus, they run man coverage 37 percent of the time (league average is 28 percent), and the Titans have struggled to get Hopkins going against man (63.9 passer rating when targeting him against man coverage). With no byes, you likely have other options worth starting over Nuk.
Osborn has now played two games without Justin Jefferson and he has yet to crack 50 yards or double-digit fantasy points in either of them. In fact, he has yet to top 50 yards in a game this season and has only topped 10 fantasy points twice -- both in games where he caught a touchdown. His high-water mark is 12.4 fantasy points, making him purely a floor play for fantasy. This week, he faces the Packers, who have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy PPG to receivers. They also run zone coverage on 75 percent of their plays -- Osborn has produced a 60.4 passer rating when targeted against zone this season.
Jeudy has been a sit the last couple of weeks now, and for good reason. He’s scored single-digit fantasy points in half his games. His best game was 13.1 fantasy points. The floor is extremely low and the ceiling is WR3, at best. Now he draws the Chiefs, who held him to just 14 yards in Week 6. Kansas City has allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy PPG to receivers. They also play man coverage at the fifth-highest rate in the league (38 percent), and Jeudy has just 47 yards against man this entire season.