It’s not time to panic yet if you’re 0-2, but we’re getting close. 0-4 is usually the hole that is insurmountable, so you need to get a win this week so you don’t get desperate next week. There’s still time and we’re here to help. If injuries have you down, you’ll need to part ways with some top tier talent to fill spots. Just remember that if you’re giving up the best player in the deal, make sure you’re getting two useable players on the other side and the talent drop off shouldn’t be too far. You’re helping the other guy out by improving his starting lineup and using his bench to do it. Make him pay for that luxury.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Teddy Bridgewater (QB – Minnesota)
With Tony Romo sidelined for the next 8 weeks, you could be an owner in the market for a replacement this Sunday. You’re afraid of Andy Dalton against Baltimore’s weak pass defense because he has 12 interceptions compared to seven touchdowns against the Ravens in his career. You don’t have the balls to start Nick Foles as he chases points against Pittsburgh because he has no legit receivers and he’s …well…Nick Foles. So you find Bridgewater as your man to go with because San Diego’s averaged 26 points in their first two games, so Minnesota will likely need to score a few touchdowns to keep pace. You like that San Diego’s passing defense has given up five touchdowns in two games with QBs throwing for over 210 yards in both games. And you like being safe because Dalton and Foles may you want to turn on your nightlight when you go to bed.
Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland)
After looking slugging in Week 1, Crowell bounced back in Week 2 with 72 yards and a touchdown. Now he faces a defense that has given up over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown in back to back games. Crowell may still be splitting carries, but they’ll continue to rely heavily on the run with Josh McCown back under center. As a home favorite in a game where they’re projected to score over 20 points, Crowell will be the man for your lienup.
Chris Polk (RB – Houston)
Injuries didn’t just hit quarterbacks last week as owners of Eddie Lacy, Tevin Coleman, and Lamar Miller know. The first two likely aren’t playing this weekend and the latter may not suit up either. If you’re desperate on the wire this week, your man is Polk. He took over the lion’s share of work for Houston’s backfield last week as he logged 14 carries. He didn’t move far with those carries, but Carolina’s a stout defense and Houston was on the road. Now they’re back home against Tampa Bay, who’s given up 100 yards and a touchdown to running backs in each of their first two games. You’re not looking for greatness here, but you’d take 60-80 yards and a touchdown. That’s easily in Polk’s wheelhouse.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR – Arizona)
Twitter is quick to point out your failures, but it also takes notice of success. Multiple people including Rotoworld’s Evan Silva and 4for4’s John Paulsen have noticed how Fitzgerald plays much better with Carson Palmer under center over the last three years. That’s not necessarily a surprise given who else Arizona has put on the field, but the numbers are pretty clear. Add in the 49ers porous pass defense and Fitzgerald will be feasting in this spot.
Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis)
In case you haven’t noticed, T.Y. Hilton is banged up and Andre Johnson is completely shot. That leaves our friend Moncrief to build on his first two games. He’s scored in both and been targeted a total of 19 times. Andrew Luck clearly trusts him and the best is yet to come for Moncrief. The Titans finally face a quarterback not named Winston or Manziel this week. Luck won’t continue to be bad all the time. This is his make good game and Moncrief will be there to ride shotgun.
Jordan Reed (TE – Washington)
The Giants every year fail to improve their linebacking core. For years they’ve been getting gashed by opposing tight ends, but they choose to do nothing about it. Fortunately it looks as if John Beason may return this week to add some quality to the unit, but the Giants still gave up the tenth most yards to tight ends last year with Beason playing most games. They let Jacob Tamme abuse them last week and if Beason won’t stop Kirk Cousins from finding one of his favorite targets.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Matthew Stafford (QB – Detroit)
It’s not even that Stafford is banged up with a myriad of injuries from last week’s loss, but we’ll get back to that. It’s that the Broncos have the best defense in football and they’re the worst thing for fantasy quarterbacks right now. The Broncos haven’t allowed a passing touchdown and neither quarterback that faced them surpassed 200 yards. You might see the Lions as a better offense than the Ravens and the Chiefs, but is that really the case? The got dominated in the second half against San Diego’s average defense and couldn’t cut it against the Vikings, who got drilled by the 49ers. Stafford threw 53 times last week and only managed 286 yards and two touchdowns. All signs point to a poor performance on Sunday night.
Carlos Hyde (RB – San Francisco)
San Francisco’s passing defense got shredded by Pittsburgh last week and it rendered Hyde somewhat worthless before he had leg issues. The 49ers will have the same thing happen to their defense this weekend as Carson Palmer bombs away. Hyde will get lost in game flow as San Francisco plays catch up. That means more of Reggie Bush with his return and less of Hyde.
Lamar Miller (RB – Miami)
The Dolphins’ lead back may not even play this week, but things don’t look pretty for him if he does. The Bills have a tremendous front seven and shut down opposing running backs. They haven’t allowed 100 rushing yards TOTAL to running backs in two games so far this year. Miami seems hesitant to give Miller all the work and they’ll likely be passing more than running this week.
Ryan Mathews (RB – Philadelphia)
You may be surprised to see Mathews listed here given that he’s not the starter in Philadelphia, but I’m giving you a bonus sit this week since Miller might not even play. The Jets are incredibly good against the run and Mathews will only be in on early downs if DeMarco Murray doesn’t play this week because of a bad hamstring. With the Eagles’ line looking to be one of the worst in the league, don’t take the chance with Mathews.
Vincent Jackson (WR – Tampa Bay)
There are a lot of factors working against Jackson this weekend. Mike Evans claims he’s at 100%, so Jackson falls back down to #2 on the depth chart. The Texans limited Kansas City’s receivers to under 100 yards in a home game during Week 1. Tampa Bay’s offensive line is worse than Kansas City’s, which means less time for Winston to find Jackson going deep, which is his specialty. Finally the Bucs only have a team total of 17.5, which means there’s likely only so many touchdowns to go around. As Jackson only seems to score the long ones and the long ones won’t be there, I don’t see him finding paydirt in Week 3.
Crocket Gilmore (TE – Baltimore)
Gilmore was picked up in a lot of leagues after a big Week 2. He may be the second most targeted player for Baltimore, but that doesn’t mean he’ll play well against Cincinnati. The Bengals have only given up 52 total yards and no touchdowns to tight ends in two games. They also gave up an average of 23.9 receiving yards to tight ends last year starting in Week 8. Gilmore’s not a good enough talent where he’s match-up proof.