Before you set your starting lineup this week, just remember we’re only one week through the season. While we can make some conclusions (you’ll see two big ones on veterans below), it’s not time to shut up shop on guys who had promise coming into the season. You should still have plenty of faith in Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Adrian Peterson, Allen Robinson and Charles Johnson. Better days will lie ahead. There are still 12 or 13 regular season weeks to make up for it all. Just remember that I’m not here to tell you to start your studs or bench your duds. What I’m here to provide is some guys who’ll exceed expectations this week or some stars you should be cautious about starting.
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?
Carson Palmer (QB – ARI)
There are a lot of quarterbacks outside the top 7 or so who worth a look this week. Tony Romo, Eli Manning, and Sam Bradford should all have strong efforts. I like Palmer for a couple reasons. The road game should make his defense less formidable and Chicago should be able to score some points. Arizona will need to match and may rely on the passing game a little more now that Andre Ellingotn is out for a little while. The Bears gave up the second most points per week to fantasy quarterbacks last year and gave up three touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers last week. Palmer should be in for a strong Sunday.
DeAngelo Williams (RB – PIT)
I was mildly surprised with how well San Francisco shut down the run against Minnesota, but I was more surprised at how good Williams looked against New England. Full credit goes to his offensive line, who did some great work against the Patriots. Sure the Patriots no longer have Vince Wilfork, but the Steelers’ line showed up strong even without Marcus Pouncey. Part of the issue last week was Minnesota’s lack of time of possession and Pittsburgh should have a better handle of that this week. The slimmer Williams will shine in his last start before Le’Veon Bell comes back.
Bishop Sankey (RB – TEN)
Is it possible that Bishop Sankey can actually become a thing? Maybe Marcus Mariota is turning him into a thing, but we’ll take it whatever it is. Sankey scored twice last week and will continue to see goal line work after Terrence West got stoned repeatedly in his audition last week. He also put up 6.2 yards per carry and now gets to face the Browns, who gave up 155 yards to Jets’ running backs last week. Game flow was part of that, but most of it was Cleveland getting dominated up-front. Tennessee has a solid line and should do the same to allow Sankey to thrive again this week.
Brandon Coleman (WR – NO)
If you’re looking for a sleeper at wide receiver this week, look no further than Coleman. Coleman out-snapped Marques Colston and out-performed last week. That’s a sign of things to come as Coleman was the star of training camp for the Saints. Tampa Bay is not the best at stopping the past, allowing the third most points to fantasy wide receivers last year and getting run by Kendall Wright last week. Coleman could have a coming out party on Sunday.
John Brown (WR – ARI)
If Carson Palmer is due for a big week than his receivers will put up strong showings as well. John Brown is a Palmer favorite as was evident by him collecting the second most targets of any receiver last week. The Bears’ defense can definitely have the top blown off of it, which means Brown’s targets this week could lead to a big play. That would be the cherry on top of the sundae regardless as Arizona feasts on Chicago’s defense. Don’t worry about Michael Floyd because he doesn’t seem up to speed yet.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (TE – TB)
As the Buccaneers chase points this week, ASJ will be their man. Bringing Mike Evans back won’t completely hurt him because the Saints are awful at guarding tight ends. Last week they gave up 82 yards and a touchdown to Darren Fells. Yeah, that’s the same Darren Fells who was playing basketball all over the world before his brother convinced him to switch the NFL. I’m pretty sure ASJ, a second round pick, can do at least the same type of damage.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Peyton Manning (QB – DET)
You’ll understand Manning’s place on this list if you watched the Broncos’ game last week. Whether you want to blame the offensive line like Pro Football Focus did or blame his legs like others have, something is not there for Manning right now. The Broncos would’ve lost if not for the great play of its defense. It’s only one game, but this was something we saw the end of last year too and now Manning is in an offense that makes him move a little more. Now Manning faces a defense on a short week that was fourth best at limiting quarterbacks last season. That’s not the recipe for success. It’s hard to feel great about anyone on the Broncos’ offense, let alone their leader. I’d rather take a shot this week with whoever you got backing up Manning.
Frank Gore (RB – IND)
I’m still on board with what Gore can do this year, but he got a real tough start from the scheduling Gods. First he was stifled by Buffalo and now he gets the Jets’ defense. While they may be missing Sheldon Richards, they still have plenty of weapons to contain the run in the front seven. Indianapolis has also decided that Gore will be on a pitch count at least early in the season. Those two factors make Gore replaceable if you have talent on your bench.
Doug Martin (RB – TB)
Martin looked very good last week, but he was unfortunately the victim of game flow. Tampa Bay fell behind early against Tennessee and the Buccaneers eventually had to give up on the run to stay in the game with the pass. It didn’t work, but it was indicative of what can happen a lot this season. New Orleans isn’t the same offense they’ve been in years past, but they’re still pretty good and should open up early on the Buccaneers. That means more Charles Sims than Martin and means game flow will kill Martin’s upside again.
Andre Johnson (WR – IND)
It’ll be interesting to see if the Jets put Darrelle Revis on Andre Johnson or someone else. Johnson looked done last week as he barely contributed in the Colts’ loss. If the Jets do player Revis on Johnson, you’ll be happy you benched him. If they don’t then you will realize that the Jets believe that it’s time for you to find a new starting wide receiver anyway because he’s not good enough for Revis to focus on.
Jeremy Maclin (WR – KC)
A short week and Aquib Talib will not allow Maclin to get off this week. It’s that simple. Maclin was a focus of the Chiefs’ offense last week, but they’ll have to look elsewhere for success this week. Maclin’s a really good player, but he has a speed game and Denver’s defense will be all over the Chief’s porous offensive line. That doesn’t bode weel for Maclin putting up big plays.
Delanie Walker (TE – TEN)
You’re not going to bench Gronk even though Buffalo really limits tight ends in fantasy football. I’m a huge Delanie Walker guy, but it’s hard to endorse a guy who’s playing with a sprained wrist when it’s his job to catch the ball. He’s a tough son of a bitch, so he’ll probably try to give it a go this weekend. Buyer beware is the case to follow here since there are plenty of tight ends who offer up a nice alternative.