Disclaimer: Starts and Sits are relative to where a player is ranked on the aggregate. In other words, a “Start” is someone I like more than most, and a “Sit” is the opposite. So if I say to start Kevin Hogan and sit Jameis Winston, that doesn't mean I'd start Hogan over Winston, it just means I think Hogan will exceed his expectations while Winston will underperform his. Cool? Cool. Let's get it. -Seltz
Kirk Cousins (vs. SF) – You know what's annoying? The Eagles playing on Thursday night. Sure, the win was amazeballs, but I would have enjoyed it just as much on a Sunday. The Thursday game condensed my whole week – aka I had way less time to write this column than I normally do. Not gonna lie, I'm pretty upset about it. I mean, doesn't anyone care about me?!? Can someone call Roger Goodell and alert him to my plight? That seems like the least someone could do for me. And just to cut you off at the pass, cause I know what you're thinking, I'm not mentioning this to set up an excuse if my starts/sits go poorly this week. Definitely not doing that. Though, obviously, it would make sense to do that. For now, let's just assume my picks will be awesome. Yeah. That sounds good. Speaking of which, let's say we actually make some picks, starting with Kirk “Coupons” Cousins. Kirk has looked good in back-to-back outings (585 yards, 5 TD's, 0 INT's) and is starting to gain a rapport with his new weapons. Add in a healthy (healthier?) Jordan Reed and I love Cousins against a terrible Niners pass defense.
Kevin Hogan (@ HOU) – **Now feels like a good time to remind you to read the disclaimer at the top of the page.** Alright let's get weird – nothing says weird like recommending a Browns quarterback. Welp, I'm getting weird. Here's my (weird) thinking, Hogan's not that bad. He put up a 16-for-19, 2-touchdown performance last week in two and half quarters of play – albeit against the Jets. He faces a Houston defense that just lost two of it's best players (J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus) and gave up a 42-spot to Kansas City last week. Plus, the Browns will probably be trailing – because they're the Browns...duh – so Hogan will likely have to throw a lot to keep up. As the consensus #22 QB, he's incredibly undervalued and is a downright steal in DFS formats. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, this week Hogan really will be a hero. Nailed it.
Jameis Winston (@ ARI) – Are we sure Jameis is good? He doesn't...look good. Does that matter? I'm going to say it matters, at least for the immediate future. As a result, I don't trust him – and I especially don't trust him as the consensus ranked #9 QB. Unfortunately, nobody in the “consensus” asked my opinion – he's the #9 QB. And I know it's a good matchup. We all saw Carson Wentz SHRED this Cardinals defense last week. But Winston faced an even worse pass defense last week and didn't throw his first (and only) touchdown til there was 2:09 left in the game. Point being, Famous Jamies, more like Lameis Jameis. Yup. Let's move on.
Matthew Stafford (@ NO) – Stafford – the consensus #8 QB – has become the go-to example of the “better in real life than in fantasy” guy. He's super clutch with all his comeback hero crap, but who cares about that when he's neglecting his fantasy owners in the process. Over his last 15 games Stafford has averaged 253 YPG with 19 touchdowns...in 15 games. And again, I know New Orleans isn't the best pass defense, but they've only allowed six passing touchdowns in four games and should be fresh playing at home coming off a bye. Either way, Stafford doesn't offer enough upside to be ranked so high this week, or any week for that matter. **I've angered Lions fans in the past with my comments in this column. I want to be clear I mean no disrespect. Stafford is a good QB. He just isn't as good in fantasy. Cool? Really? Why are you guys being jerks about this? Are you still mad at me? Fine. My feud with Lions fans is officially back on. #StaffordSucks. Come @ me Lions fans.**
CJ Anderson (vs. NYG) – You know who sucks? The Giants. Lol. It's funny because it's true. Giants fans can't even get angry about this, they're just nodding their heads sadly as they watch highlights of that one amazing OBJ catch (yeah I know he has a lot of great catches but you know the one I'm talking about) on a loop over and over and over again. What can I say, Giants fans are gluttons for punishment. Which means they should throughly enjoy the butt whooping Denver is going to put on them this weekend. They might fire Ben McAdoo at halftime. Again, lol. I'm off track, where was I...oh yeah, the Giants suck and CJ Anderson doesn't suck. Denver will have a lead and will be running the ball and the Giants (who suck) are bad at stopping the run. Aka CJA all day.
Chris Thompson (vs. SF) – I'm going back to the Washington well. This one is pretty simple: the Niners are atrocious – ATROCIOUS – at defending running backs in the passing game. Chris Thompson is not only a running back in the passing game, but he's really good at being a running back in the passing game. He's going to gash this Niners defense. Plus, with Fat Rob Kelley out, Thompson should see a slight uptick in volume. As the consensus #27 running back on the board, Thompson presents as one of the top values on the board this week.
Carlos Hyde (@ Was) – Flipping over to the other sideline, the sideline with worse players, we find Carlos Hyde. He of the incredibly disappointing – weird maybe injury-related, maybe because of a benching – trash fantasy performance last week. Now we head into this week with little more clarity on the why Hyde got Matt Breida'd, making it hard to trust him against a solid Washington defensive front. Long story short, hide from Hyde.
Aaron Jones (@ MIN) – Let me start out by saying that I like Aaron Jones a lot. I mean, I don't like like him. I just think he's good at football. Having said that, Ty Montgomery returns to the lineup this week and the Packers are facing a Vikings defense that has allowed less fantasy points to running backs than any team in the league whose name doesn't rhyme with Schmenver Smroncos. That was terrible. It's the Denver Broncos, since that might not be clear after that inane rhyming thing I tried. My bad. Point is, as the consensus #17 running back Jones is way overvalued – even though he's my dude, he's a don't this week.
Pierre Garcon (@ WAS) – Ok. I'm going to be more brief through the rest of this – for your sake and mine, but mostly for yours. Garcon leads the Niners in targets by 14. He faces a Washington secondary that is sans Josh Norman. The Niners will be behind and have to throw. Most importantly, his name is Pierre. What more do you need to know? #Brevity
Will Fuller (vs. CLE) – Fuller has scored two touchdowns in each of the two games he's played this season. He clearly has a connection with DeShaun Watson – aka Houston's true savior – and faces a Cleveland defense that is...bad. Really, really bad. Did I mention that Fuller is only the consensus #30 wide receiver? Or that he's a grand theft larceny in DFS formats based on his dirt cheap price? No? Well, now I did. Take it for what you will.
Jordy Nelson (@MIN) – *READ DISCLAIMER AGAIN* This one is easy. A banged up Jordy is facing Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes is as shutdown as they get. Obviously you're starting Nelson in seasonal leagues, but I'd avoid him in daily formats.
Demaryius Thomas (vs. NYG) – Janoris Jenkins is the truth. Demaryius is good not great. The Broncos will be up early and often and will run a lot. Boom. Moving on.
Evan Engram (@ DEN) – He's literally the only Giants receiver alive. It's true. And he's technically a “tight end” but he's totally not. He's a receiver masquerading as a tight end. Regardless, the Broncos defense is good at everything except stopping tight ends. Don't get me wrong, the Giants are going to be a dumpster-fire on Sunday, but I think Engram could be good from a fantasy perspective. Got it? Good.
A.J. Derby (vs. NYG) – The Giants are so so so so so so so bad at defending tight ends. Derby busted out a bit last week and is still incredibly undervalued because nobody knows who he is. But again, he's facing the Giants, so this week he's a star. Sometimes it's just that easy.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vs. NE) – This may be my dumbest call of the week. I can already see it backfiring. The Pats defense has been eaten alive by opposing tight ends and ASJ led the Jets in targets last week and is already the best weapon in their offense. Ahhhhh, but there's the rub! People say that right? Yeah, they do. For sure. Anyhoo, the rub is that Belichick is pretty darn good at taking away what his opponent does best. Somehow, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is what the Jets do best. However, I don't think the Pats will shut him out completely, I just think he's overvalued as the consensus #4 tight end heading into the weekend.
Kyle Rudolph (vs. GB) – Only the Niners have allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends than the Packers. More importantly, Sam Bradford, aka Kyle Rudolph's biggest fan, is likely out. No way Rudolph should be the consensus #10 tight end this weekend. But he is. #10. So, yeah. That's all I got.
Los Angeles Rams (@ JAX) – Blake Bortles.
Houston Texans (vs. CLE) – No Watt, no Mercillus, and Kevin Hogan is kind of frisky. Wait, what?
Some guy who's playing in a dome or who's on a team with a good offense.
Any guy who doesn't qualify the above set standard for “Start.”