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USATSI

Fantasy Football is all about the matchups. Even though you drafted your team with certain hopes and intentions, your weekly lineup decisions shouldn't be determined by the order you picked your players in. You need to check who your players play and make sure you've got the right guys in -- and the wrong guys out.

It's too early to be absolutely sure on which matchups will be easy and which ones will be tough, but we can take some educated guesses based on healthy personnel, defensive schemes, track records and key details of offenses. The things we know can help us minimize the impact of the things we don't know. This should lead to better decisions being made.

We'll go through every game and highlight the players who aren't obvious starts and sits (because you don't need to be told to start Jonathan Taylor). You should feel more comfortable starting or sitting players based on the information given, and feeling comfortable with your Fantasy lineup before the games start is the best feeling in the world.  

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Thu, Sep 8 at 8:20 pm ET •
LAR +2.5, O/U 52
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #13
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAR BUF -2.5 O/U 52
OPP VS WR
32nd
PROJ PTS
11.3
WR RNK
30th
2021 Stats
REC
35
TAR
63
REYDS
549
TD
6
FPTS/G
7.9
I'd start him as a high-end flex in full-PPR and a low-end No. 2 receiver in non-PPR. I would start him ahead of Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper and Darnell Mooney in all formats.

What to know:

  • In his final six games of the 2021 season including the playoffs, Davis had a 17.6% target share and eight receiving touchdowns. That includes his heroic four-score playoff outburst against the Chiefs, which means he still scored four times in the other five matchups he had.

  • Davis was considerably more efficient against zone coverage in those games -- nearly 10.0 more yards per catch and 4.3 more yards after catch per reception. But being fair, he was targeted much more often when running routes against man coverage, and he scored five times versus man compared to three versus zone.

  • The Rams played the third-most zone coverage last year (76.7% of defensive snaps) and are expected to run a similar scheme this year, especially against dangerous passing offenses with a mobile quarterback like Buffalo.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #26
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAR BUF -2.5 O/U 52
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
9.1
RB RNK
36th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
870
REC
40
REYDS
228
TD
8
FPTS/G
11.6
I think Singletary leads the Bills run game but can't promise he'll be given the majority of goal-line carries, and it's unlikely he'll dominate receptions. I'd prefer Miles Sanders, Melvin Gordon or either prominent Patriots running back ahead of Singletary, and I'd sit him assuming you have some solid alternatives.

What to know:

  • The Rams were sixth-best in rushing yards allowed in 2021 despite seeing the league-average in rush attempts against. Their run defense improved this offseason with the addition of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
  • Buffalo gave its running backs 20-plus carries in seven games last year (including the playoffs), all of them wins by 14-plus points, and six by three or more scores. In eight of their other 12 games (including the playoffs) the Bills gave 15 or fewer carries to their backs including six of their seven losses. I'm not saying they'll lose against the Rams, but it figures to at least be a competitive game.
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAR BUF -2.5 O/U 52
OPP VS TE
23rd
PROJ PTS
9.2
TE RNK
14th
2021 Stats
REC
49
TAR
71
REYDS
587
TD
9
FPTS/G
10.9
I'd sit him for David Njoku, Evan Engram, Hunter Henry or Tyler Higbee, each of whom are rostered in less than 65% of CBS Sports leagues.

What to know:

  • The Rams allowed just four touchdowns to tight ends despite seeing the 12th-most targets (119) to the position in 2021. Not only can safety Taylor Rapp figure into the coverage of Knox, but new linebacker Bobby Wagner can in obvious passing situations too. 
  • Knox had 60 or fewer receiving yards in all but two games last season and had zero games with 60-plus yards in 2020. He's a TD-or-bust tight end. 
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #9
Age: 34 • Experience: 14 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BUF BUF -2.5 O/U 52
OPP VS QB
1st
PROJ PTS
19.3
QB RNK
11th
2021 Stats
PAYDS
4886
RUYDS
43
TD
41
INT
17
FPTS/G
24.2
I'd start him as a good option with more upside than Joe Burrow (vs. the Steelers), Kirk Cousins (vs. the Packers) and Aaron Rodgers (at the Vikings).

What to know:

  • The Bills have an outside cornerback concern. Dane Jackson acquitted himself well last year (QB rating allowed of 59.8), but opposite him to the quarterback's left side is a spot to be shared by rookies Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam. Elam's stronger and faster, but Benford played well this summer in practice. Both figure to get tested. 
  • Stafford averaged 35.3 pass attempts per game in 2021 but got off to a fairly slow start with 28.0 pass attempts in Weeks 1 and 2. He still posted at least 21 Fantasy points per game. 
  • Stafford threw two or more touchdowns in 17 of the Rams' 21 games in 2021. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
ATL +5.5, O/U 42.5
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NO New Orleans • #13
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL NO -5.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS WR
21st
PROJ PTS
11.8
WR RNK
42nd
2021 Stats
REC
0
TAR
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0
Thomas' bust potential makes him less appealing than Adam Thielen, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquise Brown in all leagues, and Hunter Renfrow and Amon-Ra St. Brown in full-PPR formats. Better weeks are coming for Thomas.

What to know:

  • Thomas hasn't played in a football game since Jan. 17, 2021. The guy deserves our patience. 
  • That goes double in a matchup where the Falcons' best two defenders just might be their outside cornerbacks, A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward. Both figure to see plenty of Thomas in coverage. Terrell's allowed an 82% career catch rate in coverage against Thomas but no touchdowns. Hayward hasn't seen Thomas on a football field since 2016 but allowed a catch rate of 48.4% last year with the Raiders. 
  • New Orleans was conservative with Winston's pass attempts in each of its first four games last year, three of them one-sided blowouts. We could see the Saints run a bunch against a suspect Falcons' front seven.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
CAR -1.5, O/U 41.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CLE Cleveland • #85
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR CAR -1.5 O/U 41.5
OPP VS TE
10th
PROJ PTS
9.1
TE RNK
12th
2021 Stats
REC
36
TAR
53
REYDS
475
TD
4
FPTS/G
6.7
I'd start him as a stat compiler who has potential for 11 PPR points. That's more than Pat Freiermuth, Albert Okwuegbunam and Dawson Knox have.

What to know:

  • For those who missed the write-up on Njoku in my deep sleepers story, quarterback Jacoby Brissett has targeted tight ends at a clip north of 27% both last year in starts with the Dolphins and in 2019 as the Colts' starting quarterback. 
  • Also, Browns tight ends averaged 8.4 targets per game in 2021 and 8.7 per game in 2020, both with coach Kevin Stefanski calling plays. 
  • The Panthers were good versus tight ends in 2021, holding them to a 65.3% catch rate (eighth-best in football) and only six touchdowns. They have a number of different defenders who can hang with Njoku. The bet is that he gets enough targets to be useful anyway. 
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CLE Cleveland • #27
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR CAR -1.5 O/U 41.5
OPP VS RB
4th
PROJ PTS
11.6
RB RNK
26th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
386
REC
22
REYDS
174
TD
5
FPTS/G
13.8
I'd start him over A.J. Dillon and Ezekiel Elliott in all formats.

What to know:

  • It's probably not much of a secret that the Browns will try to slow the game down with their run offense. 
  • In his first five games last year with Nick Chubb also playing, Hunt averaged 11.0 carries, 3.4 receptions and 88.8 total yards per game with five total touchdowns. 
  • The Panthers run defense was solid against running backs last year (4.09 yards per carry allowed and 1.14 yards before contact were both top-12). However, the Panthers were also 12th in missed tackles on running back carries and allowed 2.95 yards after contact per rush. Hunt had an avoided tackle rate of 33.3% (better than Chubb!) and 3.45 yards after contact per rush (not better than Chubb but still very good). 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
CHI +7, O/U 40.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CHI SF -7 O/U 40.5
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
12.7
RB RNK
14th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
963
REC
19
REYDS
137
TD
6
FPTS/G
15
I'd start him over Javonte Williams, David Montgomery, Nick Chubb and any running back with an ADP of Round 4 or later. He should be solid in DFS, too.

What to know:

  • With 100.0 total yards per game in his 11 outings last year, Mitchell is practically a must-start whenever he's active.
  • Mitchell romped for 137 rush yards and a touchdown on 18 carries at Chicago last year. That was part of an anemic showing by the Bears defense in 2021, the likes of which contributed to their seventh-ranked finish in rushing yards allowed to running backs last year. They were also in the bottom 12 in yards allowed before and after contact. 
  • Even though there are concerns over the 49ers' offensive line, the Bears have a retooled and less-threatening front seven, headlined by linebacker Roquan Smith, who didn't play a single preseason snap and barely practiced while "holding in" for a new contract. 
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #5
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CHI SF -7 O/U 40.5
OPP VS QB
15th
PROJ PTS
21.6
QB RNK
9th
2021 Stats
PAYDS
603
RUYDS
168
TD
6
INT
2
FPTS/G
12.5
Lance's sleeper appeal puts him in the top-12 among Fantasy quarterbacks this week ahead of stalwarts in tricky matchups like Dak Prescott, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr. He'll be popular in DFS but probably worth the price tag regardless.

What to know:

  • Expect the 49ers to come up with a pretty simple game plan for Lance, likely involving lots of quick throws and half-field reads.  
  • Whatever downside there is with Lance as a passer is at least partially made up by his rushing. He averaged 10.3 rush attempts in the three games he played a large chunk of the snaps in and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. 
  • The Bears finished fourth in sacks (49) and first in sack rate (9.3% of opposing pass attempts), but they lost several pieces of their defense from last year and figure to have a lighter pass rush from their front four, especially while breaking in a new scheme. Anything that gives Lance more time and less pressure are good for him. 
  • Chicago's secondary is talented, but very young and probably preparing to play a lot of zone coverage. I'd expect the 49ers to take shots against rookie nickelback Kyler Gordon along with outside cover man Kindle Vildor (90.3 QB rating allowed along with five touchdowns given up). 
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #11
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SF SF -7 O/U 40.5
OPP VS WR
27th
PROJ PTS
11.5
WR RNK
25th
2021 Stats
REC
81
TAR
140
REYDS
1055
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.9
I'd start him as a flex over Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper, Antonio Gibson and Cordarrelle Patterson, but I'd rather start Gabe Davis.

What to know:

  • The 49ers played the fifth-most zone coverage last year (72.2%). Given the matchup against running threat quarterback Justin Fields, they'll probably play a lot of zone this week, even with the addition of press-man cornerback Charvarius Ward to their secondary.
  • Mooney had a much higher catch rate (56.3%) against zone coverage with Fields than man coverage (46.7%), though both are pretty low. Mooney had 5.5 more yards per catch from Fields versus zone and pretty much 3.0 more air yards further downfield per target. 
  • Mooney also had a target from Fields on 20.1% of his routes run last year with five end-zone targets. They like to connect. 
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #85
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SF SF -7 O/U 40.5
OPP VS TE
9th
PROJ PTS
9.4
TE RNK
9th
2021 Stats
REC
60
TAR
93
REYDS
612
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.1
Kmet's bust potential makes him a sit behind David Njoku, but he's still ahead of other fringe tight ends like Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki.

What to know:

  • Kmet figures to be a short-area target for Justin Fields when downfield throws aren't there. He had some designed plays to him this preseason. But he might also be asked to help block due to the fierce 49ers pass rush. 
  • Fields connected with a tight end for 15-plus PPR points three times in nine starts last year. None of those times were to Kmet. To be fair, Kmet did have two games with 13 or 14 PPR points, but he also had 8 or fewer in his other games with Fields. 
  • The matchup is a mixed bag and may come down to how the 49ers decide to cover Kmet. If it's with linebacker Fred Warner, Kmet will struggle. If it's with safeties Talanoa Hufanga or Tarvarius Moore, Kmet could be okay. The 49ers allowed the second-fewest yards to tight ends last year, but on the third-fewest targets. Opponents' passer rating to tight ends (117.5) was fourth-highest, and the catch rate allowed (72.2%) was 10th highest. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
CIN -6.5, O/U 44.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #88
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CIN CIN -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS TE
31st
PROJ PTS
9.8
TE RNK
10th
2021 Stats
REC
60
TAR
79
REYDS
497
TD
7
FPTS/G
9.5
I'd start him over Kmet in non-PPR leagues but probably not in full-PPR leagues. I'd take Freiermuth over Cole Kmet, Irv Smith and Evan Engram

What to know:

  • Last year's Bengals ranked bottom-five in targets thrown, catches allowed and yards allowed to tight ends. Against the Steelers specifically, they never seemed to really change their personnel to fit the matchup with Freiermuth. That led to nine targets over two games, many of which came as a check-down or short-area option. No major addition on defense makes the matchup tougher for Freiermuth. 
  • Freiermuth scored in each game: once on a shovel pass on a well-designed play, the other on a corner fade from 15 yards out when he was lined up against a cornerback. 
  • While the Steelers have a lot of targets to feed, they've talked up Freiermuth's athleticism and after-catch abilities. They'll probably want to put those to work against the Bengals, especially as a quick-pass outlet to negate the Bengals' underrated pass rush.
Sneaky Sleeper in PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CIN CIN -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
31st
PROJ PTS
10.9
WR RNK
44th
2021 Stats
REC
59
TAR
105
REYDS
860
TD
2
FPTS/G
11.1
I'd start him in full-PPR over Tyler Lockett and Julio Jones.

What to know:

  • The Bengals were top-12 in yards per catch and yards after the catch per reception allowed to slot receivers last year, and they held them to just four touchdowns (6th best). But they did give up a lot of receptions -- 96 to be exact -- and a lofty catch rate of 75%. That catch rate ballooned to 83.3% against the Steelers. Cincy's personnel and scheme have not changed enough to believe they'll be better this year. 
  • Claypool has been groomed to be the Steelers' primary slot receiver this season, a change made easier by the flashes of explosiveness by rookie George Pickens. In 2021, Claypool had an 80% catch rate when he lined up in the slot, albeit over a small sample size (15 targets). He also had more yards after the catch per reception from the slot (6.17) versus out wide (4.45).
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
DET +4, O/U 48.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PHI Philadelphia • #26
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DET PHI -4 O/U 48.5
OPP VS RB
25th
PROJ PTS
10.2
RB RNK
28th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
754
REC
26
REYDS
158
TD
0
FPTS/G
9.8
I'd start him with more confidence in a non-PPR league than a PPR, but in both formats over Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cam Akers, Ezekiel Elliott and any Patriots running back.

What to know:

  • Last year's Lions ranked fourth-worst in rush EPA allowed, defensive rush success rate and rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs. They also ranked fourth-worst in rushes allowed -- teams loved to run on them. Their offseason additions of lineman Aidan Hutchinson and safety DeShon Elliott aren't enough to believe a turnaround will happen quickly. 
  • Eagles running backs totaled four touchdowns and 144 rush yards over 37 carries against the Lions last November. Jalen Hurts added 71 rush yards. Sanders did not play in the game. 
  • While there are still worries about Sanders being an effective and available running back every week, Eagles coaches made it clear this summer that Sanders is their guy. He practiced this week after missing a bunch of time this summer with a hamstring injury. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
HOU +7, O/U 45.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #20
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU IND -7 O/U 45.5
OPP VS RB
24th
PROJ PTS
9.9
RB RNK
31st
2021 Stats
RUYDS
276
REC
40
REYDS
310
TD
3
FPTS/G
6.6
I'd sit Hines as a flex for Tony Pollard, Melvin Gordon, Nico Collins and Tyler Lockett.

What to know:

  • The main reason why you'd roll with Hines in full-PPR is that Indianapolis is expected to incorporate targets to its running backs. Last year, the Colts ranked 12th in targets to running backs with 113; the Falcons, with Matt Ryan under center, ranked first with 145. 
  •  The Texans were sixth from the bottom in running back targets allowed last season, in part because teams just ran the ball at them pretty easily. Case in point: Hines had 10 total PPR points in his two matchups with the Texans last year while Taylor combined for 52. To be fair, the Texans defense should be in better shape for this week's game.
  • If you like history, you'll love that Hines has posted at least 11 PPR points in 3 of 4 career Week 1 games, but the more relevant history is that Hines has played the Texans eight times in his career, scoring in just two of the games. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
MIA -3.5, O/U 46.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #37
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIA MIA -3.5 O/U 46.5
OPP VS RB
13th
PROJ PTS
9.9
RB RNK
33rd
2021 Stats
RUYDS
929
REC
18
REYDS
132
TD
15
FPTS/G
14
I'd sit Harris for Melvin Gordon, A.J. Dillon and Tony Pollard in all formats.

What to know:

There's just too much uncertainty over Rhamondre Stevenson's role -- and Ty Montgomery's availability -- to trust Harris to get the kind of touches we saw from him last year. It's entirely possible he and Stevenson rotate series with Montgomery (or Stevenson) playing in obvious passing situations. 

Harris' games against Miami last year were good, but he had at least 15 touches in each with no other Patriots running back amassing more than 10 touches. 

Tack on a declining offensive line and an offense overall that seems to be struggling, and it feels like a bad situation for a two-down runner like Harris. 

Oh, by the way, the Dolphins run defense figures to be pretty good after ranking fifth in defensive rush success rate last year. A massive D-line helps. 

Start Him In PPR (Lineup Decision)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DEN Denver
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NE MIA -3.5 O/U 46.5
OPP VS RB
19th
PROJ PTS
12.9
RB RNK
21st
2021 Stats
RUYDS
592
REC
43
REYDS
311
TD
2
FPTS/G
11.9
I'd start Edmonds in PPR over David Montgomery and Miles Sanders, and in all formats over Antonio Gibson and Kareem Hunt.

What to know:

  • Edmonds told CBS Sports HQ this summer that his favorite aspect of joining the Dolphins was being in an outside-zone scheme for the first time in eight years. Last year the Patriots allowed 4.6 yards per rush against 124 outside-zone scheme running back runs. 
  • Edmonds figures to be the primary running back for the Dolphins but expect him to catch a bunch of throws too. He averaged 3.4 grabs per game with the Cardinals in 2020-21, but he played just 43.7% of the Cardinals total snaps. He should see more work and theoretically more targets. 
  • That goes double as the Patriots may opt to play more man coverage as they've done previously against the Chiefs with Tyreek Hill on the field. They may be comfortable playing with a safety over the top of Hill, which would then make things really easy closer to the line of scrimmage for Edmonds. New England saw the eighth-most targets to running backs and allowed the fourth-most yards per catch (8.8) to them. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
NYJ +7, O/U 44.5
Flex Starter in PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BAL Baltimore • #7
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYJ BAL -7 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
12th
PROJ PTS
12.9
WR RNK
33rd
2021 Stats
REC
46
TAR
68
REYDS
515
TD
1
FPTS/G
8.6
I'd start him as a PPR flex over Robert Woods, Chase Claypool and Devin Singletary.

What to know:

  • With Marquise Brown gone, Bateman stands as the Ravens' top perimeter receiver. That was a good place to be last year -- Lamar Jackson completed 70% of his throws to outside wideouts for 8.58 yards per pass attempt, 11.97 average yards downfield per target and a 0.30 EPA per dropback (that's good). Five touchdowns, too. Bateman may also line up in the backfield and in the slot as per reports from training camp. 
  • If the Ravens have a hard time coming up with a run game, which figures to be the case even if J.K. Dobbins is partially available, expect Jackson to throw a little more than usual. 
  • The Jets pass defense gave up the third-most yards through the air in 2021 but were league-average to wide receivers (2,659 yards). That figures to improve with rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner lining up immediately as an every-down player. It's just tough to buy into this defense being better against the pass as soon as this week. 
  • Expect Bateman to be schemed into the game plan for the Ravens and operate as a possible red-zone threat because of his size. 
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #8
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -7 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
24th
PROJ PTS
12
WR RNK
29th
2021 Stats
REC
43
TAR
77
REYDS
538
TD
6
FPTS/G
12.6
I'd flex him over Brandon Aiyuk, Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper, Cordarrelle Patterson and Ezekiel Elliott.

What to know:

  • In one start with Joe Flacco last year, Moore saw 11 targets and caught eight of them for 141 yards and a touchdown against a tough Dolphins defense. In fact, Moore saw 31% of Flacco's total targets in his limited playing time with the Jets in 2022, connecting for a pair of touchdowns and an 18.1 yards per catch average. The two have been working together for several weeks while Zach Wilson has recovered from his knee injury. 
  • Moore had at least six targets in eight games last year. He had at least 12 PPR points in five, and four of those five were without Wilson. 
  • The Ravens pass defense should be much improved this season after injuries ravaged them last season. However, it's an older unit that may have a hard time staying within a yard of Moore because he's such a slippery route-runner. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 1:00 pm ET •
WAS -2.5, O/U 44
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #24
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs JAC WAS -2.5 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
14th
PROJ PTS
13.5
RB RNK
17th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
1037
REC
42
REYDS
294
TD
10
FPTS/G
14.3
Gibson's bust potential makes him a sit compared to Chase Edmonds or Kareem Hunt, but a start in front of similarly unpredictable backs like Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Cam Akers.

What to know:

  • A recap of Gibson's August: He went from presumed starter to definite backup after struggling to stop dancing in the backfield and hold on to the football. Then when tragedy struck teammate Brian Robinson, Gibson reverted back into being the presumed starter. 
  • Chances are Gibson will split playing time with J.D. McKissic, just as he has over the past two years. Typically that's meant Gibson dominating touches over McKissic, who's more of a defined third-down running back. 
  • Jacksonville's defense wasn't horrible against running backs in 2021, giving up 4.05 yards per carry and an 11th-best total rush EPA. They just gave up a ton of touchdowns (17). The Jaguars added front-seven menace Trayvon Walker and linebacker Devin Lloyd via the first round of the draft, and multiple defensive front run-stoppers via free agency. 
  • There's fear the Commanders cut back on Gibson's workload before the game even starts, and if he makes a mistake then it could cost him even more stats. Tack on an O-line with a pair of older guards who have been serviceable at best in run blocking and Gibson is a risk you'd probably want to avoid.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 4:25 pm ET •
ARI +6, O/U 53.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
KC Kansas City • #9
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI KC -6 O/U 53.5
OPP VS WR
26th
PROJ PTS
12.6
WR RNK
28th
2021 Stats
REC
15
TAR
28
REYDS
129
TD
1
FPTS/G
7
I'd start him over Jaylen Waddle, Chris Godwin and Amon-Ra St. Brown in all formats.

What to know:

  • One of the philosophies I've believed all offseason was that Smith-Schuster would play considerably better against zone-heavy defenses. That's the case this week as the Cardinals played about two-thirds of their pass defense in zone formations last year and still have Vance Joseph calling plays. 
  • There's also a drain of cornerbacks in Arizona. Their top corner, Byron Murphy, will play in the slot a bunch, but Smith-Schuster is expected to line up across the formation. Maybe Murphy follows him, but it's not that big of a factor. Two of their three next-best cornerbacks were acquired within the last 10 days. Smith-Schuster should be able to rack up catches and yards pretty easily.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 4:25 pm ET •
LAC -3.5, O/U 52
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LV Las Vegas • #13
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAC LAC -3.5 O/U 52
OPP VS WR
1st
PROJ PTS
12
WR RNK
35th
2021 Stats
REC
103
TAR
128
REYDS
1038
TD
9
FPTS/G
15.2
I'd start him in full-PPR over Brandon Aiyuk and DeVonta Smith, but not in non-PPR. He's also a

What to know:

  • Renfrow already figures to be in the prominent "Wes Welker/Julian Edelman" role as the slot receiver in Josh McDaniels' offense. And he's already been a prime target of Derek Carr's over the past two years (22.5% target per route run rate since 2020). 
  • Against the Chargers defense last year, Renfrow totaled three touchdowns and hit at least 16 PPR points per game. The Bolts have changed nickelbacks and figure to give Bryce Callahan the assignment -- he got a front-row seat to a Renfrow touchdown last season while with the Broncos but helped keep Renfrow to under 50 yards in each game. 
  • In what's expected to be among the highest-scoring games of the week, figure Renfrow makes a solid impact in terms of receptions with upside to keep his scoring streak alive. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 4:25 pm ET •
MIN +1.5, O/U 47
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #18
Age: 32 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN GB -1.5 O/U 47
OPP VS WR
28th
PROJ PTS
7.1
WR RNK
NR
2021 Stats
REC
28
TAR
39
REYDS
375
TD
5
FPTS/G
7.8
You may have to be a little desperate to start Cobb but I'd chance it with him over Nico Collins, DeVante Parker and any rookie wide receiver not named Drake London in any format. And definitely keep him in mind for DFS.

What to know:

  • The new-look Vikings offense will be called by veteran coach Ed Donatell, who should run a system with lots of man coverage much like his pal, Vic Fangio. Both Donatell and Fangio were on the Bears from 2015-18, so Aaron Rodgers should be awfully familiar with it. 
  • An important new part of the defense is ex-Packers nickelback Chandon Sullivan, who is expected to have the same role with Minnesota. Sullivan allowed a 69.1% catch rate in 2021 and was barely graded inside the top-100 qualified cornerbacks for pass coverage by Pro Football Focus. 
  • Bank on the Packers attempting to exploit this matchup with Cobb, who should remain their primary slot receiver especially with Allen Lazard doubtful. Throwing short will also help Rodgers negate the Vikings pass rush and maintain possession without over-working his running backs. 
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #28
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN GB -1.5 O/U 47
OPP VS RB
18th
PROJ PTS
11.3
RB RNK
24th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
803
REC
34
REYDS
313
TD
7
FPTS/G
10.9
I'd sit Dillon for Miles Sanders and Antonio Gibson in all formats, and for Tony Pollard and Cordarrelle Patterson in PPR leagues. He's a non-PPR flex at best.

What to know:

  • Dillon had a pair of good games against the Vikings last year: 15 PPR points in a matchup without Aaron Jones and a touchdown-fueled 22 PPR points in a late-season matchup in tandem with Jones against a depleted Vikings squad. 
  • But the Vikings reloaded their front seven, adding big men Harrison Phillips and Jonathan Bullard to go with Dalvin Tomlinson, and Jordan Hicks is a good enough run-stopping linebacker, as is edge defender and ex-Packer Za'Darius Smith. Typically defenses in this scheme are good against the run. 
  • The fear is that Dillon's workload will be capped to around 14 touches, just as it was last year when Jones and Dillon split work through their final six games together. The upside case is what Dillon did in a blowout win last December; the downside case is his 8.0 PPR average in his other five matchups when paired with Jones. Given the Vikings' improvements, it makes Dillon a touchdown-needy Fantasy option. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 4:25 pm ET •
TEN -5.5, O/U 43.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
KC Kansas City
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN TEN -5.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
29th
PROJ PTS
10.6
WR RNK
37th
2021 Stats
REC
39
TAR
57
REYDS
420
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.2
It's a good week to watch Toney, not start him. I'd sit him for Isaiah McKenzie, Drake London and Chase Claypool.

What to know:

  • Toney's been battling a hamstring issue after having a knee procedure earlier in the offseason. He should be able to play against the Titans, but it's unknown if he'll be limited or even at full speed. 
  • The Titans have a pretty good group of cornerbacks and safeties. It's assumed they'll all have to line up across from Toney at some point as Toney's capable of playing anywhere on the field. Not that they'll shut him down, but their gameplan should be to focus on him with bracketed coverage in obvious passing situations.
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 11 at 8:20 pm ET •
DAL +2.5, O/U 51
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DAL Dallas • #21
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs TB TB -2.5 O/U 51
OPP VS RB
17th
PROJ PTS
11.6
RB RNK
25th
2021 Stats
RUYDS
1002
REC
47
REYDS
287
TD
12
FPTS/G
14.8
There will be better weeks ahead for Elliott. Hopefully. For this week I'd sit him for Rashaad Penny, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, and in PPR, Pollard.

What to know:

  • The Buccaneers remain among the toughest run defenses in the league, even after not re-signing Ndamukong Suh. The team signed Akiem Hicks to replace Suh; he was the lynchpin to the Bears tough run defense for several seasons. They're loaded and deep, and they slammed Elliott in Week 1 last season to the tune of 39 total yards on 11 carries and two catches. 
  • Elliott might be recovered from a torn PCL he played with last season, but everyone from coach Mike McCarthy to Elliott himself has mentioned how his workload will be eased with the help of Tony Pollard. I fully expect Pollard to see significant snaps and make an impact in the passing game and on edge runs. 
  • Coach Mike McCarthy said this week that Elliott and Pollard are "definitely a tandem."
  • We haven't even gotten to the Cowboys offensive line, which is already in trouble after Tyron Smith went down with a torn hamstring and fractured knee. Here's a mini-thread from Twitter on what Smith's absences have meant to Elliott's numbers in the past. 
Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Mon, Sep 12 at 8:15 pm ET •
SEA +6.5, O/U 44.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #20
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs DEN DEN -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
7th
PROJ PTS
10.5
RB RNK
22nd
2021 Stats
RUYDS
749
REC
6
REYDS
48
TD
6
FPTS/G
12.2
I'd start Penny over David Montgomery, Antonio Gibson and Cordarrelle Patterson.

What to know:

  • When Penny found himself as the only viable runner in Seattle's offense late last year, he averaged 18.4 carries and 1.0 reception per game. And he was electric, averaging 7.3 yards per carry with six rushing touchdowns. The only game he faltered in was an 11-carry touchdownless performance against the eventual-Super Bowl champion Rams. With Ken Walker sidelined, Penny finds himself in the same situation as he finished last season in. 
  • Denver's run defense rated close to league-average last season in numerous stats including yards per carry allowed (4.36). They were good when it came to rushing touchdowns, giving up just seven to opposing running backs on the year. The unit returns mostly unchanged -- edge defender Randy Gregory is the only real addition, and he's more of a pass rusher than a run-stuffer. Linebacker Josey Jewell hurt his calf this week and didn't practice Friday; he's not expected to play. Point is, there's room for some success here.