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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 Justin Jefferson). 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.

You'll be able to find my full notes on every player from every game that would qualify as a tough start/sit over at SportsLine shortly. For now, you can find Heath Cummings full set of Week 2 Fantasy football projections for every position available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their hype, at least in Week 2. Projected stats for all starting positions are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.

Jacob Gibbs projects big things for an AFC South receiver as he dives deep into the analytics. You can find that and a lot more in his Week 2 Fantasy Football Lineup Advice column at SportsLine. 

All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
ATL +1.5, O/U 40.5
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #87
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL GB -1.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS WR
4th
PROJ PTS
11
WR RNK
38th
YTD Stats
REC
4
TAR
5
REYDS
26
TD
2
FPTS/G
18.6
I like the matchup for Doubs on three fronts: his playing time should increase, the zone coverage he'll see should be plentiful and the red-zone targets from Love are hopefully a sign of things to come. I do feel like Doubs is a touchdown-needy receiver, though, so there is a shot he comes through with under 13 PPR points if he doesn't score. That's the profile of a solid PPR flex. I'd roll with Doubs over Terry McLaurin, Puka Nacua and Courtland Sutton, all of whom have tougher matchups than last week.

LAST WEEK: Despite an injury, worked nearly exclusively as an outside receiver and turned five targets into a 4-26-2 stat line despite running just 20 of 30 possible routes. A 25% target per route run rate is always excellent, by the way. 

INSIDE THE 10: Jordan Love threw three passes in short-yardage range. Doubs caught two of them for scores. 

FILM: For a dude with a supposed bad hamstring, Doubs did a good job of hustling to find space. He was locked up by Bears top cornerback Jaylon Johnson but when he saw other competition he did well, including both of his short-area touchdowns. His route-running was good and his timing with Love was excellent. 

FALCONS: Played zone coverage on 73.6% of their snaps last week against a young mobile quarterback, and odds are they'll be around that range in Week 2. They also kept quality cover corner A.J. Terrell on the left side of the formation for all of last week, likely a personnel-related decision.

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #88
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL GB -1.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS TE
30th
PROJ PTS
7.3
TE RNK
13th
YTD Stats
REC
3
TAR
4
REYDS
50
TD
0
FPTS/G
8
It's too soon to call Musgrave an every-week must-start, but he's on the path to getting there for at least however long Christian Watson is sidelined. Even then, Musgrave could see four grabs per game and turn in 10 or 11 PPR points on average. He should beat that average this week; I like him ahead of Dalton Kincaid, Cole Kmet and Tyler Higbee.

LAST WEEK: Led the Packers in routes run (24) and lined up all over the formation. Caught 3 of 4 targets but really should have had 4 of 4 with an additional 62 yards and two touchdowns. Love overthrew him when he was wide open thanks to busted coverage, then Musgrave slipped six yards shy of the end zone on another busted coverage play. 

FILM: Musgrave moved well for a big man with speed to get open against linebackers. The Packers rarely used him as anything more than a check-down/short-area option for Love; he ran four routes of 11-plus yards downfield. 

FALCONS: Played zone coverage on 73.6% of their snaps last week against a young mobile quarterback, and odds are they'll be around that range in Week 2. Hayden Hurst led the Panthers in targets, catches and yards with a touchdown primarily because he was an easy short target. Musgrave could follow suit against linebackers he should be able to separate from. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #5
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB GB -1.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS WR
9th
PROJ PTS
9.5
WR RNK
40th
YTD Stats
REC
0
TAR
1
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0
I can't make the case for London as a start this week, even though I fully expect the Falcons to throw more and actually need London this week. Receivers with more upside -- and this list is gross -- include Michael Thomas, Marquise Brown, Puka Nacua and Josh Reynolds.

LAST WEEK: A lot of cardio. The stats say he ran 20 routes but he was a blocker on two of them. When he did get a target, he dropped it on a short hitch. London was not a frequent first read for Desmond Ridder, who only needed to attempt 18 passes. London is also the reason why Pitts had just 44 yards receiving instead of 70 because he drew an illegal shift penalty on the play Pitts caught a 26-yard pass on. 

FILM: London did get open a good amount, but it was almost exclusively on a diet of short routes; just four routes went 11-plus yards downfield. This isn't a talent thing -- he has quick feet and great change-of-direction for a bigger receiver. He's just not seemingly a consistent part of the offense now that he's competing with Pitts, Bijan Robinson and Mack Hollins for targets.

ARTHUR SMITH: Lost in the soundbite of Smith hating on Fantasy Football (thanks for the shout-out, coach!) was his lamenting of the team being better in their spacing. Seems like an interesting time to bring that up when asked about London. Perhaps there were things London was doing wrong that wound up costing him opportunities -- the Pitts penalty chief among them. 

PACKERS: The first concern is that stud cornerback Jaire Alexander will cover London and essentially erase him like he erased D.J. Moore last week. Of Moore's 32 routes when Alexander was on the field, the elite cover man was on his side 75% of the time. 

SLOT: Alexander almost never follows anyone into the slot. But London lined up in the slot on 15% of his snaps last year and just 2.3% in Week 1. It would be a significant change in how the Falcons use London to put him inside to get him away from Alexander (Packers slot corner Keisean Nixon is no slouch either). 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
BUF -9.5, O/U 47
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #4
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs LV BUF -9.5 O/U 47
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
11.8
RB RNK
20th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
46
REC
4
REYDS
17
TD
0
FPTS/G
10.3
There's no problem projecting 15-plus touches for Cook in this week's matchup. It's just a matter of whether or not he'll have some monster gains because his odds of scoring are way down considering what we saw last year and last week. And if the Raiders defense is actually competent at defending running backs then Cook could have another inefficient day. I'd start Jamaal Williams, David Montgomery and Isiah Pacheco over him, even in PPR.

LAST WEEK: Played 60% of the snaps in a competitive game against a really good defense, which is why he totaled only 63 total yards with four receptions. 

INSIDE THE 10: The Bills used Damien Harris on two snaps in short-yardage last week, not Cook. That's not a surprise -- Cook played just 14 snaps inside the 10 all of last year. I expect that to continue. 

RAIDERS: Were surprisingly more effective stopping the Broncos running backs through the air than on the ground, at least statistically. Denver's RBs had 10 catches for a grand total of 38 yards as the Raiders linebackers and nickelback Nate Hobbs were outstanding at sniffing out screens, but there were a few plays where Samaje Perine roasted Vegas for some nice catch-and-runs. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
CIN -3.5, O/U 46
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BAL Baltimore • #4
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CIN CIN -3.5 O/U 46
OPP VS WR
5th
PROJ PTS
13.3
WR RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
REC
9
TAR
10
REYDS
78
TD
0
FPTS/G
17.7
It's pretty clear after one week who the Ravens like as their top receiver. Flowers' explosiveness and 10 targets from Week 1 cannot be ignored in Fantasy, but neither should the matchup. I would temper expectations on Flowers and keep him in the flex range. I'd also consider Rashod Bateman a DFS flier. I'd bank on rebound games for Jahan Dotson, Christian Kirk and Gabe Davis, starting them over Flowers, but I'd chance it with Flowers over Puka Nacua, Courtland Sutton and George Pickens.

DEBUT: Was electric in his first taste of NFL action, leading the Ravens in many basic stats thanks to his 9-78-0 stat line on 10 targets. His receiving average (8.7 yards) and yards per target (7.8) were third among the Ravens' top WR trio because all but two of his targets were two yards downfield or closer (including five passes behind the line of scrimmage). 

FLOWERS: Played 45.8% of his snaps from the slot, a much higher-than-expected (and welcomed) amount. The Ravens seem committed to using Flowers, Bateman and even a little bit of Nelson Agholor in the slot this season. 

BENGALS: Pass defense was outstanding last week against the Browns, holding wide receivers to a 36.8% catch rate and a lowly 1.14 Yards After Catch per Reception (YAC/rec). Cleveland WRs combined to see seven targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage (12 targets went 11 or more Air Yards), so the Ravens should offer a change of pace. Still, the Bengals missed one tackle on a receiver all game. 

LOU ANARUMO: Since taking over Cincy's defense in 2019, Lamar Jackson has played the Bengals six times. He's completed over 60% of his passes twice -- both in 2019 -- and thrown multiple touchdowns three times -- once in 2019, twice in 2020. This is a new Ravens offense for sure, but the point is Cincinnati has progressively gotten better and better at stopping Jackson as a passer. 

RAVENS: Will play without two starting offensive linemen -- good ones: Left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Tyler Linderbaum. Their backups aren't actually bad at all -- Patrick Mekari and Sam Mustipher -- but they'll get tested. It could negatively impact Jackson's throws. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
TB -3, O/U 41.5
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #1
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TB TB -2.5 O/U 41
OPP VS QB
23rd
PROJ PTS
17.7
QB RNK
9th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
216
RUYDS
59
TD
1
INT
1
FPTS/G
16.5
Obviously, Fields could render all these stats moot and just run like crazy through the Bucs defense, even if they play a lot of zone. If he gets good pass protection from his O-line and, say, a young, studly pass blocking rookie running back, then he could also have the time needed to give his receivers a shot to make plays. But he's going to have to take a step forward after taking a step backward last week versus a savvy defense that learned last week they can blitz their way to victory. Anthony Richardson and Daniel Jones are ranked ahead of Justin Fields for me this week.

LAST WEEK: Played way too cautiously, throwing for 11-plus Air Yards just four times all game. There were seven plays by my count where he opted for a short easy throw when he had a man open further downfield (frequently that man was D.J. Moore). Strangely, the only guy he seemed to connect with on long throws was Darnell Mooney, who he hit for gains of 23 and 20 yards with a touchdown. 

O-LINE: The Bears allowed a 54.2% pass rush pressure rate to Green Bay. They also got pressure on exactly 50% of their rushes with just four pass rushers! Granted, the Packers have some really talented dudes coming after the quarterback, but this number is really bad. No wonder why Fields wanted to get the ball out. 

TAMPA BAY: Struggled mightily with the Vikings offense in the first half last week, letting up 273 yards through the air with 138 to an unstoppable Justin Jefferson. In the second half they brought more heat with a 47.1% pass rush pressure rate and Cousins didn't even have 100 yards on 17 drop backs. They figure to apply the same principles for four quarters this week against Chicago. 

FIELDS: Was miserable when pressured last week (8 of 15 passing for 83 yards, but his touchdown was a blitz-beating gem). He was also awful when pressured in 2022 (42% completion rate, 7.0 yards per attempt, six touchdowns and six interceptions). 

Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #30
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TB TB -2.5 O/U 41
OPP VS RB
17th
PROJ PTS
6.5
RB RNK
39th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
20
REC
6
REYDS
35
TD
1
FPTS/G
17.5
You'd have to be a little desperate to roll with Roschon this week, but you should at least make sure he's not a free agent sitting on your waiver wire. At some point he's going to become the Bears' best running back. This could be the start.

LAST WEEK: Did very well last week with 55 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, although 28 of the yards and the score came in the final five minutes of the game. Nonetheless, it's encouraging. 

OF NOTE: Johnson did the most pass blocking of any Bears running back last week, and it was all before the final five minutes of the game. It was only twice (I'm not including chip-blocks on his way into a route) but he was the guy in the backfield on a 10-yard scramble by Fields and on Fields' touchdown to Mooney when he beat the blitz. Johnson also laid a block on D'Onta Foreman's game-high 11-yard rush. Pro Football Focus gave him an excellent pass blocking grade with perfect efficiency. '

WHAT'S THE POINT? If Johnson can pass protect in a game where Fields needs blocking help, he will play more. He'll eat into Khalil Herbert and Foreman's playing time and ultimately rack up some numbers beyond garbage time.

TAMPA BAY: Held Minnesota to 2.4 yards per rush over 14 carries, which sounds nice but only ranked about league-average in defensive rush Expected Points Added, which means they may not have been as dominant as 2.4 yards per carry sounds. Also, the Vikings don't run the ball much in the first place. I'm not sure how good this run defense is. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
HOU +1, O/U 39.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
IND Indianapolis • #5
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU IND -1 O/U 39
OPP VS QB
6th
PROJ PTS
18
QB RNK
10th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
223
RUYDS
40
TD
2
INT
1
FPTS/G
22.9
Richardson's rushing upside is still in play even though he had just 10 carries the week before. And it's a good thing that he's willing to take short throws when defenses play back a few yards -- the yardage can add up quickly. If you start him, you're hoping for two total touchdowns and enough rushing yardage to make up for any passing shortcomings. I'd start him over Justin Fields, Deshaun Watson and Kirk Cousins.

THE GOOD: Richardson was as polished a passer as I've ever seen him, making good reads and attacking the middle of the field with some consistency. Of his 26 pass attempts of 9 Air Yards or shorter, he completed 20 (76.9%) for 164 yards including an outrageous 127 yards after the catch. 

THE BAD: Richardson was still off-target when throwing 10 or more Air Yards, completing 4 of 11 throws (36%) for 59 yards with an interception. He also tried to play hero ball on a few occasions, putting the football in jeopardy when he was pressured. 

THE SURPRISING: Richardson ran just 10 times all game -- six by design. It's far less than what was expected. 

THE TEXANS: Allowed a high catch rate to the Ravens (77.3%), almost exclusively on short throws (4.95 ADOT allowed). Indy's offense isn't as explosive as Baltimore's, so they could allow a bunch of catches but not a ton of yardage on top of it. They'll also play a lot of zone coverage to keep Richardson from running all over the place, but I bet they'll get pressure on Richardson a bunch too.

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
IND Indianapolis • #11
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU IND -1 O/U 39
OPP VS WR
16th
PROJ PTS
12.8
WR RNK
31st
YTD Stats
REC
8
TAR
11
REYDS
97
TD
1
FPTS/G
23.7
The Colts learned their lesson and should involve Pittman plenty moving forward. But unless he breaks through for more large gains every week, there could be some disappointing sub-15 PPR stat lines. A reminder: he fell below 15 PPR points 10 times in 16 games last year. But it didn't happen in two games against the Texans, and even though Houston's pass defense looked better than expected last week, I don't think they can keep Pittman from getting catches this week. In PPR I'm happy to start him over Terry McLaurin, Christian Kirk and Zay Flowers, but in half- or non-PPR I'd put those guys ahead of him.

LAST WEEK: Came alive in the second half with an 8-97-1 stat line on 10 targets. Before that? One target, no catches. Indy couldn't run the ball in the first half and sort of gave up on it in the second half, too. In total, Pittman had a 6.64-yard Average Depth of Target (ADOT) with a 6.00 YAC/rec average juiced up by his 39-yard touchdown on a screen pass. It was his second-ever catch-and-run touchdown for longer than 15 yards, and yet those are the kinds of plays he'll need to make in order to be great for Fantasy.  

INSIDE THE 10: Last week the Colts ran seven plays 10 yards or closer to the goal line, throwing on two, both times by Gardner Minshew. This continues an alarming trend from Shane Steichen: Over 199 plays from inside the 10 with Jalen Hurts in Philly, Steichen's offense dialed up 51 pass attempts in close range, meaning a pass play was made just 25.6% of the time. 

PITTMAN: A lack of use in the red zone and inside the 10 has crushed Pittman's upside his whole career. Including Week 1, Pittman has 40 career red-zone targets in 47 games with 23 catches and eight touchdowns. It's even more alarming when he's been inside the 10 (21 targets, 10 catches, five touchdowns). 

TEXANS: Allowed a high catch rate, but on the second-lowest ADOT of Week 1, keeping the Ravens receivers under wraps save for four completions of 14, 19, 20 and 28 Air Yards. Four other receptions, including three by Zay Flowers, burned them for seven-plus yards after the catch. And it was linebacker Cory Littleton who was credited for the most YAC allowed, not any of Houston's top-three cornerbacks, who combined for 28 yards after the catch allowed. 

Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #12
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Collins' opportunities are the only reason to trust him as a No. 3 receiver, safer in PPR formats over non-PPR. His size and agility are also big plusses versus a Colts defense that figures to keep struggling to pressure the quarterback and has some dicey outside cornerbacks. I intend to start Collins in my leagues over Romeo Doubs, Michael Thomas and George Pickens.

TARGETS: Led Houston with a 25.6% target share and a 28.9% target per route run rate, essentially signaling his arrival as the Texans' lead receiver. He caught 6 of 11 targets for 80 yards including a phenomenal 26-yard deep slant.

FILM: Looked like the same receiver I saw from the preseason: Tall, rangy, quick agility to turn back toward the quarterback and occasionally speedy. One issue: C.J. Stroud was off-target on three deep throws, made a bad decision throwing to Collins on another deep throw and had poor timing with Collins on a 12-yard out route. Hopefully these get fixed over time, but they might cost Collins some numbers, especially against tough competition.

COLTS: Got steamrolled by Calvin Ridley, which was to be expected. Indy also gave up a 5-55-1 stat line on seven targets to Zay Jones, who profiles much more like Collins (though obviously Jones' quarterback is better). The Colts' primary outside cornerbacks -- Dallis Flowers and Darrell Baker -- allowed 8 of 11 completions for 117 yards and the Jones score.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
JAC +3, O/U 51
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
KC Kansas City • #10
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ JAC KC -3.5 O/U 51
OPP VS RB
2nd
PROJ PTS
11
RB RNK
29th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
23
REC
4
REYDS
31
TD
0
FPTS/G
9.4
Pacheco's track record of not being close to a full-time back should make Fantasy managers leery. Tack on a Jacksonville run defense that we're still not sure about and there's plenty of risk here. I also wouldn't expect four receptions from him again unless Travis Kelce is inactive. Even in non-PPR I'd rather start Gus Edwards, Rachaad White and Khalil Herbert.

LAST WEEK: Led the Chiefs running backs with 46.8% of the snaps and 12 total touches four receptions was a nice surprise). However, he played just one snap on third down (out of 15) and was off the field for all three of Kansas City's snaps inside the 10-yard line. 

PACHECO: May have been rusty as it was his first legitimate physical contact since shoulder surgery. But a startling trend continued: He has yet to play more than 50% of the snaps in any regular-season game. 

LAST 13 GAMES: Notched at least 80 total yards nine times, including 2 of 3 playoff games. But last week he had 54 total yards. 

JAGUARS: Did an outstanding job of shutting down the Colts' three-headed run game of Deon Jackson, Evan Hull and Jake Funk. Despite keeping them to 1.6 yards per carry, it remains to be seen if they're actually adept at stopping the run. Credit where it's due: They held those guys to 1.56 yards after contact per rush, didn't allow a running back run of over 7 yards and missed zero tackles. 

Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
JAC Jacksonville • #13
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs KC KC -3.5 O/U 51
OPP VS WR
19th
PROJ PTS
10.3
WR RNK
25th
YTD Stats
REC
1
TAR
3
REYDS
9
TD
0
FPTS/G
1.9
It's kind of a gut call, but Kirk should definitely wind up playing more this week in an effort to help the Jaguars rack up points. Put another way, Jacksonville's run game could be an afterthought if the Chiefs light up the scoreboard anyway, and even if it's not an afterthought their O-line is depleted and the Chiefs are getting back Chris Jones. I'd bank on Kirk for close to 15 PPR points, ranking him ahead of Gabe Davis, Romeo Doubs and Courtland Sutton.

DISASTER: Last week the Jaguars didn't use Kirk as a full-time player and he barely did anything. Of note, Kirk played just 5 of 31 snaps in two-receiver formations. 

JAGUARS: The hunch is that they wanted to keep Kirk away from a tough matchup in the slot and also use an extra tight end to block the Colts' defensive front. These are issues that could come into play again this year, but a high-scoring matchup against the Chiefs isn't the time to leave a playmaker like Kirk on the bench. 

SLOT: When he did play last week, Kirk lined up in the slot on 71.4% of his snaps. That's a signal suggesting his role in the offense for now. 

CHIEFS: Allowed 13.8 yards per catch and 4.23 YAC/rec to the Lions' receivers in Week 1, both ranking in the bottom-10 in the league. Amon-Ra St. Brown didn't run all of his routes from the slot, but he kept his ADOT low like a slot receiver (6.67 against the Chiefs), and he spanked them for 71 yards and a touchdown on six grabs. Slot cornerback Trent McDuffie has been a bright spot for this defense, but he was tagged with an 80% catch rate allowed in Week 1.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
TEN +3, O/U 45
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAC L.A. Chargers • #81
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN LAC -3 O/U 45
OPP VS WR
31st
PROJ PTS
13.1
WR RNK
28th
YTD Stats
REC
4
TAR
5
REYDS
45
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.5
Williams is best as a flex with touchdown upside in a plus matchup. Tennessee's run defense is also pretty good, so the Bolts might be forced to take to the air, where Williams' size should give him an advantage. I'd go with him over Nico Collins, Christian Kirk and Gabe Davis in PPR.

LAST WEEK: Williams left to get checked for a concussion but came back once he cleared. He only got one target from the start of the third quarter until the middle of the fourth. But in the final seven minutes when the Chargers needed to throw, Williams saw three targets and caught two for 41 yards. 

SLOT: We knew Williams would get more slot work this year, but he wound up in there on 43.1% of his snaps! It's the second-highest of any game he's played in as a pro and his highest since 30.2% in 2020. And here's the thing: He barely did anything in Week 1, so there's a lot the Chargers haven't shown that they have planned for him. 

TITANS: Were roughed up through the air in Week 1 by Chris Olave (112 yards), Rashid Shaheed (89 yards) and Michael Thomas (61 yards). Combined they caught 18 of 24 targets against a Titans unit that played zone 71.9% of the time. Safety Amani Hooker isn't expected to play and outside cornerback Kristian Fulton is nursing a hamstring injury. Their depth isn't very good. 

LAST YEAR: Williams had a down game against the Titans (4-67-0 on eight targets), made worse by the Titans being banged up in their secondary then. To be fair, the Chargers offensive line was a mess by this point and Justin Herbert was under constant pressure. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 1:00 pm ET •
DET -5.5, O/U 47
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DET Detroit • #16
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SEA DET -5 O/U 47
OPP VS QB
14th
PROJ PTS
22.2
QB RNK
12th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
253
RUYDS
-1
TD
1
INT
0
FPTS/G
16.1
Goff is good enough to start because he shouldn't get pressured much in what figures to be a high-scoring game. It leaves him with a shot at big numbers but the more likely result is that he gets around 250 yards and two scores. Another disappointing stat line will probably make people cut him. I'd chance it with Goff over Deshaun Watson, Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr, but I think Anthony Richardson is a better choice.

LAST WEEK: Goff played well at Kansas City, even managing to have better numbers when pressured (66.7%, 8.0 yards per attempt, nine attempts) versus not pressured (61.5%, 7.0 yards per attempt, 26 attempts), a welcome change. The Lions just had three red-zone drives last week -- one ended with an Amon-Ra St. Brown touchdown catch, another ended with a David Montgomery touchdown run, and a third ended with a fumble. Their last drive of the game ended with kneel-downs just outside of the red zone. 

SEAHAWKS: Got annihilated by Matthew Stafford and the Rams -- without Cooper Kupp, without a good run game and without a banner offensive line. Pete Carroll's crew predictably played zone coverage at a high rate (84.6%) and predictably couldn't land much pressure on Stafford (23.1% pass rush pressure rate). 

LIONS: Allowed a pressure on 28.6% of their pass snaps last week, below league-average. They have a much better O-line than the Rams do and should give Goff plenty of time. 

LAST YEAR: The Seahawks couldn't touch Goff much as they pressured him just 25% of the time with one sack. They also got weird and played heavy man coverage in the second half which was totally out of character for them. Goff, who wasn't pressured, scored three times in the fourth quarter. 

THIS YEAR: Seattle may try to manufacture more pressure with blitzes, but they're likely to stick with zone coverage. Getting rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon on the field for his debut may force Seattle to keep things simple. 

VERSUS ZONE: In his past 18 games Goff has a marginally higher completion rate and more yards per attempt versus zone coverage. He's not as aggressive, which is normal against zone coverage, and his TD rate is significantly lower (9.9% versus man, 1.2% versus zone). 

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DET Detroit • #87
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SEA DET -5 O/U 47
OPP VS TE
19th
PROJ PTS
8.7
TE RNK
14th
YTD Stats
REC
5
TAR
5
REYDS
39
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.9
If the game's going to be high-scoring like the week-high over/under of 50 points suggests, getting LaPorta in lineups as an upside play at tight end makes sense. He barely makes the cut as a starting Fantasy tight end over Jake Ferguson, Zach Ertz and Hunter Henry.

LAST WEEK: Had a low-key start to his career but did reel in all five of his targets from Jared Goff for 39 yards. He didn't play every pass snap either, so the 19.2% target per route run rate isn't so bad for his first NFL game. Hopefully he plays more moving forward. 

SEAHAWKS: Allowed two completions of 20-plus yards to Rams tight ends last week (one to Higbee, one to Brycen Hopkins). Overall Seattle kept up their skid of being bad against the position by allowing 17.5 yards per catch (fifth-worst) on a 9.6 ADOT (ninth-highest) against a Rams offense that only threw to their tight ends five times. 

OF NOTE: LaPorta had a weak ADOT of 4.0 yards, but he ran seven different types of routes including five crossers which he caught three passes on for 20 yards. Hopkins got his big catch on a crosser last week versus the Seahawks' zone defense. Hopefully the variety in LaPorta's routes helps him out. 

OUT WIDE: In his first game, LaPorta lined up wide on 24.6% of snaps, sixth-most of any TE who ran at least 10 routes in Week 1. There's potential to be a matchup problem. 

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: T.J. Hockenson scored twice in the Lions' matchup versus the Seahawks last year. He also has 179 yards on eight catches (12 targets). Seahawks might want to plan a little harder to contain the Lions' tight end this time around, but it may not matter.  

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 4:05 pm ET •
LAR +8, O/U 44.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #23
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SF SF -8 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
11th
PROJ PTS
8.4
RB RNK
36th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
52
REC
0
REYDS
2
TD
2
FPTS/G
17.4
Williams may prove to be a talented running back yet, but if he does it this week it figures to be as a pass catcher, though that doesn't even figure to be particularly effective anyway. You're better off going with almost anyone else.

LAST WEEK: Led the Rams in snaps, high-value touches and everything in between. That included a rushing average, which was just a lean 3.5 yards per carry. Williams likely played as much as he did because he's a good pass protector and receiver out of the backfield, both aspects that help Matthew Stafford. 

WILLIAMS: Didn't show any explosive traits in his Week 1 runs, nor did he have much vision as he ran exclusively between the tackles. He did follow his blockers, who aren't exactly a who's who of offensive linemen stars. Out of 33 running backs with at least 10 carries in Week 1, Williams ranked in the bottom-seven in negative run rate (26.7%) and avoided tackle rate (6.7%) with zero explosive runs. 

49ERS: Remain a dominant run defense. Stifled the Steelers run game quickly in Week 1. Allowed seven touchdowns to running backs over their past 18 games. D-tackle Javon Hargrave made a big impact last week and should again this week. 

LAST YEAR: In two games, Rams running backs totaled 128 yards from scrimmage with zero touchdowns. Their longest run was 7 yards. Their longest catch went 7 yards. No player averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry over the two games. They were a disaster. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 4:05 pm ET •
ARI +5.5, O/U 39.5
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NYG N.Y. Giants • #8
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI NYG -5.5 O/U 39.5
OPP VS QB
19th
PROJ PTS
19.7
QB RNK
11th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
104
RUYDS
43
TD
0
INT
2
FPTS/G
4.4
The Giants did a better job run blocking last week, and because Arizona's offense isn't capable of pulling away on the scoreboard, they could take their time to establish Saquon Barkley and then work play-action off of that. They can also work in some runs for Jones that can help stuff his stat line. Starting Jones means trusting his offensive line, which is a risk even against a Cardinals pass rush led by Dennis Gardeck. But I wouldn't be surprised by a modest game for Jones in the realm of 175 passing yards, 40 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

LAST WEEK: Jones was under constant pressure from the Cowboys' outstanding pass rush (66.7% pressure rate on him was insanely high!) and he couldn't do anything right. The lone highlight was 30 rushing yards by halftime. 

O-LINE: The spotlight's been on them since Sunday night, and there are injuries to go with it. Left tackle Andrew Thomas didn't practice earlier in the week but is "making progress" according to coach Brian Daboll. Left guard Matt Peart practiced on a limited basis. The middle and right side of the line got shellacked by Dallas and need a bounce-back game in a major way. 

ARIZONA: Pressured Sam Howell 33.3% of the time last week, which is actually about league average but the Giants will think that's a walk in the park. Behind a suspect offensive line of his own, Howell totaled two touchdowns with 202 yards passing and a pick. The Cardinals sacked him six times. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 4:25 pm ET •
DAL -9.5, O/U 39.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DAL DAL -9.5 O/U 38
OPP VS WR
2nd
PROJ PTS
13.3
WR RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
REC
5
TAR
5
REYDS
34
TD
1
FPTS/G
14.4
If you start Wilson, your only hope is that he finds some garbage-time stats, which admittedly is possible, but you don't want to count on it. Everything about him is great -- everything about his situation is awful. And even if things work out, his upside really isn't that big with Zach Wilson. I'd rather start Tyler Lockett, Michael Pittman and DeAndre Hopkins.

LAST WEEK: With Zach Wilson under center, Wilson caught all five of his targets for 34 yards (6.8 yards per catch) and adjusted flawlessly to an off-target fade throw in the end zone for a touchdown. The result was 14.4 PPR points.

LAST YEAR: With Zach Wilson under center, the receiver averaged 8.6 PPR points per game over nine matchups. He was over 14 PPR points in two of the nine. 

COWBOYS: If they weren't in a professional sports league they would have been collectively charged with assaulting Daniel Jones last week. They pressured him on two-thirds of his snaps! They sacked him seven times! They picked him off twice! They held everyone on the Giants to under 40 receiving yards! 

ZACH WILSON: Was sacked three times, picked off once and pressured 50% of the time by the Bills on Monday. This week's matchup is on a short week, on the road and tougher. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 4:25 pm ET •
DEN -3.5, O/U 38
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #17
Age: 28 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -3.5 O/U 39
OPP VS WR
27th
PROJ PTS
10.6
WR RNK
37th
YTD Stats
REC
2
TAR
4
REYDS
31
TD
0
FPTS/G
5.1
McLaurin is a stud but his coverage figures to be tough. Tack on a Commanders passing offense that was pretty good last week and Jahan Dotson picking up more targets (and getting open more often) and there's some concern for McLaurin not just now, but for the next few weeks as Washington will play a bunch of good defenses. For now, sit him for Zay Flowers, Romeo Doubs and Michael Thomas.

LAST WEEK: Looked mostly fine running routes, flashing more speed in the second half than the first against Arizona but saw just four targets for a 2-31-0 stat line.

SNAPS: McLaurin led Commanders pass-catchers in snaps played and was second behind Jahan Dotson in routes run. As expected, he stayed to the outside on 89.7% of his snaps, but in an unexpected turn of events, was locked up in man coverage by Arizona cornerback Kei'Trel Carter on three different third-down plays.

SURTAIN: One of the best cover cornerbacks in the league, Surtain primarily plays outside and figures to follow McLaurin when he lines up wide on every down. In instances when McLaurin lines up in the slot and the Broncos play man coverage, Surtain should be there too. Surtain gave Davante Adams that exact same treatment last week. Over 1,241 career snaps in coverage, Surtain has allowed a 57.9% catch rate and seven touchdowns.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #8
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -3.5 O/U 39
OPP VS RB
3rd
PROJ PTS
12.1
RB RNK
30th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
59
REC
1
REYDS
7
TD
1
FPTS/G
13.6
It's a common refrain for those looking into starting Robinson: He needs to score to come through for Fantasy managers. That seems like a tall order given how good the Broncos run defense looked last week against a better running back. I'd rather roll with Samaje Perine, Isiah Pacheco and even Antonio Gibson.

LAST WEEK: In what was supposed to be a cake walk matchup versus Arizona, Robinson averaged 3.1 yards per carry and had zero explosive runs. Don't even look at his halftime numbers. If there's anything to be encouraged about it's that he had 20 touches despite playing just 58% of the snaps. 

THIRD DOWNS: Robinson played just 3 of 13 third downs in Week 1, continuing a trend that saw him leave that role for Antonio Gibson. Washington didn't convert any of the third downs Robinson played on. 

RUSHING AVERAGE: Robinson has exceeded 4.0 yards per carry in just three of his 13 NFL games -- two against the Giants last year. 

BRONCOS: Were outstanding defending the run against Josh Jacobs last week. Maybe some of it had to do with Jacobs still working his way into game shape after his long holdout, but Jacobs averaged 2.5 yards per carry and only caught a pair of passes for 23 yards. Most impressive of all, the Raiders had six carries inside the 10-yard line and didn't get into the end zone on any of them.

LONG-TERM VALUE: I covered Robinson's long-term value and whether he's a buy or sell in trade talks in my weekly Projected Strength of Schedule Rankings update over at SportsLine.

Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DEN Denver • #33
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I feared the Broncos O-line as a potential mess to begin the season, but I didn't really think the workload sharing between Williams and Perine -- and maybe even a speedy undrafted rookie -- would make it more of a mess. Williams' lack of explosiveness and low-value touch share in Week 1 makes him especially risky, even though he's a candidate for over 15 carries. I'd rather start David Montgomery, Rachaad White and Jamaal Williams over both backs, and I'd still lean toward Williams over Perine for now, but it wouldn't surprise me if Perine outproduced Williams even in non-PPR for the second straight week.
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DEN Denver • #25
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
If I lost Dobbins to injury or just wanted to start building some cheap RB depth, I'd inquire about Perine in a trade. He shouldn't cost much in a deal, he looked like the better RB in Week 1, and he's a known commodity as a pass-catcher who plays in a Sean Payton passing game (which favors RBs through the air). I almost wonder if you could trade Brian Robinson for Perine and somebody else.

LAST WEEK: Played 28 snaps to Samaje Perine's 26, but when it came to third/fourth downs and snaps inside the 10, Perine played more (8 of 11 snaps on 3rd/4th down, 4 of 6 inside the 10). Perine also had more total yards and more explosive plays.

FILM: I know Williams deserves a pass because he's coming back from a bad knee injury, but he didn't flash much burst or acceleration out of his cuts. There were multiple plays where his O-line did not help him out. On the plus side, he was solid as a downhill runner, great at finishing his runs with power and outstanding in pass protection. By comparison, Perine was just as physical but smoother in his running. Perine had one snap in pass protection and was fine.

FILM: As a receiver, Williams saw six targets but five were dump-offs by Russell Wilson (four when Wilson was pressured) and only one seemed to be a designed play. Williams played one snap in the 2:00 offense (Perine played six and racked up three receptions) and had a great view of Courtland Sutton's touchdown catch.

COMMANDERS: Flew to the football last week against the Cardinals, missing a total of four tackles on Conner (one on a reception) and holding him to 62 yards on 14 carries and 8 yards on five catches. Conner had two touches good for more than eight yards.

SEAN PAYTON: Made mention this week of how familiar the Commanders defense looks based on the track record of both Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio. Perhaps he'll scheme against those tendencies with misdirection. Payton also specifically mentioned Jaleel McLaughlin as someone they'll try to give more touches to.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Sep 17 at 8:20 pm ET •
NE +2.5, O/U 46.5
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #85
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs MIA MIA -3 O/U 46.5
OPP VS TE
29th
PROJ PTS
8.2
TE RNK
16th
YTD Stats
REC
5
TAR
6
REYDS
56
TD
1
FPTS/G
16.6
Because it's unlikely the Patriots will build a lead and sit on it with the run, Henry has a pretty good shot at having a favorable game script against a Dolphins defense that won't tailor their game plan to shutting him down. There's always trepidation in starting an unreliable Fantasy player the week after he goes off for a big game, but the sad, cold reality of Fantasy Football in 2023 is that any tight end with a scintilla of hope for 11 PPR points is a borderline must-start. Pivot to Henry if you started Cole Kmet, Chig Okonkwo or Dalton Schultz in Week 1.

LAST WEEK: Henry had a great Week 1, scoring and catching 5 of 6 targets for 56 yards. It was just his third game since the start of 2022 with more than 10 PPR points. 

FILM: All but two of Henry's targets were on intermediate in-breaking routes in the middle of the field, the kind of plays to beat zone coverage with. His touchdown catch was a tight-window contested grab that looked more like something Gronk would do. That was cool. He also ran 12 go routes, many of which were designed to open up shorter throws for Mac Jones. He didn't run past anyone on the Eagles. 

DOLPHINS: Didn't play quite as much zone coverage as expected last week (67.1%), leaving open the possibility that they'll continue trending away from it this week against the Patriots. That might not be the best idea -- Philadelphia went to heavy man coverage in the second quarter last week and got buried for two touchdowns and 128 yards from Jones, including the score to Henry. 

LAST WEEK: Miami allowed an 83.3% catch rate and 8.4 yards per catch to Chargers tight ends including a touchdown with a pair of missed tackles and 5.8 YAC/reception. Ugly numbers. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Mon, Sep 18 at 7:15 pm ET •
CAR +3, O/U 40
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NO New Orleans • #30
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR NO -3 O/U 39.5
OPP VS RB
32nd
PROJ PTS
11.1
RB RNK
19th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
45
REC
2
REYDS
7
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.2
There really isn't much else to say. If you start Williams you're hoping he continues to play a lot and see a lot of work in what should be a favorable game script against a suddenly suspect Panthers run defense. He's a better start in non-PPR but I'd use him in either format over any Commanders running back, any Eagles running back, any Bills running back or any Bears running back.

WILLIAMS: Was awful last week against a good Titans run defense. But he played 77% of the snaps for the Saints, a massive amount. He also played 2 of 3 snaps inside the 10, the exact kind of area we're counting on Williams to come through. 

PANTHERS: Got run over by Tyler Allgeier in last week's game against the Falcons. That was after getting run over by Bijan Robinson in the first three quarters! All told, the Falcons racked up three total touchdowns and over 175 total yards. They missed six tackles. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Mon, Sep 18 at 8:15 pm ET •
PIT +2.5, O/U 39.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #14
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CLE CLE -2.5 O/U 38.5
OPP VS WR
3rd
PROJ PTS
10.9
WR RNK
37th
YTD Stats
REC
5
TAR
7
REYDS
36
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.6
I'd be much more inclined to start Pickens if I believed the Steelers would actually change how they use him. For this game, shorter routes over the middle of the field would theoretically work with some deep shots mixed in. But because Pickett isn't expected to have much quiet time in the pocket, and because the Steelers will probably aim to run more so they can control the tempo of the game, Pickens feels like a risky Week 2 choice. I'd rather start Romeo Doubs, Courtland Sutton and Michael Thomas.

WEEK 1: After a summer of hype leading to lofty expectations, Pickens saw a 15.6% target share in a blowout loss to the 49ers. He caught 5 of 7 passes but for just 36 yards. Even worse, Pickens saw just an 11.5% target share in the second half after Diontae Johnson left with a hamstring injury. 

USAGE: Pickens was effectively used the same way as he was in 2022, running 14 go routes and 14 hitch routes, the top two routes he ran in 2022. More unpredictability was expected. 

TO BE FAIR: Pickens and the Steelers played a 49ers defense that got on the scoreboard early and hammered quarterback Kenny Pickett in the pocket. Pickett felt pressure on 50% of his dropbacks, causing him to be much more errant with his throws than he was in the preseason. 

BAD NEWS: The Browns have an equally tough pass rush for the Steelers to deal with and a secondary nearly as good. They just shut down Joe Burrow in Week 1. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Thu, Sep 14 at 8:15 pm ET •
PHI -6.5, O/U 49
Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIN Minnesota • #3
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PHI PHI -6.5 O/U 49
OPP VS WR
24th
PROJ PTS
10.5
WR RNK
29th
YTD Stats
REC
4
TAR
6
REYDS
61
TD
1
FPTS/G
16.1
There's still some concern that the Vikings won't fully unleash Addison because he's a rookie, but they might not have a choice. They continue to gleefully ignore the run, and this specific matchup got a lot more interesting without Bradberry there. I'd start Addison again over Terry McLaurin, Courtland Sutton and Michael Thomas.

LAST WEEK: We got really lucky starting Addison against the Bucs. He played just 55.6% of the snaps in a close loss and had the exact same target share as K.J. Osborn (13.6%). Fortunately, he throttled the Bucs secondary on a 39-yard bomb for his first catch and first NFL touchdown. 

LAST WEEK: At no point did he draw double coverage last week against Tampa Bay, who played zone coverage 85.7% of the time.

EAGLES: Opened the year playing a lot of zone coverage against the Patriots, something they did a lot of last year as well. Against the Vikings in Week 2, they played zone coverage on 73% of their plays. 

ADDISON: All of his Week 2 numbers came against zone coverage. At USC he had a high catch rate last year regardless of coverage but managed better efficiency against zone coverage (16.0 yards per catch and 7.4 Yards After Catch per Reception) than man coverage (13.1-yard receiving average, 6.6 YAC/reception). 

EAGLES: Could be without veteran cornerback James Bradberry, who suffered a concussion last Sunday. It should mean second-year cornerback Josh Jobe (formerly with Alabama) will see a lot of Addison in coverage when Addison is out wide since Darius Slay will likely have a date with Justin Jefferson. Jobe has good speed but lacks experience -- just 19 snaps in the NFL (which means Addison is, technically, more experienced). 

VIKINGS: Threw at the second-highest rate in Week 1, picking up where they left off last year when they were top-three in pass rate.

COUSINS: Has thrown at least 37 passes in four of his past five games against the Eagles (two of three as a member of the Vikings).