You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.
Purdy just experienced his worst healthy start as a pro in San Francisco's 19-17 loss at Cleveland. He threw for just 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception, finishing with fewer than eight fantasy points. Still, you can start him this week. He had eclipsed 20 fantasy points in his previous three games and now has a strong get-right matchup against the Vikings. Minnesota has allowed the 10th-most passing yards and fantasy points per game to QBs. We have seen high-powered offenses put up numbers against this defense, with the trio of Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes averaging 24.6 fantasy PPG in the matchup. Purdy might not be at the level of those QBs, but his offense is. Expect a bounceback from Purdy and the 49ers. Keep starting this quarterback.
Smith has struggled to match last year’s success, as he has just one multi-touchdown game this season after logging 12 in 2022. He averaged 17.9 fantasy PPG last year and has reached that number just once in 2023. Still, this is a week to start Smith. The Cardinals have allowed the fourth-most passing yards, fifth-most fantasy PPG and nine passing touchdowns so far this season. They’ve allowed a top-12 fantasy-QB output in two of their last three games. Given the byes, keep rolling with Smith.
Stafford didn’t have the biggest game in last week's 26-9 win over Arizona, throwing for 226 yards and a touchdown on his way to scoring 13.24 fantasy points. It was another safe floor kind of game, which Stafford has been churning out this season. But the upside is certainly higher with both Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua at his disposal. Plus, he is third in the league in passing yards -- the touchdowns just haven’t materialized. His 2.6 percent touchdown rate ranks 27th in the NFL and is the lowest of his career. The TDs are coming, perhaps as soon as this week. The Steelers have allowed multiple passing scores in three of their five games, while giving up an average of 265 passing yards per game. The safe floor is enough to trust Stafford this week, but he still brings more upside than he has shown.
Howell has been putting up fantasy numbers of late. He has topped 18 fantasy points in four of his last five games, even eclipsing 25 in one of them. He has recorded 290-plus passing yards in three of those -- and has multiple passing touchdowns in three, as well. Plus, he can add value with his legs. Now, Howell gets the Giants, who rank in the middle of the pack against QBs. They have given up some big performances and are not a defense to fear. Especially with so many teams on bye, Howell is a strong option this week.
IF YOU NEED A STREAMER ...
Love just had a bye week, but prior to that, he suffered through his worst start of the season, throwing three picks in a four-point loss to the Raiders. He has six picks in his last three games. That said, he’s also topped 20 fantasy points three times this season -- and has shown he can add value with his legs, running for more than 35 yards in two of his last three with two rushing touchdowns in that span. But this is all about the matchup. The Broncos have allowed the most passing yards and touchdowns this season. They have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to QBs. Streaming is about playing the matchup, and this one's enticing.
Goff was a sit last week and that was a bad call. But I’m doubling down. And it’s not just the home/road splits, although those are a factor. For those who do not remember, Goff is typically much better at home than on the road. Since last season, he has averaged 22 fantasy PPG at home and just 13 on the road. He's averaged nearly two more touchdowns per game at home than on the road in that span. This year alone, he is averaging seven more fantasy PPG at home. But this is largely about the matchup. The Ravens have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. They have given up the fifth-fewest passing yards this season (and the third-fewest of teams that have played six games). Not all of you can get away with a sit here, given the bye weeks, but if you’ve been playing the matchups between Goff and another QB, go with the other one in Week 7.
Cousins just posted his second single-digit fantasy game of the season. Oddly enough, those are the two games the Vikings have won. Last week's opponent, Chicago, was a soft matchup on paper; this week's opponent, San Francisco, is the opposite. The Niners allow just 201 passing yards per game and have given up five passing touchdowns in six games. They have yielded the fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. They also generate pressure at the sixth-highest rate in the league. Some of you may not have another option, given the six teams on bye, but this is a week to try and get away from Cousins.
Minshew ended up throwing for 329 yards and a touchdown in the 37-20 loss at Jacksonville, which may have you thinking you can stream him this week. But he also threw three picks and lost a fumble, finishing with just 9.56 fantasy points. He’s now averaging 11.3 fantasy PPG in his two starts this season. Now he draws the Browns, who have allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL. They have given up just four passing touchdowns in five games and the third-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. Cleveland generates pressure at the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. Stream elsewhere this week.
Carr is fresh off his best fantasy game of the season, which was still just a 16.3-point outing. He has managed just five touchdown passes so far this season and only has one game with multiple scores. Three times, he has finished with single-digit fantasy points. The Jaguars are a good matchup on paper, but the hope with Carr is that the Saints are in pure catch-up mode. That’s what propelled him last week. Still, the floor is very low and the upside is (maybe) a low-end QB1 finish. I would go in another direction if you’re streaming this week.