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.
Goff was a sit last week and struggled in Baltimore, but he gets a much better matchup in a get-right spot back at Ford Field against the Raiders. Since last season Goff, averages 22 fantasy points per game at home, compared to 12 per game on the road. He has scored at least 18 fantasy points in every home game this season and has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in two of three. The Raiders also generate pressure at the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL, so Goff should have time to get the ball out to his weapons. The Raiders may not look like a slam-dunk matchup on paper, but they’re not one to avoid either. Back indoors again, Goff goes off.
Burrow has really only had one big game this season, but he has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in two straight. This is his biggest test to date, as the 49ers generate pressure at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. But Burrow is coming off the bye and the hope is he will be the healthiest he’s been all season. He should also have a healthy Tee Higgins at his disposure once again. The Bengals will likely need to put up points to keep up with the 49ers and could have to throw a bunch if they end up in catch-up mode. San Fran is a tough matchup, but if Burrow is healthy, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, we did just see Kirk Cousins and the Vikings carve the Niners up through the air on Monday night.
Purdy is coming off back-to-back rough weeks. In Monday's loss at Minnesota, he threw for 272 yards and a touchdown and ran for 19 yards, but finished with just 12.78 fantasy points due to two interceptions. I am willing to give him one more shot this Sunday, partially because I believe the San Francisco offense we saw over the first five weeks is real, as opposed to the blips of the last two weeks. It’s also partially because the obvious-start QBs have the most favorable matchups, and I like Purdy more than the streaming options this week. The Bengals are a tough defense, but this game does have sneaky shootout potential. That alone keeps Purdy in play.
Stroud had been playing strong ball before the Texans' Week 7 bye, throwing multiple passing touchdowns in four of his last five. He topped 20 fantasy points in three of those and has a floor around 14 fantasy points. But this could be a ceiling week for the rookie, as he faces the Panthers, who allow 7.6 yards per attempt, the sixth-highest mark in the NFL. They also generate pressure just 31 percent of the time (league average is around 36 percent) and play zone coverage the third-most frequently in the league and specifically Cover 3 the second-most. Stroud has racked up passing yards against both.
IF YOU NEED A STREAMER ...
Pickett typically brings a low floor and has not shown the highest ceiling. But part of that is due to his schedule, as he has already faced the 49ers, Browns, Texans and Ravens -- some of the toughest QB matchups in the league. He has topped 15 fantasy points in his other two games, showing he can put up solid numbers against softer opposition. This week, Kenny gets the Jaguars, who have allowed the second-most passing yards per game in 2023. They’ve also allowed double-digit passing touchdowns (one of 12 teams) and the seventh-most fantasy PPG to QBs. If you are streaming this week, Pickett is certainly in play.
Prescott finished as the QB1 with 24.88 fantasy points in Week 6 prior to the Cowboys bye. That came against the Chargers, who are the very best matchups for QBs. But it also was largely thanks to a season-high 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground. That’s 10 fantasy points with his legs alone -- his previous high this season was 2.4. Prescott has just one game this year with multiple passing touchdowns and has yet to reach 275 passing yards in a game. The Rams rank middle of the pack against QBs, but given the lack of big passing games from Prescott this season, and with no teams on bye this week, I would go in another direction.
Smith was a start last week against the Cardinals and he flopped. While he did throw multiple passing touchdowns for just the second time this season, he finished with less than 14 fantasy points. Geno has now topped 16 fantasy points just once in the 2023 campaign after averaging nearly 18 fantasy PPG in 2022. Now he gets the Browns, who have yielded the fewest passing yards in the NFL this season. They have allowed an average of one passing touchdown per game while giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. Smith can hit the bench in fantasy.
Stafford has topped 15 fantasy points just twice this season and he has yet to reach 17 in any game. He has just one game with multiple passing touchdowns and has thrown for 231 yards or fewer in three straight. Until we see more upside, it’s hard to start Stafford, especially in a week like this with no byes. Plus, he gets the Cowboys, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs. Dallas has given up the second-fewest passing yards this season, as the Cowboys' defense generates pressure at the highest rate in the NFL. You have to start Stafford's top two receivers, but the quarterback himself can ride the pine.
Earlier in the season, it looked like Love would be one of those QBs you could start in fantasy even if his imaginary points didn’t translate to real-life success. But he’s now averaged just 12.6 fantasy PPG over his last three games. He has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three of his last five contests and has multiple passing touchdowns in just one of his last four. Love was unable to put up big numbers against the Broncos, who had previously allowed a ton of offensive production. The Vikings may look like a favorable matchup on paper, but they’ve been playing better defense as of late. With no teams on bye, you should look to get away from Love this week.