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.
Ridley and Kirk each saw eight targets in Week 5. It was Ridley who had the big fantasy day, catching seven passes for 122 yards, but Kirk did alright with six grabs for 78 yards. Ridley has received at least seven targets in four of five games. He’s averaging 13.6 fantasy PPG and has twice topped 20. He’s been a little up and down in fantasy output, but that’s to be expected early on after a long layoff. Meanwhile, Kirk has averaged 10 targets and 17 fantasy points per game over the last month. Now these two get the Colts, who have allowed the seventh-most yards to receivers. Start them both.
Davis has scored a touchdown and has double-digit fantasy points in each of his last four games. He is averaging 17.2 fantasy PPG in that span. On the season, he leads the Bills with five end-zone targets and he is averaging 16.3 air yards per target. That means he is always a threat to catch a long one or score a touchdown -- or both. The floor’s not the safest, but he’s playing good ball and is the second target for one of the better offenses in the league. Plus, this week he gets the Giants, who have allowed six touchdowns to receivers and the 10th-most fantasy PPG to the position. Davis is in play as a high-upside option this week.
Against the Lions, Thielen caught 11 of 13 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown -- good for 27.7 fantasy points. He was the WR4 on the week. He has been a top-20 receiver in each of the last four weeks and finished top five twice. In that span, he is averaging 11 targets and 23.7 fantasy points per game and his absolute floor has been just above 15 fantasy points. In Week 6, he gets the Dolphins, who were in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to receivers prior to facing the hapless Giants last week. It’s safe to say the Panthers will be in catch-up mode in this one, which means lots of targets going to Thielen. Continue to ride the hot hand here.
I had Addison as a sit last week ... and he went on to finish with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. He saw increased volume after Justin Jefferson suffered a hamstring strain and that should continue with Jefferson now sidelined. I had Addison as a start this week even before that JJ news -- now he’s very near a MUST-start. The Bears have allowed the third-most touchdowns to receivers and are in the top third in yards allowed to the position. They give up a lot of points weekly, and with their offense playing better as of late, this has the potential to be a high-scoring matchup.
IF YOU NEED DEEPER OPTIONS:
For some reason -- likely their Week 5 bye -- Palmer and Johnston remain widely available on the waiver wire in NFL.com leagues. Both should be rostered. In Week 4, Palmer ran 25 routes, the same amount as Keenan Allen, and led the team with eight targets. He only caught three, but still turned them into 77 yards. He’s definitely in play this week. Johnston is more of a boom-or-bust upside swing, but he was the clear-cut third wide receiver with no Mike Williams and could see a bump in usage after bye-week adjustments. He’s also enticing in a Kellen Moore revenge game.
The Commanders threw 51 passes last week and McLaurin finished with just five targets. He has six targets or fewer in all but one game this season. He has topped 60 receiving yards just once. McLaurin is still one of the better receivers in the league, but the usage so far in 2023 is head-scratching. Now he faces the Falcons, who have allowed the fourth-fewest yards to receivers, even despite playing one more game than a few teams. They are allowing just 121 receiving yards per game to wideouts. They’ve also yielded just four touchdowns through five games. It’s a tough matchup and the usage just hasn’t been what we’re accustomed to seeing. While this one could blow up in my face -- and McLaurin's not a must-sit -- I think you should get away if you can. For example, I am sitting him for Josh Palmer in a league.
Thomas saw seven targets last week. He’s good for at least seven targets pretty much every week. The issue is he has not been able to turn that into a whole lot of fantasy production. He has a really safe floor, scoring between 9.3 and 12.5 fantasy points in every game so far this season, but the upside just hasn’t been there. Now he gets a tough matchup against the Texans, who’ve allowed the fifth-fewest yards to receivers and just one touchdown to the position. The matchup lowers the floor, which is all Thomas is really bringing to the table. Go in a different direction this week.
Williams returned in Week 5 and played 47 percent of the snaps. He ran 15 routes, saw three targets and caught two of them for 2 yards. Believe it or not, Williams looked like a guy who had just re-joined his team and started practicing again after a long absence -- because he was. I still think Williams brings a lot of upside, but it might take him some time to fully acclimate himself back into the offense. With the possibility that Amon-Ra St. Brown and his high target share could be back this week, I would continue taking a wait-and-see approach with Williams. You want him on your roster, just not in your starting lineup yet.
Jeudy caught six of his seven targets for 50 yards in Week 5, finishing with 11 fantasy points. He has sat between 5.5 and 13.1 fantasy points in each of his four games. That is a low floor and a low ceiling. Now he faces a Chiefs defense that has been stingy to receivers, giving up just four touchdowns and allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy PPG to the position. That lowers the floor even further for Jeudy. Starting him feels like hoping for garbage-time targets in a K.C. blowout.