We’re basically one-third of the way through the fantasy season. I feel sorry for you if you’re not feeling too good about your team right now. Being 1-4 or 0-5 at this point in the season basically rules you out of postseason play. Hopefully your league has some weekly winner prizes or a last-place penalty to keep you active. We’re also dealing with plenty of injuries and bye weeks at this time of the season, so there are plenty of lineup decisions to be made.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Andrew Luck (QB – Indianapolis)
You probably expected Luck to take the leap this year like Peyton Manning did in his second year. Instead you’ve only seen one game in which Luck passed for over 300 yards. He’s been reasonably good, but hasn’t postedd 20 points since Week 1. That changes this week against an extremely leaky Chargers’ defense that’s given up an average of 308 yards and two touchdowns a game to fantasy quarterbacks.
Willis McGahee (RB – Cleveland)
Don’t expect McGahee to bust out his 2007 form this weekend, but he’ll be able to give you something reasonably productive. The Browns will look to incorporate a run-heavy game with Brandon Weeden now back at the helm and the Lions can’t seem to keep running backs out of the end zone. They’ve given up touchdowns to RBs in four of five games.
Bilal Powell (RB – N.Y. Jets)
RB is such a tough position to deal with this year, so you need to take what you can get. The Steelers have been a sieve against the run this year, giving up the most points to fantasy RBs. There are other figures in the Jets’ backfield, but Powell is still the lead dog.
Terrance Williams (WR – Dallas)
Who needs Miles Austin? The Cowboys don’t seem to be missing a beat without him. Williams came through with a huge touchdown in last week’s game and should continue to produce in the absence of Austin. Austin won't be 100% even if he plays, so Williams should cut up a Skins’ defense that was previously bombed by the receivers from Green Bay and Detroit.
Justin Blackmon & Cecil Shorts (WRs – Jacksonville)
You get a two-for-one special right here. Denver’s going to be winning this game by 20 points when they come out of the tunnel. Jacksonville will forge along and do their best, which should mean plenty of garbage-time production. Chad Henne can at least make these two receivers look competent compared to Blaine Gabbert, so get those trash cans ready.
Vernon Davis (TE – San Francisco)
Arizona has faced two physical specimens at tight end so far this year: Jared Cook and Jimmy Graham. (Before you say anything, Cook has always been known for having the physical tools. He just hasn’t been as productive as some hoped.) Both of these guys torched Arizona’s defense. Davis has the tools to do the same.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Terrell Pryor (QB – Oakland)
Pryor has surely made things happen this season. He’s had three efforts of 18 points or more, which is QB1 material. The issue is that he hasn’t faced a defense nearly as good as Kansas City’s, so he’ll experience a drop for at least one week. They’ve got the speed to keep him under wraps and the front system to keep him guessing all day.
Eddie Lacy (RB – Green Bay)
Baltimore’s rebuilding effort on defense has been question, but one thing is for sure: they know how to stop the run. Only Buffalo was able to have success against them this year and part of that was because Joe Flacco threw five interceptions and the defense was worn out from being on the field. Lacy hasn’t been overly successful to begin with this season.
Chris Johnson (RB – Tennessee)
Things will get better for CJ0K, but it’s not happening any time soon. His upcoming schedule is brutal, including this week’s game in Seattle. Seattle’s a different defense at home having limited RBs to under 50 yards in both home games this year.
Anquan Boldin (WR – San Francisco)
Boldin hasn’t been able to equal his Week 1 production in the four games since. Whether it be scheme (the 49ers are realizing they need to run more) or no other receivers to attract attention, Boldin isn’t getting it done. He’s a player who succeeds against zone defenses. Patrick Peterson will be in his face with constant physical man coverage this Sunday. You can predict the results.
Jermichael Finley (TE – Green Bay)
To be honest, there aren’t too many bad matchups for TEs this week. Of the group in the top 15, Finley looks to have the most on his plate. Outside of when they were brutalized by Julius Thomas in Week 1, the Ravens have only allowed one touchdown to TEs in their other four games -- despite going against reputable names like Jordan Cameron, Owen Daniels, and Charles Clay. With other options to find, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t need to feed this man on Sunday.