We have officially made it to the heart of the football season. We’ve got 5 games under our belt and you have a feel for where your guys are on your roster. Everyone’s officially warmed up so it might be around that time to start looking at trades and trying to make moves while you can. However, we're not here to talk trade, I’m here to help set that lineup so let’s get to it.
QB Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (@KC)
The veteran QB wasn’t on too many fantasy radars to begin the season. Now, six weeks in and he’s a legit top 10 QB whose available in over 30% of leagues. Up against his toughest matchup of the year last week against the Jets, Wilson held his own and threw for 2 TDs while adding a surprising 49 yards rushing. He has shown he has a solid floor even against a tough Kansas City defense, so I think he’s a lineup lock this week. If he performs well above par this week he becomes a lineup lock moving forward.
RB Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (Bal)
I wouldn’t have thought a running back splitting the backfield with Derek Henry would make the Start list, yet here we are. Two stats popped out to me that make Spears a must start this week and possibly down the stretch. He has had 4 or more targets in four of five games this year, and he's played 50% of the offensive snaps this season. Not only is he getting targets out of the backfield regularly but he’s on the field a solid portion of the time. Also to Henry owners dismay, he had a goal line TD last week. I don’t expect too many TDs but the volume he gets in the passing game makes him a must start in PPR.
WR Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (Den)
The rookie WR has been on my radar since the beginning of the year, due to the fact of the Chiefs receiving core being so thin. I didn’t think he would make it onto the start list yet but the historically bad Broncos defense gives him a great matchup. Rice has already showed trust from Patrick Mahomes this year with 5 or more targets in four of five games this year. The more acclimated he gets to the NFL, the better he’s gonna get. Scoop him up before he goes off this week and becomes a hot commodity.
TE Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans (NO)
[Insert comment on how poor TEs are this year.] It’s almost routine to expect a TE to do poorly. That’s not what Schultz is doing after his second consecutive game with a TD. To add to it, he amassed a whopping 10 targets against the Falcons this past week. Any TE getting that volume is a must start in todays NFL. He’s a lineup lock against the Saints this week.
Defense - Las Vegas Raiders (NE)
The Raiders are coming off their best performance of the year on defense. Totaling 3 interceptions and holding a solid Packers offense to just 3 points. There is a reason they are available in over 90% leagues, they started off poorly and don’t have what you would call a stout Defense. They have been playing well and have held their opponents under 24 points in three straight games. They are matched up against a subpar offense who has a league low 6 TDs on the year. The Raiders are a great flyer this week.
QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (@LAC)
At first glance I know you see the green matchup against a poor Chargers defense. You might want to play Dak but many better options are available. Nothing about his play this year entices you to put him in your lineup. He’s only thrown for more than 1 TD once and only has 5 total passing TDs this season with 4 interceptions to match. With a season high of 261 yards, Dak's low ceiling, and even lower floor should keep him out of your lineup. Find a better option.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots ( @LV)
Stevenson might be making people's lineups this week due to his solid matchup against the Raiders, who just gave up a solid performance against AJ Dillon. Before you put Stevenson into your lineup, look at his body of work this season. He has just one TD on the year and a game-high of 59 rushing yards. What bothers me most is his lack of work in the receiving game. Just 3 catches for 13 yards in the last three games combined. Keep him on the bench till he shows more production.
WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints (@Hou)
No one likes benching one of their top picks, but it’s a necessity this week. After a hot start to the year the stud WR has just 3 catches for 16 yards over the last 2 games. Granted he did haul in a TD last week but 2 catches for 12 yards just isn’t gonna cut it. He also has a tough matchup against Houston who’s allowed the 3rd fewest points to WRs this season and allowed only 3 TDs through the air. You might not be happy about it but think of other options at wide out this week.
TE Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans (Bal)
So I preach every week about target share when it comes to TE. Okonkwo is coming off a season high with 9 targets. That’s gonna make some of you want to put him in your lineup. I would suggest against that due to the matchup. We are at the point into the season where defensive rankings are becoming more concrete and need to be considered. The Ravens have allowed the fewest points to TEs this season. With Okonkwo having 0 TDs on the year you would be betting on the catches, and I don’t think they will be there this week.
Defense Washington Commanders (@ATL)
The Commanders made the start list last week due to their matchup. They ended up giving up 40 points to the Bears. Now they have allowed 138 points in the last four weeks. That is unbelievable with the big names they have on that side on the ball. A lot of people go with matchups on streamers and Washington is up against a mediocre Falcons offense. At this point they just can’t be trusted. Avoid them for now regardless of a good matchup.