If you decided to buck the industry trend this year and draft a quarterback early, there’s a 66 percent chance you are happy. Sure, Aaron Rodgers put up an expected dud in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, but since then, he’s been the model of consistency.  There’s also a guy by the name of Peyton Manning that you may have heard of before.  Yeah, he’s pretty good. But then there’s Drew Brees.  Brees was a consensus top three quarterback during drafts, and he went as high as the first round over Manning and Rodgers in certain drafts.  But so far this year, Brees has left much to be desired for fantasy owners.  Thus far on the season, Brees has nine touchdowns, six interceptions and hasn’t topped 375 yards or 23 fantasy points in a game yet.  You’d sign off on those numbers over five games for many quarterbacks, but not for what it cost to get Brees.

To make matters worse for Brees, NFL.com reports that Jimmy Graham could miss 2-3 weeks after injuring his shoulder against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Head Coach Sean Payton was mum on Graham’s status on Wednesday, and despite the possibility of being without their top offensive weapon for a few weeks, one would think the Saints made good use of their bye week with a game plan for the Detroit Lions.  After all, Brees has been a monster in the past coming off of a bye.

That game plan, however, could include more of the ground game — which the Saints have relied on much more this year than in year’s past — instead of an aerial display.  If the Saints faced the Lions last year coming out of the bye week, Brees would be a top two quarterback.  This year in Motown, the Lions have an improved defense which has allowed just over 10 fantasy points to quarterbacks.  With the success of the Lions’ defense, and the long history of Brees struggling on the road, if you have a better alternative, don’t be afraid to bench Brees this week as he’s our sit of the week.


Start ‘Em

Carson Palmer, Cardinals: I’ve been higher on Palmer than most people this year, and I wasn’t afraid to play him last week even with his status up in the air.  Until you hear that Palmer isn’t practicing, feel free to run him out there.  This week, he faces a poor Raiders team that has struggled against the pass since the beginning of last season, essentially.  In his third start of the season, look for Palmer to score over 17 points again, and with that, increase the value of Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Ellington and John Brown.

Ben Tate, Browns: Look, Tate isn’t going to hold up for the rest of the year.  He’s already dealing with a not-so-serious finger injury this week.  Isaiah Crowell is the better talent of the two backs in Cleveland, despite his two fumbles last week.  But as long as Tate is healthy, he’ll continue to get the majority of carries.  His yardage wasn’t impressive in the Browns’ Week 6 win over the Steelers, but he’ll continue to get the rock in the red zone.  For the most run-heavy offense in the league, you couldn’t ask for a better matchup than the Jaguars.

Brandin Cooks, Saints: Cooks has been a frustrating player to own so far this year, as he’s produced inconsistent lines during his rookie campaign.  However, with Graham expected to be on the shelf, Cooks should see upwards of 13 targets against the Lions.  In the come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay, Cooks played 68-of-91 snaps for the Saints, which led all receivers according to Yahoo!  He’s better in PPR leagues, but he’s worth starting this week in standard leagues as a low-end WR2.


Sit ‘Em

Zac Stacy, Rams: At first it was just Benny Cunningham that Stacy owners had to worry about.  Now, rookie Tre Mason could complicate things even more after he got some run on Monday night.  The Rams’ backfield could make the Patriots’ backfield look simple.  If you drafted Stacy in the second or third round, I’m sorry.  Feel free to bench Stacy this week and going forward until the situation sorts itself out.

Mohammed Sanu, BengalsSanu has been great this year with and without A.J. Green.  It’s hard to say that you should bench him, but Vontae Davis continues to be one of the more underrated corners in the game. Sanu is an OK PPR option based on pure volume, but in general, he’s no better than a low-end flex this week.

Matt Ryan, Falcons: Similarly to Brees, Ryan has struggled away from home.  This week, he and his putrid offensive line travel to Baltimore.  Shoddy offensive line plus struggles on the road equals an automatic sit of Matt Ice who has been Ice Cold as of late.

  1. DiRo says:

    I am starting Sanu over Wright, tired of that guy killing me each week….watch him put up big points again because I don’t start him…

  2. Blake says:

    10 team standard league, no flex, 3 WR starting – which WR’s should I start?

    WR: D Thomas
    WR: TY Hilton
    WR: Cecil Shorts
    B: D Hopkinds
    B: K Allen
    B: B Cooks

    Thomas and Hilton are no brainers – I was thinking shorts because of the targets. this is a standard league, no PPR. So maybe Hopkins because of the TD potential? or allen? Sorry, at a loss of what to do.

    • @Blake: hey Blake. Good receivers you have. It’s close between Cooks and Hopkins for me, but I’m leaning Hopkins in a favorable matchup with a chance to score.

  3. Frank White says:

    What up Waterloo… Do you like Palmer or Cam vs GB?? Also Andre Williams, proj 12, or Bush proj 15, at Flex??

    • @Frank White: hey frank. If Kelvin plays, go Cam. If he doesn’t, go Palmer. Standard play andre. If the league is PPR, I lean bush.

      • Frank White says:

        Thanks Man!!

  4. Dom B says:

    Fred Jax or Michael Crabtree or Roddy White at flex standard

  5. scott steelers says:

    Pick 3 WRs. Allen, Roddy, Watkins, Cecil, Odell beck, Michael floyd…. as of now I have cecil odell and floyd in.

    • @scott steelers: give me Floyd white and Watkins. If ppr, I’m ok with shorts over white. Let’s see ODB do it before we plug him in.

  6. Dom B says:

    Do I wait and see how Percy harvin does next week or do I pickup Doug Baldwin

    • @Dom B: both will see slight increase in value. Anyway you can do both? I’m more likely to start Harvin before I am Baldwin.

  7. Principal Blackman says:

    12-team, 1/2 PPR. I need to choose a flex out of CJ Spiller, Brian Hartline, Greg Jennings, or Kenny Britt. Thanks.

  8. Principal Blackman says:

    Also in another 1/2 ppr league, do I start Larry Donnell @ Dal, or Delaine Walker @ Was?

    Thanks again.

  9. I_Miss_JR_Seau says:

    Two quickies for ya’

    Gore or Fred Jackson?
    Sanu or Hopkins?

    Thanks in advance

  10. LIL B says:

    Standard league. Lamar Miller, Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb for my flex? Thank you!

    • LIL B says:

      @LIL B: Choose two from those three. Thank you!

      • @LIL B: great options! It’s a toss up essentially between the wrs for me. I’ll lean Cobb slightly.

  11. Jason says:

    Start or Sit 1: Sankey Bush or Hillman. Also Dwayne Allen or Donnell?

    I traded away Steve Smith for Lamar miller too. My rbs were: LeVeon bell, Sankey, bush and Hillman. My wrs were: Antonio, Sanders, Wayne, Odel Beckham, Wheaton, Vjax, and Steve Smith. Thoughts?

    • @Jason: i go Hillman and Allen. I like the deal a lot. Smith has to cool down, right?

  12. buclover says:

    My team-
    cutler, roethlesburger
    murray, tate, ivory, hillman, dunbar
    d.thomas, edelman, wallace, t.smith, k.wright, hopkins
    kelce, harbor (picked him up before his big game!)

    His team-
    c.palmer, ryan
    bush, bell, crowell, mcfadden, blount, jrandle
    s.smith, wayne, r.white, allen robinson
    v.davis, j.reed

    what do you think about me trying to complete the Cowboy trifecta and trade for Randle? I’d also be interested in Crowell to back up Tate. I was thinking of offering Ivory or Hillman and Wright or edelman. This should give me solid protection with the Cleveland and Dallas RB situation as well as having hillman or ivory. Losing edelman or wright won’t hurt too much as I’m strong at that position. What do you think? On the surface it would look like a lopsided trade, but i kind of feel like it would make my team stronger. I’d appreciate your advice. espn 12 team .5 ppr (currently 6-0 , this trading partner is 2-4)

    • @buclover: i would do that. Offer Ivory and wright. If he says no, try Ivory and Edelman. Good move at 6-0.

  13. OldMilwaukeePounders says:

    I would need to have pretty enormous stones to start Hoyer over Brees, right?

  14. Nick says:

    Really, Sanu no more than a flex? Im in a 10team non-ppr & I’m starting him over the likes of Ingram, Beckham, McKinnon & A Holmes, right!? I have Sanu at WR3 with A Johnson flexing…2 RBs starting are Murray & A Williams…agreed? Oh & Cobb/Edelman are my WR1/2

    • @Nick: i just think davis locks him down. I like him much better in ppr. With those options, only case I can make over Sanu is Holmes. 20 targets past three games. I’m OK having Sanu in that instance, though.

  15. Broman says:

    Hey waterloo, nice article, glad to see a start em sit em that is more than a “start (people everyone starts) and sit (people unowned in half of leagues)” So I have a couple of questions, I am in a 10 team 0.5 PPR League where you must start one TE two RB three WR and two flexes that can be W/R/T. With AJ Green hurt I’m unsure of what to do with my WR3 and flex spots. As of now this is my lineup:
    RB: Matt Forte
    RB: Lamar Miller
    WR: Dez Bryant
    WR: Emmanuel Sanders
    WR: DeAndre Hopkins
    TE: Delanie Walker
    W/R/T: Terrance Williams
    W/R/T: Frank Gore
    Other Options: Kendall Wright, Jason Witten, Devante Adams, Cordarrelle Patterson
    Would you make any changes to this current lineup construction? Thanks.

    • @Broman: hey thanks, man. Figured it was the best way to help everyone. Given the format, I think you have the right lineup in. Gores usage scares me, but I’m not ready just yet to play Adams over him.

  16. rainking99 says:

    I need to pick a WR2 and a flex (standard scoring 10 team) from the following:

    R. White @ BALT
    R. Wayne vs CIN
    K. Allen vs KC
    R. Hillman vs SF
    J. McKinnon @ BUF

    Andre Holmes is available as Free Agent

    Thank you!

  17. DG says:

    I asked Money this question but would love your insight as well.

    12 team standard who am I starting
    Or Hunter

    Fairly certain Hunter isn’t really in the discussion.

    Thanks for your help!

    • @DG: i gamble with Holmes. Never thought I’d say that 7 weeks ago.

  18. Stanman says:

    Few questions for you!
    1. Of these 4 receivers pick 2 to start: mike Wallace, Alshon Jeffery, James jones, and Marques Colston.
    2. Which running back do you like best for ROS: Lamar miller, Alfred Morris, and Ahmad Bradshaw.
    3. Is Erick decker’s value pretty much gone now that harvin has joined him? If so is he worth dropping for McFadden, Terrence Williams, or Ryan Mathews?
    4. Was Ryan Mathews even worth mentioning in my last question…?

    • @Stanman: 1. Alshon and Wallace.

      2. I rank them Alf, Miller, Bradshaw.

      3. I think he’s more valuable than Harvin. I wouldn’t drop him unless you need an RB. I’d find a way to grab williams and Mathews if you need a RB.

      4. He was, but McFadden sure wasnt.

  19. dani says:

    Start reed or graham at te if he plays?

    Wr2 and flex:
    Sanders cooks a.holmes ingram stacy hillman


  20. Randy says:

    In my 10-team standard league, I had the misfortunate of drafting Ball and Stacy as my top 2 RBs, and also had Jennings get hurt. I’ve dropped Stacy, and have Ball, Jennings, Sankey, Andre Williams, and McKinnon at the moment. My team is not doing well and I kinda need to win now….would you drop any of these, even Ball, for someone like Jonathan Stewart who might help me win this week? Also, my WRs on this team are Alshon, Michael Floyd, Wallace, and Gordon. Is Gordon worth sacrificing my 4th WR spot in terms of roster flexibility, given that I’ve been having to start 3 WRs each week (including flex) since my RB corps is so bad? Guys like Cooks, Hopkins, Wayne, Hunter, Davante Adams, and Colston are all on waivers. I’ve tried doing some trades involving Ball and/or Gordon, but nothing’s working out. Just curious of your thoughts. Thanks!

    • @Randy: Those are some tough breaks. Depending on your record, it may not be worth holding on to Gordon. If I’m you and need a win asap, I drop ball and Gordon for Stewart and either cooks or Hopkins. I’ll lean Hopkins since its standard, but be prepared for cooks to get double digit targets as long as graham is out.

  21. bringtheheat$20 says:

    12 team standard format, what 2 wr should i start and who at my flex.
    J.Stewart RB

  22. Steven says:

    Hey man I just received a trade seeing what you think about it; I deal michael Crabtree & I receive brandin cooks.

    My Team:

    QB brady & have romo too

    RB’s: Gio bernard, ben Tate, Braden Oliver, storm johnson, ahmad Bradshaw, jeremy Jill & benny Cunningham

    WR’s: Demaryius thomas, crabtree, cordarrelle patterson, Kelvin benjamin, Andrew hawkins

    TE’s: jordan Reed & ertz

    I’m not mentioning D or kicker


    His team:

    QB: peyton manning

    Rb’s: demarco Murray, Montee ball, andre Williams, Pierre Thomas, bobby Rainey, james Starks, & Jonathan Stewart

    His WR’s: antonio brown, mike Wallace, roddy white, Davonte adams, cooks, torrey smith & Brian quick

    TE’s : greg Olsen & kelce.

    Based on our two rosters what would a fair trade between us to do?

    • @Steven: i think they are even. Cooks has a slight nod for ppr. Both will be inconsistent all year, but in a vacuum, I prefer cooks.

      • Steven says:

        @Michael Waterloo:

        It’s a .20 ppr league would that factor into this?

        • @Steven: IT onlY helps the case for Cooks. Kaep seems to favor one side of the field, and he spreads the ball around too much. Cooks will get the targets for sure.

  23. Brian says:

    Cooks or Stewart this Sunday non ppr format ? Thanks

  24. Sam says:

    I’m really struggling with this one; Carson Palmer or Drew Brees this Sunday?

  25. Steve says:

    Cameron or Holmes as a flex in PPR?

    • @Steve: give me the targets with Holmes – assuming andre and not Santonio.

  26. DILintor says:

    Two sit/start questions for you.

    PPR Scoring. Start 1 RB amongst: Storm Johnson, Jerrick McKinnon, and Bernard Pierce. I’m leaning towards Johnson now, because of McKinnon’s tough matchup, and possibly losing carries back to Asiata. However, Pierce has the best matchup, but is a clear #2 RB.

    Different league, PPR scoring. Start 1 WR amongst: Allen Robinson, Davante Adams, or Cordarrelle Patterson. I’m leaning towards Robinson, since every week I bench him, and he outscores the guy I’m starting instead. But with all the Jags WR’s back, I’m leery…


    • DILinator says:

      @DILintor: Sorry, didn’t intend to double post! This one just didn’t show up for a while, so I added the one below…

  27. DILinator says:

    Two Sit/Start questions for you.

    Two different leagues, but both PPR scoring.

    Which RB are you starting from: Storm Johnson, Jerrick McKinnon, and Bernard Pierce?

    Which WR are you starting from: Allen Robinson, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Davante Adams?

    Thanks in advance!

      • DILinator says:

        @Michael Waterloo: Agreed about it being rough! I’ve given up the thought of winning the league with the RB issue this week (I’m also starting Jarvis Landry and Greg Jennings there – double ugh!), but I’m the #2 team facing the # 1 undefeated team this week in the other league with the WR issue, and it’s projected (ESPN) to be close, so I really want to hit on that one! Thanks for the advice!

  28. Allen says:

    who would you start this week… Ahmad Bradshaw or Fred jackson? pick 1

  29. ahmad bradshaw or fred jackson for week 7 , who should i start ?

  30. Ken says:

    Good stuff.

    I’m in a bit of a predicament here. I have to start either Eli Manning @ Dallas, or Matt Ryan @ Baltimore. I’m leaning towards Eli in this one as Matt Ryan has throw multiple picks on the road behind and offensive line that cannot give him time (not their fault, 3 injuries in as many weeks will do that). Eli likes to throw picks as well and put up a stinker last week. Will this week be a shootout as most Giants/Cowboys games are? Or should I leave history out of this one?


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