* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Patrick Mahomes will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of his caliber check out our weekly fantasy football quarterback rankings.
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QB: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: Lamar Jackson vs. JAC
The reigning league MVP has topped 208 passing yards just once since opening week. He’s also scored 18.60 points or fewer in half of his last six games. Considering 11 active QBs not named Jackson average 18.68-plus ppg on the season, the dynamic playmaker has not always been a shoo-in play this year. This week, however, he is. Since Week 7, Jacksonville allows an average of 23.44 ppg to QBs. They’ve also allowed four opposing QBs to rush for 38-plus yards and/or score a rushing TD against them this year.
Jared Goff vs. NYJ
Goff has scored 15.58 points or fewer in four of his last six games. Yet, he’s topped 24.0 points in two of his last four games. All but one of New York’s last five opponents have scored at least 23.14 against them. The lone player not to, Ryan Fitzpatrick, still racked up a respectable 19.28 points. Since Week 8, Goff has averaged 42 passing attempts per game. The Jets allow the fifth-most passing attempts in football this season.
Matthew Stafford at TEN
The Titans have allowed an average of 25.26 ppg to QBs over the last three weeks. That includes matchups with Baker Mayfield as well as the combinations of Philip Rivers/Jacoby Brissett and Mike Glennon/Gardner Minshew. Over the last four weeks, the Titans have allowed 11 total TDs to QBs (most in NFL). Stafford has scored 17.0-plus points in three of his last five games and thrown three TD passes in three of his last seven contests. NOTE: Stafford has a rib injury that may force him to miss this week.
Tom Brady at ATL
Brady has not reached 16.0 points in two of his last three games. He has scored 11 total TDs since his Week 9 stinker against New Orleans. This week’s divisional bout will likely be much more welcoming, as no team in football allows more fantasy points (23.10) to opposing QBs than the Falcons. Three of their last five opponents have scored at least 23.58 points.
Sleeper: Jalen Hurts at ARI
Hurts did most of his damage on the ground in his inaugural start. Either way, he totaled 273 yards against a stingy Saints defense on his way to a 19.28 point showing. Yes, the Cardinals absolutely shut down Daniel Jones this past week (3.08 points). However, his hamstring limited his mobility, marking the first game in his two-year career he’s failed to log a single rushing attempt. Prior to that game, Arizona had allowed five of their previous six opponents at the position to top 20.0 points. Five of those six opponents combined for an average of 49 yards on the ground.
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QB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Teddy Bridgewater at GB
Bridgewater is fresh off a 20.0-plus outing, his third such showing over his last four games. While we don’t think Bridgewater will be outright terrible, he’s our pick for the least likely quarterback with startability to live up to his recent output. The Packers have held QBs to an average of just 12.48 points over five of their last seven games.
Cam Newton at MIA
Simply put, Newton has scored fewer than 6.0 points in two of his last three games. Yes, he gashed Miami to the tune of 75 rushing yards, two TDs and 25.70 fantasy points back in Week 1, but that was a different Dolphins defense. Three of Miami’s last four opponents at the position have been held to 12.10 points or fewer. The lone exception? Patrick Mahomes.
Baker Mayfield at NYG
Mayfield has played some of the best football of his career. Over the last three weeks, he ranked as QB2 (25.97 ppg) in fantasy, a major improvement from his QB26 (13.25 ppg) ranking over the 11 weeks prior. With all that said, he’s completed more than 19 passes just twice over his last six games. In fact, he’s accomplished this feat just five times all season long. New York has held four of their last five opponents at the position to an average of 11.47 ppg.
Buyers Beware: Tua Tagovailoa vs. NE
Fresh off his first career 300-yard passing performance, Tagovailoa has averaged 20.1 ppg in every game he’s started and finished this season. However, the Patriots have given young QBs issues in recent weeks. Three of New England’s last six opponents at the position have averaged less than 10.3 ppg. That group includes the likes of Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert, two typically dominant performers each with two years or less experience.