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.
For fantasy purposes, Richardson reminds me of 2021 Jalen Hurts. The Colts rookie may be inconsistent as a passer as he continues to develop, but he clearly has the ability to put up solid numbers through the air to complement his rushing floor. Like last week, when he threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns -- and also ran for 56 yards and an additional score. That’s nearly an even split in fantasy points through the air and on the ground. Not only that, Richardson was held in check during the first half and still finished with nearly 30 fantasy points. He is averaging 22.8 fantasy PPG, and that would be higher had he not left a game early due to injury. He is a must-start, especially in a matchup against the Titans, who struggle stopping the pass.
Cousins is coming off his worst game of the year, but he still threw multiple passing touchdowns for a fourth straight week. And “worst game” means his first this season with fewer than 340 passing yards. He is at his best -- fantasy-wise, at least -- when he is in catch-up mode. That's a likely prospect this week against Patrick Mahomes and Co. The Chiefs have been a tough matchup for QBs so far this season, but Cousins has been too good for the majority of this young campaign to bench after one down week.
Last week, I had Stroud as a sit, noting that the Steelers' defense would be a big test for him. Well, he passed with flying colors, throwing for 306 yards and two scores. He also narrowly missed a rushing touchdown. He has thrown for the second-most yards ever by a rookie through four starts -- and he has yet to throw an interception. Last week, I also said you want Stroud on your roster -- hopefully you listened to that part. If so, go ahead and slide him into your starting lineup. Stroud has topped 20 fantasy points in three straight games, with multiple passing touchdowns in each of those contests. The Falcons have been stingy to QBs, but they bring pressure at a below-average rate. Stroud has been playing too well to let this matchup scare you away. Start him.
Love has topped 20 fantasy points in three of four games and nearly hit 18 in his “down” week. He has shown he can add value with his legs, rushing for a touchdown in two straight games. Plus, he is just now getting acclimated with the healthy versions of Christian Watson and Aaron Jones. This week, he faces the Raiders, who have allowed at least 18 fantasy points to a QB in three straight games. Love is in play in a strong matchup.
STREAMER/BYE WEEK REPLACEMENT OPTIONS:
It's been rough for Daniel Jones and the Giants' offense (outside of one half). But the Dolphins have allowed the seventh-most passing yards and seven passing touchdowns in four games. They generate pressure at a below-average rate, which is huge for Jones. A good matchup, in a game where Jones will have to throw to keep up with Miami, has Big Blue's QB in play as a streaming option. Sam Howell is a strong consideration this week against Chicago. He has topped 20 fantasy points in two of his last three games, and the Bears have allowed the fourth-most passing yards and the second-most passing touchdowns. Joshua Dobbs does not have as juicy a matchup (vs. Cincinnati) as the previous two names, but his rushing ability has him in play as a streamer. He has posted at least 40 rushing yards in three straight and has averaged 21.9 fantasy PPG in that span -- twice topping 23 fantasy points.
It has been a disappointing start to the season for Lawrence. He is averaging 14.5 fantasy PPG and has just four total touchdowns through four games. He’s topped 250 passing yards just once and has not yet reached 280 in a single game. The upside we saw at the end of last season just hasn’t been there so far. This week, Lawrence faces the Bills, who have allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards in the NFL. They’ve allowed just three passing touchdowns (while nabbing eight interceptions) and are top two in QB pressure and sack rate, despite blitzing at the second-lowest rate in the league. They just held the Miami offense to 20 points. Some of you may not feel like you have a choice, but if you paired Lawrence with any of the Start ‘Em QBs -- go in the other direction.
Burrow scored just 4.7 fantasy points last week, despite the favorable-on-paper matchup vs. Tennessee. He threw for 165 yards and lost a fumble. He is now averaging 7.9 fantasy PPG through the first month of the season. He has failed to throw a touchdown in three of his four games. Burrow is clearly not right. It stinks, but we cannot keep starting him in fantasy football. The Cardinals are not a tough matchup, but until Burrow looks like Burrow, he should be on your bench. If he has a good game on your bench, that’s OK. It just means you can start using him again.
Wilson came through last week in a favorable matchup against the Bears. He has now logged two up weeks and two down weeks in fantasy. But he faces a very tough task in Week 5. The Jets have been stingy to QBs. They limited Josh Allen to single-digit fantasy points in Week 1 and just held Patrick Mahomes to 13.2, his worst game of the season. The Jets can get pressure without blitzing and have one of the best secondaries in the game. Russ has been playing good ball, and there will be weeks to stream him, this is just not one of them.
Purdy was a start last week -- and he delivered. But that game against the Giants was a favorable matchup. This week is anything but. Dallas has allowed the second-fewest passing yards this season. They’ve given up just two passing touchdowns while nabbing seven interceptions. They also lead the NFL with a 49 percent pressure rate and their 10 percent sack rate is the second-highest. There will be plenty of weeks to plug Purdy into your lineup, but this week I’d go in another direction.