A rough Bye week this week as we have the Browns, Broncos, Steelers, Cowboys, Giants, and 49ers all idle.
That just means a lot of you will be looking for some spot starts from either bench players or some waiver wire pickups, and picking the wrong guy at this point of the season could end your season if you are hurting.
Let’s take a look at who the big names are for this week’s Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em.
Justin Fields, QB (Chicago Bears)
Ok, so I guess I was wrong about Justin Fields, cause he has really been playing well over the last few weeks. Last week against the Cowboys, Fields threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed eight times for 60 yards and another touchdown.
That was after surprising everyone by manhandling the New England defense a week earlier. Now he finally gets a much more susceptible defense in the Dolphins, so hopefully, he keeps getting this kind of freedom.
Fields should have some room to run against a middle-of-the-pack run defense, and the addition of Chase Claypool should at least give him another potential weapon to throw to besides Darnell Mooney. Plus, we all know the Dolphins will be trashing the Chicago defense, so Fields will be forced to scramble and throw a ton.
Jamaal Williams, RB (Detroit Lions)
Dan Campbell came out and said he gave D’Andre Swift too many carries in Week Eight, and he only had five. That bodes well for Jamaal Williams, who has his revenge game against the Packers.
The Packers are one of the worst run defenses in the NFL but have been pretty good at defending the pass. That means Williams should again see the brunt of the work and should have room to maneuver that porous Packer defense.
Figuring Swift won’t carry the ball much, Williams has every opportunity for a big game.
Joshua Palmer, WR (Los Angeles Chargers)
Joshua Palmer cleared concussion protocols today, so he should be ready for Sunday’s tilt against the Falcons. Keenan Allen apparently said his hamstring feels worse than it did before the Bye, and Mike Williams is out with an ankle sprain.
That really just leaves Palmer as the main Receiver. Atlanta is currently the second-worst team against the Wide Receiver position and is currently giving up 215 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a game. This game could be a decently high-scoring game, so Palmer has a great chance at a big game as the main target for Justin Herbert.
Palmer is a great Bye-week fill-in, and he could have some value going forward since Allen and Williams appear to both be out for a few weeks.
Zach Ertz, TE (Arizona Cardinals)
Zach Ertz and the Cardinals face off against the Seattle Seahawks, and frankly, both teams have been bad at defending the Tight End position. Now last week Irv Smith Jr. did disappoint, so this week I’ll give the Cardinal Tight End a try.
Ertz has been a pretty big part of this offense so far this season, and he still is being utilized even with Deandre Hopkins back. He has nine targets over the past two weeks and caught a touchdown last week.
With Seattle being bad against the Tight End and somehow pretty good at stopping Wide Receivers, Ertz is in a good spot to at least score a touchdown. Also, the last time these two teams played a few weeks ago, Ertz finished with seven catches for 70 yards.
Nick Folk, K – (New England Patriots)
Nick Folk has been on this list a few times, and I’m throwing him on here once again. Folk kicked a whopping five field goals against the Jets last week, a team that most should be able to move the ball on.
A combination of the New England offense being kind of bad and that they play the Colts makes him a nice option in a game that should be won by field goals (unfortunately for those watching).
Seattle Seahawks, DST
Ok, hear me out. After a pretty rough start, the Seattle defense has clamped down quite a bit. They held the Cardinals, Chargers, and Giants to 9, 23, and 13 points respectively.
And that’s not an easy feat when those offenses (ok maybe not the Giants) have been known to be high-powered.
The Seahawks actually beat the Cardinals in that game, although this time the Cardinals do have DeAndre Hopkins back, so it’ll be interesting to see if that makes a big difference.
Still, Seattle is a sneaky start this week.
Jared Goff, QB (Detroit Lions)
Jared Goff has been a bit of an enigma this season, putting up big numbers with really only Amon Ra St. Brown as a talented Receiver on the offense. But he has also had big duds against tougher defenses, and this week he gets the very talented Packer pass defense.
As I mentioned above, the Packers have been very good at defending opposing Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers, and really are beat on the ground. Add to that that the Lions traded away T.J. Hockenson and are dealing with an injured D’Andre Swift and you’ll see why I believe Goff will struggle in this one.
Division rivalry, good pass defense, and general questions on the offense make him a hard pass this week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB (Kansas City Chiefs)
The Chiefs take on the Titans on Sunday night football, and the Titans have been very good against opposing Running Backs this season. They currently are the second-best in defending the rush, and CEH has performed horribly against tougher defenses.
He rushed for 32 yards against the 49ers and 33 yards against the Bills. He was held without a catch in both games. The Titans will run all over the Chiefs using Derrick Henry, so this will probably be a quick game as the Titans try to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes hands.
The emergence of Isaiah Pacheco also hurts CEH’s value, so I’d skip him this week.
Jakobi Meyers, WR (New England Patriots)
Jakobi Meyers has been back to his PPR self since Mac Jones returned from injury, but now he gets a tough test against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are currently the second-best defense against the Wide Receiver position, allowing only 116 yards per game to receivers.
The Patriots will probably have to turn to their duo of Running Backs in order to score in this one, and the Colts themselves may struggle to score.
This one may be a tough defensive battle, so if you have other options, I’d shy away from Meyers and all New England pass-catchers this week.
T.J. Hockenson, TE (Minnesota Vikings)
I don’t know if you’d consider this cheating or not, but I would not start T.J. Hockenson this week. He was just traded to the Vikings, so he will have to learn a whole new playbook and a whole new system.
Now I’m not even sure how much he sees the field on Sunday against the Commanders, and even if he is 100% involved, he is facing a Commander team that is the best at defending the Tight End position.
A new team and playing the hardest to score against as a Tight End makes him a bench for this week.
Daniel Carlson, K (Las Vegas Raiders)
First off the Raider offense seems to be imploding. Derek Carr is bad, Davante Adams disappeared, Hunter Renfrow no longer is a thing, and Darren Waller is always hurt.
Secondly, they are going up against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who believe it or not are giving up the second-fewest field goal attempts per game in the NFL.
There are plenty of other options at Kicker, so look elsewhere.
Miami Dolphins, DST
Miami's defense is dead to me, so even though a Chicago Bear matchup seems great, I’d advise against streaming them.
Miami gave up 27 points to the Lions last week, and Justin Fields newfound running has made the Bears a threat to put up points.
I think Fields will run all over the Dolphins, and will also need to pass a lot to keep up with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Steer clear of the Dolphins this week.
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