This year in fantasy really stands out as one of the weirdest ones in recent memory. If you look at the preseason top 10 overall on ESPN, that list includes Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, Travis Kelce, Davante Adams, Ezekiel Elliott, Jonathan Taylor, and Austin Ekeler. If you were to cross-reference that with their current ranks and situations you end up with RB25 (out for the year), RB18 (about to miss his third game of the season), RB12 (missed 3 games), RB42 (missed 4 games), RB6 (out for season), TE1, WR4, RB7, RB1. and RB2. This has really been one of the most unpredictable seasons and that shows in the top 5 overall players failing their owners.
This season has been a nightmare for predictions, but I am going to list 1 player I feel confident starting, 1 player I feel confident sitting, 2 sleepers, and 2 busts for every position.
Start: Kyler Murray/Colt McCoy ARI vs CHI
The starter for Arizona should be inserted right into your lineups this week as this Chicago Bears team looks worse and worse week after week. Chicago’s defense is not the defense we saw a couple of years ago, and that is evident after they consistently let teams drive up and down the field on them. Kyler Murray is the likely starter here, but I might plug Colt McCoy into a couple of lineups because this team is so bad. The Chicago Bears are torn apart right now, and Arizona will capitalize on their misery.
Sleepers: Tua Tagovailoa MIA vs NYG and Carson Wentz IND vs HOU
Sit: Russell Wilson SEA vs SF
Did you know that Russell Wilson is currently the QB16 in fantasy points per game? This Seattle Seahawks team is just excruciating to watch, and Russell Wilson is a major part of that. Seattle has one of the best receiving duos in the NFL in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and they are just not producing. I think this is partly due to a non-existent run game and Pete Carroll just not cutting it anymore. Until Seattle can muster up some offense, Keep Wilson on your bench everywhere because there are definitely better options.
Busts: Justin Fields CHI vs ARI and Mac Jones NE vs BUF
Start: Alexander Mattison MIN vs DET
Dalvin Cook is likely out beyond this week with a severely damaged shoulder. This makes Alexander Mattison a must-start each of these weeks as he seems to get more receiving work when he is the starter than when Dalvin is. If the Dalvin owner in your league does not have Alexander Mattison, they are screwed this week as a cupcake matchup with Detroit awaits. He could go off against the Lions and needs to be in every starting lineup, no matter the format.
Sleepers: Miles Sanders vs NYJ and Tevin Coleman NYJ vs PHI
Sit: Ezekiel Elliott DAL vs NO
Ezekiel Elliott just hasn’t been “it” this season. It’s clear his knee injury is bothering him a bit and the Cowboys just don’t want to rest him. Dallas will likely go with a 50-50 split between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard for the rest of the season and I want no part of Zeke during this. If the trade deadline has not happened yet, look to get rid of Ezekiel Elliott at all costs. He has an extremely low ceiling this week as New Orleans is giving up the least fantasy points to running backs. Elliott has an RB3 ceiling this week and should be on benches in a lot of leagues.
Busts: Saquon Barkley NYG vs MIA and Damien Harris/Rhamondre Stevenson NE vs BUF
Start: Hunter Renfrow LV vs WAS
Hunter Renfrow is quietly having a spectacular season not just in fantasy, but in real life. He has taken the reigns as Derek Carr’s favorite target and is flourishing in that role. In his last 4 games combined, he has 26 receptions, 259 yards, and two touchdowns. Over that span, he is averaging 16 fantasy points per game, which is high-end WR2 territory. This week he gets an amazing matchup against Washington that should be used to your advantage. Renfrow has a WR1 ceiling this week and needs to be in all starting lineups.
Sleepers: Sterling Shepard/Kadarius Toney NYG vs MIA and Rashod Bateman BAL vs PIT
Sit: Ja’Marr Chase CIN vs LAC
After a hot start to the season, Ja’Marr Chase has cooled off a bit with an average of 10.5 fantasy points per game over his last 4. Even in a blowout win over the Steelers, he only saw three targets. This week Cincinnati is playing the LA Chargers who have are allowing the second least fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Because of this, Chase could be in line for another dud game this week. Ja’Marr Chase will always have a high ceiling due to his elite deep-ball ability but his low floor could cost you an important win.
Busts: Tee Higgins CIN vs LAC and Elijah Moore/Corey Davis NYJ vs PHI
Start: Kyle Pitts ATL vs TB
Opposing defenses are shutting down Kyle Pitts in the absence of Calvin Ridley. Ever since his week 5 and 7 breakouts, Pitts is only averaging 6.6 fantasy points per game. He gets an opponent in Tampa Bay who has been very fantasy-friendly to tight ends this season. I’m not ready to give up on the Atlanta tight end just yet as he is too talented to not break out again. I’m calling my shot and saying that this will be the game that Kyle Pitts returns to form as the Falcons will be playing catchup all game.
Sleepers: Logan Thomas WAS vs LV and CJ Uzomah CIN vs LAC
Sit: Dawson Knox BUF vs NE
Like Hunter Renfrow, Dawson Knox has quietly been outstanding this season. The Buffalo tight end is the overall TE4 over names like Darren Waller, TJ Hockenson, and George Kittle. However, this week Knox plays against an elite fantasy defense in New England that will look to shut him down in the red zone at all costs. Knox has been extremely touchdown-dependent this season and I feel wary this week about depending on him to find the end zone. I am going a bit bold here and would start both Logan Thomas and CJ Uzomah over Dawson Knox as Buffalo has too tough of a matchup for my liking.
Busts: Cole Kmet CHI vs ARI and TJ Hockenson DET vs MIN