You win some, you lose some. That’s life in fantasy football. Last week I told you to start Drew Brees and sit Cam Newton. Yikes! That didn’t turn out so well. However, I did tell you start Colin Kaepernick and Carson Palmer and that turned out quite well.
So thankfully I’m not a complete fluff when it comes to suggesting who to start and who to sit.
What about this week? Where will I be right and where will I be wrong? Obviously the goal is to never be wrong and that’s my goal for this week. Check out this week’s starts and sits for QB.
START THESE QBs...
Cam Newton, CAR (vs. NO)
The Panthers are 2-0 to start the season and they owe it all to Superman himself – Cam Newton. He’s done everything he possibly can to win games. So far he’s accumulated 41.9 fantasy points, putting him sixth among all quarterbacks, ahead of Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Andrew Luck, not too shabby. This week he gets a plum matchup going up against a Saints defense that is starting to play like the “aints” again. The Saints allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston to dominate the game last week. Even without any real weapons on the outside, Newton should be able to rack up 20 fantasy points this week. Especially because he is averaging about 50 yards a game rushing. If you start him this week, you’ll take all the wonderful points he provides.
Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. SF)
Is there a hotter quarterback in all of the NFL through the first two games than Palmer? He’s scored 20-plus fantasy points in the first two games of the season. Look for his hot streak to continue this week as he goes up against a 49ers defense that no longer scares anyone and has allowed almost 20 fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers. If you want even more reason to start Palmer this week how about this – he’s averaged 319 passing yards per game against the 49ers in three career games.
Ryan Tannehill (vs. BUF)
Tannehill was on everyone’s breakout list heading into the 2015 fantasy season, as if people forgot that he finished last season as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. He’s starting to settle into offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s system, and it showed last week when he passed for 359 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars. His matchup this week should have his owners drooling as the Buffalo Bills through two games have allowed an average of 22.98 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Also, it might be useful to know that Tannehill has completely dominated Buffalo at home, where he’s passed for seven touchdowns in three career games against the Bills.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Tyrod Taylor, BUF (at MIA)
Taylor is still owned in just 17.8 percent of fantasy leagues, so he will be a weekly sleeper until his ownership starts to go up – which it should. You could easily think that Taylor’s 15 fantasy points in Week 1 against the Colts were a fluke, but he followed that up with 25 fantasy points going toe-to-toe with Tom Brady (of course it helped that he was playing from behind). What makes Taylor even more attractive as a starter is that he scored those 25 fantasy points against the Patriots despite his O-line giving up eight sacks. Taylor now goes up against a Dolphins defense that just allowed Blake Bortles of all people to score 20 fantasy points, so Taylor’s versatility figures to give the Dolphins trouble and his fantasy owners lots of points.
SIT THESE QBs...
Drew Brees, NO (at CAR)*
It pains me to write that as Brees has been one of fantasy football's most consistent players for the past 10 years, but it appears that he just doesn’t have that magic anymore. Maybe he really misses Jimmy Graham, or just isn’t comfortable throwing to his new targets in Brandin Cooks and Brandon Coleman (yes, Marques Colston is still around but he is hardly a factor anymore). If the old Brees was going to show up, it was last week in the Saints' home opener against a Tampa Bay defense that the previous week let Marcus Mariota (in his first start ever) throw four touchdown passes. So what did Brees manage against the same Buccaneers defense? Just 255 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception for a whopping 13.1 fantasy points. This week Brees is up against a stout Carolina defense that is on top of its game and will no doubt keep Brees trending downward. Hopefully you drafted a backup fantasy QB if you have Brees.
*NOTE: this only applies if Drew Brees actually plays. As of writing this post he was playing, then he wasn’t, then he was. So proceed with caution.
Sam Bradford, PHI (at NYJ)
People are starting to question whether or not Sam Bradford is actually a good fit for Chip Kelly’s offense. Mainly because Bradford hesitates to throw the ball down field. He’s not quite a check-down artist like Alex Smith is, but Bradford seems to love the intermediate throws. This week’s matchup against the Jets won’t help Bradford get on the right track. The Jets just stymied Andrew Luck on Monday night and will do the same to Bradford. Eventually the Eagles and Bradford will get their offense rolling, but that won’t be until Week 4.
Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. DEN)
It looks as if Stafford is going to play this week after suffering chest and rib injuries against the Vikings. Stafford sure has taken a beating in the first two games and the beating will probably continue this week against the Broncos, as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips loves to dial up blitzes that feature DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. The Broncos have allowed the least amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through the first two weeks of the season. It’s a good week to leave Stafford on your bench.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…
Peyton Manning, DEN (at DET)
Manning looked like the Manning of old last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead of lining up directly behind center, which is head coach Gary Kubiak’s preference, Manning was allowed to run his offense in the shotgun. That helped Manning throw for 256 yards and three touchdowns, but most importantly let his fantasy owners take a step back from the ledge. This week however things don’t appear to be as peachy. Kubiak has gone on record as saying that Manning will be back under center this week against Detroit. So until Kubiak wakes up and realizes that pounding the ball with C.J. Anderson and forcing Manning to roll out of the pocket just isn’t going to work, you should stay away from No. 18.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.