Last week was a huge one for my fantasy surprises. Ben Roethlisberger had a very nice day, Matt Asiata had a huge performance, while Delanie Walker, Nick Novak and the Dolphins defense were all among the high scorers at their respective positions. While almost all of the teams are in action this week, this could be a tough one for fantasy owners. Many of the top talents have difficult matchups and while you pretty much have to start them, it’s possible they won’t perform to expectations. When applicable, evaluate the matchups and see if a player on your bench could end up being the difference maker for your team this week.
QB: Eli Manning vs Falcons: I wrote about him earlier this week, but Manning has been a solid fantasy option his past three games. This week he gets another favorable matchup at home against a Falcons defense that has been having a very tough time against the pass. If you need a quarterback or play them by matchups, Manning is a safe bet. Expect around 250 yards and three touchdowns.
RB: Bishop Sankey vs Browns: Sankey is another player I mentioned earlier in the week. He has been getting more and more opportunities and it’s only a matter of time before he has a big game. That could come as early as this week. Ken Whisenhunt has said Sankey will get involved early against the Browns on Sunday. The Browns have allowed over five yards a carry on the ground this year, so if your looking for a flex play or another back this week, Sankey is your guy. Expect around 80 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: Brandin Cooks vs Buccaneers: Cooks has seen a good amount of targets to start the year, but hasn’t been the big play threat he’s capable of. That could all change this week against a Buccaneers defense that has allowed teams at times to pass on them at will. If you need to start a receiver in deeper leagues or even as a flex, Cooks is worth a shot. Expect around 70 total yards and a touchdown.
TE: Clay Harbor vs Steelers: Harbor missed the first few weeks of the year due to injury, but stepped right in against the Chargers. With Marcedes Lewis hurt, Harbor should be the starting tight end for the forseeable future. He also showed a nice rapport with Blake Bortles hauling in eight passes. Chances are you aren’t in a league deep enough to consider him, but there is a lot to like about the matchup. The Steelers linebackers are banged up so there will be openings over the middle, the Jaguars will be throwing early and often and unlike some of his teammates, Harbor doesn’t have hamstrings made of paper mache. Expect around 60 yards and a touchdown.
K: Shaun Suisham vs Jaguars: A good fantasy kicker is all about capitalizing on opportunities. Those that play the Jaguars tend to have more than others. For that reason alone, Suisham is worth starting this week. Expect around two field goals and three extra points.
DEF: Chargers vs Jets: Like the kicker position, fantasy defenses are all about opportunities. While Geno Smith could end up being a very serviceable NFL quarterback, at this time he is very turnover prone. That makes the Jets a team for defense streamers to target. Go ahead and use the Chargers with confidence this week. Expect around three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.