Carson Palmer: Palmer is becoming a regular on this list, but Fantasy owners keep asking whether they should start him or not. Palmer has been amazing so far, throwing for 492 yards and seven touchdowns. This week he gets a Niners defense that just allowed Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 369 yards and three scores. Palmer and the Cards are firing on all cylinders.
Blake Bortles: Bortles has thrown for 456 yards and two touchdowns, including 273 and three scores last week against a tough Dolphins defense. This week he gets the Patriots, who are currently allowing 22 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the sixth most in the league. The Jags will have to put up points to keep up with the Patriots and those who need an injury replacement or are in two-quarterback leagues should give Bortles the nod.
Matt Stafford: This one hurts a bit because I have been backing Stafford for so long, but this is not the week to trust him. Not only is he battling an elbow injury, but he gets a tough Broncos defense this week. The Broncos have completely shut down Joe Flacco and Alex Smith this year, with four interceptions and no touchdowns. Neither may be as good as Stafford, but given the circumstances you do not want to risk it against a Broncos defense allowing a league low, 2.91 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Drew Brees: This is a scenario where it could be very difficult to sit Brees, but if you have a solid backup it could be worth it. It sounds like Brees is going to attempt to play through a rotator cuff injury, which could limit his throws, especially down field. Add in that the Saints offense has already struggled and Brees has yet to throw for more than one touchdown in either game. He also gets a stingy Panthers defense that have held opposing quarterbacks to just 14 fantasy points per game. Brees could easily come out and prove everyone wrong, but there are a lot of factors against him.
C.J. Anderson: After two weeks a ton of owners are on the verge of cutting bait with the first round pick. However, this could easily be the week he breaks out. Anderson was battling turf toe last week but with the added time for him to recover the issue should be behind him. Many owners are freaking out over a time-share, but so far Anderson has played 50 more snaps than Ronnie Hillman, showing that it is still Anderson’s job. It is also easy to forget that he has gone against two of the best rush defenses in the league. This week he gets a Lions defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing backs.
Jonathan Stewart: This is another player that many Fantasy owners have been panicking over. His numbers so far against the Jaguars and Texans, two teams who defend the rush well, may not be great, but the opportunities are there. In Week 1 he saw 22 touches and last week he had 18. He is the lead back on a run heavy offense and will see the rock close to 20 times a game. This week he gets a struggling Saints defense that is allowing 20 fantasy points per game to opposing backs.
Ameer Abdullah: The Broncos have been middle of the pack against the rush, but the matchup is not the only concern for Abdullah. Last week Abdullah saw his touches decrease, but the scariest part was both Theo Riddick and Joique Bell had more receptions than the rookie. Abdullah also saw a decrease in his snaps, from 45 percent of the Lions snaps in Week 1 to 40 last week. It is too risky to start a back in a three-way time-share, especially if he isn’t the one being used in the passing game, which is where many thought Abdullah would flourish.
Lamar Miller: Miller (ankle) may be limited. To add to that concern, the Dolphins signed Jonas Gray off of their practice squad. Even if Miller plays, you have to expect him to be somewhat scaled back, which could be an issue against the tough Bills defensive line. The Bills are only allowing 12 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and Miller have yet to see more than 13 carries in a game this season. Play it safe.
Michael Crabtree: Did you know that Crabtree is fifth in the league in targets amongst wide receivers? Yup, he has 24 already and is blossoming into the go-to target for Derek Carr. He gets the Browns this week, who have been middle of the pack against wide receivers, but if owners are digging a little deeper for a start this week the opportunities will be there for Crabtree.
Donte Moncrief: If you follow me at all, you know how high I am on Moncrief. He has outplayed Andre Johnson, who looks old and slow, for two straight weeks now. Moncrief’s 19 targets are second only to T.Y. Hilton and he out-snapped Johnson last week. He is becoming a force in the Colts offense and that should continue this week against a Titans defense that has been surprisingly good against receivers. I would recommend starting Moncrief over Johnson this week and believe he is a very solid WR2.
Golden Tate: If I do not trust the quarterback, I am not going to trust his number-two wide receiver. The Broncos have been the best team in the league at containing wideouts so far this season and Tate has struggled to post big numbers so far this year. He can be used as a WR3 this week with a limited ceiling, but not much more than that.
Jeremy Maclin: It has been a rough start to his Chiefs tenure for Jeremy Maclin. Maclin has served as a possession receiver for Smith and the Chiefs, but that does not equal out to many fantasy points. While Maclin has had nine catches in two games, he has yet to break 60 yards or find the endzone in either. He is more valuable in a PPR format as a WR3, but those in standard leagues should stay away.
Kyle Rudolph: Rudolph leads all Viking players in targets. He also leads the team in red zone targets and is the only player to catch a touchdown while in the red zone. In fact, he is the only Viking with a receiving touchdown. This week he gets the Chargers, who have given up the ninth most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, including two touchdowns. Rudolph has a good chance of scoring this week.
Eric Ebron: I have been telling you to sit Lions, but Ebron may be the lone exception for those looking deeper at tight end. The Broncos are middle of the pack against tight ends, but I have a feeling Ebron could be targeted quiet often across the middle as the Broncos apply the pressure to Stafford. It also helps that Ebron has become the Lions best red zone target, catching both red zone targets for two touchdowns, the most on the team.
Zach Ertz: Man, it has gotten ugly for the Eagles and Ertz is no exception. Despite seeing a fair amount of targets this year, Ertz has failed to record more than three receptions in either game this year. He also has yet to break 50 receiving yards or catch a touchdown. The Falcons who have been good at defending the tight end and this not the week to bank on him.
If you have any other questions follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
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