Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield

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Thomason: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em For Week 7

Baker Mayfield has a quality matchup, while Cam Newton could have trouble on the horizon.

Jack Thomason
October 18, 2018 - 12:03 pm

(670 The Score) "Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em" is a breakdown of some of the best and worst fantasy football matchups to help you navigate setting your lineups for the week.

My goal with this article is to provide you with a player to start who may not be the most obvious of starts and to share a player to sit who you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of the matchup.


START – Baker Mayfield, Browns (at Buccaneers) This is the same story for every quarterback who faces off against the Buccaneers and the Falcons -- you start them. Mayfield is averaging 269 passing yards per game, and that's including the game against the Jets, in which he barely played more than a half. The Buccaneers are dead last in 4for4's schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) and Football Outsiders' pass DVOA. The Browns are three-point road underdogs but do have an implied team total of 23.5 points. Mayfield makes a nice streaming option.

SIT – Cam Newton, Panthers (at Eagles) Carolina is traveling to Philadelphia to face a defense that ranks top 10 in both aFPA and DVOA. The Eagles' defense also ranks fifth in points per game allowed (19.5) and 12th in sacks (16). It's always a challenge to sit Newton given that his average rushing yards per game gives you a free passing touchdown each week, but with a Panthers team total of 20.5 and an over/under of 45, I'd think about other options.

Running back

START – Marlon Mack, Colts (vs. Bills) Believe it or not, the Colts are 10-point home favorites over the Bills with a 26.5 point team total. That makes Mack a solid play. He returned last week and saw a team-high 12 carries for 89 yards, and his workload should grow from there. The Bills are a bottom-eight team in aFPA to running backs, and if there's ever a week to start Mack, this is it.

SIT – Mark Ingram, Saints (at Ravens) After Ingram's coming-out party in Week 5, it's going to be difficult to bench him, but the Ravens are rolling defensively. They're allowing just 82.8 rushing yards per game and a paltry 12.8 points per game. This could be more of an Alvin Kamara game due to his pass receiving skills and ability in space. It's likely the Saints attempt to spread the Ravens' defense out and allow Kamara to do his work in space. The Ravens rank third in rush DVOA and first in aFPA to running backs.


START – Jermaine Kearse, Jets (vs. Vikings) Quincy Enunwa is dealing with a multi-week absence due to an ankle sprain, and Robby Anderson is dealing with a hamstring injury as well. Kearse had nine receptions and 94 yards on 10 targets last week and will face off against a Vikings team that's a two-point road favorite. The Jets have been better than most expected offensively with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold at the helm. Kearse should see plenty of targets in this one, and Minnesota ranks 24th in aFPA to receivers and 25th in pass DVOA.

SIT – Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (vs. Broncos) Fitzgerald is having a tough season, to say the least. Injuries, a rookie quarterback and an abysmal offense have hampered him. Now he'll do battle with Chris Harris Jr., and that's never an easy matchup for any player. The Cardinals offensive line will have a tough time slowing down the Broncos' pass rush, and Arizona's coaching is so bad that the team refuses to get David Johnson involved in the passing game, which would actually help slow down the pressure. All of this is a recipe for Fitzgerald to ride the fantasy pine.

Tight end

START – Trey Burton, Bears (vs. Patriots) The Patriots are bad all around on defense. They're allowing 24.7 points per game and rank 22nd in aFPA to tight ends. Burton has been modest at best, totaling just 15 receptions and 199 yards. But from a fantasy perspective, it's his three touchdowns in five games that are making him a fringe TE1. He'll have his opportunities in this one as the Patriots are three-point favorites at Soldier Field. 

SIT – Greg Olsen, Panthers (at Eagles) Much like we discussed with Newton, the Eagles defense is stingy at home and against tight ends specifically. Philadelphia ranks second in DVOA against the position and second in aFPA, as well. The way you attack this Eagles defense is on the perimeter. If someone succeeds for the Panthers, I'd guess Devin Funchess.

Other starts: Mitchell Trubisky (vs. Patriots), Corey Clement (vs. Panthers), Josh Reynolds (at 49ers), David Njoku (at Rays). 

Other sits: Deshaun Watson (at Jaguars), Carlos Hyde (at Buccaneers), Corey Davis (vs. Chargers), Evan Engram (at Falcons). 

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​