Fantasy Football Blog

A fantasy football no-brainer: Grab Baker Mayfield if you can

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will make his first career start this weekend against Oakland.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will make his first career start this weekend against Oakland. AP

The No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft Baker Mayfield (Cleveland) is set to make his first NFL start for the Browns after leading the team on a tremendous come-from-behind win last week.

If available, Mayfield is easily the top quarterback waiver-wire addition this week given his amazing accuracy and explosive skill-set.

Mayfield also raises the fantasy profiles of essentially all the Browns’ skill-position players, particularly wide receiver Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku. It’s been a slow start to the season for Njoku (69 yards in three games) but he is a breakout candidate this week.

Fellow first-round rookie quarterback Josh Rosen (Arizona) will also make his first NFL start, though the situation isn’t nearly as attractive.

The Cardinals are averaging a league-low 6.7 points per game.

The 49ers are also forced to start C.J. Beathard after the season-ending injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. Beathard will likely improve some off his 2018 season where he threw just three touchdowns in five games, but the 49ers are looking rough with so many injuries to their offense. The injury to Garoppolo is a major downgrade for once-promising fantasy prospect wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.

Play ‘Em

At 380 yards passing per game Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) is on pace for 6,080 passing yards on the season. Don’t see the Baltimore defense on the schedule and give a thought about not starting Roethlisberger who threw for 506 yards in his last home game versus the Ravens.

Tom Brady (New England) is only the No. 20 quarterback on the season but expect a bounce-back game this week at home and against a Miami defense ranked 29th against the pass.

Eli Manning (NY Giants) should be good for a few touchdowns against a Saints’ defense allowing 3.3 passing touchdowns per game and the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Case Keenum (Denver) has sleeper potential this week in what should be a shootout and against a Chiefs’ defense allowing a league-high 362.7 passing yards per game. Keenum and the Broncos are going to have try to keep up with a Chiefs’ offense leading the NFL in scoring.

It looks as though the Seahawks have committed to Chris Carson (Seattle) after collecting 34 touches last week. This week Carson goes against the 28th-ranked run defense which has allowed a league-high 1.7 rushing touchdowns per game.

James White (New England) has high-end sleeper appeal especially as Tom Brady was vocal after a rough Week 3 showing saying White should be more involved in the game plan plus now Rex Burkhead has been sent to injured reserve.

Phillip Lindsay (Denver) was ejected for throwing a punch last week but he should pick right back up having a healthy workload (Lindsay averaged 16 touches and 106.5 yards in the first two games). He’ll go against a Kansas City defense that allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Austin Ekeler (LA Chargers) has more than 70 total yards and three receptions in every game this season and he should get a strong workload again this week especially if the Chargers get well ahead of the 49ers, which would seem likely.

Allen Robinson (Chicago) gets a Bucs defense on the road and off a short week while they also allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Sterling Shepard (NY Giants) should be in store for a busy week in what could be a shoot-out and with an elevated role in the Giants’ offense after the injury to tight end Evam Engram.

Sit ‘Em

Andrew Luck (Indianapolis) is averaging just 7.8 yards per completion — last among all starting quarterbacks. Luck has failed to top 180 passing yards in back-to-back games.

Not much to like about Derrick Henry (Tennessee) right now — he’s the No. 50 ranked fantasy running back to start the season, averaging 48 yards per game and without a score while this week he goes against the No. 1 ranked defense.

Amari Cooper (Oakland) is simply too unreliable to trust — he popped for 100 yards in Week 2 but has averaged just 13 yards in Weeks 1 and 3.

Alan Satterlee is in his sixth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW