Think of fantasy player matchups as precious metals, and us as jewelers. Like good salesmen, we’ll give you a tour of our shop, starting with the most alluring matchups and work our way down, presenting our case for each. Platinum players are must starts, gold players are solid starts, silver players are reasonable, and a potential gold mine player like Sammie Coates could be great, but, could also have a bad day due to a major issue.
You can hear all our picks in the following podcast:
Platinum: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs New York Jets) - The future hall of fame pass catcher is on pace for over 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns in what is rumored to be his final season, and after racking up the points with backup quarterback Drew Stanton last week, it’s hard to see anything slowing him down. Certainly a New York Jets pass defense that ranks 31st in the league doesn’t look capable. Don’t hesitate to keep Fitzgerald in your lineup.
Gold: Brandin Cooks, NO (vs Carolina Panthers) - Cooks has been underwhelming since his Week 1 explosion against the Raiders, but this looks like as good for a re-emergence game as any. Remember when the Panthers’ secondary was feared? Seems like ages ago. Last year they gave up 21 receiving touchdowns all year, while a more inexperienced unit has already given up 9 in only 5 games this year. Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones torched them for 300 yards in Week 4, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans looked unstoppable against the Panthers late in Monday’s game. Now the speedy Cooks, the most talented target of the ageless Drew Brees, is coming off a bye and eager to take advantage of a Carolina defense in decline.
Silver: Jeremy Maclin, KC (vs Oakland Raiders) - Here’s another receiver coming off a bye week. After an embarrassing performance in Pittsburgh, the Chiefs offense has a great opportunity to put up points against the league’s worst pass defense, and Maclin should be the focal point of that attack. He’s averaged over 9 targets a game so far this year, and should have ample opportunity to find the end zone for the first time since Week 1.
Potential Gold Mine: Sammie Coates, PIT (vs Miami Dolphins) - He had the best game of his short career last week against the Jets. Now he goes up against a porous Miami secondary. And yet, he’s only starting in 7.6% of leagues on NFL.com. Part of that is due to the fact that he sustained a cut last game that required stitches and resulted in drops. But he still managed to grab 6 balls for 139 yards and 2 TDs. Depending on his injury update before kickoff, Coates could be a great start.