Think of fantasy player matchups as precious metals, and me as a jeweler. Like a good salesman, I’ll give you a tour of my shop, starting with the most alluring matchups and work my way down, presenting my case for each.
Platinum: can’t-miss investment, must-start
Gold: very good investment
Silver: solid investment
Potential gold mine: could be great, but, could also turn out to be nothing
Copper: least desirable of the precious metals, not a good start
Plastic: not even real gold, put on your bench
Fool’s Gold: shiny and enticing, but not a wise investment
Gold - Philip Rivers, SD (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Last week in Houston, Rivers put up nearly 20 fantasy points against one of the league’s best pass defenses. In other words, the San Diego Chargers’ quarterback is matchup proof. And yet, he’s only starting in 55.1% of leagues on NFL.com despite a far more favorable matchup at home against the Bucs.
Silver - Tyrod Taylor, BUF (at Oakland Raiders) - Taylor has quietly had the 12th best fantasy season among all quarterbacks. Last week he put up over 20 points, despite throwing for just 166 yards, showing that he can help your team with his legs as well. Now he faces the Raiders, who are allowing the seventh most points to opposing quarterbacks. While he isn’t the best option out there, he does deserve to start in more than 14% of leagues, which is where he is at right now.
Silver - Jameis Winston, TB (at San Diego Chargers) - After an impressive performance against the Seattle Seahawks, Winston is starting to look like a consistently good start. This week he faces Rivers and a San Diego offense that is scoring more than 28 points per game, so he will be expected to throw a lot. And that is a good thing, thanks to the emergence of wide receiver Mike Evans.
Fool’s Gold - Kirk Cousins, WAS (at Arizona Cardinals) - Cousins has put up more than 1,000 yards, 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions over his last three games. But the Cardinals have been particularly stingy against the pass recently, allowing less than 14 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks in the last two weeks.