This article is part of our Exploiting the Matchups series.
We call this column "start/sit" for the sake of tradition. Really, it's a more detailed analysis of matchups, identifying players whose value for the upcoming week is elevated or depressed relative to what we can expect throughout the season.
This week, Stefon Diggs lands among the "downgrades" and Randall Cobb gets an "upgrade". This doesn't mean anyone should start Cobb over Diggs, nor is it meant to be purely reactive to what happened Week 1.
The idea is for this column to be useful in any format of fantasy football, whether it's an eight-team redraft league, a 20-team dynasty league or a DFS lineup. Some of the choices for upgrades and downgrades will seem obvious, while others may come as a surprise. Either way, the explanations need to provide a level of detail beyond pointing out that Joe Flacco is a bad play against the Bears defense because the Bears defense is really good and Flacco isn't (all true things).
Before we get into specifics, here are some of my favorite tools for analyzing matchups and determining player valuations each week:
- Jeff Erickson's weekly rankings
- RotoWire's weekly projections
- Betting odds
- RotoWire's pages for advanced stats and TE route data.
- Pace stats from Football Outsiders
- Next Gen Stats from NFL.com
- Player Grades from Pro Football Focus
- Premium Stats from Pro Football Focus
- Opponent and teammate injuries
- Target share
- Snap counts
- Defense vs. Position stats
- Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. SEA
The infamous home/road splits finally softened last season,