START: Jordan Matthews, WR – Philadelphia Eagles
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Matthews broke out last week with a huge primetime performance against Carolina. He put up big time numbers with 138 yards, two touchdowns on seven receptions. Jordan Matthews owners are gun-shy, having seen the two touchdown game in week three. He followed that games with 28, 35, 50, 51, and 40 yard receiving games. The difference now? Mark Sanchez. So while many experts have Matthews in the “sit ‘em” category, he is a must start. That instant chemistry with the former backup quarterback shows the former backup wide receiver has hours and hours of work with Sanchez. It showed last week. It will continue to show in the coming weeks.
SIT: Drew Stanton, QB – Arizona Cardinals
Let me ask you this question: are you comfortable starting the quarterback the New York Jets traded to make room for Tim Tebow behind Mark Sanchez in 2012? At least Ryan Mallett of Houston beat out Tebow and won the back-up job behind Tom Brady in 2013. Stanton is a place-warmer, not a good quarterback. Two of his three starts he completed less than 50% of his passes and has not completed more than 55% of his passes in his one “good” start. The Arizona Cardinals are the feel-good story of the NFL so far …just like Kansas City was last year at this point. Sorry, I am not buying this team winning much with Stanton behind center.
SLEEPER: Brandon LaFell, WR – New England Patriots
Let me first say that I am a huge fan of Indianapolis (and former Miami) cornerback Vontae Davis. He is fast, he has good body control and hands, and he has matured into a top cover corner in today’s NFL. But I have a feeling he is going to get stuck spending too much time trying to cover Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski (Sergio Brown should not be covering Gronk. Period.). That leaves Indianapolis choosing to cover Brandon LaFell with either Greg Toler or Darius Butler. Yes, the Darius Butler who was a second-round draft pick by New England in 2009. Against Pittsburgh two weeks ago Toler gave up 8 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns in coverage and Butler allowed six completions on six targets for 109 yards and a touchdown. How do you not start LaFell?