Panthers at Texans: Fantasy Start ‘ems and Sit ‘ems

Few people doubt whether or not to start Christian McCaffrey at this point, but we give you an in-depth analysis of who to go with in Thursday night’s NFL game.


Thursday night football kicks off week three of the NFL season with the Carolina Panthers traveling to Houston to take on the Texans at NRG Stadium. Carolina’s offense has been dominant in their undefeated start. Houston has won one, lost one, and is dealing with injuries. Is there anyone worth starting on the Texans team? Is there anyone NOT worth starting on Carolina’s explosive offense? Let’s analyze.

Houston Texans: Start ‘em

Brandin Cooks - WR

Houston’s quarterback drama seems never-ending. Tyrod Taylor started last week but was injured and coach David Culley has made it clear that Deshaun Watson will absolutely not play against the Panthers. That leaves Davis Mills at QB, who will play his first start in the NFL. Brandon Cooks is the lead receiver by far for the Texans and I don’t see that changing, no matter who is in at QB. Last week he secured nine of 14 targets for 78 yards and a TD against the Browns.

Houston Texans: Sit ‘em

Mark Ingram - RB

I don’t suggest starting any running back against the Panther's defense. Their run defense has been killing it lately and Houston’s running game struggled against the Browns last week. Keep Ingram on the bench against the Panthers.

Carolina Panthers: Start ‘em

Christian McCaffrey - RB

You’d be crazy not to start McCaffrey. He’s efficient and consistent. Against the Saints, he had 24 carries for 72 yards and one TD, plus 5/6 passes for 65 yards. I expect this to be a run-heavy game against the Texans, so McCaffrey is a must-start.

D.J. Moore - WR

Though I expect more runs than passes, the passes that do happen will be going to D.J. Moore. He’s been Darnold’s favorite target two games in a row now and has been a consistent and reliable receiver for the Panthers. Last week he caught 8/11 targets for 79 yards and a 20-yard TD.

Panthers Defense

Panthers defense…against Houston’s offense. Need I say more, really? Start them.

Carolina Panthers: Sit ‘em

Sam Darnold - QB

I suspect a lot on the run game and a little on the passing game from Carolina against Houston, so though I think the Panther's offense will show out, I don’t expect a Darnold to put up big fantasy points against the Texans.

There you have it. Your starts and sits for players you might have for the Thursday night game. Be sure to check back again tomorrow to see which fantasy picks to start and sit for Sunday and Monday’s games!