Fantasy Football roster decisions? Let’s get right into CPGM Fantasy Football Start/Sit for Week 3.
Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week 3
Start – Matt Ryan vs Saints
Are you ready for a Monday Night Shootout? The Falcons visit the Super Dome in a clash of high octane offenses going up against poor defenses. Before going into the actual matchup I need to get something off my chest. No disrespect to Steve Gleason but as a Falcons fan I lament seeing this guy on the sidelines for the Saints. Since blocking a punt and pulling the upset over the Falcons in 06’, every time he shows up or is even discussed we lose. In what will be the 10 year anniversary of the Saints’ heroic win in their first home game following Hurricane Katrina, the emotions of the team and the crowd will be at an all-time high. Again the Falcons will need to endure the wave and power of Gleason. With that said, I don’t believe the Saints will be able to slow down the passing attack led by the NFL’s top rated passer Matt Ryan. Ryan has excelled over the first 2 games of the season completing 72.6% of his passes for 730 yards and 5 touchdowns. He even seems to have gotten over his red zone demons last week against the Raiders by scoring 3 straight TDs inside the 20. The Saints defense on the other hand surprisingly gave a great effort in last week’s loss against the Giants forcing 3 takeaways while giving up 0 offensive touchdowns the entire game. Down to their third and fourth corners with Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams (should play this week) injured, I am not doubling down this week on the Saints defensive effort as it will be tough for them to slow down the Falcons’ red hot passing game.
- Phillip Rivers vs Colts
- Dak Prescott vs Bears
- Ryan Tannehill vs Browns
Sit – Andy Dalton vs Broncos
After making Cam Newton look like Clark Kent and Andrew Luck look like the 2015 Andrew Luck, I would be hard pressed to start Andy Dalton versus the suffocating Broncos defense. After throwing for back to back 366 yard performances in the first two weeks of the season, Dalton will struggle to get over 250 this week against the combination of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. The Bengals offense hasn’t been able to get the run game going this season which has made them a one dimensional offense. One dimensional against the Super Bowl champs is an extremely scary dilemma to be facing with Von Miller lurking each and every play. If Dalton is not targeting A.J. Green or Gio Bernard it hasn’t come easy. The Broncos defense will focus their attention on Dalton’s two favorite weapons and I don’t believe anyone else can consistently beat man-to-man coverage on that offense. Sit Dalton this week without any hesitation.
Start – Melvin Gordon vs Colts
The light bulb has clearly gone off it seems for Melvin Gordon as he is a more decisive runner this season between the tackles. Watching tape last season it seemed as if Gordon didn’t trust his instincts and the game was a little bit too fast for him. Year two, which is the case for most young players, the awareness and decisiveness improves and now we can truly see what Gordon is made of. Even with his improvements clearly visible to the Chargers coaching staff, they chose to give Danny Woodhead all the run he could handle. Well his fantasy owners can breathe a sense of relief as Woodhead is now out for the season and the Chargers have no other option but to give Gordon the full workload (unless newly signed Dexter McCluster impedes). To put the icing on the cake, Gordon gets a sweet matchup against a Colts defense that is “marshmellowy soft” giving up 125 rushing yards a game. Look for Gordon to eat all game long and show his doubters that he is the real deal.
- C.J. Anderson vs Bengals
- Christine Michael vs 49ers
- Mark Ingram vs Falcons
- Charles Sims vs Rams
Sit – Ryan Mathews vs Steelers
Don’t look now but the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is playing better than their high powered offense, which is a scary thought with Le’Veon Bell only one game away from his return. The front seven’s speed has been a problem for opposing rushing attacks shutting down Matt Jones and Jeremy Hill/Gio Bernard the first 2 weeks. The Steelers have only allowed a miniscule 101 rushing yards total this season which ranks 2nd best in the league. Their efforts start up from with captain Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Dan McCullers and Javon Hargrave clogging running lanes while linebackers Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier bring the wood. The Steelers run defense is clicking on all cylinders and should be able to stymie Ryan Mathews who is splitting carries with Darren Sproles. I am a Mathews owner who is trying to unload him in a trade because there seems to be a full blown committee going on in Doug Pederson’s offense. Mathews owners has been saved by three early season touchdowns but Pederson, a disciple of Andy Reid, loves Sproles dynamic skills in and out of the backfield. Also don’t forget, the new offensive coordinator for the Eagles, Frank Reich was the OC in San Diego last year and loved to give Woodhead carries inside the 20. Mathews is a sit this week and savvy fantasy owners will need to watch the Eagles running back splits going forward.
Start – Randall Cobb vs Lions
Randall Cobb owners haven’t had much to be excited about so far this season with two pedestrian performances to start the season. I am predicting a breakout performance this week against the Detroit Lions. My thought process is that the Lions have been susceptible to opposing tight ends this season in between the hashes as the Dwayne Allen/Jack Doyle combination went off on them for 3 touchdowns and last week Delanie Walker had success with a TD of his own. “But Cobb is not a tight end,” you might say. True, but I have no confidence in the Packers’ tight end situation and I believe Cobb will take advantage of the Lions linebackers and safeties in this matchup. Aaron Rodgers and company will look to bounce back in this game after losing to last year’s division champs the Minnesota Vikings last week in a game where the offense failed to produce. The Lions defense on the other hand hasn’t been the same since their playoff run in 2014 and to add injury to insult they will likely be without key standouts DeAndre Levy and Ziggy Ansah. The Lions already porous defense will be thin which bodes well for a huge bounce back for the Packers offense and Cobb.
- Travis Benjamin vs Colts
- Willie Snead vs Falcons
- Tajae Sharpe vs Raiders
Sit – Sammy Watkins vs Cardinals
My boy Sammy Watkins can’t catch a break unless it’s another break of a bone of course. Watkins has been through the ringer in his young career and it is seriously time to start panicking if you are a Watkins owner. I will still hold out hope for the rest of the season but this week’s game against the Cardinals is not the time to insert him into your lineup. There are still questions as to whether Watkins will suit up or not, but if he does shutdown corner Patrick Peterson awaits. Peterson did a great job blanketing Mike Evans on 18 targets last week with the only blemish being allowing a touchdown catch when the game was already decided. Last week, Tyrod Taylor threw the ball 30 times but only targeted Watkins 5 times. Taylor shouldn’t have many more 30+ target games with the Bills propensity to pound the ball, therefore limiting Watkins’ opportunities to put up fantasy worthy numbers.
Start – Jimmy Graham vs 49ers
Had to call a late audible here as the tight end I wanted to recommend, Delanie Walker is dealing with a hamstring issue that may keep him out of this week’s matchup. Enter Jimmy Graham who last season suffered the “catastrophic” patella tendon tear that Victor Cruz took almost two years to bounce back from. I wasn’t expecting too much from Graham this season and while he hasn’t produce thus far, I believe the breakout is coming this week. The Seahawks desperately need help taking some pressure off of Russell Wilson and his bum ankle and who better to do it than his big body tight end in the short and immediate passing game. Look for Wilson to use Graham as his security blanket and finally earn some of that $27 million that Seattle invested in him during the 2015 offseason. Graham is trending up after playing 55 snaps or 82% of the team’s offensive plays last week compared to the 18 snaps or 21% in the season opener. If he is still available in your league be sure to scoop him up now before he balls out and then you will have to put up a waiver to acquire him.
- Delanie Walker (if he is active) vs Raiders
- Jacob Tamme vs Saints
- Dennis Pitta vs Dolphins
Sit – Vance McDonald vs Seahawks
There was substantial hype around Vance McDonald coming into 2016 season due to him being an athletic tight end with upside. As we know the tight end position, to put it nicely, is unpredictable; therefore, if you can find a guy that has the skill set of McDonald, he will be considered a fantasy sleeper in fantasy circles. After two weeks he hasn’t disappointed fantasy owners as he has caught 2 touchdowns and is a Top 3 player at his position. But not so fast my friends as fantasy points don’t tell the whole story as McDonald only has 3 catches this season. Yes, you heard that right, McDonald has scored 2 TDs on 3 catches which has ballooned his fantasy total. 66% catch to touchdown rate is unsustainable and McDonald should be left on your bench. The 49ers likes to run the football and blocking specialist tight end, Garret Celek, sees the majority of the snaps in their base offense. I will not be gambling on McDonald this weekend against the Seahawks defense.
Defense to stream
Miami Dolphins vs Browns
The Browns are down to their 3rd quarterback this season and they don’t have Bill Belichick to scheme up a good game plan. Start the Dolphins defense who will be all over Cody Kessler.