Start/Sit – Injuries abound! NFL Week 3 – Fantasy Football Lineup Advice

That’s two down! And a lot of your draft picks are also down and out after a horrific week of injuries. Make certain to check out CPGM Headley’s Priority Waiver Wire post for Week 3 to help mitigate those injuries. Before we get into my Week 3 Start/Sit fantasy football lineup recommendations let’s review how I did in Week 2, transperancy.

What I got RIGHT in Week 2 Start/Sit
  • Ben Roethlisberger PIT – Ben finished outside of the Top 12 but in a week where he outscored: Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees I’m going to call it a win (19.24 pts.)
  • Teddy Bridgewater CAR – A trio of turnovers marred a 33 of 42, 367-yard performance (10.68 pts.)
  • Antonio Gibson WAS – Only Flex worthy fantasy production but what’s more important is that Peyton Barber only played ONE snap  (12.2 pts.)
  • Frank Gore NYJ – Frankie DID have 21 carries but this Jets team is awful and will continue to be as long as the existing brain trust remains in-tact (6.3 pts.)
  • Diontae Johnson – Follow the targets (13). Good for another 30% + target share and WR6 overall in Week 2. (23.2 pts.)
  • Henry Ruggs LV – He had an impact but it wasn’t reflected in the box score, nor on your fantasy teams (1.7 pts.)
What I got Wrong in Week 2 Start/Sit
  • Ronald Jones TB – I feel cheated (11.5 pts.)
  • Melvin Gordon DEN – Aight… that’s two whiffs in a row… I’m not sitting him again in 2020 (16.40 pts.)
  • Anthony Miller – Three… catchless.. targets and this wasn’t even my worst Start/Sit call in Week 2 (0 pts.)
  • Parris Campbell IND – I can’t predict injuries (0.7 pts.)
  • Brandin Cooks HOU – Will Fuller decided not to show up (zero targets) and Cooks was the beneficiary… (14.5 pts.)
  • Logan Thomas WAS –  Bruh… did virtually nothing with 9 targets (6.6 pts)
  • Mike Gesicki – My most egregious “SIT” recommendation of the year thus far. The light bulb is clearly on for Gesicki. The Bills had no answer (27.0 pts)

We right the ship in Week 3. Let’s jump into some Start/Sit decisions.

Quarterback Start/Sit Recommendations


START Ryan Tannehill @ Minnesota Vikings

I debated whether or not I should include Tannehill in last week’s Start/Sit post and I’m still kicking myself for not having done so. No matter, I believe Tannehill keeps it rolling in Week 3 against a battered and overmatched Vikings defense. The opposition is selling out to stop Derrick Henry and daring Ryan Tannehill to beat them and the veteran quarterback is making defenses pay. Tannehill has picked up right where he left off during the 2019 regular season; playing with amazing efficiency. Tannehill is completing 70% of his passes with a 6:0 TD/INT ratio thru two weeks.

START Tom Brady @ Denver Broncos

Frankly, Tom Brady has looked his age thru the first two weeks and has invoked criticisms for his turnover worthy throws not unlike Jameis Winston of last year. However, Week 3 is the turning point, or at least we should see something that more closely resembles vintage Brady. “Tom Terrific” will have his full complement of weapons against another ailing defense with question marks at each level of said defense.

The Broncos defense is allowing: a completion percetange of just under 70%, are bottom third in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game, and have sacked the quarterback just twice thus far (only two teams have fewer sacks). Given that the Broncos will be without their starting quarterback Drew Lock and top wideout Courtland Sutton, the Bucs may put this one away early and lean on the running game late. Still, this matchup is conducive to Brady having an efficient, QB1 worthy performance for your fantasy teams.

SIT Derek Carr @ New England Patriots

The battery of Derek Carr and head coach Jon Gruden was phenomenal Monday night and will look to keep it going against a Patriots team that just surrendered five passing touchdowns to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. However, I’ve got a feeling Carr will struggle to find consistent success despite what appears, on paper, to be a quality matchup. Consider that Carr’s top target, Darren Waller is a little banged up and Bill Belichick’s penchant for taking away the opposition’s “best” player (in passing game). Furthermore, the inexperienced, albeit talented wideouts for the Raiders haven’t exactly found their footing just yet. I expect the Patriots defense to play at a high level after being torched in Week 2 and if the Raiders cannot strike offensive balance (Josh Jacobs may not be 100%) I am not convinced Carr can carry the offense.

Running Backs


START Joshua Kelley @ Carolina Panthers

Kelley is here to stay folks! Justin Jackson may be active in Week 3 but Kelley should continue to get double-digit touches against what continues to be a poor run defense in Carolina. The Panthers defense has proven to be a safe-haven for opposing running backs as they’ve allowed a league worst 36.5 fantasy football points to the running back position per game. Their league worst six rushing touchdowns allowed through two weeks, at a minimum, solidifies a FLEX level floor for Kelley in Week 3.

START Jerick McKinnon @ New York Giants

Next man up. I alluded to the rash of injuries that occurred in Week 2 and the 49ers backfield was not exempt. San Francisco’s top two backs, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are expected to miss time which vaults Jerick McKinnon into the RB2 tier for Week 3. The New York Giants have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season (I expect that to change this week) but have been gashed for 138 rushing yards per game (bottom third) and a healthy 4.5 yards per carry. The G-Men face perhpas the most creative and difficult rushing attack/scheme to defend in the NFL in Week 3. With Jimmy Garoppolo nursing an injury and the 49ers’ receiving room in flux, I expect McKinnon to be heavily involved on the ground and through the air even if Jeff Wilson/JaMychal Hasty receive extra burn due to a hot hand approach.

SIT David Johnson @ Pittsburgh Steelers

I could be setting myself up for failure again, as I did with my Week 2 sit recommendation of Melvin Gordon. The thing is, I simply do not trust Bill O’Brien to put his players in a position to be successful. Despite playing a substantial percentage of the offensive snaps, David Johnson is averaging less than 14 touches per game through two weeks. Hopefully, we’ll see an uptick in usage in Week 3; but I expect the Steelers defense to control the line of scrimmage and make it difficult for Johnson to get anything going on the ground. Furthemore, David Johnson may be relegated to more pass protection and blitz pick-up duty considering Pittsburgh’s ability to rush the passer and Houston’s inability to pass protect; effectively limiting Johnson’s upside as a receiving threat.

Wide Receivers Start/Sit Recommendations


START Corey Davis @ Minnesota Vikings

A.J. Brown is expected to miss another week and the Vikings defend the tight end position (Jonnu Smith) pretty well. I recommended that you start Ryan Tannehill against this Vikings defense as it’s been pretty forgiving to opposing QBs. Well, they’ve been down right charitable to opposing wide receivers allowing 36.6 fantasy points per game to the WR position (2nd most in NFL). I anticipate the Vikings will prioritze slowing down Derrick Henry which in turn will create one-one-one opportunities for Corey Davis on the perimeter. Minnesota’s inexperienced cornerbacks should get better, but until that time, take advantage and START Corey Davis.

START CeeDee Lamb @ Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson has been playing so well that the Seahawks’ awful pass defense isn’t being mentioned. Seattle is currently allowing 42.5 fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position (most in NFL). They are particularly bad at defending the slot position. Seattle has allowed 27 receptions to receivers out of the slot. CeeDee Lamb leads all rookie receivers in catches (11) and yards (165) through two weeks and has run 91.5% of his routes from, you guessed it, the slot. Consider that Russell Gage (12/9/114) and Julian Edelman (11/8/179) did against Seattle in Weeks 1 and 2 respectively. Lamb has a legitimate shot at being WR1 Overall this week.

SIT Sammy Watkins @ Baltimore Ravens

Sammy’s status for Monday night is unknown at this juncture. You may have noticed I shy away from players that may or may not play on Monday night. Even if Sammy dresses, will he be on a pitch count? Will he serve as a decoy? So many things have to go right within a play before a wide receiver is even targeted… I know the injuries are taking a toll on your rosters but there are a plethora of more secure options in Week 3.

SIT Curtis Samuel vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Will Curtis Samuel be more involved in the rushing game in the absence of Christian McCaffrey? Perhaps, but I’m not coutning on it. Despite his obvious open-field prowess Samuel has never striked me as a receiver you can depend on. Clearly, he has been supplanted in the target pecking order by Robby Anderson and the Chargers secondary can be suffocating. Furthermore, Los Angeles boasts an excellent pass rush, making things that much more difficult on passing offenses. Until I witness a concerted effort to manufacture touches for Samuel, using him in a manner that serves to be an extension of the running game, I will leave him on the bench.

Tight Ends

START Drew Sample @ Philadelphia Eagles

C.J. Uzomah is out for the season with an Achilles tear, enter Drew Sample to soak up targets in the middle of the field. Sample stepped up last week in Uzomah’s absence registering nine targets and catching seven. The Bengals have pass protection issues forcing quarterback Joe Burrow to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry and Sample shows his numbers quickly in the short areas of the field.

When Cincinnati spreads defenses out with a bevy of wide receivers it is Sample whom will benefit the most. Clearly the opportunity is in place but what of the Week 3 Matchup? Well… it just so happens that the Philadelphia Eagles are dead last in the NFL defending the tight end position. They’ve allowed a league worst 16.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends thus far; including surrendering three touchdown grabs to Tyler Higbee in Week 2. Start Drew Sample.

START Mo Allie-Cox vs. New York Jets

Jack Doyle has returned to practice on a limited basis. However, after Mo Allie-Cox’s 6/5/111 performancce in Week 2, I would be surprised if Doyle (if dressed) got a full complement of snaps. Jordan Reed pinched hit for George Kittle last week against New York and led the 49ers in receptions. Reed also found the endzone twice. It’s well-documented how much Philip Rivers favors the tight end position and this matchup is ripe with opportunity. If you’re scrambling for a tight end to start in Week 3, consider Mo Allie-Cox.

SIT Dawson Knox vs. Los Angeles Rams

Dawson Knox has been quiet to start the season with Josh Allen pushing the football downfield to his perimeter threats. He’s averaging just three targets per contest and is currently in the concussion protocol. The young tight end has substantial potential, but still needs time to develop.

The Rams have allowed only 4.8 fantasy points to the tight end position thus far. That’s impressive considering they’ve faved Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The return of safety John Johnson to the Rams secondary has made a big difference. Sit em’.

Best of luck this weekend. Remember always start your STUDS and I take ZERO responsibility if these Start/Sit recommendations are wrong. Also, if my calls are right make certain you tell a friend. Start/Sit.