By: Jamy Bechler @WinningDFS101
Start/Sit – 2018 Fantasy Football – Week 3
When it comes to season-long fantasy football, you play your studs unless there is an injury or you loaded up at a position and have other studs on your bench. Don’t overthink it. You are playing head-to-head against one opponent each week. You just have to beat that opponent (who also probably has weaknesses in their lineup). Unless you are a huge underdog that week, don’t get cute.
This article is to provide some additional information as you set your lineups this week. If you have a player that we list in the “sit” category, you shouldn’t automatically sit him because you might be replacing him with a much worse player. Think of Start/Sit rather in terms of “Confident/Cautious.” These are players that we seem to be getting a lot of questions about. We offer our take on whether you should be confident or cautious in playing them this week.
In most cases, we don’t touch upon the obvious plays. There are other Start/Sit articles that will tell you to sit a certain RB1 because they have a bad matchup. We don’t do that unless there is some other compelling reason. We also don’t tell you to start Tom Brady because he has a juicy matchup with the Lions this week. My mother knows to start Tom Brady. That doesn’t help you. We try to look at some of the plays that are questionable and give you insights on those.
Remember to check the news and injury reports, leading up to roster lock for the various game times. Nobody knows exactly what will happen from week to week in the NFL but use all the information and resources available to you to make the best decision possible for your lineup. Good luck and have fun!
Start – Jimmy Garoppolo @ Chiefs
Philip Rivers passed for 424 yards and 3 touchdowns in week 1 against the Chiefs. Last week, Big Ben went for 452 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 1 rushing touchdown. If possible, we want to have the quarterback playing against the Kansas City Chiefs. Next up at a crack at this bad Chiefs defense is everybody’s favorite pretty boy quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. He did not start the year great when he faced the Vikings on the road but he was able to get back on track last week against the Lions. He didn’t produce gaudy fantasy numbers but his 2 touchdowns and 118.4 passer rating once again reminded us of his talent. With Matt Breida running wild, Jimmy G wasn’t asked to carry the team. This week’s game is expected to be a shoot out, he becomes a nice option.
Notables – Matthew Stafford vs. Patriots, Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Steelers, Russell Wilson vs. Cowboys
Sit – Philip Rivers @ Rams
Overall, I am a huge Philip Rivers fan. But this week, we should proceed with caution. I think there are safer streamer plays that you could fire up. The Chargers travel “across town” to face the Rams this week. This is a Rams defense that has yet to give up a passing touchdown and has picked off 4 passes in two games. Sure, they haven’t faced an elite fantasy QB yet (Carr and Bradford) but those are still impressive numbers. I don’t like to bang my head against a brick wall, and playing a quarterback against the Rams sure feels that way. Take the path of least resistance and look elsewhere. Additionally, with Melvin Gordon a little banged up, proceeding with caution seems to be the wise thing to do when looking at starting Rivers this week.
Notables – Andrew Luck @ Eagles, Tyrod Taylor vs. Jets, Case Keenum @ Ravens
Start – Giovanni Bernard @ Panthers
Not only should Giovanni Bernard be the top waiver wire add this week, but you should start him as well. Joe Mixon is out and Bernard will be the featured back this week as the Bengals take on the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are a good defense against the run but this past week Tevin Coleman rushed for 107 yards and had 4 receptions. Bernard is a similar player in that he is a dual-threat running back. He is a running back that should be used extensively regardless of the game-flow. In the Bengals Thursday night win versus the Ravens, he was targeted 7 times in the pass game. When given the bulk of the workload, he has produced in the past. In the final five games of last year, he averaged 19 touches and 101 all-purpose yards. He also added 2 touchdowns. It was a long time ago (2014), but the last time he faced a Ron Rivera-led defense, Bernard carried the ball 18 times and rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. The opportunity will be there as he lines up to be a nice RB2/Flex play for you this week.
Notables – Carlos Hyde vs. Jets, Chris Thompson vs. Packers, Matt Breida @ Chiefs
Sit – LeSean McCoy @ Vikings
As of the deadline for this article, McCoy had not yet been ruled out for Sunday. If you have McCoy on your fantasy team, you should just go ahead and rule him out of your Sunday matchup. Don’t wait for the official news. He is either not going to play or is going to be hurting against a great Minnesota Vikings team. Either way, your fantasy team is going to suffer. Hopefully you have a good running back on your bench. If not, look at a wide receiver in your flex position this week or pick up a short-term running back (Austin Ekeler, Theo Riddick, Corey Clement, Javorious Allen). McCoy’s backups are not recommended because the Vikings are a tough matchup.
Notables – Royce Freeman @ Ravens, Derrick Henry @ Jaguars, Alex Collins vs. Broncos
Start – Quincy Enunwa @ Browns
He was well on his way to becoming a star in 2016 when he caught 58 balls for 857 yards and 4 touchdowns before getting hurt. After sitting out all 2017, he started this year healthy and has proceeded to be a target monster. He is essentially a Wide Receiver playing the Tight End position. He gobbles up space in the middle of the field. Cleveland has traditionally not defended the Tight End position very well and even though Enunwa is not a TE, his role is similar. Enunwa has been targeted 21 times so far in two games, catching 13 balls and gaining 155 yards. He should be a safe play this week.
Notables – Chris Godwin vs. Steelers, Keelan Cole vs. Titans, Nelson Agholor vs. Colts
Sit – Corey Davis @ Jaguars
Davis is extremely talented and apperars to have emerged as the Titans top receiver with 20 total targets in the first two games. But the Titans have a lot of question marks at the Quarterback position. They started Blaine Gabbert in Week 2. Even if Marcus Mariota is healthy enough to start again, there have been some concerns with him grasping the new offense. As if the QB situation isn’t bad enough for a Wide Receiver, the Titans go on the road to face arguably the NFL’s best defense with a pair of elite cover corners in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
Notables – Larry Fitzgerald vs. Bears, Kenny Stills vs. Raiders, Michael Crabtree vs. Broncos
Start – O.J. Howard vs. Steelers
If you want to get a piece of the Fitzmagic, then you can do it through the Tight End position. Fitzpatrick seems to favor Howard more than Jameis Winston did. Last year it was thought that Cameron Brate was the better route runner and Howard was the better blocker. Howard has improved himself in the receiving game and is receiving the bulk of the targets (6-to-2) through the first two games. Yes, that is not a lot of targets but when Fitzpatrick isn’t passing to his Wide Receivers, he is trusting the former 2017 first-round draft pick out of Alabama. In two games, Howard has 5 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. As usual, if you have one of the top Tight Ends then you fire him up and start him but if you are streaming your Tight Ends each week then you’ll want to consider Howard against a Steelers team that gave up 7 targets to David Njoku in week one and then 10 targets to Travis Kelce last week. The Steelers are susceptible to the Tight End position.
Notables – Will Dissly vs. Cowboys, Jared Cook @ Dolphins, Austin Hooper vs. Saints
Sit – Tyler Eifert @ Panthers
Eifert hasn’t had a 100-yard game since October 30, 2016. Now, to be fair, he has also been hurt a lot. Since that last 100-yard game, he has played in 10 games and has yet to eclipse that mark. He is not the same player many of us remember. The Bengals have had a potent offense so far in 2018 scoring 34 points in both games. Yet, Eifert has not been part of that. He has only caught 5 balls for a total of 67 yards. Sure, he could have one of those multiple touchdown games that we’ve seen from him in the past but that is not the likeliest outcome.
Notables – Ian Thomas vs. Bengals, Jonnu Smith @ Jaguars, David Njoku vs. Jets
Unless you have one of the top 4-5 defenses that are probably an automatic start each week, then you might want to consider streaming your defense each week with the team with the best matchup that is at home. Remember, low scoring games is not the only factor for a good defense. You can’t predict fantasy defensive scoring but you can predict opportunity. You want defenses that are aggressive and get pressure on the quarterback. This pressure can lead to turnovers. It is also a decent gamble to target defenses going against rookie or inexperienced quarterbacks.
Start Notables – Browns DST vs. Jets, Cowboys DST @ Seahawks, Jets DST @ Browns
Sit Notables – Redskins DST vs. Packers, Falcons DST vs. Saints, Chargers DST @ Rams
About the Author-
Jamy Bechler is a fantasy contributor for CouchPotatoGM and FantasyPros. His DFS twitter is @WinningDFS101 and his website is FantasyFocusFootball.com. When he is not playing fantasy sports, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and is a leadership trainer, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). You can also follow his personal twitter account @CoachBechler. Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommends.
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