Fantasy Football Start/Sit Lineup Decisions Week 3
By: Nate Georgy @KingN8G
We are now two weeks through the brand new NFL season, and for fantasy, it is make or break time for many players. We’re starting to see trends on how players are utilized, and we are also seeing situations where it is as ambiguous and unpredictable as could be.
Week 2 of the 2019 Fantasy Football season was one that involved some major injuries. As owners, it is important we capitalize where we can on the waiver wire, with player values changing. Check out this week’s waiver wire add/drop column, by our own Will Harris HERE.
Let’s start week 3’s start or sit column by reiterating once again, start your studs. Matchups are not everything, they can obviously boost a players outlook, as well as make a players outlook seem murkier. However, you do not need to have hesitancy to start a Todd Gurley level player.
Quarterback Starts of the Week
Dak Prescott vs MIA – Dak has been on a roll early this season with 7 touchdown passes already and currently the second ranked QB. This week should not be any different as the Cowboys host Miami. We all know how atrocious Miami is, given up 7 touchdowns to QBs including 5 to Lamar Jackson in week 1.
Josh Allen vs CIN – So far this season Allen has stayed true to what made him a great fantasy asset last season, his rushing ability. Allen has already scored twice on the ground and also ranks 14th in the NFL in pass attempts. This week the Bills host the Bengals who just got burned by Jimmy Garoppolo for 297 yards and 3 TDs, start Allen with confidence this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs PIT – Jimmy G got himself a nice “get right” game last week against the Bengals after struggling in week one. This week he faces the atrocious Steelers secondary who have given up the 6th most points to opposing QBs so far this season.
Quarterback Sits of the Week
Baker Mayfield vs LAR – There was a ton of hype surrounding the Browns offense and Mayfield coming into this season. Thus far, it appears to be a work in progress. Mayfield has struggled to get it going through two weeks. Coming into week 3 he is the 23rd ranked QB with 2 TDs to 4 interceptions thrown. This week Mayfield faces the Rams, who have yet to give up a TD pass to opposing QBs. The Rams defensive vulnerability is on the ground, expect a run heavy approach for Cleveland if they can keep this game close.
Philip Rivers vs HOU – There are not a lot of QBs that warrant a sit this week, so this one may come as a surprise. Rivers is coming off a horrendous week against the Lions defense in which he failed to find the end zone. There are plenty of better options this week than the Chargers QB, so look elsewhere.
Running Back Starts of the Week
David Montgomery @ WAS – Montgomery got an uptick in snaps and carries in week 2 after lackluster usage in week 1. This week he faces the Redskins on Monday night, who have been beatable on the ground this season. The Bears should implement a run heavy approach in this game, giving the rookie plenty of opportunities to get it going.
Phillip Lindsay @ GB – Lindsay is in an unfortunate timeshare situation this season in Denver. However, he has been heavily involved in the passing game so far. This game has the Packers as heavy favorites, which bodes well for Lindsay. Lindsay should see the field plenty as the Broncos play catch up and face a negative game script. We all know Flacco loves to check it down. Lindsay could be in for a big PPR day.
Frank Gore vs CIN – Another year and another season where Frank Gore provides value. The Bills are looking to be without rookie RB Devin Singletary in this one. If that is indeed the case, roll out Gore with confidence. Gore draws Cincinnati here who are fresh off giving up monster performances on the ground to the whole San Francisco backfield. The eternal Frank Gore is an RB3 in this one, and if he can find the end zone an RB2.
Matt Breida vs PIT – The immensely talented Breida is coming off a 121 yard performance against the Bengals on 10.1 YPC. While Coleman is still out nursing his ankle injury, Breida will be heavily involved once again.
Running Back Sits of the Week
Mark Ingram @ KC – Through two weeks, Ingram is exactly who many projected him to be coming into the season. A positive game script touchdown reliant RB. Ingram is going to see little to no usage in the passing game, which has to scare you away in this matchup. The Ravens could be involved in one of the very few games that they will have to come from behind. This makes Ingram a TD dependent play this week.
Adrian Peterson vs CHI – AP gets another chance to receive a good amount of carries after Derrius Guice return to the IR. A trip to the end zone saved his otherwise lackluster performance against the Cowboys last week. This week he faces one of the best defenses in the league, the Bears. This game could also feature a negative game script for the Skins if the Bears can get it going on offense. This makes Chris Thompson the potential RB to start in this matchup.
KC Backs vs BAL – Last week both Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy did virtually nothing on the ground. They also both suffered injuries and are questionable for Sunday, if both are active they are easy sits. This week they face the Ravens who have given up a total of 28 rushing yards through two games. The only way I support starting one of these backs is if you are desperate.
Wide Receiver Starts of the Week
Nelson Agholor vs DET – It appears that both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are slated to miss this game. This makes Agholor the number one pass catching option at WR for Carson Wentz, likely trailing just Zach Ertz in targets. Last week Agholor put up a huge 8-107-1 statline on 11 targets. Temper expectations as the Eagles were playing catchup and were extremely pass heavy. However this week against Detroit, Agholor should provide a safe floor and be a WR3 level play, with WR2 upside. Detroit has allowed the 9th most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season.
Larry Fitzgerald/Christian Kirk vs CAR – Larry Fitzgerald has been nothing short of amazing in his 16th NFL season. The veteran WR has surpassed 100 receiving yards in both games to go along with a high target share. Teammate Christian Kirk has also been targeted plenty, with 20 through two games. We know the Cardinals play a fast pace, and this has helped both of these WRs receive large target counts. This week they face Carolina who have been respectable against WRs so far. However, I expect a lot of volume coming both of these WRs way which makes them good starts this week.
Marquise Brown @ ARZ – Hollywood Brown is having an outstanding start to his rookie season. Brown is currently the number 4 receiver in PPR leagues and he has yet to get a full snap share. This week the Ravens are going to need Brown to be on the field as much as possible to try and keep up with the Chiefs offense. Kansas City has given up the fourth most points to WRs so far. Brown comes in at a high end WR3 with ridiculous upside in this one.
Wide Receiver Sits of the Week
Tyrell Williams @ MIN – Williams has been impressive through two games for his new team averaging 19.5 PPR a game, while being the the 18th ranked receiver. This week he and the Raiders travel into Minnesota, a matchup you never want to see your WR in. Xavier Rhodes is one of the best shutdown corners in the league, just ask Julio Jones in week one. The Raiders offense as a whole will likely struggle in this one, creating little chance for Williams to get going. Tyrell is a boom or bust low end WR3 in this matchup.
John Ross @ BUF – Ross finally exploded onto the scene in week one with a huge performance. However, if it was not for a 66 yard garbage time TD, Ross would have had a rough game in last week’s matchup. This week he faces the Bills secondary who are one of the best units in the league. Ross will likely see a fair share of CB Tre’Davious White, one of the best in the business. Ross may have a couple more chances in your lineup before AJ Green returns, but it won’t be this week.
Terry McLaurin vs CHI – We are all excited about what the future holds for rookie WR McLaurin. He even looks like he can be a potential WR3 the rest of the season. Especially if fellow Ohio State Buckeye, Dwayne Haskins gets a chance at QB. However this week against the Bears, it’s going to be an ugly performance for all Redskins. McLaurin is a low end WR4 this week who will need to break a long TD to save his day.
Jarvis Landry vs LAR – I assume most Landry owners have found a replacement at this point, but if not please do. Landry has been disappointing so far this season, and is not seeing anywhere close to the target levels that could make him great. The Browns passing attack has been below average outside of a couple Odell Beckham superstar plays. This week they face the Rams, who has given up just 50 total PPR points to opposing WRs this season. Landry is a WR4, until this offense can improve and utilize Landry the correct way.
Tight End Starts of the Week
Greg Olsen @ ARZ – In case you missed last week, the 34 year old tight end had a big performance Thursday night. Through two games Olsen has seen 18 targets, that number is good for third most among all TEs. This week is a perfect matchup for Olsen as they face the fast paced Cardinals. The Cardinals have been shredded by TEs so far this season. Both TJ Hockenson and Mark Andrews gained over 100 yards and a TD against them. I do not care who starts at QB for the Panthers this week, Olsen is a TE1 in this one.
Vance McDonald @ SF – Up until Mason Rudolph entered the game last week, McDonald was almost an afterthought in this offense. Rudolph then targeted McDonald on 21% of his passes, including 2 short yardage TDs. The TE landscape is so thin that starting Vance and seeing what he can do with Rudolph can be beneficial.
Mark Andrews @ KC – This is the last opportunity to put Andrews on a start list. One more big performance and he is too much of an auto start to even mention. Andrews is currently the TE1 on the season after two big games of over 100 yards and 8 receptions in each. This week against the Chiefs, the Ravens will have to divert to a more pass heavy approach to keep pace. Andrews should see plenty of volume in this one, and he always has big play upside.
Tight End Sits of the Week
OJ Howard vs NYG – Through two weeks the rumbles of Bruce Arians not historically using TEs have looked to be true. OJ Howard was not even targeted in week two after seeing only 5 targets in week one. Better days are ahead for OJ, and this matchup is not a bad one. So if you are absolutely desperate, go ahead, but I would bench him until he proves something.
TJ Hockenson @ PHI – I wrote last week that Hockenson was a sit and it came true with 1 reception on 3 targets. Rookie TEs historically have a very tough time performing in their first year. We will look back at that week one performance and probably see it as an outlier against a terrible Cardinals defense. The Eagles feature a terrible secondary where Detroit’s WRs should have big days. Last season the Eagles were one of the best at stopping opposing TEs.
Jared Cook @ SEA – Cook has been a disappointment so far this season. Many owners spent a mid round pick on Cook to be a steady reliable option all season. Cook is currently the TE23 and just lost his incredibly accurate QB Drew Brees for the foreseeable future. Teddy Bridgewater could be a competent replacement, but he is no Brees. Cook is at best case the 3rd passing option for Bridgewater, not a good combo.
Defense Starts of the Week
TB DST vs NYG – Tampa Bay has been surprisingly good thus far on Defense. They held San Francisco and Carolina under 20 points, all while getting sacks and forcing turnovers. This week they face Daniel Jones and the Giants in his first career start. Anytime a defense is facing a QB for the first time it is always a good start. This one is no exception, as the Giants may be without their top two WRs.
GB DST vs DEN – Green Bay’s defense has been one of the most shockingly impressive ones of the season. They held Chicago to 3 points on opening night, and then held the Vikings offense to 16 points last week. This week they face the Broncos who have scored just 30 total points through two games. Flacco is always turnover prone and they have a run first mentality, which should slow the game down.
Defense Sits of the Week
BAL DST @ KC – This game is one of the only times the Ravens defense should not be in your starting lineup. No defense should ever be started against Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid’s offense.
CLE DST vs LAR – The Browns defense got torched in week one against Tennessee, but settled down last week against the Jets. That being the Luke Falk led Jets, so take it with a grain of salt. This week they host the Rams, one of the best offenses in the league. Mayfield is very interception prone, which could put the Browns Defense in bad spots.
5 Matchups to Exploit
CAR WRs vs ARZ Secondary – The Cardinals secondary has been nothing short of garbage this season, as they await the return of their top two corners. This week both DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel make for good plays against this secondary. You were probably already starting Moore, but do not be afraid to play Samuel as well. Samuel is a WR3 this week with big play upside any time he touches the ball.
DET Passing Attack vs PHI Secondary – The Eagles secondary is bad, like really bad. Matthew Stafford makes for a fine play in this one, as the Lions plan of attack should be through the air. WR Kenny Golladay is an auto start coming off his big performance last week, he should be in for another one Sunday. If you are desperate you can also play Marvin Jones, who has seen a high snap count and 10 targets. Jones always provides TD appeal.
All DAL Weapons vs MIA – Miami appears to be one of the worst teams we have seen in years. Their defense is no exception as they just shipped off Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys passing attack should be able to rip off chunk play after chunk play. Amari Cooper is an auto start, and you can also look at Randall Cobb and Devin Smith if you are desperate with Michael Gallup out. Eventually the Cowboys will have a big lead in this game and Ezekiel Elliot will get plenty of touches on the ground.
MIN Passing Attack vs OAK Secondary – The Vikings passing attack has been putrid, otherwise non-existent early on this season. This could be a get right game for them as they face the Raiders who feature one of the weakest secondaries. Kirk Cousins badly needs a good game to get back on track. Along with WR Stefon Diggs, who may be on owners benches this week. I would give it one more for Diggs and see if they can build on something here in this matchup.
NYJ Short Yardage targets vs NE – The Jets are on to their 3rd string QB after an injury to Trevor Siemen last week. This week they face New England who have done nothing but shut down every offense that has come their way. Last week when the Jets failed to get things going on offense you saw a lot of dump offs to the check down and underneath routes. Le’Veon Bell caught 10 passes and I expect Jamison Crowder to get his fair share this week as well. The Patriots are 24 point favorites in this one, therefore the Jets will be throwing on every down in this one by the 2nd quarter to try and keep up with the Pats offense.
SEA RBs vs NO – The Saints have struggled early on this season stopping the run. This week they face Seattle who love to run the ball at will. Chris Carson is an auto start, but you can also give Rashaad Penny some consideration as well. Penny worked his way onto the field last week and received 10 carries and looked impressive. I expect the Seahawks to try and control this game through the ground. The Saints are handicapped on offense so the Seahawks should never trail by much in this matchup, leaving them true to the ground and pound mindset.
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