Fantasy sit-start: Lineup advice on every Week 3 game
Broncos vs. Bills: Start Trevor Siemian, who looks like the most improved player in the NFL so far. The six TD passes on just 60 attempts are surely to regress, but he’s jumped to 7.5 YPA, has weapons and is making the leap in year two as a starter. This Broncos team is legit, and a real Super Bowl contender (I hammered them at 15/1 this week).
Sit LeSean McCoy. OK, don’t really sit McCoy, but rather than pick an obvious Bills player here, I’ll just say don’t use McCoy in DFS at his price and check expectations in season long. Everyone raves about the Broncos’ secondary, but they just held Ezekiel Elliott to 22 yards on 13 touches. McCoy is outside my top-12 RBs this week.
[Watch on Yahoo: Ravens vs. Jaguars live from London Sept. 24]
Texans vs. Patriots: Sit Lamar Miller (again this is more for DFS and a long-term look here). Miller is up against a New England defense that’s actually allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season, but he’s no Kareem Hunt. Miller lost 15 snaps to D’Onta Foreman from Weeks 1 to 2, and the latter sure looks legit (he ranks No. 6 in Juke Rate). I’d be terrified if I were a Miller owner.
Start New England’s defense, as it’s going to get ugly as 13-point home favorites up against a rookie quarterback who owns a 4.8 YPA mark.
Ravens vs. Jaguars: Start Ben Watson, who secured all eight of his targets for 91 yards last week (including two catches for 20+ yards). The 36-year-old was on the field for 50 snaps and should continue to be a big part of a Ravens offense lacking weapons. He gets a Jaguars defense that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Sit all Jaguars involved in their passing attack up against a Baltimore secondary that’s yielded an unbelievable (and easily NFL low) 35.0 Passer Rating so far this season, including a ridiculous 1:8 TD:INT ratio
Browns vs. Colts: Start Rashard Higgins, who came out of nowhere last week when he saw 11 targets, resulting in seven catches for 95 yards against the aforementioned dominant Baltimore secondary. Corey Coleman is out, Kenny Britt has checked out, and the Colts have allowed 9.8 YPA.
Start Jack Doyle, as he seems to be Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target after securing all eight of his looks last week and now gets a Browns defense that’s been getting gashed by tight ends dating back to last season. Doyle is the No. 7 TE on my board this week.
[Week 3 rankings: Overall | PPR | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]
Steelers vs. Bears: Start Le’Veon Bell, whom I recommended as a must-start in DFS last week admittedly. Of course no one in season-long leagues is sitting Bell, but I’m going back to the well and paying up in daily formats, as I’m predicting a huge breakout for the disappointing back (I’ll say 33 touches for 145 yards and two touchdowns).
Sit Jordan Howard and sadly, this might not even seem like going out on a limb (assuming he plays, of course) for someone who was taken in the first two rounds of drafts just two weeks ago. Howard is banged up, is ceding a bunch of work to Tarik Cohen and is facing a Pittsburgh defense that’s yielded 3.3 YPC.
Dolphins vs. Jets: Start Jay Cutler, who suddenly looked more likely to check down than risk downfield throws during his return with Adam Gase last week and gets a Jets defense that’s allowed nine touchdowns already.
Start Jermaine Kearse, who’s been one of the bigger fantasy surprises so far. He’s disappointed throughout his career, but after seeing nine targets in Week 1 (right after being traded to New York), he caught two touchdowns in Week 2. He’s going to see a lot of volume given this team’s weekly game script and alternatives.
Saints vs. Panthers: Sit Mark Ingram, who despite being clearly the team’s best RB, has seen fewer than half of New Orleans’ snaps this season (also downgrade Drew Brees, who’s outdoors against a Panthers defense that’s allowed the fewest points to QBs).
Start Devin Funchess, who showed signs of life last week and now gets a Saints defense that’s allowed a whopping 11.2 YPA and 141.4 Passer Rating this season, making their historically bad defense from last year look not as bad. New Orleans has yielded 461 yards and three TDs to wideouts already. Ed Dickson is also another sneaky play in deep leagues (and practically free in DFS) with Greg Olsen out.
Buccaneers vs. Vikings: Sit Jacquizz Rodgers, whom I love in general given his usual usage whenever Doug Martin is out. But this Vikings defense is no joke.
Sit Stefon Diggs, as Sam Bradford’s status remains highly questionable, and the Vikings are up against a decent secondary. Really, this all comes down to Bradford’s status.
Falcons vs. Lions: Start Tevin Coleman, as I’d prefer a RBBC given his situation (Atlanta scored by far the most ppg last year and 34 points last week after a Week 1 hiccup with a new OC) than a workhorse on a sketchy team in a tough matchup. Coleman would easily be a top-five fantasy asset if Devonta Freeman were to go down.
Start Matthew Stafford, who has a 6:1 TD:INT ratio against two tough secondaries and now gets an Atlanta defense that allowed the most fantasy points to QBs last season. Stafford is easily a top-five fantasy quarterback in Week 3 in a game with an O/U of 50 points.
Giants vs. Eagles: Sit all Giants aside from Odell Beckham, although dropping Paul Perkins for Orleans Darkwa seems like a no brainer at this point.
Start Philadelphia’s defense, as the Giants have taken eight sacks while the Eagles have recorded the same. This seems like a mismatch that could get ugly.
Seahawks vs. Titans: Start Chris Carson, who faces an uphill battle with his team’s offensive line and is on the road, but he’s earned the role as the Seahawks’ lead back, which is kind of a big deal for one of the biggest favorites to win the Super Bowl just two weeks ago, especially given the RB landscape in the NFL right now.
Sit Marcus Mariota, who was a favorite of mine entering the year but has thrown just one TD so far, getting a paltry 6.9 YPA. He’ll be a buy-low guy soon, but the Seahawks shut all quarterbacks down, so it’s tough to treat Mariota as anything other than a QB20 type or so in Week 3. DeMarco Murray is suddenly a borderline start as well (given his matchup, health and Derrick Henry’s emergence).
Chiefs vs. Chargers: Start Alex Smith, whom I’m going to take some heat for saying won’t finish as the No. 1 fantasy player like he is now. Seriously, I’d use him again this week with so many other historically better QBs having much tougher matchups. Smith currently sports a 9.8 YPA. His previous high with the Chiefs has been 7.4.
Start Hunter Henry, as after a goose egg in Week 1, he secured all seven of his targets last week. The Chiefs are notorious for shutting down tight ends, but the loss of Eric Berry can’t be understated, and the TE position in general has so many question marks.
Bengals vs. Packers: Start Andy Dalton, who’s been a joke so far, but that’s been against strong defenses, and the Bengals just fired their OC, have a few extra days to prepare and most importantly, the game script should call for a bunch of passes up against a Packers team that’s sure to score points at home coming off an embarrassing loss. Dalton is a sneaky DFS play with likely low ownership coming off two awful performances facing a Green Bay secondary that allowed an NFL-high 8.1 YPA last season.
Start Davante Adams, as while the Bengals have been tough on WRs this year, both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are banged up, and Adams is affordable in DFS during a matchup in which the Packers should score a ton of points.
Raiders vs. Washington: Start Marshawn Lynch, who’s yet to break a run for 15 yards this season, but he ranks No. 4 in broken tackles behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. He should be treated as an RB1 in Week 3 (he’s gotten 6.5 YPC during base fronts this season).
Start Kirk Cousins, as the weird thing about this week’s highest total (54 points) is that there really are no obvious stacks (who’s Josh Norman going to cover?), and Washington has disappointed throughout its roster so far. So I’ll say go “naked” with Cousins here (and all Jordan Reed owners should have picked up Vernon Davis by now).
Cowboys vs. Cardinals: Start Jason Witten, who’s facing an Arizona defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends last year, and his two touchdowns so far this season sure seem unsustainable after he hit paydirt just three times each of his previous two seasons. But the tight end position has turned into a wasteland, and it’s hard to argue with 22 targets (four in the RZ) so far this season, and with Dez Bryant and Zeke both in tough matchups.
Start J.J. Nelson, as there’s no David Johnson and no John Brown. Nelson is small and no guarantee to hold up with a QB throwing to him who’s possibly done, but enough with the negatives. Nelson has the sixth-most fantasy points per target in the NFL dating back to the beginning of last year. Brown will continue to deal with his health issues, and Fitzgerald looks done. Nelson is boom-or-bust as primarily a deep threat, but he’s a must-start in Week 3.
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