Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Best fantasy football plays for Week 3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
A slew of injuries to big names across the league last weekend left fantasy owners scrambling to fill holes left behind in their Week 3 lineups.
Here are the players you should have on your radar this week.
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Fantasy owners who took a chance on Ryan Tannehill last week against the Jaguars were handsomely rewarded with a four-touchdown performance. Continue to ride the hot hand against the Vikings, whose defense was ravaged by injuries in Week 2…Mitchell Trubisky isn’t a name that jumps out as a fantasy asset, but he’s going up against a Falcons defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the league through the first two weeks…The Buccaneers’ offense will finally have both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin suiting up in the same game, just in time for a matchup against a Broncos team that will have trouble controlling the ball down so many offensive skill players.
Nope, that’s not a typo. Deshaun Watson is one of the league’s best up-and-coming quarterbacks and a player capable of producing video game numbers on a weekly basis—just not this week. The Steelers’ defense is no joke and Watson has shown signs of missing top target DeAndre Hopkins…It’s been a rough start to the 2020 season for Carson Wentz. The Eagles’ quarterback is facing questions of his own abilities and not even a favorable matchup against the Bengals is enough to make up for the injury woes Philadelphia is having in its receiving corps…The Lions are hoping the return of Kenny Golladay provides a much-needed boost for their offense, and maybe it does. But better to wait and see how the group performs against a talented Cardinals defense before starting Matthew Stafford in your lineup.
- Melvin Gordon, DEN (vs. TB)
- Devin Singletary, BUF (vs. LAR)
- Mark Ingram, BAL (vs. KC)
The Broncos’ skill position players are dropping like flies after they lost quarterback Drew Lock and wide receiver Courtland Sutton to long-term injuries last weekend. With fellow running back Phillip Lindsay listed as doubtful headed into the weekend, Melvin Gordon figures to be the focal point of the Broncos’ offense against Tampa Bay…The Bills ruled out rookie running back Zack Moss for Sunday with a toe injury, leaving most of the backfield touches to Devin Singletary. Averaging 4.5 yards per rush, Singletary could be in for a big performance against a Rams defense that ranks among the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed…Mark Ingram was expected to see his workload diminished by the presence of rookie J.K. Dobbins, but so far the veteran Raven has out-carried his first-year counterpart 19 touches to nine on the year.
- Todd Gurley, ATL (vs. CHI)
- Kareem Hunt, CLE (vs. WSH)
- Ronald Jones, TB (at DEN)
The Falcons blew a 20-point lead against the Cowboys last week after trying to rely on Todd Gurley to churn out first downs and run out the clock. Gurley disappointed in that regard, accruing only 2.9 yards per carry on 21 attempts. Look for Atlanta to find ways to get other players involved even if they jump out to an early lead over the Bears…Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt enjoyed excellent fantasy performances against the Bengals in Week 2, but they face a much stiffer challenge Sunday with Washington’s front seven in town. While Chubb can still be counted on to find the end zone, similar opportunities for Hunt will be few and far between…It’s taken only two weeks, but Ronald Jones is no longer the top dog in the Buccaneers’ backfield. Leonard Fournette out-carried and outproduced Jones in Week 2, putting the latter’s fantasy value in serious jeopardy.
- CeeDee Lamb, DAL (at SEA)
- N’Keal Harry, NE (vs. LV)
- Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. DET)
CeeDee Lamb has been among the NFL’s most impressive rookies through the first two weeks of the season, leading all first-year players in receiving yards (165), targets (15) and receptions (11). The Seahawks have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers of any team in football, with four different receivers breaking 100 yards against them across their first two games. Even with the Cowboys’ loaded receiving corps, this is an enticing matchup…Julian Edelman may be the one coming off a 179-yard performance, but N’Keal Harry is tied with him for the Patriots’ lead in both targets (18) and receptions (13) through the team’s first two games. The Raiders’ secondary showed signs of cracking against the Panthers and Michael Thomas-less Saints…Arizona is down Christian Kirk on Sunday, leaving Larry Fitzgerald as the clear No. 2 option for Kyler Murray on Sunday. Detroit is once again expected to play without top cornerback Desmond Trufant, putting pressure on rookie Jeff Okudah to step up.
- John Brown, BUF (vs. LAR)
- Robby Anderson, CAR (LAC)
- Russell Gage, ATL (vs. CHI)
A matchup with Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey doesn’t figure to provide a busy afternoon for John Brown, especially when Josh Allen has already shown a pattern of spreading the ball around…Robby Anderson was the Panthers’ big acquisition last offseason to play opposite DJ Moore and so far he’s played up to expectations with back-to-back 100-yard games. But the Panthers are now going up against a Chargers defense that would’ve kept Patrick Mahomes under 300 yards passing if not for overtime…The Falcons have managed to keep all three of their top receivers involved in the offense over the first two weeks. While the offense could still produce against a tough Bears defense, Russell Gage likely won’t get as many opportunities as Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley.
- Logan Thomas, WSH (at CLE)
- Drew Sample, CIN (at PHI)
Through Washington’s first two games, Dwayne Haskins has targeted both Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas with regularity. Thomas should be just as involved in Week 3 against a Browns defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends so far this season…The only team that’s allowed more points to tight ends than Cleveland is Philadelphia, which takes on Joe Burrow and the Bengals this week. Drew Sample has already been targeted 21 times by the rookie quarterback and should remain his top tight end option after C.J. Uzomah was ruled out for the rest of the season.
- Chris Herndon, NYJ (at IND)
- Greg Olsen, SEA (vs. DAL)
Even with Jamison Crowder and Le’Veon Bell out last week, Chris Herndon wasn’t involved enough in the passing game to warrant starting this week. Until the Jets offense begins to play up to expectations, Herndon is better left on the waiver wire—especially against the Colts…Sharing tight end targets with Will Dissly, Greg Olsen’s value is entirely touchdown-dependent. The Cowboys’ defense held Tyler Higbee in check Week 1 before Hayden Hurst went off against them in Week 2, but Olsen is trending in the wrong direction after being targeted only once last week.
- Titans D/ST (at MIN)
- Browns D/ST (vs. WSH)
The Vikings may boast a ton of big-name weapons on offense, but the group ranks 30th in total yards this season and that likely won’t improve with the Titans in town. Both Malcolm Butler and Jonathan Joseph are expected to play after battling injury this week as well…Cleveland’s numbers against Joe Burrow last week weren’t pretty, but the Bengals were willing to cut the No. 1 pick loose with 61 pass attempts. Ron Rivera won’t be doing that with Dwayne Haskins, setting the stage for what should be a low-scoring affair.
- Patriots D/ST (vs. LV)
- Bears D/ST (at ATL)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Patriots’ defense hasn’t been the vaunted group of a year ago, but it’s still been among the best in the league so far. Why sit them? The answer: the Raiders. Las Vegas has been a nightmare for fantasy defenses, even against the Saints last week. New England was shredded by Russell Wilson last week and they have back-to-back games against the Raiders and Chiefs coming up…The Bears are another typically trustworthy defensive unit to play and forget, but the high-flying Falcons are sure to put up a fight. There are plenty of other options out there with much higher floors.