Week 3 Fantasy Football Start And Sit
Take a sigh of relief, Daniel Jones. You aren’t on my list of sits this week. Though, in fairness, you’ve become an honorary sit. We’ll talk again in Week 5. Now, for everyone else, how did we all do through the first two weeks? Whether you’re 2-0 or 0-2, the season has just started, and things can change every week. Take last Sunday, for instance. The week that will forever live in infamy. Sigh, but what can be done now, though? It’s time to move forward and bulldoze through your next opponent. Now, with that, here are my Week 3 Start and Sit candidates!
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Week 3 Fantasy Football Start And Sit
Cam Newton (My Ranking: QB7)
Can we all collectively agree that Cam Newton is back? Coming off the heels of both a QB6 and a QB2 performance respectively, Cam now finds himself facing a rolling Las Vegas Raiders team. To be fair, we’re talking about a Raiders team that allowed 270 yards and a touchdown to Teddy Two Gloves Bridgewater in Week 1. Sure, Las Vegas put the clamp down on Drew Brees, but he was without Michael Thomas, and even with his top weapon, he didn’t put together a great showing in Week 1. Now, wrap your head around this stat. In his first two games as a Patriot, Cam has tallied 122 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. That’s not to mention his near 400-yard passing performance last week either. Cam’s rushing alone makes him an every-week start, but his added ability to move the ball through the air pushes him over the top. He’s a contender for the QB1 spot every week.
Ben Roethlisberger (My Ranking: QB10)
Ben Roethlisberger took a year off last year, right? Did I miss something?
Looking as sharp as ever, Ben dismantled Denver last week throwing for over 300 yards and racking up two touchdowns. Heading into Week 3, Ben and the Steelers meet a hapless Houston Texans secondary. Through the first two weeks of the season, Houston’s secondary has allowed 75 percent of all their opponents’ passes to be completed. Lamar Jackson’s stat-line would have been more impressive last week if Houston had applied any pressure at all on the opposite side of the ball, but Patrick Mahomes scored thrice on them back in Week 1. With a mostly healthy Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster hitting the field this Sunday, Houston’s defensive woes don’t appear to be coming to an end just yet.
Derek Carr (My Ranking: QB21)
I don’t relish writing about Derek Carr in this fashion. I’ve always believed Carr to be a competent, capable quarterback, and I’ll take this conviction to the grave. Unfortunately, he’s running into the brick wall known as the Patriots’ defense. New England, under Bill Belichick’s watch, has historically been known to effectively wipe their opponents’ best weapon completely out of the game. This means bad news for Darren Waller, who went ballistic last Monday night against the Saints. Lacking a strong presence at wide receiver, Carr is going to struggle with the options he has at his disposal. Not to mention the fact that he threw three touchdowns last week and still only finished as the QB14. If Carr manages to finish in the top 15, he had a monster week, relatively speaking.
Kirk Cousins (My Ranking: QB24)
Woof. This past Sunday was not kind to Kirk Cousins. He failed to complete even 50 percent of his passes, and he threw three interceptions on 26 attempts. Mind you, that was against a defense that previously allowed Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars to post three touchdowns in their matchup. Although the Titans’ secondary ranks in the bottom 10 in passing yards given up, they’ll look to control the pace of the game by giving Derrick Henry all the carries he can handle. Henry has yet to see less than 25 attempts, and against an inferior defense, that’s not likely to change. Cousins has yet to throw more than 26 times in a game, and if he wants to be a fantasy contributor this week in a negative game script, he’ll have to do his damage in the limited opportunities he’ll have.
Running Back Starts
James Conner (My Ranking: RB15)
Throw out Week 1. James Conner sprained his ankle in the second quarter, and I believe that we should find it in our hearts to forgive him for a slow start in the first. What’s most worthy of highlighting is his rebound effort last week against Denver. Conner averaged 6.6 yards-per-carry on his way to 106 yards and a touchdown. With Benny Snell looking awful on three touches, and with Mike Tomlin being true to his word and giving Conner the lion’s share of work, Conner should be an auto-start while he’s healthy. Besides, did you watch the Ravens’ backfield tear Houston’s defensive line up? Woof, I say to you again. Woof.
David Montgomery (My Ranking: RB17)
Averaging 5.0 yards-per-carry, David Montgomery has had himself a nice start to the season. While he’s yet to find the end zone on the ground, he caught all three of his targets last week for 45 yards and a touchdown. His high efficiency paired with a plus matchup make him an attractive start. The Falcons have allowed no fewer than 38 points to start the year, and Ezekiel Elliot took them to task last week. Montgomery will see his fair share of touches, and if his efficiency stays on pace, he has the potential to be a top 12 rusher.
Running Back Sits
Ronald Jones (My Ranking: RB32)
If you’re active on Twitter and engaging in fantasy football related discussions, you would know that Ronald Jones has been a hot topic for months. Will he breakout? Will he split touches? The conversation raged on, and on, and on. I hate to break it to the Jones believers in the back, but Tampa Bay is the home of one nasty timeshare. Last week, after fumbling away his opportunity (literally), Jones ceded the role of lead back to Leonard Fournette, who went on to rush for 103 yards on 12 carries. The Bucs will continue on with a hot hand approach, which is why I want nothing to do with any of their guys. This goes double for the guy who’s second in command of their backfield.
Nyheim Hines (My Ranking: RB35)
Be honest, who among you spent up to get Nyheim Hines off of waivers? There’s no shame in it. Following a monstrous Week 1 performance, Hines scraped together only reception for four yards against the Vikings. Perhaps even more concerning was the fact that he played just nine snaps. He’s going to need a pass-friendly game script to have relevance, and even then Jonathan Taylor will split passing downs work with him. Squaring up against the reeling Jets doesn’t offer much hope in the way of receiving work being available for Hines, and fantasy players are better off looking elsewhere for a start.
Wide Receiver Starts
Diontae Johnson (My Ranking: WR15)
Two weeks ago, would you believe me if I said that Diontae Johnson would lead the Steelers in receptions heading into Week 3? Last week against the Broncos, Johnson hauled in eight receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. His chances of following up that performance up against a weary Texans secondary are looking good. As I mentioned earlier, Houston has allowed 75 percent of all opposing passes to be completed, and with Ben cooking, Johnson should see his fair share of work, especially if Smith-Schuster is limited due to injury.
Julian Edelman (My Ranking: WR20)
Don’t worry about Julian Edelman, folks. He’s still got it. He and Newton connected eight times last week for a whopping 179 yards. Against a weak Miami Dolphins team, Newton needed only 19 attempts to pull off the win. Facing Seattle, however, Josh McDaniels was forced to open up the playbook a bit, and Edelman was a major benefactor. The Raiders won’t put up anywhere near 35 points against New England’s impressive defense, but 11 points, like Miami put up, is discrediting their ability. Edelman saw roughly 30 percent of Newton’s completions, and if this trend continues, he’ll be a decent No. 2 option in PPR.
Wide Receiver Sits
Will Fuller (My Ranking: WR28)
Does Will Fuller’s injury history need to be discussed? For those who don’t know, his body is as brittle as a piece of straw on the football field. After seeing his hamstring receive attention in Week 2 against the Ravens, I’m highly concerned. Did I mention that he didn’t notch a single reception in their loss? Playing a vaunted Steelers secondary doesn’t help matters much. Color me skeptical about Fuller’s ability to perform this week. Please, when looking at your lineups, avert your eyes when Fuller’s name appears.
Jarvis Landry (My Ranking: WR32)
Jarvis Landry isn’t droppable just yet, but one or two more tossable performances and he should be relegated to waivers. True to his playcalling style, Kevin Stefanski does not want to throw the ball. In a game where his team controlled the narrative, his quarterback, Baker Mayfield, threw just 23 times. Going up against Washington poses a similar strength of matchup as the Bengals, and Mayfield figures to throw less than 30, perhaps 25 passes. Even in a showing of 39 attempts against the Ravens, Landry and Mayfield connected just five times for 61 yards. Keep a watchful eye on Landry over the coming weeks. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug, guys. Only risk takers win championships.
Tight End Starts
Noah Fant (My Ranking: TE7)
Nothing is worse than hyping a player up because one of their counterparts recently IR. Then again, fantasy football is a cruel mistress, and it must be done.
In Courtland Sutton’s absence in Week 1, Noah Fant delivered on five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Now, in light of Jerry Jeudy’s rib injury, Fant becomes the de facto No. 1 target in Denver. With his athleticism and playmaking ability, Tampa’s defense is going to be hard-pressed to contain him if his volume is where it should be.
Jonnu Smith (My Ranking: TE9)
Gee, I never thought I’d be so happy to see Delanie Walker out of Tennessee. Taking over as the full-time starter, Jonnu Smith has already racked up three touchdowns in two weeks. Jonnu has been one of my talking points all offseason, and I’m going to bask in a brief moment of pride because his emergence is the only thing keeping my heart from collapsing thanks to Carson Wentz.
Having been gashed by Mo Alie-Cox last week, I have zero confidence in Minnesota’s ability to ward off Ryan Tannehill and Jonnu Smith. The young tight end is mostly to blame for Tannehill’s incredible nine percent touchdown rate. While I expect that number to go down, clearly Smith is going to net his fair share of scoring receptions. If there were ever a game to predict one such reception, his matchup against Minnesota sure feels like the one. With A.J. Brown being sidelined this week, you should have full confidence with Jonnu in your lineup.
Tight End Sits
Chris Herndon (My Ranking: TE23)
How dare you, Chris Herndon. I trusted you, and one lousy reception is all I get? It’s hard to have faith in a man who saw six receptions just the week prior to his major dud and yet only collected 37 yards. Against a Colts secondary that just thrashed Kirk Cousins, I’m throwing away all of my shares of Chris Herndon and not looking back. I’ll learn to love again.
Rob Gronkowski (My Ranking: TE32)
No, I’m not going for a Herndon/Gronkowski palindrome in my rankings. Truthfully, I’m just that down on Robert Gronkowski. To this point, Gronk has only two receptions and 11 yards to his name in 2020. Hearing Bruce Arians’ latest comments about his lack of desire to throw to his tight ends and his praise of Gronk’s blocking doesn’t inspire confidence either.
If you found Taylor’s Start and Sit advice helpful, you’ll definitely want to check out the rest of our Week 3 Fantasy Football lineup!
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