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Week 3 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em

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Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em is geared towards season-long leagues however will also be used for every day fantasy functions. Those of you which were studying this for the final a number of years know that I attempt to keep away from the plain performs. Anybody can come on right here and say we must always begin guys like Jalen Hurts, Joe Mixon, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. I attempt to dig a bit deeper.

QUARTERBACK

Start of the Week: Kirk Cousins vs. Lions – Fantasy’s QB18 after two weeks, Cousins is coming off a nightmarish Week 2 in opposition to the Eagles the place he accomplished simply 58.7% of his passes for 221 yards, one landing, and three interceptions whereas averaging a pitiful 4.8 YPA, ensuing within the QB25 week. That got here after Cousins dissected the Packers for 277 yards and a 2:0 TD:INT mark within the opener as Week 1’s QB12. Whereas the Eagles are No. 4 in pass-defense DVOA after two weeks, the Lions are twenty eighth in fantasy factors allowed to quarterbacks, twenty seventh in passing yards allowed, and nineteenth in pass-defense DVOA. Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz each posted top-five fantasy weeks in Weeks 1-2 versus Detroit. Hurts clearly did a whole lot of his harm along with his legs, and Wentz wanted a heavy dose of rubbish time. But the Vikings are fourth in move charge over expectation by two contests, and Justin Jefferson has a determined benefit over whoever the Lions trot on the market reverse him in protection. Cousins does not carry a lot, if something, to the desk along with his legs, however this sport includes a pair of potent offenses and Week 3’s highest complete at 53 factors. Cousins is a high streaming choice this week.

Starts

Joe Burrow at Jets – Burrow is at present fantasy’s QB11 after two weeks, and he is second within the NFL in move makes an attempt behind the man who shall be on the opposite aspect on this one, Joe Flacco. The 0-2 Bengals are one of many largest disappointments, and Burrow has tossed 4 interceptions, one fewer than last-place (*3*). But this seems to be like a winnable spot for everybody on the Bengals after the Jets surrendered 31 factors to the Jacoby Brissett-led Browns final week. Coach Robert Saleh‘s protection is useless final in pass-defense DVOA and twenty ninth in Pro Football Focus’ protection grades. Burrow’s new offensive line is thirty first in move blocking DVOA, however it’ll get a little bit of a breather from the T.J. Watts and Myles Garretts of the world in opposition to a Jets unit that’s twenty second in adjusted sack charge. The Bengals will seemingly attempt to journey Joe Mixon extra as six-point favorites, however Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins have mismatches out huge. Burrow torched the Jets for 3 touchdowns and the QB10 efficiency final Week 8. Cincinnati’s implied workforce complete of 24.75 factors is the seventh-highest of Week 3.

Matthew Stafford at Cardinals – Stafford leads the league with 5 interceptions by two weeks and is fantasy’s QB17 whereas averaging a mediocre 6.6 yards per try. His offensive line is in complete shambles with LT Andrew Whitworth retired, RG Austin Corbett now in Carolina, C BrIan Allen (knee) recovering from surgical procedure, RG Coleman Shelton now filling in at middle, and fill-in RG Tremayne Anchrum finished for the 12 months and changed by somebody named AJ Jackson. Fortunately, Stafford was capable of lick his wounds from Week 1 and tossed three touchdowns final week in opposition to the Falcons, posting the QB10 day. He now will get an Arizona protection that’s thirtieth in fantasy factors allowed to quarterbacks, twenty eighth in pass-defense DVOA, and thirty first in adjusted sack charge. The Cardinals cannot cowl and may’t rush the passer. It’s an ideal recipe for quarterback success. This sport’s 48.5-point complete is the fourth-highest of Week 3, and the Rams’ implied workforce complete of 26 factors is the slate’s sixth-highest.

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Bills – This feels a complete lot like chasing factors and being late to the social gathering after Tagovailoa dissected the Ravens for 469 yards and 6 touchdowns as Week 2’s high fantasy scorer. But this AFC East conflict pits two of the three pass-heaviest offenses in opposition to one another, because the Bills are No. 1 in move charge over expectation, and Miami is third. Buffalo goes to Miami as six-point favorites, and the Bills have seemed like a literal juggernaut, destroying the Rams and Titans for simple wins to open the 12 months. That’s final 12 months’s Super Bowl champions and the No. 1 seed from the AFC. Like final week, Tagovailoa might be enjoying catch-up on the scoreboard. The Bills are No. 1 in fantasy factors allowed to quarterbacks, No. 1 in adjusted sack charge, and No. 2 in pass-defense DVOA, however this protection stays with out high CB Tre’Davious White (knee, PUP), misplaced beginning CB Dane Jackson to a neck harm final week, and now beginning safeties Jordan Poyer (foot) and Micah Hyde (neck) each missed apply Thursday. This secondary is banged up and must cope with the Dolphins’ celebrity wideout duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Both receivers can rating from anyplace on the sector and are flat-out dominating the targets for Miami. Tagovailoa simply has to get it to them, which by two weeks, he is proven he can do, checking in at No. 2 in passing yards on throws of 20-plus yards. Bills-Dolphins has the second-highest complete of the week at 52.5 factors.

Sits

Tom Brady vs. Packers – Brady averaged 201 passing yards and one landing per sport Weeks 1-2. His wideout room has been decimated by accidents, the tight ends aren’t doing something with Rob Gronkowski in retirement, and the Bucs are throwing far lower than they did in Brady’s two earlier years in Tampa Bay. Mike Evans is suspended this week, Chris Godwin (hamstring) is not going to play, and Julio Jones (knee) DNP’ed Wednesday and Thursday after lacking Week 2. That seemingly leaves Brady with a three-wide set of Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller outdoors with Russell Gage within the slot. The Bucs are twenty fifth in move charge over expectation and have been using Leonard Fournette in September. I’m nonetheless holding Brady in season-long leagues in anticipation of Evans, Godwin, and Jones coming again, however after streaming Carson Wentz for Brady final week, I’d favor choices like Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff this Sunday. Brady is fantasy’s QB30 by Week 2. And everyone knows he does not carry something to the field rating along with his legs. Packers-Bucs has one of many lowest totals of the week at 42 factors.

Aaron Rodgers at Bucs – While Tom Brady is fantasy’s QB30, Rodgers hasn’t been a lot better within the pretend soccer world as the general QB29 by two weeks. And like Brady, Rodgers’ wideout room seems to be fairly undermanned and banged up from an harm standpoint. All three of Allen Lazard (ankle), Sammy Watkins (hamstring), and Christian Watson (hamstring) have been downgraded to DNP Thursday. Green Bay is twenty first in move charge over expectation two weeks into the post-Davante Adams period, and Rodgers averaged 214.5 passing yards per sport Weeks 1-2 with simply two touchdowns. This offense runs by its elite backfield tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. On high of all that, the Bucs shut down the Cowboys’ and Saints’ passing video games the primary two weeks, checking in at No. 2 in fantasy factors allowed to quarterbacks, No. 1 in pass-defense DVOA, and No. 2 in adjusted sack charge. As talked about above, this sport’s 42-point complete is without doubt one of the lowest on the Week 3 slate. Rodgers is merely a back-end QB2.

Russell Wilson vs. 49ers – The Broncos are 0-for within the purple zone two weeks into the season. The lowly Seahawks are the one different workforce with out a red-zone landing thus far. In flip, Wilson is fantasy’s QB20 and is coming off an especially disappointing Week 2 in opposition to the Texans the place he accomplished simply 45.2% of his passes for 219 yards, one landing, and one interception at house. It was Wilson’s first sport in entrance of the brand new house crowd, they usually have been already booing the workforce. Coach Nathaniel Hackett could very properly be in over his head as a first-time play-caller after using the coattails of Aaron Rodgers to his first head-coaching job. If Wilson could not get the job finished at house in opposition to the Texans, there is not any motive we must be firing him up in opposition to the Niners. San Francisco is No. 3 in fantasy factors allowed to quarterbacks, No. 4 in adjusted sack charge, and No. 7 in pass-defense DVOA. Wilson additionally seems to be like he shall be with out Jerry Jeudy (ribs, shoulder) after he was DNP Wednesday and Thursday. The Broncos are too gifted to not get away of this stoop, however in a sport with a 45-point complete in opposition to a slow-paced 49ers workforce does not precisely look conducive to fantasy factors.

RUNNING BACK

Start of the Week: David Montgomery vs. Texans – Montgomery performed 66% and 80% of the snaps in Weeks 1 and a pair of and noticed a mixed 38 carries and targets in that span. He was uber-efficient final Sunday night time in opposition to the Packers, averaging over 8.1 YPC, and Montgomery has run 25 move routes to Khalil Herbert‘s eight. Herbert has the lone landing of the duo on a goal-line plunge in Week 1, however Montgomery is the clear lead again within the NFL’s most run-heavy offense. The Bears virtually refuse to throw, and this house sport in opposition to the Texans that includes a meager three-point unfold ought to enable Chicago to run as a lot as they’d like. The Texans have been clobbered for 31/161/1 by Jonathan Taylor in Week 1 after which surrendered 25/122/0 to the Broncos’ RB duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon final Sunday. Houston is twenty fifth in run-defense DVOA, twenty seventh in fantasy factors allowed to working backs, and thirtieth in dashing yards allowed. Montgomery is a rock-solid, volume-based RB2 in a possible ground-based affair.

Starts

Miles Sanders at Commanders – One of my favourite mid-round targets in summer time drafts, Sanders is the present general RB11 in half-PPR and obtained the landing monkey off his again with a Week 1 rating in opposition to the Lions. After ending second in yards per carry final 12 months, Sanders has picked up proper the place he left off as an especially environment friendly runner within the league’s finest dashing offense. Sanders is averaging an elite 5.9 YPC whereas seeing 15 carries and a pair of.5 targets per sport. The Commanders have been bludgeoned by opponent working backs, checking in at twenty eighth in dashing yards allowed, thirty first in run-defense DVOA, and thirty first in fantasy factors allowed to the place. D’Andre Swift (5/56 + 2/31/1), Jamaal Williams (12/53/1), James Robinson (11/66/1), and Travis Etienne (4/47) have all had success working on Washington. The Eagles use as much as 4 ball-carriers, together with Jalen Hurts, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott, however they’re so good at paving working lanes and run the ball with such effectivity and quantity that Sanders nonetheless will get his because the lead canine. Philly is a 6.5-point favourite, and the Eagles’ implied workforce complete of 26.75 factors is the fifth-highest of Week 3.

Dameon Pierce at Bears – After head-scratchingly enjoying Burkhead on 72% of the Week 1 snaps, the Texans flipped the script, and Pierce out-snapped Burkhead 62% to 37% in Week 2 in opposition to the Broncos. Pierce out-carried Burkhead 15-0, however Burkhead nonetheless seems to be just like the teaching workers’s most well-liked choice on third downs and in passing conditions as a greater pass-protector. But Pierce ought to get the majority of the carries going ahead and now shall be concerned in a ground-and-pound slugfest with the Bears. This sport’s unfold sits at a meager three factors, so each offenses ought to be capable to run the ball as a lot as they please. Chicago is twenty seventh in run-defense DVOA, useless final in dashing yards allowed, and twenty fifth in opponent yards per carry. Aaron Jones simply wrecked this protection for 15/132/1 on the bottom final Sunday night time, and AJ Dillon pitched in for 18/61/0. In Week 1, Deebo Samuel (8/52/1) and Elijah Mitchell (6/41/0) additionally discovered huge holes within the Bears’ run protection. Pierce might flirt with 20-plus carries in Week 3, however his lack of pass-game involvement nonetheless makes him a touchdown-dependent RB2.

Tony Pollard at Giants – After Pollard’s disastrous Week 1, the Cowboys fortunately saved Pollard concerned within the Week 2 sport plan in opposition to the Bengals, and he turned his 16 carries plus targets into 98 complete yards and a goal-line landing. Ezekiel Elliott continues to look prepared for retirement and turned his 17 alternatives right into a pitiful 49 scoreless yards. It was notable that Pollard acquired the one goal-line carry between the 2. Elliott has run 37 routes to Pollard’s 28, however Elliott has turned these right into a mere two catches for -7 yards on 4 targets whereas Pollard has turned 9 targets into 6/69 receiving. It’s clear to everybody watching that Pollard is without doubt one of the Cowboys’ finest playmakers and their most gifted runner. He’s the RB21 by two weeks and now will get a date with a Giants protection that’s twenty second in DVOA in opposition to the run and twenty third in fantasy factors allowed to working backs. Only six groups have surrendered extra receiving yards to the place. Pollard must be teed up as an upside RB3/FLEX play.

Sits

Cam Akers at Cardinals – After enjoying simply 18% of the Week 1 snaps and carrying the ball thrice for zero yards, Akers out-carried Darrell Henderson 15-10 in Week 2 however nonetheless averaged an unhelpful 2.9 YPC. And it was Henderson who punched within the quick landing. Akers simply hasn’t seemed any good since his 2021 torn Achilles. As a lot because the Rams and coach Sean McVay need Akers to be the 2020 model of himself, his explosiveness seems to be sapped. But the Rams additionally know Henderson cannot keep wholesome with a full workload, so Akers needs to be concerned. He simply does not move the attention take a look at. Henderson continues to be the popular RB2.

Raheem Mostert vs. BillsChase Edmonds seemed like one of many huge winners of Week 1 with reference to enjoying time and alternatives, however the Dolphins switched issues up in Week 2 and inserted Mostert because the workforce’s lead again. Mostert out-snapped Edmonds 55% to 51% and noticed 14 carries plus targets to Edmonds’ eight. Mostert was extra concerned each on early downs and in passing conditions, so it is onerous to inform what is going on on in Miami’s backfield after two weeks. This one has the potential to be a weekly fantasy nightmare. The Bills have stamped out opposing working backs thus far, checking in at third in fantasy factors allowed to the place, third in opponent yards per carry, and third in run-defense DVOA. We must see extra of this Dolphins backfield earlier than trusting both Edmonds or Mostert as an RB2/FLEX.

Breece Hall vs. Bengals – The Jets’ two-man committee turned a three-man one with Ty Johnson coming into the playing-time combine, seeing simply sufficient snaps (19%) to be an issue. He acted because the Jets’ third-down and two-minute specialist. Michael Carter held the targets edge over Hall 5-1 in opposition to the Browns, however Hall turned his one look into a brief receiving rating. Both backs noticed seven carries apiece, however Carter has performed 60-plus p.c of the snaps every of the primary two video games. If Hall is now going to lose enjoying time to Johnson whereas additionally trailing Carter, it makes the rookie unplayable in 12-team leagues. We do not like three-man backfield committees, and we particularly do not like them in dangerous offenses. The Jets’ implied complete of 19.75 factors is the fifth-lowest of Week 3. We can do higher than Hall in our FLEX spot.

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WIDE RECEIVER

Start of the Week: Allen Robinson at Cardinals – After his two-target, one-catch Week 1 in opposition to the Bills, the Rams made it a degree to get Robinson extra concerned in opposition to the Falcons. He caught a brief landing within the first quarter and completed with a 4/53/1 line on 5 targets. Robinson later had a second landing referred to as again on a late whistle for a mysterious “medical timeout” from the concussion spotter. Through two weeks, Robinson has run solely three fewer routes than teammate Cooper Kupp, so he is on the sector a ton in an aggressive move offense. The Cardinals are twenty eighth in pass-defense DVOA, and solely seven groups have allowed extra catches to opposing wideouts. Rams coach Sean McVay has referred to as for much more Robinson involvement after his WR24 Week 2. This sport’s 48.5-point complete is the fourth-highest of Week 3, and the Rams’ implied workforce complete of 26 factors is the sixth-highest on the slate.

Starts

JuJu Smith-Schuster at Colts – Despite Patrick Mahomes firing off 35 passes final Thursday night time in opposition to the Chargers, Smith-Schuster was focused simply thrice, turning them right into a scoreless 3/10 line as Week 2’s WR87. JuJu nonetheless performed 74% of the snaps and ran 29 routes, third on the workforce behind Travis Kelce‘s 35 and Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s 31 on the surface. Smith-Schuster is functioning as Mahomes’ slot receiver, and the Colts are recent off getting wrecked by Jaguars slot man Christian Kirk for a 6/78/2 day final Sunday. The Colts are twenty ninth in pass-defense DVOA. Chiefs-Colts sports activities the third-highest complete of the week at 50.5 factors, and Kansas City’s implied workforce complete of 28.5 is the second-highest. JuJu seems to be like a secure WR3.

Adam Thielen vs. Lions – Thielen is coming off pedestrian 3/36 and 4/52 receiving traces to open the season, and he actually did not get entangled final week in opposition to the Eagles till rubbish time. However, Thielen is tied with Justin Jefferson with a team-high 82 move routes. He’s simply not incomes targets at 32 years previous. Thielen is tied with Irv Smith for second on the workforce in targets, 12 behind Jefferson. But Thielen’s legs ought to nonetheless be recent in September, and he is second on the workforce in red-zone targets. The alternatives are there for Thielen, and it is a plus-plus spot in opposition to a Lions unit that’s nineteenth in pass-defense DVOA and twenty fifth in fantasy factors allowed to opposing wideouts. Lions-Vikings has Week 3’s highest complete at 53 factors. A.J. Brown (10/155), Terry McLaurin (4/75), Jahan Dotson (4/59/1), and Curtis Samuel (7/78/1) have all met or exceeded expectations in opposition to Detroit. Thielen is within the WR3 combine for Week 3.

Garrett Wilson vs. Bengals – The scorching waiver-wire add of the week, Wilson is coming off an 8/102/2 explosion in opposition to the Browns final week the place he noticed his snap share rise to 61% from 49% in Week 1. Wilson drew a team-high 14 targets in Cleveland on 36 routes and performed greater than half of his snaps within the slot, seemingly supplanting Braxton Berrios inside with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore on the surface. Wilson leads the NFL with eight red-zone targets and has drawn 22 targets on 71 routes, turning into Joe Flacco‘s go-to choice when he wants a giant play. The Bengals are 14th in pass-defense DVOA and have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy factors to huge receivers, however they’ve confronted Mitch Trubisky and Cooper Rush. Diontae Johnson (7/55), Noah Brown (5/91/), and CeeDee Lamb (7/75) have nonetheless posted robust weeks in opposition to Cincinnati. Flacco is not a lot better than Trubisky and Rush, if in any respect, however he is extra aggressive. And Wilson’s playmaking capability shall be an issue. With the Jets put in as landing underdogs at house, the Jets might once more be chasing factors on the scoreboard.

Sits

Brandon Aiyuk at Broncos – Aiyuk has run a team-high 58 routes by two weeks, and his 9 targets are second to Deebo Samuel‘s dozen. But in San Francisco’s run-heavy scheme, Aiyuk has produced a scoreless 7/103 line as fantasy’s WR50. The return of Jimmy Garoppolo underneath middle ought to open up the move sport extra, however now George Kittle is anticipated to make his season debut in Week 3. With Samuel and Kittle seemingly forward of him within the pecking order for touches and targets, it will be onerous for the Niners to help three pass-catchers. Aiyuk is also the one which sees Broncos high CB Patrick Surtain. The Broncos are sixth in pass-defense DVOA and have surrendered the fewest fantasy factors to huge receivers.

Darnell Mooney vs. Texans – Mooney has principally been working sprints by two weeks. On a – by far – team-best 38 routes, Mooney has turned 5 targets into two catches for 4 yards. No workforce is throwing the ball as little because the Bears. With the Bears put in as three-point house favorites, there shall be no motive for the Bears to throw it on this one. Houston’s move protection is weak, however Chicago’s move offense is weaker. Mooney is not in any respect startable proper now.

Noah Brown at Giants – Brown is coming off a 5/91/1 day in opposition to the Bengals final week as fantasy’s general WR14 in Week 2. He’s performed 88% and 85% of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps by two weeks, however Dallas is wanting like it’ll get Michael Gallup (knee) again for Week 3. Gallup will play a diminished function in his season debut, however that is going to push Brown down the targets totem pole. Cooper Rush is able to shifting the offense, however he is not somebody who’s going to hold a number of pass-catchers. The Giants have allowed the third-fewest fantasy factors to opposing huge receivers, and Dallas’ 19-point implied workforce complete is the third-lowest of the week.

TIGHT END

Start of the Week: Kyle Pitts at Seahawks – Maybe the most important disappointment of the primary two weeks of the fantasy season, Pitts has posted back-to-back 2/19/0 receiving traces. But Pitts has nonetheless run 57 routes on 69 Marcus Mariota drop-backs, working only one fewer route than teammate WR Drake London. But London has out-targeted Pitts 18-10 and has 9 extra catches. London is coming off of the WR9 week final Sunday in opposition to the Rams. And even beat writers have began to ask coach Arthur Smith what is going on on with Pitts and why he is not getting targets. Smith is aware of, and now this units Pitts up for a possible squeaky-wheel week in opposition to a Seahawks protection that has surrendered the ninth-most fantasy factors to tight ends. Broncos TEs mixed for 7/85 on 10 targets in Week 1, and Ross Dwelley, of all individuals, caught a 38-yard landing in opposition to Seattle final Sunday. We need to hold using Pitts.

Starts

T.J. Hockenson at Vikings – Hockenson is fifth amongst all tight ends in targets with 14, however he is turned them right into a scoreless 7/64 line and dropped a pair passes final week in opposition to the Commanders. Many have pegged Hockenson as a fourth-year breakout candidate, and he is been in on over 90% of the Lions’ snaps. The Vikings are twenty first in fantasy factors allowed to tight ends after surrendering a 5/82 line to Dallas Goedert in Week 2. Playing nearly each snap in a sport with a lofty 53-point complete, Hockenson must be glued to lineups as a simple TE1 play.

Tyler Higbee at Cardinals – Higbee’s 18 targets are second to solely Mark Andrews‘ 19 on the place, however Higbee has turned his into 12/110/0 regardless of being top-10 in the whole league with 4 red-zone targets. Higbee dropped a few passes in Week 1 and by no means appears to have the ability to do a complete lot along with his heavy utilization. Higbee has nonetheless performed 94% and 97% of the Rams’ snaps and has run the third-most routes amongst tight ends. The Cardinals are useless final in fantasy factors allowed to tight ends after Darren Waller (6/50/1), Foster Moreau (3/30), Travis Kelce (8/121/1), and Jody Fortson (1-yard TD) have all taken benefit of Arizona’s weak move protection. Higbee is a top-10 choice on the place this week in a sport with a 48.5-point complete.

Zach Ertz vs. Rams – Ertz’s summer time calf harm restricted him to 60% of the Week 1 snaps, however he was again to shut to 100% final week and was in on 84% of the snaps in opposition to the Raiders. Ertz’s 14 targets are tied for fifth within the league on the place, and he is reeled in 10 of them for 89 yards and one landing. Since coming over from the Eagles, Ertz has been one among Kyler Murray‘s favourite targets to maneuver the chains and within the purple zone. The Rams have held Dawson Knox and Kyle Pitts in test the primary two weeks, however Ertz deserves back-end TE1 remedy.

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