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Fantasy Football: Week 3 Start and Sit Projections

Who should you start and who should ride the bench in your fantasy football activities this weekend?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Another week and another weekend of fantasy football festivities! If you’re like me and had Carlos Hyde rolled out for the Thursday Night game then you’re pretty happy. If you had him in your flex positions, well, good luck to you!

First, let’s check in on how we did in Week 2:

  • Quarterbacks (3/3): Ben Roethlisberger made good on my starter advice and was the second-highest scoring quarterback with 37-points. My sleeper also came through as Ryan Fitzpatrick put up 31-points. Good enough for QB9 last week. As for Dak Prescott, he unfortunately proved me right by falling in at QB24.
  • Running Backs (2/3): We didn’t do as well here as we did with quarterbacks. Jordan Howard disappointed and came in at RB27, doing even worse than my sit of the week LeSean McCoy who came in at RB26. Austin Ekeler continues to impress, and had his second-straight week in RB2 territory with thirteen PPR points.
  • Receivers (WR and TE)(0/3): A big old goose egg in this category for Week 2. Hey, even Fabiano has bad weeks from time to time. Jarvis Landry and the Browns should have won, but his 10 target reduction from the monsoon in Cleveland to the dome in New Orleans really killed this high PPR performers numbers. OJ Howard turned in a 75-yard touchdown for the Buccaneers, and it helped him become the only sit prediction to earn starting numbers as TE3 for the week. Ryan Grant was my biggest reach as a sleeper, and he showed why as he failed to capitalize on a big opportunity against the Redskins.
  • Defense/Special Teams (3/3): A strong finish to go with a strong start. All three picks here came through. The Jacksonville Jaguars rode the line but pulled it out finishing as the 12th ranked defense for Week 2. Our sit, well, they sat and the Pittsburgh Steelers defense was the 31st ranked unit in fantasy last weekend. Finally, our sleeper the Chicago Bears looked like one of their classic groups and pulled off a first place finish among all D/ST groups in fantasy football last week.
  • Overall (8/12 - 66%): Better than average, but not good enough. Completely missing on the receivers hurt a lot. Let’s do better!

QUARTERBACKS

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

START: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs New Orleans Saints)

The Saints allowed fifteen fantasy points to Tyrod Taylor last weekend, which isn’t much. However, in the process Taylor completed 75% of his passes and threw for 246-yards.

Matt Ryan is a little more experienced than Taylor, a little bit better at the position, and has Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohammed Sanu to throw to.

Twice the Saints’ defense has given up big fantasy football weekends to opposing quarterbacks. This one will be the same.

SIT: Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears (@ Arizona Cardinals)

Could this be Trubisky’s coming out party? It could, but it won’t.

Unless the Bears just decide to piss off the rest of the league and go full pour-it-on mode in this one, Trubisky and his offense should enjoy a pretty comfortable lead early on.

This means plenty of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, and less Trubisky throwing the ball.

It’s possible Trubisky is a touchdown thieving fool this weekend, but that’s the only way he’s putting up starting numbers.

SLEEPER: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs Buffalo Bills)

After two weeks of action Cousins is QB3 according to PFF’s fantasy stats. So how is he a sleeper?

Well, he and the Vikings are facing the Buffalo Bills. The team tied with the Detroit Lions for giving up the most actual points among NFL teams this year with 39 per game.

Cousins has thrown for six touchdowns this season so far and sits tied with the likes of Philip Rivers, and Andy Dalton in the category.

But, if his team jumps to an early lead, we may see his running backs get a lot of work. Rolling with him seems like a smart play because of the start he’s had, but if his running backs cap off two early drives and the Vikings defense gets a score, Cousins’ bottom line is going to hurt.

RUNNING BACKS

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

START: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (@ Houston Texans)

The rookie has started his fantasy career with a RB5 standing two weeks in. Not bad. And his early success should continue against a Texans defense allowing over 150-yards of rushing offense per game.

Six ball carriers have averaged three-yards per carry or more thus far against the Texans and Barkley comes in averaging 4.6 yards per carry after facing two teams with statistically better run defenses.

SIT: Lamar Miller, Houston Texans (vs New York Giants)

The New York Football Giants are allowing less than 75-yards per game to opposing rushers and is allowing fewer than three touchdowns per game as well.

So, if Miller is going to score this week, it’s going to be a surprise to the Giants.

Considering the Texans’ generosity in allowing opposing teams to score around four times per game thus far, Houston is going to have to turn to DeShaun Watson at some point to both run and pass. When it happens, Miller’s numbers will fall.

SLEEPER: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (@ Arizona Cardinals)

I promise I’m not just rolling Howard out there until I’m right. Facing Arizona, Howard should get a lot of work and have plenty of opportunities to turn in big fantasy football points for those who play him.

Yes, Tarik Cohen is going to get some touches too, but Howard should get enough quality touches to satisfy his landing somewhere RB12 or better.

RECEIVERS (WR/TE)

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

START: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs Chicago Bears)

Larry-Legend may be the only real offensive consistency the team has, but he’s the only one you need if he’s the only Cardinals player you’re playing in fantasy football.

Fitzgerald is a PPR machine, and should be good for at least six catches this weekend as he continues to be his quarterback’s best friend, and his team continues to play from behind.

SIT: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs Tennessee Titans)

ASJ has had three catches in each of the first two games of the season and even found the end zone last weekend.

Some have identified him as a sleeper to bust out at any moment and have even stashed him as a sleeper option for later in the season.

However, three receptions per game is not a lot, even for a tight end. Furthermore, he’s facing a Titans defense allowing only 4.6 points per game to fantasy tight ends.

SLEEPER: Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Vance McDonald is likely the tight end most fantasy football enthusiasts are eyeballing when they look at the Steelers.

But in two games this season, James has ten targets (five in each game) and has turned those into eight catches for nearly 200-yards and a touchdown.

He’s also a catch/no-catch decision waiting to happen every time he’s thrown the ball, and isn’t that what Monday Night Football is all about?

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

START: Chicago Bears (@ Arizona Cardinals)

Turns out, I really like the Bears over Arizona.

My sleeper from last week, Chicago turned in a D/ST1 performance which earns them my start position this week.

The defense has looked solid, albeit against lesser competition, which is exactly what Arizona’s offense is for the most part.

Tarik Cohen continues to play a part in special teams which is a touchdown chance every time Arizona punts. Which will be a lot.

SIT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Each Other on MNF)

Both teams look to be getting top notch cornerbacks back to their defenses. Brent Grimes and Joe Haden seem on track to play Monday night.

Still, this should be a 60+ point shoot-out between a team looking to stay on the high they’ve started the season on, and a team looking to shelve some drama for a week.

Watch with delight, but don’t start either D/ST.

SLEEPER: Philadelphia Eagles (vs Indianapolis Colts)

Weird to see the Super Bowl winning defense on here as a sleeper. Well, it would be - if this was the Super Bowl winning defense.

As James Yarcho said last week on the Locked on Bucs podcast, this isn’t the same team as it was when it won the Super Bowl.

Players like Vinny Curry and Mitch Unrein are playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as one example. Big losses to the defensive line group.

So far, Philly’s defense sits 14th in PFF’s defense and special teams unit fantasy football scoring rankings. Not bad, but not good.

Week 3 presents a chance for the Eagles’ defense to rise up the ranks a bit as they face the Indianapolis Colts.

Sure, the Colts are better with Luck back, but they’re not challenging for a Super Bowl title anytime soon. This defense just might.

Poll

Which ‘Sleeper’ is the best fantasy play?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    QB, Kirk Cousins (MIN vs BUF)
    (81 votes)
  • 34%
    RB, Jordan Howard (CHI @ AZ)
    (73 votes)
  • 17%
    TE, Jesse James (PIT @ TB)
    (37 votes)
  • 9%
    D/ST, Philadelphia Eagles (PHI vs IND)
    (21 votes)
212 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your free advice for Week 3. Want more? Find me on Twitter and send in those match-up questions.