Written by Mikey Ostrowski
Season-Long record: 11-5 on Start Ems, 10-6 on Sit Ems
Start of the Week: Kirk Cousins (MIN)
Cousins draws an easy matchup against the Bills and to be quite frank, whichever quarterback is playing against the Bills will be in my start em column nearly every week. Buffalo was torched in week one, torched again in week two, and will be demolished by the Vikings in week three. Cousins already has over 52 fantasy points through the first two weeks and should be in line for another huge performance on Sunday.
Start: Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB)
What the hell have they been feeding this guy? Two 400-yard games with four touchdowns in each game… jeez. I believe in Fitz-Magic and am starting him up against a piss-poor Pittsburgh defense in week three. Temper expectations for him (you can’t expect a third consecutive 400-yard and 4-touchdown game can you?), but he should remain a solid QB1 option against the Steelers.
Start: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
Listed as a Start Em last week, Ben rallied his way to over 30 fantasy points, and could see similar numbers as he faces the Buccaneers in a potential prime-time shootout on Monday night. He has been in sync with all of his receivers and should definitely be poised for another big outing. Fire him up with tons of confidence.
Start: Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)
Trubisky had a decent game against a hobbled Seahawks defense and was able to amass just under 17 fantasy points. Is that good? Not really, but I think he’ll have more luck this week against Arizona. The Cardinals are perhaps the worst (or second worst behind the Bills) team in the entire NFL right now and I would expect Trubisky to go into the game with confidence that he’ll be getting a win. He’s got potential to be a low-end QB1 this week and could be started over one of the guys on my Sit Em list down below.
Sit of the Week: Tyrod Taylor (CLE)
After scoring 24 points in week one, Taylor simmered down to only 15 points in week two. This week he draws a tough matchup against a suddenly scary New York Jets’ defense. I think Taylor will struggle even more than he did against the Saints and will have a not-so-great fantasy stat line. Don’t expect any more than 15 points yet again. He’s gotta ride the bench this week for your squad.
Sit: Jared Goff (LAR)
Goff has been decent over the first couple of weeks but hasn’t been anything spectacular. He’s averaging 18 fantasy points per game but should see a number lower than that against the Chargers. Though their defense is hobbled, the Chargers should give the Rams a run for their money, and vice versa. In fact, I think this game will be all about the running backs and the defense. Queue the next Sit Em…
Sit: Philip Rivers (LAC)
Mr. Rivers was my start of the week last week and pulled through with 23 fantasy points for owners. Is that start of the week material? Probably not, but I can’t imagine anyone was upset about starting him. He has been phenomenal over the first couple of weeks but could hit a wall this week as he faces off against a very stingy Rams’ defense. He is one of fantasy’s most reliable quarterbacks, but I think it’s safe to say he won’t have over 20 points this week. Start if you need to, sit him if you can.
Sit: Andy Dalton (CIN)
Listed as a Sit Em last week, Dalton exploded for four touchdowns in the first half and made me look like an absolute fool. However, I’m doubting him hardcore this week, as he faces off against a Carolina defense that was able to keep Julio Jones in check last week. Dalton’s success comes largely from A.J. Green these days and I just don’t think the connection will be there this week. Dalton had a good week two, but cannot be trusted in week three.
Start of the Week: Jordan Howard (CHI)
Off to a slow start, Howard has less than 25 points through the first two weeks of the season, but gets a very soft and potentially slump-breaking game against the Cardinals in week three. He’s a good running back but simply hasn’t been able to get it going yet. I think he sees a usage increase this week, finally finds the endzone, and actually gives owners what they were looking for when they bought him early on in their drafts.
Start: Christian McCaffrey (CAR)
Last week I said that CMC would bounce back from his week-one performance to finish week two as a top-five running back. I was right. McCaffrey finished as the #3 overall running back last week, and should be in line for another huge game against Cincinnati in week three. The kid is an absolute stud in terms of PPR fantasy football, and though I can’t imagine him reeling in 14 receptions on a weekly basis, should be a lock for eight catches and at least 10 rushing attempts each week. Oh, and just wait until Norv Turner figures out how to get the kid in the endzone.
Start: Matt Breida (SF)
Wow. Where did that come from?! Breida carried the ball 11 times for a massive 138 yards and a score in week two while adding three catches for 21 yards. Though San Francisco likes a timeshare between him and Alfred Morris, Breida may have separated himself a bit and should see a larger share than Morris in week three. He’s got a matchup against Kansas City, who, although have had the best offense in the entire NFL, have one of the worst defenses. The 49ers will inevitably be playing from behind in this one, which may not bode well for Breida’s carries, but should increase his targets. Either way, Brieda will come into this game with confidence and could be in line for another huge day in a game that could be a shootout.
Start: Sony Michel (NE)
This pick comes courtesy of my good friend Ryan at the Loaded Box. Michel didn’t do much in his NFL debut, but could be in line for an easy time against Detroit. The Lions have been absolutely shredded on the ground so far and if anyone is going to make an impact like that from the Patriots, it’s probably Michel. I think you could expect respectable RB2 numbers from him and could be a big asset if you just lost someone to an injury.
Sit of the Week: David Johnson (ARI)
This breaks my heart. David Johnson was the guy I was raving about selecting #1 overall in fantasy drafts and am starting to look like a fool. Nothing against him, he’s phenomenal, but that team of his… yuck. Johnson draws a ridiculously tough matchup against the Bears and should have an incredibly tough week on the ground. I never thought I would say this, but sit David Johnson this week.
Sit: Marshawn Lynch (OAK)
I hate touchdown-dependent running backs. Marshawn Lynch is a touchdown-dependent running back. He’s strong, he’s mean, and he runs with power, but if he doesn’t find the endzone, he’s no better than a low-end RB3. I think this is the week that Lynch doesn’t find pay dirt and will finish with less than 10 fantasy points. Bench fodder.
Sit: LeSean McCoy (BUF)
Another guy that I would never imagine placing on the Sit Em list, McCoy has been dreadful to start the season and is now dealing with an injury. It looks like he may play through the pain but should lose touches to Chris Ivory. Not only that, but Buffalo hasn’t been able to get anything going. Think of this Sit Em as not just McCoy, but the entire Bills team. I wouldn’t use any of them.
Sit: Phillip Lindsay (DEN)
Lindsay has been a machine in the first two weeks but faces a stingy Baltimore defense. Though I don’t think their defense is impenetrable, Denver is still going to use a committee, which means Lindsay will still see very limited carries. I know some people were looking forward to starting the NFL’s third rushing yard leader this week, but I just don’t think you should do it.
Start of the Week: JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT)
JuJu has been on FIRE to start the season and will look to keep that going as he faces off against a very weak Tampa Bay secondary. He has caught 18 balls for 240 yards and a score and should continue to have big numbers week in and week out. JuJu is the man.
Start: DeSean Jackson (TB)
Jackson is one of the hottest receivers in the NFL at the moment. He has shown a tremendous amount of chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick and is always a threat to make a homerun play. Fire him up with confidence as an upside WR2 against the Steelers this week.
Start: Nelson Agholor (PHI)
Agholor has looked great to start the season and will be getting Carson Wentz back this weekend. Wentz and Agholor have a great connection and should team up for some great play against the Colts. He’s a very solid WR3 option with insane upside.
Start: Kenny Golladay (DET)
He’s got over 200 yards in the first two games and has emerged as Stafford’s #2 target. Given that they’re playing New England and their defense has been absolutely dreadful, the Lions should be playing catchup and Golladay should see a ton of opportunity to make plays. Start him in week three!
Sit of the Week: Corey Davis (TEN)
Davis has burned owners with mediocre performances in the first two weeks, and that will definitely continue as he faces off against Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars in week three. He’s not developed enough to take on Ramsey, and certainly won’t have any help from the rest of his offense. I can’t imagine a positive outcome for him in this one, he should be sat in all formats.
Sit: Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
I said it last week and I’ll say it again: sit Larry until Arizona figures themselves out… which may not be this season. He has a difficult matchup against the Bears, and much like I was saying about the Bills, the entire Arizona team is a must sit.
Sit: Randall Cobb (GB)
Listed as a Start Em last week, Cobb didn’t really show up against Minnesota in the way that I thought he would, and I can see that happening against Washington. He will have an expanded role in the Packers’ offense this year, but I can see him struggling this week against a stingy secondary.
Sit: Robby Anderson (NYJ)
Anderson should draw coverage from Cleveland’s explosive rookie Denzel Ward and may have a tough time dealing with it. I don’t think Anderson can be trusted as anything more than boom-or-bust player this week and should be considered extremely touchdown dependent in week three. Proceed with caution when using Robby.
Start of the Week: George Kittle (SF)
The 49ers play against the Chiefs this week in what should be a high-scoring affair. Kittle has shown to be one of Jimmy Garappolo’s favorite targets and should be used early and often in this one. Kittle should have a safe floor and a high ceiling this week.
Start: Kyle Rudolph (MIN)
Rudolph was a sit last week for me and boy was I wrong. I called him a touchdown-dependent tight end with Cousins and they sure showed me. Minnesota should dominate this week and Rudolph should be started in all formats, as it looks like him and Cousins are now on the same page.
Start: Jordan Reed (WAS)
Start him while you can, fantasy fans, because you know its only a matter of time before he goes down with injury. He’s a safe bet for a touchdown against Green Bay and should be started in all formats. (Yes this is the exact same thing I have written for him last week… remains true. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it)
Start: Eric Ebron (IND)
Ebron has been a big redzone target for Andrew Luck and should draw similar looks as they face off against the Eagles in week three. I expect the Colts to be in comeback mode with Carson Wentz coming back for the Eagles this week, which should give Ebron plenty of opportunity to make a few good grabs. Power him up for your squad in week three.
Sit of the Week: David Njoku (CLE)
Listed as a start last week, Njoku managed to disappoint owners with a mere six PPR points and should disappoint yet again against a Jets’ defense that has looked rather good in 2018. Until Baker Mayfield takes over, Njoku’s value will be minimized each week and will see an all-time low this Thursday against New York.
Sit: Jack Doyle (IND)
Though he has seen his fair share of targets, it would appear that Doyle has taken a backseat to Ebron in this offense. Doyle was being drafted as a low-end TE1 for fantasy owners this season but should be treated as more of an upside TE2 at this point. If you have to choose between the Colts’ two tight ends, you’re gonna wanna go with Ebron.
Sit: Jared Cook (OAK)
Cook had an incredibly hot start to the year but severely cooled off in week two. I would look for another cold game as he draws a matchup against a surprisingly good Miami team. They have not allowed a touchdown thus far to a tight end, and with the way Derek Carr has been slinging it, I would expect that to remain true for at least another week.
Sit: Tyler Eifert (CIN)
Eifert has made a couple of good plays so far but has not done anything spectacular. His usage is at an all-time low in Cincinnati and shouldn’t be used most weeks. He won’t be much of a fantasy option against Carolina’s defense this week.
For more NFL Week 3 fantasy football thoughts and advice, be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys give their daily fantasy sports bargain plays and weekly against the spread gambling picks!