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2018 Week 3 Start_Sit: Favorable Matchups

Week 3 Start_Sit
Photo Credit: Inside Sports

Another week into the regular season and the madness has only just begun as there are some juicy matchup in the Week 3 Start_Sit. Before I talk about what went down in Week 2, I need to address two big headlines. First, the Philadelphia Eagles will be getting Carson Wentz, back this week and is expected to start. Second, the Cleveland Browns dealt WR Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots.

Wentz’s return raises the Fantasy value of Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and Alshon Jeffrey (when he returns). There isn’t that much of an impact on either Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, or Corey Clement, as it is a mess in that backfield. With the addition of Josh Gordon, the immediate boost in Fantasy value goes to Tom Brady. As of right now, I can see Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett losing the most from this acquisition. I’m not too worried about Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman as they’ll continue to be Brady’s favorite targets.

Now let’s get into some of the highlights from Week 2. It looks like “Fitzmagic” is here to stay, New England is beatable, the Rams already look like Super Bowl contenders, the Buffalo Bills might go 0-16, we witnessed another tie, and when is Patrick Mahomes going to slow down?

Looking ahead to Week 3 there are many favorable matchups (Minnesota, Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas). Not to mention the possibility of a few potential shootout games (Giants vs Texans, 49ers vs Chiefs, Steelers vs Buccaneers, and Saints vs Falcons). Without further ado I give you my Week 3 Start_Sit.

Week 3 Start_Sit

New York Jets vs Cleveland Browns

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  • Start: Quincy Enunwa, WR, NYJ

I said last week to start Enunwa and that worked out well as he finished with 92 receiving yards on seven catches. He had double-digit targets for the second week in a row. There is a lot to like about his production and how he has played these first two games. With his 13 catches on 21 targets, he has 155 receiving yards and also has one touchdown. This week he gets the Cleveland Browns who are having a tough time against the pass.

  • Sit: Duke Johnson Jr, RB, CLE

Carlos Hyde is the clear starter, DJJ and rookie Nick Chubb are both fighting for the back up role. In these first couple of games, he has 11 touches. 11!!! That is pitiful. The lack of touches he is getting per game has to make you realize that he can’t be in your starting lineup.

Buffalo Bills vs Minnesota Vikings

  • Start: Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN

This might be an obvious start, but maybe you’re facing a QB conundrum, like choosing between Cousins, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger. Hopefully, you’re smart enough not to have both Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees on your roster. The Buffalo Bills are having a rough season and have faced major deficits heading into half time. Yes, opposing QBs don’t pass for many yards, but they’re very effective. Joe Flacco threw for 236 yards Week 1 and Philip Rivers threw for 256 yards in Week 2. A common statistic between the two QBs is they both threw three touchdowns. Flacco finished as a QB7 with 21.7 points and Rivers was a QB11 with 22.7 points.

Those scores and finishes were provided by Fantasy Pros

  • Sit: LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF

To begin the season, he lost his starting center, left guard, and left tackle. He was at the heart of a criminal investigation involving his ex-girlfriend and Buffalo started a QB who had five interceptions last season. Luckily they came to their senses and went with first round draft pick, Josh Allen. Now to make matters worse he has fractured rib cartilage. With his matchup against Minnesota, McCoy is a must sit this game.

New York Giants vs Houston Texans

  • Start: Will Fuller V, WR, HOU

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Nothing, but effectiveness and constant production from Fuller when him and Deshaun Watson are together. In the five games they’ve played together, Fuller has amassed 392 receiving yards, 21 catches, and eight touchdowns. That is an average of four catches for 78 receiving yards and getting into the end zone one and a half times per game. There is less appeal in PPR leagues than in standard leagues, but going against the Giants certainly is a solid matchup.

  • Sit: Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG

Two disappointing games makes me put Shepard on this list. The Giants can’t escape their past and even with the “rebuilding” of that offensive line, it continues to be their downfall. Against a good pass rush the line will be dominated. Given that Eli Manning will have little time to throw, this makes Sterling Shepard not a reliable option. Eli doesn’t have time to scan the field and see his first couple of reads, so this will likely cause him to check down to Saquon Barkley all day. Not to mention that Shepard will continue to be the third, fourth, or fifth option for this team.

Green Bay Packers vs Washington Redskins

  • Start: Chris Thompson, RB, WAS

If you caught my Week 2 Start_Sit then you saw I was high on Chris Thompson. I’m high on him again this week. He had more than double the amount of catches (13) than the next closest receiver (6). The fact that he only get four carries for one yard shows he’s limited in the ground game. That could have been due to the pace of the game, but you shouldn’t be too worried about it.

  • Sit: Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS

It is either a big game or a bust from AP. That was exactly what happened last season in Arizona. He had two games with over 130 rushing yards and the rest of the season he failed to rush for over 80 yards. The downfall of Peterson’s game is that he isn’t used in the passing game. That is where Chris Thompson comes in. If the gap becomes too great, the Redskins will be forced to throw and that minimizes the amount of snaps Peterson receives.

San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs

  • Start: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF

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There is so much potential for Jimmy G to excel this week and show why he was made the 49ers’ franchise QB. Kansas City is allowing an average of 438 passing yards per game through the first two weeks. You have to think this is a great matchup for Garoppolo and he has Top 3 QB upside. We all know Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City are likely to score multiple touchdowns. This will force the 49ers to pass a lot. Jimmy is a terrific option to put in your starting lineup this week.

  • Sit: Alfred Morris, RB, SF

With this game having the potential of being a blowout, this isn’t an ideal game for Morris. His teammate, Matt Brieda, is the better pass catcher and that is concerning for Morris’s Week 3 value. Alfred Morris only has two catches and two targets compared to Brieda’s six targets and four catches. Morris still has yet to gain more than 50 rushing yards in a game as well.

Oakland Raiders vs Miami Dolphins

  • Start: Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK

Seems as though Beast Mode is back. Before the season started, people were hesitant to draft Marshawn Lynch because of the addition Doug Martin. It is clear as day that Lynch is the starting back in Oakland. He has two straight games with a touchdown and he’s looking to extend that streak in Week 3. Marshawn is a must start RB2 in this underrated Raiders offense, but his four receptions are a little concerning.

  • Sit: Jordy Nelson, WR, OAK

I don’t know if it’s the Top 5 defenses he had to face in these first two games, but I’m nervous for Jordy. He gets another tough matchup this week against a highly underrated Dolphins team. Miami doesn’t have a defense like Denver or Los Angeles (Rams), but it is very good. I know I’ve used this a lot, but we need to start looking at targets, receptions, and touchdowns. Jordy has five catches on eight targets for a whopping 53 yards and has failed to reach the endzone. With the Raiders bringing back Martavis Bryant, it will make it even more difficult for Jordy Nelson.

Indianapolis Colts vs Philadelphia Eagles

  • Start: Andrew Luck, QB, IND

We might have found the Achilles heel of this Eagles defense and that would be the secondary. Tom Brady lit them up in the Super Bowl for over 500 yards and just this past week, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for just over 400 yards. If you look back at his Week 1 performance, that is the Andrew Luck we all know. Throwing 53 times for 319 yards and two touchdowns is classic Luck. With the Colts new Head Coach Frank Reich being the Eagles former Offensive Coordinator, you know he’ll want to do whatever it takes to win.

  • Sit: Carson Wentz, QB, PHI

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that Wentz will be 100% when he steps on the field Sunday. My problem with starting him is that we haven’t seen him play since December of 2017. He has looked gimpy and still doesn’t seem confident in himself. Just because he is cleared to play doesn’t mean he is mentally cleared to play.

On top of his injury we have to look at what is going on with his offense. Alshon Jeffrey is still out, Mike Wallace was just placed on IR, and both Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi are day-to-day with injuries. This leaves Carson with Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, Corey Clement, and the newly signed Jordan Matthews. Limited weapons and a mental hump to get over are probable causes to keep him on the bench this week.

Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Start: Keelan Cole, WR, JAX

Well it is official, Keelan Cole is the clear cut number one receiver in Jacksonville. Tennessee had a tough time in Week 2 trying to stop Houston’s passing game. Leonard Fournette is still dealing with his hamstring and that will make Blake Bortles throw more like last week. If Fournette is unable to go in Week 3, that will only increase Cole’s Fantasy value. Even if Fournette plays, we don’t know how effective he’ll be anCole is still a reliable start.

  • Sit: Derrick Henry, RB, TEN

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A matchup this week against arguably the best defense in the NFL makes it tough to start multiple Tennessee players. Most importantly it makes it tough to play Derrick Henry. The amount of snaps Henry plays will be based on the pace of the game as well as the scripted plays. If during those scripted plays he is struggling, the Titans could play Dion Lewis.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Carolina Panthers

  • Start: Devin Funchess, WR, CAR

If you want to see why I’m a fan of Funchess since Greg Olsen is out, take a look at my Week 2 Start_Sit.

  • Sit: Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN

Off to a slow start and it doesn’t get easier this week against the Panthers. He was a risky draft pick to begin with because of his back problems and multiple weapons at Andy Dalton’s disposal. He could see a slight increase in targets with Joe Mixon recovering from knee surgery. Don’t forget he is the fourth or fifth option behind A.J. Green, John Ross, Giovani Bernard, and Tyler Boyd.

Denver Broncos vs Baltimore Ravens

  • Start: Phillip Lindsay, RB, DEN

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I will own up to my mistake from last week with saying to sit Lindsay. I thought Freeman would reclaim his starting RB role. Now it is clear he is ahead of Royce Freeman. Last week, Lindsay was head and shoulders better than his teammate. Phillip Lindsay out carried Royce Freeman 14 to eight and out rushed him 107 to 28. What a twist of fate this is. Everyone was aboard the Royce Freeman hype train, but that train got derailed by Phillip Lindsay.

  • Sit: Royce Freeman, RB, DEN

Looks like he is becoming the backup to Phillip Lindsay. There is a clear efficiency difference between the two Denver backs and that was on full display Sunday. Royce had eight carries racking up only 28 yards. Lindsay took his 14 carries and rushed for a career high 107 yards. The one bright side for Freeman is his larger frame. That allows him to be the goal line back. Playing the Ravens is tough and splitting time with Lindsay is even tougher.

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons

  • Start: Tevin Coleman, RB, ATL

It came as a shock to see that fellow Atlanta back, Devonta Freeman, is out for another couple weeks with a knee injury. Against a tough Carolina front-seven he proved that he’s a capable starter. This week he is going against the Saints and he has RB2 potential written all over him. Backup Ito Smith is nothing to worry about as he is more of a change of pace RB. Coleman will continue to be the starter as long as Freeman is out.

  • Sit: New Orleans Saints, D/ST

There was a lot of criticism to start the season about the Falcons offense and how Matt Ryan looks nothing like his 2016 MVP self. Atlanta put all that criticism to bed when they put 31 points on the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. The Saints have allowed 60 points so far, have only three sacks, and only one interception. 42 of those 60 points were allowed in the first game. New Orleans is a risky play this week against a good Atlanta offense.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Los Angeles Rams

  • Start: Los Angeles Rams, D/ST

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Some people reading this article might think this is an easy choice to start the Rams defense. Well, look back at the Chargers first two games and you see 28 points against the Chiefs then 31 against the Bills. THe Rams are more than ready to step up to the task. Melvin Gordon is dealing with an upper body injury and that is something to keep an eye on. Regardless, if Gordon plays or not this defense is an every week Top 5 defense.

  • Sit: Philip Rivers, QB, LAC

Playing against the Rams is a good enough reason to sit any QB. With plenty of other options to go with this week like Jimmy G, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andrew Luck, or even Blake Bortles. The Rams intercepted Derek Carr three times and Sam Bradford once. You would be better off picking up a strong streaming QB in this instance.

Chicago Bears vs Arizona Cardinals

  • Start: Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI

I bet you’re a little surprised to see Cohen on this list, but let me tell you why he is on here. Chicago will most likely keep Arizona under 17 points due to their phenomenal defense. Just like in their first couple of games, Arizona has been trailing large at half. Chicago will most likely rest their key starters if the score gets out of hand, such as Jordan Howard, Trey Burton, Allen Robinson, etc. Cohen will be part of the game plan regardless, but Jordan Howard could potentially see less snaps in the second half. That’ll leave the door open for Tarik to get more touches.

  • Sit: David Johnson, RB, ARZ

Okay, now everyone relax. I know this is a first round pick, but hear me out. If Sam Bradford is under center all game then we’ll have a problem. The Arizona offense is stagnant with him and Josh Rosen needs to take over. Johnson will be better off with Rosen as the QB. First game against the Washington Redskins he had nine carries. Second game against the Los Angeles Rams he had 13 carries. The deficits have been too great and the Cardinals are forced to throw to play catch up. We all know they’ll have a tough time against this Bears defense. The only way Johnson is relevant in Fantasy this week is if he scores a touchdown.

Dallas Cowboys vs Seattle Seahawks

  • Start: Dallas Cowboys, D/ST, DAL

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A dominant pass rush against a weaker offensive line makes the Dallas defense a strong starter. Dallas sacked Eli Manning six times on Sunday night. Russell Wilson was also sacked six times Monday night by Chicago. The Cowboys have a rotation of defensive lineman to stay fresh and put pressure on Wilson. They’re a Top 5 defense this week against Seattle’s shaky offensive line.

  • Sit: All Dallas WR’s

Where to start on this one? I guess the one word to best describe the Dallas receiving core is unproductive. There is no real number one receiver. If you look at all other 31 teams, you can point out the number one receiver on that team, but not in Dallas. It looked like it could be Cole Beasley after Week 1, but that didn’t carry over the following week. There isn’t a Dallas WR you can trust in your starting Fantasy Football lineup.

New England Patriots vs Detroit Lions

  • Start: Matthew Stafford, QB, DET

A bounce back Week 2 Fantasy performance shows that Stafford is still a dependable starter. People were freaking out over his four interception performance, but if you know how good he is, then you weren’t freaking out. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Golden Tate will have good Fantasy days. Detroit has once again failed to establish any kind of running game and the defense hasn’t stepped up either. Those two factors have forced Stafford to throw 99 passes the first two weeks. Tom Brady should have no problem throwing against the Lions and that’ll make this game into a potential shootout.

  • Sit: Rex Burkhead, RB, NE

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The emergence of Sony Michel just makes this backfield even more of a mess. It might have been due to the score or recovering from his injury, but Rex looks like he is turning into the third back on the depth chart. He was third in touches behind both Sony Michel and James White against Jacksonville. Michel and White both had 11 touches to Burkhead’s six. Be careful with Rex this week. He is a very risky RB2 play and even a risky Flex option.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Start: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, TB

Again, I’m sorry. In last week’s Start_Sit article I recommended you sit Fitzpatrick, but he proved me wrong. I’m officially buying a ticket to the “Fitzmagic” show. Pittsburgh is looking like a shell of its former self after allowing six touchdown passes to Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. Now they face the red hot Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is looking to extend his two game streak of 400 passing yards and four touchdowns. He is a must start this week and if Tampa Bay comes out with a win, then Jameis Winston won’t be the starter when he comes back.

  • Sit: Peyton Barber, RB, TB

I’m putting Barber on this list because of his usage in this offense. The Buccaneers defense has given up 773 passing yards and four passing touchdowns through the first two weeks. The Steelers have given up 523 passing yards, but seven passing touchdowns. If you don’t think this game turns into an aerial battle you’re crazy. Besides this turning into a throwing competition there is something you need to be aware of about Barber. He is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry.

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