The NFL season has already brought with it many highs and lows for every fantasy manager out there. The injury bug has reared its ugly head again shaking up the fantasy world quite a bit in Week 3. With so many people sitting out the decisions on who to start each week is never an easy one and will have a huge impact on your success.
Coach Matt Nagy has completed the four-year transformation of the Bears’ offense into a complete dumpster fire. Any player wearing the Chicago ‘flying C’ on their helmet should be avoided in fantasy football until Nagy and the Bears make some coaching changes. The Steelers offense, like the Bears, have a lot of receiving weapons that should be avoided until Ben Rothelisberger is benched or finds Tom Brady’s fountain-of-youth.
QB to Start
After three weeks Cousins is ranked seventh in fantasy football -- averaging more than 23 points per game. The Browns defense is coming off of a historically-great performance against a poorly coached Bears team and still are only ranked 15th against QBs. Cousins and the Vikings should be able to put up points on the Browns and make it an interesting game at home.
QB to Sit
It is natural to not trust a rookie QB taking on a Bucs team that wants to make a statement for the return of Tom Brady to Foxboro. To make things worse for Jones, the Patriots will most likely need to abandon the run like the other teams that have played the Bucs, meaning he will be forced to beat them while being one dimensional. I am trying to avoid starting any struggling offense against the Bucs this season and the Patriots are struggling to find their rhythm on offense.
RBs to Start
Moss was a healthy scratch in Week 1 which caused my hype train on him to come to a screeching halt. Since then, he has scored three TDs and has averaged 15.5 fantasy points per game. His TD rate is unsustainable but his snap count has risen from 26% to 56% from Week 2 to Week 3. The favorable matchup with a soft Texans’ defense makes Moss a solid flex play as the high-scoring Bills look to put up another 40-point game.
We have all witnessed a backup Panthers’ RB rise to the occasion when given the chance. Hubbard will not be expected to do quite as much as McCaffery and he will lose some touches to Royce Freeman -- but Hubbard will take the bulk of the work. The Panthers are better than most teams at putting their RBs in position to succeed which give Hubbard a high floor against an average Cowboys’ defense, in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair.
RBs to Sit
Damien Harris, Patriots -- Sit vs Buccaneers
As I mentioned above, the Patriots will most-likely have to abandon the run like most other teams have done against the Bucs the past few seasons. James White would have been a possible Flex play this week but he will be missing extended-time with a serious hip injury. Brandon Bolden is the next-man-up as the third-down-back for New England but I would steer clear of the whole backfield this week.
It is a pretty clear split for the running backs in Arizona with Conner and Chase Edmonds both receiving 11 rushes last week. Conner had a nice game punching in two TDs from four and one-yards out. In a game where the Cardinals will be trying to keep up with the Rams, I expect Edmonds to be more involved because of his passing down work. Conner is a TD dependent play and those types of players are to be avoided against good defenses.
WRs to Start
Emmanuel Sanders, Bills -- Start vs Texans
I have been high on Sanders all preseason and early in the season because he is a proven play-maker on a high-scoring offense. Sanders finally broke-out last week for two-TDs and he has been a steady play as WR3 in the Bills’ offense that clearly wants to throw more than run. Sanders was out-targeted by Cole Beasley and Stephon Diggs but he led the team with snaps and routes ran in Week 3. Sanders has been targeted at least six-times in each of the first three games. Sanders is a solid Flex play against a porous Texans secondary in Week 4.
Terrace Marshall Jr., Panthers -- Start at Cowboys
Marshall Jr. finished Week 3 with the second most targets for Carolina and posted his best numbers of his rookie career. This week against the Cowboys could be Marshall’s breakout performance. The Cowboys have struggled against the slot this season and that is where Marshall Jr. does most of his work from. That mixed with the absence of McCaffery should provide Marshall Jr. some great opportunities to shine at AT&T Stadium.
WRs to sit
Golladay has underperformed, topping out with four catches for 64 yards. Golladay will continue to struggle until the Giants’ play-callers start taking more chances downfield and allowing the big-receiver to use his big-play ability. It is the same story about the Giants’ offense we have been hearing for two years and I do not expect it to change against a solid Saints secondary.
I need to make sure you didn’t miss what I wrote in the opening paragraphs -- stay away from the Bears’ offense. You know it’s bad when I am saying this the week they take on the 0-3 Lions. If the Bears lose this game then Matt Nagy will probably be fired (I hope so for all the Bears’ fans), and then the Bears offense may have some life in them. Until Nagy is fired I recommend steering clear of this situation.
TE to Start
Thomas has 12 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns while seeing 16.3% of the target share during the first three weeks. The Falcons have given up three-TDs to TEs already this season. Thomas probably was not going to get benched because he is TE6 overall in a shallow TE pool, but just to make sure -- start Thomas.
TE to Sit
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys -- Sit vs Panthers
Schultz is coming off of a two-TD game on Monday Night Football and has distanced himself from Blake Jarwin as the fantasy relevant TE in Dallas. That is not enough for me to comfortably start Schultz against the Panthers who are ranked near the top against TEs. Schultz could be a nice addition to your team because there is not much to be excited about at the tight end position, but I would not start him this week.