Fantasy Football: Week 3 Start 'em/Sit 'em

(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)


Get some insider tips on who to start or sit this week from our fantasy experts George Haraktsis, Jason Feiner!


Quarterbacks


Blake Bortles

George: Bortles proved last week against the Patriots that he could thrive even without a stout running attack led by Leonard Fournette. Bortles threw for 377 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception en route to one of the best performances of his short career. Bortles is a great streaming option against the Titans and their anemic pass defense this week. He may not throw 45 times as he did in New England, but he won’t have to — he has his legs. Bortles has close to 25% of Jacksonville’s rushing attempts through the first four games of the year and is ranked fourth in rushing yards among quarterbacks. The Titans allowed 44 yards on the ground to Watson last week, and I could see a similar stat line in Bortles’ future.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: While Bortles had a great game against the Patriots, he has not performed on a consistent basis. In Bortles’ last four home starts, he has averaged 320 passing yards and accrued 11 touchdowns with just 1 interception while completing 69% of his passes. He is a viable starter in 2QB leagues and a reliable streamer when at home. Jacksonville will be facing a shaky Tennessee secondary and will have the opportunity to succeed at EverBank Field. While considering all of this, Bortles is not a consistent fantasy quarterback and his final number should fall in between the 13.2 and 32.6 points he scored in the first two weeks. Temper your expectations but feel comfortable starting him in your lineup.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Philip Rivers

George: Rivers has played fantastic this year but his matchup this week is a doozy. He is on the road facing a Rams defense that has allowed ZERO passing touchdowns on the year. While Rivers should be the first quarterback to throw a touchdown on the Rams, it won’t come easy. He has to face a stout CB tandem of both Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, and a disruptive front made up of Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. While you may not be sold that the Rams have a disruptive front, because of the only two sacks my counterpart Jason alluded to below, what he fails to mention is that in two games the Rams have generated 31 pressures. Those pressures will eventually turn into sacks, and Rivers will have a tough day.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Phillip has been outstanding in the early goings of the season, and Sunday night should be no different. Although he will be playing a Rams team that has yet to give up a passing touchdown this season, expect this to be a high scoring affair with plenty of attempts leaving Rivers arm. The Rams have two sacks on the year, and if that production continues into Sunday, LAC’s signal caller may have all day to throw the ball. He is a solid play this week, in what could turn into a back and forth slugfest against two top offenses.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Running Backs


Corey Clement

George: This is completely contingent on if both Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi are out or limited come Sunday. If Clement gets the start, he should thrive against a Colts defense that ranks 24th in fantasy points allowed to the running back position. Even if the Colts shut down Clement on the ground like they did to the entire Redskins backfield, he will still be able to make his mark with his pass catching ability. Chris Thompson just caught 13 balls for 92 yards against Indy out of the backfield, so Clement shouldn't have an issue! Since he can’t get game-scripted out, Clement is a great start if the other backs sit.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: With Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles day to day with injuries, Clement looks slated to have a big day against the porous Colts defense. Carson Wentz is slated to return to the fold and the Eagles offense should gain a much needed boost. In limited opportunities this season, Clement has averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He will have a sizable role if Ajayi and Sproles continue to miss time, and his role in the passing game should increase too. If you have Clement rostered, play him and feel comfortable doing so.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Marshawn Lynch

George: The Dolphins have been torched by running backs this off-season, but not in the way you think. Miami’s rush defense has been surprisingly good, allowing just 3.3 yards per carry on the ground-good enough for the third-best mark in the NFL. But the Fins’ weaknesses against running backs has come through the air, which is not a spot in which Lynch will contribute. The team will use Lynch as a run-first option only, due to his lack of contributions as a receiver. He has only 4 catches for 11 yards this season! Don't plan on Lynch contributing much in week 3.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Marshawn Lynch has taken full control over Oakland’s backfield, as he has accrued 29 carries and 4 receptions over the first two weeks of the season. Having averaged over 11 points since week 9 of 2017, Marshawn Lynch should be in your lineup against a weak Miami defense. Bet on 50+ yards and a score for Marshawn Lynch.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Wide Receivers


Tyler Lockett

George: The Cowboys are the second-ranked unit in terms of fantasy points allowed to the wide receiver position. On paper, this may seem like a terrible matchup for Tyler Lockett, but I can assure you it’s not. Doug Baldwin will be out again in week 3 and with Russell Wilson’s receiving options already limited, Lockett figures to gobble up a majority of the target share. The Cowboys have no one who can cover Lockett and his blazing speed. He should feast because of it.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: Lockett currently owns a 16.7% target share and is on the field for virtually every snap. The big play threat has scoring potential each time he touches the ball, and week 3 vs a weak Dallas secondary should be no different. Lockett is a safe WR3 or flex play with high upside this week.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Robby Anderson

George: Anderson has not developed the chemistry with Sam Darnold that most would have expected from the once promising young receiver. He’s only received 6 targets on the year, a far cry from last year’s 114 targets, ceding the number one receiver role to Quincy Enunwa and his 21 targets. With his role strictly limited to a lightly targeted deep threat option, you cannot trust Anderson in your lineups.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Robby Anderson has been vastly underwhelming, failing to gain chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold. The deep threat has reeled in 4 balls for 68 yards and a touchdown through the first two weeks of 2018. Currently owning a target share of 9.6% in the Jets offense, he is not receiving enough opportunity to produce on a week to week basis. Until his target share increases, Anderson should remain on the bench.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Tight Ends


Will Dissly

George: There’s no denying Dissly’s production through the first two weeks of the season. He is the only tight end this year to post at least 40 yards and score a touchdown in each game this season. While that's fine and dandy, I cannot see him finding the end zone for a third straight week, and since a score is the only way he will generate any sort fantasy production, I am out on Dissly this week. If you have absolutely no one else to roll out this week, you could do worse than Dissly, but I would try to stay away.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Will Dissly has been a favorite target of Russell Wilson thus far. But three receptions is not enough opportunity to continue his scoring streak. He is worth a roster spot, but don’t count on him to get you a third touchdown in that many weeks. If he continues his production, his value will continue to rise in a weak TE position group.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Antonio Gates

George: I love this matchup for Gates this week. The Rams allowed a ridiculous 180 yards and 9 receptions to Jared Cook in Week 1, revealing a huge hole in the Rams’ LB corps. If Rivers wants to move the ball at all against a tough Rams defense he will have to exploit the amazing connection he and Gates have shared. Start old man Gates and reap the benefits of at least one touchdown.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: The Chargers will be playing against a high flying Rams defense that has yet to allow a passing touchdown on the season. While the linebackers on the Rams are the weakest link on the roster, and Jared Cook roasted them to the tune of 9 receptions for 180 yards in week 1, don’t let this cloud your judgment. Antonio Gates has only posted one game with 50 or more yards since week 17 of 2016. Unless he scores a touchdown in this Los Angeles clash, he will serve no use filling a role in your lineup. Find a better option than the aging Hall of Fame tight end.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Defense/Special Teams


Bengals

George: The Bengals have been fun to watch on both sides of the ball this year, especially on defense. The unit has racked up 5 turnovers to go along with six sacks through two games and have potential to build upon those numbers with both of the Panthers’ starting tackles out. The fact that they’re on the road may scare you, but their deep defensive line and strong interception rate should ease those concerns.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: The Bengals have surrendered 23 points in back to back weeks to start the season, and their toughest matchup will come in week three at Carolina. Cam Newton took over the game in the Panthers’ 31-24 loss to the Falcons last week, and he should do the same against the Bengals. Ranking 18th in points per game allowed and 27th in yards, I would advise against streaming the Bengals on the road in week 3.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Rams

George: While the Rams may have some trouble against a powerful Chargers offense, it does not warrant a sit designation for fantasy’s third-ranked defense. They have only 2 sacks on the year, but the 31 pressures they’ve recorded certainly point that an uptick in the sack department. The Rams D/ST may not be the group you’ve been used to seeing the last two weeks, but expect a very solid output at home.

Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: The Rams defense has performed admirably through the first two weeks of the season, but in what can be assumed as a high scoring affair, the LAR D/ST should be avoided in all formats. Phillip Rivers has been playing exceptionally well, and the Chargers offense is loaded with weapons. Stream a D/ST this week if you own the Rams. It will be their first challenge all year.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM