Who To Start, Sit, Scoop Up, And Not Sleep On For Your Week 3 Fantasy Football Lineup

Getty Image

We head into Week 3 a little weaker than before, with the Packers and Patriots banged up beyond recognition. Bears running back Jordan Howard is in a sling, the Seattle running back situation is both muddier and clearer than before, and the Cardinals are nothing without David Johnson. Just about everything is terrible (right, Greg Olsen owners?), and LeGarrette Blount doesn’t care about your fantasy team. Get that through your head!

Start of the Week

It’s only Week 3, but if leagues were drafting now knowing what we know, Kareem Hunt would have a case for a top three overall pick. Hell, he might be the best back in fantasy for all we know. It seems like LeVeon Bell’s skipping of training camp is working out like it does for most players who skip training camp, and Hunt is racking up historic numbers. The Chargers gave up 122 yards to Jay Ajayi on 28 carries in Week 2, so roll out Hunt comfortably, knowing he’ll catch plenty of balls too.



Aaron Rodgers: I would avoid Rodgers like the plague in DFS, but in your regular, season-long leagues, you should roll him out and hope he takes out the Packers injury woes on the hapless Bengals. This tweet below means nothing when it comes to fantasy, but it could also mean a two-touchdown, 300 yard game from Rodgers as he hopes for a swift Jordy Nelson recovery.

Matthew Stafford: Detroit had a weird game against the Giants, and Stafford only threw for 122 yards, but he scored twice (he only threw the ball four times in the second half), and now he faces a Falcons squad that made Mike Glennon look somewhat serviceable. This could be a shootout, and if so, Stafford could throw a couple more TDs.

Kirk Cousins: If Josh McCown and the Jets can score on the Raiders, then you have to put faith into a Kirk Cousins bounce-back game at home. We like that. We like that.


Carson Wentz: The Giants have been superb against the pass so far this season, holding Stafford to 122 yards in Week 2, and Dak Prescott to 268 yards and a score on 39 attempts in Week 1. Wentz and the Eagles have looked good so far, and on paper they look even better, but let’s not forget that the busted Nelson Agholor play in Week 1 and the Zach Ertz ridiculousness catch in Week 2 accounted for a lot of Wentz points that can’t be easily repeated. You didn’t draft him to start him. Play Roethlisberger, Stafford, Cousins or even Siemian over Wentz.

Marcus Mariota: Seattle just held Brian Hoyer under 100 yards, and in Week 1 they made Aaron Rodgers look utterly flustered. Mariota might be able to get something done with his legs, but he simply doesn’t pass enough to accrue a massive amount of points (27 attempts in Week 2). Game script could lead to the Titans playing catch-up, but they’ve also got Derrick Henry and a dink and dunk “exotic smashmouth” style to fall back on. It’s exotically restrained.

Also, can you really trust a person like this?

Jay Cutler: For the DFS and deep-league players out there wondering if a play against the Jets is worth it, the answer is “yes.” Might as well try something weird. But if you saw the the sweet line Derek Carr put up (230 yards, 3 TDs) and think Jay Cutler might be able to repeat the performance with his receivers, it’s best to not be trapped by Smokin’ Jay. I’m a Chicagoan. It’s not worth getting cute. Roll out the un-sexy Dak Prescott or the usual suspects. This is the exact type of game in which Jay will score 30 points or negative one.

You just don’t know what you’re gonna get.


Golden Tate: Here’s another football gentleman who doesn’t care about your fantasy team (that doesn’t mean he won’t bounce back nicely against a soft Falcons defense that should give up points to the slot receiver):

Jarvis Landry: So it seems like Jay Cutler can find Landry as he zooms across the field. Landry saw 15 targets and caught 13 of them against the Chargers in Week 2, now he should continue his beastly PPR performances when Miami takes on the New York football Jets in Week 3. Landry saw a 44 percent target share on the day, but Cutler also sent nine passes the way of DaVante Parker, which will keep defenses honest (and also looking for Ajai).

Kelvin Benjamin: Once again, Cam Newton got beat up by a defense and seemingly a coaching staff that wants to see him ground into a Panther burger, but now we have a possible scoring bonanza at home, against a New Orleans defense that enjoys handing out points to opposing wide receivers. It’s their favorite thing to do. Even in a low-scoring, ugly game against Buffalo, Benjamin hauled in a 6/77 line, so the end zone is coming.

The knee is all healed up. For the children.


Brandon Marshall: Is it over? OBJ played, although he was feeling only somewhat like himself, but even then, Eli Manning looks off, the Giants O-line is allowing tons of pressure, and Marshall only caught one pass for 17 yards. He’s caught two passes this season. Bench him, and consider cutting him if he doesn’t do better this week against the Eagles.

Kenny Golladay: There are so many people who needed Kenny Golladay to just get two points in Week 2 it was weird, but what wasn’t weird was seeing him not get much action when the Lions had their running game going. Golladay is always going to be the 4th option at best on this offense, so he shouldn’t be depended on. We get it — Week 1 was a fun little thing, but now it’s time to get real. (He’ll probably end up scoring in Week 3 now, watch.)

Larry Fitzgerald: Last week, he was the Week 2 start of the week against a suspect Colts defense. How things have changed. The entire Cardinals defense is just wonky, and rolling out someone who is likely your third receiver against a Cowboys defense that’s holding opposing receivers and QBs in check (around 200 yards per game over the last two weeks) simply doesn’t seem worth it. Avoid all the Cardinals.


Javorious Allen: “Buck” Allen is officially on the scene, touching the ball a total of 19 times — 15 carries and 4 catches, and he out-snapped Terrance West 43-15. This is his job now, and he plays Jacksonville in Week 3. They’re ranked 28th against the run.

He’s got RB2 upside in PPR leagues:

Derrick Henry: The change might’ve finally come in Tennessee. DeMarco Murray is hurt, although we don’t know how badly he’s hurt, but after a run like this, and with a matchup against Seattle, who gives up a ton of points to RBs, Henry could be a sneaky little play if you’ve handcuffed him to Murray. Even if you stashed him on your bench, he’ll be worth plugging in. Look at this. How nice is this run?

James White: The PPR stud showed why the Patriots extended him by catching 8 of 8 targets for 85 yards. Now Rex Burkhead is hurt, Chris Hogan is banged up, and Gronk is nursing his groin, so expect more work for White. He’s running WR routes:


LeGarrette Blount: We’ll just leave this right here after Blount had one touch on Sunday, and is behind Sproles and Smallwood in an offense that isn’t in a hurry to feed RBs:

All Cardinals Running Backs: Kerwynn Williams didn’t impress, Andre Ellington didn’t do anything in the passing game, and Chris Johnson touched the ball 11 times for 44 yards in a game that didn’t have an absolutely terrible game script. Some people out there are saying Johnson will be worth picking up, I say avoid everyone in this backfield.

Jacquizz Rodgers: Hopefully, you’re not depending on Jacquizz like some Zero RB thumpers are. His choice, Week 1 matchup against Miami was unfortunately delayed by Hurricane Irma, and now he heads into Week 3 against Minnesota, who are holding opponents to 3.1 YPC this season. You have to like Quizz’s volume, but unless he falls into the end zone, he could be a dud.


Martellus Bennett: Aaron Rodgers takes a big step back whenever Jordy Nelson isn’t on the field, so losing both Randall Cobb and Nelson could send a forceful tremor through the entire Packers offense here. Bennett might be the lone player who benefits. He saw 11 targets on Sunday against Atlanta, catching five of them for 47 yards. If he maintains 11 targets per game, he’ll become a must-start in that offense.

Zach Ertz: Another game, another massive target share for Ertz, who saw 10 targets and put up a 5/97 line. A big chunk of his points came off a goofy, lucky play, but he’s just so consistent now and easily a top-3 PPR play every week after Kelce and Gronk.

Jack Doyle: Jacoby Brissett and Doyle seem to have a rapport going, and they turned that into a Sunday in which Doyle caught all eight of his targets for 79 yards. God knows what this team will do play to play, but for now, it seems like the Colts got the hint — Doyle is a solid security blanket that gets open while defenders drape themselves all over T.Y. Hilton. The Colts play the Browns at home in Week 3.


Jimmy Graham: This isn’t a good situation. Even if Seattle rolls out Graham, who looks like he has an ankle AND a knee injury, it’ll probably be as a decoy. Graham now has 4 catches for 9 yards on the season. His big game came in Week 1 when he caught three passes for eight yards.

Hunter Henry: He showed up in the game Antonio Gates broke the record for the most TDs by a TE, catching all seven of his targets for 80 yards, but who knows what’ll happen next week against Kansas City? I’d rather put Witten, or even Ben Watson into my lineup. Henry is too unpredictable. Unless, now that Gates has the record, he’ll play significantly less? I just don’t know, I hate outright guessing in fantasy, don’t you?

Kyle Rudolph: With Sam Bradford on the mend, we have to just assume Rudolph is going to be a touchdown-dependent TE that’s knocking on the top 12. He had six targets on Sunday, catching four for 45 yards. He has a total of nine targets on the season. This isn’t the volume we wanted out of last year’s no. 2 TE. Obviously, injuries played into that ranking, but still. Adam Thielen is stealing his mojo and looks!

Waiver Wire

ARI WR J.J. Nelson: With John Brown and David Johnson out, J.J. Nelson seems to be the no. 2 offensive weapon in Arizona after Larry Fitzgerald. It’s hard to tell why Fitz did so poorly last week (beyond father time), but Nelson had the big play ability and has a knack for scoring (he’s scored a TD six games in a row dating back to last season). As someone who has picked up and dropped Nelson too much over his career, I say proceed with caution. Palmer doesn’t look great, and even though Nelson has been booming, a bust can come at any time.

SEA RB Chris Carson: If you don’t get him this week, you’re probably not going to get him. Thomas Rawls is still nursing his ankle sprain and Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch on Sunday, so Pete Carroll trusts Carson, and it seems like the job is his for now. Prosise is still there, but he might catch the ball more than run. So for now, get Carson and play him confidently, knowing that he’s behind a weak O-line, but he’s going to get plenty of touches.

WAS RBs Samaje Perine/Chris Thompson: Perine is going to be the standard league add, while Chris Thompson could be a relevant flex in PPR leagues (who has had a nose for the end zone lately). Even if Kelley comes back healthy, it’s time to add Thompson in 12-team + leagues, and deep bench 10-team leagues, while Perine’s workload seems directly tied to Kelley. At least for now.

ATL WR Mohamed Sanu: A decent flex and bye week fill-in, Sanu has seen 14 targets over the last two games, catching 11 of Matt Ryan’s passes for 132 yards. He’ll catch a TD soon, and the bye weeks are coming.

DAL TE Jason Witten: Thanks to slowing down over the last few years, Witten is only owned in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues. He’s seen 22 targets over the first two games, and has caught 17 passes for 156 yards and 2 TDs. In PPR leagues, he’s the no. 1 TE, and he’s only owned in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues. Can he keep this up? Probably not, but Gronk is banged up. Grab a backup now. Hell, grab the no. 1 TE in PPR leagues.

KC QB Alex Smith: If you’re in a two QB league or are on shaky ground with Andrew Luck out and you’re rostering Carson Palmer, pick up Smith. In six point per TD leagues, he’s in the top three, shockingly enough. Of course, it’s Week 2, but Trevor Siemian, Alex Smith, and Carson Wentz are all in the top five. 2017 is weird, or it’s a changing of the guard year.

GB WR Geronimo Alison: Aaron Rodgers has to throw it to someone, right?