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Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 3

Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 3
Latavius Murray is a must-start Week 3 against the

Latavius Murray is a must-start Week 3 against the Browns

Football reminded us that it was a contact sport again this week where we saw even more players suffer injuries. Always work the waiver wire and explore trade options.


Let’s take a look a quick recap from Week 2.

I Knew It

Emmanuel Sanders – WR – Denver Broncos – 8 rec/87 yds/2 TD
I thought Sanders would be on Manning’s radar this week and boy was he ever.

Eric Decker – WR – New York Jets – 8 rec/97 yds/1 TD
With Vontae Davis on Marshall, Decker’s Week 1 target total of three shifted to a Week 2 target total of 11. Imagine the stat line he could have produced had he not left early in the 4th quarter with a knee injury.

Tevin Coleman – RB – Atlanta Falcons – 9 rush/32 yds/1TD
Unimpressive output that was derailed by an injury, but I had a feeling Coleman would score his first career touchdown.

Jeremy Maclin – WR – Kansas City Chiefs – 4 rec/57 yds
I had doubts that he would score for the Chiefs or your fantasy team in Week 2.

Heath Miller – TE – Pittsburgh Steelers – 2 rec/15 yds/1 TD
The touchdown saved his fantasy day or else his performance would have been abysmal. I thought there were better options than Miller in Week 2 and there certainly were.

I Blew It

Carson Palmer – QB – Arizona Cardinals – 17 comp/24 att/185 yds/4 TD/1 INT
Less than 200 yards was certainly not my prediction, but he scored more than three touchdowns.

Drew Brees – QB – New Orleans Saints – 24 comp/38 att/255 yds/1 TD/1 INT
I liked him to finish well inside the top 10 but instead he finished as the QB25.

Jared Cook – TE – St. Louis Rams – 5 rec/47 yds
So much for him going over 100 yards and scoring – welp!

Cam Newton – QB – Carolina Panthers – 18 comp/37 att/2 TD/1 INT, 10 rush/76 yds/1 TD
I told you to put Newton on your sidelines last week and he made me look silly with a front flip into the end zone, just one of his three touchdowns on the day.

Tom Brady – QB – New England Patriots – 38 comp/59 att/466 yds/3 TD
So much for Rex Ryan spending his offseason preparing for Brady and Belichick.

Amari Cooper – WR – Oakland Raiders – 7 rec/109 yds/1 TD
I was so sure Derek Carr would miss this game.

Dion Lewis – RB – New England Patriots – 7 rush/40 yds/1 TD, 6 rec/98 yds
Belitricks, in my defense. Where was LeGarrette Blount? Lewis certainly appears to be the real deal.


Let’s move onto Week 3 for your start/sit suggestions.

Who’s Hot – Start

Fire Starter: Brandon Marshall – WR – New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Through two games Marshall is averaging over 80 yards with a score in each. This week he faces an Eagles defense, at home, that lost Kiko Alonso and paid Byron Maxwell a boat load of money for reasons still to be determined. With the possibility of no Eric Decker (knee) this week, Marshall’s targets would be a virtual lock to be in the double-digit range. He dominated Vontae Davis in a tough match up last week, firmly supplanting him in the WR1 conversation. He has the upside this week to finish as the WR1 in fantasy scoring.

Russell Wilson – QB – Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears
Wilson has two career losses at CenturyLink Field and will be playing there for the first time this season. The Seahawks have started slow with an 0-2 record and must bounce back this week on their own turf. The Bears are a perfect match up for him to excel both in the air and on the ground. After finishing as the QB15 and QB12 to start the season he will have his best fantasy output of 2015 this week.

Ted Ginn Jr. – WR – Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
Cam Newton has not had a stable receiver since Kelvin Benjamin suffered a season-ending injury in August. No receiver has pulled ahead of the other and with the possibility of Jerricho Cotchery missing this week’s game, Ginn becomes a very appealing option to lead the team in receiving this week. He gets a soft Saints secondary that ranks in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed to receivers. If Cotchery does not suit up I think Ginn will finish as the top receiver for the Panthers and catch a long ball for a score from Cam Newton.

Vincent Jackson – WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans
Mike Evans did not play Week 1 and did not appear 100% last week. This has led to Jackson having 16 targets on the season, a number that should increase now that Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is out for the foreseeable future. Evans could be on a pitch count again this week and Jackson could feast on targets. Jameis Winston will look his way all game and he will lead his team in fantasy points.

Lance Dunbar – RB – Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
Brandon Weeden won’t be playing quarterback this week as much as he will be driving a bus. I do not expect him to come out slinging and the Cowboys will take a conservative approach in this game and all games leading up to Romo’s return. This opens up a huge opportunity for Lance Dunbar to catch short passes underneath and rack up points in the receiving game. He faces an Atlanta defense that has allowed 24 receptions to running backs through two games, which sets him up nicely to be the Cowboys running back to own this week.

Latavius Murray – RB – Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns
The most yards allowed to running backs thus far comes courtesy of the Cleveland Browns with a total of 320 yards allowed. Murray finished as the RB6 in PPR weeks last week but he will do better this week against this defense. Look for him to have his best fantasy game of 2015.

Coby Fleener – TE – Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
It makes me feel uneasy to recommend Fleener as a start, but Dwayne Allen‘s deteriorated ankle and the short week coming off of a Monday night game have him listed here. The Colts are imploding and Andrew Luck is going to have to silence the critics this week. T.Y. Hilton and the emerging Donte Moncrief will be Luck’s focus, but I have a feeling he will look to his old college roommate when they get into the red zone.

Who’s Not – Sit

Ice Cold: Calvin Johnson – WR – Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos
Megatron has too many factors against him this week to start with confidence. Matthew Stafford is likely to play but anyone with eyes can see he is injured and nowhere near 100%. It does not help Johnson’s cause that the Broncos are the No. 1 ranked defense against the pass. It’s tough to sit a stud but you should this week.

Jordan Matthews – WR – Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets
Revis Island, that’s it. Need I remind you what he did to Andrew Luck last week? If you thought Sam Bradford has been off to a rough start then you have to figure things will only get worse for him this week against the stout Jets defense at home. The Eagles are falling apart at the seams and Jordan Matthews is a passenger on that sinking ship. He has little hope against Revis this week and you should have little hope for a respectable fantasy output from him.

QB TBD – New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
We are not sure if Drew Brees is playing this week but we are sure that he injured the shoulder he throws with. Even if Brees plays I don’t think he or any of his receivers are worth considering this week against the quietly efficient Panthers defense. Find another quarterback this week because Drew Brees, Luke McCown, or Garrett Grayson are not the answer.

Lamar Miller – RB – Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
It’s early but fantasy owners are already frustrated with Lamar Miller, especially now that he has a hobbled ankle. The matchup against the Buffalo Bills is not a favorable one, and I would probably recommend sitting him even if he were at 100% health.

Larry Donnell – TE – New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
Donnell is a tempting play when you consider Daniel Fells questionability and Eli Manning‘s lack of weapons outside of Odell Beckham, Jr. but I will not be starting Donnell anywhere this week. He is always a threat to score but Thursday night games are typically those to avoid if you can. Tight ends are off to a hot start across the league this season so certainly you can afford not starting Donnell this week. The Redskins defense is underrated and will give Manning a hard time all day, making Donnell a risky start. He is a definite bench player for me.

Get Start/Sit & Waiver Advice with My Playbook partner-arrow

I do not have a crystal ball and can only rely on research and good old intuition. I may hit or miss on a few but these are my honest predictions for this week. I’ll keep myself honest with a full disclosure section next week when I give you your who’s hot, who’s not for Week 4. Consider my recommendations here, but ultimately trust in yourself. Good luck!

Jen Ryan is a correspondent at FantasyPros. Click here for her archive and feel free to reach her and talk all things fantasy @FFdeJENerate.

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