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Fantasy Football Week 3 Start/Sit Advice: Riskiest & Safest Players (2022)

by Bonnie Robinson | @FantasyQueenB | Featured Writer
Sep 23, 2022
DK Metcalf

With Atlanta’s defense struggling to cover receivers, this could be D.K. Metcalf’s week to shine.

This recurring pseudo-start/sit article focuses on some of the players I feel are the safest or riskiest starts in fantasy football each week, especially relative to their ranking in the PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR). Always start your studs, as the elite players will be omitted each week except in extreme circumstances. You can ask me start/sit questions on Twitter.

Week 2 recap:

Following a volatile Week 1 in the NFL, last week’s calls got back on track. Four of my six calls hit, and another was close. Let’s break it down:

Starts: Derek Carr finished as the QB8 on the week, and Darrell Henderson finished as an RB2 for fantasy, although Cam Akers‘ snap count increased from Week 1.
Sits: Tom Brady was a recommended sit as the New Orleans Saints are his kryptonite, plus he was down several weapons on offense. I felt alone on an island recommending Darnell Mooney as a sit, but Jaire Alexander and the Green Bay defense are no joke. Mooney has two catches for an abysmal total of four yards through two weeks. He belongs on your bench until the Bears can muster up a passing game.

Starts: Marquise Brown finished with 12.8 points. I’ll take the “L” here, but he was a stop on the one-yard line from a touchdown and a drop for a likely chunk play in OT away from a huge game.
Sits: Despite my fear of Damien Harris being in a dreaded RBBC and only playing 39% of the snaps, his efficiency was good enough for an RB6 finish.

Fantas Football Start-Sit Assistant

Here are my recommendations for this week:

Safest Starts

D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA)
So far this season, D.K. Metcalf’s production has been paling compared to Tyler Lockett‘s. Although he has just two fewer targets and is involved, Metcalf dictates the coverage from opposing defenses. He would have had a better fantasy day against the San Francisco 49ers but had a 49-yard catch negated on an offensive line penalty. After facing two strong teams, he now gets an Atlanta defense that just allowed three passing touchdowns to the Rams last week. The Falcons are also allowing the third-most points to receivers this season. Since Atlanta’s defense covers receivers about as well as makeup covers a hickey, this could be D.K.’s week to shine.

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)
Courtland Sutton carried the team’s offense in Denver’s win over Houston Sunday. He was peppered with targets after Jerry Jeudy exited the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. Sutton caught 7 of 11 targets for a team-high 122 yards and almost had a touchdown in the first quarter, but his foot was out of bounds. The San Francisco 49ers defense is a bit stiffer against receivers but just gave up 107 yards on nine catches to Tyler Lockett. Sutton is a borderline WR1 with upside, especially if Jeudy sits this one out.

Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)
Volume is paramount in fantasy, and so far, Tyler Higbee’s whopping 20 targets are the most among all tight ends. He is also currently on pace to exceed his 2019 career-high in receiving yards. The seven-year TE might not be able to sustain these numbers when Van Jefferson returns from injury, but that won’t be for a few more weeks. He should be able to keep up the pace this week against Arizona. Although the Cardinals faced two top TEs back to back, their defense allows a league-high 29.1 fantasy ppg to the position. Higbee should be a top 12 TE this week.

Riskiest Starts

Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
Without his BFF Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played up to par this season. His receiving corps is thin and includes several rookies yet to earn his trust fully. After a dreadful Week 1 against the Vikings, Rodgers returned to form in the first half of the game against the Chicago Bears. However, he threw just seven passes in the second half, with the team turning to the run with the game in hand. The future Hall-of-Famer won’t have it that easy against the Buccaneers as they surrender the second-fewest fantasy points to QBs this season. The Packers’ offense could also be short-handed, with four receivers popping up on the mid-week injury report. With Tampa most susceptible to the ground game, the team could lean on their running backs this week. The Buccaneers are giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points on the ground so far but have only faced the Cowboys with a decimated offensive line and an Alvin Kamara-less Saints team. Aaron Jones went ham for the Packers against the Bears, tallying 132 yards and a score on 15 attempts on the ground while gaining another TD and 38 yards through the air. He and AJ Dillon could be featured in this one, landing Rodgers outside of the top 12 this week.

Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)
It’s hard to trust Terry McLaurin right now. Curtis Samuel leads the team in targets with a massive 20, and rookie Jahan Dotson has come onto the scene. Things won’t get better for McLaurin this week with a shadow matchup on his hands against Philadelphia Eagles CB Darius Slay. “Big Play Slay” just stymied the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson, arguably the league’s best wide receiver. Jefferson had just 48 yards on six catches.

Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA)
Rashaad Penny is coming off a poor game versus the San Francisco 49ers, seeing only six rush attempts for a meager 15 yards. Although none fared any better, Travis Homer led the backfield in snaps and targets, and rookie Ken Walker also had a small role in his NFL debut. With the Seahawks playing from behind for most of the day, they abandoned the run early. This week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, gives up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. However, that is probably more of an indictment on their porous pass defense, but the Seahawks could choose to air it out. It also looks like this could be a running back-by-committee moving forward. Avoiding this matchup and seeing how things unfold in the backfield this week might be advisable.

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Bonnie Robinson is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Bonnie, check out her profile and find her on Twitter @FantasyQueenB.

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