After an injury-marred Week 2 across the NFL, it is time to turn our attention to Week 3. In this article, we will be looking at players on the fringes at QB, RB2 and WR2 in typical fantasy leagues to consider putting into your lineup or leaving on the bench. Welcome to our Week 3 fantasy football start/sit!
Week 3 Fantasy Football Start/Sit
Quarterbacks| Fantasy Football Start/Sit
Start: Gardner Minshew vs. Dolphins
Presenting the QB9 through two weeks… none other than Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It seems like the only thing Minshew does better than collecting nicknames (the unofficial Uncle Rico handle, which is very fitting, and the official Jock Strap King, not kidding) is put up fantasy points. He was QB13 and QB9 the first two weeks of the year, while averaging just over 23 points per game (ppg). He now gets a matchup with a Dolphins defense that hemorrhages fantasy points to the tune of over 30 ppg. Start him this week.
Start: Ryan Tannehill at Vikings
Next up is the QB10 through the first two weeks, Ryan Tannehill, which really should come as a surprise to no one when you consider that he was the QB3 from Week 7 on last years. Since that time, he has been remarkably consistent, failing to throw multiple TDs only once over the span of 12 regular season starts. Tannehill was the QB17 in a tough road matchup against the Broncos and the QB8 last week against the Jaguars. This week, he gets to have his way with the Vikings D. Start him.
Sit: Tom Brady at Broncos
It has been a rocky start for Tom Brady, as he gets used to life as a Buccaneer. He had a better fantasy game than real life game in Week 1, where he finished as the QB10, but also threw two interceptions, including a pick-six. In Week 2, he had a better real life game than fantasy game, finishing as the QB30. The Broncos are a middling D against QBs, but this game looks to be a low-scoring affair, with a Vegas over/under of 43. Sit him this week.
Sit: Carson Wentz vs. Bengals
Carson Wentz was on this list prior to Week 2, finishing as the QB24. At that time, I mentioned his upcoming schedule, which is brutal from Weeks 4-6, with games at the 49ers, Steelers, and a home date with the Ravens. This week versus the Bengals would appear to be a good matchup, but looking at it closer reveals that the Cincy D has been surprisingly stingy to opposing QBs, allowing only 12.6 ppg through two games, although RBs have feasted against them, averaging 179 yards and two TDs. Look for the Eagles to establish the run here. Sit Wentz for the next month and consider replacing him in shallow leagues.
Check out our Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings, including scoring settings for PPR and half PPR leagues! Ranking are updated throughout the week.
Running Backs | Fantasy Football Start/Sit
Start: James Robinson vs. Dolphins
Two Jaguars listed as start candidates? I know what you are thinking, but in fact I am absolutely sober writing this. James Robinson is looking to make the most of his time at the top of the Jaguars RB depth chart, and it looks like the undrafted rookie is getting comfortable in a workhorse role. He had 16 carries and one reception Week 1, and another 16 carries and three receptions in Week 2. With that type of workload and a very athletic profile (88th percentile in SPARQ rating), Robinson is establishing himself as an every week starter. Start him this week against the Dolphins.
Start: Joshua Kelley vs. Panthers
Sitting in a tie for the sixth-most carries on the young season is none other than Joshua Kelley. He had 12 in Week 1, on his way to finishing as the RB18, then 23 (that is not a typo) last week against the Chiefs on his way to finishing as RB22. This week, he gets a home matchup with the matador-like Panthers D, which is giving up 41.25 ppg to RBs on the year. Justin Jackson was not at practice on Wednesday, which bodes well for Kelley to have another opportunity to approach 20 touches. But even if he gets 15, he will pay off as an RB2.
Sit: Mark Ingram II vs. Chiefs
The Ravens backfield has four very capable ball carriers. So far this season, the carries have been split 23 for Lamar Jackson, 19 for Ingram, 14 for Gus Edwards and nine for J.K. Dobbins. Including his two receptions last week, Ingram has 10 and 11 touches each of the first two weeks. Even against the Chiefs middle of the road defense in a game with an over/under of 54 points, that is not enough volume to start Ingram as an RB2, especially when Dobbins has proven to be better in short yardage situations in a limited sample size. Leave Ingram on your bench this week.
Sit: Ronald Jones II at Broncos
Just like Carson Wentz above, this is Ronald Jones’ second time on the wrong side of this article. In Weeks 1 and 2, he has been remarkably consistent, finishing as the RB33 and RB32, putting up 10.2 and 10.7 points. However, his touches have dropped from 19 to nine, while Leonard Fournette’s have risen from six to 16. After Jones lost a fumble last week, Fournette effectively became the new top dog in the Bucs backfield. Against the Broncos tough run D, leave Jones on your bench.
Wide Receivers| Fantasy Football Start/Sit
Start: Diontae Johnson vs. Texans
Through two weeks, Diontae Johnson is tied for the second-most targets in the league, and he has 31% target share on the Steelers. With these opportunities, he has games of six catches for 57 yards and eight for 92 and a TD. He has earned Ben Roethlisberger’s trust, which bodes well for his season, as Big Ben has shown time and again throughout his career that he will force the ball to his favorite receivers. With the Texans on tap this week and Johnson getting this type of usage, start him if you have him.
Start: CeeDee Lamb at Seahawks
The Dallas Cowboys are using 11 personnel on just under 74% of their snaps through two weeks, and that means CeeDee Lamb is on the field a lot. He had six targets in Week 1, which he turned into five catches for 59 yards, then he had nine targets last week for six catches, 106 yards and a TD. He has finished both games with the second-most targets on the team, and out-targeted Michael Gallup 15-10. Now, the Cowboys have a matchup with a Seahawks D that has been shredded by the Falcons and Patriots WRs. This game sits at an over/under of 55, currently making Lamb a WR2 play this week.
Sit: T.Y. Hilton vs. Jets
Sitting at WR66 through two games is T.Y. Hilton, who would appear to be in a good spot this week against the Jets, given the injury to teammate Parris Campbell. However, he was in a prime spot last week against the Vikings’ collegiate secondary and disappointed with five targets for three receptions and 28 yards. Even more concerning was his low snap percentage of 57.5%, as we has on the field significantly less than Michael Pittman Jr. (92%) and Zach Pascal (80%). With the Colts being 11-point favorites versus the Jets and their poor run D, this looks like a game that Jonathan Taylor will feast and leave Hilton owners hoping for a long TD to return value. Hilton is a boom-bust WR2 that is better left on your bench this week.
Sit: Will Fuller V at Steelers
Will Fuller V has the dubious distinction of joining Carson Wentz and Ronald Jones II of being a recommended sit for the second time this year. Fuller had a great Week 1 but ended up on a milk carton last week against the Ravens’ tough secondary, with zero targets and a sighting on the sideline with the training staff working on his hamstring. Soft tissue injuries have been a bane to Fuller throughout his career. Even though he is not listed on the injury report for Week 3, leave him on the bench this week.