Week 3 of the fantasy football season is upon us, and with that comes the all-important start and sit decisions. With two weeks of data now in hand, we are starting to get an idea of trends and usage. Therefore, we can dive into that, plus consider injuries to help us make Week 3 start or sit decisions.
Week 3 fantasy football start ’ems
In this article, we’ve dug through the latest roster percentages to identify fantasy football players who you should consider as either a start or sit in Week 3. Our start options are currently being started in less than 40% of ESPN leagues.
Start: Derek Carr, QB | LV at TEN
It has been a somewhat slow start to the 2022 season for Derek Carr, with just 16.4 fantasy points per game (ppg) through the first two weeks. However, that is still good enough for Carr to rank at the QB14 overall during that period. Now he faces a Tennessee Titans defense that was absolutely shredded by Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Monday.
However, the Titans also allowed Daniel Jones and a mediocre New York Giants offense to throw for 188 yards and two touchdowns on just 21 pass attempts. Tennessee should at least get Kristian Fulton back for this matchup, but the Raiders offense has every chance to be potent. Even without Hunter Renfrow, the trio of Davante Adams, Darren Waller, and Mack Hollins should be able to have plenty of success.
Beyond Carr, other QB starting options to consider for Week 3 include Kirk Cousins and Ryan Tannehill.
Start: J.D. McKissic, RB | WAS vs. PHI
Through the first two weeks, we have seen hugely contrasting performances against the run by the Eagles’ defense. In Week 1, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams ran wild on them. Then in Week 2, they did a superb job of containing the potent duo of Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. Week 3 brings another challenge in the pairing of Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic.
It is McKissic that is most intriguing because of how this game is likely to play out. In both of the first two weeks, the Eagles’ offense has jumped out to big leads. They led the Lions 21-7 and 38-21 at different points in the game in Week 1, and the Vikings’ 24-7 at the half. If this game follows a similar pattern, then we should see a lot of McKissic.
Last week, with the Commanders chasing the game against the Lions, McKissic was targeted seven times. That is a pattern I expect to see all over again this week against an Eagles team that has been extremely impressive offensively through two weeks.
If not McKissic, other RB starting options to consider in Week 3 include Damien Harris and Nyheim Hines.
Start: Mack Hollins, WR | LV at TEN
Let’s dig deep here for a second. Hollins is rostered in just 0.5% of ESPN leagues and started in just 0.1%. However, he is a player that needs to be on the radar after seeing eight targets last week.
Yes, he only saw one target the week before, but he played on 88% of the snaps and ran a ton of routes. In that first game, Derek Carr was hyper-focused on Davante Adams. That led to him forcing throws to Adams when other receivers, including Hollins, were wide open.
In Week 2, we saw a much more balanced offense. Carr threw the ball 39 times, and four Vegas receivers say between seven and 10 targets each. This week, they are without Hunter Renfrow, so that could easily condense those 33 targets between Adams, Hollins, and Darren Waller. Hollins is the most widely available of those, and with the Titans’ defense likely to be focusing on Adams and Waller, he could see a lot of targets.
Hollins isn’t someone you are forcing into your lineup over clear-cut starters, but in leagues where you are dealing with WR injuries, he is an intriguing flex starter, especially in PPR formats. At the very least, he is a player to add right now because a strong performance in Week 3 could make him a very popular name on the waiver wire next week.
Beyond Hollins, other WR starts to consider for Week 3 include Sterling Shepard, DeVonta Smith, and Greg Dortch.
Start: Irv Smith Jr., TE | MIN vs. DET
What we saw out of Irv Smith Jr. in Week 2 was extremely promising. After coming into the season struggling to stay healthy, Smith saw his snap share jump from 31 to 56% and was the recipient of eight targets from Kirk Cousins. He caught five of those targets for 36 yards and a touchdown to finish with a solid day in terms of fantasy points.
Last week saw Logan Thomas find the end zone against this Lions’ defense after Dallas Goedert posted a 60-yard performance against them the week before. If you are potentially set to be without Dalton Schultz, or you are streaming tight ends this season, Smith is an intriguing player to add and start.
Another game with five-plus targets would even see him creep into contention as more than just a streaming option but a weekly starting consideration regardless of matchup.
If not Smth, other TE starts to consider for Week 3 include Evan Engram and Austin Hooper. Also, if Keenan Allen is ruled out, Gerald Everett becomes a very intriguing option.
Week 3 fantasy football sit ’ems
Just like in the Week 3 fantasy football start ’em section above, we’ve looked at the latest roster percentages from ESPN. Our sit players below are around 50% or higher.
Sit: Aaron Rodgers, QB | GB at TB
Things are really stacking up against Aaron Rodgers in Week 3. The Packers’ WR group was already a concern, and they have a number of players questionable or ruled out heading into the weekend. On top of that, this matchup with the Buccaneers is brutal.
Tampa Bay has given up just 434 passing yards and one touchdown through the first two weeks. They made Dak Prescott’s life miserable before he got injured in Week 1, and they picked off Jameis Winston multiple times last week.
The other concern with Rodgers is the way this offense is operating. Through the first two weeks, his average pass attempts have been 29.5, which is the lowest of his career since becoming a starter. Additionally, the offense appears to be very conservative. Rodgers intended air yards per pass attempt is 5.6, whereas it has been over 7.6 in each of the past four seasons.
On top of that, Rodgers is getting pressured on 35.8% of his passes, which is a huge jump from 22.3% last year. The Buccaneers’ defense is not one you want to have offensive line concerns against. They are top 10 in the league in pressure rate this year and lead the league in sacks with 10 through the first two weeks.
Looking ahead, Rodgers should be fine. The offense will continue to develop, and he will likely put up solid numbers. However, if you can sit Rodgers this week and stream a QB option from elsewhere, that might be a prudent move in 1QB leagues.
Sit: James Conner, RB | ARI vs. LAR
This may ultimately not be a choice you have to make because Conner may not be active. However, you should consider moving him to the bench now before he is even ruled out.
Conner has struggled for efficiency over the past two seasons, with 803 rushing yards on 219 attempts (3.67 yards per attempt), and now he is trying to do it while limited with an ankle injury. That is less than ideal.
Add in that he is facing a Rams defense that has allowed just 139 rushing yards on 36 attempts to the RB position through the first two weeks, and it just is not a matchup you want to mess with.
You are essentially relying on Conner falling in the end zone, despite the Rams having given up just 11 rushing touchdowns through the last 19 regular season games. Those are not odds I want to take with a player coming into the week as a game-time decision.
Beyond Conner, another RB sit to consider is Antonio Gibson, who saw his snap share fall 14 percent last week with the Commanders chasing the game, which they could be again this week.
Sit: DJ Moore, WR | CAR vs. NO
The Carolina Panthers are a team that I do not really want any piece of this week. The Saints’ defense is incredibly talented, and they just virtually shut down Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 2. Meanwhile, DJ Moore’s stat line is unconvincing.
He has seen 12 targets, with six receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. Even with the touchdown in Week 2, he could only finish as the WR30 in PPR, the WR28 in half-PPR, and the WR26 in non-PPR. Without the touchdown, he would have been outside of the top 50 for the second week running.
It is just an uninspiring offense in Carolina right now, and Moore is tough to trust on a weekly basis. If you have other options with solid matchups or who are seeing five-plus targets a week, then considering sitting Moore is a prudent thing to do.
Sit: T.J. Hockenson, TE | DET at MIN
This is a brutal thing even to consider because T.J. Hockenson is a player that you always want in your lineup. However, he comes into this week carrying an injury off of two matchups where he and Jared Goff have been out of sync. While he has seen 14 targets, he has just seven receptions for 64 total yards.
If there is someone on your waiver wire or bench who has a solid streaming matchup this week, that would be the way to look. Hockenson should still give you that solid floor of around five points in a PPR league, but if you want to shoot for upside, there are other directions to consider looking at this week.