Welcome back, fantasy freaks and geeks to the weekly Fantasy Football Start-Sit recommendations. We head into Week 3 with many fantasy matchups to take advantage of and others to avoid.
But before we do, there was plenty of injury news from last week with major fantasy implications. Hopefully, your fantasy rosters were not impacted by the losses of quarterbacks Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.
And if they were, or if you have other injury concerns on your roster, you may be debating who to start and sit in Week 3. Fortunately, for you, I’ve taken a look into my fantasy crystal ball and will provide my Week 3 recommendations.
For further start-sit questions, please view the Pro Football Network’s fantasy rankings for Week 3. Good luck in your matchups…unless you are playing against me.
START: Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Josh Allen is the only QB to win at Metlife this year.
Beat the Jets and the Giants. Bills are 2-0 👀 pic.twitter.com/wCDLxaIVxA
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 15, 2019
Josh Allen is a matchup-proof starter at quarterback in fantasy football. He is a high-floor option due to his superior rushing ability. Over his last eight starts, Allen has been a top-five quarterback in four of those games. He has 17 rushing attempts this season, which is second-most at his position to go along with two rushing touchdowns.
The Buffalo Bills Week 3 opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, could not slow down a San Francisco 49ers’ offense in Week 2, allowing over 570 total yards. Fantasy owners should start all of their players against the laughable Bengals defense, and that includes Allen who has top-five upside again this week.
SIT: Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
On the other side of the field, the 0-2 Bengals take on the 2-0 Bills in Buffalo’s first home game of the 2019 season. Andy Dalton has been the QB11 through two weeks but can’t be trusted against a Bills defense that owns the eighth-best secondary.
The biggest concern regarding Dalton is the Bengals offensive line. They have yielded 29 pressures and is rated as the worst offensive line in the league. Dalton’s passer rating drops from 92.8 in a clean pocket to 78.0 when facing pressure.
With running back Joe Mixon struggling, Dalton will be forced to throw more often. Fantasy owners should start the Bills defense and sit Dalton in their lineups for Week 3.
SIT: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears vs. Washington Redskins
Since the '18 Playoffs..
Bears' Kickers: 22 points
Mitch Trubisky: 6 points
Everybody Else: 6 points
They spent a whole offseason talking about a tipped FG.
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) September 16, 2019
Mitch Trubisky has completed less than 60 percent of his passes for 348 yards without throwing a touchdown pass. Trubisky has struggled through the first two weeks, ranking 28th at the quarterback position in fantasy points.
He takes on a bottom-tier Washington Redskins pass defense in Week 3, but until fantasy owners can see improvement from Trubisky, he should not be in starting lineups and possibly not even be rostered in one-quarterback leagues.
START: Frank Gore, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) September 15, 2019
The Bills offensive line has been the third-best run-blocking group this season according to Football Outsiders. Buffalo should test the weak Bengals run defense by continuously pounding the ball. Gore will get a ton of opportunities in a great matchup, and therefore, is a surprising starting RB option in Week 3.
START: Carlos Hyde, RB, Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Highest run success rates among RBs with at least 9 attempts (From @SharpFootball):
1) Carlos Hyde – 78%
2) Malcolm Brown – 69%
3) Saquon – 64%
4) Rashaad Penny – 62%
5) Alvin Kamara – 61% #FantasyFootball
— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) September 16, 2019
Carlos Hyde has taken the majority of the early-down rushes since the Houston Texans acquired him from the Kansas City Chiefs. Hyde’s workload increased from Week 1 after getting only ten carries. He doubled his touches with 20 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
This week, Hyde will face the banged-up Los Angeles Chargers defense after producing 90 rushing yards on 20 carries against a very good Jaguars defense. Hyde is the primary running back in the Texans’ backfield and has a safe floor as a reliable option for Week 3.
SIT: Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears
Week 1: Derrius Guice 10 rushes for 18 yards.
Week 2: Adrian Peterson 10 rushes for 25 yards.
I don't think it's a running back thing.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) September 15, 2019
The Washington Redskins running game is averaging a paltry 2.5 yards per carry through the first two weeks this season. Adrian Peterson stepped in for the injured Derrius Guice last week and managed just 25 yards on ten carries against the Dallas Cowboys.
Peterson has a difficult matchup again in Week 3, facing the tough Chicago Bears run defense. There has to be a better option for fantasy football owners than starting Peterson this week. Fantasy owners must sit Peterson.
SIT: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons vs. Indianapolis Colts
Game Takeaways #PHIvsATL:
1. Zach Ertz (16 tgts) took full adv. of D-Jax, Alshon, + Goedert injuries
2. Concerned about no Jason Kelce for PHI O
3. Austin Hooper has a great floor, but no upside (high tgts, low aDot, low YAC)
4. Devonta Freeman only 14 touches in the close game pic.twitter.com/BNoHar90Fj
— Golden Gate Fantasy Football (@goldengate_ff) September 16, 2019
This Week 3 matchup might be make-or-break for Devonta Freeman. In Week 3, the Atlanta Falcons take on the Indianapolis Colts, who have given up 11.1 fantasy points more than the league average to opposing running backs over the first two weeks.
Freeman has struggled to open the season, rushing for 41 yards on 19 attempts. The game script should favor Freeman in this matchup though. Unfortunately, Freeman doesn’t look anything similar to the Freeman that fantasy owners utilized before his knee injury last season. Ito Smith has looked more effective, racking up 85 yards on just 13 touches. Smith has five rushes resulting in a first down, while Freeman has only had two rushes resulting in first downs.
The faith in Freeman is wavering, and if he does fail in this matchup, it’s time for Smith to take over. I am not betting on Freeman to rebound this week based on what we witnessed so far. The Falcons have been a pass-happy team in the first two weeks. I need Freeman to prove he is starter-worthy before I can trust him in my fantasy lineup.
START: John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
WR John Brown catch %
38.2% (10 games)
43.3% (16 games)
— Bills QB Watch (@BillsQBwatch) September 18, 2019
John Brown is owned in only 62% of ESPN Leagues, which is puzzling for a wide receiver who has caught 14 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown in the first two weeks of the season. He is a premier deep ball receiver which fits Josh Allen’s game perfectly.
Brown leads Buffalo in targets each game which bodes well for him in Week 3 against Cincinnati’s bottom-five pass defense. The Bengals defense has allowed a whopping 508 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns through the first two weeks. Brown has emerged a must-start weekly wide receiver option.
START: Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Most Receiving Yards Through A Receiver's First Two Career Games (Since 1996)
1. Anquan Boldin – 279
2. Marquise Brown – 233
3. Stefon Diggs – 216
4. Will Fuller – 211
5. Terry McLaurin – 187
6. Randy Moss – 184
7. DeAndre Hopkins – 183
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) September 16, 2019
The Baltimore Ravens are going to have to score a ton to keep up with their Week 3 opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are 24th in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing receivers. The Ravens will need to throw the ball often in a potential shootout, so Brown is a no-brainer start in all fantasy football formats.
SIT: Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
— Patriot Maven (@PatriotMavenSI) September 20, 2019
The 0-2 New York Jets head into Week 3 to face the 2-0 New England Patriots, whose defense has gone two consecutive games without allowing over three points. The Patriots have an excellent opportunity to accomplish three straight when they go against the injury-riddled Jets. Sam Darnold has mono, and backup Trevor Siemian is out for the season with an ankle injury.
Luke Falk stepped in last week after Siemian got injured and promptly went 20-of-25 for 198 yards and a 99.7 passer rating. He is with his third organization in two seasons and will take on a Patriots’ defense that has given up the least amount of passing yards in the league this season.
In two games against the Patriots last season, Anderson totaled 13 targets but only caught five for 46 yards. Of course, that was with Darnold throwing him passes. Until Darnold returns to the lineup, fantasy owners should stay clear of any Jets’ receiver in their starting lineup, especially in this challenging Week 3 matchup.
SIT: Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders vs. Minnesota Vikings
Tyrell Williams has stepped up and emerged as the Oakland Raiders’ top wideout, catching 11 of 14 targets for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season.
Unfortunately, Williams came out of the Week 2 loss to the Chiefs with a hip pointer. The hobbled Williams is still expected to play this week, but in a tough matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Premier cornerback Xavier Rhodes will likely shadow Williams throughout the game, making it difficult to give the green light to having Williams at less than 100 percent in Week 3 fantasy lineups.
START: Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints
Will Dissly emerged in Week 2 showing that the knee injury suffered in Week 1 was nothing to be concerned about. The Seattle Seahawks tight end caught five passes for 50 yards and 2 touchdowns. He could have had an even bigger game with offsetting penalties wiping out a 43-yard catch and run.
Dissly is the only Seahawk other than Chris Carson to receive a red-zone target. He has surfaced as an elite red-zone option with four touchdowns in 14 NFL receptions. The Seahawks are still a run-first offense, but Russell Wilson loves Dissly in the red zone. So should fantasy owners if you don’t already have an elite TE option for Week 3.
SIT: Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons
Lowest QB Rating when targeted from Week 1:
Peyton Barber 16.7
Dare Ogunbowale 41.0
Nelson Agholor 42.4
Marquise Goodwin 42.4
Kenrick Bourne 42.4
Eric Ebron 42.4
Cordarrelle Patterson 42.4
Allen Robinson 47.6
— Jody Smith (@JodySmithNFL) September 12, 2019
After Andrew Luck‘s retirement, Eric Ebron has become the premier TD-or-bust fantasy contributor this season. Ebron has just four receptions on seven targets for only 33 yards and a score through the first two weeks.
In Week 3, Ebron plays the Falcons who have allowed the least amount of passing yards this season. Ebron is impossible to trust in your fantasy football lineups within a struggling Colts’ offense. Fantasy owners should sit Ebron in Week 3, and take a look at some waiver wire recommendations for Week 3.
Dennis Sosic is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering the Cleveland Browns and Fantasy Football. Dennis is also a co-host of the Fantasy Fixers podcast for PFN. You can follow him on Twitter @CALL_ME_SOS.