Fantasy Football Start/Sit NFL Week 3: Justin Fields and Damien Harris must-starts?

Another NFL Sunday is here, and fantasy football lineups are being set -- who are the top start 'em and sit 'em options for Week 3?

One of the most nerve-wracking things in fantasy football is making lineup decisions. You have to consider so many different variables. The great news is that the team at Pro Football Network is here to help. Not all matchups are equal, but here are our top start ’em, sit ’em plays for Week 3.

NFL Start’ Em, Sit’ Em for Week 3: Quarterbacks

In my Week 3 QB tiers and streamers article earlier this week, I recommended Daniel Jones, Teddy Bridgewater, Kirk Cousins, and Sam Darnold. There is another QB you should consider.

Start’ Em | Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Fields is on track to make his first career NFL start this Sunday against the Browns. Andy Dalton is considered week to week with a left knee injury. It’s frustrating to hear head coach Matt Nagy comment in the media that Dalton will return as the starter when healthy.

However, Fields is an exciting streamer this week when considering his arm strength, accuracy, and rushing ability. He also heads into the matchup being provided more reps in practice with the first team.

The rookie faces a Browns defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to average 21.3 fantasy points over the last five regular-season games. In Week 1, Patrick Mahomes finished with 36.6 fantasy points. Tyrod Taylor had accumulated 18 fantasy points prior to his hamstring injury in Week 2.

As a reminder, Fields was a statistical dynamo in 22 games at Ohio State. He accounted for 5,373 passing yards and 867 rushing yards. Fields threw 63 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions during that time frame. He can be viewed as a low-end QB1 this week.

Sit’ Em | Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger completed 27 of 40 passes for 281 yards, a touchdown, and an interception last week against the Raiders. His stat line is deceiving. On film, Roethlisberger’s arm strength is underwhelming. He is also now dealing with a pectoral injury heading into this week’s game against an improved Bengals secondary. My recommendation is to look elsewhere at the quarterback position.

Running backs

In my Week 3 RB Start’ Em, Sit’ Em article earlier this week, I recommended Chase Edmonds and Javonte Williams. There is another RB you should also ponder.

Start’ Em | Damien Harris, New England Patriots

Harris rushed 16 times for 62 yards and a touchdown last week against the Jets. He’s played 49% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps this season. Harris also finished as an RB2 in PPR formats in back-to-back games averaging 21.5 opportunities (rushing attempts plus targets).

The Patriots, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones under center, have relied heavily on the running game and its dominant offensive line. This trend should continue against the Saints. Harris (91) ranks fifth among running backs in yards after contact. He can be viewed as a solid RB2.

Sit’ Em | Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Henderson rushed 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown last week against the Colts. He also caught 3 of 5 targets for 29 yards. Henderson left the game in the fourth quarter with a rib injury. Rams head coach Sean McVay said that he’s dealing with a rib cartilage issue. It doesn’t sound like a serious injury. However, Henderson’s matchup against the stout defensive front of the Buccaneers is.

Tampa Bay has only allowed an average of 13 PPR fantasy points to top RB scorers over the last five regular-season games. The top performance over that time frame was from Cordarrelle Patterson last week. It is worth noting most of his fantasy production was from his 5 receptions, 58 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown.

The 24-year-old running back’s usage against the Buccaneers will be uncertain, given his injury and the matchup. The total for this game is now up to 56 points in what many anticipate to be a high passing-volume contest.

Wide receivers

With the wide receiver position deeper than ever for fantasy football, start ’em or sit ’em decisions for Week 3 are invariably matchup-dependent.

Start’ Em | Kenny Golladay, New York Giants

Golladay has had a rocky start with the Giants. He’s only caught 7 of 14 targets for 102 receiving yards. On the other hand, Sterling Shepard has prospered through two games. He’s caught 17 of 19 targets for 207 receiving yards and a touchdown.

A hamstring injury derailed Golladay’s training camp and preseason. It was a missed opportunity for him to develop rapport with quarterback Daniel Jones. During last week’s game, Golladay was recorded shouting in frustration at Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Golladay should continue to see a steady dose of targets.

The 27-year-old receiver has a favorable matchup against the Falcons’ defense. Top WR scorers against Atlanta over the last five regular-season games have averaged 8 targets, 5.8 catches, and 81.2 receiving yards. Golladay can be viewed as a WR3 with upside against the Falcons in Week 3.

Sit’ Em | Henry Ruggs, Las Vegas Raiders

Ruggs caught 5 of 7 targets for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers last week. He tied tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for the team lead in targets. However, Ruggs is at a disadvantage against Miami’s cornerbacks. Renfrow and Waller could be leaned on heavily by quarterback Derek Carr in the passing game. Ruggs can be viewed as a boom-or-bust WR3 this week.

Tight ends

Although the TE position in fantasy is notoriously shallow, start ’em or sit ’em decisions for Week 1 could mean the difference in a win or a loss.

Start’ Em | Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Higbee’s 2021 season got off to a solid start in Week 1 against the Bears. He caught 5 of 6 targets for 68 yards. Yet, Higbee only managed a single reception for 8 yards against the Colts.

The good news is that the Rams face the Buccaneers. This is projected to be a close game with an over/under of 56 points. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has also historically played well against the Buccaneers. In five career games against Tampa Bay, he’s averaged 262 passing yards per game with 10 touchdown passes. Stafford also has completed 71.3% and has a passer rating of 98.2.

The stage is being set for Higbee to have a productive game. The Buccaneers’ defense has allowed an average of 11 PPR fantasy points per game to top TE scorers over its last five regular-season contests.

Sit’ Em | Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots

Smith has caught 9 of 10 targets for 70 yards through two games. Nelson Agholor (10), James White (13), and Jakobi Meyers (15) have also seen a steady dose of targets this season. There are only so many passes to go around in the Patriots’ low-volume aerial attack. The Saints’ linebackers also do a pretty good job of covering tight ends. I’d look elsewhere if you need a tight end streamer.

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