“A good craftsman never blames his tools.” Fantasy football is no different. It’s up to you to make the right calls when it comes to setting your Week 3 lineup, and that is exactly what I am here to help you do!
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Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions
With the Lions averaging 32.9 PPG at home since the beginning of last season, Goff needs to be penciled into starting lineups whenever playing in front of a supportive crowd.
He has thrown multiple touchdown passes in six straight home games, a streak he easily extended last week against the Seahawks by completing 28 of his 35 attempts for 323 yards and three touchdowns.
Green Bay signal-caller Jordan Love only completed 14 passes against these Falcons last week, but three of those resulted in touchdowns. Goff distributed the ball around in the loss last week by targeting four different players with at least six targets, showing the willingness to take what the defense gives him.
I have Goff and Kirk Cousins as the pocket passers with immense upside this week, and that has them both flirting with my top-10 ranking. Personally, I feel good about starting him over Dak Prescott and Geno Smith in this advantageous spot at home.
Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
It’s almost like you can’t plug in a running back and expect him to assume 100% of the void left by Austin Ekeler. Go figure. Kelley’s Week 2 performance (13 carries for 39 yards with zero receptions) let fantasy managers down in a big way.
He had over 81% of the rushing yards by Charger running backs last weekend, and that is what you were betting on. Your process was right, and that is what matters. The Vikings are fresh off of giving up a career night to D’Andre Swift and are vulnerable all over the field.
Kelley’s profile holds value, no matter the result from last week. He’s a solid Flex play in a much more advantageous matchup for his specific skill set than the position he was in last week.
Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints
With a 40+ yard grab in both games this season (and five of his past seven dating back to last season), are you willing to side with me that Shaheed is a perfect fit for what Carr and this Saints offense want to do?
His 4.3 speed, combined with Carr’s soft touch on those deep balls, is tough to defend for 60 minutes, and I expect we see more of the same in this spot.
The Packers were among the worst defenses at defending the deep ball last season, and it’s a flaw that has yet to be fixed. Darnell Mooney beat them for a 20-yard score (all air yards) in Week 1, while three different Falcons had a catch, gaining at least 24 yards against Green Bay last weekend.
The Carr-Olave-Shaheed triple stack is penciled into my DFS prep, and I feel good about the burner being a viable Flex play in annual leagues. I have Shaheed over Thomas in my ranks, as the upside is simply too much to ignore.
Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
After being targeted on just three of Lawrence’s 32 passes in Week 1, Kirk was targeted with the first pass of the game and paced the team with targets before Zay Jones (knee) left injured.
His 11-catch, 110-yard performance proved to me that he is a matchup play and that Week 1 just wasn’t a spot the team viewed as advantageous for his slot role. A receiver opposite of Ridley has produced top-20 numbers at the position in each of the first two weeks, and while I’m not projecting that trend to continue, I do think that role will hold consistent Flex value.
With Jones ruled out, Kirk finds himself as a top-24 receiver for me, ranking ahead of bigger names like Chris Godwin and Terry McLaurin, who find themselves in difficult matchups.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott played a good football game against a solid Jets defense last week. That’s a fact. Completing 31 of 38 passes is impressive against anyway, and it was great to see following a low-usage Week 1.
Another fact: Prescott was QB17. It was his first 30-completion game since November 2021, and it required 42 minutes of possession for him to get there. I simply don’t trust the volume. Dallas’ first three plays last week went the way of Tony Pollard, and that is going to be the formula moving forward.
The floor isn’t awful, especially as a big favorite in this spot, but the ceiling isn’t high enough for me to put him inside my top 12.
Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans
Entering this season, I wasn’t sure that it was possible to describe someone as a “poor man’s James Conner,” but here we are. Pierce has the volume that Conner possesses, but he plays for a team that ranks bottom-5 in RB target share. That’s a big time for a team that is routinely playing from behind.
Fun fact: 122.6% of Pierce’s rushing yards last season came after contact. I don’t care who you blame for his slow start. The fact of the matter is that I’m not sure it gets better. On 31 opportunities last season against the Jags, he managed just 113 yards.
He isn’t a must-start and ranks just outside of my top-25 at the position this week. His next top-35 finish this season will be his first, so while I’m down on him, I may not have him low enough!
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
With the exact status of Joe Burrow an unknown and this game being played on Monday night, fantasy managers are asked to make a tough call: Ride with the talent and hope that either Burrow suits up or that he is just good enough to get the job done with Jake Browning, or sit him down.
For me, it’s the ladder. I have Higgins projected as my WR39 this week should Browning play, and with a compromised Burrow being the other option, he’s not a lock to be in my top 20 even if we knew Burrow would start. I’m avoiding the headache with Higgins this week and starting players like Jakobi Meyers or Jordan Addison instead.
Decision time on Joe Burrow and Company for #FantasyFootball managers.
— Kyle Soppe (@KyleSoppePFN) September 24, 2023
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Tennessee Titans
In a game that went to overtime against an iffy defense, no player on this team saw more than five targets. Such is life in this offense. Tannehill looked much better this week than last, but even a “good” version of him is not fantasy-friendly.
Hopkins is a good bet to lead this team in targets on a regular basis, but not every team target leader needs to be in fantasy lineups. I’m treating him in a very similar fashion to Atlanta’s Drake London — an ultra-talented player whose situation prevents him from holding consistent value in fantasy.
Your Questions Answered!
Did I fail to address a player you’re worried about? Check out the Week 3 Cheat Sheet (posts every Thursday morning) for a preview of the entire slate, or swing by our PFN YouTube channel on Sunday morning!
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