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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football Week 3 Start/Sit Advice

  • The Draft Network
  • September 23, 2021
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Fantasy Football Week 3 Start/Sit

You’ll notice a common theme in my column today. Most of my data and thoughts come from the first two weeks of the NFL season. That’s how it should be, right? So isn’t it funny that I keep reiterating for you to not panic

Two games don’t mean much. At this time last season, Cam Newton and Jonnu Smith were the third-highest scoring players at their positions. Antonio Gibson and Keenan Allen were 35th at theirs. I understand the desire to jump ship on any disappointments. But the truth is, you can’t judge one player off of two games. 

Like I said in my waiver column on Tuesday, you can start to see patterns following Week 3. Once Week 4 rolls around, then it’s time to hit the trade market. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make moves now. After all, there are plenty of players you can buy low (Allen Robinson, Jonathan Taylor) and sell high (Ty’Son Williams, Rob Gronkowski). As for what to do this week, here are some players at every position who you should start, or you should sit.

As always, I included OwnersBox prices to give you an idea of each player’s value. If you haven’t signed up yet, playing on OwnersBox is easier than intercepting Zach Wilson! All jokes aside, visit OwnersBox.com or download the OwnersBox app on iOS or Android and use the promo code Drew9 today and you'll get a free $10 entry into the $50K NFL Week 3 Contest. 

Quarterbacks

Start: Jalen Hurts @ DAL ($7,400)

There’s no getting around it: Jalen Hurts is a must-start. He’s QB5 and he’s averaging 23.5 points. He hasn’t been the most efficient passer, but Hurts doesn’t really need to be for fantasy. His run volume is high enough to vault him into a weekly starter; he has the second-most rushing yards among QBs. As if the Hurts train couldn’t keep rolling, he faces a Dallas defense that has surrendered the seventh-most points to fantasy quarterbacks. Get Hurts in your lineup if you haven’t already.

Other Players to Consider: Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Justin Fields

Sit: Ryan Tannehill vs. IND ($6,400)

It’s only been two games, but Tannehill hasn’t done enough to warrant QB1 status. He’s the overall QB23 with an average of about 14 points per game. Tannehill isn’t a bad quarterback and he deserves a roster spot in most leagues. It’s just that Tennessee’s game plan doesn’t center around Tannehill. The best fantasy quarterbacks have their offenses tailored to them. In Tennessee, the offense is tailored to Derrick Henry, as we all were reminded of on Sunday. It’s truly a toss-up whether Tannehill takes charge and dominates or if he simply manages the offense. That’s been typical Tannehill behavior, though he was a QB1 last season. For now, he should stay out of your starting lineups as Tennessee hosts Indianapolis. The Colts have allowed the eighth-fewest points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks even though they have faced Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford.

Other Players to Consider: Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield

Running Backs

Start: Chase Edmonds @ JAX ($5,300)

At this point in the season, Edmonds has shown us exactly what we expected from him. He’s the Cardinals’ main receiving back with an edge over James Conner in primary downs. While Conner has seen four more carries than Edmonds, the latter has seen 9 targets to Conner’s 0. Edmonds also leads Arizona in touches. He’s in a good spot considering the Cardinals’ offense is tearing it up. My only concern with his great Week 3 matchup against Jacksonville—who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs so far—is if Arizona abandons their passing game early due to a positive game script. But even if that happens, you can still expect Edmonds and Conner to be rotated in based on the situation. As fantasy’s RB19, Edmonds deserves a spot in your lineup this week and possibly beyond.

Other Players to Consider: Damien Harris, Cordarrelle Patterson

Sit: Devin Singletary vs. WSH ($4,800)

Singletary had a pretty good game on Sunday with 17.1 points. However, as loyal followers of mine would know, I place more value on the numbers behind the numbers. The truth is the Bills’ backfield is still a committee. While Singletary saw nearly double the number of snaps that Zack Moss did, Singletary only saw four more carries and one more target than Moss—at least Singletary ran 18 more routes than Moss. But let’s keep in mind that running back stats tend to be a bit inflated during a blowout. Singletary‘s carry count is just not at a sustainable level yet; he had 11 and 13 carries in his first two games, respectively. It doesn’t help that Buffalo faces Washington this week, who have held running backs to the seventh-fewest points so far. Unless you’re desperate, there aren’t many good reasons to start Singletary in Week 3.

Other Players to Consider: Leonard Fournette, Jamaal Williams, Any Texans RB 

Wide Receivers

Start: Sterling Shepard vs. ATL ($5,100)

It’s so great to finally see Sterling Shepard ball out. Well, unless you’re a fan of Washington or Denver. Against those two teams, Shepard led all Giants’ receivers in targets, yards, and receptions. He’s currently WR9 in fantasy. So who does Shepard get to face as an encore? The same team that’s been picked apart by Jalen Hurts and Tom Brady: Atlanta. The one concern I have is if the Giants blow out the Falcons, then maybe they’ll resort more to the run game. However, I just don’t think New York has that good of an offense, even if Atlanta’s defense plays poorly for the third straight week. This is a lovely matchup that should cement Shepard as a weekly starter.

Other Players to Consider: Marvin Jones, Rondale Moore, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Sit: Robby Anderson vs. HOU ($5,400)

After finishing as the WR19 last season, Andersen‘s 2021 campaign has been a bit disappointing. Through two weeks, he’s WR59. We all knew Anderson would play backseat to D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey in Carolina‘s offense, but Anderson has also seen Terrace Marshall Jr. impact his production, too. Anderson and Marshall are tied for third in team targets despite Anderson seeing a little more playing time than Marshall. Yes, Anderson gets a good matchup against the Texans Thursday night. It still doesn’t make him a top-30 wide receiver this week.

Other Players to Consider: Dolphins WRs, Emmanuel Sanders, D.J. Chark

Tight Ends

Start: Dallas Goedert @ DAL ($4,400)

Goedert has not been a good fantasy option this season, so why is he on here? Because Zach Ertz is on the COVID-19 list. In 2020, Goedert’s snap count rose by more than 25 percentage points when Ertz was inactive. Goedert‘s fantasy points even increased a bit, too. But that was under Doug Pederson. We’ve yet to see what Goedert‘s role can be under Nick Sirianni, but I’m doubtful Jack Stoll cuts into Goedert’s playing time much. His Week 3 value is directly tied to Ertz’s game status. Tight end is such a barren position that Goedert would become a must-start.

Other Players to Consider: Dawson Knox, Jared Cook

Sit: Tyler Higbee vs. TB ($4,600)

Some pegged Higbee as the breakout tight end to own in fantasy. Unfortunately for those people, Higbee was a non-factor in the Rams’ offense last week. The overall TE23 saw just one target in Week 2, and he’s seen only one more target than Darrell Henderson and Van Jefferson overall. It is nice that Higbee has been the only Rams skill player to play every snap thus far, but Los Angeles just doesn’t need him as a receiving option—which was why I wasn’t high on him entering the season. I’d be surprised if Higbee has his coming-out game against Tampa Bay this Sunday.

Other Players to Consider: Gerald Everett, Robert Tonyan

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