If I had told you a month ago that John Ross would be a top-two fantasy receiver after week 2, well, let’s face it, you might not be reading this article. Yet, here we are, and the man in black and orange has dominated fantasy scoreboards in the first two weeks.
Trends are beginning to take shape, and perceptions are being formed. If your record is in need of some love, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time. Take a look below to see who you need to be playing, and who you need to avoid to collect the W in week 3. These suggestions pertain to season-long leagues, as well as daily fantasy leagues.
2019 Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 3
Quarterback Start Em
Jamies Winston (DK $5,400)
Jameis Winston hasn’t gotten off to the hot fantasy start that fans had been hoping for under Bruce Arians. Last week, Winston faced a capable Panthers defense on a short week and posted only 208 yards and one touchdown. That’s not exactly the game you wanted if he was in your starting lineup. It’s important to note that although he didn’t provide your team with fantasy glory, he did have a good game by NFL standards. He threw zero interceptions and completed 64 percent of his passes.
Winston faces a porous Giants secondary this week at home. The Giants have already allowed five touchdowns and over 650 yards to the quarterback position. With the long rest after last Thursday’s game and an abysmal opposing defense, look for Winston to put up a monster performance with weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at his disposal.
Matthew Stafford (DK $5,500)
In the first two weeks, the Lions offense has been much more potent than last year’s trainwreck showing. Matthew Stafford took advantage of Arizona’s JV defense, and even against a more capable opponent in the Chargers, Stafford was able to rack up two touchdowns and nearly 250 yards.
He’s going against an Eagles defense that has allowed an average of 29.7 points to the quarterback position in their first two games. The Eagles are coming off of a devastating loss to the Falcons on a short week. Considering that they let Case Keenum of all people throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns against them, Stafford should be considered a QB1 on the road.
Jimmy Garoppolo (DK $6,200)
Kyle Shanahan’s offense is finally starting to live up to the hype that surrounded it when he first took the job. Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy and has looked impressive so far this season. Last week, Garoppolo and his crew obliterated the Bengals, putting up a staggering 41 points. This week, they play a reeling Steelers team that’s traveling cross-country to meet them in the bay. Both Tom Brady and Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions against Pittsburgh. After last week’s stellar performance, Garoppolo is heading into a plus matchup with momentum on his side.
Quarterback Sit Em
Carson Wentz (DK $5,600)
Carson Wentz comes into this week with a decimated receiving corps. Both Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson appear to be out for this week’s game. Even Wentz himself went down temporarily after a brutal hit against Atlanta. Wentz did not look impressive last week in a game where he was only able to manage one touchdown against the Falcons and threw two interceptions with a 58.1 completion percentage.
The Lions, Wentz’s opponent this week, held Philip Rivers under 300 yards and out of the end zone last week. If you can, stream the position this week and avoid starting Wentz as your quarterback.
Kyler Murray (DK $5,800)
Who says the air raid offense has no place in the NFL? Kyler Murray would beg to differ. The rookie started the season off on the right track by throwing for over 300 yards in his first two outings. Murray has shown what he can do in the NFL, but this hasn’t translated over to fantasy just yet. Despite his overall yards total, Murray has only thrown for two touchdowns this season. This week, Murray plays the Carolina Panthers, who have been dominant against fantasy quarterbacks thus far, allowing a combined total of 394 yards and two touchdowns to Jameis Winston and Jared Goff. The rookie is making a name for himself in the league, but I’d stay away from him this week.
Andy Dalton (DK $5,300)
The Red Rifle has surprised and delighted fantasy owners this season who either drafted him at the end of their drafts or scooped him off of waivers. Don’t let his stat line in last week’s game fool you. A big chunk of his numbers came late in the game when he threw a 66-yard touchdown to John Ross. If not for that play, owners would have dropped Andy Dalton faster than the 49ers ran up the score last week. Dalton heads into Buffalo this week where he’ll face a sturdy defense that has only allowed two touchdowns through the air this year. It’s best to sideline Dalton this week where he can catch up with A.J. Green on your bench.
Running Back Start Em
Mark Ingram (DK $5,400)
Who knew that by leaving New Orleans last season, Mark Ingram would get off to such a hot start in 2019? Ingram didn’t put up epic numbers last week the way he did against the Dolphins in week 1, but that being said, he was clearly in control of the Ravens backfield. Vegas has the Chiefs against the Ravens as the highest-scoring game of the week. The way these two high powered offenses have looked to start the year, who can blame them? Where there are points, there is fantasy production. Fantasy owners should line up all of the key players in this matchup.
The Chiefs have allowed 5.9 yards per carry to the running back position, and the Ravens will be able to keep pace with the high flying Chiefs offense, which will allow them to run the ball throughout the game. Ingram will be a stud in this week’s scoring frenzy.
Matt Breida (DK $5,400)
Ok, I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that San Francisco is clearly going to feast against Pittsburgh’s defense this week. In last week’s matchup, Matt Breida ran for 121 yards on only 12 carries. That’s the kind of hyper-efficiency we’re used to seeing out of a Kyle Shanahan led offense. San Francisco is employing a committee approach with their corps of running backs, but Breida is clearly the top dog.
Pittsburgh will be hard-pressed to put up points this week with Mason Rudolph at the helm, which makes for a great game script for Breida and the gang. Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson might siphon away some of Breida’s work, but I expect him to be plenty efficient this week.
Aaron Jones (DK $6,100)
Yes, it is infuriating to hear Matt LaFleur talk about getting the mediocre running back that is Jamaal Williams more touches in the offense, but don’t let that scare you off of Aaron Jones. Jones dominated Minnesota last week, averaging five yards per carry on 23 rushing attempts and a touchdown. Counting his four receptions, that’s a total of 27 touches. Part of what allowed Jones to get such heavy workload was the positive game script in what looked to be an early blowout of the Vikings.
This week, the Packers are facing the Broncos in Lambeau. The Broncos have allowed 23 and 18 carries respectively to the top rushers they’ve faced in their first two games. Joe Flacco can’t get the ball in the end zone, and this has allowed teams to run the ball heavily on their defense. The Packers should jump ahead to an early lead in the game, and Jones should receive a hefty workload, despite Williams lurking behind him.
Running Back Sit Em
Adrian Peterson (DK $4,000)
The ageless wonder salvaged his day last week with a goal-line touchdown against the Cowboys, but other than that, it wasn’t a pretty game, as Peterson only averaged 2.5 yards per carry. This week, Adrian Peterson plays a stout Bears defensive line. This is the same Bears defense that only allowed the aforementioned Aaron Jones 39 yards in the season opener. Peterson was a strong fantasy option last season, and with Guice out again, he looks to get the majority of work on the ground. His upside is limited on a week-to-week basis, as he won’t garner many receptions with Chris Thompson waiting in the wings. Peterson will have a few good games this season, but I wouldn’t play him against this defensive juggernaut.
James Conner (DK $6,400)
Will he play or won’t he play? That’s not the question you want to be asking about your starting fantasy running back. Conner came out of last week’s game with a knee injury and has been on Pittsburgh’s injury report all week. Putting the banged-up knee aside, James Conner hasn’t been efficient with his touches this season, averaging only 2.6 yards per carry. To make matters worse, the Niners have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. With an inexperienced quarterback running the show against a solid defense on the road, Conner is a low-end RB2 this week.
Joe Mixon (DK $5,500)
I guess I’m equally as scared of the Bengals offense as I am in love with San Francisco’s. Joe Mixon has been hampered this season by an ankle injury, and his team is likely to be trailing points against the Bills this week. If they fall behind, Giovani Bernard is likely to be a factor in the passing game. Mixon only got 11 carries last week and managed to scrape up only 17 yards. Taking away last week’s performance by Saquon Barkley and the Giants, the Bills only allowed 64 total rushing yards to the Jets (Le’Veon Bell) in week 1. Better days are in store for Mixon, but that statement doesn’t qualify in this week’s game.
Wide Receiver Start Em
Kenny Golladay (DK $6,600)
Matthew Stafford has looked Kenny Golladay‘s direction often this year. Golladay already has 19 targets and is going against an exploitable Eagles secondary who let both Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones go off last Sunday. The Eagles have allowed five touchdowns through the air, and the Lions will have a hard time running the ball against their front line. Stafford is going to have throw to his favorite target this week if they hope to have success on offense. The Eagles are coming off of a heart-breaker, and I expect Golladay to scorch that suspect secondary.
Stefon Diggs (DK $6,000)
Last week, Stefon Diggs was robbed of a huge fantasy performance. Kirk Cousins missed him on a deep ball, and he had a second touchdown that was called back due to a questionable offensive pass interference call made by the refs. Multiple receivers like Demarcus Robinson and Courtland Sutton have already had massive success against the Raiders defense, and Stefon Diggs is still Kirk Cousins first read in the red zone. Though he only finished with one reception against the Packers, he still saw seven targets. Look for a big bounce-back week against the Raiders.
Chris Godwin (DK $6,900)
What an opening act Chris Godwin has put on display this season. He leads the team in targets, and last week’s game set him apart from the rest of the receivers in his draft tier. Jameis Winston loves throwing to his safety blanket, and Bruce Arians has a history of giving heavy utilization to his slot receivers, a la Larry Fitzgerald. This week, Godwin gets to enjoy a juicy matchup against the Giants. For all of the same reasons I love Winston, I love Godwin as well. If Winston puts up the game I expect him to, Godwin will be the primary beneficiary.
Wide Receiver Sit Em
Terry McLaurin (DK $4,500)
I don’t think anyone saw Terry McLaurin’s breakout coming. He flew under the radar in all of the preseason and training camp excitement. He’s put up two touchdowns in his first two games, and he’s established himself the number one option in Washington. I’m just as excited about the rookie as anyone, but this week I’m putting him on the back burner.
McLaurin is playing one of the most difficult defenses in football. The Chicago Bears pass rush is going to overwhelm the Redskins O-line, and we’ve all seen how Case Keenum performs under pressure. The Bears have only allowed two touchdowns on the season, and it’s hard to imagine Keenum putting up big numbers against a secondary that held Aaron Rodgers in check. He’ll be back, but stash him on your bench this week. If you can, buy low after this week’s performance.
Jarvis Landry (DK $5,300)
Jarvis Landry has fallen from fantasy grace in an offense that doesn’t look nearly as great as the preseason hype led us to believe. He’s gone away from his bread and butter underneath routes and is playing more downfield. In Miami, Landry averaged less than eight yards per target, while in Cleveland he’s averaging over 11. Freddie Kitchens isn’t allowing one of his best weapons to do the thing that makes him elite. Landry is a bonafide slot stud that’s been forced to play on the outside more than he (or we) would like. Landry plays a stingy Rams defense that hasn’t allowed over 250 passing yards in a game yet. I’m still hopeful that Baker Mayfield and the Browns can get things rolling, but this isn’t the matchup I expect that to happen in.
Robby Anderson (DK $4,800)
Hopefully, most of you aren’t starting Robby Anderson at this point, but I know how hard it is to bench someone that you were so high on during the draft season. Without Sam Darnold, Anderson just isn’t someone you should be looking to play. The Jets offense looked awful last week against the Browns, and I don’t want any of Luke Falk‘s receiving weapons in my starting lineup. Anderson faces New England in Foxborough this Sunday. The Patriots haven’t let an opposing offense score a single passing touchdown this season. After Monday night’s showing, it’s hard to imagine the Jets offense doing much, if anything, with the ball in their possession.
Tight End Start Em
Greg Olsen (DK $3,700)
Greg Olsen has been a solid fantasy starter for years at this point. He’s in the twilight of his career, but he’s still putting up performances that make you question when he’ll actually hang up the cleats. Last week, Olsen secured six receptions on nine targets and managed to snag 110 yards in the process. The Panthers appear to have an inexperienced quarterback in Kyle Allen starting this week.
Kyle Allen is a young guy, and Olsen will likely act as his safety valve. Olsen isn’t a sexy play, but I think his floor here is solid. He’s going against the Cardinals who seem to have a difficult time guarding the position, as they’ve already given up three touchdowns to tight ends this season. Olsen will see a handful of targets, and in this tight end landscape, opportunity is all that you’re looking for.
Evan Engram (DK $5,200)
I like Engram for a lot of the same reasons I like Olsen. He’s got a young quarterback in Daniel Jones who’s going to need a check-down target, and he’s talented enough to consistently get open. Let’s face it, Evan Engram is the only show in town right now for the Giants passing attack. With Sterling Shepard struggling with injuries and Golden Tate serving his four-game suspension, Daniel Jones doesn’t have many places to go with the football. He’s seen 22 targets in two weeks, and with the Giants likely chasing points against the Bucs this week, Engram’s target volume should stay consistent. He’ll get plenty of work, and if he gets into the end zone, he’ll be a top-three tight end on the week.
Vance McDonald (DK $4,300)
What a wild year it’s been for the Steelers. Le’Veon Bell flew the coop, Antonio Brown demanded his exodus, and now Ben Roethlisberger is out for the year. What a fall from grace. Getting away from the doom and gloom picture I’m painting, if you’re a Vance McDonald owner, this might not be the worst news. Vance did most of his damage last week with Mason Rudolph under center.
Vance is a dangerous red-zone weapon, and I don’t expect Rudolph to get away from his big, play-making tight end near the end zone. The 49ers are home favorites this week, and it’s likely that they jump out to an early lead against the Steelers. If Rudolph is forced to pass the ball, look for Vance to offer relief to the youngster in the middle of the field and near the pylon.
Tight End Sit Em
Tyler Eifert (DK $3,200)
Yes, there’s another Bengals player on my sit list. What can I say? I think things are going to get really ugly for this team in Buffalo. Buffalo did a decent job containing Evan Engram, holding him to six receptions and 48 yards. Make no mistake, Tyler Eifert is no Evan Engram. Eifert has proven this year that he’s a touchdown-dependent player like the rest of his peers at the position. The Bills have only given up 66 yards to opposing tight ends this season, and it’s unlikely that Eifert is going to buck this trend. Unless by the grace of God the Bengals find themselves near the end zone and Eifert falls in, it’s going to be a disappointing week if he’s in your lineup.
Will Dissly ($3,400)
In all fairness, I like Will Dissly. I think he’s a sleeper this season. On the other hand, the Seahawks offense isn’t one where I like starting receiving options based on their offensive mentality. I suppose beggars can’t be choosers though at the tight end position. The pace of play won’t be on Dissly’s side this week. The Saints are marching into Seattle with Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback. The legion of boom isn’t what it used to be, but ask yourself, do you really expect the Saints to take the field and turn this into a barn-burner? If Seattle has their way, they’re going to hand the ball off to Chris Carson as much as possible and keep things slow and steady. Wilson could only have 20 passing attempts for all we know. In a low-volume passing offense, I’m inclined to not play the quarterback’s third read.
Kyle Rudolph (DK $3,400)
You want to talk about a slow start to a season? How do three receptions and nine yards after two weeks sound? That is the unfortunate stat line attached to Kyle Rudolph‘s good name. One thing is clear, Rudolph just isn’t a focal point of the offense right now. With so much talent in Minnesota, it makes sense that Rudolph is a peripheral player for the time being.
If the Broncos were able to find success on the ground against the Raiders, I’m willing to bet that Dalvin Cook will as well. Cook is in line to get 20-25 touches this week, and he’ll boast a hearty stat line to go with it. The Vikings want to keep the ball out of their quarterback’s hands, and the limited passing attempts he gets to throw will be divvied amongst Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Barring a goal-line touchdown, Rudolph could give you a big goose egg on your scoreboard.
Cowboys (DK $4,300)
Patriots (DK $3,800)
Ravens (DK $2,500)
Broncos (DK $2,600)
Chargers (DK $2,500)