It’s only Week 3, but many fantasy teams are already in midseason form…injured with the dubious ‘questionable’ tag attached to at least one player. Even though the NFL has all but eliminated ‘probable’ in hopes of less last-minute injury decisions, it just can’t be prevented.
One of the biggest injuries to occur last weekend was when Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke a bone in his foot. He will be out for at least two months while he heals. Rookie RB Christian McCaffrey will benefit from more targets. QB Cam Newton needs a new reliable target and he could be that guy for short range dump passes.
Did you pick up any sleepers this week that will hope to pay off?
Who will emerge from Seattle’s crowded backfield this week?
We help navigate the many decisions you need to make going into the second week of fantasy football.
Here is our Fantasy Football Sit/Start for Week 3 of the 2017 NFL season.
I want to explain what I mean by “sit” and “start.” Of course you are going to start some of the guys i say to bench this week, because you probably used high draft picks or a lot of money in an auction for them. My ‘sit’ players are guys I am just not completely sold that they will have good weeks. If you have a guy that you are on the fence about, maybe this will help you pick between the players.
- RB Chris Thompson (Washington Redskins) – I waited to add a Redskins running back to the ‘start’em’ area until the backfield situation played out a little more. RB Rob Kelley has been hampered by a rib injury and RB Samaje Perine filled in for him. Thompson is the receiving-threat out of the backfield and QB Kirk Cousins loves to check down to RB and TE. The Raiders have been very good against the run so far, so I expect Cousins to use short passes to Thompson in lieu of rushing the ball.
- WR Tyrell Williams (Los Angeles Chargers) – The Chiefs have been scoring a ton of points, so opposing teams have had to pass to catch up to them. KC opponents will get a lot of garbage time fantasy points through the air. I expect KC to score a lot against the L.A. Chargers (it still feels weird to type). Williams is currently fourth in targets on the team. He’s only trailing WR Kennan Allen, TE Hunter Henry & RB Melvin Gordon. Williams has had back-to-back 54 yard games. If you’re in a pickle and need a WR3 in a 12-team league, Williams would be a nice start.
- QB Jay Cutler (Miami Dolphins) – Miami didn’t do a lot of passing in last week’s game. RB Jay Ajayi ran for 122 yards in their win over the L.A. Chargers. Miami faces the N.Y. Jets this week, a team that has given up almost 20 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The Jets secondary isn’t very good and worse than their front-seven. Ajayi could meet some resistance and Cutler will need to use his arm more.
- RB Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers) – Panthers TE Greg Olsen broke a bone in his foot and will be out 6-8 weeks. TE Ed Dickson will replace him, but his hands are a question mark. Newton needs a short-yardage option and the Saints are horrible defending against opposing pass-catching RBs. The Saints have already allowed 185 receiving yards to running backs on 18 catches on just 22 targets. This could be McCaffrey’s breakout game in the NFL.
- New England Patriots Defense & Special Teams – The Houston Texans have allowed the second-most fantasy points against opposing team’s DEF/ST. Their quarterback situation has led to most of those points. Houston rookie QB Desean Watson will have a rough time against Bill Belichick’s defense.
- RB Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) – If Titans RB DeMarco Murray’s hamstring forces him out of this week’s game, Henry will be a solid start. If Murray plays, Henry may only get a few extra carries than he normally does, but Henry is clearly the backup RB in Tennessee. Keep an eye on Murray’s status.
- WR J.J. Nelson (Arizona Cardinals) – QB Carson Palmer hasn’t looked very sharp this season, but he has connected on a few perfect passes to J.J. Nelson. They face the Cowboys this week, who had issues covering receivers last week against Denver. Palmer may not be perfect, but I think Nelson can do enough to be a good fantasy addition this week.
- RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – We found out which running back will take advantage of Doug Martin’s suspension. Rodgers had 19 carries for 67 yards and was in the game for almost the entire contest. The Vikings are solid against the run, but Rodgers can be a nice substitute if you don’t want to deal with the muddy backfield situations in Seattle, Minnesota or Arizona.
- TE Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts) – Doyle was the lone bright spot for the Colts offense last week. QB Jacoby Brissett completed every pass he threw to Doyle last week. He has the best hands on the team. I expect him to get plenty of targets this weekend.
- WR Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers) – As I said previously about McCaffrey, QB Cam Newton will be in search of a new security blanket. He has relied heavily on TE Greg Olsen over the last three seasons. Funchess got some targets last last game when Olsen left. He’s a big guy and will get some targets. This is probably more of a deep league play, but keep an eye on him moving forward this season.
- WR Jermaine Kearse (New York Jets) – QB Josh McCown doesn’t have any good receivers on the Jets. Other than Kearse, WR Robby Anderson is really the only other legitimate option. He does have RB Matt Forte in the flat, but he doesn’t help much when you’re down in the second-half and need big plays. Kearse will get a few deep chances a game. He will probably be successful on one or two of those plays per game. I think that’s worth a start if you’re in a 12 or 14-team league.
- WR Rashard Higgins (Cleveland Browns) DEEP LEAGUE ALERT – Higgins was added from the practice squad last week before their game against Baltimore. He surprisingly received the most targets on the team and hauled in seven catches for 95 yards. The Colts have allowed easy yards through the air…and with WR Casey Coleman out, Higgins is a fantasy option.
- All Seattle Seahawks Running Backs – I have no idea which guy will get the carries against the Titans. Last week against the Niners, RB Chris Carson got the most touches with Eddie Lacy as a healthy scratch, C.J. Prosise recovering from an injury and Thomas Rawls not being much of a factor. It was Rawls first game back, so they could have just been trying to get him a few reps. It wouldn’t surprise me if we never hear from Chris Carson again in fantasy. Rawls and Prosise may re-take the carries again. It’s just cramped and I’d rather just avoid them.
- TE Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons) – Hooper had a huge Week 1 with two touchdowns, but then followed that up with just two catches for seven yards. Hooper needed two big runs to score those touchdowns against the Bears. I don’t see him being a very reliable fantasy tight end this week. I’d go with TE Coby Fleener if you’re in the market for a tight end.
- RB Javorius Allen (Baltimore Ravens) – Allen was a trendy add to leagues this week after rushing for 66 yards and caught five catches for 35 yards. He could be a nice play in the coming weeks, but the Jaguars defense has been great covering short passes. I wouldn’t start Allen this week.
- Oakland Raiders Defense & Special Teams – The Raiders were an okay matchup last week against the Jets, but I don’t trust their defense against the Redskins. Cousins will try to push the tempo and the Raiders defense has given up a few big plays through the air. There are just smarter choices out there to start at DEF/ST.
- WR Terrance Williams & QB Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) – Dallas had one hell of a bad game against Denver last week. They need to keep trying to feed the ball to RB Ezekiel Elliott this week. The Cardinals front-seven is a bit soft, but their secondary is very talented. I don’t see Prescott throwing more than 25 times this week, so Williams won’t get the targets to be fantasy viable.
- RB Frank Gore (Indianapolis Colts) – As a member of the Colts, Gore has received most of his rushing yards in garbage time. If the Colts aren’t ahead late in the game, he will most likely have around a dozen carries for less than 50 yards. There are other guys out there with more upside.
- QB Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) – Seattle’s offense has played like they all decided to start the season in October. They will have some trouble this weekend against Tennessee. The Titans have an underrated defense and I don’t see Wilson having a good fantasy game, especially if the Titans get pressure.
- RB Adrian Peterson (New Orleans Saints) – Why is Peterson still owned in nearly every league? Give up, guy…he is no long a fantasy stud. He’s not even noteworthy in my opinion. RBs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are more well-rounded running backs. Peterson has shit hands and in the Saints offense, you have to be able to catch the ball.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.