Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 3by Mike Fanelli September 25, 2021 1 comment
The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone. Now fantasy owners struggle with the weekly decision about which players to start, which to sit, and which to use as a sleeper. To help with that, I will provide two starts, two sits, and two sleepers at each position every week. Be sure to reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.
All stats are base on four-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring.
START: Matthew Stafford vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Some might be scared of playing Stafford this week because of the matchup against the Buccaneers. However, the matchup isn’t bad as this game will be a high-scoring contest between two high-scoring offenses. Furthermore, the Buccaneers have given up an average of almost 22 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. In Week 1, Dak Prescott threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns while Matt Ryan had two touchdowns and 300 passing yards against the Buccaneers last week. Meanwhile, Stafford has played great this season, averaging 20.8 fantasy points per game. He has just under 600 passing yards and five touchdowns against only one interception this season. Both teams have dangerous passing attacks, and Stafford has top-seven upside this week.
START: Daniel Jones vs Atlanta Falcons
Over the first two weeks of the season, Jones has been the QB4, averaging 25.4 fantasy points per game. He has scored over 21 fantasy points in both games, in part thanks to his rushing ability, averaging over 12 fantasy points per game on the ground this season. Meanwhile, the Falcons have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, giving up over 29 per game. Furthermore, the Falcons have given up 540 passing yards and eight passing touchdowns this season. In Week 1, the Falcons gave up almost nine rushing yards per carry to Jalen Hurts. After two strong performances, Jones is a must-start this week against a horrible Atlanta defense.
SIT: Baker Mayfield vs Chicago Bears
Entering the season, Mayfield was a popular sleeper pick. However, in two games, Baker has thrown for only one touchdown and is averaging 15.1 fantasy points per game. While Baker has played well for the Browns, his situation limits his fantasy value. Now with Jarvis Landry on injured reserve, Mayfield’s supporting cast takes a hit. Meanwhile, the Bears have held quarterbacks to an average of 17.3 fantasy points per game. Last week, the Bear held Joe Burrow to only 10.3 fantasy points. Not only is Mayfield without his favorite wide receiver, but he is also dealing with a shoulder injury. Mayfield is a low-end QB2 this week against the Bears despite the return of Odell Beckham Jr.
SIT: Jameis Winston at New England Patriots
After a historical performance in Week 1, Winston crashed down to Earth last week against the Carolina Panthers. He completed only 50 percent of his passes for 111 yards and no touchdowns. Instead, Winston tossed a pair of interceptions. Things don’t get better this week for Winston against the Patriots. While the Patriots have faced a young quarterback in both games this season, they are allowing only 9.4 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, they had given up only one passing touchdown this season compared to five interceptions. With limited help around him and a tough matchup this week, fantasy owners need to sit Winston.
SLEEPER: Matt Ryan at New York Giants
Ryan had a very rocky start to the season in Week 1, finishing with only 7.4 fantasy points against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the entire Atlanta offense picked up their play last week. Last week, Ryan threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers, finishing with 16.3 fantasy points despite throwing three interceptions. Meanwhile, the Giants have given up at least 20 fantasy points in both their games to quarterbacks. Furthermore, in his second career regular-season start, the Giants gave up 336 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 20 fantasy points to Taylor Heinicke last week. Ryan has two elite weapons at his disposal and a defense that can’t stop a nose bleed. He should have at least 20 fantasy points tomorrow.
SLEEPER: Justin Fields at Cleveland Browns
Head coach Matt Nagy announced on Wednesday that Fields would start this week against the Browns. In limited play last week, Fields scored 3.5 fantasy points. However, with a full week to prepare as the starter, he should play much better this week. Meanwhile, the Browns have given up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, giving up 27.9 per game. Moreover, the Browns have given up over 560 passing yards and five passing touchdowns this season. The Browns gave up 7.5 fantasy points to Tyrod Taylor on the ground last week despite leaving early with an injury. Meanwhile, Fields has 11 rushing attempts this season for 34 yards. Expect the Bears to feature Fields’ rushing ability this week, leading to plenty of points for his fantasy owners.
START: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Los Angeles Chargers
Edwards-Helaire has struggled this season, averaging only 6.4 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, CEH has rushed for under 50 yards in both games. Moreover, he hasn’t scored a touchdown this season and had the game-ending fumble last week against the Baltimore Ravens. However, Edwards-Helaire is in a prime position to bounce back this week. The Chargers have struggled to slow down running backs this season, giving up over 27 fantasy points per game to the position. They have given up at least 100 rushing yards in both games, giving up an average of 143.5 per contest to go along with two rushing touchdowns. Expect the Kansas City Chiefs to feature CEH this week, leading to his first game with over 75 rushing yards this season.
START: Myles Gaskin at Las Vegas Raiders
This season, Gaskin has only 14 rushing attempts in two games. However, he is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He also has a role in the passing game, catching nine of 10 targets for 48 receiving yards. While Gaskin has averaged only 10.6 fantasy points per game this season, expect him to have a massive performance this week against the Raiders. So far this season, the Raiders have given up an average of 112 scrimmage yards and 25.2 fantasy points per game to running backs, including three touchdowns. The Dolphins will be without Tua Tagovailoa this week. Starting in his place will be Jacoby Brissett. Expect the Dolphins to feature Gaskin and limit what they put on Brissett’s shoulders.
SIT: Devin Singletary vs Washington Football Team
During the 2020 season, Singletary averaged only nine fantasy points per game. However, Singletary has started this season off with back-to-back strong performances. Singletary has averaged over 6.2 yards per attempt and scored at least 11 fantasy points in each game this season. Furthermore, the Bills have given Singletary 14 or more touches in both games. However, the matchup isn’t fantasy-friendly for Singletary as Washington has held running backs to the sixth-fewest fantasy points this season, giving up only 13.9 per game. Furthermore, Washington has held running backs to under four yards per carry and only one touchdown this season. Washington has played well against the run this season but struggled to defend the pass. Expect Josh Allen to break out of his slump this week at Singletary’s expense.
SIT: Damien Harris vs New Orleans Saints
Against the New York Jets, Harris had a highlight-reel touchdown run, bouncing off several defenders before getting in the end zone. Over the first two weeks of the season, Harris has averaged 19.5 rushing attempts for 81 yards and 12.6 fantasy points per game. However, Harris has faced two poor run defenses this season, and that changes tomorrow. The Saints have held running backs to the eighth-fewest fantasy points giving up only 17.5 per game this season. Furthermore, running backs are averaging only 2.7 yards per carry against the Saints. Harris dealt with a finger injury and missed some practice time this week. Even if he is 100 percent healthy, Harris is a low-end RB3 this week against the Saints.
SLEEPER: Latavius Murray at Detroit Lions
With only a few days of preparation, Murray struggled in Week 1, averaging only 2.8 yards per carry. However, Murray played much better last week, averaging four yards per carry and finding the end zone. More importantly, Murray has started to earn more snaps, cutting into Ty’Son Williams’ role. Meanwhile, the Lions have given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season, giving up over 37 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, running backs have scored three rushing touchdowns and averaged 4.8 yards per carry against the Lions this season. The Ravens will use both Murray and Williams in this game. However, if the game gets out, expect the Ravens to lean on Murray when running out the clock.
SLEEPER: Cordarrelle Patterson at New York Giants
Through the first two weeks of the season, Patterson is the RB10, averaging 16.3 fantasy points per game. Patterson has averaged 68 scrimmage yards per game this season and is coming off a two touchdown performance last week against the Buccaneers. More importantly, Patterson is outperforming Mike Davis despite playing 50 percent fewer snaps. Meanwhile, the Giants have struggled to slow down running backs this season, giving up 27.8 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, the Giants gave up five receptions for 83 receiving yards to J.D. McKissic last week. Patterson has earned more playing time, and fantasy owners should view him as a flex option this week in PPR scoring.
START: Sterling Shepard vs Atlanta Falcons
If, by some chance, Shepard is still on the waiver wire in your league, stop reading and go add him. Over the first two weeks, Shepard is 12th in the NFL with 19 targets. He has caught 16 of them for 207 receiving yards, a touchdown, and scored 41.8 fantasy points. Shepard has at least 17.5 fantasy points in both games and ranks as the WR9 entering Week 3. More importantly, Shepard leads all wide receivers on the team in snaps, playing 93.9 percent of them. Meanwhile, the Falcons have given up 26 catches for 302 yards, five touchdowns, and an average of 43.1 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Fantasy owners should expect a top-15 finish from Shepard this week against a poor Falcons secondary.
START: Tyler Boyd at Pittsburgh Steelers
Originally, Tee Higgins was in this spot, but he has a shoulder injury and will miss the game. After a disappointing performance in Week 1 with only four targets and 6.2 fantasy points, Boyd bounced back last week. He finished with seven catches on nine targets for 73 receiving yards and 14.3 fantasy points against the Bears. More importantly, his nine targets were more than twice as many as Ja’Marr Chase’s four. Meanwhile, the Steelers have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, giving up an average of 46.7 fantasy points per game. Joe Haden will matchup against Chase, leaving Boyd with a favorable matchup as Burrow’s go-to weapon. Boyd has top-20 upside this week.
SIT: Deebo Samuel vs Green Bay Packers
The only two wide receivers with more fantasy points than Samuel this season are Cooper Kupp and Tyler Lockett. Samuel leads the league in receiving yards (282) and yards after the catch (156). However, Samuel had two favorable matchups to start this year. Tomorrow night, Samuel faces Jaire Alexander and the Packers. This season the Packers have held wide receivers to the sixth-fewest fantasy points. They have given up only 27.7 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, almost 10 fantasy points fewer than the league average. The San Francisco 49ers will want to run the ball and control the clock in an attempt to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. Between the game plan and the matchup against Alexander, fantasy owners need to bench Samuel.
SIT: Corey Davis at Denver Broncos
After his two touchdown performance in Week 1, Davis posted a dud last week against the New England Patriots as they held him to 2.8 fantasy points on five targets. Moreover, his quarterback struggled, throwing four interceptions compared to 19 competitions last week. Unfortunately for the New York Jets and Davis, this week’s matchup against the Broncos isn’t much better. The Broncos have held wide receivers to 37.9 fantasy points per game this season. However, last week they held the Jacksonville wide receivers to only nine catches on 24 targets for 71 receiving yards and a touchdown. The Jets might have Jamison Crowder this week, which would limit Davis’ target share. While Davis has a tough matchup this week, things look up starting next week against the Tennessee Titans.
SLEEPER: Jalen Reagor at Dallas Cowboys
Rookie DeVonta Smith has been the talk among wide receivers on the team this season, but Reagor has quietly played well. This season, Reagor has caught eight of his 11 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown, average 9.7 fantasy points per game. More importantly, Reagor has played the second-most snaps on the team behind Smith. This week, Reagor is in a great position against the Cowboys. Over the first two weeks, the Cowboys have given up fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, giving up 48.9 per game. Furthermore, wide receivers have totaled 32 catches for 483 receiving yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys this season. While Smith matched up against Trevon Diggs, expect Hurts to look Reagor’s way often Monday night.
SLEEPER: Zach Pascal at Tennessee Titans
Five wide receivers are tied for the league-lead at the position with three receiving touchdowns. They are Lockett, Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins, Adam Thielen, and Pascal. He has scored a touchdown in both games, averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game this season. Meanwhile, the Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, giving up an average of almost 65 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Titans have given up an average of 18 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns per game to wide receivers. While Carson Wentz is dealing with two ankle injuries, he practiced yesterday and could start tomorrow. Whether Wentz plays or not, Pascal is a flex option this week against a horrible Titans defense.
START: Tyler Higbee vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In Week 1, Higbee caught five of his six targets for 68 receiving yards and finished with 11.8 fantasy points. However, he disappointed last week, finishing with only one target and 1.8 fantasy points against the Indianapolis Colts. This week, fantasy owners should expect Higbee to bounce back in a good matchup against the Buccaneers. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Buccaneers have given up an average of 15.7 fantasy points per game to tight ends. Furthermore, tight ends have scored 15.5 or more fantasy points in both games against Tampa Bay despite not scoring a touchdown. Tight ends have averaged eight catches for 76.5 receiving yards this season against the Buccaneers. In what should be a high-scoring contest, expect Higbee to finish with double-digit fantasy points.
START: Dallas Goedert at Dallas Cowboys
With Zach Ertz’s status for Monday’s game in doubt because of Covid-19, Goedert is an excellent option at tight end. Goedert has six catches on seven targets for 66 receiving yards and a touchdown this season, averaging 9.3 fantasy points per game. More importantly, he is third on the team in targets and snaps played. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, giving up almost 19 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Cowboys have allowed tight ends to average 6.5 catches for 63.5 receiving yards and a touchdown per game against them. Even if Ertz plays against the Cowboys, Goedert is a top-10 tight end this week.
SIT: Logan Thomas at Buffalo Bills
Over the first two games, Thomas is averaging five targets and 10.8 fantasy points per game. However, Terry McLaurin, far and away, leads the team in targets with 18. Meanwhile, Thomas is tied for second with Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown in targets with 10. This week he has a tough matchup against the Bills. In their first two games, the Bills have shut down tight ends, holding them to the 10th fewest fantasy points, giving up only eight fantasy points per game. They have held tight ends to only seven catches for 90 receiving yards and no touchdowns this season. Last week with Heinicke under center, Thomas had only a 15.2 percent target share. With a touch matchup this week, Thomas is a high-end TE2.
SIT: Mike Gesicki at Las Vegas Raiders
For the third week in a row, Gesicki makes the sit list. After scoring zero fantasy points in Week 1, Gesicki finished with 7.1 fantasy points last week, catching three of his six targets for 41 receiving yards. However, the matchup is far from fantasy-friendly this week. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Raiders have held tight ends to an average of 3.5 catches for 28 receiving yards and 6.3 fantasy points per game. In Week 1, the Raiders held Mark Andrews to only five fantasy points on five targets. Furthermore, Gesicki has only an 11.3 percent target share this season. More importantly, Will Fuller will make his season debut tomorrow, further limiting Gesicki’s role. At this point, Gesicki is droppable in standard size leagues.
SLEEPER: Evan Engram vs Atlanta Falcons
It isn’t a great week for streaming tight ends. However, Engram is an appealing option if he plays. Engram has missed the first two games of the season with a calf injury. There was a chance he would play last week against Washington. However, with the short week, the Giants held him out. With 10 days rest, Engram will hopefully be ready to suit up tomorrow against the Falcons. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Falcons have struggled to defend tight ends. In Week 1, Goedert scored 14.2 fantasy points. Then on Sunday, Rob Gronkowski finished with 19.9 fantasy points and two touchdowns. If Engram plays, he has top-10 upside.
SLEEPER: Jared Cook at Kansas City Chiefs
Last week, Cook made the sleepers list but busted, scoring only 5.8 fantasy points against the Cowboys as the game flow went 180 degrees opposite of projection. However, Cook is third on the team with 13 targets and has a fantasy-friendly matchup this week against the Chiefs. Over the first two weeks, the Chiefs have allowed tight ends to average 15.8 fantasy points per game despite not scoring a touchdown. Furthermore, tight ends are averaging 6.5 catches for 93 receiving yards per game against the Chiefs this season. This game should be a high-scoring matchup, resulting in plenty of fantasy points for both teams. Fantasy owners should expect Cook to bounce back this week against the Chiefs.
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