JETS @ BROWNS - Matt
START - Tyrod Taylor
SIT - Sam Darnold
Even though the Jets defense has been tough on quarterbacks through the first two weeks of the season, Taylor should be able to find success in the air and on the ground. Taylor threw for 246 yards and a touchdown last week and had 77 yards rushing yards in week one. In a road match-up, I predict the Jets will struggle to contain this wily veteran quarterback. Taylor is projected for 18 fantasy points this week, start Taylor. Although Danold did throw for over 300 yards last week he also threw 2 picks. I don't like his weapons outside of Enunwa and there's no denying that the Browns have a stacked defense. Throw in the fact, they contained Drew Brees, for the most part, only allowing one completion for over 25 yards. Danorld is only projected to score 14 fantasy points this week, sit Darnold.
START - Carlos Hyde
SIT - Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell
The Jets run defense has been solid allowing the 4th fewest rushing yards over the first two weeks, but Carlos Hyde still figures to draw a lot of carries in a game Cleveland should dominate, making him a volume play with a good chance to score a touchdown. Hyde is projected to score 11 fantasy points. You can start Hyde but consider him a low-end RB2 vs the Jets. Duke Johnson has only touched the ball 11 times over the first two weeks. With that said, there have been some rumblings coming out of Cleveland about getting Duke more involved. Ultimately its best to play a wait and see approach before letting him anywhere near your lineup. Duke is projected to score 10 fantasy points, sit Duke. Predicting how the Jets running game will play out is tricky this week because on paper the stats look good for them. The Cleveland defense has given up the 8th most rushing yards this season. Most of the damage was done by James Conner who had 31 attempts in that game by the way. At the same time, Larry Ogunjobi and the Browns defense held Alvin Kamara to 46 rushing yards last week which could cause the Jets running backs to struggle to find running room in week 3. However, its possible for Powell to find production catching screen passes and dump offs out of the backfield making him a flex play in PPR leagues. Notably, Powell did produce five catches for 74 yards in week two and is projected to score 10 fantasy points so you can play him if you have no better options. On the other hand, I'm not optimistic for the Crow in this one. He's a one-dimensional runner and doesn't fit the game script. As mentioned before, running room will be hard to find against the Browns defense and Crowell will be a touchdown-dependent flex play. Crowell is projected to score 11 fantasy points, sit Crowell.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, Quincy Enunwa
SIT - Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor, David Njoku, Chris Herndon
As expected Jarvis Landry has been piling up targets over his first two games of the season. As for the Jets secondary they have been in the middle of the pack at covering wide receivers this year. Landry is clearly the number one receiver on the team now that Gordon is gone. He should be leaned on heavily this week to shoulder the load. Landry is projected to score 15 fantasy points this week, start Landry. Antonio Callaway had his breakout game last week with 81 receiving yards and a touchdown. Now that he’s the team's number two receiver his role should keep expanding all season. It will be interesting to see if Todd Haley can work his magic on this receiving core. Callaway is only projected to score 6 fantasy points, start Callaway despite the low projection total. The Browns defense has allowed the 8th most receiving yards but those stats are misleading because they faced Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown in back to back games. Either way, Enunwa makes for an interesting play because he has seen 10 targets in both games this season. Enunwa is projected to score 15 fantasy points this week, start Enunwa. Pryor and Anderson are intriguing emergency flex options in a game the Jets should be trailing and forced to throw early and often. Pryor is projected to score 5 fantasy points this week, sit Pryor. Anderson is projected to score 10 fantasy points this week, sit Anderson. Also, sit both tight ends.
BILLS @ VIKINGS - Matt
START - Kirk Cousins
SIT - Josh Allen
Kirk Cousins is coming off a game where he diced up the Packers en route to setting a new career best for touchdowns with 4 in addition to throwing for 425 yards. Now he faces off against the Bills in a home match-up. He should have no problem throwing 275 yards and 2 TD. I just hope for fantasy purposes the Viking don't jump out to a big lead and play ball control essentially running out the clock. Cousins is projected for 22 fantasy points this week, start Cousins. A week after making his first career start throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown, Josh Allen is being fed to the wolves in this contest. The Viking defense is no joke and they are easily a top 5 unit in the league, maybe even top 2. Allen will be scrambling for his life against this front seven. Allen is projected to score 9 fantasy points this week, sit Allen.
START -Dalvin Cook
SIT - Latavius Murray, LeSean McCoy, Chris Ivory
Cook scared his fantasy owners last week after going down in overtime with an apparent injury. Recent reports have stated it is nothing more than just a cramp. If reports are true and Cook is fully healthy assuming he gets a full workload this could be a huge breakout game for him. The Bill's have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to running backs on the season and Cooks usage in the passing game has been nice to see. But he's struggling to run the ball accumulating 107 receiving yards and only 78 rushing yards. However, he ranks 8th in the league for receiving yards at the running back position Cook is projected to score 16 fantasy points this week, start Cook. Latavius Murray is an afterthought unless Cook's injury turns into something more serious. It's been reported that McCoy has a cracked rib and will probably sit this one out. It doesn't matter because he wouldn't do anything against this defense anyway. McCoy was projected to score 9 fantasy points, sit McCoy if he plays. If McCoy is out Ivory will draw the start but keep him on your bench either way.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph
SIT - Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Charles Clay
Obviously, both the Vikings receivers are no-brainer starts. They couldn't be any hotter. Stefon Diggs exploded on the Packers scoring 3 touchdowns last week and will have no problem in the match-up this week as the go-to guy in the red zone for Cousins. Diggs is projected to score 15 fantasy points, start Diggs. Thielen started the year just as hot with back-to-back 100-yard games. Look for him to stay red hot and produce in his third straight. Thielen is projected to score 16 fantasy points, start Thielen. Rudolph is a TE1 and the third option on the team who has high touchdown potential no matter the match-up. Rudolph is projected to score 10 fantasy points, start Rudolph. With a rookie quarterback running the show the Bills offense is nothing more than a dumpster fire right now. Not to mention, the tough Week 3 match-up against a stout Vikings defense staring them in the face. Although, Benjamin did manage to salvage his fantasy day last week with a lucky touchdown. He is nothing more than a backup player that should ride the pine. Benjamin should only be started as an emergency bye week fill in. Benjamin is projected to score 9 fantasy points, sit Benjamin. Even though Zay Jones had a decent performance with 63 yards receiving last week but there are too many obstacles in the way for Jones to be considered in fantasy lineups right now. Jones is projected to score 6 fantasy points this week, sit Jones. Charles Clay was a bust last week with 29 receiving yards. Clay is projected to score 6 fantasy points, sit Clay.
GIANTS @ TEXANS - Matt
START - Deshaun Watson
SIT - Eli Manning
Watson had a better showing in week two then in his previous matchup throwing for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Giants have been impressive against the pass to this point allowing the 3rd fewest passing yards on the season. Those stats might be a little skewed after facing the Cowboys offense last week. Nevertheless, Watson remains a highly skilled passer with good receiving weapons at his disposal making him a top ten option. Watson is projected for 23 fantasy points this week so fire up Watson in this match-up. Eli Manning was beaten to a bloody pulp last Sunday at the hands of the Cowboys defense. He was sacked 6 times and it won't get any easier this week when J.J. Watt and company come to town. Jadeveon Clowney might not be playing so that helps relieve some pressure for Eli, but dd in the fact the Texans have allowed the 7th fewest pass yards on the season and Eli could be under a lot of pressure all afternoon forced to dink and dunk again. He is only projected for 15 fantasy point this week, sit Eli Manning.
START - Saquon Barkley, Lamar Miller
SIT - Jonathan Stewart, Wayne Gallman, Alfred Blue
Barkley only rushed for 28 yards last week but he caught an astounding 14 ball for 80 receiving yards. His 14 catches last week set a new franchise record. Regardless of the situation, New York seems adamant about force feeding the stallion one way or another. Barkley is a multidimensional feature back and the Giants are set out to prove why they drafted him number 2 overall. However, the teams run blocking has been horrible this year. The Giants are ranked last in yards blocked before contact 0.80. This weeks match-up couldn't have come at a better time because Houston's defense can be run on, allowing the 7th most rushing yards on the season. I fully expect the Giants t0 right the ship and shore up the blocking issues that have plagued this team for the past couple of years. Barkley is projected for 18 fantasy points this week, start Barkley. Lamar Miller is the only game in town for the Texans right now, that is until Foreman returns from his Achilles injury. Miller has averaged 16 touches per game this season. The Giant's defense is in the middle of the pack for rushing yards allowed. They have given up 5.2 yards-per-carry the 3rd most this season. Miller is projected for 11 fantasy points this week, start Miller
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Odell Beckham, Evan Engram
SIT - Sterling Shepard, Ryan Griffen
Last week Hopkins had 110 yards receiving yards and a touchdown while playing on a bad foot. Further proving why he is one of the best receivers in the game. This week Nuk will match-up with top corner Janoris Jenkins. Make no mistake about it, this will be a battle but Nuk is always hard to cover and should come out on top. Hopkins is projected to score 20 fantasy points this week, start Hopkins with confidence. The number two receiver on the Texans, Will Fuller, torched the Titans last week for 113 yards and a touchdown. For the most part, the Giants have held wide receivers in check this season allowing the 10th fewest receiving yards. With that said the Texans will scheme to contain Hopkins allowing Fuller to bust a long one in this game. Fuller is projected to score 10 fantasy points this week, start Fuller. Then there's Beckham, a top-flight fantasy option no matter the match-up even though he is coming off an unimpressive game last week. Its no secret the line struggled to give Eli adequate amount of time to throw. At the same point, Odell remains nothing short of amazing and is capable of going off for huge performances at any time. I anticipate the Giants moving Beckham around the field in this game exploiting the matchups. Beckham is projected to score 18 fantasy points this week, start Beckham. So far this season Shepherd has been inconsistent, only catching 8 balls for 72 yards through the first two games. Shepard is projected to score 11 fantasy points this week, sit Shepard. If the New York offensive line struggles to contain the Texans pass rush this week than Eli will be forced to get the ball out quicker which benefits Engram. He's coming off a solid game where he had 7 catches 67 yards and a touchdown expect more of the same this week. This is a good match-up for the highly skilled tight end. The Texans allow the 9th most fantasy points and receiving yards to the position. Engram is projected to score 10 fantasy points, start Engram.
PACKERS @ REDSKINS - Matt
START -Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith
SIT - None
Rodgers played well last week considering he was hobbled by a ligament strain and a deep bone bruise. Meanwhile, the Redskins defense will have the impossible task of covering Rodgers this week. To this point, the defense has been solid against the pass allowing the 2nd fewest passing yards 166 per game. That will probably change after this week because Rodgers wears a match-up-proof vest. He is projected for 26 fantasy points this week, start Rodgers. Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has thrown for at least 250 passing yards in his first two games. An important stats to remember the Packers allow the 7th most passing yards to quarterbacks 298 yards per game. I expect Smith to duplicate his passing yardage from last week in addition to throwing a couple touchdowns. Alex Smith is projected to score 20 fantasy points this week, start Smith
START - Chris Thompson
SIT - Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery, Adrian Peterson
William's has struggled through the first two weeks averaging 3.7 YPC. and Aaron Jones will make his return from suspension this week, further creating a messy committee in the Green Bay backfield. Another thing working against Williams is his opponent the Redskins are good against the run. Williams is projected for 10 fantasy points this week, sit William's and all other Packers running backs. It's no secret, Alex Smith loves to check down and Thompson is the beneficiary of it. After catching 13 balls for 92 yards Thompson is picking right up where he left off last season. He has scored at least 22 fantasy points in both games this season. Thompson is projected to score 12 fantasy points in week 3, start Thompson. Peterson will look to get back on track after impersonating Houdini and disappearing last week. It's also important to note, Washington should be trailing in this game forcing them to play catch-up. Even though the Packers are middle of the pack against the run, Peterson's style doesn't fit Week 3's game script. Peterson might not get his number called a lot and he's only projected to score 8 fantasy points in this one, sit Peterson.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Davante Adams, Randel Cobb, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Reed
SIT - Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson
Davante Adam's has scored in two straight games to start the season. He's consistently rock-solid every week and has proven to be Rodgers go-to receiver in the red zone. Adams is projected to score 15 fantasy points, start Adams. Cobb came back down to earth last week after a big Week 1 performance. Look for Cobb to bounce back this week and pile up the catches as a low-end WR2. He should wreak havoc running routes of the slot. Cobb is projected to score 13 fantasy points, start Cobb. Allison is hard to trust because Rodgers spreads the ball around so much. Unless an injury happens to one of the other receivers his receiving numbers will be inconsistent. Allison is projected to score 9 fantasy points, sit Allison. Even though Washington plays the tight end position tough only allowing 32 receiving yards per game 9th fewest in the NFL, expectations should remain high because Rodgers and Graham are starting to develop a connection. Jimmy Graham is coming off a game where he led the team in receiving yards catching 6 balls for 95 yards and a touchdown. Graham is projected to score 10 fantasy points so start Graham. It's hard to trust any Redskins receiver right now. I can't in good faith roll Crowder out there until he shows something. Crowder is projected to score 12 fantasy points, sit Crowder. If the game plays out to my expectations Reed should be a solid play. Last week he was targeted 8 times and he's the number one receiving option right now on the Redskins. Green Bay is allowing 57 yards per game to tight ends on the year. Reed is projected to score 10 fantasy points. As long as he is healthy to start him.
49ers @ CHIEFS - Josh
START - Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo
After setting a new NFL record for the most touchdown passes through the first two games of a season, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on a scorching pace. With a match-up with the San Francisco 49ers on tap, the young Mahomes is a must-start. In addition to his hot streak, he also has the added advantage of facing a defense that has surrendered 20-plus fantasy points to each of the first two quarterbacks it has gone up against. On the opposite sideline, Jimmy Garoppolo is also a solid starting option this week. Although the 49ers are at the disadvantage of being a West Coast team playing in the early slate of games on the road, the Chiefs defense is far too tasty of a match-up to pass up. The Chiefs have been burned by quarterbacks for more than 29 fantasy points and more than 38 fantasy points in the first two weeks this season. An easier match-up for a quarterback does not exist.
START - Kareem Hunt, Matt Breida, Alfred Morris
SIT - Spencer Ware, Kyle Juszcyk
Drafted as an RB1, Kareem Hunt is still a must-start in fantasy at this point in the season. While he has recorded just shy of 20 PPR points through two games, Hunt’s profile and the scoring threat of the Chiefs’ offense make him a threat for a big game any given week. As much attention as the Chiefs’ passing defense has gotten for being terrible, the unit also is very friendly to running backs in fantasy. Against the likes of Melvin Gordon (27.6), Austin Ekeler (23.6) and James Conner (19.5), the Chiefs have seen plenty of PPR points put on the board by tailbacks. The main threat for the 49ers is perceived to be Matt Breida, who leads the NFL in rushing yards entering Week 3. However, Breida and teammate Alfred Morris are in a timeshare for touches. In fact, Morris actually leads Breida in touches, 28-26, this season. Breida’s star performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 2 puts him as a front-runner for a flex spot this week. But Morris’ presence also is worthy of a lineup spot. As bad as the Chiefs have been against running backs, 10 touches can lead to a big day, as Ekeler proved in Week 1.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Marquise Goodwin, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, George Kittle
SIT - Pierre Garcon, Dante Pettis, Sammy Watkins
With plenty of real football points expected, it seems like a no-brainer to start most pass-catchers in this game. However, there are not many bona fide starts featured in this match-up. Marquise Goodwin still profiles as Garoppolo’s go-to wide receiver and is worth a lineup spot if he’s over his leg bruise and suits up. Other than that, only tight end George Kittle gets a starting nod for the 49ers in this one. With the state of the tight end position, Kittle is virtually a must-start at this stage in the season. There was hope last week that Dante Pettis could shine in the absence of Goodwin, but the rookie hauled in just one catch on two targets for 35 yards. Pierre Garcon also flopped in Week 2, going for 57 yards on four catches. Neither can be trusted this week. For the Chiefs, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are top-end plays and were drafted to be must-starts each week. There is no reason not to leave them etched into the lineup in pen. However, Sammy Watkins is one to leave on the bench. Throughout the preseason and in the opening game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Watkins was an afterthought in the offense, sliding in well behind Hill and Kelce in the passing pecking order. After going for 131 total yards and nabbing six of his seven targets in Week 2, Watkins undoubtedly is back in the good graces of fantasy managers. Still, one game amid a run of being seemingly left out of the offensive game plan leaves much more questions than answers, and the Clemson product is best left on the bench in this one.
RAIDERS @ DOLPHINS - Josh
START - None
SIT - Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill
For those finding themselves in an absolute emergency of a fantasy quarterback situation, Ryan Tannehill can be started. However, both Tannehill and Derek Carr should be avoided if there is access to any one of about 20 quarterbacks this week. Tannehill outscored Andrew Luck last week, so he has some momentum. But the Miami Dolphins quarterback delivers about the same performance in most weeks, as he’s good for about 15 fantasy points. With bye weeks not yet here and no major injuries for quarterbacks, Tannehill is still a bench option that is likely on many waiver wires. Carr also enters the contest with momentum after becoming just the eighth quarterback in the NFL to have completed at least 90 percent of his passes in a game. However, Carr is also the only one on that historic list to have accomplished the feat in a losing effort. The Oakland Raiders simply are too difficult to trust in this young season after two games that produced wildly different results.
START - Marshawn Lynch, Kenyan Drake
SIT - Frank Gore
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is quietly getting a lot of opportunities. He was not used during the latter stages of a Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but he followed that showing with 18 carries in Week 2. Lynch also found pay dirt in both contests while putting up PPR point totals of 12.9 and 14.8 in the first two weeks. He’s worth a lineup spot this week, especially with the likes of Devonta Freeman and Joe Mixon out of action. For the Dolphins, Kenyan Drake remains the only viable starting option in the backfield. While the rushing attempts have not been great in the first two games (25 carries through two contests), Drake has totaled 9.6 and 17 PPR points in the first two weeks, respectively. He may not be seeing the usage to be the RB2 he was drafted as, but Drake certainly is a solid flex option. The rest of the Dolphins’ carries have been going to Frank Gore. While Gore is worth a roster spot, he can’t be deployed in lineups. In each of the first two games, he received nine carries while adding just one catch thus far. He is not startable while Drake continues to be effective.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Amari Cooper, Jared Cook, Kenny Stills
SIT - Jordy Nelson, Mike Gesicki, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, Danny Amendola, DeVante Parker
One of the most polarizing players in fantasy football is Raiders receiver, Amari Cooper. He shows up on most start/sit Twitter polls and just mentioning his name is likely to start a debate. However, there is no debate on his talent, which is solid enough that he should be able to find some room to score fantasy points this week. Cooper is a low-end WR2 against a Dolphins secondary that has surrendered at least 12 PPR points to two receivers in each of their first two games. The only other Raider who is a start is tight end, Jared Cook. As with most tight ends, just the threat of a decent game makes Cook a start given the state of the position. On the Dolphins’ side, Kenny Stills is the only receiver who can be even mildly trusted in lineups after the first two weeks. Stills had a huge game in Week 1 but delivered a very low-scoring performance in Week 2. Stills is a start this week, but is much more of a PPR WR4 or flex play in this one.
COLTS @ EAGLES - Josh
START - Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz
The last time each of these quarterbacks were healthy and playing, they were top-five fantasy quarterbacks. With Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck returning this season after missing all of 2017 and Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller Carson Wentz now making his season debut after knee surgery, this game could a feature presentation of what will be the faces of the quarterback position for years to come. Both are must-starts when healthy.
START - Corey Clement
SIT - Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, Nyheim Hines
Philadelphia’s defensive line is a true wrecking crew. While the Colts offensive line is expected to be solid – not great, but solid – this season, there doesn’t figure to be much running room for the Indy tailbacks. Not to mention that the backfield committee is virtually untouchable for fantasy lineups. On the Eagles’ side, Jay Ajayi is not expected to play in this game. If he does, he likely will be limited, so if there are other options to turn to, he’s best left on the bench. In his place, Corey Clement figures to be the main beneficiary. A threat as a runner and receiver, Clement is a solid pickup of the waiver wire in a plug-and-play situation this week. Fellow Eagles tailback Darren Sproles also is expected to be out of action in this one with a hamstring injury. After not being close to playing in Week 2, Sproles is not a startable option should he suit up for this one, as he likely will have limitations.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Nelson Agholor, T.Y. Hilton, Zach Ertz, Jack Doyle
SIT - Alshon Jeffery, Eric Ebron, Ryan Grant, Chester Rogers
Nelson Agholor has become a solid WR2 in PPR formats, and while Wentz may not target him as heavily as Nick Foles did the first two weeks, he still should deliver solid numbers against a defense that hasn’t looked like the doormat it was a year ago. Tight end Zach Ertz is a must-start. Should Alshon Jeffery return to action for this game, he’s one to leave on the bench. After missing all of camp and preseason rehabbing his shoulder, it is hard to imagine Jeffery sees a full complement of snaps or targets. He may get a touchdown as a jump-ball receiver, but that is a score that needs to be sacrificed in order to see what his role is in his debut and figure out how long it will take before he’s an every-down receiver. For the Colts, receiver T.Y. Hilton is a must-start anytime Luck is at quarterback. At tight end, Eric Ebron has been a fantasy darling so far with a touchdown in each of his first two games. However, the former Lion has been on the field for fewer than 50 percent of the snaps in each of the first two contests. His touchdown upside is nice, but the snap count is a scary figure. Against a tough defense, Ebron should be on the bench this week. Jack Doyle, meanwhile, plays more than 90 percent of the snaps, and being on the field with Luck is a great way to score fantasy points. Doyle did miss practice Wednesday, but if he starts for the Colts,. he can start for a fantasy team. Should Doyle miss the game, Ebron can be slotted into the lineup under the same mantra as Doyle.
TITANS @ JAGUARS - Josh
START - Blake Bortles (contingency: if Fournette sits or will be limited)
SIT - Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert
For all the teasing and jokes pointed at Blake Bortles as a real-life quarterback, he actually is a great fantasy quarterback. With two seasons as a top-10 finisher under his belt, Bortles quietly is a good starting option depending on circumstance and match-up. With Leonard Fournette on the sideline, Bortles torched the New England Patriots in Week 2. If Fournette misses this Week 3 contest as he nurses his hamstring, Bortles can be trusted to turn in a good fantasy performance. His real-life performance may not be pretty to watch, the fantasy point total figures to be an attractive number. However, if Fournette returns to action, the handcuffs go back on Bortles, limiting his ability to score fantasy points and turn the football over. So Bortles is a start with the contingency of Fournette being out or limited. Neither Tennessee Titan quarterback can be started. Should Marcus Mariota play, there is no way to know if he finishes the game or if the nerve issue returns, which would curb his performance. Blaine Gabbert is just not good. And then there’s the fact they are playing the Jaguars defense, which is a terrifying thing to go up against.
START - Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon, Dion Lewis, Corey Grant (contingency: if Fournette sits)
SIT - Derrick Henry
If Leonard Fournette suits up, it is hard not to start him given his draft price as an RB1. Even in a limited role, the big back could tear off a long run or rumble into the end zone a couple times. If he plays, he’s a must-start. If Fournette either misses the game or is limited in his availability, backup T.J. Yeldon becomes a solid PPR option this week. Yeldon is a receiving threat out of the backfield and should still draw targets should Fournette play. On the season, Yeldon has seen 12 targets (he has only caught five of them, however, because Bortles is good at fantasy and not always good in real life). Corey Grant has some appeal in very deep PPR leagues and can be deployed as a dart-throw flex if Fournette misses or if Yeldon is held out with his nicked up ankle. However, Grant cannot be started if both Yeldon and Fournette are green-lighted for action. For the Titans, Dion Lewis is a solid PPR flex option because of his pass-catching ability. Derrick Henry, meanwhile, has not found room to run against either the Miami Dolphins or Houston Texans this season and shouldn’t be able to find any against the Jaguars. Henry is on the bench this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook
SIT - Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, Rishard Matthews, Tywan Taylor, Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Jaguars receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook can be started as low-end plays this week. Cole is coming off a solid performance against the Patriots in which he made a one-handed snag that has gone viral. Westbrook ripped off a long catch-and-run for a touchdown to make his fantasy day last week. The two wideouts are the top passing options in the offense and will be either helped or hurt by Bortles’ leash to throw the football. With Fournette nursing a hamstring injury, it’s a safe bet that Bortles gets another chance to show off his arm, making Westbrook and Cole the main beneficiaries. At tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of the Jaguars helped his fantasy case with a touchdown last week. However, the big man has just three catches in each of the first two games and has recorded just 25 or fewer yards in each outing. He’s a touchdown-dependent tight end that can be left on the bench this week. All Titans pass-catchers should be benched in this one. Not only do the questions at quarterback limit the starting pool to just Corey Davis on a good day, but the match-up chokes out any chance of a solid fantasy return for even him in this one.
BENGALS @ PANTHERS - Ben
START - Cam Newton, Andy Dalton
SIT - None
Cam scored 20 points in Week 1 without throwing a single touchdown and followed that up on the road against Atlanta with 34 points in Week 2. If you're even considering benching Cam, it better be because you have someone like this guy to start over him. As for the Red Rifle, Dalton threw two TD's Week 1 against the Colts, four more in Week 2 against Baltimore and has averaged 25 points a week for his fantasy. He has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal with AJ Green, John Ross, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Boyd and with Joe Mixon likely out, he could be in line for a record number of pass attempts. Volume and a high floor make Dalton a safe start, if somewhat unexciting.
START - Giovani Bernard, Christian McCaffery
SIT - CJ Anderson, Joe Mixon
Mixon is an obvious bench with his knee injury and that opens up a wagon load of opportunities for Bernard. Volume is gold in fantasy and Gio will get plenty of it as both a runner and pass catcher while Mixon is out. Gio is a volume play start and a cheap DFS option this week. In 2017 as a starter, Bernard went 30 yards on the ground with a TD and 3 catches for 17 against the tough Vikings D, he also posted 130 total yards and 6 catches against the Bears. Both would have been solid fantasy performances in standard and PPR formats. McCaffery is match-up proof at this point, especially in PPR formats with 20 catches and 234 yards from scrimmage this year. He'll find paydirt soon enough. His usage has made CJ Anderson an afterthought, where he shall remain until a better matchup then this arises.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - AJ Green, Devin Funchess, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Boyd, Jarius Wright
SIT - DJ Moore, Ian Thomas, John Ross
Green has four touchdowns in two weeks and has clearly found a groove with Dalton. Last week, Julio Jones managed only 5 catches for 69 yards against the Panther secondary but that's about where I put the floor for receivers of Green and Jones caliber, and that's why they're must starts. Funchess started to show his upside as the go-to-guy in Carolina during Week 2 when he hauled in 7 catches on 9 targets for 77 yards. His big body will get him more red zone targets as the season goes along and the Bengals defense gave up 15 catches for 200+ yards and a TD t0 Ravens receivers last week. That same D allowed 13 catches and a TD to Ryan Grant and TY Hilton in Week 1 so there is some vulnerability here and that puts Funchess and Wright as starts this week. Boyd and Eifert round out the starting crew with Eifert looking to pick up where Austin Hooper left off when he posted 5/59/1 last week against the Panthers. Boyd, coming 6 catches for 91 yards and a TD in Week 2 will watch the film on Calvin Ridley, who worked the #2 and #3 corners of Carolina for 4/64/1. Boyd, Wright, and Eifert carry some risks in this one, but I like a bit of offense here. Moore and Ross are the young big-play threats I'm fading, not because they aren't capable of hitting the home run, but simply because they aren't likely to be targeted consistently enough. Thomas is not a factor as the replacement for Greg Olsen.
BRONCOS @ RAVENS - Ben
START – Case Keenum, Joe Flacco
SIT – None
Both Keenum and Flacco have had surprise fantasy value in 2018. Flacco has averaged 25 points a week after throwing for 612 yards and 5 TD against the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, now he gets a Broncos pass defense that allowed Russell Wilson to throw for 300 yards and 3 TD despite being sacked 6 times and also surrendered a 90% completion rate to Derek Carr in Week 2. There is some risk given the strength of Denver’s pass rush and their ability to harass opposing QB’s, but it will be a home match for Flacco who is playing in a contract year so I like his chances. Keenum, on the other hand, came out hot with a three-touchdown performance in Week 1 and while he didn’t throw for a TD in Week 2, he did run one in salvaging his week. Despite dominating the human punching bag also known as Nate Peterman in Week 1, the Ravens were torched by Andy Dalton last week and will face an equally talented group of pass catchers on the Broncos. Flacco and Keenum should provide high floors this week as safe value starts.
START- Philip Lindsay
SIT – Royce Freeman, Alex Collins, Javorius Allen
This one gets a little tough to predict, but the undrafted rookie Lindsay has been one of the hottest backs in the NFL and checks in at #3 overall with 178 yards rushing through two weeks. He has consistently expanded his role in Denver since the start of training camp and will factor into both the ground and pass attacks. Freeman is likely to get work if Denver gets out to a lead that needs protecting, and he will still steal goal-line carries, but he’s not a lock for the volume the way Lindsay is. Mixon was off to a torrid start against Baltimore in Week 2 before getting hurt so there should be some room to run here. Collins and Allen are in a straight-up timeshare which makes both a little sketchy as starts this week. Allen has PPR appeal and has found the end zone each week so far, which almost led me to insert him into the starting category. I won’t blame you if you trot him out this week, but I would steer clear of Collins. Denver’s run defense has allowed only 3.6 yards-per-carry so far through two weeks and they are formidable up front, particularly against straight-line runners like Collins.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START – Emanuel Sanders, Michael Crabtree, Jake Butt, Demaryius Thomas, John Brown
SIT – Courtland Sutton, Willie Snead, BAL TE’s
Sanders is virtually match up proof at this point as Keenum’s most trusted target with 231 yards and a TD through two weeks, start with confidence. Thomas came close to getting his first sit tag this week after mustering only 18 yards on 5 catches, but it’s not the poor total that worries me. Thomas has had serious drop issues so far this year while Sutton has been making spectacular catches (even with a few being over-turned by suspect reviews). This is creating a potential dynamic shift that could see some of the 10+ targets a week that had been going to Thomas, flow over to Sutton. This is Thomas last week to reclaim his value, I’m betting he steps up. I also like the quietly emerging Butt as an affordable option at tight end this week. The second-year TE hauled in 4 of 6 targets for 48 yards last week and is beginning to make good on the talent that made him a 4th round pick in 2017. On the other side of the ball, there’s a lot of bodies in Baltimore to try to figure out which to trust. Flacco is utilizing a “hit the open guy” approach this year and spreading the targets around fairly evenly. That said, Brown has the big play ability that has presented some issues for Denver’s secondary this year and Crabtree’s talent and size will provide a match-up disadvantage. It’s a little bit of a dart throw to figure out who to trust in this one, but I’m comfortable with these two. Sutton, Snead and the entire Baltimore slate of tight ends can’t be trusted this week.
SAINTS @ FALCONS - Ben
START – Drew Brees, Matt Ryan
SIT – None
Brees will be Brees, this isn’t a tough enough Falcons’ defense to impact his fantasy value. After laying a complete dud in Week 1, Ryan exploded both through the air and on the ground in Week 2. You need a stifling D or a high powered offense to beat Drew Brees since Atlanta does have the D, Ryan will have to provide the offense.
START – Tevin Coleman, Alvin Kamara
SIT –Mark Ingram, DeVonta Freeman, Mike Gillislee
This is another pretty straightforward call. Kamara is truly elite and should be started at all times, and Coleman checks in as a true every-down horse with Freeman sidelined. Both should be in line for heavy volume as both runners and pass catchers.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START – Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Tedd Ginn, JR
SIT – Tre’Quan Smith, Ben Watson, Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu
Thomas and Jones are yet another pair of must-starts in what is likely going to be one of the most lucrative fantasy games of the week. Thomas has 28 catches on 32 targets through two weeks and is simply out of this world right now. Ridley and Ginn are where things get interesting. Ridley had himself a mini-breakout Week 2 with 64 yards and a TD and may be starting to carve out a role as the true #2 that Atlanta needs opposite Jones. The Saints pass defense is far from intimidating on the road making Ridley a nice roll of the dice. Ginn will serve in a similar role as the #2 weapon for Brees and presents a lethal big-play threat that will stress the Falcons secondary. In what will likely be a high scoring affair, Ginn will get every chance to get his. Despite both the Falcons and the Saints mixing it up in some high scoring affairs that yielded plenty of passing production, neither has been a good match-up for opposing tight ends. Zach Ertz, David Njoku, and OJ Howard have faced these two D’s and all have failed to produce, a trend that Watson and Hooper could overturn but there are better options out there. Smith and Sanu will be possible big game threats but are far from dependable.
CHARGERS @ RAMS – Ben
START – Jared Goff
SIT – Philip Rivers
Goff has been quietly consistent to start 2018 averaging over 20 points a week. He’s not the type of gunslinger who’s going to light the world up on a consistent basis, but he has an elite set of playmakers at his disposal and a high floor. Rivers is having one his hottest openings to a season in his career with 3 TD passes each week. The only problem is, it’s been against less than formidable defense between the Bills and Chiefs. The Rams defense is an imposing threat and despite the Chargers claiming LA as their home, it belongs to the Rams. Rivers is prone to the occasional melt-down and I’m smelling one brewing this week. This could be an astoundingly foolish call, but bench Rivers this week.
START – Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley
SIT – Austin Ekeler
It’s going to be tough to find room to work against the stingy Rams D, but I’m anticipating a lopsided win for the Rams which will be a lot of RB passes which is Gordon’s bread and butter. He’s also a Top 10 RB and should be started all weeks, but might be a fade in DFS formats. As for Mr. Gurley – see: Start, Must. He’s the best in the game, and a soft Chargers D isn’t going to stop him.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START – Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen
SIT – Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, Robert Woods, Antonio Gates, LA Rams TE’s
Cooks managed a nice breakout performance in Week 2 as he and Goff gelled for 159 yards against the Cardinals. Cooks is one of the most explosive talents at WR and appears to be on the same page with Goff making him a candidate for Top 10 production on a weekly basis. Allen is another elite target monster who will get the chance to feast on volume in a game that will likely see the Chargers throw a lot. That same logic would move Mike Williams into the starter role but, despite his Week 2 TD, I need to see just a bit more of a connection between him and Rivers before I greenlight the youngster. That said, if this does truly turn into a blowout, MW could thrive in garbage time. Kupp is Goff’s safety net and a red zone threat. That doesn’t always equate to trustworthy fantasy stats, but against a soft Chargers secondary it should produce points this week. I’m fading the rest of the field for this position group including Woods who is rapidly falling into the third wheel role on a deep Rams offense.
BEARS @ COWBOYS - Ciriaco
START - None
SIT - Mitchell Trubiski, Dak Prescott
This is a match-up that should closely mirror Sunday nights bore fest between the Giants and Dallas Cowboys. I anticipate a low scoring game as both of these teams will rely on their emerging defenses and, quite frankly, sit on the ball. With running back talents Jordan Howard and Ezekiel Elliott I anticipate most of the offense being run through them. These are also two emerging defenses that will make life difficult on the two signal callers. At this point, the only way I would start either of these guys is if I'm in a two QB or super-flex league. You will need a rushing TD to make either one startable on Sunday.
START - Ezekiel Elliott, Jordan Howard
SIT - Tarik Cohen
As I mentioned above I anticipate this game to be a defensive battle with the running game used, primarily, to move the offense. The fact that Zeke should never leave your starting lineup goes without saying. He will consistently get touches and that, above all else, is what drives fantasy scoring. As an added bonus he has eight catches already which would put him on pace to double his previous career high. Jordan Howard is similar to Zeke, not in body type or playing style, but in usage. He was an RB2 with 2400 plus yards and 16 total TDs in his first two years in an awful offense. He will get a ton of touches on what projects to be a better offense. He also looked competent catching the ball as he caught eight of his first nine targets so far this season. Sit Tarik Cohen until we get a better idea of his usage. He only received 14 opportunities, five through the air. With the Bears bringing in Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller this offense looks low scoring and one would need a crystal ball to decipher. I will pass until I have a better idea of his deployment.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Allen Robinson, Trey Burton
SIT - Everyone else.
Allen Robinson is the number one on this team. He is somebody Trubisky looked for consistently in the week two game against Seattle. Averaging over ten targets a game but lacking a TD, I expect him to keep his volume and reach the end zone for his first score of the season. There are not many appealing WR's in this game. Both have a lot of options but no strong number one WR. Allen Robinson is the only option I would feel comfortable starting. Tavon Austin had a 64 yard TD in the opening series for the Cowboys but would only catch one more the rest of the way. This will be two "dart throw offenses" in projecting the WRs for most of the year unless These two QBs get appreciably better. Burton stunk it up for his fantasy investors in Week 1 but did get six targets which is encouraging. If he had reeled in just half of those he would have been in the conversation for TE1. The point is it does not take much to be on that level and I would follow the targets in this situation. The Cowboys TE position is a complete dumpster fire and should be avoided at all costs. If you are rostering one of those guys I implore you to cut him immediately.
CARDINALS @ SEAHAWKS - Ciriaco
START - Russell Wilson
SIT - Sam Bradford
Wilson is a top five QB option and should never leave your starting lineup. If you benched him in favor of Tyrod Taylor, as some advised on Twitter, you may have begun "tilting" way too early. Wilson is the NFL's premier cheat code as he combines prolific passing with running stats. The only thing that could limit Wilson in this contest is if the score gets out of hand early and Seattle "calls off the dogs." But after what we saw Monday night and the fact that this is an inter-divisional game could lead to a close game. Sam Bradford had a couple games for the Vikings last year where he looked like one of the best QBs in the league. He was subsequently injured and was never the same. In 2018 Bradford has 243 yards with the same amount of touchdowns as most people reading this right not. Sam has exactly zero TDs to go along with 2 interceptions. Josh Rosen can't get into this lineup fast enough. Stay away.
START - David Johnson
SIT - Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny
Johnson is a scary start right now considering the Cardinals are a total dumpster fire. I wouldn't be too excited about my top 4 pick right now. But that is the point. You drafted him in the first four picks of your draft. It is entirely too early to tilt him onto your bench. A captain sinks with his ship and you will sink with Johnson. The minute he goes to your bench is exactly when he will break out for 30. The Cardinal's coaching staff knows they need to get DJ involved, especially in the passing game. A game with the Seahawks' defense, a shell of the Super Bowl-winning squad, is just what the doctor ordered. After watching Pete Carroll jerk around fantasy owners on a daily basis in regards to his starting RB's I will keep both of these guys glued to my bench. Seattle's offensive line offends all football fans and is the other primary reason to stay away from this value depleting timeshare.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Tyler Lockett, Will Dissly, Larry Fitzgerald
SIT - Ricky Seals-Jones
While both of these guys are borderline startable, I would be OK with starting them if you have no better options. Lockett is the defacto number one WR for Wilson and has caught a TD in both games this year. He should be able to avoid Patrick Peterson's coverage just enough to be a low-end flex this week. Dissly has also had two TD's in his first two games to go with his five targets. He is just good enough to be a low-end TE1 as long as Nick Vannet does not infringe too much on his snap share. I do not feel comfortable starting Fitz but he is the only WR of consequence in Arizona. He had 10 targets in week one before running into the buzz saw that is the LA Rams and coverage guys Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. In what is strictly a volume play, I can recommend starting Larry as a WR2 this week. Jones was a popular "late round TE" target in drafts this offseason but with Arizona's offense being a complete disaster he is not rosterable in anything but the deepest leagues with 20 plus roster spot available.
PATRIOTS @ LIONS - Ciriaco
START - Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford
SIT - None
In what projects as a shootout in a dome I would happily start either one of these QB's. Tom Brady, in week 2, went against the best defense in the league with limited offensive weapons and Rob Gronkowski doing next to nothing and still had 234 and two scores. Now he gets his former defensive coordinator whose defense got absolutely lit up in the first two weeks, once by a rookie making his first career start no less. Expect Brady to have a classic game while lighting up your fantasy scoreboard. Stafford got absolutely mauled in week one by an emerging defense as I was in fear for his life. Matt was able to "right the ship" in week two with 300 plus and three TDs, albeit in "catch up mode." I expect more of the same Sunday as this could be one o the highest scoring games on the Sunday docket.
START - Sony Michel, James White, Theo Riddick
SIT - Rex Burkhead, LeGarrette Blount, Kerryon Johnson
With this game projected as high scoring, I have a few RB's projected to have startable games. Sony Michel immediately came into last weeks Jaguars game and commanded 12 touches (10 carries and two targets). He was not efficient with those touches but I will give him a pass considering he was playing an all-time great defense in his first game action. Buy the usage. 2016 Super Bowl hero James White has been one of Tom Brady's most reliable targets out of the backfield for a few years. He has 17 targets in the first two games and I expect that to continue considering the lack of established targets in New England at the moment. Theo Riddick has 19 targets in two games early in the season. The Lions use Riddick on passing downs and those are the most valuable down for a non "bell cow" backs. I would feel comfortable with all of these guys as my flex or RB2 in an injury pinch. Rex Burkhead came into the season hurt and has played like it early in the season. He got 19 touches in week one but only parlayed that into 71 yards and a 3.56 average on the ground. He disappeared in game two once Michel came into the game. I still believe Rex will have some good games this year but it will be hard to predict until we see him healthy. LeGarrette Blount is a bum and is still rostered because he had 18 Td's for the Patriots two years ago. It's time to let him go. Detroit is playing both Bount and Riddick over Kerryon Johnson, who appears to be the best running back on the team. He is a better runner than Blount and appears, when watching him play, to be better than Riddick at pass catching. If he is on the field the defense can't be certain whether a pass or a run play is called. The sooner Johnson takes over at lead back the sooner the Lions offense can get to another level. Sit Johnson until he does.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Chris Hogan, Golden Tate, Kenny Golliday, Rob Gronkowski
SIT - Josh Gordon, Marvin Jones
In this game, I am tempted to tell you to start all receiving options. Those that sat Chris Hogan against the Jaguars watched their teams lose because they left his two TD's on the bench. He is a must-start until Julian Edelman comes back and Josh Gordon is ready to contribute. Golden Tate is one of the most reliable WR2's in the league and should be deployed as such weekly, especially in PPR leagues. Kenny Golladay has been a revelation in the first two games and looks to be the number one WR, if not now, soon. Josh Gordon may not play this week and if he does I would not get cute and start him. It will take time for him to integrate into this new system and learn the playbook. He may have some boom weeks and make some big plays, but I wouldn't rely on him to start for my fantasy team. Golladay eats into Jones numbers and barring a big play will be silent going forward.
STEELERS @ BUCCANEERS - Ciriaco
START - Ben Rothlesburger, Ryan Fitzpatrick
SIT - None
In what projects to be another shootout I will roll with both QB's in this one. FitzMagic followed up his week one demolition of the Saints to roll up another 400 yards and 4 TD's on the defending champs. If he can put up those kinds of numbers on that defense I will buy and ride until the wheels fall off. Even though Big Ben notoriously struggles on the road I would still start him in a game where Pittsburgh will have to score points to keep up with the red-hot Bucs.
START - James Conner
SIT - Peyton Barber
Conner was game scripted out of last weeks contest with the amazing Patrick Mahomes scoring early and often, forcing the Steelers into a pass-heavy attack. Conner saved his fantasy owners with five catches for 48 yards and a TD. The point is the Steelers believe in a one back system and Conner will get all of the touches, regardless of the score. Never sit that kind of usage. Barber was a popular sleeper pick for those that did not believe in Ronald Jones' talent. They were right about Jones but wrong about Barber. Even with all of the offensive success, the Bucs have had he only has 91 yards on 35 carries, good for a laughable 2.6 yards-per-carry. One catch for seven yards and zero TD's make him cut candidate, not a starting option.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
START - Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Shuster, Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, Chris Godwin
SIT - Jesse James, Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries
These all should be obvious starters. Brown and Juju could both finish the year as WR1's (top 12). Evans, Jackson, and Godwin all scored a TD in the first two games. While this can't last forever I still see a strong possibility all three continue to roll in a shootout. Jackson has resumed his role as the premier deep threat in the NFL after struggling to do much of anything with Jamesis Winston in 2017. All Godwin does is score touchdowns. He has scored at least one in every preseason and regular season game in 2018. A lot of people are rushing to pick up the "outlaw" Jesse James after his 138-yard performance Sunday. Don't be that guy. Vance McDonald is back and the two will be splitting time at tight end, making both hard to roster. You just witnessed Jame's career game. Don't chase that dragon as it is unlikely to happen again. The Bucs offense is much better when Brate and Humpries are not on the field. If those two are still on your fantasy roster release them immediately.
KICKERS - Josh
START – Stephen Gostkowski, Dan Bailey, Ka’imi Fairbairn
SIT – Cody Parkey, Chris Boswell, Adam Vinatieri
The simple analysis is that Stephen Gostkowski, Dan Bailey, and Ka’imi Fairbairn kick for teams that have good offenses, a favorable matchup and are in a dome this week. This is a great recipe for kicking success. On the flip side, Parkey and the Bears may not have the cakewalk most assume they will get in Arizona, so he’s on the bench despite an indoor setting. Chris Boswell and the Steelers figure to be in another shootout in Tampa Bay. However, Ben Roethlisberger typically does not play well away from home, and teams that are trailing in shootouts don’t typically settle for field goals. Boswell is a sit this week. Adam Vinatieri is a trustworthy veteran who kicks for a good offense that is helmed by a great quarterback. But against a tough defense in the unfriendly, and outdoor, confines of Lincoln Financial Field, Vinatieri is on the bench this week.
DEFENSES - Josh
START – Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals
SIT – Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots
Making the start list for fantasy defensive units are the Minnesota Vikings (hosting the Bills, who are bad, so there really isn’t much to say about this one), the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals. The rationale for the Browns’ is deeper than the Vikings, but not by much. Cleveland has looked really good on defense in the first two weeks and lead the league in turnovers. With a rookie quarterback coming into town on a short week – the first short week in Sam Darnold’s career – the Browns are a great fantasy defense this week. Then there’s the Cardinals. There’s not much to like about Arizona so far this season. However, with the Chicago Bears heading out West, the Cardinals have a great chance to catch an offense that hasn’t looked like it’s clicking very well. As a unit that is likely on the waiver wire, the Cardinals are a solid streaming option this week. On the sit list, the L.A. Rams are facing their first true test defensively, and the Chargers have the weapons to make this a shootout, which is not good for fantasy defenses. The Bengals are a sneaky streaming option some weeks, but a matchup with Cam Newton on the road is not a good time to deploy Cincinnati in a lineup. The last sit is the Patriots. Torched by Blake Bortles last week and now facing the Lions with Matthew Stafford, who finally looked like himself after seven quarters of lackluster play, the Patriots need to be left out of the lineup this week.