Week 3 Start/Sit
24 September 2020 Fantasy Football
There’s no shortage of good matchups this week for very favorable offenses. A lot of big name players are going to be no shortage of points to go around this week with some of the matchups. However, there’s also some extremely unfavorable matchups and some big names that are going to have a tough time this week. Some of the names on the “sit” list will have you racking your brain wondering why because of namesake. Don’t let the names fool you, go with analytics and trust what I tell you because these start/sit’s are done with more than just a thought in mind. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Gardner Minshew vs. MIA
Maybe I’m singing his praise too much, or maybe the fantasy community just isn’t singing his praise enough. As I said in our week 3 rankings article, Minshew is just FOUR total points shy of Patrick Mahomes on the season, has outscored Lamar Jackson to this point and is still on waivers in 58% of leagues.
Kyler Murray vs. DET
This is as easy as they come. Kyler Murray is good, the Detroit defense is bad. The Lions have allowed 443 total passing yards, a 105.7 total QBR and 5 passing touchdowns on the season. They’re bad, and even worse without Justin Coleman.
Joe Burrow @ PHI
Burrow had a sort of “coming out party” in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns. Burrow threw for 316 yards, 3 TD’s and had 60 pass attempts in a negative game script that led to a 35-30 loss. Philadelphia is allowing the sixth highest QBR to opposing quarterbacks and has allowed four passing touchdowns on the year. In what appears will be a negative game script again against a tough run defense, lock Joe Burrow into your lineups.
Matt Ryan vs. CHI
Yes, Matt Ryan is having a resurgence early in this year. With the improvement of budding star receiver Calvin Ridley, Ryan is enjoying another career year. 723 yards passing, 6 touchdowns and 1 interception are great stats for the Falcons quarterback but, Ryan will face his first test of the season in a Bears defense that is allowing just a 73.1 QBR to opposing quarterbacks and is among the league average in yards allowed.
Deshaun Watson @ PIT
This is where the start/sit article starts to get interesting. “Bench Deshaun Watson? Are you insane?” I can already see the tweets now. No, I’m definitely not insane in this thinking, here’s why. Watson is currently QB15 on the year, averaging a TD/INT ration of 1:1 on the season and just 267 passing yards per game. The Steelers defense is strong, fast and competitive. The unit has allowed just 6.9 yards-per-attempt, is second in the league in turnovers forced and is allowing a 78.9 total QBR.
Jared Goff @ BUF
“Yeah, but he just went 20-27 with 3 touchdowns against the Eagles!” Yes, the Eagles defense is bad right now. They didn’t get their first sack until the third quarter, their only one of the game. Buffalo is a better defense. A unit who has been somewhat susceptible to passing games, the Bills are only allowing an 89.6 QBR to opposing quarterbacks and is among the leagues’ best against the run, making the Rams one dimensional. Even without Matt Milano, the Bills should be able to hold Goff in check.
Derrick Henry @ MIN
Yes, I know that you are never going to bench Derrick Henry because the draft capital you spent on him. Likely a top 6-8 pick to secure the rushing champs’ services. However, this is a matchup that I feel will return Henry to his 2019 glory. The Vikings are allowing a hardy 4.3 yards-per-carry and 154.5 rushing yards per game.
Miles Sanders vs. CIN
Much like Henry, Miles is probably locked into your lineups. After missing week 1, Sanders returned to his 2019 self with a 20 carry, 95 yard, 1 touchdown day in the Eagles’ 39-17 loss to a formidable Rams’ front 7. The Bengals are allowing the third highest YPC (5) in the league and has allowed 185 rushing yards per game. Lock Sanders in for a big day.
Kenyan Drake vs. DET
Drake hasn’t been himself to start 2020. After the trade to Arizona at the deadline in 2020, Drake set the league on fire and was RB3 in those weeks after the trade. This is the week that Drake’s heavy workload (36 carries/4 YPC) translates to big time fantasy success. Going against a defense allowing a league high 6.5 YPC and 204 rushing yards per game means big things for the Cardinals run game.
Joe Mixon @ PHI
Inverse to the Eagles’ passing defensive woes, they are still among the leaders in yards per carry allowed at 3.6. I love Joe Mixon as a running back this season and believe that he will be finish as a fringe RB1 or high end RB2 but this is not the week to take a gamble on the Bengals run game. Sheer volume may be enough to have Mixon fall into pay dirt, given the Eagles’ 4 rushing TD’s allowed, but the true volume should come through the air. Be content to start the Joe Burrow/A.J. Green stack and call it a day.
David Johnson @ PIT
See Deshaun Watson above.
Melvin Gordon vs. TB
It’s no secret that Melvin Gordon has been fantastic for the Broncos’ offense this season. Second year quarterback Drew Lock has been able to drive the team down the field with a good mix or passing attempts and a reputable receiving core has been formed around him. However, the Bucs defense is currently the league leader in YPC allowed at 2.9 and has only surrendered a total of 159 rushing yards on the season. Put Gordon on ice this week.
Deandre Hopkins vs. DET
See Kyler Murray above. Deandre is Kyler’s favorite target, for good reason. Bill O’Brien is an idiot. Detroit Lions’ defense is bad. No further needed.
Allen Robinson II @ ATL
AR12 has been bad to start the season, there’s no other way to put it. This is someone I was extremely high on in the draft process and he has not produced. Coming down with just 8 receptions for 107 yards on the season, Robinson hasn’t even surpassed the 10 point mark in a game to this point. However, I believe this is the week he will. The Falcons’ defense has allowed the second highest QBR (124.7), second most passing yards (744) and second most passing touchdowns (5) in the league.
Terry McLaurin @ CLE
McLaurin has been the Ferrari driving around in a small town neighborhood. It’s no secret that the Washington Football Team is not good. They have only passed for a total of 401 yards (third worst) and is tied for second worst in passing touchdowns (2). Terry is the exception to this rule of “don’t start bad offenses.” The recipient of one of those two passing touchdowns, McLaurin has 12 receptions and 186 yards on the season, meaning he is accounting for 46.4% of their total passing offense. In a game against a Browns defense that is allowing 277.5 passing yards per game and the leagues seventh highest QBR (109.4), lock Terry into your lineups.
Stefon Diggs vs. LAR
Why would you sit a wide receiver that is currently tied for the league lead in receiving yards, who is with a quarterback who currently leads the league in passing yards? Simple. Jalen Ramsey and the Rams’ defense is no joke. This Rams defense is one, of two, who has yet to allow an opposing offense to score over 20 points on the season. Week 1 opponent? The Dallas Cowboys? Their leading receiver was Amari Cooper, who had 81 yards and 0 touchdowns. Week 2 opponent? The Philadelphia Eagles? Their leading receiver was Desean Jackson. He had 61 yards.
Keenan Allen vs. CAR
I may want to rethink this specific sit because of the announcement of Justin Herbert being the starter, given their connection in week 2, but we’re going with it! Against a porous secondary in Cincinnati, Allen was only able to manage 4 catches for 37 yards. Allen has still yet to find the endzone, although he did have 7 catches for 96 yards in week 2, the true fantasy value comes in touchdowns. The Panthers defense is tied for second least receiving touchdowns allowed, eighth lowest yards-per-reception and seventh lowest receiving yards allowed.
Davante Adams @ NO
This is my other big shocker of the article. I’m not convinced that Davante Adams is 100%, and by the reports he’s not. After an explosion against the Minnesota Vikings (14-156-2), Adams was forced to leave the Lions game with a hamstring injury that he did not return from, finishing with a 3-36-0 line. Reports are coming out that Adams’ injury will not effect his game status for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints’ passing defense, I’m not banking my lineup on a less-than-healthy Adams, going against a defense that is just slightly less powerful than the Panthers’ (see above).
Mo Alie-Cox vs. NYJ
Another guy that I’ve been a little higher than most people on since the start of the fantasy season, I said that all MAC needed was a chance and he got it. After the season ending injury to Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox premiered with a 6 reception, 115 yard performance last week and gets to go against a disastrous Jets defense in the comfort of his home stadium. Although the Jets are among the league average in receiving yards, they are among the worst against the tight end position.
Mike Gesicki @ JAX
Everyone was calling their shot with Mike Gesicki and after a mediocre week 1 (3-30-0), a lot of folks jumped off that bandwagon. Gesicki then greeted his doubters in week 2 with an 8 reception, 130 yard explosion that included a touchdown, propelling himself from irrelevancy to TE6 in one weeks time! Going against a Jaguars defense that has allowed the fifth highest QBR, the third most passing yards and second most receiving touchdowns, expect a big day from Gesicki again.
Zach Ertz vs. CIN
Although Ertz hasn’t been the most reliable tight end to put in your lineup this year, he is still getting the target volume from QB Carson Wentz. Coming into the week as TE19, Ertz gets himself a favorable matchup against a Bengals defense that is the worst passing defense in fantasy football to the tight end position.
Noah Fant vs. TB
Not to dismiss the talent of the TE3 on the season, Fant has had a plethora of injuries around him this season that could effect his value. Courtland Sutton has been sent to season-long IR, Drew Lock has been placed on short term-IR with a timeline of 2-6 weeks (though most expect towards the 6 week mark), Jerry Jeudy is banged up and has missed some game time, Fant seems to be one of the last healthy men standing. Catching passes from Jeff Driskell may be tough enough without going against the likes of Devin White, Lavonte David and the leagues’ second best pass defense against the tight end position.
Evan Engram vs. SF
Even a banged-up San Francisco defense is something to fear because of the ability of their linebackers and covering of the tight end position. Currently sitting as the TE25 and battling with a mediocre, turnover friendly quarterback is not aiding the potential of Evan Engram to build off his current standing. Then bring into the picture that the 49ers are the league’s best pass defense against the tight end position, even though they haven’t faced someone of Engram’s caliber, it makes for a recipe of low-end TE1, high-end TE2 mess for Engram.
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