Two weeks of NFL football are officially in the books, and we’re starting to get a feel of which players are busts, which players are exceeding expectations, and everything in between. However, fantasy football has an insane amount of weekly variance, which always makes start and sit decisions difficult.
As per usual, we’ll begin this article with a disclaimer: start your studs. If you have Justin Jefferson or Christian McCaffrey on your roster, you should be playing them no matter what. This article is strictly for flex-caliber players and matchup-specific starters.
Week 3 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Start: Anthony Richardson*
Obviously, this portion of the fantasy football start sit article assumes that Richardson actually plays in Week 3. The first-round pick has suffered some type of injury in each of his first two games, and some managers could be worried about starting someone with his physical style of play.
While injuries will always be a concern with him, you can’t turn down this type of upside. Richardson’s insane athleticism has clearly translated to the NFL, as he was the QB4 in Week 1 and still managed a QB19 finish in Week 2 despite missing over half the game. He has legitimate week-winning potential, and that ceiling makes him a clear start in fantasy football.
Sit: Russell Wilson
On paper, Russell Wilson set the world on fire in Week 2, finishing as the QB3 with a 308-yard, three-touchdown performance. However, when you negate his Hail Mary at the end of the game, his numbers look far more pedestrian. The 2023 version of Russell Wilson is better than 2022, but he’s still not the same guy from Seattle. The Miami Dolphins might not have the best defense in the league, but they’re better than Vegas and Washington and should slow him down.
Start: Zack Moss
If Week 2 is any indication, Zack Moss might turn into a weekly start in fantasy football. Finishing as the RB10 in half-point leagues, Moss recorded an absurd 98% snap share. Jonathan Taylor isn’t coming back any time soon, so it’s hard to see Moss’ workload changing in the near future. Perhaps the return of a healthy Anthony Richardson will limit Moss’ rushing attempts, but the fact of the matter is that anyone seeing the field this often is going to carry some fantasy football relevance.
Sit: Dameon Pierce
Dameon Pierce is a timeshare running back on a bad football team with a terrible offensive line and minimal scoring opportunities. The former Day 3 pick has yet to eclipse the 50% snap threshold and isn’t much of a pass catcher. This gives him a low ceiling, and this lack of upside is only made worse by the fact that Pierce is getting hit in the backfield on just about every carry. Perhaps he’ll gain some more fantasy football relevance as Houston’s offensive line gets healthier, but we’ll need to see it before we believe it.
Start: Jerome Ford
Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome knee injury on Monday Night Football, setting up Jerome Ford to be the new lead back in Cleveland. While Kareem Hunt has re-joined the team, all signs indicate that Ford will be the starting running back. It’s hard to blame the Browns for giving the keys to Ford, as the running back finished Week 2 with 106 rushing yards on 16 carries to go along with three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown. Obviously, Ford isn’t going to put up Nick Chubb numbers every single week, but he should be a fantasy football start for the rest of the season.
And to clarify, Hunt will help fill in at RB. Jerome Ford is still expected to be the lead back https://t.co/e1fKNeOV2B
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 20, 2023
Sit: Tony Jones, Saints Running Backs
Jamaal Williams suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2 and all signs point towards him missing Week 3. With Alvin Kamara still one week away from making his return to the field, some fantasy football managers are going to be tempted to start Tony Jones. They shouldn’t. Gone are the days where the New Orleans Saints running back was an automatic superstar in fantasy football. The New Orleans offense has not done much of anything in the first two weeks of the season, and Jones isn’t exactly an elite talent. Chances are, he won’t put up anything better than an RB30-40 finish. If you don’t have a better option than that, you’re in trouble.
Note: If Tony Jones isn’t the starting running back, this paragraph still applies. You don’t want to start Kendre Miller, a third-round rookie, making his NFL debut.
Start: Josh Reynolds
After an offseason of hype, the Detroit Lions offense remains as dangerous as ever, thanks in part to Josh Reynolds. The journeyman wide receiver is off to a great start, entering Week 3 as the WR10 in overall scoring. Reynolds probably won’t finish that high, but he’s averaging 6.5 targets per game, which is great for a guy who specializes in deep targets. He only needs to haul in one or two to be an adequate flex play, and four or five receptions should be enough for a top-24 finish.
Sit: Garrett Wilson
Garrett Wilson is one of the most talented young wide receivers in football and is seeing a high volume of targets. Unfortunately, all of those targets are coming from Zach Wilson. Aaron Rodgers’ presence has not done a thing for the former second-overall pick, as Wilson still cannot hit the broad side of a barn. Last week, Garrett Wilson hauled in just two of his eight targets, and it’s hard to see that improving against New England’s dangerous defense.
Start: Nico Collins
Chase opportunity and hope efficiency follows. Nico Collins had what was easily the best game of his career last week, hauling in seven of his nine targets for 146 yards and a touchdown while finishing as the WR4 overall. This wasn’t just a one-week fluke, either, as Collins recorded six receptions for 80 yards on a staggering 11 targets in Week 1. It’s clear that the 24-year-old has established himself as C.J. Stroud’s safety blanket and will continue to see targets as long as he’s on the field. Stroud is far from an All-Pro, but the rookie has performed well through two weeks and should only improve with time. While the underwhelming nature of Houston’s passing attack limits Collins’ ceiling, the volume makes him a safe start in fantasy football.
Sit: Skyy Moore
Skyy Moore had a solid game last week, racking up three receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown in Kansas City’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unfortunately, he did all this on just four targets, and that low volume is simply not sustainable. Moore has had every opportunity to earn a larger role in the Chiefs passing attack, and he has always fallen short of expectations. Chances are, he’ll go back to being a depth option in the Chiefs offense and somebody that should be far, far away from your starting lineup.
Start: Hunter Henry
After two weeks of action, the overall TE2 is…Hunter Henry? Apparently, the New England Patriots offense can support at least one fantasy-relevant pass catcher, as Henry has been remarkably consistent throughout the first two games of the season. He has yet to have a weekly finish outside of the top two and, while he did catch a touchdown in both games, he’s averaging 6.5 targets per game. Considering the desolate tight end landscape, Henry is probably a “set and forget” option for the remainder of the season.
Sit: Hayden Hurst
The Carolina Panthers have one of the most inept passing offenses in the league, and the only way for any player to have any sort of fantasy football value is to be peppered with targets. Hayden Hurst saw a ton of targets in Week 1, but that volume was not there in Week 2. Hurst only saw three tagets, making him far too risky for a starting spot. If you need to stream the tight end position, look at someone with a higher chance of finding the endzone.
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