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Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 3

Helping you pick your lineups.

Disclaimer: Starts and Sits are relative to where a player is ranked on the aggregate. In other words, a "Start" is someone I like more than most, and a "Sit" is the opposite. So if I say to start Carson Wentz and sit Aaron Rodgers, that doesn't mean I'd start Wentz over Rodgers, it just means I think Wentz will exceed his expectations while Rodgers will underperform his. Cool? Cool. Let's get it. -Seltz



Philip Rivers (vs. KC) – Man, it must be tough to be a Chargers fan. Well, that's assuming there are any fans left after the team abandoned their city to not sell out a 30,000 seat soccer stadium. And if any fans did stay on, they've gotten to watch their team continue to find ways to blow games in dramatic, horrific fashion. But that's neither here nor there, let's talk fantasy. Despite the team's woes, Rivers has quietly played well this season, and he has his best set of weapons since LaDainian Tomlinson suited up (maybe). Most importantly, he's insanely undervalued this week as the consensus ranked #11 QB, despite facing a Chiefs defense that has been friendly to opposing QB's so far this season. Get Philip in your lineups. Quick sidebar before we move on, why are there both Philip's and Phillip's? Can't we just decide on one and roll with it? Anyhoo, these are the weird things I think about. Let's move on before it gets any weirder.

Trevor Siemian (@ BUF) – I love Trevor Siemian. Crap, I made it weirder. Let me rephrase, I love Trevor Siemian as a fantasy play this week. That's better. Siemian has been a beast through two weeks (#2 fantasy QB) and has looked good in doing it. I think he might just be legit. And what I mean by that is, he might be good enough to take advantage of terrific weapons, a solid-to-good offensive line, and a great defense. This week he faces a Buffalo defense that has yet to be tested – they've faced the worst version of Cam Newton I've ever seen and the worst team in the league – and may not be as good as their numbers suggest. And by "may not" I mean "definitely isn't." As the consensus #19 QB, Siemian is criminally underrated this week.

Eli Manning (@ PHI) – Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *pauses for breath* Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I'm kidding. Obviously. Eli is going to be terrible. The only way I'd start Eli this week is if it were a "which player is most likely to retire at halftime" league.


Russell Wilson (@ TEN) – I said to sit Russell last week and that ended up being the right call based on his surprisingly high consensus ranking *my own horn toots lamely in the background.* This week Wilson's ranking is slightly more appropriate (#10 QB), but it's still too high given that his o-line is really, really, really, realllllllly bad. It's bad enough to submarine the entire offense. And it's certainly bad enough that I'm not starting Russell Wilson, on the road in a tough matchup, behind them.

Dak Prescott (@ ARI) – Can we be real for a second? Dak has looked like crap through two games. Sorry, it's the truth. Come @ me Cowboys fans. He's been bad. And somehow, he's the consensus #13 QB this week. I have no idea how or why. None. Zero. Less than zero. Arizona's defense is aight. And Dallas is definitely going to try and use Zeke more after last week's fiasco. Why wouldn't you reward the guy who gave up on two separate plays because he was frustrated? That's the Cowboys way. Did I mention that Dak has been terrible this season?

Running Back


Christian McCaffery (vs. NO) – McCaffery has yet to make the same kind of splash as fellow rookies Kareem "Da Gawd" Hunt, Leonard Fournette (more on him later), and Dalvin "True Eaglea" Cook, but I think this is the week C-Mac busts out. Is C-Mac a thing btw? I'm guessing it is. Either way, I'm going with it. C-Mac faces a Saints defense that is awful. Truly, epicly awful. They are especially bad at defending running backs in the passing game (only the Falcons have been worse since the start of 2016), and that's kinda McCaffery's thing, in case you didn't know. As Biggie once said, if you don't know, now you know. Start McCaffery.

Ameer Abdullah/Theo Riddick (vs. ATL) – Remember what I said about the Falcons a few sentences ago? Well, it's true. I wasn't lying to you. Wild, I know. But not only have the Falcons been the worst at defending RB's in the passing game, they've been the worst BY A MILE. They are so bad at it. As a result, both Abdullah and Riddick have value this week. I like Abdullah more because he'll get the bulk of the workload in what should be a high-scoring game. But I also like Riddick a lot, especially in PPR leagues where his ceiling is even higher than Abdullah's.


LeSean McCoy (vs. DEN) – Poor Shady. Buffalo's offense is sadder than a Greek tragedy. Shady is Homer and this Bills offense is his Odyssey, except way more sad cause this is actually real. McCoy will certainly have some good games this season based on high volume and talent alone, but this week won't be one of them. Denver's defense may be the best in the league and just SHUT DOWN Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys running game. That's enough for me to back off Shady in daily formats for sure, and wherever else possible as well.

Leonard Fournette (vs. BAL) – Fournette will get his first taste of his future home, as the (future London) Jaguars "host" the Ravens in the first of this season's games across the pond. While I love Fournette's talent, he's running behind an atrocious offensive line and is facing a Baltimore's D that's stout against the run. And you better believe the Ravens are going to stack the box and force Blake Bortles to try and beat them. Honestly, can you blame them?

Wide Receiver


Keenan Allen (vs. KC) – Keenen Allen might be my favorite play of the week. He's been targeted 10 times in each game this season and is clearly Rivers' most trusted target. Plus, his matchup with Chiefs slot corner Phillip Gaines is the stuff Allen dreams about at night ... probably ... maybe? Regardless, the point is Philip Gaines stinks. Not to mention, you'd have to think Philip Rivers will have a natural personal dislike for Phillips Gaines because of the aforementioned Philip/Phillip thing, making him want to roast the corner that much more.

Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Dallas) – Fitz's consensus ranking (#23 WR in standard, #20 in PPR) is the one that baffles me the most this week. I'm legit confused by it. Sure, I'll acknowledge Larry – we're close enough that I feel OK calling him that, you shouldn't though, only I can – LARRY had a bad game last week in what seemed like a good matchup, but I think that was the exception more than the rule. Furthermore, J.J. Nelson's emergence can only help open things up for Larry. Also, Dallas' pass defense sucks. It sucks hard. Much like Dallas itself, indeed, sucks.


Dez Bryant (@ ARI) – Speaking of Dallas sucking, lol. Sorry, sometimes I can't help myself. In all seriousness, you already know my feelings on Dak and the Cowboys' likely game plan – add in a good amount of Patrick Peterson coverage and I'm easily out on Dez this week. Taking it a step further, when you consider his consensus ranking (#11 WR), he may be the most overvalued fantasy player in the league heading into Week 3.

Odell Beckham Jr. (@ PHI) – I don't think OBJ is fully healthy yet. He's playing with potentially the worst QB in the league *inserts fire emoji* behind potentially the worst offensive line in the league against potentially one of the best defensive lines in the league. Tbh, I wouldn't start anyone in the Giants offense. This has blood bath written all over it. And that's not me the Eagles fan saying that, it's me the guy with two eyes who uses them to watch football saying that. So, yeah.

Tight End


Jack Doyle (vs. CLE) – One thing I know for sure, Jacoby Brissett is better than Scott Tolzien. Which isn't saying a lot, but it's true nonetheless. Another thing I know for sure, Brissett seems to like throwing to Jack Doyle, who caught all eight of his targets (79 yards) last week against the Cardinals. One last thing I know, since the start of 2016 no team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than the Browns. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, Doyle Rules!

Ben Watson (@ JAX) – God that last joke was lame. Sorry guys. I'll try to do better. Not gonna lie, I'm a little shook from it. Let's talk Ben Watson to help get my mind off it. The 36-year-old Watson is among the more surprising names to see rising to fantasy prominence this season, but here we are. The reasoning is pretty simple: Joe Flacco likes to throw to his tight end and Ben Watson is his tight end. Boom. Watson caught 8 of 9 targets last week for 91 yards. Expect more of the same this week against a Jags D that struggles against tight ends. Plus, Ben Watson is probably the most British sounding name playing in this game, which means he has to do well. I think it's a British law or something.


Martellus Bennett (vs. CIN) – Bennett stunk in Week 1 and barely didn't stink in Week 2. But since the Packers receiving core is a mash unit and Bennett got 11 targets last week (caught 5 for 47 yards), everyone is high on him this week. Everyone except me, I guess. While it's the smallest of sample sizes, the Bengals have allowed the least fantasy points to tight ends this season (easily). Don't get me wrong, I think Rodgers torches this Bengals defense, I just don't think he'll use Bennett that much to do so.

Kyle Rudolph (vs. TB) – Who knows if Sam Bradford is playing. Obviously I like Rudolph even less if Sleeves is out. But I'm down on Rudolph this week regardless of who is under center. With Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander at the helm, Tampa Bay's defense has had a lot of success defending tight ends. I think that trend continues this week as the touchdown-dependent Rudolph fails to find the end zone.



Philadelphia Eagles (vs. NYG) – I've made my thoughts on this matchup pretty clear, so I'll just say this: The Eagles' defensive line is going to EAT.


Kansas City Chiefs (@ SD) – I think this game ends up being a shootout. The Chargers will put up points. As a result, Kansas City's defense is overvalued, especially considering their poor performance (as a fantasy defense) so far this season.



Some guy who's playing in a dome or who's on a team with a good offense.


Any guy who doesn't qualify the above set standard for "Start."

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