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NFL Week 3: Fantasy football start ‘em/sit ‘em

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Need to set your lineup? We’re here to help.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The most difficult part of fantasy football is setting your lineups. It’s rare to find a player who scores consistently each week, and oftentimes the biggest weekly performances are unexpected. (Who would have thought that A.J. Green would be held to just 38 yards against a poor Pittsburgh secondary?!) But it never hurts to get as much information as you can before making a lineup change. And that’s why we’re here. Listen to our suggestions for who to sit and who to start in the following podcast:


Start ‘em

Aaron Rodgers, GB (vs Detroit Lions): Rodgers hasn’t been himself recently, and going up against the Minnesota Vikings’ surging defense last week didn’t help. But now he gets to face a team he loves to torment— the Detroit Lions. We all remember his ridiculous 61-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers with no time left to win in Detroit last December. And so far this year, the Lions have allowed the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Matt Ryan, ATL (vs New Orleans Saints): Based on’s fantasy scoring, Ryan is actually the top rated quarterback in fantasy football through two weeks. And yet, he’s still not owned in over half of the leagues. This week he faces a Saints defense that has allowed 6 touchdown passes and only picked off one pass so far.

Sit ‘em

Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs New York Giants): After a rocky start, rumors surfaced last week that some of Washington’s offensive players were growing frustrated with Cousins. At this point, he seems to have lost a bit of confidence, and he now goes up against a Giants defense that is the fifth best against the pass.

Andy Dalton, CIN (vs Denver Broncos): Yep, sorry. The Broncos defense just doesn’t allow opposing quarterbacks to do that much against them, plain and simple. We’re not saying Dalton will play horribly, but you shouldn’t expect him to do enough to help you in your matchup this week.

Wide Receivers

Start ‘em

Marvin Jones, DET (vs Green Bay Packers): The yards have been there for Jones, who leads the Lions in both receptions (12) and receiving yards (203). It wouldn’t be surprising if he finally found the endzone against Green Bay, as Detroit will have to put up points to keep up with Aaron Rodgers. Another potential target is the receiver who lines up across from Jones, Golden Tate. Either would be worth considering this week.

John Brown, ARI (vs Buffalo Bills): We’re not sure why Brown and his quarterback Carson Palmer aren’t on the same page right now, as the two have only connected twice for 22 yards on seven targets, but Brown is too talented to stay quiet for too long. And the Bills’ struggling defense is as good of a matchup Brown will see this season.

Sit ‘em

Sammy Watkins, BUF (vs Arizona Cardinals): For the second week in a row, we suggest you bench Watkins, who is struggling with a foot injury and now faces one of the league’s better secondaries.

Randall Cobb, GB (vs Detroit): Randall Cobb’s production is based entirely upon if Aaron Rodgers is playing at the high level he usually does. With Rodgers in a bit of a funk, Cobb’s ceiling as a fantasy option has gone down tremendously. It’d be a risk to play Cobb until we know Rodgers is back to his norm.

Running Backs

Start ‘em

Melvin Gordon, SD (vs Indianapolis Colts): As of right now, he’s not being started in over half of leagues, despite being the fourth overall running back, facing the defense that allows the most points to running backs, a week after the man who took carries away from him (Danny Woodhead) tore his ACL. That just doesn’t seem right.

Shane Vereen, NYG (vs Washington Redskins): Vereen lead the Giants running backs in touches last week when Rashad Jennings went down with a thumb injury, who is questionable as of now. Going up against a defense that has allowed the most rushing touchdowns and 5th most rushing yards, if you have either Vereen or Jennings, it’d be wise to plug them into your RB2 or FLEX slot.

Sit ‘em

Latavius Murray, OAK (vs Tennessee Titans): He faces the top rush defense in the league, and has yet to break free this year (averaging only 58 yards rushing per game). Perhaps he could get some goal line carries, but if you have someone with a better matchup, you might want to bench Murray this week.

Ryan Mathews, PHI (vs Pittsburgh Steelers): Despite the two rushing touchdowns last week, Mathews had 32 yards on nine carries, and 30 of them came on one, so Mathews isn’t looking too great heading into a matchup with the Steelers, who’ve allowed only 101 rushing yards so far this season.

Tight Ends

Start ‘em

Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs San Francisco 49ers): He showed signs of life last week, playing the majority of Seattle’s offensive snaps and catching 3 of 4 targets. Don’t expect him to put up a ton of points, but he seems to be over his injury to some degree and should be a solid start going forward.

Jordan Cameron, MIA (vs Cleveland Browns): Revenge game anyone? Cameron is coming off a solid week with 49 yards and a score as his quarterback Ryan Tannehill is picking up steam, and Cameron will have a chance to stick it to his former team, who deploys a weak passing defense as well.

Sit ‘em

Zach Miller, CHI (vs Dallas Cowboys): He hasn’t done much this season (47 total yards, 0 touchdowns), and now his starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, is dealing with a sprained right thumb.

Greg Olsen, CAR (vs Minnesota Vikings): Just something to think about, Minnesota’s defense is for real, and Mike Zimmer knows how to take away an offense’s biggest threats. Obviously if you have Greg Olsen you’re not likely to have a better tight end on your bench, but he may have a better matchup than Olsen.

Defenses/Special Teams

Start ‘em

Cincinnati Bengals (vs Denver Broncos): The Bengals’ defense played well against the Steelers last week, intercepting Ben Roethlisberger twice and making him look uncomfortable throughout. Meanwhile, the Broncos’ quarterback, Trevor Siemian, is making his first road start.

Sit ‘em

Buffalo Bills (vs Arizona Cardinals): The Bills surrendered 37 points to the New York Jets last week and looked to be lost. Now they face a much more potent offense in the Cardinals. This should be a big game for the Cardinals’ offense, which isn’t what you want if you have the Bills’ defense on your roster.