After two disappointing weeks from the Cincinnati Bengals hopefully you at least have your fantasy team to hang your hat on. Trends are starting to take shape, and we have a better idea of who is for real, and who isn’t. Also some of the more confusing running back committees are starting to take form.
Here are the players you should be starting and sitting in Week 3 to win your fantasy football matchup.
Isaiah Crowell (Browns RB): This is a pretty simple one. The Browns are coming off a game where their quarterbacks’ turnovers ruined any chances they had. (Yes, two quarterbacks played for the Browns last week.) The Browns will likely minimize the chances of that happening again by pounding the rock against the Colts’ below average defense.
Kelvin Benjamin (Panthers WR): Another easy one. Even though Benjamin has had a rocky start to the season he has two things working in his favor for a big game. The Saints defense is awful, and the Panthers will be without star tight end Greg Olsen for at least eight weeks. You should expect a major increase in his amount of targets. Though, make sure to check the inactives list on Sunday morning because Benjamin has been dealing with some bumps and bruises. He didn’t practice on Wednesday but was a full participant on Thursday, indicating he should be good for Sunday, baring any setbacks.
Ty Montgomery (Packers RB): As sad as it is, the Bengals’ run defense hasn’t been good the first two weeks of the season, so naturally any running back going against them almost becomes a must start. Montgomery is coming off a very productive game against the Falcons where he finished with more than 100 total yards and two touchdowns. What makes Montgomery especially comfortable to play is Aaron Rodgers trusts him in the passing game as well, so even if the Packers fall behind, he will still be heavily involved.
DeVante Parker (Dolphins WR): This is kind of a sneaky play. It is hard to gauge the use of the Dolphins’ weapons, because they have only played one game. However, the way Jay Cutler threw the ball up to Parker several times shows he is in line to become the player Brandon Marshall was for Cutler in Chicago for this team. The Jets are fresh off a beating in Oakland where Michael Crabtree caught three touchdowns. You shouldn’t expect that much from Parker, but he will have a nice game.
Jack Doyle (Colts TE): One thing became clear during the Colts’ Week 2 game. New starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett loves Doyle. Doyle was targeted eight times and caught all eight of those passes. It is clear that Brissett loves his safety blanket. Doyle is set to go against one of the softest defenses against tight ends so far this year with the Browns coming to town.
Good but not great match ups
Christian McCaffrey (Panthers RB): McCaffrey hasn’t been the points per reception monster many of us anticipated. He actually hasn’t been very good at all so far. The Saints provide a good chance to get back on track though. You should expect at least a decent outcome from the rookie.
Rashard Higgins (Browns WR): This is one of those favorable match ups, but there are a few things going against Higgins here. One is we aren’t yet sure on his role in the passing game. Although, Corey Coleman being out eight weeks helps his chances of being on the field. The other thing is the Browns could be running the ball way more against this defense. If he is out there, it is clear he is one of the favorite targets for DeShone Kizer after he had seven catches in his first game.
DeShone Kizer (Browns QB): The Colts are one of the worst defenses against the pass, and it is easily the softest defense Kizer has played so far. He has shown he can move the ball well enough that if you need a spot start at the quarterback position, for whatever reason, he is probably available and ready to give you an OK game.
Trevor Siemian (Broncos QB): People who drafted a bad fantasy quarterback (Andy Dalton) are probably looking at Siemian as their savor after a tremendous game against the Cowboys. The Bills aren’t the Cowboys, and their defense has actually played fairly well, and they haven’t allowed a passing touchdown yet. He’s careful enough with the ball that he won’t lose you a game, but temper expectations.
Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys RB): Elliott is coming off of his worst game as a pro, and it is hard to imagine him playing that poorly again. Still the Cowboys are going up against the Cardinals, and they have only allowed a 2.8 yards per carry average to running backs. I would say Elliott should still be in your lineup, but you shouldn’t expect a full bounce back this week.
Golden Tate (Lions WR): The Falcons defense is the real deal. They do a great job at getting to the passer as well as covering receivers on the outside. They basically shut down the Packers offense for much of last week’s game. Tate could still see some garbage time numbers, but you shouldn’t have to rely on that.
Just sit them
T.Y. Hilton (Colts WR): It is pretty clear that without Andrew Luck, Hilton is pretty much unplayable. You likely have a better option that you’re hesitant to play over such a proven threat, so let me be the one to tell you. Sit Hilton until Luck is back.
LeSean McCoy (Bills RB): The Broncos just shutdown Elliott last week, and it probably isn’t looking good for McCoy after he was shutdown by the Panthers last week as well. The Broncos will be content to force Tyrod Taylor to beat them while stacking the box against McCoy. This is a painful player to sit given he was likely your first round pick, but it isn’t worth losing a game over if you feel confident in one of your other running backs.