Start’em Sit’em Week 3
If the NFL was a person, it would have multiple personality disorder.
In another week of surprising outcomes that saw seven upsets, including two of the three biggest favorites of the week –Steelers and Redskins both five-point favorites- many fantasy gurus are hitting the reset button as they prepare for week 3. If your focus was solely on your fantasy matchup, let me catch you up on some of the strange occurrences that happened in week 2.
- Matt Breida, Tevin Colman, and Phillip Lindsay were the only running backs to rush for over one hundred yards.
- There were only 16 rushing touchdowns, and Gurley had three of them.
- Three of the four reception leaders were running backs. McCaffrey (14) Barkley (14) Chris Thompson (13) JuJu Smith-Schuster (13).
- Three of the top ten Fantasy QB’s for week two were waiver wire material: Bortles (ESPN ownership 10%) Ryan Fitzpatrick (31%), and Andy Dalton (18.2%).
Fantasy Advice: Don’t Overreact
One of the biggest issues with a lot of fantasy owners is making knee-jerk reactions to bad performances. Trading away or even dropping quality players is not the way to get wins. If you’re frustrated that your team is not producing, I’ve got news for you; you’re not alone. As I mentioned in the intro, only three RB’s had a 100-yard rushing performance in week two, but what’s even more eye-opening is how bad the rest of the league was.
18 running backs who lead their team in rushing but failed to crack 50 total rushing yards in wk2 😳
DJ 48 yards
— Mike Rigz (@MikeRigz) September 18, 2018
Surprisingly, 18 running backs who lead their team in rushing in week two made little impact on the ground. Some were involved in the passing game, but not all. The running back position has been like getting blood from a turnip. It’s been extremely hard to gain fantasy production, and you need to know that it’s not just happening on your fantasy roster.
If you’re going to be making trades, try to focus on the long game and don’t overreact to how bad things have been lately. The goal is to make your playoffs, and you have time to be patient with your players to turn things around.
Weekly Start’em Sit’em Recap
Very tough week, but I had a solid week. Click on the drop-down menu to review my Starts and Sits from last week.
- Start Ben Roethlisberger – Top Fantasy QB of the week. Just as I mentioned, Big Ben went off, huge day!
- Start Joe Flacco – I’m more proud of this than any other call. Sure it was a lot of garbage time, but Flacco was a waiver wire stud.
- Sit Andrew Luck – QB30 on the week. Did throw for two scores, but had just 176 passing yards and 2 INT’s.
- Sit Jamaal Williams – Just 59 yards rushing, 12 receiving, and even had an extra overtime quarter.
- Start Kenny Golladay – 89 yards and a score, great call.
- Start Geronimo Allison (Flex)- 6 catches for 64 yards is a solid Flex starter.
- Sit Allen Hurns – Great call, Hurns had just one catch for 9 yards.
- Start Bears DET – Top fantasy defense of the week!
- Sit Jags DEF – 19 points allowed, two sacks.
Not Bad, Not Great
- Start Jarvis Landry – 5 catches, 69 yards. Could have been a lot better, but 11 points in PPR is manageable.
- Sit Devin Funchess – 77 yards total on 9 targets. Funchess was a heavily recommended start’em player in week two, I went against the grain.
- Start Jared Cook – In a positional wasteland with few decent starters, 4 catches for 49 yards isn’t that bad.
- Start Adrian Peterson – 50 total yards – Grading on a curve.
- Start Dion Lewis – Just 42 rushing yards, wasn’t used enough in the passing game.
- Sit Kenyan Drake – TD saved his week.
- Start Phillip Dorsett – Just 5 catches for 44 yards.
- Start Ted Ginn Jr. (Flex) 55 yards and had a fumble.
- Vance McDonald (Sleeper) – Damn, so close. I had the right idea but Jesse James stole the show.
- Sit Kyle Rudolph – 72 yards. Overtime wrecked this prediction as he made two catches in bonus time.
Final Grade: I crushed my QB’s and DEF’s in week two and made some decent calls overall, but struggled at RB the most. I’m giving myself a B- this week.
How Do You Pick Your Starts and Sits?
I plan to use a combination of matchup tools, data, and NFL Betting Lines to pick the best start’em sit’em players to recommend to you. Here is a list of sites I’ll be relying on:
- Daily Roto – I’m using Daily Roto for Redzone data, snap counts, targets, and play calling distribution.
- The Quant Edge – TQE has a WR/CB matchup tool that’ll be perfect for WR Start/Sits.
Start’em Sit’em Quarterbacks
Saints vs. Falcons
After a flat performance in the NFL season opener against the Eagles, the Falcons racked up 442 total yards and put up 31 points against the Panthers, a tough divisional opponent. Matt Ryan was 23/28 with 272 passing yards and 4 total touchdowns (2 rushing).
This week the Falcons faceoff against a Saints team that has been out of sorts in 2018. New Orleans squeaked out a win against the Browns last Sunday but now go on the road for the first time this season, which is something they’ve struggled with in years past.
Currently, the Saints rank 29th in passing yards allowed per game, and 31st for passing plays that have gone for more than 20 yards. I like Matt Ryan at home this week, Start’em!
Colts vs. Eagles
The Eagles welcome back Carson Wentz after an ACL injury that ended his 2017 season. Wentz was held out an extra few weeks for precautions, but most thought he was going to play in the season opener. The Eagles have a lot of injuries at the wide receiver position, but the offense is built to spread the ball around targeting the RB’s and TE’s. While fantasy owners tend to wait and see how a QB responds to such an injury before deciding to start him in their fantasy lineups, I like this matchup and think Wentz will play well in front of his Philly faithful. The Colts have been an above-average defense this year but are struggling with injuries on defense.
49ers at Chiefs
The 49ers are playing an explosive Chiefs team that has been led solely by their offseason. Kansas City ranks last in the NFL for passing yards allowed per game (430) and are tied for 31st in the NFL for giving up the most passing touchdowns (7). The Chiefs secondary has also allowed 14 passing plays of 20+ more yards, which is last in the league.
Matchup-wise, this game is a gem.
Chargers at Rams
The Rams and Chargers have played 11 football games against one another, yet only six of those games involved a team that actually had L.A. in its name. This isn’t a rivalry game yet, but it soon will be.
Technically, this is a road game for the Chargers, however ironically this could be the toughest road matchup for Rivers and company all year. The Rams are not getting enough credit for their defensive domination early in 2018 and fantasy production will be hard to come by.
The Rams are the only team in the NFL to have yet to allow a passing touchdown in 2018. They have also held their opponents to less than 200 yards passing and lead the league with the least amount of defensive points allowed per game (6.5). While the Chargers are a much more challenging opponent than the Cardinals and Raiders, you should really back away from this game slowly, and see if you can find a better fantasy QB option.
Start’em Sit’em Running Backs
Giants at Texans
Despite being somewhat forgotten in an offense with big-name talents like DeShaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller ranks 7th for running backs in the NFL for snap count percentage. The Texans haven’t been the offensive powerhouse that we remember from last season, but the running game does seem to be improved. The Texans are leading the league in rushing yards per game after two weeks into the season. While that stat is definitely skewed from Watson picking up yards on the ground, Lamar Miller does hold a solid 4.8 yards per carry average.
The 0-2 Texans get to play their first home game of the season on Sunday, and will take on the struggling New York Giants. The G-MEN have the fourth-worst rushing defense in the league currently and will see a tough Texans defense on the road. I think Miller has a strong performance and finds the endzone for the first time this year.
Frank Gore (Flex)
Raiders at Dolphins
The Raiders are making a cross-country trip to Miami after just playing in mile-high. The 2-0 Dolphins will abuse the Raiders struggling run defense and I believe veteran Frank Gore will get a solid workload.
Peyton Barber (Flex)
Steelers at Bucs
With running back production hard to come by these days, I’m leaning on games with optimal matchups. The Steelers defense is surrendering on average 152 rushing yards per game and could get exposed this week if the 2-0 Bucs can continue to strike fear into the hearts of defensive secondaries. Peyton Barber hasn’t found the endzone yet this season but has been the lead dog in this Bucs running game. He’s seen 67.7% of the team’s snaps, and the more teams worry about the deep ball to DJack or Mike Evans, the better the opportunities will be for the running game.
Raiders at Dolphins
Miami has a stout running defense that has allowed just one rushing score this season. The Dolphins are holding opponents to under 80 rushing yards per game and I believe the Raiders get behind in this one early and have to take to the air. Lynch has shown to be fantasy worthy in 2018, but I’m not crazy about this matchup. I can’t see him getting another 18 carries this week, and back to back road games should take its toll.
Broncos and Ravens
The 2-0 Broncos take on the Ravens this week in a game that Vegas sees in a completely different light. The 1-1 Ravens are five-point favorites at home after gaining an extra couple days of rest from playing on Thursday last week. Phillip Lindsay has taken the lead of the Broncos hot-hand RBBC, but this matchup might be one to avoid in week three.
The Ravens have yet to give up a rushing score on defense and bounced back well in the second half against the Bengals game as they tried to mount a comeback. I feel the Broncos will walk into this game overly confident after getting wins from Oakland and Seattle and find themselves trailing early.