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Start’Em Sit’Em Week 3

Week 3 Start’em Sit’em

Start'em Sit'em week 3Even though we’ve only experienced a small portion of the regular season, we now have two weeks’ worth of game action from which to examine targets, red zone usage, snap counts, x-y-z deployment, defensive inside and outside vulnerabilities, shadow coverage, career splits, and the massive assemblage of other statistics that we combine with video, to provide the foundation of our analysis at The Gridiron Experts. Which includes the recommendations that you will find in this Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 3 article.

Since you should already be planning to utilize the elite players that were selected at the onset of your drafts, we will not devote space to discussing them here. Instead, we will focus on players to start and sit from among the options that are more uncertain heading into this week’s contests.

As we proceed into a breakdown of the Start‘Em and Sit‘Em for Week 3, this will be the final slate of games before dreaded bye weeks invade the fantasy landscape. Enjoy the games, and good luck in Week 3.


Start Carson Palmer at Bills

Carson PalmerThose of you who selected Palmer, should appreciate the return on your investment this week. As the 36-year old signal caller should guide the Arizona offense to a prolific performance when he faces what has become a highly vulnerable Buffalo defensive unit. After being torched for 374 yards by Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 2, the Bills have now been shredded for 298 YPG through the air in their initial two games.  Since the most noteworthy response by the organization to the recent inadequacies of their defense has been to fire the offensive coordinator, it is unlikely that their anemic pass rush, and the shortcomings within their pass coverage will have been properly addressed before facing the Cardinals. Palmer just torched the Buccaneer pass defense for 308 yards and three scores, and Bruce Arians will opt to entrust him with an ongoing attack against the exploitable Bills. Allowing owners to accrue fantasy points as he does.


Sit Kirk Cousins at Giants

He became a viable option while constructing a 23:3 touchdown to interception ratio from Weeks 7-17 of the 2015 regular season. However, we have yet to witness a perpetuation in that level of proficiency during Washington’s first two games. He has generated 693 yards, which places him third among all signal callers. But that yardage total conceals inefficiencies that he displayed during both performances. Cousins has simply not been sharp, while manufacturing just one touchdown, tossing three interceptions, and failing to capitalize inside the red zone. Now, he must attempt to navigate a vastly improved Giant unit that currently ranks eighth in total defense. They just limited Drew Brees and the explosive Saint attack to 263 yards, and one touchdown, and have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Cousins owners who have been waiting for their signal caller to deliver a performance that mirrors his excellent 2015 stretch run, must continue their vigil for at least another week.


Start Demarco Murray vs. Raiders

Derrick Henry owners should remain patient for now, as he should deliver productive outings later this year. But as we enter Week 3, Murray is dominating both the workload distribution and snaps that are allotted to the Titan backfield. He has garnered 37 of the 54 touches that have been accrued by the duo, received the critical red zone opportunities, and has dominated their comparative snap count.  Murray has also collected 12 receptions, and should supply a highly productive outing versus a Raider defense that has been gashed for over 500 total yards in each of their first two contests. Oakland also surrendered 139 yards and a touchdown to the combination of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in Week 2 and are yielding 113.5 YPG on the ground. While a smash-mouth approach is Tennessee’s offensive weapon of choice, Murray will assemble significant yardage as both a runner and receiver during this contest.


Start Melvin Gordon at Colts

Melvin Gordon FantasyThose of you who placed your faith in Gordon have already been supplied with a decent amount of fantasy points, and could soon be rewarded substantially for your decision. The second-year back’s production has improved considerably in 2016, as his 159 yards place him seventh among all rushers. He is also tied for the NFL lead with three touchdowns. Which is a mammoth contrast to his rookie season, during which he failed to locate the end zone. His stock is on the threshold of soaring even further. As he is primed to procure a massive workload every week, in the aftermath of Danny Woodhead’s torn ACL. The additional touches that will result from this expanded role should supply instant dividends. When he faces an Indianapolis run defense that ranks 27th, and is yielding 125 YPG. The Colts have also surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing running backs (34.6 PPG).


Sit Todd Gurley at Buccaneers

He is arguably the league’s most talented runner, who can employ his exceptional blend of speed and power to stockpile sizable yardage, and explode for big plays. Which of course is why he was chosen in the first round of your drafts. Unfortunately, it should be disconcerting to owners that he has been encumbered significantly by the inadequacies of the Ram’s substandard quarterbacking, and absence of weaponry that surrounds him. After two games, Gurley has consistently been engulfed by defenders, while manufacturing just 98 yards. That places him 24th among all backs. He is also averaging a mere 2.7 YPG, and must deal with a Tampa Bay unit that currently ranks eighth against the run. The Buccaneers have allowed only 76.5 YPG and one score this season, after yielding the NFL’s second-lowest average to opposing backs in 2015 (3.4 YPC). Tampa Bay has been vulnerable through the air; however, Gurley is seldom utilized as a receiver. Plus, after being blown out by Arizona, the Buccaneers should be very focused in their home opener. As a result, Gurley’s immense talent will be wasted again within a prehistoric offense.


Sit Carlos Hyde at Seahawks

Carlos HydeAfter he had rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams, there was an overreaction by some within the fantasy community that he will dominate opposing defensive units on a weekly basis. But that belief should be eviscerated, now that we have witnessed what will occur when the limitations inherent in a Blaine Gabbert-led offense are exposed by a well-coached, properly constructed defensive roster. As Hyde promptly managed just 34 yards on 14 attempts (2.4 YPC) versus a formidable Carolina defense, while also losing a fumble. Now, another arduous task awaits, as Hyde must deal with Seattle’s third-ranked run defenders. The Seahawks have yielded just 64 YPG and one rushing touchdown this season, after confining Gurley last Sunday.  Hyde only manufactured 40 yards on 11 attempts (3.6 YPC) during his lone 2015 matchup with Seattle, and will deliver similar output during this encounter.


Start Jeremy Maclin vs. Jets

After being forced to contend with coverage from Jason Verrett on opening day, then lining up against a stingy Houston secondary in Week 2, Maclin will be comparatively unconfined versus a cluster of defensive backs that have surrendered 316 YPG, and four touchdowns. While some have been quick to focus on the deterioration of Darrelle Revis’ skills, the entire Jet secondary has repeatedly been scorched, while failing to execute within an assortment of coverage schemes. Deficiencies have been rampant throughout the unit that ranks 25th in pass defense while being scorched for 366 and 297 yards by the Bengals and Bills respectively. That includes three scoring plays of over 50 yards. Alex Smith won’t launch a relentless vertical assault. However, he will locate his primary receiver regularly during this matchup. Which will boost Maclin’s chances of providing his best output of the season during this matchup.


Start Travis Benjamin at Colts

Philip Rivers was off to a tremendous start in Week 1 prior to Keenan Allen’s torn ACL jury in Week 1, then lost a steady weapon, Danny Woodhead, last Sunday. Amid those unfortunate occurrences, Benjamin has ascended into the role of San Diego’s primary receiving threat. After garnering all six of his targets for 115 yards and two scores against a surprisingly vulnerable Jaguar pass defense in Week 2, he has now collected 13 of his 14 targets this season, while appearing to be fully capable of thriving in his elevated role. The Charger offense performed crisply in Week 2, and should compile immense numbers this week. As the Colts currently rank 24th against the pass, while yielding 299 YPG. Tyrell Williams, and Antonio Gates will commandeer their share of passes from Rivers, but Benjamin should deliver the most productive outing among Charger pass receivers.


Sit Golden Tate at Packers

There were definitive signs that Marvin Jones would be Matthew Stafford’s preferred WR1 during the preseason, and that has undoubtedly occurred during Detroit’s first two games. However, what should be of greater concern to Tate owners is his woeful production. Targeting is not an issue, as he is second among all Lions with 16 this season. But he’s averaging only 6.0 YPC, and is also an alarming sixth on the team with paltry 54 yards. That trails Jones, Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah and Anquan Boldin in that category. If you invested a third or fourth round pick on Tate, you should not allow that level of investment to override the disappointing results that he is supplying. Because you should be receiving far more than 27 YPG before assigning him a starting spot. Plus, even if Green Bay deploys additional resources to contain Jones, there is no guarantee that Tate will benefit more than Ebron and Boldin.


Sit Julian Edelman vs. Texans

Owners could easily be lacking superior options to Edelman, who leads the Patriots in targets (18), receptions (14), and yardage (142). But even though he will indeed maintain his status as a primary receiving option, there is an assortment of critical factors that will be working against him during this week’s contest with the Texans. First, he will be dependent upon rookie Jacoby Brissett, who is making his first professional start. Brissett will also be attempting to spearhead New England’s attack on a short week. Plus, he will be dealing with an unfavorable matchup, versus a Houston defense that ranks fourth in pass defense (179 YPG), has yielded just one touchdown pass, and has generated a league-best nine sacks in its first two outings. You should strongly consider the dynamics that could affect  Edelman’s production, before employing him in the customary starting slot.


Start Delanie Walker vs. Raiders

At this point, you can feel confident starting nearly anyone against what is currently a pathetic Oakland pass defense. The Saints and Falcons have now demolished this extremely hospitable unit for enormous 819 yards, and seven touchdowns through the air, and currently, rank dead last against the pass. They have also yielded the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends, after being incapable of containing the normally undistinguished Jacob Tamme in Week 2 (75 yards, one touchdown). Their inability to cover Tamme was reminiscent of their struggles versus tight ends in 2015, when they allowed the third most fantasy points to the position, along with a league-worst 12 touchdowns. Walker generated 83 yards and a score with his six receptions against the Lions in Week 2, and will join Murray in maintaining a critical role within the offense this week. Even though the ground game will receive heavy emphasis, the Titans should still exploit this enticing matchup, by frequently targeting Walker.


Sit Dwayne Allen vs. Chargers

The process of selecting a starting tight end has been somewhat of a journey through the land of Misfit Toys for many owners who opted to exercise patience during the draft process. Dwayne Allen seemed to be one of the most viable late round options that could reward those owners for their approach. But even though this appeared to be the season in which he could finally flourish as Indy’s unquestioned TE1, he has only received one more target than Jack Doyle, and has also generated one fewer touchdown than Doyle. The Chargers can be burned by opposing tight ends, as they just yielded 71 yards to Julius Thomas in Week 2. But the concern for owners should not be Allen’s matchup. Instead, it should be the risk in trusting Indianapolis to include him in the offense with enough frequency to start him.


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