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NFL Fantasy football stars and sits for week 3


As the weeks go by, the NFL fantasy landscape starts to take a more distinguishable shape. New fantasy superstars like Patrick Mahomes (a guy I completely whiffed on) are starting to emerge and fantasy castoffs like Larry Fitzgerald are starting to wane off into the distance.

Here are the players you should start and the guys that you should bench this week.


Editor’s note: Eddie Velazquez is a football fan with very little to do other than consistently check the waiver wire. He just took his first “L” of the season, so take this advice with a grain of salt. He is also playing for sums of money he has only seen once in his life. Wish him luck on twitter @ezvelazquez…and I guess also send him your fantasy questions there.


Quarterback start of the week: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (at Kansas City Chiefs)

Realistically, you are starting either quarterback in this game, but I am too prideful to go with Mahomes and I wouldn’t be treading any new ground there.

While Garoppolo has gotten off to a slow fantasy start, the Chiefs defense could be the antidote. They have allowed 29 fantasy points to Phillip Rivers and 39 to Ben Roethlisberger in previous weeks.

The secondary, in particular, concerns concerning. As a unit, they are ranked 28th in Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) ranking.

Another player to watch here could be rookie receiver Dante Pettis, as Garoppolo’s primary weapon in receiver Marquise Goodwin is still questionable to play.

Other QB starts: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs Buffalo Bills). Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs Oakland Raiders). Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs New Orleans Saints).

Quarterback sit of the week: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (at Philadelphia Eagles)

I know the heavily touted best defense in the league just got shredded by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers, but the Colts just don’t have the weapons to incinerate the Eagles like that.

There is fantasy value in pass catchers TY Hilton and perhaps Eric Ebron if the Colts near the red zone, but Luck’s turnover problems are a little out of control at the moment.

Over the course of the first two weeks, his TD-Int ratio is 4-3 and the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins defenses are definitely inferior to the pass rush and cover units in Philly.

Other QB sits: Alex Smith, Washington Redskins (vs Green Bay Packers). Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs Broncos). Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at Seattle Seahawks).

Running back start of the week: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (at Arizona Cardinals)

This is going to be a long season in the desert for the Cardinals. According to, they have allowed 44.3 points-per-game to opposing running backs in a points-per-reception format this season. When it comes to Howard, he is the undisputed leading back in Chicago. The Bears could very easily put this game away in the first half, meaning they’ll sit on a lead and ride Howard for multiple series.

Other RB starts: Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (vs New Orleans Saints). Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers (at Kansas City Chiefs). Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (vs Buffalo Bills).

Running back sit of the week: Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos (at Baltimore Ravens)

I am not professing doom for the Rolls Royce just yet, but this selection is based solely on his average draft position (ADP) and how it correlates to his usage and production. Freeman was going as high as the fourth round according to Fantasy Football Calculator and his role seems to be diminishing. According to, the Oregon product is losing significant snaps to undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay. In last week’s win against Oakland, Lindsay had 54 snaps compared to Freeman’s 45. Freeman also saw a regression in touches, as Lindsay had 32 compared to Freeman’s 23.

This isn’t necessarily a difficult matchup, as the Ravens defense will miss linebacker CJ Mosley and run stoppers Michael Pierce and Willie Henry. However, the advice here is to start Lindsay over Freeman.

Other RB sits: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (at Minnesota Vikings). Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (at Washington Redskins). Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (vs Dallas Cowboys).

Pickup of the week: Running back, Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals.

With starter Joe Mixon down anywhere from two to four weeks, Bernard becomes the immediate leading rusher in this backfield. His versatility in the passing game, not only to catch the football out of the backfield, but the ability to line up on the outside and in the slot makes him an immediate add. Bernard is only owned on 28 percent of leagues according to Yahoo! Sports.

Other adds to look out for: Dan Bailey, kicker, Minnesota Vikings. Antonio Callaway, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns. Rashaad Penny, running back, Seattle Seahawks.

Wide receiver start of the week: Will Fuller, Houston Texans (vs New York Giants)

Quarterback Deshaun Watson got his favorite target back last week and the offense improved immediately. Coming back from a hamstring injury in week one, Fuller set a career-high eight-catch performance against the Titans in week two. He was almost perfect, as he saw nine targets for those eight receptions. He also posted a touchdown and 113 yards while flashing his big play ability. Fuller showed his supersonic speed and complemented that with great hands, which has always been a knock on him.

There is also something to be said about his synergy with Watson. As this was the duo’s eighth touchdown in the five games they have been on the field together.

Look for wideout DeAndre Hopkins to draw coverage from defensive backs Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins, which could free up Fuller for a big day.

Other WR starts: Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (at Baltimore Ravens). Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles (at Indianapolis Colts). Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (at Arizona Cardinals).

Wide receiver sit of the week: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

In one of my shortest paragraphs yet: Blaine Gabbert is starting at quarterback, and their leading receiver in week two was a special teamer who caught a fake punt for 66 yards. And that was against an anemic Texans secondary.

Other WR sits: Robby Anderson, New York Jets (at Cleveland Browns). Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo Bills (at Minnesota Vikings). Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs Chicago Bears).

Tight end start of the week: OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Pittsburgh Steelers)

While this could have very well been George Kittle again, I am not disrespecting the big man in Tampa again. OJ has been on fire since the season started and not even the Philadelphia defense could stop him. He carved them up for 96 yards and a touchdown in one of the more impressive catch-and-runs you’ll see all season.

As for the Steelers, they have allowed 18.2 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends. They have also never had an answer to athletic freaks like OJ in coverage–just ask Rob Gronkowski.

Other TE starts: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs Buffalo Bills). Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks (vs Dallas Cowboys). Trey Burton, Chicago Bears (at Arizona Cardinals).

Tight end sit of the week: David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (vs New York Jets)

One of this season’s Hard Knocks darlings, Njoku has gotten off to a really slow start this season. He hasn’t seen anywhere above seven targets in each of his first two games and he is only totaling seven catches for 33 yards thus far. The Browns are also facing the highest scoring fantasy defense through two weeks (35 points in total).

Other TE sits: Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (at Jacksonville Jaguars). Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers (at Los Angeles Rams). Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (at Carolina Panthers).

Defense and special teams starts of the week: New York Jets (at Cleveland Browns). Miami Dolphins (vs Oakland Raiders). Minnesota Vikings (vs Buffalo Bills).

Defense and special team busts of the week: San Francisco 49ers (at Kansas City Chiefs). Washington Redskins (vs Green Bay Packers). Los Angeles Chargers (at Los Angeles Rams).

Kicker starts of the week: Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles (at Indianapolis Colts). Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (at Washington Redskins). Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints (at Atlanta Falcons).

Kicker busts of the week: Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (vs New England Patriots). Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Sebastian Janikowski, Seattle Seahawks (vs Dallas Cowboys).

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Eddie Velazquez, Entertainment Editor
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NFL Fantasy football stars and sits for week 3