The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 3 (Fantasy Football)
It’s gonna be a good week, Footclan, because it’s Week 3 baby! Welcome to the 2023 season of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.
The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created an amazing Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle.
In this article, you’ll find your most popular Start/Sit questions of the week, along with the Ballers’ projections and my personal opinions on the matter. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool for yourself to catch any last-second changes.
So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the biggest Start/Sit questions for Week 3:
Yes, Joshua Kelley burned us last week, but that was against a vaunted Tennessee D-line that currently boasts the best 17-game stretch of run defense the NFL has seen since 2007. This week, he’ll get a porous Vikings defense that just allowed D’Andre Swift to run wild for 175 yards and a TD, which is by far his career best. Vegas projects this to be the highest-scoring game of the week, meaning Kelley should have plenty of opportunities to redeem himself…assuming that Austin Ekeler is out.
Zach Moss has clearly emerged as the Colts’ lead back (until a disgruntled Jonathan Taylor returns), rushing for 88 yards and a TD plus four catches for 19 yards. He did so via a whopping 98% snap count, and though we shouldn’t expect him to be out there for the entire game again, we can expect him to retain his workload. However, it’ll be tough sledding against a strong Ravens defense and possibly without OROY candidate Anthony Richardson at the helm. They’re heavy underdogs for a reason, inferring that Moss may not get as many of the valuable touches we need for him to produce.
Kelley is the winner in this battle of the backups. Don’t let last week scare you from starting him again.
Oof. Remember what I just said about the Titans being impossible to run against? Well, that still applies here for this week’s shiny new waiver-wire pickup, Jerome Ford. Let’s learn from our mistake last week with Kelley, and give Ford a break this week on the bench. I’m not too worried about Kareem Hunt siphoning touches (although he definitely will, especially through the air), but I am worried about the Titans shutting out the Browns’ ground game. Though, as we saw last week, Ford could easily break loose for another huge run and make us all look foolish.
JEROME FORD REVERSES FIELD FOR THE 69-YARD RUN 🔥
— NFL (@NFL) September 19, 2023
However, Rachaad White doesn’t have it much better either. He faces a stout Eagles defense that just embarrassed the Vikings’ run game so badly that their FO was forced to trade for Cam Akers. His team is projected to lose by five and is expected to score less than the Browns, so we can’t even expect the game script to be on his side. But at least his role and usage are secure, averaging 20.5 opportunities per game and seeing 76% of offensive snaps. Until we see exactly how the workload is split in Cleveland, we’ll have to roll the dice again on White.
Both of these guys should be started, but the Ballers prefer Raheem Mostert this week. He’s clearly Mike McDaniel’s favorite RB and should continue being deployed as a game-changing, top-speed weapon in a high-powered offense. Mostert is currently the RB5 in total points after two weeks. However, he’s actually the RB33 in expected fantasy points, meaning we can expect regression to spoil the “must-start” party. But as long as he’s healthy (and Jeff Wilson Jr. is out), Mostert should find his way into your starting lineup.
Rhamondre Stevenson hasn’t been worth his high draft capital yet, but better times are ahead. Remember, he was sick only days prior to his match against the Dolphins, yet he still dominated in RB carries (75%) and targets (100%). This upcoming matchup against the Jets should be a slow, dirty, defensive battle between two storied rivals, so we can expect a steady volume of touches, although there may not be many goal line opportunities.
Mike Williams has been a WR1 only 14 times in 87 games played throughout his seven-year NFL career. Regardless, he is the Ballers’ consensus WR12 thanks to a barnburner matchup against the Vikings. Simply put, we’re all expecting the Chargers to score a lot, and we know Mike Williams is one of the key players that can make this happen.
Most of us expected Zay Flowers to bloom, but we didn’t think it would happen right off the bat. However, he took a noticeable step back in the gameplan once Mark Andrews returned and reclaimed his targets. Flowers’ 14.7% TPRR also leaves room for improvement. But he’s still one of Lamar Jackson‘s top “first-read” targets (34%) and Indianapolis has one of the worst secondaries in the league, making Flowers a flex-worthy option and Mike’s WR Start of the Week.
It’s very close, but Jared Goff is the winner. The Lions should score more in a game with a slightly higher pace of play (despite Atlanta’s best efforts), and Goff will likely get it done through the air, especially with David Montgomery expected out. However, if stud receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is inactive, then Goff will certainly have more difficulty moving the chains. But, hey, at least it’s at home!
Meanwhile, the collapse of Deshaun Watson has been a sight to behold. Things could improve this week though against a pass-funnel Titans defense that can shut down the run but is susceptible through the air. Amari Cooper will have another week to heal, Elijah Moore could also be a factor, and even David Njoku might luck into the end zone.
For now, Goff is the slight favorite. But if St. Brown is inactive, I just might switch to the dark side.
Despite the plodder of a matchup, you gotta stay in the flames with fantasy’s overall TE2, Hunter Mark Henry. He’s had nearly identical stat lines after two games, going 5-56-1 in the first and 6-52-1 in the second. Believe it or not, he is the TE5 in expected points (9.6) and leads ALL TEs in total air yards (133).
Can you guess who’s second in air yards? None other than Zach Ertz (124), who has also been a surprisingly decent TE averaging nine targets per game (which leads all TEs). The major difference is that he hasn’t been able to score, although this could change on any given Sunday, even in a wildly lopsided matchup against the Cowboys’ top-scoring defense.
But that’s child’s play compared to rookie sensation Puka Nacua, who led the LEAGUE in targets with 20. Both guys are must-starts in an exposable matchup against a withering Bengals team. Williams is the Ballers’ favorite, though I’d side with Nacua in half or full-PPR scoring.