The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 3

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Are you panicking yet? It may not have gone as you planned. This season has been one that defies the odds. RBs are producing at an incredibly low rate, and those top-tier receivers have been pretty good. Those who went zero RB are smugly walking around your league feeling untouchable. Now, what do we do? Should we be rioting in the street? Is it time for a complete overhaul via trading? Have no fear because The Fantasy Footballers are here to help you navigate your team. 

The Ballers presented their Week 3 Starts of the Week on Thursday’s episode. So, if you are wrestling with any of these players, let Andy, Mike, and Jason lead you to success. If there are other players you are wrestling with, use the Start/Sit tool. If you want more Fantasytastic analysis, check out the entire episode below. In the meantime, a breakdown of the Starts of the Week is here to help you find success in week 3. 

Andy’s Starts of the Week

QB- Kirk Cousins vs. DET

Time to bounce back. Thankfully this game is not in prime time, which means Cousins should be more like his usual self. The Lion’s defense will be an excellent friend to Cousins again as he averages 280 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions. Andy expects a big game from Cousins as he has given him a massive rating booster this week. Super confident in Cousins and his ability to provide you with a great fantasy week. 

RB- Leonard Fournette vs. GB

No Godwin, no Julio, no Mike Evans for the Buccaneers. Enter Leonard Fournette as a significant pass catcher for the team. The Packers are giving up 153 yards o opposing RBs on the ground so far. Add in that the Dump Truck is about to catch all the dump-offs from Tom Brady this week. There is no real competition, and he runs a route on 75% of Brady’s dropbacks. He could be a top 3 RB this week. 

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WR- Adam Thielen vs. DET

Andy thinks that Thielen will score in this game. Detroit has been struggling to stop the pass. Thielen has been running as many routes as Justin Jefferson; despite the number of targets Jefferson has had, those numbers can shift back to a more even share. Last week Washington put up plenty of good stats from the WR position. There should be plenty of passing this week, meaning Thielen should be a solid start. 

TE- Zach Ertz vs. LAR

Don’t watch, but the Cardinals will need him in this game. The Rams have quietly allowed the highest pass success rate in the NFL, where Josh Allen carved them up in week 1, and Mariota almost led a massive comeback. Ertz has seen 3 endzone targets and drawn a respectable 18+ percent target share in the two games this season. His motto is “I won’t goose ya.” 

Jason’s Starts of the Week

QB- Matthew Stafford vs. ARI

He was sitting on a lot of waivers after the Buffalo beat down in week one. This is a matchup you want to play Stafford in. Last year in Arizona, he went for 287 yards and three touchdowns. So far in 2022, the Cardinals are allowing the highest expected points per pass attempt in the NFL. The Rams are 3.5 road favorites in a game with almost a 50-point over/under, which is something we like. So get Stafford in your lineup for what should be another great outing against the Cardinals. 

RB- David Montgomery vs. HOU

This is one of those rare matchups where the Bears are favored. We know the Bears want to run the ball, which is good for the favored team. Add in how the Texans allow the highest rushing success rate in the NFL. You are looking at a massive success opportunity. Opposing RBs are averaging 4.86 yards per carry so far, and the Bears are running the ball nearly 59% of the time. He ran for over 100 yards last week against the Packers, even in the negative game script. This should be a big week for Montgomery. 

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Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel

WR- Michael Thomas vs. CAR   

Jason is in as Thomas as a WR2 for the rest of the season. He has re-established himself as a significant part of the offense. To this point, he has 24% of the target share, 23% targets per route run, and 3 red-zone targets that have become 3 touchdowns. The Saints are throwing the ball at the third-highest rate in the league. While Olave is being used to stretch the field, Thomas is the main guy around the endzone. 

TE- Tyler Higbee vs. ARI

 Stack him with Stafford for even sweeter totals. He leads all TEs in snap rate at 96%, and the 3rd most routes run, the 2nd most TE targets, and 23% targets per route run. Again, the Arizona secondary is terrible against TE. he isn’t the same as Kelce or Waller, but he should still have plenty of points on the week. 

Mike’s Starts of the Week

QB- Jared Goff vs. MIN

He is the definition of a quality streamer this week. Minnesota is allowing the NFL’s second most yards per play. The Vikings have played the most Cover 2 defense, where safeties stay back to guard deep passes. That opens up the short yardage game for Amon-Ra and should provide plenty of fantasy points for Goff. Trust him to continue to use his primary weapons. And let them bring in the fantasy gold for Goff. He is a great pick-up option for the Herbert managers if you are worried about him playing this week. 

RB- Miles Sanders vs. WSH

Sanders has looked great, and the Commanders have been bad. Ride the momentum Sanders has so far this season. Washington ranks 29th in defensive DVOA and 30th in adjusted line yards, according to Football Outsiders. Mike has stood up for Sanders all week, and as we learned in Never Not Working, we want RBs who are favored to win. The Eagles are favored by 6.5 pts. Get Sanders in your lineup this week, and savor his sweet production. 

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WR- DK Metcalf ve. ATL

If there is a week to start Metcalf, it’s this one. The Falcons have allowed 40 points to the WR position in both games this year. Pete Caroll has said they want to get Metcalf more involved down the field. Since the Falcons are allowing the 2nd highest pass success rate on 20+ yard plays, if Caroll is telling the truth, Metcalf should smash this week. 

TE- Evan Engram vs. LAC

No, it’s not Taysom Hill. Engram saw a 27% target share last week and surprisingly caught most of them. Last year the Chargers allowed the most TE fantasy points. Engram could be on waivers but should be on your team and in your lineup this week. Lawrence is quietly 5th in expected points per pass attempt and 5th in pass success rate, and Engram should be a smash play this week.

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