The Fantasy Footballers’ Week 3 Starts

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The NFL Week 3 is here after Week 2 left a wake of bodies. It’s really unfortunate for all of the players that will miss time this season and it stinks when one of your studs goes down. As difficult as it might be on you, it’s just as difficult for everyone else. This is where good players turn good teams into championship teams and bad players drop to the bottom of the standings. Here are your Week 3 Starts from today’s episode:

Andy’s Starts

QB Russell Wilson vs. San Franciscoandy
He’s ranked 27th right now, but [pounding the desk] this is a ‘get-right’ game at home against the San Francisco 49ers after another week of recovery from the ankle sprain. There should be enough short field opportunities that, with some efficiency, Wilson should be able to produce enough TDs to make you happy.

RB Charles Sims vs. Los Angeles
Doug Martin is out and Sims is a versatile back, which is good against a Rams defense that is pretty stout up front. He’s not a RB1, but he’s flex-worthy.

WR DeVante Parker vs Baltimore
He played on 92% of snaps last week and Miami is a 10-point favorite against Cleveland. This is the week he officially usurps Kenny Stills as the best option outside of Jarvis Landry making him a sneaky flex play.

TE Jason Witten vs. Chicago
I’m going with the guy that leads all TEs in targets. He’s at home against Chicago with best friend Dak Prescott throwing him the ball. You don’t want a Gooser* from the TE position so if you don’t have one of the elite TEs, go with Witten.

*Gooser-A score that when multiplied or divided by any real number still yields zero. Alternative terms: Pooped in his big-boy pants.  Also see Week 2 Fantasy Football Duds. 

Mike’s Starts

mikeQB Eli Manning vs Washington
Eli didn’t throw for any TDs against New Orleans last week, but he still threw for 368 yards. The Giants haven’t been able to run the ball consistently and Odell Beckham Jr. [don’t want to say he’s due, but] seems due for a big game. Eli is a great start this week against that Washington defense that is giving up almost 300 yards passing a game.

RB Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman @ New Orleans
I’m going with a double, because I am comfortable starting either of them as RB2s. The Saints allowed over 150 yards and 3 TDs rushing to the Raiders in Week 1. You can’t expect RB1 numbers from either of them because they siphon off of each other, but you can expect RB2 numbers from either of them.

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WR Travis Benjamin @ Indianapolis
We’re starting all the Chargers! Indianapolis’ best CB Vontae Davis is practicing, but his status for this week is unknown. I’m OK chasing points after a 115 yard, 2 TDs performance last week. Benjamin was a stud last year on a bad team in Cleveland and Rivers needs to go to someone.

TE Dennis the former ‘One Hip Quitta’ Pitta  @ Miami
We established Rule 86 and now that Pitta has two functional hips so we are executing Rule 88. If Dennis Pitta is healthy, you play Dennis Pitta. Last week, 10 out of 11 top TEs had a TD, but Pitta was the lone top-TE without a TD because he turned 12 targets into 9 receptions for 102 yards. Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta are BFFFs.

Jason’s Starts

jasonQB Philip Rivers @ Indianapolis
This game is in a dome and it has the second-highest projected points total at 52. The Indianapolis defense is just ravaged. Besides CB Vontae Davis who may or may not play, the rest of the defense seems like a bunch of guys off the street, injured, or playing when not healthy. Rivers should be able to carve them up.

RB Melvin Gordon @ Indianapolis
These are two bottom-half defenses and two really good offenses. The Chargers offensive line is better than it was last year and Danny Woodhead went down, which increases Gordon’s volume and security. Denver RBs managed 30-127-1 rushing and Detroit, without an elite rushing attack, had 21-109-2 against Indianapolis. Everything is lining up for a potential top-10 week our of Gordon.

WR Willie Snead vs Atlanta
Stay in the flames with this guy. I’m taking the #3 ranked WR in 1/2 pt PPR leagues. After receiving a TD in Week 1 and another in Week 2, he now faces Atlanta who gave up 4 TDs to Jameis Winston and 3 TDs to Derek Carr. This is a home game for Drew Brees who scores 10 points more at home than on the road. Don’t bench Willie Snead this week!

TE Dwayne Allen vs San Diego
Besides Oakland, the team that I liked starting TEs against the most last year, was San Diego. They have a bad defense but two really good CBs. San Diego gives up a lot through the air to TEs. They gave up 8-94-0 against Kansas City and 6-88-1 against Jacksonville to TEs. In this high scoring game, Dwayne Allen will be a beneficiary. I think he has better than 50/50 odds for a TD.

Eric’s Starts

EricQB Ryan Tannehill vs Cleveland
Tannehill is not a favorite among fantasy owners after last year’s disappointment and he sure hasn’t lit the world on fire this year, but he’s faced Seattle and New England’s tough defenses. Tannehill gets a Cleveland team that has given up 580 passing yards and 4 TDs in two weeks against rookie Carson Wentz and Elite/Probably-not-Elite Joe Flacco. With who-knows-what going on in the Miami backfield, this looks like a game Adam Gase gets to take his passing offense out for a spin on the open road. Tannehill should be fine as a spot start and I just talked myself into him as a sneaky DFS play.

RB Frank Gore vs San Diego
Don’t look now, but Old Man Gore actually had 3 receptions and displayed some twinkle-toes on a TD last week against Denver’s dominant defense. This week should be smoother sailing for Gore, which marks the third consecutive week I’m picking the RB that faces San Diego. You may recall Spencer Ware going off for 199 total yards and a TD in Week 1 and even T.J. Yeldon had an OK PPR day aided by 8 receptions even if they only yielded 10 yards. I’m not expecting 199 yards or 8 receptions out of Gore, but he has a great shot at a TD and 70-80 total yards is a floor.

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WR Tajae Sharpe vs Oakland
Sharpe quickly developed chemistry with Marcus Mariota in the preseason and already has 18 targets within the first two weeks. The Oakland defense has looked like swiss cheese given up 69 points through the first two weeks while aforementioned Willie Snead tore them up with 172 yards and a TD in Week 1 and Julio Jones had 106 yards and a TD in Week 2. I like Sharpe’s opportunity for a big game at home against a reeling Oakland defense.

TE Jacob Tamme @ New Orleans
This New Orleans vs Atlanta game has the makings of a shootout and I want a part of it. The 9-year vet Jacob Tamme isn’t a name that has been thrown around much, but he’s turned 16 targets into 11 receptions, 126 yards, and 1 TD so far this season. I just feel a 6-75-1 type game from him. If you’re really hurting for a TE, Tamme is only owned in 52% of ESPN leagues.

Be sure to check out all of Episode #270: Starts of the Week, Week 3 Matchups, and Debate of the Week

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