We sent you Jamey Eisenberg’s Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em picks for Week 3 last night, and today’s newsletter has Dave Richard’s start and sit picks and Heath Cummings’ previews for each position for Week 3. If you need more help, that’s OK — I’ll be live on the Fantasy Football Today YouTube channel with Adam Aizer at 2 p.m. ET for our start/sit live stream. We’ll be discussing all of the latest news and answering your toughest lineup questions, and we’ll be there every week to make sure you’re ready for the first lineup lock of the week.
In tomorrow’s newsletter, I’ll have previews of every game on the Week 3 schedule, including the latest injury updates for everyone you need to know about, plus all of the key takeaways from the Steelers-Browns matchup.
Get ready for Week 3 with all of our preview content here:
- Week 3 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: QB | RB | WR
- Starts, sits and sleepers for every game
- Week 3 Position Previews: QB | RB | WR | TE
- Week 3 Rankings: Jamey | Dave | Heath | Chris
Here’s what else today’s newsletter will cover:
- 3️⃣Dave Richard’s Week 3 Preview
- 🔍Week 3 Position Previews
There are the obvious calls, and then there are the ones you need help with. Dave Richard goes through each game to identify the most interesting matchups and biggest lineup dilemmas for Week 3. Here are some of his top picks for this week. You can find the rest of his advice for Week 3 here:
- JuJu Smith-Schuster– “Smith-Schuster is definitely more of a touchdown-needy option in non-PPR, and that’s something we shouldn’t count on. You should start Smith-Schuster in PPR formats especially because he has six-catch potential. He’s worth trusting in those leagues over Marquise Brown, Amari Cooper and Terry McLaurin.”
- Dameon Pierce — “The rookie is clearly evolving as a tackle-beating rusher, so anything his improving O-line can do to find him space before contact will obviously fuel his efficiency, but running to the edges should benefit him too. His playing time should remain steady, if not favor him if Houston builds a lead. I’d give Pierce a nod over A.J. Dillon, Travis Etienne and Ezekiel Elliott.”
- Tom Brady — “I don’t think I’ve ever recommended sitting Brady two weeks in a row, but this one seems too easy. Brady won’t play with Mike Evans, won’t have Chris Godwin, can’t get great numbers out of Russell Gage, might have Julio Jones and would have Breshad Perriman as a top outside target either way. Behind an offensive line that’s got its own issues, this is not ideal.”
- Dawson Knox — “Knox remains a streaming tight end with touchdown-or-bust potential. I’d rather start Logan Thomas, Irv Smith and even Tyler Conklin in PPR leagues.”
- Jarvis Landry — “I wouldn’t get too cute with Landry, but the matchup suggests he’s in the flex conversation in PPR formats at a minimum and a super-sneaky DFS play. The whole world will talk about Chris Olave‘s 300-plus Air Yards last week, but I’d rather chance it with the safer secondary Saints receiver.”
- Rashaad Penny — “Atlanta’s defense, at least in terms of run defense metrics, isn’t bad against running backs. They’ve allowed 4.0 yards per carry and are right around league average in terms of yards before and after contact. But they haven’t quite been tested, only seeing 38 rushes against them through two games. Because of that, and because teams are converting third downs at a high rate against them on the ground, their defensive total rush EPA is third-worst. That’s going to stand out to Pete Carroll.”
- Tua Tagovailoa — “If you start Tagovailoa, you’re hoping he passes enough to fall into good production against the league’s top defense minus a couple of its starters. That’s absolutely reasonable, but it’s also reasonable to expect Tagovailoa to struggle under pressure with some turnovers. Safer quarterbacks in more favorable matchups (Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow) are preferred to Tagovailoa, but other passers without the firepower and/or in tough matchups (Carson Wentz, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady) shouldn’t be started over the Dolphins quarterback.”
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🔍Week 3 Position Previews
Every week, Heath Cummings previews each position, providing injury insights, key stats to know, the best waiver-wire adds, DFS targets, and more for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Here’s a brief rundown of each position, along with all of the injuries you need to know about for each position:
“Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson should all enter the Hall of Fame on their first try. Brady and Rodgers are completely deserving of being a part of the GOAT discussion at the quarterback position. But you won’t find any of them in my top-12 quarterbacks in Week 3, and the rest of their Fantasy seasons is at least questionable at this time.”
- Number to know: 24 — Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense is ranked 24th in the league in first down pass rate. Last year, the Bucs had the second highest pass rate.
- Matchup that matters: Aaron Rodgers @ TB (2nd vs. QB)
- Waiver add/streamer: “It’s a pretty terrible week at quarterback, but Mariota’s rushing ability and good matchup make him a borderline start against Seattle. He’s a better option in leagues that only reward four points per pass touchdown because it would be very surprising if he throws more than two. But he could run for another as well.”
- Stash: “Trubisky and the Steelers face a mediocre Jets defense in Week 4. That defense made Jacoby Brissett look competent in Week 2.”
- Justin Herbert (ribs) — LP. The Chargers have called Herbert day-to-day with rib cartilage fracture, and he’s been able to throw during the team’s off day and was going through individual drills Wednesday. This is likely a question of pain tolerance, and at this point, I’m expecting Herbert to play this week, and I’m starting him as long as he does.
- Lamar Jackson (elbow) — LP. Jackson had his arm in a protective sleeve and didn’t throw any passes during Wednesday’s session. It’s the first time he’s been listed on an injury report with an arm injury, per ESPN, but he told reporters he expects to practice Thursday and play Sunday.
- Jameis Winston (back, ankle) — LP. Winston suffered several fractures in his back during the season opener and is also dealing with the ankle injury suffered some time during Week 2. He’s expected to play through the issues, though obviously there’s some concern about how they’re going to impact his play — as well as risk of further injury forcing him from the game. Winston is a mid-range QB2.
- Zach Wilson (knee) — LP. Wilson continues to aim for a Week 4 return from his preseason knee injury, with the expectation that he’ll start to practice in full by next week. Joe Flacco will start against the Bengals in Week 3 and is not a recommended option even in a pass-heavy start to the season.
“It only took two weeks for the running back situations in the NFC West to look like an absolute disaster. But that doesn’t mean they’re without upside.
The 49ers have already placed Elijah Mitchell on injured reserve and now they’ll be without Tyrion Davis-Price for the next few weeks as well. That leaves their situation as the most clear, with Jeff Wilson as a feature back for as long as he can stay healthy. But Wilson has had plenty of injuries in the past himself and has never proven able to hold up to the type of workload that’s coming. Expect an extended role for Deebo Samuel and add Jordan Mason just in case things go wrong with Wilson.”
- Number to know: 26% – Breece Hall received just 26% of the Jets’ running back snaps compared to Michael Carter‘s 61% in Week 2.
- Matchup that matters: David Montgomery vs. HOU (27th vs. RB)
- Waiver add: “As of now we don’t expect James Conner to play in Week 3 and we expect Williams to lead the backfield without him. But there’s a low degree of confidence in both, so don’t make a huge splash in terms of FAB. Williams should handle a majority of the short-yardage work, which gives him a slight edge, but this is a bad matchup and it will be a committee.”
- Stash: “The 49ers running backs continue to go down to injury with Tyrion Davis-Price now expected to miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain. That leaves Jordan Mason as the top backup to Jeff Wilson, who has never played more than 12 games in an NFL season. By Week 4 Mason could be the starting running back for the 49ers with no one of consequence behind him.”
- D’Andre Swift (ankle) — DNP. Per Lions coach Dan Campbell, Swift is “certainly better than he was this time last week,” which is a good sign after he played through the injury in Week 2. They limited his exposure a bit, but Swift still broke big plays and found the end zone and remains a must-start Fantasy option as long as he’s healthy enough to play.
- James Conner (ankle) — DNP. Conner was called “day to day” earlier in the week by Kliff Kingsbury, but obviously that does not preclude him from missing this week’s game. Darrel Williams would be the likely goal-line back and preferred starter for this week’s game against the Rams if you need one, but both he and Eno Benjamin would be more like RB3s for the game.
- Alvin Kamara (ribs) — LP. Kamara suffered the injury in Week 1 and missed Week 2, but we don’t really have any details beyond that. Hopefully he’ll progress enough this week to be cleared to play, but given how it limited him in Week 1, Kamara wouldn’t be the obvious must-start guy he typically is. A top-15 RB, probably, but not top-five.
- J.K. Dobbins (knee) — FP. The Ravens continue to refer to Dobbins as “week-to-week,” so I wouldn’t necessarily take a full practice Wednesday as a guarantee that he’s going to play this week. It’s a good sign, though I wouldn’t necessarily want to trust Dobbins in his first game back from a significant knee injury against a tough Patriots defense. He’ll be more like an RB3 for me.
- Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle) — DNP. Davis-Price is dealing with a high-ankle sprain and will likely miss several weeks. Jordan Mason hasn’t been able to get on the field despite multiple injuries, so there’s no guarantee he does this week — Jeff Wilson should get a good amount of work and is in the RB2 discussion.
- Dontrell Hilliard (hamstring) — LP. Hilliard missed Week 2, but this is a good sign. He’s a PPR flier as the passing downs counterpart to Derrick Henry.
“If you don’t have Garrett Wilson on your Fantasy roster yet, you may have missed your opportunity. As of Wednesday morning, he’s rostered in 76% of leagues and I would expect that number will be over 90% by Thursday morning. As it should be.
If you do have Wilson on your roster, you may be wondering if he’s an automatic start, or if you should just hold for a few weeks to see where he goes from here. After looking at those 30 Fantasy points on my bench in Week 2, I’ll likely be starting him everywhere, and it’s not just FOMO that’s causing me to make that choice.”
- Number to know: 334 — Air yards for Chris Olave in Week 2. Somehow, it only amounted to five receptions for 80 yards.
- Matchup that matters: Jaylen Waddle vs. BUF (8th vs. WR)
- Waiver add: “With Garrett Wilson and Curtis Samuel now over 70% rostered, Sterling Shepard becomes the top waiver wire priority. Shepard has seen a 25% target share the first two weeks of the season which is pretty much in line with what he’s done the past two years whenever he and Daniel Jones have been on the field together. He has a shot at WR2 production every week.”
- Stash: “We’ve seen Garrett Wilson, Drake London, and Jahan Dotson break out early this season, and don’t be surprised if Jameson Williams is next. He’s still at least five weeks away, so it may be difficult to stash him if you don’t have an IR spot, but his upside means you should at least try. At the very least, he should be rostered in every league that has IR slots.”
- Keenan Allen (hamstring) — LP. Allen was able to return to practice after missing Week 2, and the expectation is he’ll be able to play. However, we’d like to see him ramp up as the week goes on before we lock him in.
- Michael Pittman (quad) — LP. Likewise, this is a good sign for Pittman’s chances of playing, but not a guarantee. Pencil him back into your lineup for a game where the Colts may have to pass a lot to keep up with the Chiefs.
- Gabe Davis (ankle) — LP. Same here. Davis’ injury didn’t sound like a serious one even though it kept him out of Monday’s game, and it looks like he’s got a chance of making it a one-week absence. He would be in the WR2/3 discussion against Miami.
- Julio Jones (knee) — DNP. Chris Godwin (knee) isn’t expected to play and Mike Evans is already out due to a suspension, so the Buccaneers are going to be limited at WR no matter what this week. It’ll be hard to trust Jones even if he does play against the Packers, while Russell Gage is in the WR3/4 range no matter what.
- Jerry Jeudy (chest/sternum) — DNP. Jeudy was called “day-to-day” following the injury, so there is still a chance he plays this week. However, this isn’t a good start. Keep an eye on his status Thursday and Friday will tell us more, and Jeudy would be worth starting against the 49ers as the Broncos look to get their flagging offense going.
- Hunter Renfrow (concussion) — DNP. Renfrow will have to go through the league’s concussion protocol to be cleared, so we should know well ahead of Sunday if he’s going to play. He’d be a fringe Fantasy starter if he plays.
- Treylon Burks (ankle) — LP. This is a new one for Burks, so let’s just hope it wasn’t an injury he suffered during practice. He’s shown real flashes of being able to emerge as the Titans No. 1 option while seeing his snaps increase from Week 1 to Week 2, so Burks remains worth stashing even if he misses time.
- Van Jefferson (knee) — DNP. Jefferson continues to recover from preseason knee surgery, and Sean McVay told reporters he doesn’t expect Jefferson to play this week. Ben Skowronek will continue to serve as the WR3 for the Rams, but he isn’t Fantasy relevant.
- Rondale Moore (hamstring) — DNP. Moore still hasn’t practiced, and an ESPN report from this weekend said it could be a “few more weeks.” Greg Dortch should continue to get a ton of snaps and remains an intriguing PPR sleeper.
- Jakobi Meyers (knee) — DNP. You can never know how concerning a missed practice is when it comes to the Patriots — and Meyers being limited today and tomorrow wouldn’t tell us much about his chances of playing either. According to reports, Meyers avoided serious injury, but he could still be sidelined this week. Meyers is a useful PPR starter when healthy.
- Kyle Philips (shoulder) — LP. Philips didn’t play much in Week 2 due to the injury, but he showed some promise in Week 1. Hopefully he can get healthy, because he has some appeal in deeper PPR leagues.
- Alec Pierce (concussion) — FP. Pierce was playing a pretty strong snap share and even got an end zone target in Week 1, so there’s some stash appeal here now that he’s healthy.
- Devin Duvernay (concussion) — DNP. Duvernay has shown a bunch of splash potential so far, but he’s not a recommended starter yet even if he clears the concussion protocol.
“No tight end has caused as much panic to Fantasy managers the first two weeks of the season as Kyle Pitts. In fact, I’m not sure any player at any position has.
Pitts has 38 yards on the season and is getting out-targeted and out-produced by rookie teammate Drake London. Considering he was a third- or fourth-round pick in most leagues, Fantasy managers are rightly concerned about Pitts. In fact, I’ve even gotten a few questions about sitting him for Tyler Higbee. For now, I still see too much upside to even consider sitting Pitts in a weekly league, and that we’ll remain the case until at least Week 5. ”
- Number to know: 20 — Tyler Higbee leads all tight ends with 20 targets through Week 2 games. He also has run the most routes by a tight end with 76 and received the most red zone targets with four.
- Matchup that matters: Mike Gesicki vs. BUF (8th vs. TE)
- Streamer: “Logan Thomas saw his participation increase in Week 2 and I’d expect that trend to continue moving forward. He has a lot of competition for targets, but playing one of the most pass-heavy offenses in football should help mitigate that. I’d expect Thomas to be a borderline top-12 tight end rest of season.”
- George Kittle (groin) — LP. Kittle made progress in last week’s practice session, so hopefully that means he’ll be able to make his debut this week. He could be worked in somewhat slowly due to the injury, but Kittle would still be a must-start TE.
- Dawson Knox (foot) — DNP. Knox was briefly out of Sunday’s game, so now I guess we know what that was for. He’s a touchdown-or-bust tight end if he’s able to play.
- T.J. Hockenson (hip) — LP. This is the first we’ve seen of this injury for Hockenson, so it’s not clear if it was something that came up during practice or not. For now, we’ll assume he’s going to play Sunday against the Vikings, where he’s a boring, volume-based starting TE until he starts to show some life.