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Week two is now in the books, for better or worse, and what a wild time it has been for fantasy owners. Josh Gordon gets benched and nearly cut from the Browns, only to join the Belichick mafia in New England by Monday for a fifth-round pick. Kansas City has the most explosive offense in football, Le’Veon Bell has 0 fantasy points and the Buccaneers are undefeated.

These are lively and unpredictable times for fantasy owners, which is why we turn to one another for guidance—who to start, who to sit, where will the points land next week? Here are some intriguing matchups that savvy owners might exploit and some less favorable looks to maybe let sit for a week.

Fantasy Football Week 3 Start Em Sit Em

Quarterback Starts

Blake Bortles, QB (Jax) 

The Jaguars lived up to the smack-talk from Jalen Ramsey and kept a lid on the New England offense. They also managed to light up the scoreboard against the typically reliable Patriot’s defense. This week they face off against a Titans’ D that has been just slightly above average so far. The Jaguars defense announced itself last week, I think that Bortles is due to flex his muscles this week. If you’re looking for a fill-in this week, give Blake a look.

Matthew Stafford, QB (Det)

After a brief stumble under the weight of his own offense’s reliance on him—Stafford bounced back last week against a better-than-advertised 49ers defense. This week he’s hoping to carry that momentum into a tough matchup against the Patriots—who seemed to struggle to contain the Jaguars’ three-receiver sets. Three-receiver sets just happen to be the pride of the Lions and a reloaded Patriots offense ought to keep Stafford looking deep and throwing often throughout all four quarters.

Dak Prescott, QB (Dal)

The Cowboys offense has gone off like a lead balloon in 2018 and the young studs from last year are struggling under the weight of it. The weapons that made Dallas a preseason favorite are still in place and the Legion of Boom has been looking more like the Legion of Bums. These two teams are both headed to the bottom of their respective divisions, and in this contest, I think that the East wins out.

Other QB Starts

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (SF)

Andrew Luck, QB (Ind)

Quarterback Sits

Cam Newton, QB (Car)

Newton looked sharp in week 2 but the Bengals defense is very tough and more equipped than Atlanta to deal with Newton’s mobility. I think that Newton is due to feel the loss of Greg Olsen in a much more meaningful way in week 3 and will struggle to escape the pocket.

Philip Rivers, QB (LAC)

In the battle of the LA teams, the Rams top-notch secondary is going to make Rivers a less desirable option.

Other QB Sits

Case Keenum, QB (Den)

Deshaun Watson, QB (Hou)

Andy Dalton, QB (Cin)

Running Back Starts

Giovani Bernard, RB (Cin)

Thus far the Bengals offense is rolling like a well-oiled machine—almost as if players and coaches thrive on consistency. In a season full of shake-ups, the Bengals have done an exceptional job of retaining talent at key positions and it’s paying off this season. With Joe Mixon injured and unlikely to play in week three, good ole’ Gio is going to see his opportunities skyrocket against a Carolina defense who are likely to blitz Andy Dalton early and often, opening up the flats where Bernard is known to thrive.

Jordan Howard, RB (Chi)

With the addition of Khalil Mack, the Bears seem to have found their identity for 2018, while the Cardinals are still in search of one. I like the Bears to lead for most of this matchup, which benefits their backfield and Arizona hasn’t shown much in terms of a run stuff so far.

James White, RB (NE)

Just because Detroit’s offense seems to have rounded a corner doesn’t mean that their defense is stopping anyone. Matt Breida had a debut party against a Detroit defense who were routinely unable to stop him. Knowing the Patriots tendency to focus on their opponent’s weakness, expect a lot of hand-offs and dump offs to keep Matt Stafford off the field.

Other RB Starts

Kenyan Drake, RB (Mia)

Isaiah Crowell, RB (NYJ)

Running Back Sits

Adrian Peterson, RB (Was)

If the ‘Skins fall behind, which seems likely, Peterson is likely to see his opportunities decline pretty steeply.

David Johnson, RB (Ari)

Johnson is likely to see eight-man fronts any time he’s on the field and Khalil Mack is a bad matchup for anyone.

Other RB Sits

Alex Collins, RB (Bal)

Royce Freeman, RB (Den)

Marshawn Lynch, RB (Oak)

Wide Receiver Starts

Demaryius Thomas, WR (Den)

Thomas has had a tough time acclimating to the Case Keenum iteration of the Broncos offense, but his eleven targets last week ought to indicate that it’s a priority for them to get him the ball. Two games in, the Ravens defense is on pace for an up and down year. A.J. Green snatched three touchdowns in the first half against this secondary, I like Thomas’ odds of getting his groove back this week.

DeSean Jackson, WR (TB)

Even with Ben Roethlisberger’s Herculean performance in week two, the Steelers secondary still managed to get beaten enough that they fell short. The Steelers are certainly vulnerable deep and Jackson has still got the quicks to beat his man off the line. It won’t take many receptions for Jackson to put together a huge game catching deep fade routes.

Will Fuller V, WR (Hou)

The Giants also don’t have a secondary known for lockdown coverage and with the safeties cheating toward DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson has shown an affinity for targeting Fuller. I like him to continue his success from week 2.

Other WR Starts

Dante Pettis, WR (SF)

Kenny Golladay, WR (Det)

Wide Receiver Sits

Josh Gordon, WR (NE)

Yes, he makes an exciting play this week, but the Patriots playbook is notoriously complex and while I think that Gordon will be an excellent start in a few weeks, I have doubts as to how well he’s going to know the playbook after one week and will more likely be used as a diversion.

Randall Cobb, WR (GB)

There are just too many moving parts in this offense to securely bet on anyone not named Aaron Rodgers or Davante Adams. Cobb, Geronimo Allison, and Jimmy Graham are squabbling over enough looks to support one. Week to week it’s anybody’s guess who the guy will be.

Other WR Sits

Corey Davis, WR (Ten)

John Brown, WR (Bal)

Allen Robinson, WR (Chi)

Tight End Starts

O.J. Howard, TE (TB)

Another integral part of the Buccaneers aerial assault with a cherry matchup against the Steelers. Howard is a huge red zone target who is a matchup nightmare. The Buc’s are still learning just how useful he is, this week should give a clearer view of a reasonable ceiling for Howard.

David Njoku, TE (Cle)

A co-star of the Hard Knocks television series, David Njoku hasn’t lived up to his expectations yet, but facing a Jets defense with vulnerabilities in the middle of the field, with Josh Gordon out of the picture, I could see Njoku really getting turned loose downfield if and when the Browns fall behind.

Other TE Starts

Will Dissly, TE (Sea)

Eric Ebron, TE (Ind)

Kyle Rudolph, TE (Min)

Tight End Sits

Evan Engram, TE (NYG)

Engram had a big week 2, but almost all of that production came in garbage time. I don’t foresee that repeating itself in week 3.

Other TE Sits

Charles Clay, TE (Buf)

Austin Hooper, TE (Atl)

Jesse James, TE (Pit)

Defense Starts

Bears, D/ST (Chi)

So the Arizona Cardinals are a mess right now and it’s not going to get better against a rejuvenated Bears’ D. I think that Arizona decides to give the rookie a run at some point in this game which will only make things better for Chicago’s D.

Defense Sits

49ers, D/ST (SF)

I think that this D is very underrated and very worth rostering in the future—but this game has shootout written all over it and the ‘9ers stats are going to take a hit this week.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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