Saturday, September 22, 2018

Week 3 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 37 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Drew Brees and Fitzpatrick, you should start Brees -- and in turn, bench Fitzpatrick.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 3 Fantasy Football QB Start'em


QB - Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SF)

It would be difficult for things to go much better for Mahomes so far in 2017. Throwing six touchdowns against the Steelers in Week 2, the second-year quarterback has started the season with 10 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. Here's the list of quarterbacks (in NFL history) that have thrown at least 10 touchdowns in the first two games of a season: Mahomes. End of list.

Going into the season as a high-upside, fringe top-12 quarterback, Mahomes is now the QB1 in my Week 3 rankings. If you own Mahomes as a backup with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or another elite quarterback, I'd sit Brady, Rodgers or any other high-end quarterback in favor of Mahomes. In what should be one of the highest-scoring matchups of the week, Mahomes and the Chiefs have the highest implied total of the week based on Week 3 Vegas odds.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. PIT)

Just as we all expected, Fitzpatrick leads all quarterbacks in fantasy points through two games as the Bucs head into Week 3 looking to close out the Jameis Winston suspension with a 3-0 record. Not only has he vastly exceeded expectations, but Fitzpatrick has done something only two other NFL quarterbacks (Dan Marino and Billy Volek) have ever done -- thrown for 400-plus yards with four-plus touchdowns in back-to-back games.

As inconsistent as Fitzpatrick has been over his career, it wouldn't be a shocker if Fitzpatrick laid an egg this week. At the same time, I'd be comfortable to start him against the Steelers, who just allowed Mahomes to throw six touchdowns last week. Although the season is young, only the Chiefs have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Steelers.

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NO)

Scoring four total touchdowns -- two passing and two rushing -- last week against the Panthers, Ryan bounced back with a 30.68-point fantasy performance (QB5) in Week 2. After peppering Julio Jones with 19 targets in Week 1, Ryan spread the ball around in Week 2 with more of offense involved.

Even though second-year cornerback Marshon Lattimore has struggled early in the season, he's a talented corner so keeping the rest of the offense involved would be helpful for Ryan's Week 3 outlook. Early this season, the Saints have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and only three teams -- Chiefs (31.0), Patriots (30.5) and Vikings (28.5) -- have a higher implied total than the Falcons (28.25) for the week.


Week 3 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em


QB - Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (at LAR)

Throwing three touchdowns and finishing with 22-plus fantasy points in each of his first two games, Rivers gets a more difficult matchup this week against their cross-town rival. In fact, no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through two weeks. Part of that has to do with the fact that they faced the Raiders and Cardinals, but they have an elite secondary and dominant defensive line so it won't be easy for Rivers to scrape together a useful fantasy outing in Week 3.

QB - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (at PHI)

Over his three previous full seasons, Luck has finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in each of those seasons. After missing all of last season, Luck has completed 60-of-84 pass attempts (71.43%) for 498 yards (5.93 Y/A), four touchdowns and three interceptions so far in 2018 with only nine rushing yards. In a difficult matchup against the Eagles, it's possible that Luck continues to perform more like a QB2 than a QB1 and he's ranked outside of my top 12 for the week.

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. IND)

While the matchup isn't too difficult for Wentz, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach with him as he returns from his torn ACL. Especially considering some top weapons (Alshon Jeffery, Jay Ajayi, etc.) will also be out, it's possible that he gets off to a slow'ish start in his return. While not a terrible option, Wentz is ranked just outside my top 12.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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