Saturday, September 25, 2021

Week 3 Fantasy Football WR Start'em, Sit'em

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Sterling Shepard is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 3 with him as my starting quarterback.

Then again, Shepard may be a "sit" for your team.

As an example, if you own Tyreek Hill, Chris Godwin and Shepard and start two receivers, you should start Hill and Godwin and, in turn, bench Shepard.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 3 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (at KC)

Quick question: Who leads the Chargers in targets this season?

If you didn't already know (or didn't look it up), your first guess would have likely been Keenan Allen. Through two weeks, however, Williams (22) has more targets than Allen (21). While nobody should expect that to be true at season's end (assuming good health for both players), this illustrates how involved Williams has been and should continue to be.

Williams was on my preseason list (early August) of undervalued players in fantasy football in part due to comments from Joe Lombardi saying that if he were a "betting man," he'd "bet on nice numbers" from Williams.

Williams had some moderately successful seasons -- double-digit scores in 2018 and a league-best 20.4 Y/R in 2019. With 15/173/2 through two games, Williams is in the WR2 mix the rest of the way with the potential to put together his best season yet.

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. NYJ)

Jerry Jeudy (IR, high-ankle sprain) is out and Sutton had nine catches on a career-high 12 targets for 159 yards against the Jaguars in Week 2. The Broncos are big home favorites against the New York Jets this week and Sutton should be in store for another large target share. It's possible that the Broncos run away with this game and it gets out of hand early, however, it could lead to a relatively modest number of pass attempts overall. Other that that, there is no real reason to be concerned about starting Sutton this week.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (vs. GB)

Even though Brandon Aiyuk was likely drafted higher in your fantasy league(s), Samuel has been the receiving corps' alpha receiver. Meanwhile, Aiyuk has been Ai-YUCK (see below).

Through two games, Samuel has a total of 15 catches for 282 yards and a touchdown on 20 targets to go along with two rush attempts for eight yards. Only Cooper Kupp and Tyler Lockett have scored more fantasy points than Samuel this season.

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (vs. ATL)

The Giants signed Kenny Golladay to be their WR1. Instead, it's been Shepard that has occupied that role within the offense. Shepard is the WR11 in half-PPR scoring and he has a minimum of nine targets in each game with 7/113/1 and 9/94 receiving lines in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. In a top-10 matchup for wide receivers, Shepard should be viewed as no worse than a high-end WR3.

Week 3 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (at LV)

Waddle is my highest-ranked Dolphins receiver this week, but all of them are "sits." Off to a solid start to his NFL career, Waddle has 10 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown through two weeks. Not only will Waddle face increased competition for targets with Will Fuller making his Dolphins' debut, but the downgrade from Tua Tagovailoa (out, ribs) to Jacoby Brissett lowers the expectations for the passing game across the board.

Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. ARI)

Shenault converted only two of Trevor Lawrence's seven targets in Week 2, but things would have been better for the Jags if his number of receptions were zero instead of two. The second-year receiver lost three yards on his two catches.

Perhaps I was too high on Shenault this summer, as he was one of my favorite mid-round WR targets. While the number of opportunities (18, two rush attempts and 16 targets) are a positive, Shenault is a low-floor WR4.

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (vs. GB)

Two games. Two targets. One catch. Six yards.

Obviously, fantasy managers had expected more from Aiyuk entering this season. Even though he was likely drafted as a top-36 receiver on most rosters, he deserves an indefinite spot at the end of your bench until we see more involvement and production from him.

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