Saturday, September 25, 2021

Week 3 Fantasy Football QB 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, Jalen Hurts 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, Hurts may be a "sit" for your team.

As an example, if you own both Patrick Mahomes and Hurts, you should start Mahomes and, in turn, bench Hurts.

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 QB Start'em

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

Given his dual-threat abilities, Hurts is able to overcome modest passing numbers to have a productive fantasy outing. For example, Hurts threw for 190 yards and no touchdowns on Sunday, but he still scored 21.8 fantasy points to finish as the week's QB10 by rushing 10 times for 82 yards and a score.

Since becoming a starter in Week 14 last year, Hurts has rushed a minimum of seven times in every game and has exceeded 60 rushing yards in five of six games. During that span, he has a rushing line of 63/416/4. That is an average of 10.93 fantasy points based on his rushing production alone.

With a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Hurts will look to start three-for-three in top-10 fantasy outings to start the 2021 season.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (at KC)

Herbert has thrown more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (two) and only has 11 rushing yards through two weeks. That said, the second-year quarterback has thrown more than 40 pass attempts for more than 335 passing yards in both games. Herbert currently ranks fourth in the NFL in passing yards (675).

As a rookie, Herbert threw for 300-plus yards in both matchups against the Chiefs and combined for six touchdowns -- four passing and two rushing -- in those outings. In an attempt to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs offense, it's possible that we see another high-volume performance from Herbert.

So far this season, the Chiefs have allowed the fifth-most points to their opponents (32.5/G) and the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (vs. ATL)

Despite offseason moves to improve his supporting cast, Jones has posted mediocre passing numbers. Through two weeks, he has thrown for 516 yards and two touchdowns, yet he has scored the fifth-most fantasy points to start the year.

Not only did Jones rack up the seventh-most QB rushing yards (423) in 2020, but he leads the Giants in rushing through two weeks. Jones has scored a rushing touchdown in both games and has a total of 122 rushing yards on 15 carries. Only Lamar Jackson (193) and Hurts (144) have more rushing yards among QBs in 2021.

Not only should Jones get more help from the team's bolstered receiving corps as he builds chemistry with Kenny Golladay, but he gets a favorable matchup in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons. Not only were the Falcons one of the most generous defenses to opposing quarterbacks in 2020, but they have allowed the most fantasy points to the position so far this year.

Week 3 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (at PIT)

Passing volume was one of the main reasons to support the case for Burrow as a QB1 (top 12) this season. With Burrow returning from a late-season ACL injury, the Bengals have been one of the least pass-oriented teams (54.1%, 9th-fewest) through two weeks. With 30 or fewer pass attempts in both games this season, Burrow has finished as fantasy's QB18 and QB25 in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.

Even with an uptick in volume in Week 3, the Bengals have a daunting matchup against a tough Steelers defense. The Bengals have one of the league's lowest implied totals (20.0, 27th) this week as well.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. ARI)

The Jaguars aren't in the bottom 10 in pass-play percentage (like the Bengals) and in fact, they are first (72.88%). Through two weeks, Lawrence has thrown more interceptions (five, most in the NFL) than touchdowns (four) and has completed only 50.0% of his attempts for 5.4 Y/A.

As more than a touchdown underdog against the Arizona Cardinals, the Jags should be pass-happy as they try to keep up with Kyler Murray and Arizona's high-flying offense. Even so, it's better to take a wait-and-see approach with a young quarterback that will eventually develop into a much more productive quarterback than we've seen thus far.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at NYG)

Ryan is one of nine quarterbacks to average more than 40 pass attempts per game this season. Given the skill set of the team's top running backs, they should rank near the top of the league in pass-play percentage this season.

Excluding the three interceptions, Ryan had a better fantasy performance last week against the Buccaneers with 300 passing yards and two scores, but he has yet to finish as a weekly top-15 fantasy quarterback. With non-existent rushing production, it will take a good matchup to consider Ryan a low-end (top-12) starter in fantasy and this week's matchup isn't one of them.

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