The Duel

Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Fantasy Football

Jason Schandl
Fantasy football Week 3 start 'em, sit 'em picks, including Gardner Minshew.
Fantasy football Week 3 start 'em, sit 'em picks, including Gardner Minshew. / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A staggering number of injuries in Week 2 has caused some pretty drastic changes in the fantasy football landscape.

Many fantasy managers are left scrambling to fill out their starting lineups in Week 3. To help with those decisions, here are the top start 'em, sit 'em picks for the week.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3 Quarterbacks

Start Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs MIA): Gardner Minshew might be the real deal. He ranked No. 13 among qualifying passers by averaging 7.3 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) in 2019, and he's proving that was no fluke in 2020, averaging 8.3 through two games. He's already tossed 3 touchdowns in each of the first two weeks of the season, and now he gets a Miami Dolphins defense that has given up 553 passing yards through two games. Miami will also be without top CB Byron Jones in this one.

Sit Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (at PIT): The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense carried the team to an 8-8 record despite terrible QB play in 2019, and so far in 2020 they look like they're still one of the best units in the NFL. They ranked No. 3 in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metric last year, and so far this season they check in at No. 2. Deshaun Watson has struggled (2 TDs, 2 INTs, 8 sacks) against lesser defenses so far this year, and he could be in for a rough outing on Sunday.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3 Running Backs

Start Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers (at LAC): A lack of name recognition may have some fantasy managers reluctant to start Mike Davis after landing him off the waiver wire this week, but you can feel good about plugging him into your starting lineup. Davis is the clear lead back in Carolina now, putting him in line for the bulk of the rushing work. He hasn't been much of a receiver in his NFL career so far (only one season with more than 15 receptions), but he racked up 8 receptions on 8 targets in Week 2, suggesting he'll pick up his fair share of McCaffrey's receiving volume as well.

Sit Devonta Freeman and Dion Lewis, New York Giants (vs SF): Saquon Barkley's injury doesn't create nearly as much value as McCaffrey's this week. Dion Lewis stepped in as the RB1 when Barkley went down, but then the Giants went out and signed Freeman. It's not clear who the team's lead back will be, especially this week while Freeman is new in town. Add in a tough matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, and the Giants backfield should be handled with a wait-and-see approach.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3 Wide Receivers

Start T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs NYJ): It's fair to be concerned about T.Y. Hilton — his volume and production have both been brutal through two weeks. With Parris Campbell on the injured reserve and a dreamy matchup against the New York Jets on tap, this should be the week we see Hilton return to form, however. The Jets check in at 22nd against the pass in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA rankings for 2020.

Sit Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos (vs TB): First-round pick Jerry Jeudy is set to step up as the Denver Broncos' WR1 with Courtland Sutton on I.R., but that doesn't mean he's a safe bet in fantasy this week. First off, he'll have Jeff Driskel throwing him the ball, and Driskel has an egregious career average of 5.9 AY/A. For context, only one qualifying passer (Mason Rudolph at 5.7) had a mark worse than that in 2019. Second, Jeudy's target share of 17.6 percent (6 of 34) on Driskel's passes was nothing to write home about. Getting modest volume from a terrible QB is not a recipe for fantasy football value.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.