Start' EM Sit' EM Week 3
The second week of the fantasy season has concluded and there are some highs and lows for fantasy managers to deal with. Let's talk about some of the highs. I know I had Daniel Jones as a start for Week 2, but did anyone see Jones becoming the QB1? Jones gave fantasy managers bold enough to play him a bit of a scare after that slow start against the Arizona Cardinals. Jones dropped 30 fantasy points on the Cardinals' defense for Week 2. And how about the performance from Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson, who finished as the RB1, dropping 28 fantasy points on the Denver Broncos? Robinson scored two touchdowns on the day and wouldn't you know it, he was on my bench. Yeah, it was that kind of week for me in fantasy. I have to hold that L. But it is comforting to see the Commanders using Brian Robinson the way they are.
Those were some of the highs, so we have to talk a little bit about the lows. One is Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. What in the world is going on with the Bears' offense under Justin Fields? Fields scored just 14.7 fantasy points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This isn't the kind of start that fantasy managers saw coming when they drafted Fields for the 2023 season. Alexander Mattison is another player who had a bad day against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. Mattison got about 4.9 fantasy points in the game. While I wouldn't write him off for the season, you'll have fantasy managers a little worried about putting him in their lineups moving forward. But with these storylines and more coming to a close, Week 3 will have its challenges. So here are a few players that made the list this week.
Week 2 Start' EM
*Roster start percentages via ESPN Fantasy
Jared Goff vs. ATL (12% Start)
Jared Goff has had the Detroit Lions off to a good start offensively for the start of the season. Over the first two weeks, Goff is currently the QB11 for fantasy averaging 19 FPPG. Goff gets the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 that's allowed nearly 14 FPPG to opposing quarterbacks so far but with Goff's willingness to throw the ball (avg. 35 att/g), Goff should be the first veteran test the Falcons secondary gets this far into the season.
Dak Prescott vs. AZ (30.6% Start)
The Cowboys are 2-0 heading into Week 3 but Dak Prescott hasn't lit up the fantasy scoreboards as of yet. That could change this week as the Cowboys get a Cardinals defense that turned Daniel Jones into the best fantasy quarterback for Week 2, allowing 30 points to the Giants QB. The Cardinals' defense is giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs after two weeks.
Breece Hall vs. NE (44.9% Start)
This one might be a reach but after the New York Jets' run game was stiffed by the Cowboys' defense in Week 2, some changes have to be made in the Jets' backfield. Stud running back Breece Hall has just four carries in the game and Dalvin Cook had the ball stripped away by Micah Parsons. Hall and Cook combined for just 16 yards on the ground. If the Jets want to have success and win games, they'll have to get Hall more involved.
Isiah Pacheco vs. CHI (45.8% Start)
The Kansas City Chiefs passing attack has looked off to start the season. And what better way to help get the offense back on track than by getting the ground game going? The Chicago Bears are a mid-range run defense that allowed 4.3 y/a to Bucs running back Rachaad White in Week 2. Pacheco needs more work and the Bears are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs at nearly 29 FPPG.
Zay Flowers vs. IND (39.4% Start)
The Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers has been fun to watch so far and now he may have a chance to see an increased workload for Week 3. Fellow Ravens receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is dealing with an ankle injury and if that slows him up, Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman would be the top options at receiver for Lamar Jackson. The Indianapolis Colts are allowing a whopping 53.1 FPPG over the first two weeks of the season to opposing wide receivers. That's second-most among NFL defenses.
Jordan Addison vs. LAC (25.2% Start)
I hope Jordan Addison can keep his scoring streak going because I've been waiting for a chance to play him in my lineups. Addison has scored two touchdowns in his first two NFL games to this point and has seen just one less target than KJ Osborn over two games. Addison has been the better fantasy product between he and Osborn as well. The Vikings get a vulnerable Chargers defense that's allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers over the first two weeks of the season. Addison needs to be in your lineups this week.
Hunter Henry vs. NYJ (15.4% Start)
The Pats' TE has been a real surprise for me this fantasy season. Pats QB Mac Jones has made an effort to get him the ball this season and it's been paying off. Currently, the TE2 heading into Week 3, Henry gets a decent matchup against the seventh-ranked Jets defense in fantasy points allowed, giving up nearly 14 FPPG to the tight end position.
Week 3 Sit' EM
Derek Carr vs. PIT (4.4% Start)
It's been a bit of a rocky start for Derek Carr with his new Saints team. Carr is currently ranked as the QB28 over the first two weeks of the season, averaging 11.7 points per game. Now he gets a tough Steelers defense that has held its last two opponents to just 14 FPPG (13th fewest) for Week 3. Carr may have his hands full against a Steelers defense that managed to slow down Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns offense through the air. Watson had just 235 passing yards against the Steelers on Monday Night Football in Week 2.
Khalil Herbert vs. KC (17% Start)
The Chicago Bears offense is sputtering right now. They are a running team that wants to pass the ball. It just doesn't add up. It's because of this perspective that Khalil Herbert has struggled out the gate for fantasy managers. Herbert has seen just 16 carries over the last two games and is averaging just 9.1 FPPG. Now he has rookie running back Roschon Johnson looming to take more work from him too. The Chiefs are no slouches against the run now that Chris Jones is back in the lineup. The Chiefs gave up just 40 yards on the ground to Travis Etienne and the Jaguars in Week 2.
James Conner vs. DAL (77.1% Start)
First, it was Saquon Barkley, then it was Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook. Now it's James Conner who will be up to face a stout Cowboys defense. The Cowboys have allowed just 86 yards per game on the ground to opposing running backs. James Conner could have his work cut out for him this week. The Cowboys are also giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs at just 8.6 FPPG.
Terry McLaurin vs. BUF (45.1% Start)
While Terry McLaurin is still regarded as the WR1 for the Washington Commanders, he hasn't been able to put up fantasy numbers after two weeks of football. Averaging nearly 10.8 FPPG over the first two weeks. The Buffalo Bills come in next after putting a beatdown on the Raiders in Week 2 38-10. The Bills are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
Juwan Johnson vs. GB (4.6% Start)
Juwan Johnson is another Saint to make the SIT list this week. His targets and production have been lacking from a fantasy standpoint so far this season. Pegged as a potential sleeper for fantasy heading into the season, Johnson was only able to produce 3.3 fantasy points in Week 2 and now faces off against a Packers defense that is allowing 10.8 fantasy points per game to the position. While that would sound a bit appealing, Johnson's targets just haven't been there with Michael Thomas and Chris Olave garnering more attention.
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