Fantasy: Start, Sit, Stash, Quit - Week 3
SSSQ is a weekly look at under-appreciated fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings
Cousins is coming off a brutal three-interception performance on Monday Night Football, but fantasy managers shouldn't hesitate to get him back in their lineup this week.
The Vikings should have no problem moving the ball against a Lions defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, including top-five finishes for Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz in the first two weeks.
Detroit's ascending offense and weak defense are perfect for manufacturing shootouts. This game should be no different given the projected point total of 53, which is the highest on the Week 3 slate.
Boone's projection: 326 passing yards, 3 passing TDs
Other QBs to start
- Derek Carr at Titans
- Jared Goff at Vikings
David Montgomery, Bears
While Chicago's passing attack has struggled so far, their run game has found some success in the opening weeks. The Bears have the eighth-most rushing yards in the league, and most of that production has come from Montgomery.
After getting 20 touches in a rainy opening day battle against a tough 49ers' run defense, the veteran back earned 136 yards from scrimmage on 17 attempts versus the Packers in Week 2.
The schedule finally eases up this Sunday with the Bears favored by three points against a Texans team that's been the seventh-softest matchup for fantasy backs this season.
It's enough to move Montgomery into the high-end RB2 mix for fantasy in Week 3.
Boone's projection: 88 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards, 2 receptions, TD
Other RBs to start
- Miles Sanders at Commanders
- Dameon Pierce at Bears
- Cordarrelle Patterson at Seahawks
Drake London, Falcons
The Falcons' top pick has looked the part of a true No. 1 receiver with stat lines of 5-74-0 and 8-86-1 in his first two NFL games.
London's 19 targets rank 15th among receivers and put him high up on a list where some of the league's best wideouts reside.
We can expect another strong outing from London, earning him a spot inside the top-20 fantasy receivers this week and most weeks moving forward.
Boone's projection: 84 receiving yards, 6 receptions, TD
Other WRs to start
- Brandin Cooks at Bears
- Brandon Aiyuk at Broncos
- Garrett Wilson vs. Bengals
Tyler Higbee, Rams
Outside of the elite options of Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce, the tight end position has been a frustrating one to project this season. Many of the mid-to-late-round options are providing minimal fantasy value so far.
Higbee is one player who hasn't disappointed. He leads all tight ends in targets with 20 through two contests and has produced quality stat lines of 5-39-0 and 7-71-0.
You should gladly chase Higbee's volume again in a matchup with a Cardinals defense permitting the most fantasy points to tight ends in the early going.
Higbee is a solid fantasy TE1 this week and has a good chance to stick around in the top 12 for the rest of 2022.
Boone's projection: 67 receiving yards, 6 receptions, TD
Other TEs to start
- Gerald Everett vs. Jaguars
- Irv Smith Jr. vs. Lions
Tom Brady, Buccaneers
It's rare for Brady to make an appearance in the sit section and even more rare for him to occupy this spot two weeks in a row.
After we recommended benching Brady for his matchup with New Orleans (he finished as the QB28 on the week), fantasy managers should exercise extreme caution with him again.
The Buccaneers are dealing with injuries on the offensive line and a completely decimated receiving corps.
Mike Evans is serving a one-game suspension for his role in an off-field skirmish with the Saints. Chris Godwin and Julio Jones haven't practiced the last two weeks due to injuries and are looking unlikely to be available against the Packers. Ailments have also limited Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman.
The skeleton crew at wideout has forced the Bucs to sign veteran slot receiver Cole Beasley, who might be thrust into the lineup this week out of desperation.
Better days will come for Brady and this offense, but he needs to be out of your starting lineup for now.
Boone's projection: 231 passing yards, TD, INT
Other QBs to sit
- Russell Wilson vs. 49ers
- Aaron Rodgers at Buccaneers
Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers
The 49ers' backfield has broken wide open for Wilson to be featured over the next couple of months.
That means Wilson is the unquestioned lead back in Kyle Shanahan's system. His only competition comes from undrafted free agent rookie Jordan Mason or recently signed veterans Marlon Mack and Tevin Coleman.
Wilson took advantage last week, racking up 103 yards from scrimmage on 20 touches in a victory over the Seahawks. While the 49ers are favored to win again, the matchup with the Broncos' run defense will be much more difficult.
Denver hasn't allowed a back to surpass 70 rushing yards against them this year, and it ranks eighth in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA.
You might not have a better running back option than Wilson, but you should adjust your expectations for him to the fantasy RB3 range in Week 3.
Boone's projection: 61 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, 2 receptions
Other RBs to sit
- James Robinson at Chargers
- Damien Harris/Rhamondre Stevenson vs. Ravens
- Devin Singletary at Dolphins
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chiefs
We covered the Chiefs' receiving corps on the Week 3 preview show since they've been one of the trickier units to pin down early in the season.
Smith-Schuster got off to a great start in the opener, recording six catches for 79 yards. However, he came up short in Week 2 with just 10 yards on three grabs despite playing more snaps.
Prior to the season, Patrick Mahomes warned fantasy managers that Kansas City's passing attack would be more balanced across multiple receivers this year. If the first two weeks are any indication, he was likely telling the truth.
Though Smith-Schuster might be the best bet for production behind Kelce, it's hard to trust him as anything more than a volatile WR3 in fantasy at the moment.
Boone's projection: 48 receiving yards, 4 receptions
Other WRs to sit
- Devonta Smith at Commanders
- Allen Lazard at Buccaneers
- Jarvis Landry at Panthers
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
Don't be fooled by Gesicki's four-catch, 41-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 2. He saw more opportunities thanks to Tua Tagovailoa's 50 passing attempts - the second-highest mark of the young quarterback's three-year career.
The Bills' defense has also held opposing tight ends to the eighth-fewest fantasy points through two weeks.
There are better TE streaming options to choose from in Week 3.
Boone's projection: 34 receiving yards, 3 receptions
Other TEs to sit
- Robert Tonyan at Buccaneers
- Evan Engram at Chargers
Zach Wilson, Jets
Anyone anticipating a potential quarterback controversy will be disappointed. Head coach Robert Saleh has made it clear that Wilson is the future of the organization. The former second overall pick will return to an offense loaded with talent, including an emerging star receiver in rookie Garrett Wilson.
Whether you believe in Zach Wilson or not, his supporting cast could be enough to make him fantasy relevant in all formats.
The same goes for Steelers' Kenny Pickett (4% rostered), who QB-needy fantasy managers can also stash. It's only a matter of time before Mike Tomlin realizes Mitch Trubisky is holding Pittsburgh's offense back.
Samaje Perine, Bengals
There aren't many No. 2 running backs available on the waiver wire in over 90% of fantasy leagues, but Perine (5% rostered) is one of them.
If Mixon misses time, Perine would be a fantasy starter in an offense that has proved it can score at an elite clip when it's running on all cylinders.
Quarterbacks (1QB): Matt Ryan, Trey Lance
Running backs: Rex Burkhead, Elijah Mitchell (if no IR spot)
Wide receivers: Kadarius Toney, DeVante Parker
Tight ends: Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper
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