Welcome to the Week 3 starts and sits. Between injuries, suspensions, deactivations and the like, the average fantasy football GM’s head is spinning. I know mine is. As always, I will avoid the easy calls. I’m not here to tell you what to do with players you’d never consider benching.
I’ll be back Sunday morning with my partner in crime, Jim Hackett, for another Fantasy Football Hour. Check it out! We’re on air from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on 93.7 FM. If you sleep in, you can listen right here on WEEI.com. In addition, I’ll be here, as always, with a chat on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Head on over if you have any lineup questions.
If you are looking for info on players not listed in this article, go to Rotobahn and check out my full Lineup Rankings. I’ll be updating them over the weekend, as always. And, to keep track of all things fantasy football at both Rotobahn and WEEI, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I always tweet links to new articles.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Broncos
He’ll shine in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. Wilson’s an underrated fantasy QB and he’ll give you some touchdowns this week. He’s playable in all formats.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers at Cardinals
Kaepernick’s always a solid play and should get it done this weekend in a tough divisional matchup. Yes, he has some injuries to his tight ends, but San Francisco has more offensive depth than in the past. Start Kaepernick if you normally would.
Kirk Cousins, Washington at Eagles
He’s not an ideal option because he’s got injuries to his tight ends and receivers, but he’ll also be playing in a high-scoring game and his team will not be in close-it-out mode at the end. Washington is far more likely to be throwing the football in the fourth quarter. Cousins can help you in deep formats.
Joe Flacco, Ravens at Browns
He’s playing decent football, but the Browns are looking tough at home and can take his receivers away for much of the game. Flacco is playable, but this is a week to look for other options if you can.
Derek Carr, Raiders at Patriots
It may be tempting to start him in a deep league because he’ll be throwing a lot and playing from behind, but I hate playing rookie quarterbacks against Bill Belichick defenses. I’d avoid doing so if possible.
Zac Stacy, Rams vs. Cowboys
Stacy’s owners rightfully are concerned about Stacy and the Rams. Still, this is a get well matchup and you should have him active. Stacy’s struggles are more about his team than his game, but with talented rookie Tre Mason in reserve, the time for Stacy to get things going is now. He looks like a solid RB2 this week in all leagues.
Terrance West, Browns vs. Ravens
He’s looked good so far and he’ll start one more time in place of Ben Tate. It’s a medium matchup at home vs. the Ravens, but West will get plenty of volume and that should get him RB2 numbers by the close of business.
Khiry Robinson, Saints vs. Vikings
We like Khiry, and he’ll get a chance at meaningful playing time for the next few weeks as Mark Ingram recovers from a hand injury. He’s an RB2 option in big leagues if you need him or a strong flex play in this solid home matchup.
Pierre Thomas, Saints vs. Vikings
He’s been a little disappointing so far, but that should change for the next couple of weeks with Mark Ingram on the shelf. In PPR formats, I am comfortable using Thomas as a RB2 or flex. He should have a bigger early down role and a bigger role in the red zone.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings at Saints
He’s a reach play in big leagues — not 10-team leagues. If you are hurting for an RB option in a big league, this kid has some upside. He’s getting worked in slowly, but he’s a big play waiting to happen and I like the possibilities that he and Cordarrelle Patterson present if they are on the field together. Remember, McKinnon is a player who thrived playing in a triple-option offense. If OC Norv Turner wants to get creative, he has the athletes to do it. I’ve added this kid in all leagues where I could, just for his potential.
Bernard Pierce, Ravens at Browns
I do not love the matchup for Pierce. The Ravens need more versatility, and that should mean more of Justin Forsett and less Pierce, who I see as more of a closer or ball-control option. I don’t see the Ravens trying to win time of possession and I don’t see them protecting a big lead, so be careful with Pierce this week, especially in PPR formats.
Darren McFadden, Raiders at Patriots
The Patriots can stop the run and the Raiders aren’t particularly good at blocking for it anyway. McFadden might get the most touches with Maurice Jones-Drew playing a smaller role as he comes back from a hand injury, but I’d avoid playing him. I’m thinking he’s worth less than 60 combined yards this week.
Mike Wallace, Dolphins vs. Chiefs
He’s burned me a few times this year. First he posted good numbers on Revis and then he made plays in Week 2 despite a hamstring injury. This week I am getting with the program and starting Wallace at home against a Chiefs defense that has nobody capable of containing him.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals vs. 49ers
Don’t get scared off because of a bad week and a backup quarterback. Floyd should see some single coverage against San Francisco, which likes to play straight up, and that makes him a very solid WR3 option — even with all the concerns. Keep him active.
Brandin Cooks, Saints vs. Vikings
Don’t get scared off because of a bad week. Cooks is a core component in the Saints scheme and they’ll get him the football. And, once he gets it, he’s exceedingly dangerous. He’s got WR2 upside in all formats. Keep him active.
Brian Quick, Rams vs. Cowboys
He’s looked good as we thought he would, and this is a plus matchup. Quick makes a fine flex option or even WR3 in big leagues with 12 or more teams. His quarterback situation is somewhat limiting, but he’s the clear No. 2 target right now. He’s going to see the ball.
Victor Cruz, Giants vs. Texans
Maybe he could get enough volume to post good numbers and perhaps that could give him PPR appeal, but I am a bit scared in standard leagues. The Texans are going to be all over Eli Manning and they will be able to put extra defenders on Cruz with so many injuries to the other Giants receivers.
Eric Decker, Jets vs. Bears
His hamstring injury was not minor. When you can’t go, it’s more than a tweak, and Decker had to opt out in crunch time last week. The fact that he plays on Monday night complicates matters, and there are not a lot of available options to protect yourself with. Unless Decker practices and is announced as good to go, you might want to avoid the headache this week.
Larry Donnell, Giants vs. Texans
The Texans give up points to tight ends, and Donnell has looked very good so far. He’s a big part of the offense, and that includes the goal-line offense. This guy can start for you in any league this week. He’s going to see the ball. They need him.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs at Dolphins
His playing time rose in Week 2, and we expect the trend to continue. The Chiefs are simply desperate for places to throw the football and Kelce is a potential white knight. Keep him active in larger formats for the upside potential.
Niles Paul, Washington at Eagles
He’ll start again for Jordan Reed, and he was very active last week. Paul should get plenty of action with all the injuries on the Washington offense. He can help you in large formats in a game that should be high-scoring.
Charles Clay, Dolphins vs. Chiefs
He’s working mostly the short passing game, and that’s something the Chiefs handle well. Clay may have some PPR appeal, but I’d avoid him and his sore knee in standard leagues this week.
Ladarius Green, Chargers at Bills
He’s just not involved enough right now. I’d complain about it, but since the Chargers just beat the Seahawks, it’d probably sound like sour grapes, which of course it is. Green is a potential breakout, but as long as the Chargers want to play Eddie Royal major snaps, Green will struggle to post meaningful fantasy numbers. I’d keep him rostered in big formats, but I’d also keep him benched.