Fantasy Football: Week 3 Start ‘Em

In Week 3 Start 'Em, Nate Weitzer highlights borderline players with favorable matchups. Consider starting borderline bench players difficult opponents.

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In seasonal Fantasy Football, matchups often boil down to which owner makes the right start/sit decisions. You can’t hold allegiances to projections or name recognition; you simply have to play the guys you think will wind up with the most fantasy points.

Here are the fringe options that should be in your Fantasy lineup in Week 3.

QB Alex Smith, Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay

Washington laid an egg at home against a vulnerable Colts defense in a surprisingly empty stadium. That doesn’t mean you should fade the Redskins passing attack in a juicy matchup against the weak Packers secondary. Green Bay ranked 27th in DVOA pass defense last year and has coughed up the fifth-most FPPG to opposing QBs so far this season. Packers starting CB Kevin King (groin) could miss this contest and Smith could be working with a couple of new weapons after Washington signed Breshad Perriman and Michael Floyd. Neither player will see significant time in their debuts, but Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder are good enough to burn this vulnerable secondary. And Chris Thompson could also do damage against a Packers team that allowed the seventh-most receptions (95) to opposing backs last year.

RB Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City

It should go without saying that Matt Breida is a quality option after compiling 159 scrimmage yards on 14 touches last Sunday. Those in shallow leagues may have tough decisions on who to bench. Breida is a better option this week than LeSean McCoy (ribs), Derrick Henry, Alex Collins, and Marshawn Lynch to name a few more popular plays. He’s predictably running circles around plodder Alfred Morris and should see more work down the stretch with negative game script likely in Kansas City. The Chiefs have coughed up the fifth-most FPPG to opposing RBs and already allowed 20 receptions to backs. Jimmy Garoppolo is not forcing the ball downfield, and a conservative game plan would benefit Breida.

RB Sony Michel, New England Patriots at Detroit

Contrary to what you might expect, Bill Belichick was willing to give Sony Michel a lot of work right out of the gate. The Patriots coaches treated the rookie like a lead back, feeding Michel 10 carries and targeting him twice on early downs. He provided modest production in a brutal matchup at Jacksonville, but game script and running lanes should work in his favor far more with New England (-7) favored in Detroit. New Lions coach Matt Patricia is likely to get mentally owned by his mentor, and that should allow the Pats to get ahead and salt away the clock. Rex Burkhead has missed practice time and seems to have fallen out of favor, while Jeremy Hill (knee) is done for the season, leaving most goal-line work to Michel.

WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions vs. NE

If Sunday night’s matchup with the Patriots follows the likely script, the Lions will be throwing throughout the second half to play catch up. Golden Tate should draw a ton of attention from a coaching staff that loves to game plan against the opposition’s top weapon, leaving Kenny Golladay to operate one-on-one against the Patriots weak corners. Eric Rowe was torched by Keelan Cole before getting replaced by Jason McCourty last week, and McCourty was often burned in the preseason. Neither corner is tall enough to contend with the 6-foot-4 Golladay on jump balls, and the sophomore wideout is on fire to open the season with 172 yards and a TD on 13 catches through two games.

WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh

The Bucs offense is hot enough to sustain three receivers. Pittsburgh is vulnerable over the middle of the field and on the perimeter, as demonstrated by Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in Week 2. At 6-foot-1, 209 pounds, Chris Godwin is big enough to do work over the middle of the field, which is how he caught a TD from red-hot QB Ryan Fitzpatrick last Sunday. The Steelers linebackers have been reeling since losing Ryan Shazier (back) last season and their secondary is shorthanded with Joe Haden (hamstring) questionable and Artie Burns (toe) banged up.

TE Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders at Miami

He cooled off in Week 2 after serving as the focal point in a Week 1 loss to the Rams, but Jared Cook is still a good starting option at a shallow TE position. He’s played on a notable 85.9 percent of offensive snaps this season and is averaging 16.8 yards per reception. Say what you will about new HC Jon Gruden, but he knows how to scheme offense, and you can bet he’ll exploit Miami’s biggest weaknesses on defense. The Dolphins allowed the most receptions (95) and second-most receiving yards (1,034) to opposing TEs last season, but have been outstanding on the perimeter this year. Look for top CB Xavien Howard to contain Amari Cooper, forcing Derek Carr into more underneath throws to Cook.

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About Nate Weitzer 132 Articles
Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He’s been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA advice while continuing to build his bankroll on several sites. He is also a season-long king and has won several leagues over the years.Weitzer is a sports journalist with a Masters from Boston University’s College of Communication. When he’s not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.