Fantasy Football: Big questions for Week 3 center around slow starts, rankings, waivers

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The fun thing about the early part of the season is how much opinions can change on a dime based on the results of one or two games. The thing about Fantasy football is, the game has become so competitive, you can't afford to be late to react to something. You can't win or lose a league in Week 3, but the path your season is going to take will start to be defined even at this early junction in the season, so you have to be quick to react to new evidence. 

Let's see what our experts, Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg, and Heath Cummings, are reacting to for Week 3. 

1. Which first round player are you most worried about at this point?

Jamey Eisenberg: Le'Veon Bell is the easy answer. Just show up already. If I can't use him then I'll go with David Johnson. His usage through two games has been horrible. The Cardinals need to get him out in space, especially in the passing game, and he has a tough matchup in Week 3 against Chicago. You're not benching Johnson this week, but he's more of a No. 2 running back than a No. 1 option. 

Dave Richard: Uh, Le'Veon Bell still hasn't shown up to the Steelers' facility, right? I'll choose him.  

Heath Cummings: Definitely David Johnson. It's not that he has looked bad, but the offense around him has been an absolute dumpster fire. Most importantly, there is no creativity in the way he's being used. I'm not selling low yet, I'm just praying someone shows Mike McCoy the Cardinals 2016 tape so he sees what Johnson is capable of.

2. Who is your top waiver wire target for Week 2?

Jamey: Giovani Bernard. With Joe Mixon (knee) out, Bernard is headed for a big role. He's the easy choice given his opportunity for what hopefully will be just a two-week absence for Mixon. 

Dave: How can it not be Giovani Bernard? He'll be the Bengals' top running back for at least a couple of games and could have a relevant role even after Joe Mixon returns. It's not a guarantee that Mixon will be great after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. 

Heath: Without a doubt it's Giovani Bernard, although I still own him in several leagues. Bernard is a top-12 running back for me in both formats this week and that will continue until Joe Mixon returns. He's reached double-digit non-PPR Fantasy points in eight career games with 20-plus touches.

3. What are your expectations for Josh Gordon in New England?

Jamey: I expect Gordon to be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with top-15 upside. I don't want to overvalue him right away because he still has to acclimate himself to the Patriots, who have plenty of mouths to feed in this passing game. But if he can produce like Brandin Cooks did last year, that would be just fine. That being said, I would look to trade him before this weekend since his value is again high given his move to New England. 

Dave: Think about what has to go right in order for Gordon to become a dominant Fantasy receiver. Gordon has to not only understand the Patriots' complicated offense but also can't make mistakes on OR off the field. Then he'll have to make do with however many targets he gets, which isn't promised to be more than six or seven per week given the other mouths to feed in the passing game. Part of me thinks Gordon was brought there for the same reason why Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt and Cordarrelle Patterson were brought there -- to add the deep-speed element to open things up underneath for Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and the running backs. Sorry, I'm not sold on Gordon becoming a top-12 receiver.  

Heath: This feels a little bit like the Le'Veon Bell situation, I'm not sure how anyone can make an educated guess. He has the talent to be the team's No. 1 outside receiver and I wouldn't put a top-five finish out of the question if he stays out of trouble and acclimates quickly. But there are a lot of hurdles in the way and the Patriots aren't exactly known for their patience. If I owned Gordon, I'd certainly be taking offers.

4. Which offense has impressed you most so far?

Jamey: The Chiefs. See Mahomes, Patrick. I hope to see more from Kareem Hunt moving forward, and it was great to see Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce finally involved in Week 2 at Pittsburgh. The more comfortable Mahomes gets, the better off everyone will be, which is exciting.

Dave: Anyone who says anyone other than Kansas City is lying. They're much more than a downfield passing game -- Andy Reid has unleashed an aggressive scheme based on putting their myriad of playmakers in position to throttle defenses. And it's going to stay this way for a while because they only have five tough matchups remaining this season (three of them come consecutively in Weeks 4-6).  

Heath: It has to be the Chiefs, right? There is some obvious, and enormous, regression coming for Patrick Mahomes, but at the same time it's hard to see how a defense other than the Jaguars or Rams stops this offense. There are too many weapons and Reid is too creative. I'm even feeling better about Sammy Watkins.

5. Which must-start player through two weeks are you sitting in Week 3?

Jamey: Philip Rivers comes to mind as of now. He plays the deepest position in a tough matchup against the Rams. I can see him still scoring about 18 Fantasy points, but that won't put him near the top of the list given the production of quarterbacks through the first two weeks.

Dave: I can't get behind starting Larry Fitzgerald blindly anymore. It's a nice matchup at home against the Bears in Week 3, but defenses aren't worried about other Cardinals receivers at all. They can smother Fitzgerald in obvious passing situations. Besides, coach Steve Wilks has already committed to using David Johnson more (why he wouldn't before is beyond comprehension).  

Heath: It's Philip Rivers. Dave had the Rams as his No. 1 defense all summer, and while I'm not ready to concede that, it is as close to Jacksonville as anyone. I'm still starting Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen, but it's easy to get away from Rivers unless you're in a two-QB league.

6. Which disappointment will turn it around in Week 3? 

Jamey: Dalvin Cook. He gets the Bills at home. Let's just hope his hamstring injury is minor and he's able to get 20-plus touches. 

Dave: David Johnson. The Cardinals are morons for not giving him 20 touches per game regardless of game flow. The Bears run defense hasn't truly been tested this season, and it is on the road after a big home win on Monday. Johnson's the go-to running back in DFS this week.  

Heath: It's Dalvin Cook time. Actually, I'd argue that Cook's 185 yards in two weeks is far from a disappointment, but he hasn't run the ball well and he hasn't gotten into the end zone. I'm trusting his hamstring injury really was just a cramp and he will run all over the Bills in Week 3.

So who should you sit and start this week? And where does every player stack up? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 3 Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB is going to finish in the top five, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.    

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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