Fantasy Football Week 3: Use our Lineup Cheat Sheet to make those tough start or sit decisions
Got a tough decision to make with your lineup for Week 3? Use Dave Richard's Lineup Cheat Sheet to help make the call.
Editor's note: Don't forget, there's a 9:30 am EST kickoff this week, with the Jaguars and Ravens playing in London. Don't forget to set your lineup early!
The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game-flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on who to start in your leagues.
The higher the number next to a player's name, the more confident you should be to start him. If a player isn't listed, don't start him.
To find a specific player, use your search function -- CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on Macs. If neither of those are options, or if you're on a mobile device, you can scroll by game.
If you're still unsure, just send a note on Twitter (@daverichard) and I'll give it a look, time permitting.
|Ravens|| ||Jaguars|| |
|Joe Flacco||(5.0)||Blake Bortles||(4.5)|
|Javorius Allen||(6.1)||Leonard Fournette||(7.4)|
|Terrance West||(5.9)||Marqise Lee||(5.25)|
|Jeremy Maclin||(5.7)||Allen Hurns||(4.6)|
|Benjamin Watson||(6.5)||Jaguars DST||(6.3)|
|Ravens DST||(9.1)|| || |
Of the 34 catches, 379 passing yards and five total touchdowns the Jaguars have allowed this year, 12 receptions, 151 yards and two scores have gone to tight ends. Linebacker Myles Jack has specifically allowed a little too much through the air, especially last week. Joe Flacco fell in love all over again with his tight ends last week, connecting with Watson on all eight targets for a robust 91 yards. He's among the best streaming tight ends you'll find this week.
It looks like Terrance West will play after practicing in full on Friday. If so, he'll split with Javorius Allen and run into the teeth of a pretty good Jaguars run defense. Not only is it a little nerve-rattling that the two will split reps (and Alex Collins could get in there for a few touches, too), but the Ravens are without All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda for the rest of the season. Without Yanda last week the Ravens run game had 66 yards on 17 carries in the second half against the Browns. Allen's led the way in touches through two weeks and should have an edge as a pass-catcher, so he's the preferred choice of the two, but neither one should be counted on for large numbers.
|Falcons|| ||Lions|| |
|Matt Ryan||(8.6)||Matthew Stafford||(7.3)|
|Devonta Freeman||(9.2)||Ameer Abdullah||(6.8)|
|Tevin Coleman||(6.3)||Theo Riddick||(5.3)|
|Julio Jones||(9.0)||Golden Tate||(6.2)|
|Mohamed Sanu||(4.0)||Kenny Golladay||(4.9)|
|Taylor Gabriel||(2.0)||Marvin Jones||(4.4)|
|Falcons DST||(4.1)||Eric Ebron||(6.7)|
| || ||Lions DST||(3.9)|
If the Lions follow what the Bears and Packers did in their games against the Falcons, they're going to go after Atlanta's linebackers with the pass. A running back has at least 40 receiving yards and a touchdown in each game against the Falcons. Typically the Lions lean on Theo Riddick to do a lot of catching out of the backfield, and he's not a bad sleeper, but Abdullah has good hands, too. Ebron also proved to be a major matchup problem the Lions leaned on last week, and he should get some more red-zone targets this week as well.
|Browns|| ||Colts|| |
|DeShone Kizer||(3.6)||Jacoby Brissett||(3.8)|
|Isaiah Crowell||(7.6)||Frank Gore||(5.95)|
|Duke Johnson||(5.4)||T.Y. Hilton||(4.7)|
|Rashard Higgins||(3.2)||Donte Moncrief||(3.0)|
|David Njoku||(5.2)||Jack Doyle||(6.9)|
|Seth DeValve||(3.9)||Colts DST||(4.7)|
|Browns DST||(4.5)|| || |
This should be a good week for Crowell (it better be or else everyone who drafted him will get very nervous). The Colts run defense hasn't been bad, holding Todd Gurley to 2.1 yards per carry and the Cardinals backups to 3.5 yards per rip. But those were some awful offensive lines -- the Browns have one of the decent ones, ranking as the 14th-best run-blocking unit according to Pro Football Focus. This should also be a low-scoring game where the Browns can afford to give Crowell plenty of carries rather than the 10 he dealt with last week.
A week after getting largely ignored, tight end Jack Doyle drew the attention of quarterback Jacoby Brissett and came through as a reliable target. Expect that connection to remain strong as Brissett keeps his tosses short and easy. It helps that the Browns have allowed at least nine Fantasy points to tight ends in each of their first two games. Doyle's a great option for Week 3 -- better than Benjamin Watson, Eric Ebron and Kyle Rudolph.
|Broncos|| ||Bills|| |
|Trevor Siemian||(6.4)||Tyrod Taylor||(4.4)|
|C.J. Anderson||(8.8)||LeSean McCoy||(7.9)|
|Jamaal Charles||(4.8)||Jordan Matthews||(2.85)|
|Demaryius Thomas||(6.7)||Zay Jones||(2.75)|
|Emmanuel Sanders||(5.8)||Charles Clay||(5.3)|
|Broncos DST||(9.5)||Bills DST||(4.9)|
The Broncos passing attack has been great, but the Bills pass defense has done a nice job of bending but not breaking. The Broncos will be a big test, but Buffalo's zone coverage has kept receivers out of the end zone through eight quarters. Buffalo does get a decent amount of pressure on the quarterback (seven sacks), and Denver has allowed Trevor Siemian to get sacked six times and will be without starting left tackle Garett Bolles. It won't be an easy outing for the quarterback.
|Texans|| ||Patriots|| |
|Deshaun Watson||(4.0)||Tom Brady||(9.2)|
|Lamar Miller||(6.9)||Mike Gillislee||(8.1)|
|Tyler Ervin||(4.4)||James White||(5.8)|
|DeAndre Hopkins||(6.8)||Brandin Cooks||(6.5)|
|Texans DST||(5.5)||Danny Amendola||(5.25)|
| || ||Chris Hogan||(5.0)|
| || ||Rob Gronkowski||(9.3)|
| || ||Patriots DST||(8.3)|
The Patriots aren't likely to pile drive their run game into the middle of the Texans run defense, at least not until they've built a lead and go into clock-crush mode. That means they'll use their passing downs back a little more, which suits James White just fine. White has scored in two of his past three against Houston, albeit with minimal yardage. But he has 68 total yards or more in each of two games in 2017 and should provide a nice, safe floor for Fantasy owners looking to soup up their lineups, namely in PPR formats.
|Dolphins|| ||Jets|| |
|Jay Cutler||(6.8)||Josh McCown||(4.9)|
|Jay Ajayi||(9.9)||Matt Forte||(5.25)|
|DeVante Parker||(7.0)||Bilal Powell||(4.45)|
|Jarvis Landry||(5.3)||Jermaine Kearse||(5.05)|
|Kenny Stills||(3.4)||Robby Anderson||(2.1)|
|Julius Thomas||(5.45)||Austin Seferian-Jenkins||(5.55)|
|Dolphins DST||(7.1)||Jets DST||(3.1)|
You might have to be a little desperate (and a little daring) to go with a Jets player in your lineup, but he has some appeal. Jermaine Kearse scored versus man and zone coverage last week and has basically emerged as a go-to guy for Josh McCown on all sorts of routes. Figuring the Jets will play from behind, and with Robby Anderson dealing with a knee issue, Kearse should come up with a bunch of work and be helpful for desperate Fantasy owners.
|Saints|| ||Panthers|| |
|Drew Brees||(6.9)||Cam Newton||(7.2)|
|Mark Ingram||(5.7)||Jonathan Stewart||(7.7)|
|Alvin Kamara||(5.0)||Christian McCaffrey||(7.5)|
|Michael Thomas||(7.25)||Kelvin Benjamin||(7.9)|
|Brandon Coleman||(3.5)||Devin Funchess||(5.1)|
|Ted Ginn||(2.5)||Ed Dickson||(5.4)|
|Coby Fleener||(5.7)||Panthers DST||(8.1)|
|Saints DST||(3.5)|| || |
I have a hard time believing Mark Ingram will put up a big game after this Panthers defense ravaged Carlos Hyde and LeSean McCoy in consecutive weeks. Ingram stunk twice against them last season, has averaged a depressing seven carries per game so far (with a 4.5 reception average) and his offensive line is both banged up and underwhelming. Try to do better.
If you're in a pinch at receiver, Funchess deserves a look. Over his career he's caught less than half of his targets and is basically a touchdown-dependent receiver, but this is the kind of matchup where he could come through. In two games the Saints have allowed three touchdowns and 461 yards to wide receivers. Better yet, non-No. 1 receivers have fetched over 10 Fantasy points in each matchup. He qualifies as a fair No. 3 receiver.
|Giants|| ||Eagles|| |
|Eli Manning||(4.8)||Carson Wentz||(6.6)|
|Shane Vereen||(4.9)||Darren Sproles||(5.1)|
|Orleans Darkwa||(4.7)||LeGarrette Blount||(5.05)|
|Odell Beckham||(7.4)||Alshon Jeffery||(5.6)|
|Brandon Marshall||(4.2)||Nelson Agholor||(4.5)|
|Sterling Shepard||(2.9)||Zach Ertz||(8.8)|
|Evan Engram||(5.6)||Eagles DST||(6.9)|
|Giants DST||(7.7)|| || |
The likelihood of this game becoming a shootout is low, as is the chance for Jeffery to get a bunch of quality targets given the Giants' strong secondary. Carson Wentz has done a great job attacking the middle of the field through two weeks -- expect him to focus there to avoid tough matchups down the sideline. That's especially bad for Jeffery, who's really only had success to Wentz's left and specifically playing near the boundary. Bench him if you can.
Steelers at Bears
|Steelers|| ||Bears|| |
|Ben Roethlisberger||(7.8)||Mike Glennon||(3.0)|
|Le'Veon Bell||(9.7)||Tarik Cohen||(6.4)|
|Antonio Brown||(9.1)||Jordan Howard||(5.6)|
|Martavis Bryant||(7.1)||Kendall Wright||(3.6)|
|Jesse James||(4.0)||Josh Bellamy||(2.8)|
|Steelers DST||(8.5)||Zach Miller||(5.1)|
| || ||Bears DST||(2.9)|
Just as fast as he's become a Fantasy phenom, Tarik Cohen faces a tough challenge whether Jordan Howard plays or not. The Steelers shut down Dalvin Cook for all but one play last week and otherwise did the same to the Browns in Week 1. If Howard's active, Cohen won't see a slew of carries and will be bound to whatever he does catching passes out of the backfield. It's much easier for defenses to key in on him when there isn't another passing threat in the Chicago offense. His value is limited to PPR formats this week.
|Buccaneers|| ||Vikings|| |
|Jameis Winston||(6.3)||Case Keenum||(4.2)|
|Jacquizz Rodgers||(6.0)||Dalvin Cook||(8.0)|
|Mike Evans||(8.9)||Stefon Diggs||(5.5)|
|DeSean Jackson||(5.4)||Adam Thielen||(5.2)|
|Cameron Brate||(5.5)||Kyle Rudolph||(6.0)|
|Buccaneers DST||(5.1)||Vikings DST||(6.7)|
Winston could have had a monster game last week if he had better touch on some of his end-zone targets. He and DeSean Jackson seemed to be a bit out of rhythm. In time they'll get on the same page, and the matchup specifically for Jackson is enticing, but this is a Vikings pass defense that hung tough against Ben Roethlisberger and tamed Drew Brees in their first home game. With a tough pass rush coming for him, Winston is a dangerous starting choice.
|Seahawks|| ||Titans|| |
|Russell Wilson||(6.7)||Marcus Mariota||(5.7)|
|Chris Carson||(6.7)||Derrick Henry||(8.2)|
|Thomas Rawls||(5.15)||DeMarco Murray||(5.2)|
|Doug Baldwin||(7.5)||Rishard Matthews||(3.1)|
|Paul Richardson||(3.7)||Delanie Walker||(5.9)|
|Jimmy Graham||(5.8)||Titans DST||(4.3)|
|Seahawks DST||(7.3)|| || |
This isn't a knock against Chris Carson as much as it is a knock against his offensive line. The Titans' D-linemen rebounded after a tough outing Week 1 against the Raiders and took advantage of a bad Jaguars front last week. They should come through again, making Carson a dicey proposition, especially given the likelihood of him not being handed 20 carries because Pete Carroll will have his running backs "battle it out." Whatever that means. Expect single-digit Fantasy points but keep him glued to rosters.
A touchdown last week and a lack of replacement options make Walker tough to bench. But the Seahawks have allowed just five tight ends to score in their last 26 games (including playoffs). Want yardage? Good luck -- in the same 26-game span only two tight ends had more than 70 yards against Seattle. Hunter Henry, Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron and Benjamin Watson have better outlooks.
Bengals at Packers
|Bengals|| ||Packers|| |
|Andy Dalton||(5.1)||Aaron Rodgers||(8.0)|
|Joe Mixon||(6.6)||Ty Montgomery||(8.6)|
|Giovani Bernard||(5.5)||Davante Adams||(7.8)|
|A.J. Green||(8.8)||Jordy Nelson||(7.3)|
|Brandon LaFell||(3.75)||Martellus Bennett||(6.4)|
|Bengals DST||(5.7)||Packers DST||(7.9)|
We are getting oh-so-close to when the Bengals will make their shift from Jeremy Hill to Joe Mixon, but we're still a little ways from seeing Mixon become the Bengals' every-down back. Giovani Bernard is still their preferred choice in passing situations (he's played 64 snaps -- as many as Hill and Mixon combined). Since it's believed the Packers will carry a lead over the touchdown-less Bengals for most of the game, we're likely to see more of Bernard as the Bengals chase points. It should mean another week of lean stats for Mixon.
|Chiefs|| ||Chargers|| |
|Alex Smith||(6.0)||Philip Rivers||(5.8)|
|Kareem Hunt||(9.1)||Melvin Gordon||(8.5)|
|Tyreek Hill||(7.2)||Keenan Allen||(6.4)|
|Travis Kelce||(9.0)||Tyrell Williams||(4.3)|
|Chiefs DST||(5.3)||Travis Benjamin||(2.4)|
| || ||Hunter Henry||(6.3)|
| || ||Antonio Gates||(4.9)|
| || ||Chargers DST||(5.9)|
Rivers is an incredible quarterback, but you can't ignore the fact that he's racked up 20 or more Fantasy points in his past six against the Chiefs. Tough to believe. He played great last week and still fell short of 20 Fantasy points. This should be an easy week to not buy into him.
Raiders at Redskins
|Raiders|| ||Redskins|| |
|Derek Carr||(8.4)||Kirk Cousins||(7.0)|
|Marshawn Lynch||(8.25)||Rob Kelley||(6.2)|
|DeAndre Washington||(4.3)||Chris Thompson||(5.85)|
|Jalen Richard||(4.6)||Terrelle Pryor||(6.3)|
|Michael Crabtree||(7.7)||Jamison Crowder||(3.9)|
|Amari Cooper||(6.6)||Jordan Reed||(7.0)|
|Cordarrelle Patterson||(2.3)||Redskins DST||(3.3)|
|Jared Cook||(5.65)|| || |
|Raiders DST||(6.1)|| || |
The Redskins have struggled to keep tight ends down in consecutive games, giving up 90-plus yards to Zach Ertz and Gerald Everett. Linebacker Zach Brown and safety D.J. Swearinger both have been liabilities in coverage. Cook has 11 targets so far, third-most on the Raiders, and could be in play as a red-zone threat given the Redskins' relative strengths at cornerback. If you're hurting for a tight end, give Cook a look.
Cowboys at Cardinals
|Cowboys|| ||Cardinals|| |
|Dak Prescott||(5.6)||Carson Palmer||(6.1)|
|Ezekiel Elliott||(8.7)||Chris Johnson||(6.5)|
|Dez Bryant||(7.6)||Kerwynn Williams||(4.5)|
|Cole Beasley||(2.2)||J.J. Nelson||(6.9)|
|Jason Witten||(6.8)||Larry Fitzgerald||(4.85)|
|Cowboys DST||(6.5)||Jaron Brown||(3.8)|
| || ||Cardinals DST||(7.5)|
Not many of you would sit Dez, but don't let the matchup against Patrick Peterson scare you. Dez has faced off against P2 twice in his career and scored on him both times! One game was a solid effort (7-76-1) while the other left a lot to be desired (2-15-1) but that second game was on just six targets. With the Cardinals run defense expected to be a bit of a problem for Ezekiel Elliott, bank on the Cowboys taking to the air about as much as in Week 1. It would be stunning if Bryant, who is averaging 12.5 targets per game, didn't get a lot of opportunities inside and outside of the red zone.
The Cowboys have a number of cornerbacks who will either miss the game or play hurt. Either way, things should open up for the speedy Nelson. Dallas dominated an Odell Beckham-less Giants offense in Week 1 before getting destroyed by Emmanuel Sanders in Week 2. Nelson has caught a touchdown in six of his past seven, picked up 75-plus yards in three of his past four and saw seven-plus targets in four of his past five. It's pretty clear Carson Palmer likes him. You should too.
|Rams|| ||49ers|| |
|Jared Goff||(3.4)||Brian Hoyer||(3.2)|
|Todd Gurley||(8.9)||Carlos Hyde||(8.4)|
|Sammy Watkins||(4.8)||Pierre Garcon||(4.1)|
|Cooper Kupp||(3.3)||George Kittle||(3.8)|
|Gerald Everett||(5.0)||49ers DST||(3.7)|
|Rams DST||(8.7)|| || |
The 49ers have managed to hold down guys like Kelvin Benjamin and Doug Baldwin in consecutive weeks, partially because they're generating a good pass rush against bad offensive lines. That same recipe should work in their favor against the Rams and Sammy Watkins. It doesn't help that Watkins has just seven targets through two games -- Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have more -- and has just two catches for more than 15 yards.
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