Starts and Sits for Week 3 of Fantasy Football

Start — Kirk Cousins (vs. OAK)

Cousins hasn’t lived up to his top-8 quarterback projection thus far, though he gets a juicy match-up against the beatable Raiders defense. His connection with new receiver Terrelle Pryor is growing. Jamison Crowder looked far more comfortable in Week 2, and the offense also has dynamic back Chris Thompson and lethal pass-catcher Jordan Reed.

It’s also worth noting how great Cousins has been under the bright lights recently. In his last two prime time games (Panthers, Cowboys), he’s completed 73 out of 100 throws for 764 yards and three touchdowns. The Redskins could face a deficit early in this game, meaning Cousins will have plenty of opportunities to air it out.

Sit — Jameis Winston (@ MIN)

Winston’s Bucs made a statement by stomping the upstart Chicago Bears last week, but face a tougher task heading into Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings. Tampa Bay jumped out to a 26-0 first half lead against Chicago which allowed them to rely on their rushing attack, forcing Winston into a game manager role.

The Vikings will be far more competitive early on, and they possess the secondary and pass rush to give this Buccaneers team fits. Quite a bit of this match-up lies on the health of Sam Bradford. If Bradford is healthy, the Vikes will be able to control the clock and take the ball out of Winston’s hands.

Start — Joe Mixon (@ GB)

Fantasy owners that invested early in Joe Mixon are quietly weeping as other rookie running backs like Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey are outshining the Cincy back thus far. Mixon has been relegated to a complementary role for Giovani Bernard through two weeks, but the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese could mean drastic changes for a Bengals unit that has yet to score a touchdown this season.

If he gets the touches, Mixon could be in for a big day against a susceptible Green Bay defense.

Sit — Ameer Abdullah (vs. ATL)

The Lions’ lead back finally showed some life Monday night by setting a new career high in rushing yards (86). It’s great for Matthew Stafford and Detroit to see some resemblance of a competent rushing attack, but let’s pump the brakes here. Abdullah is still a risky RB3 play that should be kept on benches until bye weeks start. This holds especially true considering the Lions are likely to be playing from behind against the juggernaut Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.

Start — Chris Hogan (vs. HOU)

It seemed that the entire New England receiving corps went down on Sunday, but Hogan has been downplaying his injury and seems ready to go for Week 3. Hogan was clearly hobbled in their win over New Orleans and still mustered up a solid 5-catch, 86-yard outing with a touchdown. With multiple skill players likely sitting out this week, Hogan will be the beneficiary of more looks from Tom Brady. The last time these two teams played was in last year’s AFC Divisional Round, which served as Hogan’s “coming out party” – gaining 95 yards through the air on four receptions.

Sit — Jeremy Maclin (@ JAC)

If you started Maclin in your league in either of the last two weeks – congratulations, you’re a lineup genius. The newest Raven receiver has hauled in a touchdown in each of his first two games with the team. Owners that are desperate for help at receiver might look at him for a start, but temper your expectations. A London game against Jacksonville will be a tough match-up for Maclin and the other Baltimore wideouts. The Jags’ elite corner combo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye should be steered away from.

Start — Jack Doyle (vs. CLE)

In what’s starting to look like a lost season for the Colts, Doyle has been a lone bright spot. The Colts TE caught all eight of his targets in a loss to the Cardinals, and looks to be QB Jacoby Brissett’s favorite option. It’s tough to trust anybody in this offense without Andrew Luck, but a match-up against the Browns at least makes Doyle a highly-viable streaming option.

Sit — Coby Fleener (@ CAR)

Just like Maclin, Fleener has hauled in a touchdown pass in each of his team’s first two games. The volatile tight end has frustrated owners over the years for his inconsistency as a pass catcher. He’s not a volume guy, so if he’s not catching touchdowns, Fleener is not very useful to your team. Although he has talent, the Saints offense is too unpredictable near the red-zone. Playing the division rival Panthers won’t make it any easier with Luke Kuechly likely shadowing Fleener all game.

Start — Philadelphia D/ST (vs. NYG)

The Eagles are slowly rising among the ranks of elite defenses in the NFL. Great defenses don’t always equate to fantasy points, but we’ll take the chance here with Philly against Eli Manning and the abysmal Giants offense. New York’s offensive line hasn’t proven the ability to block anybody, and the Eagles have one of the most physically dominant front sevens in the entire league.

Sit — Detroit D/ST (vs. ATL)

Detroit has looked great defensively through two weeks, but will have a difficult challenge with the Falcons coming to town. Atlanta has too many playmakers, and Matt Ryan – the MVP of the league – has quietly been the best QB in the league through the first two weeks of the season. This game will be more about if Stafford can keep up with Atlanta’s scoring rather than if Detroit can stop Atlanta from scoring. Because the latter part isn’t happening.

Sources: USA Today/Patriots Wire, Fox Sports, Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports