Must Starts and Sits | NFL Week 3

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit
Start Sit Week 3

Injuries Galore

Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place! With several injuries to key players already occurring, Week 3 is flush with streaming options for fantasy gamers. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, this week’s must start and sit picks can give you some guidance on setting your lineups. Good luck!


Start: C.J. Stroud

As a rookie, C.J. Stroud has started with back-to-back games of over 40 passing attempts. The Texans offense isn’t great, but Stroud just lit up the Colts for 384 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2.

This week, Stroud faces the Jaguars, who allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to QBs last season. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown at least 39 passes against Jacksonville in each of the first two weeks of the season. Stroud has relied on volume to produce for fantasy in his young career, and touchdown opportunities will only enhance his production. Based on the passing volume the Texans offense has generated and the volume the Jaguars defense has yielded, this is plus-opportunity for Stroud. You were likely starting him in superflex leagues rather than 1QB leagues, but Stroud has the upside to be a borderline-QB1 in Week 3.

Sit: Jordan Love

Another option that was more likely to be started in SuperFlex rather than 1QB leagues, Jordan Love is a tough play this week. He has passed for three touchdowns in back-to-back games, with over 20 fantasy points in both. However, Love had just 151 passing yards last week, and has rushed only five times this season. He does not have the dual-threat ability to propel his output forward, relying on touchdowns for fantasy production. A potential return from Christian Watson should help, but a matchup against the Saints is a tough draw. New Orleans has gotten seven sacks the first two weeks of the season, not allowing more than 200 passing yards in either game. The Packers’ offensive line is banged up, making Love a sit in a tough matchup.

Running Back

Start: Javonte Williams

Coming back from an ACL and LCL injury, Javonte Williams has gotten 14 touches in back-to-back games to start the season. He has split snaps with Samaje Perine, easing back into a role that made him a high fantasy draft pick last season. In Week 3, Williams faces the Dolphins, who have allowed at least three receptions to RBs in Weeks 1 and 2. Williams has six receptions to start the season, with nine total targets. He has yet to score, but as he ramps up, Denver will continue to use him more and his scoring opportunities will increase. Between Miami and Denver’s defenses, expect a game with high offensive output. Williams will get in on the action and the receiving upside boosts him for Week 3.

Sit: D’Andre Swift

After an explosive Week 2, D’Andre Swift is back on the fantasy map. A 28-carry, 175-yard performance has fantasy gamers clamoring to start him. However, Swift isn’t an auto-start for Week 3. He faces the Buccaneers on Monday night in a difficult matchup. Tampa Bay has limited rushers to under 40 rushing yards in both Weeks 1 and 2. Teams have been in a passing game script against the Buccaneers, and while the Eagles will almost certainly have a favorable game script this time, the Tampa defensive line is formidable. Jalen Hurts takes away goal-line opportunities and with Kenneth Gainwell nearing a return, Swift won’t dominate snaps. Don’t rush to start Swift just yet in a tough matchup and wait to see how the Gainwell/Swift split shakes out.

Wide Receiver

Start: Michael Pittman Jr.

The identity of the Colts offense relies on the health of Anthony Richardson. He left concussed last week, leading to Gardner Minshew playing, who gave Michael Pittman the majority of his 12 targets last week.

Pittman has back-to-back games with eight receptions, earning 23 targets this season. He gets a Week 3 matchup against the Ravens, who may be without star CB Marlon Humphrey again. Slot CB Ar’Darius Washington was also just placed on IR while safety Marcus Williams has a pectoral injury, leaving the Baltimore secondary thin. The Ravens have also allowed 80-yard receivers in both games this season. Indianapolis is funneling targets to Pittman no matter the QB situation. Boost him into your starting lineup, with extra confidence if Minshew starts this week.

Sit: Marquise Brown

In an offense led by Joshua Dobbs, Marquise Brown has nine receptions so far this season. A six-reception performance highlighted by a touchdown boosted his fantasy output last week. This week, he faces the daunting Dallas Cowboys defense and star CB Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys have yielded less than 180 passing yards in both games this season. With Dobbs at QB, it is difficult to see that changing for the Cardinals offense. This gives Brown less opportunities to work with for fantasy relevance in Week 3. He is averaging less than 10 yards per reception with Dobbs, and the Cowboys secondary will limit him further. Kyler Murray can’t return any faster for Brown, who is a sit in a tough matchup this week.

Tight End

Start: Cade Otton

Slowly establishing himself as a top-three option in Tampa Bay’s offense, Cade Otton reeled in six receptions in Week 2. Baker Mayfield found him often in a high-volume passing day, which bodes well for Otton’s long-term value. For Week 3, Otton faces the banged-up Eagles defense. Nakobe Dean, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox and others are missing games for Philly. Throughout the first two weeks of the season, the Eagles have yielded a combined 17 receptions and three touchdowns to tight ends. Both of Philly’s games have had over 300 passing yards from opposing QBs, with many scoring opportunities. Expect another game script leading to high pass-volume for Tampa Bay in Week 3. Otton is set to feast against a bruised Eagles defense, pushing him into the TE1 conversation for this game.

Sit: Luke Musgrave

The second Packer to appear on the must sit list, Luke Musgrave has seen decent usage as a rookie. His five receptions for 75 yards in two games put him as a TE2 on the season. That isn’t saying much, but in a barren tight end landscape, managers (especially in TE premium leagues like Scott Fish Bowl) have considered starting him. This week, he faces a solid Saints defense that will limit Jordan Love, like previously highlighted. The only tight end output against New Orleans has come from a 3-reception, 20-yard performance by Hayden Hurst in Week 2. The rookie Musgrave has hardly been usable up until now, but a return from Christian Watson will limit his ceiling even further. More of a long-term asset rather than a week-to-week starter, Musgrave is best left on benches this week.

Observe the Trends

Now that we are entering Week 3, player and team tendencies are becoming clearer. Three weeks makes a trend, so this is a pivotal week to observe player usage for fantasy football. Stay tuned to see what key insights emerge and good luck this week!