A Cliché Fantasy Football Week 3 Start/Sit Column

by Mike Randle ·

Last week was truly fantasy football chaos.  Injuries and poor performances reigned supreme. Many fantasy owners saw their teams unexpectedly go up in flames.  Like Rocky Balboa against Clubber Lang, we simply just tried to survive the week and recharge for this week’s slate.  Overall, a 10-10 record from a crazy week is more than acceptable, and we will simply close the book and focus onward to Week 3.

Each week we will give you 20 Start/Sits for your fantasy lineups, followed by a full disclosure breakdown of the prior week.  Again, this is not your garden variety fantasy analyst column. We don’t recommend starting “Andrew Luck,” and we don’t recommend sitting “Andre Williams.”  Our picks are based off of players performances up to this point in the season.  We will recommend starts that will outperform their current positional value, and identify sits that will drastically underperform their currently positional value.


LeSean McCoy, Buffalo, RB

Matchup: Home vs. Arizona
Week 2 Positional Rank: 16th

The Buffalo Bills are staring at an 0-3 start to the season. Since the Super Bowl era began, only five NFL teams have made the playoffs after starting 0-3. Teams usually get a spark from a coaching change, and that will happen this week with new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn replacing the fired Greg Roman.  LeSean McCoy hasn’t been getting the ball enough with only 31 carries, placing him more than 20 carries behind backs like LeGarrette Blount, Matt Forte, Lamar Miller, and DeAngelo Williams.

The Cardinals are on the road for the first time this season, as they travel cross country for a 1:00 pm start in Buffalo. Historically, the Arizona defense is much less potent on the road. Last season, the Cardinals scored 26 percent fewer defensive fantasy points on the road, and only had 30 percent of their sacks in road games. Look for the Bills to pull off the home upset this week, behind a huge game from LeSean McCoy.

Charles Sims, Tampa Bay, RB

Matchup: Home vs. Los Angeles
Week 2 Positional Rank: 33rd

Sims steps into an RB1 role after last week’s hamstring injury to Doug Martin. The Zero RB followers of PlayerProfiler.com should already have Sims on their bench to plug in and play. The Buccaneers will be looking to recover from last week’s 40-7 thrashing in Arizona.

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Charles Sims Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The beauty of Charles Sims is that he will get opportunities on the ground or through the air. He is immediately thrust into a position of a three down running back, rarified air in today’s NFL. While Martin was racking up over 1,400 rushing yards at a 4.9 yards per carry clip last season, Sims quietly had a solid all around end of year stat line. He was fourth among all running backs in Yards Per Touch (6.9) and fourth overall in Receiving Yards (561 ypg). The Rams have a strong rush defense, but Sims’ versatility makes him a must start this week.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay, RB

Matchup: Home vs. Detroit
Week 2 Positional Rank: 30th

Eddie Lacy has started the season with two very tough matchups at Jacksonville, and at Minnesota for the opening of their new stadium. Despite this, Lacy has averaged a very respectable 4.3 yards per carry. This week, the Packers will roll in their home opener against a banged up Detroit defense. This will mark the beginning of four consecutive home games for Green Bay. After Detroit and a bye week, the Packers host the Giants, Cowboys, and Bears. Their high powered offense has yet to start clicking, but that will change this week.  Look for Lacy to produce at least 100 total yards and a touchdown in a big double digit home opener win for Green Bay.

Michael Floyd, Arizona, WR

Matchup: Away at Buffalo
Week 2 Positional Rank: 52nd 

It is only a matter of time before Michael Floyd breaks out, and against the Buffalo Bills secondary seems like the opportune time. In Week Two, the Bills allowed 319 combined receiving yards to Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Quincy Enunwa. Floyd has 13 targets on the season, and is tied for fourth with five Red Zone targets. With John Brown ailing, the Cardinals will look this week to get Floyd back on track. In Week One, he was shadowed by Patriots star cornerback Malcolm Butler and in Week Two he actually found the end zone. This will be his first big week of 2016, in a game that has the second highest over/under (47.5) of Sunday’s game slate. Floyd has a WR2 floor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if owners finally get WR1 production this week.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins, WR

Matchup: Home vs. Cleveland
Week 2 Positional Rank: 62th

It has finally clicked for DeVante Parker. He struggled during most of his rookie season with a foot injury, but after Week 12 scored double digit fantasy points three times.  Parker made his season debut last week and exploded for eight catches and 106 yards on 13 targets.

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DeVante Parker Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

This week is Miami’s home opener and they welcome in the Cleveland Browns who have given up two receiving touchdowns in each of the first two games. Head coach Adam Gase will feature a pass-heavy attack that will only be enhanced by Arian Foster‘s injury. In a must-win for the 0-2 Dolphins, expect Parker and fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry to have WR2 production as a minimum this week. Get DeVante Parker in your starting lineup.


Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia, RB

Matchup: Home vs. Pittsburgh
Week 2 Positional Rank: 11th

The casual fantasy football fan will look at the season totals and think Ryan Mathews is having a good year. Drawing that conclusion is characterized as reckless fantasy analysis. During Monday’s nights Philadelphia win over Chicago, finding Mathews on the field was as hard as finding Waldo.

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Ryan Mathews Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Through two games, his Snap Share Percentage is 42.3 percent which ranks 45th among all running backs.  Ryan Mathews‘ Opportunity Share (measures total team running back carries plus targets) is only 48.5 percent, ranking 31st among running backs. His fantasy ranking is massively affected by his three touchdowns (first among RBs) and 11 Red Zone carries (second among RBs). This week he faces a stout Pittsburgh Steelers run defense than has only given up 50.5 rushing yards per game. With Darren Sproles and even Kenjon Barner playing a backfield role, avoid Mathews in all formats.

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns, RB

Matchup: Away vs. Miami
Week 2 Positional Rank: 4th

Let’s try this again. Through two games of this NFL season, Isaiah Crowell is tied for fourth in fantasy points among all running backs.  However, similar to Mathews, if you “peel back the onion” you will see it is a by product of a few long runs.

In Week One he gained 40 yards on the final few snaps of a decided outcome, and then in Week Two he was greatly bolstered by an 85 yard touchdown run.  Outside of those attempts, he is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry. Don’t be tempted by Miami’s 30th ranked run defense. The Dolphins will have this game in hand quickly, causing the Browns to throw often.  Stock up for Duke Johnson, but stock down Isaiah Crowell.

Latavius Murray, Oakland, RB

Matchup: Away at Tennessee
Week 2 Positional Rank: 12th 

Are we forgetting the Titans defensive coordinator is Dick LeBeau? Having asked for greater control of the defense, LeBeau has produced an underappreciated defense that held Adrian Peterson to 1.6 yards per carry in Week One.

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Latavius Murray Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Besides a difficult road matchup after the cross-country 1 pm start, Murray ranks only 26th in Carries and 33rd in Opportunity Share. He is sharing time with not only rookie DeAndre Washington, but also the ultra-efficient Jalen Richard as well. Last week the carries were distribute in the following manner: Murray (8), Washington (7), Richard (6).  With Murray playing on the road, in a tough matchup, and sharing rushing carries, please pass this week in Tennessee.

Carson Palmer, Arizona, QB

Matchup: Away at Buffalo
Week 2 Positional Rank: 7th

Benching a quarterback with five touchdowns and no interceptions? Against a defense that just gave up 374 yards passing to Ryan Fitzpatrick? Yes, that’s correct. For all the reasons McCoy will have a big game, Palmer will not. On the road against a team that needs to have a win will prove very difficult. Palmer will also be dealing with wide receiver John Brown‘s lingering hesitantcy after his preseason concussion.  Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been great, but been limited this week in practice by the potential effects of an MCL sprain suffered in training camp. After seeing Matt Forte rush for 100 yards and three touchdowns in Week Two, the narrative should be a huge David Johnson game. Prediction:  a desperate Rex Ryan dials up pressure on Palmer all game, knocking him out of the top 12 fantasy quarterbacks.  Don’t be afraid to use your bench quarterback options this week.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver, WR

Matchup: Away at Cincinnati
Week 2 Positional Rank: 38th 

You are tempted.  He’s due, right?  Not this week.  The Broncos travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals in their home opener. They will face a pass defense that ranks 10th overall, after facing two strong passing offenses (Jets, Steelers) on the road to start the season. Thomas is still clearly struggling with a hip injury. Last week against Indianapolis, he tallied 44 of his 90 receiving yards on one catch. That will not happen against the Bengals, who held Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to just 39 yards on four catches. First year starting quarterback Trevor Siemian will face a stiff test in his first road game.  The Bengals defense is underrated, Siemian is untested, and Thomas is hurt. Even though he was your early round draft pick, put Thomas on your bench.