Welcome back for another week of fantasy football. Week 3 kicks off Thursday night with the New England Patriots hosting the Houston Texans. The Patriots are on to their third quarterback, which will impact several fantasy options on their roster. The Texans are off to a strong start, with Will Fuller among their more intriguing fantasy options. It’s time for some start/sit advice.
DeAndre Hopkins is still a firm WR1 in formats across the board, but Will Fuller is certainly going to be “a thing” this year. Already, with back-to-back 100-yard games, Fuller also has just one fewer target than Hopkins, who drew a whopping 31 percent of his team’s in 2015. Hopkins is still at 28 percent even with Fuller’s emergence, suggesting there is plenty of room for both of them to succeed.
Lamar Miller has yet to truly explode from a fantasy points perspective, but fantasy owners can’t ask head coach Bill O’Brien to feed him the ball more than he already is. Miller started the season with 32 and 27 touches in his first two games, and with the Patriots resorting to Jacoby Brissett under center, game script could favor the Texans’ run game. Miller is a top-flight RB1 once again, and his touchdown drought to end the season could come to an end.
Brock Osweiler is still not quite in the QB1 conversation despite having two capable weapons in Hopkins and Fuller.
New England Patriots
It would be in the interest of fantasy owners across the board to fade the Patriots receiving corps since they are resorting to having a third-string quarterback under center. Julian Edelman, however, remains a must-start, especially if he takes snaps under center. A college quarterback at Kent State, Patriots brass has extensively prepared Edelman, their emergency quarterback, for possibly needing to play the position on Thursday night. Fans who watched the Patriots in the 2014 season will certainly remember Edelman’s 51-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola against the Baltimore Ravens in a divisional-round playoff game. Versus a strong Texans defensive unit, Edelman is a volatile WR1/WR2 with a boost in PPR formats.
LeGarrette Blount is off to a fast start, and proving to be valuable to a Patriots offense trying to stay afloat in Tom Brady’s absence. Balance is key for this, and Blount has responded with 193 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games. The Texans would love to dare Brissett to air it out, and going all out to stop Blount isn’t an unforeseeable outcome. Blount is an RB2 for Week 3.
Rob Gronkowski returned to practice, but the Patriots love to play coy with the availability of their players. Should he take the field, he is still worth starting as a TE1 despite several factors going against him. The tough defense, the rookie quarterback, and coming off of an injury are all valid concerns, but his upside is worth starting him, and there aren’t likely any better options at such a shallow position. If Gronkowski sits, Martellus Bennett deserves to be placed in lineups as well as a boom-or-bust TE1.
Other than Edelman and Grokowski, it’s too much to ask to trust the Patriots’ complementary pass catchers. James White, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan are too risky for Thursday night, as is their quarterback.