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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 3: who to start for Washington vs. New York Giants

Dan Ciarrocchi reviews who needs to be in your fantasy lineup or on the bench for an NFC East clash.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants

Odell Beckham, Jr. will supposedly be shadowed in coverage by Josh Norman on Sunday in the next installment of a budding rivalry between two elite players. Though Beckham had success against Norman in 2015, much of his 6-76-1 line occurred after the Giants had fallen behind the Panthers 35-7. It would be a lot to expect a similar game script given Washington’s sputters out of the gate, but Beckham’s upside remains as high as any receiver’s. He is a WR1 as usual.

Sterling Shepard also can be expected to be involved in the mix once again, especially since Washington had its hands full with Eli Rogers and Cole Beasley in the slot. That’s where Shepard will mostly line up, and success can be had there if Norman and Bashaud Breeland man their usual posts on the perimeter. Shepard is a WR3 with upside.

Eli Manning can be considered a QB1 for Sunday in formats across the board. Despite Washington having capable corners, the defense as a whole has allowed the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott to move the chains and helm their respective offenses to 38 and 27 points. Manning is just as capable, even if he doesn’t have the gaudy fantasy numbers to back it up just yet.

Start ‘em?

With Rashad Jennings expected to play with a cast on his left thumb, his usual workload can’t be considered a given. Shane Vereen is the preferred fantasy option of the two running backs due to Jennings’ new injury as well as his disappointing performance against a cushy Saints defense in Week 2. Jennings can only be considered a desperate flex play.

Sit ‘em

Though Larry Donnell has shredded Washington in the past, his timeshare with Will Tye makes neither of them usable for Week 3 and beyond.


Start ‘em

In the two games against the Giants in 2015, Jordan Reed caught 14 passes for 194 yards. Even against an aggressive defense, Reed found ways to get open and capitalize, and he could be looked at more often with Giant-killer DeSean Jackson popping up on the injury report. As the team’s co-leader in targets drawn, Reed is once again an elite TE1 to be had in Week 3. As for Jackson, he is a boom-or-bust WR3 after being limited in practice with knee and ankle ailments, but is expected to play.

Start ‘em?

It’s time to start talking about Jamison Crowder, who is tied with Reed for the team’s lead in targets, and trails only Larry Fitzgerald in red zone targets (5) to start the season. That red zone pace isn’t likely going to continue for the 5’9 slot receiver, especially with options like Reed and the emerging Josh Doctson in the mix. But Crowder is becoming a viable flex option in PPR formats, and if Kirk Cousins finds his footing, there is upside to be had.

Sit ‘em

Though the volume has been there for Cousins, he would be better off on fantasy benches due to a tough road matchup and having few encouraging moments in the young 2016 season thus far. Matt Jones also draws a tough front-seven that stonewalled Ezekiel Elliott and Mark Ingram. Washington’s run game has struggled since the early-goings of 2015, and righting the ship under these circumstances is a long shot.

Doctson and Pierre Garcon are also tough to trust in fantasy lineups, but Doctson deserves monitoring after a 57-yard catch and three end-zone targets in Week 2.