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Fantasy football advice, Week 3: who to start for Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

Dan Ciarrocchi reviews who needs to be in your fantasy lineup or on the bench for a matchup between two elite defenses.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings

Start ‘em

The Vikings may have lost their focal point of the offense, Adrian Peterson, but they have another capable player in the huddle who is worthy of that designation. Stefon Diggs went off against the Packers in Week 2, posting a 9-182-1 line and now has an NFL-best 285 receiving yards to open the season. He is locked in as a WR1/WR2 even against a vaunted Panthers defense. Jerick McKinnon deserves flex appeal in a tough matchup as well, expecting to receive the lion’s share of touches in the backfield.

Sit ‘em

Unfortunately for the Vikings, they are razor thin at skill positions. Sam Bradford, Matt Asiata and Kyle Rudolph are too volatile to trust in Week 3.

Carolina Panthers

Start ‘em

Greg Olsen and Cam Newton remain elite options at their respective positions, but they draw a dominant Vikings defense that just shut down Aaron Rodgers. Each had success against a similarly stout Broncos defense, and both deserve starting consideration. Kelvin Benjamin can also be deployed as a WR2.

Start ‘em?

How the backfield situation shakes out with Jonathan Stewart’s injury isn’t much of a mystery. Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert have all worked to replace Stewart in the backfield in his past absences. Whittaker’s 131-yard performance is a bit of a mirage since Artis-Payne was inactive. That won’t be the case on Sunday, and it turns this backfield into a situation that should be approached with caution. Artis-Payne and Whittaker deserve flex consideration, but 100-yard outputs are unlikely.

Sit ‘em

Devin Funchess’ hype has fallen well short of expectations. He and Ted Ginn, Jr. can safely be benched.