Welcome to Week 3 of the 2015 fantasy football season. If you started Eli Manning on Thursday Night Football, you benefited from some fourth-quarter fireworks. If you started Matt Jones or Alfred Morris, you're not remotely pleased. That's about par for the course in Thursday fantasy football.
We still don't have a full grasp on who will be the studs and busts this season, but we are getting a better idea.
Our start/sit advice last week was a bit of a mixed bag. Carson Palmer was a nice winner for us, but Amari Cooper was a miss, as he had a nice breakout game in Week 2. We'll see if the Raiders receiver can keep it up in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. With all that in mind, let's see how we can help you out for Week 3.
QB Nick Foles vs. Steelers
Pittsburgh's pass defense is basically nonexistent. Tom Brady was the QB3 against the Steelers in Week 1, and Colin Kaepernick finished as the QB4 after facing them in Week 2. As JJ Zachariason noted, the Steelers have allowed 10 top-10 QB fantasy finishes in the last 11 fantasy-relevant weeks. Unreal. I'll bet on Foles.
QB Marcus Mariota vs. Colts
Mariota was on the sit list last week, and that decision paid off (finished as the QB22 in standard). But even with two touchdowns against a decent Browns secondary, the rookie showed his floor isn't going to ruin your lineup.
RB Frank Gore at Titans
After facing two tough run defenses, Gore gets to take on the team that allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs in 2014. The Titans haven't given up any big performances so far, but Doug Martin and Isaiah Crowell combined to average 4.7 yards per carry against them over the first two weeks. The Colts offense will jumpstart itself at some point, and this should be the week Gore pays off for his owners. Buy low while you can.
RB Jonathan Stewart vs. Saints
Carolina is a big favorite (-6.5) against New Orleans, which means another positive game script for Stewart. He has 35 carries through two games this year. Stewart, like Gore, is making owners wait for that breakout game (yes, it's only been two games, but people like to panic). If Luke McCown starts for the Saints, the Panthers will be able to rely heavily on their run game, leaving Stewart to reap the benefits.
WR Allen Robinson at Patriots
As someone who hopped on the Robinson bandwagon early, Week 2 was an incredible relief. Robinson went off with 155 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins, leaving some owners wondering, "Who is Allen Robinson?" He's real, and he's spectacular. The Patriots have allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2015, including a top-24 performance to Antonio Brown and Sammy Watkins. As a double-digit underdog, the Jaguars will be throwing often.
WR John Brown vs. 49ers
San Francisco gave up completions of 59, 56, 48, 41, 35 and 28 yards to Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2. Don't be fooled by the 49ers strong showing to open the season. The Cardinals passing game has been clicking through two games. Brown can be boom-or-bust, but with Carson Palmer at seven touchdowns already, the upside is huge for Week 3.
TE Tyler Eifert at Ravens
The Ravens have actually been very good against tight ends this season. And yet, I see Eifert being the one weapon Andy Dalton finds with some measure of consistency.
QB Sam Bradford at Jets
The Philadelphia Eagles might get things back on track, but after an offseason of hype, I think it is safe to say we should step off the Sam Bradford bandwagon. There were skeptics, but plenty of people thought he would excel in Chip Kelly's offense. Bradford has managed to stay healthy, but he is just not good right now. And now he faces a Jets defense that is playing some great football. Bench Bradford for the foreseeable future.
QB Matthew Stafford vs. Broncos
The Detroit Lions quarterback is struggling with injury concerns, having taken a beating in Week 2. He is set to play, but he faces a Broncos secondary that has given up the second-fewest points against fantasy quarterbacks. Stafford is always a decent bet for a deep connection with Calvin Johnson, but if you have other options in Week 3, consider them.
RB Doug Martin at Texans
Houston hasn't allowed a running back to score on the ground since Week 12 of last season. The Texans kept Jamaal Charles and Jonathan Stewart in check over the first two weeks. Martin is handling the majority of the carries for Tampa, but hasn't been able to produce much, especially with the poor game in Week 1. This is a good week to stay away.
Rams running backs vs. Steelers
Tre Mason got the start in Week 2 after sitting out Week 1. Now there is word Todd Gurley might be activated. If Gurley is healthy, he might be worth a roll of the dice if injuries are a problem for you. But even that is a tough call. Wait a week at this point.
WR Torrey Smith at Cardinals
Willie Snead's 63-yard game against the Cardinals in Week 1 currently leads the pack for highest-single game total by a wide receiver against this secondary in 2015. Smith connected with Colin Kaepernick for a big score in Week 2, but the 49ers offense is struggling to get things going with consistency. If their offensive line struggles, Smith won't get a lot of looks.
WR Golden Tate vs. Broncos
Consider us down on the Lions in general. You always start Calvin Johnson, but if you can avoid Tate, I'd look for additional options. The Broncos secondary is strong, Stafford is hurt, and it is just not a particularly good situation from a fantasy perspective.
TE Vernon Davis at Chargers
The 49ers tight end has done solid work as a blocking tight end, but he is not doing a much else with consistency. The Cardinals have been one of the better teams at defending tight ends, and there is no reason to think Davis will break out in Week 3.
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