Start / Sit – NFL Week 3

Steve Hamann 1
Week 3 is Here! Whether you are 2-0 or 0-2, every fantasy owner wants to gain an edge early in the season. Do some superstars like Ezekiel Elliott or Saquon Barkley break their cold streaks? Does a rookie like Trey Sermon finally have his breakout performance? Here are my top starts and sits for Week 3 of the NFL Season.

Start ‘Em

Sterling Shepard
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Sterling Shepard – vs. Atlanta Falcons

Going into the 2021 NFL season, the New York Giants receiver room seemed crowded, and a clear-cut WR1 was nowhere to be found. We’re two weeks into the season and we’ve learned that Sterling Shepard is that clear-cut WR1. Over the first two weeks, Shepard has been targeted 19 times and hauled in 16 catches. The Giants and Shepard take on the god-awful Atlanta Falcons this week. The Falcons have allowed over 300 yards and five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers going into week 3. Shepard’s rapport with Quarterback Daniel Jones plus a matchup vs. the Falcons’ defense should result in huge numbers for fantasy owners. Start him!
JuJu Smith-Schuster
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

JuJu Smith-Schuster – vs. Cincinnati Bengals

JuJu Smith-Schuster has flown up my rankings this week as Diontae Johnson has been ruled out for this Sunday’s matchup against division foe, the Cincinnati Bengals. JuJu is averaging 7.5 targets per game this year and should see that number increase with Johnson sidelined. His quarterback, Big Ben, is dealing with a pectoral injury that may limit him from making some more difficult throws, but that makes me think Smith-Schuster is in for an even bigger week. Smith-Schuster will be used in short-yardage passing downs on short to intermediate routes and could have ten catches this week. The Bengals’ middle-of-the-pack defense allowed six catches to Darnell Mooney last week in a similar role that we will see JuJu in this week. There may never be a better week to start JuJu this year, so fire him up and watch him produce.
Ty'son Williams
David Becker, Associated Press

Ty’Son Williams – at Detroit Lions

2021 has not been friendly to Ravens’ running backs. However, one bright spot has been Ty’Son Williams. Williams has rushed for over 60 yards in every game this year and found the endzone in Week 1. Williams will square off against a Lions’ defense that allowed 100 yards to Eli Mitchell in Week 1 and then allowed four touchdowns to Aaron Jones the following week. The Ravens’ running back should see double-digit carries this week and be able to find the endzone again, against a porous Lions’ run defense.

Sit ‘Em

Tyler Higbee
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY

Tyler Higbee – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rams’ tight end Tyler Higbee has been on the verge of breaking out for what seems like two years now. With Matthew Stafford under center, it looks like this year might be Higbee’s best chance to have that breakout season. However, I would pump the breaks this week as Higbee and the Rams take on the defending champs in Los Angeles. Higbee only saw one target last week in their win against the Colts. Higbee will be touchdown dependent in Week 3 but faces off against a defense that has not allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends this year. While this game shapes up to be a shootout, I think Higbee will struggle to find his place in the offense. Fantasy owners should park Higbee on the bench this week and look for a more enticing streaming option.
Marquez Callaway

Marquez Callaway – at New England Patriots

I feel bad for fantasy owners who jumped on the Marquez Callaway train this offseason. Callaway was thought to be the top pass catcher for New Orleans and has not produced. Callaway has only hauled in three catches this year for a measly 22 yards. He will square off against JC Jackson and the Patriots this week. The Patriots’ defense is the 6th best defense against opposing wide receivers, allowing only 18.3 ppg to all wide receivers. Until Callaway and the Saints can be trusted, he should be glued to your bench.
Darrell Henderson
via Turf Show Times

Darrell Henderson – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I feel like I have Henderson every week as a sit or start. This week, Henderson is an easy sit for me. The Memphis product was removed from last week’s game with a rib injury that has left Henderson questionable for his Week 3 matchup. Pair that with the Buccaneers’ defense that allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing RB’s last year; this seems like a nightmare spot for Henderson. Think back to the Cowboys vs. Bucs game that opened up the season; we saw a passing mirage from both teams and very little running game. I fully expect this game to follow suit and have two veteran Quarterbacks showcase their arms and receivers’ talent. Until Henderson is fully healthy, owners may want to think twice about placing him in your lineup.
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