Who Are You Starting & Sitting (Week 3)

Some of the not-so-obvious plays for Week 3, Start or sit;

(Sunday’s Games)


Javorius Allen (start) Just like last week, Buck Allen is a start for Week 3 against the Jaguars. He may not do too much treading on the ground, but his pass catching skills will help his value this week. Allen is expected to pick up the load if running back Terrance West is limited or slowed.


Tyrod Taylor (sit) The Bills quarterback has an awful matchup this week facing the Broncos No Fly Zone defense. The Denver defense hasn’t been exactly seal tight, but they seen some pretty good skill position players at the receiver spot (like Dez Bryant and Keenan Allen), something Taylor is lacking. Sit the Bills quarterback.


Kelvin Benjamin (start) The Saints are in town and that means lots of yards all around. The Saints have allowed an avalanche of yards passing and rushing in their first two games. Time for Benjamin owners to reap the rewards of this matchup. Start the Panthers wide out.


Jordan Howard (sit) The Bears starting running back is off to a slow start this season and things may not get any better on Sunday. Howard will line up against the Steelers 8th ranked run defense that allow just 3.3 yards per tote. Sit him.


Ameer Abdullah (start) In what should be a matchup filled with a lot of points on both sides, I really like Abdullah to see a fair amount of carries and overall touches in this matchup. The Falcons allow 5.4 yards per carry, start Abdullah.


Jack Doyle (start) The Colts tight end is the No.13 fantasy TE currently. With a matchup against the Browns defense that’s allowed the most receptions and 3rd most receiving yards to opposing tight ends, expect Doyle to improve his ranking.


Jacquizz Rodgers (sit) The Vikings defense allows the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and overall they are ranked 11th against the run allowing just 3.1 yards per carry. I don’t like Rodgers in this matchup, sit him.


Mike Gillislee (start) The Patriots running back played more of a featured role last week with 18 carries and a score. The Texans will be tested in the air by quarterback Tom Brady and his bunch, which should open up a few running lanes for Gillislee. He’s sure to get one of those easy scores as well.


Jermaine Kearse (start) The Jets receiver has been busy through two weeks, ranked as the No.7 fantasy WR. Kearse has been targeted 14 times in two games and figures to see a steady diet of targets on Sunday against the Fins; a defense that’s allowed a 73% efficiency rate for opposing receivers.


Brandon Marshall (sit) The Giants number 3 receiver has been non-existent through two weeks and shouldn’t be trusted at this point. Marshall has caught just two passes and looks completely out of sync with quarterback Eli Manning right now. Sit him.


Derrick Henry (start) Let me start with, sit DeMarco Murray. The writing’s on the wall for this one anyway. Even if Murray is active, he is likely to play second fiddle. Henry ran like a beast last week totaling 92 yards on the ground and he should get the Lionshare Sunday against the Seahawks 23rd ranked run defense that allows 5.2 yards per carry.


Jeremy Hill (sit) The team axed their Offensive Coordinator and head Coach Marvin Lewis has to be feeling the heat. Expect a lot of changes, including the usage of or lack of usage for running back Jeremy Hill. There are whispers this week we could see more of the rookie running back Joe Mixon. Hill’s a risky play, pass on him this week.


Hunter Henry (start) The Chargers tight end finally got some work in week 2 and turned in a nice stat line of 7/80/0. Henry caught all seven of his targets last week and could be just as busy Sunday against a Chiefs defense that’s allowed the 6th most receiving yards against opposing tight ends. Start Henry.


Samaje Perine (start) Starter Rob Kelley has been ruled out, so the rookie will get the nod. Start him. The Raiders are ranked 19th versus the run, allowing 4.8 yards per carry. Perine should get plenty of run in the backfield Sunday night.

That’s My Take.

~David Ortega


Fantasy Watch List

Studs & Duds

Even with plenty of drafts left to be completed this weekend (still have several myself), I’m going to start turning my attention away from who to draft, but rather toward what to expect from some of your draftees or draft prospects.

By now we’ve heard a lot of the conversations and we are familiar with the many fantasy player names, so here’s my take on a few of this year’s Studs and Duds. And when I say dud, just be clear not a bust. A dud is player that does not live up to the draft position or hype. So let’s get to it.

Studs (target these players)


No surprise here with the Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Everyone knows his name and they’ve seen his work. The only question folks are asking, is the first pick Bell or Cardinals running back David Johnson. In my book the choice is Bell, everyday and twice on Sunday. No disrespect to DJ, he’s going to have a big season, but the pick is Bell. Last season, Le’Veon played in just 12 games and finished as the No.3 fantasy running back (PPR format) last season and averaged 26.5 fantasy points per game (Johnson averaged 25.5). Bell is a gifted runner with smooth moves, and he’s an elite pass catcher (75 receptions last season). Entering the 2017 season, Bell is healthy and a major compliment to an offense that looks poised to make a lot of noise this season.

Jordan Howard

In the NFC North, the Bears have a grinder in their backfield by the name of Jordan Howard; this kid is a stud. He’s going to be available at the turn of the 1st and 2nd round and should go ahead of running backs like Jay Ajayi, Todd Gurley, and DeMarco Murray. Last season after missing the first game, Howard didn’t start for the Bears until week 4 and finished as the No. 10 fantasy running back (PPR format), he was 9th in standard leagues. Howard rushed for over 1,300 yards in 2016, including 7 100-yard games. He’s the bell-cow in Chicago and should put up even better numbers in 2017.

Duds (drafting too high)


There’s no question Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is a top talent in the NFL, but last season with insufficient quarterback play he finished 2016 as the No. 26 wide receiver. His line for 2016 was 78-954-4 on 151 targets. This season he’s going to be playing with a rookie quarterback, so even if he sees the same volume this season it’s hard for me to see his quarterback being dramatically more efficient. As good a player as Hopkins is, if he takes a step up finishing closer to 80-1,000-5 (which would have put him as a borderline top 20 fantasy receiver last season), a borderline top 20 receiver is where I see Hopkins ceiling this season. He’s being drafted as the No. 16 fantasy receiver in PPR format (according to FFC), but there are other player options I like ahead of him like;  Kelvin Benjamin, Michael Crabtree, Davante Adams, and even Martavis Bryant.

christian mccaffrey

Although I am on high on this kid and a big fan of running back Christian McCaffrey, even in PPR format I don’t expect a near top 10 finish. McCaffrey could conceivably catch 60-65 balls this season, but I believe 125 carries is probably near his ceiling for his first season with a projected finish around 190.5 fantasy points this season; this would be in line for just outside the top 20 last year. McCaffrey looks like he could be a special player, but his current ADP of 2.12 (No. 12 fantasy running back according FFC in PPR) is a bit too rich and a tall order for the rookie (if you ask me). If you want to get the Panther’s rookie running back for this season, you will have to reach for him early in your draft, but that’s what it is a reach in the 2nd round.

That’s My Take. ~David Ortega