All three-down RBs are starts, so I won’t be mentioning them. Whether they’re in a good rushing matchup or not, since they are on the field all the time, their opportunity is unlike any other player, so you should start them. The same thing holds for wide receivers. Start your studs! Here are the not so obvious running back and wide receiver starts/sits for Week 3.
Isaiah Crowell vs Colts
Isaiah Crowell talked to the Browns’ coaches about getting more carries, but he probably didn’t need to do that. Maybe he should’ve understood that running into the talented front seven of the Ravens and Steelers the first two weeks wasn’t going to be the best strategy. This week he gets the Colts, and since this should be a close game against a less effective front seven, Crowell can have success with volume in this game. He probably would have got that volume whether he asked for it or not. With the threat of Deshone Kizer escaping around the edge, I expect running lanes to start opening up for Crowell.
Buck Allen vs Jags
Buck Allen is more of a PPR play, but if Terrance West is banged up, Allen should see a majority of the snaps again in Week 3. This is probably going to be a low-scoring, defensive game (40 point projected total), so Allen should have some good volume both in the run and pass game to give you a solid floor.
Frank Gore vs Browns
As long as the game remains close, Frank Gore should be able to have a good amount of volume against the Browns at home. The Browns are favored to win by just 1.5, so expect Gore to get a ton of carries in this low scoring game. Game flow is probably the most important factor in whether Gore will get enough carries to have a productive fantasy day.
Ameer Abdullah vs Falcons
The Falcons were last in the NFL DVOA last year against pass catching running backs, so I expect Abdullah to catch a bunch out of the backfield in addition to his workload in the running game. We saw what Tarik Cohen did to the Falcons at home, so I expect Abdullah to be able to escape the backfield on early downs to have a great PPR day.
Jeremy Maclin vs Jaguars
Maclin shouldn’t see either of the Texans CB standouts in A.J. Bouye or Jalen Ramsey in the slot, so expect him to be targeted early and often. Aaron Colvin isn’t a pushover, but the talent in the slot combined with avoiding to go to the outside should make Flacco target his best receiver.
Rashard Higgins vs Colts
Higgins should see Nate Hairston, who PFF rated 49.4/100. We saw that he was targeted heavily last week and produced. Higgins is a very solid route runner, and was one of Matt Harmon’s favorites coming out of college. The Colts have given up the 13th most fantasy points to the slot this year, and I expect him to get a good amount of targets in this game.
Golden Tate vs Falcons
Tate should be able to take advantage of being covered by Brian Poole out of the slot, and the Falcons have given up the 5th most fantasy points to receivers coming out the slot. Start Tate with confidence in this high scoring game.
Tyrell Williams vs Chiefs
Williams shouldn’t see much of Marcus Peters, and will see the side of the field that the Chiefs have given up the 5th most fantasy points to. This will be a high scoring game, and we should see a good amount of volume from Philip Rivers. With him avoiding the other side of the field, I expect Williams to get some real opportunity in this game.
Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee vs Ravens
The Jaguars will have a tough time moving the ball against the Ravens, who have one of the league’s best secondaries. The upside isn’t there for either Hurns or Lee, but if I had to choose one between the two to start, it would be Lee in PPR because of the possible volume, and Webb hasn’t been as effective in shutting down the slot receivers as Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr have been doing on the outside.
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen
Sam Bradford is out for Week 3, and neither got it done with Case Keenum in Week 2. Tampa Bay’s defense looked good against a bad Bears offense, and I don’t expect the Vikings to be able to move the ball much against them. If the Bucs get out to a bit of a lead, the turnovers will start to pile on.
Chris Hogan vs Texans
Chris Hogan will get some play out of the slot, but with Danny Amendola back this week, expect Hogan to take most of his snaps on Johnathan Joseph’s side of the field. With Amendola back, Hogan will take a back seat anyway, but with this matchup, expect Brady to hook up with his other weapons in Week 3.
Nelson Agholor vs Giants
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is playing the nickel, and he shut down both Golden Tate and Cole Beasley so far this season. I would find another option and avoid putting him in my lineup this week.
Rishard Matthews vs Seahawks
Matthews will see a lot of Richard Sherman this year, and he’s been doing a good job shutting that side of the field down. With Corey Davis out, Mariota is going to have a tough time moving the ball against the Seahawks. Eric Decker could be a beneficiary of targets this week.