There's still a lot we don't know about the NFL, be it related to workload, matchups, or consistency. Nonetheless, most fantasy football owners think they know it all after two weeks, and that's how they wind up making questionable start 'em, sit 'em decisions that can make or break their week. Fortunately, we're here to help with level-headed Week 3 lineup advice (and DFS picks) that takes into account not only all the stats and trends but also all the injuries that ravaged so many teams last week.
Yes, injuries were the dominant storyline after Week 2, and that carries over to Week 3. A host of fantasy stars have already been ruled out, and plenty more big-time contributors figure to be "questionable" heading into the weekend. Kenny Golladay (hamstring), Cam Akers (ribs), Jamison Crowder (hamstring), A.J. Brown (knee), Davante Adams (hamstring), Phillip Lindsay (toe), Michael Thomas (ankle), and George Kittle (knee) headline that group, and there will undoubtedly be more added to the list as we get closer to the kickoff.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Start: Quarterbacks
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (at BAL), Lamar Jackson, Ravens (vs. KC), Dak Prescott, Cowboys (at SEA), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (vs. DAL), Josh Allen, Bills (vs. LAR), Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. DET), Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs. CHI)
Cam Newton, Patriots (vs. LV). Newton gets his best matchup yet for his running and downfield passing at home.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at NO). Keep rolling with this passer possessed.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (vs. HOU). He has a high floor and has proved that’s pretty close to a nice ceiling given his health and his weapons.
Drew Brees, Saints (vs. GB). He has underwhelmed a bit, but Rodgers on the other side should fire him up on Sunday night at home.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers (at DEN). This might feel like a trap on the road, but the Broncos’ pass defense is sputtering all over the field.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (at MIN, $5,900 on DraftKings, $7,400 on FanDuel). Teams continue to sell out to stop Derrick Henry, opening things up downfield for Tannehill, who’s been on point, The Vikings stink on the backend and they will be desperate, coming out to stuff Henry first.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (vs. NYG, $5,700 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel). Trubisky will have to keep chucking on the other side of Ryan, and the Falcons’ defense can’t stop anything in the air.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (vs. WAS), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins (at JAX)
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Sit: Quarterbacks
Deshaun Watson, Texans (AT PIT). Watson is disappointing as a top-half QB1 after two bad matchups. Here’s a third one, so you can go elsewhere with a high-end backup option.
Carson Wentz, Eagles (vs. CIN). The Eagles will stay grounded to try to get a win of any kind, and the Bengals will allow that. Wentz should have low volume and still carries low upside through his slumps.
Matthew Stafford, Lions (at ARI). He’s not getting much help, and it’s hard to trust him in what can be a desert trap for quarterbacks.
Joe Burrow, Bengals (at PHI). The Eagles’ pass rush will have fun against his pass protection, limiting his effectiveness.
Jared Goff, Rams (at BUF). This is a bad cross-country matchup for QBs with a limited ceiling and questionable floor.
Philip Rivers, Colts (at NYJ). The Colts should be rather run-heavy again at home to put away a weak opponent.
Daniel Jones, Giants (vs. SF). Jones won’t have Saquon Barkley (knee), and Sterling Shepard (toe) likely won’t be available against this still strong defense.
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers (at LAC), Derek Carr, Raiders (at NE)
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Sit: Running backs
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (at SEA), Dalvin Cook, Vikings (vs. TEN), Derrick Henry, Titans (at MIN), Alvin Kamara, Saints (vs. GB), Nick Chubb, Browns (vs WAS), Joe Mixon, Bengals (at PHI), Josh Jacobs, Raiders (at NE), Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs (at BAL), Austin Ekeler, Chargers (vs. CAR), Aaron Jones, Packers (at NO), Kenyan Drake, Cardinals (vs. DET), Todd Gurley, Falcons (vs. CHI), Chris Carson, Seahawks (vs. DAL), Miles Sanders, Eagles (vs. CIN), Jonathan Taylor, Colts (at NYJ), James Conner, Steelers (vs. HOU)
David Montgomery, Bears (at ATL). He’s living up to his rookie hype a year later thanks to more honed running skills and better blocking.
James Robinson, Jaguars (vs. MIA). Robinson is being treated like the lead cat, and the rookie can rip into a weak front.
Kareem Hunt, Browns (vs. WAS). He and Nick Chubb are the centerpieces of their offense.
Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers (at DEN). The backfield was usurped by him in Week 2, and the Broncos couldn’t slow down either Derrick Henry or James Conner.
Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins, Ravens (vs. KC). The best way for the Ravens to steal this game at home will be exploiting the Chiefs’ run defense with power and speed, a la the Chargers. But because of uncertain snap count and usage, Ingram and Dobbins are more flex plays.
Joshua Kelley, Chargers (vs. CAR). Lock in Kelley for nice volume along with Austin Ekeler against a putrid run defense.
Sony Michel, Patriots (vs. LV). The Raiders are having trouble with power-running backs, and Nick Kwiatkoski will miss another game.
Myles Gaskin, Dolphins (at JAX). He’s worth a shot in deeper leagues with good volume.
Jerick McKinnon, 49ers (at NYG, $4,900 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel). He’s the starting running back for an elite rushing attack while Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are battling knee injuries? Yes, please.
Mike Davis, Panthers (at LAC, $5,100 on DraftKings, $6,000 on FanDuel). The Chargers’ run defense is improved, but Davis will be busy again taking over Christian McCaffrey's big receiving work.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Sit: Running backs
David Johnson, Texans (at PIT). It’s hard to like him after a bad game against the Ravens facing a tougher defense this week.
Melvin Gordon, Broncos (vs. TB). The Bucs’ run defense is better than you think, and he won’t do the receiving damage Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara did.
Antonio Gibson, Washington (at CLE). The Browns’ run defense is much improved, and the visitors should be throwing often this week.
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (at DEN). Leonard Fournette has kept up with and passed this Jones.
Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift, Lions (at ARI). This committee is so disappointing after Kerryon Johnson scored in Week 2.
Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson, Rams (at BUF). Brown should play with his finger injury, making it cloudy even with Cam Akers (ribs) out.
Frank Gore, Jets (at IND). It’s another revenge game for Gore in which he’ll do not much with volume.
All Giants (vs. SF). Including Devonta Freeman, should he play along with Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman, it’s New York, New York, bench, bench, bench.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Start: Wide receivers
Michael Thomas, Saints (if he plays, vs. GB), Julio Jones (unlikely to play) and Calvin Ridley, Falcons (vs. CHI), Davante Adams, Packers (unlikely to play, at NO), Tyreek Hill Chiefs (at BAL), Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, Buccaneers (at DEN), DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (vs. DET), Kenny Golladay, Lions (if he returns, at ARI), Allen Robinson, Bears (at ATL), JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (vs. HOU), A.J. Brown, Titans (if he returns, at MIN), D.J. Moore, Panthers (at LAC), Adam Thielen, Vikings (vs. TEN), Amari Cooper, Cowboys (at SEA), Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Browns (vs. WAS), Cooper Kupp, Rams (at BUF), Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Seahawks (vs. DAL), D.J. Chark, Jaguars (at TEN), Terry McLaurin, Washington (at CLE), Keenan Allen, Chargers (vs. CAR), Stefon Diggs, Bills (vs. LAR), Julian Edelman, Patriots (vs. LV)
CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (at SEA). Lamb is feeling it in their 11 personnel along with Amari Cooper, and the rookie should be busy with Dak Prescott again.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers (vs. HOU). He is a solid No. 2 for them and can exploit another awful secondary.
Tre’Quan Smith, Saints (vs. GB). Smith filled in for Michael Thomas (ankle) very well in Week 2 and is bound to be the wideout to trust with Thomas missisng another game. Smith’s performance should get him more work in a great matchup
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (at PHI). He’s locked in as Joe Burrow’s go-to guy and should see good volume in the middle of the field, where the Eagles struggle in coverage.
Anthony Miller, Bears (at ATL). He was blanked last week, as Chicago didn’t throw enough, but Trubisky will need to chuck this week against the Falcons.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles (vs. CIN). He has a good shot to make a big scoring play off play-action against the Bengals weaker cornerbacks.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers (at NO). He will remain a big-play part of their game plan against a shaky secondary. You can extend to Allen Lazard if you need him, too, with Adams out.
Mike Williams, Chargers (vs. CAR). The Panthers cannot cover deep shots, either, so he should get on the board with a big play and a TD, too.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys (at SEA, $5,500 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel). He is overdue for a big-play TD himself, and this price is too nice against a Seahawks’ secondary giving up downfield shots.
Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (vs. TB, $5,000 on DraftKings, $5,300 on FanDuel). Jeudy has a limited ceiling, but he should dominate targets from Jeff Driskel with no Courtland Sutton (knee), so prepare for some garbage-time use.
Corey Davis, Titans (at MIN, $5,200 on DraftKings, $5,300 on FanDuel). Davis put up 100 yards in Week 1 and scored in Week 2 when A.J. Brown (knee) was out. The Vikings’ secondary stinks and can’t cover him or Brown well.
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts (vs. NYJ), Golden Tate, Giants (vs. SF)
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Sit: Wide receivers
Robert Woods, Rams (at BUF). He is likely to draw Tre’Davious White.
Marquise Brown, Ravens (vs. KC). The Chiefs excel at containing big plays so don’t think about what Brown can do for you.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts (vs. NYJ). Even with no Parris Campbell (ankle) it’s hard to trust him compared to Michael Pittman Jr.
A.J. Green, Bengals (at PHI). The Eagles’ pass rush won’t give Joe Burrow time to find him outside enough.
Marvin Jones Jr., Lions (at ARI). He scored in Week 2 but hasn’t done much and Gollday's possible return both hurts and helps him.
John Brown, Bills (vs. LAR). He might get Jalen Ramsey more than you think compared to Stefon Diggs, who also can work away from Ramsey more in the slot.
Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, Texans (at PIT). Fuller was hamstrung and blanked against the Ravens while Cooks performed. Cooks and Fuller aren’t viable against this Steelers secondary.
Darius Slayton, Giants (vs. SF). Daniel Jones wants to get him the ball often but it just got harder with no Sterling Shepard (toe) to draw coverage attention.
Robby Anderson, Panthers (at LAC). The Chargers have the corners to contain him.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Start: Tight ends
Travis Kelce, Chiefs (at BAL),
George Kittle, 49ers (if he plays, at NYG), Mark Andrews, Ravens (vs. KC), Zach Ertz, Eagles (vs. CIN), Darren Waller, Raiders (at NE), Tyler Higbee, Rams (at BUF), Hunter Henry, Chargers (vs. CAR), Jonnu Smith, Titans (at MIN)
Jared Cook, Saints (vs. GB). Cook scored in Week 2 to save his value in revenge game No. 1. Here’s the promising sequel.
Hayden Hurst, Falcons (vs. CHI). The Bears are struggling to cover the tight end and the middle of the field in general.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions (at ARI). He’s been hot, and now he plays the team he lit up to start his rookie season.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins (at JAX). He exploded as the hybrid slot in Week 2, and the Jaguars have had all kinds of problems with the tight end early.
Noah Fant, Broncos (vs. TB). He looks like the clear go-to guy for Jeff Driskel after a second big week.
Jordan Reed, 49ers (at NYG). With no Kittle again he can be a solid supersub even with Nick Mullens.
Logan Thomas, Washington (at CLE, $3,700 on DraftKings, $4,900 on FanDuel). Thomas had nine targets against the Cardinals but couldn’t quite hit paydirt. The Browns are having major tight end coverage issues, so he’s worth a shot for another trip to the end zone.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Sit: Tight ends
Evan Engram, Giants (vs. SF). Engram is struggling with his drops again, and the 49ers can erase him.
Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard, Buccaneers (at DEN). This committee has been even worse than imagined for fantasy so far. Gronk has accepted he's a blocking tight end.
Chris Herndon, Jets (at IND). Remember his breakout season hype? Neither do we.
Jimmy Graham, Bears (at ATL). You are hoping that he scores a TD, and there's not enough hope.
Jordan Akins, Texans (at PIT). File him under players from Houston you don’t want to trust in Heinz Field.
Austin Hooper, Browns (vs. WAS). He’s not doing much of anything to warrant a fantasy start with his new team.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (at SEA). Don’t chase his anomalous box score. The Seahawks' game will be a big wide receiver game for Dallas.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Start: Defenses
Steelers (vs. HOU), 49ers (at NYG), Colts (vs. NYJ), Chargers (vs. CAR), Buccaneers (at DEN), Cardinals (vs. DET), Patriots (vs. LV), Browns (vs. WAS)
Eagles (vs. CIN, $2,800 on DraftKings, $4,500 on FanDuel). They have been disappointing the first two weeks and unplayable. They can get some sacks and maybe a Burrow interception or two at home.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Who To Sit: Defenses
Bills (vs. LAR), Rams (at BUF), Titans (at MIN), Bears (at ATL), Ravens (vs. KC), Chiefs (at BAL), Washington (at CLE), Saints (vs. GB)