2017 NFL Week 3 Start 'em Sit 'em

Starts, Sits, Streamers, Sleepers for 2017 NFL Week 3
 
RUNNING BACKS (RB)
 
START
 
Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots
Gillislee may make it into the start column every week because of his touchdown potential.  This week, he faces a Texans defense that will not have Brian Cushing.  Yes, Watt and Clowney will present problems, but the Pats have a rotation of backs and an offensive line that can really wear down a defense.  White and Burkhead may get them down the field, but Gillislee has the volume of carries and will punch it in.  Moreover, New England's backfield becomes less of a timeshare due to the lack of wideouts as receiving options.  This means White and Burkhead could line up as receivers, and Gillislee and Lewis should get even more carries.  
 
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
With the Bears' backfield split and their receiving corps depleted, Cohen is worth at least flex consideration, especially in PPR leagues.  Glennon will need to get it out of his hands quickly and move the ball upfield effectively.  Cohen has proven to be a reliable receiver out of the backfield and could turn in some big plays.  Put him in the starting lineup if he isn't already.
 
Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions
Riddick is the Lions' pass-catching option out of the backfield, and should get the lion's share of the touches out of the backfield this week.  They'll need to move the ball effectively, an offensive weakness where Abdullah has disappointed.  It could be a high-flying shootout between the Lions and Falcons this week, which means Riddick could see even more touches than Abdullah.  Start him this week, especially in ppr leagues.  
 
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Ok, so McCaffrey has been disappointing, especially since he was taken as high as the 2nd round.  PPR scoring helps take the edge off, but even so, he's been a dud.  Olsen's injury may have been the best thing to happen to McCaffrey because Olsen's targets will need to get spread around.  McCaffrey should get more involved in Carolina's passing game as a safety valve and dump off guy for Cam Newton.  Don't bench him just yet, especially this week against a soft New Orleans front that can't stop anyone.  McCaffrey could finally put up that big week everyone has been waiting for.
 
SIT
 
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco
Hyde has struggled to say the least.  Even in PPR leagues, Hyde may not be good for more than 15 points.  This week is no different.  He faces a divisional matchup against the Rams, who have one of the best defenses in the league, and arguably the top front 7.  Eventually Hyde will find room to run, but not this week.  Bench him.  
 
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
With Case Keenum under center, an underrated Buccaneers defense can stack the box and try to stop the run or blitz.  Either way, Tampa Bay will be in Minnesota's backfield.  Cook struggled against a Steelers defense which may not be as good as the Bucs'.  After a decent game 1, the rookie looks like he may have been slowed.  
 
Javorius "Buck" Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
With Terrance West suffering a "soft tissue" injury, Buck Allen could step into the starting role.  Allen is a sit this week because his role potentially in the air and the Ravens' offensive line will need to adjust to life without Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda.  Continue to monitor West's injury, as it will bite into Allen's role.  Owners should only start Allen if they must, but putting him in the lineup is a dice roll.
 
BUST ALERT
 
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
Yes, the Broncos allowed Melvin Gordon to catch 5 passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.  However, the Chargers have a passing game that must be respected, so the Broncos had to spread out.  However, the Broncos bottled up Zeke Elliott, for 8 yards on 9 rushes, and 14 yards on 4 catches.  Given the Bills' lack of pass-catching options, McCoy could face a similar game plan, forcing Tyrod Taylor to put points on the board using his arm.  This means there will be limited opportunities for McCoy.  Starting him is a very risky bet, especially in standard scoring.  He's a PPR flex at best this week.
 
WIDE RECEIVER (WR)
 
START 
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
After a couple of tough matchups, Hopkins finally gets a break.  With no healthy tight ends on the roster who actually know the system, Hopkins could see even more targets.  While it's tempting to bench Hopkins due to inconsistent quarterback play, the Patriots actually struggle to generate a good pass rush.  Watson's ability to buy time could give Hopkins additional time to get open and therefore help his fantasy score.  
 
Rashard Higgins, WR, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland's QB needs someone to throw to, and Higgins showed he could catch passes from both.  He and the Browns take on the Colts in Indy, and Higgins should benefit from Indy's soft secondary.  Higgins will try to make the most of his opportunity with Corey Coleman due to miss time with his broken hand.  
 
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Kupp gets the start this week due to a favorable matchup.  This kid is probably the best wideout the Rams have.  Watkins and Woods should draw coverage away from Kupp who should see 1 on 1 coverage.  He has 7 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown so far in 2017, and he should have another big day in a nice matchup against San Francisco.
 
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Through 2 tough weeks, A.J. Green has looked like a mid-range WR2 rather than a top-10 wideout, catching 10 passes for 141 yards this season.  This week, he'll look to return to form against a softer Packer secondary.  Hopefully Dalton's offensive line can buy him enough time to deliver the ball downfield.  Buyer beware: the Bengals' offensive line isn't much better than the Seahawks' or the Giants'.  Clay Matthews and company gave Russell Wilson plenty of problems in week 1.  If Dalton can get the ball into Green's hands on a quick slant, a hitch, or even throw it up on a deep go, Green might have a chance to make a play.  
 
Devante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
Cutler is a gun slinger and will put it up so his targets can go get it.  Miami has a juicy matchup against the Jets this week.  The Dolphins will run to keep the defense honest, but they'll take deep shots when they do decide to throw.  Parker had a lackluster season opener, catching 4 passes for 85 yards, but he should have a better week this week.
 
SIT
 
Jeremy Maclin, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Maclin has somewhat of a fantasy football resurgence in the past couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, he'll struggle against a tough Jaguars defense led by Calais Campbell.  Maclin may not have time to get open before Flacco gets sacked.  He may not even get much time on the field if the Jags decide to eat up the clock by pounding the rock with their shiny new rookie.  Keep Maclin on the bench this week.
 
Jordan Matthews, WR, Buffalo Bills
Matthews was never a stud by any means, but he should definitely get the bench against a dominant Broncos defense this week.  The Broncos still have one of the toughest defenses in the league, and Matthews has been limited by lesser defenses to 5 catches for 91 yards so far this season.  He'll need more time to learn the system and develop chemistry with Tyrod Taylor.
 
Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans
Matthews is only worth flexing this week at best.  He comes with a nasty matchup and will almost certainly draw Richard Sherman in coverage.  If Matthews can find the gaps in the Seahawks' zone, Mariota might be able to find Matthews in all the traffic.  
 
TIGHT END (TE)
 
START
 
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
The Seahawks come to town this week and take on the Titans at home.  Historically speaking, the Seahawks have had a tough time with good tight ends.  The Titans are lucky to have a great redzone target and a possession receiver in one.  Walker could see a lot of action this week.
 
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Doyle is in the start column this week because Jacoby Brissett is under center and the Colts have the Browns at home.  The Colts may throw it short to Doyle to build Brissett's confidence.  If they do, Doyle should continue to build on the 10 catches for 120 yards he's compiled over 2 games this season.  He'll also be useful in the short game if the Browns' pass rush gets to Brissett. 
 
SIT
 
Ed Dickson, TE, Carolina Panthers
Just because Dickson is next on the depth chart doesn't mean he should get plugged into the lineup.  Dickson is mostly a blocking tight end with unreliable hands.  Olsen's targets will go elsewhere to other receiving playmakers.  
 
Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons
After a 128 yard, 1 touchdown season opener in Chicago, Hooper was relegated to 2 catches for 7 yards.  Jones and Sanu were the preferred targets for the Falcons' passing attack.  Hooper should be started only if he needs to be.  
 
QUARTERBACK (QB)
 
START
 
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson's offensive line has hung him out to dry.  In this week's matchup, he faces a secondary that can be thrown on.  Russell has multiple veteran targets in Baldwin, Lockett, and TE Jimmy Graham.  Wilson should have a good week this week.
 
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith could have another offensive outburst this week.  While defensive linemen Liuget and Bosa could give the Chiefs' blockers some problems, the Chargers' linebackers struggle in coverage.  Reid's short passes and efficient offense could mean a high completion rate and big days for Smith and his speedy receivers.  
 
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz looks like he's really taken that step forward in his development.  He now has all of the shiny new receiving options and has already thrown for over 600 yards and 4 touchdowns through 2 games.  Granted, he's already thrown 2 picks and lost a fumble as well, but he can offset that by rushing for extra yards.  He completed 20 of 27 passes for 333 yards and 2 scores against a tough Chiefs defense.  He'll take on the Giants in Philly in a divisional showdown this week.
 
STREAMING OPTION
 
Jay Cutler, QB, Miami Dolphins
Cutler gets a juicy matchup against the Jets this week.  While he didn't turn the ball over, his Dolphins debut wasn't spectacular.  He only completed 24 or 33 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown.  Still, as long as he's coached by Gase, expect Cutler to take care of the ball and throw to targets who also know the system.  Cutler could be consistent against a bad Jets team, but he could also be underwhelming if the Dolphins decide to run all day.
 
SIT
 
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
The Giants' offensive line is the worst on the league.  They can't block for run plays which takes away play action, nor can they give Eli time to get the ball downfield.  Fletcher Cox and his crew have wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines over the last 2 weeks.  Giants fans should prepare to watc Eli run for his life for 2 hours on Sunday.  Bench him.
 
Marcus Mariora, QB, Tennessee Titans
Mariota could have a tough time completing passes this week.  Both Corey Davis and Eric Decker were both injured during the preseason.  This means Mariota may not have chemistry with Decker or Davis, leaving Matthews and (Delanie) Walker to be the top receiving options this week.  With that lack of opportunities and targets, it could be wise to sit Mariota this week, especially against an elite Seattle secondary.  
 
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
Yes, Taylor can use his feet to get out of trouble.  Yes, he can always dump it off to Shady or Clay.  This week, he faces overwhelming opposition from the Broncos' defensive front.  He'll struggle to make throws to wideouts he's unfamiliar with, and do it on the run.  Taylor has a nice seat on the end of the bench with his name on it.
 
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST)
 
START
 
Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers head to Chicago to take on a struggling Bears team.  Glennon hasn't exactly beeen a superstar, and the Bears' receiving corps has been decimated.  They'll look to stop Howard on the ground, and the rookie Cohen who has emerged as the only bright spot on the offense.
 
Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens fly south to Jacksonville this week in what will probably turn out to be a low-scoring affair.  Blake Bortles is prone to plenty of mistakes, which raises the floor of the Ravens' defensive potential this week.  The only real challenge is stopping the Jaguars' rookie running back, Leonard Fournette.  With neither team throwing the ball much, this will turn into a ground-pounding, game-clock eating affair.  
 
Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles defense limited the Redskins to just 11 points and forced an interception.  The Giants don't have an offensive line and Eli is prone to mistakes when he's under pressure.  It could be a long day for Giants fans, but a great day for fantasy owners of the Eagles' defense.
 
SIT
 
Houston Texans
The loss of ILB Brian Cushing to suspension deals a heavy blow to the Texans defense.  His versatility and athleticism will surely be missed, and leaves a sizeable void in the middle of the defense.  Sit the Texans defense this week against Tom Brady and the Pats, one of the most prolific offenses in the league.   
 
Detroit Lions
The Lions have been a defensive surprise through the first 2 weeks, recording 5 takeaways, a pick 6, and a punt return for a touchdown.  They'll face their first real test this week as they take on a high-powered Falcons offense.   Lions owners may want to get a streaming option to replace their defense if they haven't done so already.  

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