Week 3 Start'em/Sit'em

Thursday, Sep 24, 2020 at 3:13 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce, or Michael Thomas. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

If you survived Week 2 with your roster intact, then congratulations. If you lost players (Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Courtland Sutton, etc), then you're going to either the waiver wire or your backups to fill in those holes. This is why we draft for depth.

Start 'em Cam Newton (NE, QB)
There's little doubt that Superman is back. Averaging 30 fantasy points after the first two weeks, he comes into this week's rankings at #4 after leading the Pats in rushing with 47 yards and 2 scores last week. Even though the matchup isn't great, Cam may be matchup-proof right now.
9th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Gardner Minshew (JAC, QB)
Just like Cam above, your backup QB is now a starting QB. Jacksonville has had to throw, and even if the scoreboard doesn't look good for the Jaguars, the fantasy scoreboard will look great for Minshew who finds himself inside our Top 12 this week. Cam and Josh Allen averaged 30 fantasy points against the Dolphins in the first two games of the season - 2nd most in the league.
2nd Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Aaron Rodgers (GB, QB)
Assuming that Davante Adams is at full strength, Aaron Rodgers deserves starting consideration. While he came back down to Earth last week, he's been a solid fantasy QB averaging almost 25 fantasy points. Both Derek Carr and Tom Brady put up 20 fantasy points against the Saints, so 20+ is certainly within reach.
9th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Leonard Fournette (TB, RB)
Well, we got to see what Fournette can do in this offense when given a chance. He turned his 12 carries into 103 yards and 2 touchdowns including a 46-yard score where his speed was on full display. Assuming he gets a similar workload, he could turn in a nice fantasy day. The Broncos gave up 20 fantasy points to James Conner last week and 16 to Derrick Henry the week before.
8th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Melvin Gordon (DEN, RB)
With Phillip Lindsay out, Melvin Gordon was the workhorse in the Denver backfield rushing 19 times for 70 yards plus a trip to the endzone. The matchup is great as the Bucs have given up 24 fantasy points to both Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara. While Gordon is not of the same caliber, double-digits is easily expected.
7th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Jerick McKinnon (SF, RB)
It's not a great matchup on paper, but it's all about volume for Jerick McKinnon. With Mostert and Coleman hurt, McKinnon may have to share some of the duties with Jeff Wilson, but McKinnon is the guy to own here.
10th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Kenny Golladay (DET, WR)
After two weeks of not being able to play him, it looks like we may actually get to plug Golladay into our lineups. It will be interesting to see what kind of shape he's in (hamstring), but if he can duplicate or produce near the results that Terry McLaurin did last week against the Cardinals (7-125-1), he remains a must-start.
Feweset Pts to WR
Start 'em Julian Edelman (NE, WR)
No Brady? No problem. Julian Edelman without Tom Brady is still the most targeted player on the Pats offense with 18 targets after two games. The Raiders will likely be more of a challenge for him than Seattle was, but Edelman is an integral part of this offense. He's ranked 26th this week making him a low-end WR2 / high-end WR3/Flex.
12th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Diontae Johnson (PIT, WR)
Diontae Johnson was expected to be the clear #2 heading into the season, and after two games he leads all Steelers in targets (23) and is the 3rd-most targeted receiver in the NFL. Volume is key here as is productivity (14-149-1). Keep Johnson locked into your lineup.
12th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Jared Cook (NO, TE)
Jared Cook will get to face his former team on Sunday night when the Packers visit New Orleans. After giving up 10 fantasy points to TJ Hockensen last week, the Packers may struggle to contain Cook who is second on the team in targets. With Michael Thomas expected to be sidelined in this one, those extra targets need to go somewhere. Brees found Cook in the endzone last week, and he may be able to do it again.
10th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Dallas Goedert (PHI, TE)
News this week that rookie WR Jalen Reagor will be out for several weeks will likely translate into additional targets for both Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. Goedert has been an integral part of this offense with a team-leading 17 targets. That's the kind of volume that you want from your starting TE. Keep him penciled into your lineup.
10th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Indianapolis Colts (IND, DEF)
With a depleted receiving corp and a backfield in flux, it's tough to get excited about the Jets' offense this year. They've given up the 7th-most fantasy points to opposing DSTs, and the Colts defense has been on fire.
7th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Zane Gonzalez (ARI, K)
The Lions have been generous to kickers so far this year giving up an average of 9.5 points to them. Look for the Cardinals to move the ball and put Gonzalez in field goal range frequently.
5th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Deshaun Watson (HOU, QB)
There are a couple of reasons why Watson finds himself ranked outside our Top 12 this week. First, the Pittsburgh secondary and pass rush are no joke. They are giving up the 11th-fewest fantasy points to QBs. Second, after taking 4 sacks last week, the offensive line needs to do a better job protecting Watson. Last, the lack of playmakers is hurting Watson's fantasy value. Let's hope that we can get some consistency out of Will Fuller.
11th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
Ranked 23rd among all QBs this week, Baker gets a nice matchup with the Washington Football Team who just surrendered 32 fantasy points to Kyler Murray last week, but in a game where the Browns are a seven point favorite, the game script is likely to feature Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt just like last week's Thursday night matchup against the Bengals.
9th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Mitchell Trubisky (CHI, QB)
The matchup is great. In fact, the matchup is incredible. Nobody has given up more fantasy points to QBs than the Falcons, so why is Trubisky ranked 20th this week? Perhaps it has to do with his inconsistency. He can impress with one series and then make us shake our collective heads with the next. After throwing for just 190 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, he's a bit of a fantasy roller coaster.
Most pts to QB
Sit 'em Devonta Freeman (NYG, RB)
The top waiver wire pick this week is a new addition to the Giants. We haven't seen him play yet and he's going to need time to pick up a new system. For those reasons, he's better left on the bench this week. When he's got the top job, he's going to have to deal with an awful O-line that couldn't do anything for Saquon Barkley.
9th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Tarik Cohen (CHI, RB)
We haven't seen anything resembling the kind of production expected from a guy who signed a $17 million extension. For Cohen to have value, the Bears will need to use him more than the five carries he received last week. After being targeted just once last week, he's not even involved in the passing game. David Montgomery owns this backfield leaving Cohen fighting for scraps. Backup RBs averaged just 5 fantasy points the last two games.
15th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Kerryon Johnson (DET, RB)
What a difference a year makes. Not only is Kerryon Johnson sharing duties with Adrian Peterson, he has ceded the passing downs to rookie D'Andre Swift. Assuming that the Lions are playing from behind against the Cardinals, the game script may actually favor Swift more.
7th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Jordan Howard (MIA, RB)
Jordan Howard was supposed to be the main back in Miami, but after two weeks, that doesn't appear to be the case. Howard hasn't been a factor for the Dolphins until they've gotten close to the goal line making Howard a touchdown-dependent player. Without the touchdown last week, his five carries for four yards wouldn't have even produced one point. With Breida and Gaskin commanding a larger role, Howard is quickly becoming droppable.
15th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Emmanuel Sanders (NO, WR)
With no Michael Thomas, all eyes were on Emmanuel Sanders last week. Unfortunately, he disappointed fantasy owners with just one catch for 18 yards. He largely played second-fiddle to Tre'Quan Smith. While Sanders may emerge this week against Green Bay (8th-most fantasy points given up to WRs), he's a risky play until his role is solidified on the Saints.
8th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Brandin Cooks (HOU, WR)
You could put Will Fuller here as well. They come into this week's rankings at #47 and #49 among all wide receivers facing a Steelers secondary that allowed a big day for Darius Slayton but has otherwise kept receivers in check. Cooks leads the team in targets, but that was with Fuller largely on the sidelines. With Fuller back and Cooks dealing with a quad issue, he may struggle to produce in Week 3.
11th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Jamison Crowder (NYJ, WR)
After a monster opening week, Crowder has gone silent missing Week 2 due to a hamstring issue. His status for Week 3 remains in doubt. Given his status and the fact that the Indy secondary has given up the 12th-fewest points to receivers this year, Crowder belongs on the bench. That's too bad, because Breshad Perriman could miss the game as well leaving Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios as the only real receivers there.
12th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Austin Hooper (CLE, TE)
On paper this is a matchup where Hooper should be able to exploit and produce, but so far we haven't seen much from Hooper. The passing game in Cleveland needs to solidify and Hooper needs to establish at least a consistently-reliable floor before we're ready to start him.
8th Most Pts to TE
Sit 'em Rob Gronkowski (TB, TE)
Ranked 31st this week among all tight ends is former All-Pro Rob Gronkowski whose arrival in Tampa Bay has not translated into the kind of fantasy production that many of his most ardent fans thought. Gronk has largely become a blocking TE in this offense. His 3 fantasy points (PPR) is not worthy of a starting roster or even a backup right now.
12th Most Pts to TE
Sit 'em New Orleans Saints (NO, DEF)
The Saints defense is good, but they are not good enough to contain a 2-0 Packers team that has been moving the ball effectively both on the ground and through the air. Nobody is giving up fewer fantasy points to defenses than Green Bay right now. There are better streaming options than New Orleans this week.
Feweset Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Dan Bailey (MIN, K)
You can't score points if you can't get into field goal range. The Vikings offense hasn't lived up to expectations so far this year, and the Titans have kept kickers in check giving up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to them.
2nd Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedSep 25, 2020 12:00 am

Minshew sucked last night. He should have done a lot better. I know yu can't predict exactly but that seems like a big miss.

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2020 12:16 pm

That's a fair criticism.

Minshew turned in the 3rd-worst fantasy day of his career starts against what was one of the easiest defenses so far this year. Tough to predict that - for both us and the vast majority of the industry.

Muffin Stuffers CommentedSep 25, 2020 5:00 pm

for what its worth, i thought minshew was going to go off. most of the time he gets his points in garbage time, but the dolphins actually showed up this time.

dont sweat it joe

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2020 6:02 pm

I actually started Minshew in one of my leagues over Aaron Rodgers (Superflex league) this week.

That's the fun...and...frustration with fantasy football.

Would anyone have predicted Minshew or Trubisky to have a better Week 1 than Patrick Mahomes? Probably not. I know I didn't. We take the best info that we have to make our decisions. Anything can happen in the NFL.

No worries though - criticism comes with the territory. We'll do better next time.

Upper Decker CommentedSep 28, 2020 11:34 am

My boy Minshew, what happened Bro!? He looked bad, I mean BAD!!!

Skinsfan1973 CommentedSep 26, 2020 1:47 am

Brees, Burrow, or Herbert for week 3?

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 8:24 am


mrock CommentedSep 26, 2020 9:11 am

Brees for me too

drcharlie CommentedSep 26, 2020 9:13 am

who dat

gotta go with brees baby

LawyerMilloy CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:39 am

For me it’s Herbert. Brees has too many paths to a low game - run game, Hill, etc.

telestrat58 CommentedSep 26, 2020 11:43 am

Same issue here, I am deciding between Brees and Herbert 12 team PPR! Packers and Saints could be a shootout...ugh!

Upper Decker CommentedSep 28, 2020 11:35 am

Burrow, Ya, go with Burrow!!!

Mustard tiger CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:35 am

Ridley, Godwin or Dionte Johnson. I can pick 2

LawyerMilloy CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:37 am


Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:37 pm

What he said...

Hinzie22 CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:35 am

Good morning! I need to start 2 of these 3 wr's (.5 ppr). Golladay, Marquise Brown, and C. Lamb. Which 2 would you choose? Thanks

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:37 pm

Hollywood Brown, and then if you're able to accept the risk - Golladay - otherwise Lamb.

LawyerMilloy CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:37 am


Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:36 pm

I really want to start Golladay, but he carries extra risk admitting this week that he's still not 100%

LawyerMilloy CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:38 am

Gallup/Swift/MVS for flex spot? Starting Lamb already so worried all in on Cowgirls Offense.

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:35 pm

I like Gallup there, but if you don't want to start another Cowboy, then it's MVS for me. Doesn't look like Adams is going to play.

TE(i)AM CommentedSep 26, 2020 10:39 am

You recommend sitting Watson & I get it but my other QB is Goff. Do I make the change? Thanks.

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:34 pm

Still go Watson.

Love your nickname #yestheresaniinteam

tramz18 CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:20 pm

I need one of these te's sunday since Kittle is out. I know neither is great but which one Aikens(Texans) or Herndon (NYJ) ?

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 12:33 pm


drcharlie CommentedSep 26, 2020 1:00 pm

i dont think the jets have any other receivers. herndon should be the main target

LarryG CommentedSep 26, 2020 1:37 pm

Rogers or Russell?

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2020 1:44 pm


LarryG CommentedSep 26, 2020 1:37 pm


Fantasy Freaks CommentedSep 26, 2020 2:50 pm

Can start two, M.Davis, Kupp or Golladay.

Nerd CommentedSep 27, 2020 9:28 am

Davis and Kupp

T-Jugg CommentedSep 26, 2020 8:26 pm

Standard scoring flex: Singletary, J. Kelley, or Dionte Johnson?

Nerd CommentedSep 27, 2020 9:29 am

I'd probably play the two RBs though I love Johnson's potential there

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 27, 2020 9:14 am

TY Hilton or JKelley in the flex this week? No PPR, thanks!

Nerd CommentedSep 27, 2020 9:30 am


hoop2311 CommentedSep 27, 2020 10:46 am

Full PPR, need 1 who you like? CeeDee Lamb, Marvin Jones Jr, Russell Gage or Tyler Boyd

Nerd CommentedSep 27, 2020 11:03 am

Lamb or Boyd for me. Boyd perhaps with a slight edge. It's close.

Dub1DMan CommentedSep 27, 2020 12:04 pm

I'm thinking Corey Davis, Golden Tate and Josh Kelley have great matchups with a good chance of scoring well, but FFN is suggesting Edelman (banged up), Gurley and Mike Davis. Reassurance or advice?

Nerd CommentedSep 27, 2020 12:10 pm

That's what makes fantasy fun and frustrating. Edelman is averaging 13.1 yards per target (career best) and is still getting a ton of targets. I understand why the consensus favors him. Personally, I like Kelley here, but I'm not excited about Mike Davis. I disagree with that ranking. He should get some volume today, but the Chargers have kept Mixon and CEH to 3.7 yards per carry. Ugh.

Reichardt81 CommentedSep 27, 2020 12:37 pm

Golladay or fornette 1ppr

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