Week 3 Start'em/Sit'em

Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021 at 7:13 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. 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 Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. 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.

Start 'em Jalen Hurts (PHI, QB)
He may not pass much through the air (25th), but Jalen Hurts is currently 12th among all players with rushing yards after two games. What he lacks in finesse passing, he makes up for with his feet. The consensus this week really favors his ceiling in this matchup.
11th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Daniel Jones (NYG, QB)
Danny Dimes has been solid with two consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. He's the 4th-best fantasy QB right now. He's inside our Top 12 this week facing an Atlanta secondary that has given up an average of 29 fantasy points to both Brady and Hurts. Jones also makes for a sneaky DFS play.
Most pts to QB
Start 'em Matthew Stafford (LAR, QB)
The change in scenery has done wonders for Matthew Stafford, and Stafford has done wonders for Cooper Kupp. While Stafford only had 17 points last week, he comes into our rankings this week at #13 facing a Tampa Bay defense that gave up an average of ~22 points between Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan. He's a fringe starter this week.
10th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Myles Gaskin (MIA, RB)
Myles Gaskin is ranked inside our Top 24 this week making him a low-end RB2 starter for Week 3. The consensus is fairly wide on him, but the matchup looks solid. The Raiders have given up 14.5 points to both Ty'Son Williams and Najee Harris. He still has the bulk of the workload in Miami to make this a good RB2/flex option for fantasy owners.
11th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Chris Carson (SEA, RB)
This is a tale of two cities. Joe Mixon ran all over the Vikings in the season opener racking up 21 fantasy points, but then Minnesota largely kept Chase Edmonds in check last week. Chris Carson should come in somewhere between especially given that he's managed double-digit production in each of the last two games. His value gets a bump now that Rashaad Penny is officially out.
13th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Ty'Son Williams (BAL, RB)
How can you not start Ty'Son Williams in this one? He's ranked 24th this week on Fantasy Nerds, but could certainly finish much higher. The Lions are coming off a game where Aaron Jones just demolished them to the tune of 35.5 points. Williams won't repeat those numbers, but Elijah Mitchell tallied 16 fantasy points the week prior. He's a great low-end RB2 or a very strong flex option this week.
2nd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Sterling Shepard (NYG, WR)
The lone bright spot on this offense has been Sterling Shepard who has averaged almost 21 fantasy points through the first two weeks...and that was against tough Denver and Washington defenses. Now he gets a Falcons secondary that has given up touchdowns to every significant starter that's faced them (Godwin, Evans, Gronk, DeVonta Smith, Reagor). Shepard is a low-end WR2 with upside in this one.
10th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Deebo Samuel (SF, WR)
The Packers secondary ranks right in the middle in terms of points allowed to wide receivers after two weeks. Quintez Cephus put up 12 fantasy points on Monday night and Deonte Harris put up 13 the week prior. With Deebo Samuel off to a hot start for the Niners, this isn't the time to take your foot off the gas pedal. He's averaging 10 targets and 24 fantasy points per game and should do well in the Niners home opener.
15th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Courtland Sutton (DEN, WR)
After only seeing 3 targets in the season opener, Courtland Sutton bounced back to fantasy relevance with 12 targets last week and piled up 159 receiving yards in the process. With Jerry Jeudy on IR, Sutton should continue to command the lion's share of targets.
3rd Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Robert Tonyan (GB, TE)
It was nice to see Robert Tonyan roar back to life on Monday night. He caught all three of his targets and found the endzone on a 22-yard strike. While Tonyan may be more touchdown-dependent than some of his peers, he has the opportunity to see the endzone on Sunday night. T.J. Hockenson did it in Week 1 against San Francisco and put up almost 18 points.
7th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Noah Fant (DEN, TE)
Two weeks in. Two weeks with double-digit production including a trip to the endzone last week. While the Jets look tough on tight ends on paper, they haven't faced any tight ends of Fant's quality yet. With an average of 7 targets per game, Teddy Bridgewater has obviously found a great target in Fant.
12th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Denver Broncos (DEN, DEF)
You almost have to feel sorry for Zach Wilson. He has 2.5 more interceptions than touchdowns. He got rattled pretty hard by the Patriots, and he'll face a tougher matchup with the Broncos this week. Denver is ranked #1 on Fantasy Nerds this week and remains a must-start.
Most pts to DEF
Start 'em Brandon McManus (DEN, K)
The Jets are giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to kickers after two weeks making Brandon McManus a solid start for Week 3.
5th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
We love Baker's commercials, but with a banged up receiving corp, there's not much to like in his game right now. Chicago kept Joe Burrow to just 10 fantasy points last week and we could very well see similar output this week. The Browns are likely to do most of their work on the ground this week.
15th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Joe Burrow (CIN, QB)
Joe Burrow comes into the rankings this week at #21 facing a Steelers defense that was torched last week by Derek Carr for 24 points...but context matters here as they were also down several defensive players. Pittsburgh kept Josh Allen in check the week prior (17 points) and that's likely the ceiling for Burrow in this one.
14th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
Despite Matt Ryan's assertion this week that the Falcons are playoff contenders, they certainly haven't looked like it so far. Ryan is averaging an awful 11.5 fantasy points, and even in a somewhat favorable matchup (New York is giving up an average of 20 fantasy points), we're not confident that Ryan can make the most of this matchup. He's ranked 20th this week.
12th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Mike Davis (ATL, RB)
It's tough to gauge where Mike Davis should be. The potential is there, and even though he's had the bulk of the workload, Cordarrelle Patterson has been the more productive back in that offense. Although the Giants rank inside the Top 10 in most fantasy points allowed to RBs, they kept Antonio Gibson in check and most of Melvin Gordon's 17.8 fantasy point day came on one play. He may struggle to produce in this one.
7th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Leonard Fournette (TB, RB)
This is just a bad matchup. The Rams give up the 10th-fewest fantasy points to RBs including just 5.3 points to Jonathan Taylor last week. The Bucs backfield is always going to be a question mark with either Fournette or Ronald Jones just a fumble away from the dog house.
13th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em James Robinson (JAC, RB)
We had higher hopes for James Robinson, and while the consensus this week likes him at #18, we're less than excited for this matchup. Arizona gives up the 11th-fewest fantasy points including just 7.7 points to the league's leading rusher Derrick Henry in Week 1.
11th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Odell Beckham (CLE, WR)
Odell Beckham intends to practice this week and has a shot to finally suit up this season. With Jarvis Landry on IR, there really isn't a clear alpha dog in this receiving corp which would normally scream for our attention, but OBJ remains a risky play if he suits up. It's been just over 10 months since his non-contact ACL tear, he hasn't seen any action yet, and with multiple injuries in his dossier, he's going to need some time to return to form.
4th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Will Fuller (MIA, WR)
After missing the season opener due to suspension and last week due to "personal reasons", it looks like Will Fuller will finally make his Dolphin debut. With Tua Tagovailoa officially ruled out, Fuller will have Jacoby Brissett throwing to him. It's tough to predict what kind of day he'll have given that we have no sample size for this situation. Fuller is risky. Wait until we see what role he'll play and how involved he'll be.
13th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em D.J. Chark (JAC, WR)
After a solid Week 1 outing, DJ Chark came crashing back to fantasy reality last week pulling in just one of his four targets and finishing with a 2.9 fantasy point day. His fantasy fortunes are tied to Trevor Lawrence who is bound to have his ups and downs. The only saving grace here is the likelihood for target share. Still he's a risky play if your expectations are anything beyond WR3-type production.
11th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Gerald Everett (SEA, TE)
If you have Gerald Everett, get prepared for a weekly roller coaster ride. He just doesn't seem to be a big part of this offense seeing just two targets in each game. He found the endzone in the season opener, but had just 1.3 points last week dropping one of his targets. It's tough to trust him in lineups until he begins to show some consistency.
16th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Jack Doyle (IND, TE)
With a big game last week, Jack Doyle is available in more than 60% of leagues. Given that there are not a lot of options at the TE position, he's an attractive option for fantasy owners. He may struggle this week though as nobody gives up fewer points to tight ends than Tennessee.
Feweset Pts to TE
Sit 'em Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB, DEF)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been a pretty solid fantasy defense especially against the run. This week they'll be challenged facing a Rams offense that has been on a roll. There are better streaming options this week.
13th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Jason Sanders (MIA, K)
The Raiders have been middle of the road against kickers, but that has been against offenses with starting QB's Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger. It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins move the ball this weekend with Jacoby Brissett under center.
16th 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.

Sarge831 CommentedSep 22, 2021 7:22 pm

Is tyson Williams a good flex play this week

Nerd CommentedSep 22, 2021 7:23 pm


drcharlie CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:06 am


JuJu's Tigers CommentedSep 23, 2021 1:35 pm

Who would be better this week....Allen Robinson or Rondale Moore?

Nerd CommentedSep 23, 2021 1:59 pm

Allen Robinson. Love the Fields->Robinson connection.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 25, 2021 8:40 am


drcharlie CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:07 am

Robinson but if D Hop doesn't play, Moore could be awesome

goPackgo CommentedSep 24, 2021 10:29 am

Should I drop Antonio Brown for Brandin Cooks?

Nerd CommentedSep 24, 2021 11:28 am

Absolutely. In PPR, Cooks is ranked 20th in our Rest of Season projections where AB is ranked 41st.


jamisdiablo CommentedSep 25, 2021 8:40 am


jamisdiablo CommentedSep 25, 2021 8:41 am

Gronk or Andrews this week? PPR if it matters much to you, thanks! (and yes I realize I need to try and trade one of them?) lol

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 25, 2021 8:42 am

! Not ?

drcharlie CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:08 am

Gronkowski might get another touchdown but Andrews against Detroit is too good. I would start Andrews.

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:10 am

Andrews for me

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 27, 2021 11:56 am

Andrews was the right call, thanks fellas! (Trying to move Gronk once he scores again, next week, lol)

OldGeezer CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:05 am

Half per, need to play 3. AJ Brown, DK Metcalf, Godwin, Shepard, or E Sanders.

TE Goedert or Higbee

drcharlie CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:09 am


Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 11:11 am

Great problem to have! I'd probably sit Shepard and Sanders.

I'd start Goedert. It looks like Ertz has a decent chance of missing this game.

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 12:32 pm

Just saw that Ertz was activated off COVID. Not sure that I would change my position though.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:03 am

Agree with nerd on the wideouts, going higbee at TE.

Hinzie22 CommentedSep 25, 2021 12:15 pm

Thanks for the great advice as always! Who would you start in .5ppr—Damien Harris or Rondale Moore?

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 12:19 pm

I would start Harris. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:04 am


James Kopp CommentedSep 25, 2021 12:50 pm

Claypool or Mike Davis at the flex? Dionte Johnson is out, so leaning Claypool. Thanks!

Greek 1 CommentedSep 25, 2021 1:28 pm


Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 7:40 pm

Claypool. Davis is now in a "60/40" split. With Johnson out, Claypool should see an extra target or two.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:04 am


Drew Shoemaker CommentedSep 25, 2021 1:21 pm

PPR league: need to play 2 Kupp, Keenan Allen, Hollywood Brown?

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 7:40 pm

Cooper Kupp and Keenan Allen

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:04 am

Kupp and Allen

Greek 1 CommentedSep 25, 2021 1:36 pm

C Paterson or t Patterson flex .5

Greek 1 CommentedSep 25, 2021 1:43 pm

Sorry c Patterson t pollard

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 7:40 pm

Pollard - he's essentially split the workload with Zeke but has been much more productive with it.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:05 am

Pollard. Cordarelle is a red herring.

OldGeezer CommentedSep 25, 2021 1:43 pm

Wondering if I should pick M Prater to play over Blankenship this week, or if I should use my open spot to pick C Patterson as a stash. Already have Chubb, Montgomery, Hunt, and Fournette.

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 7:41 pm

I typically only carry 1 kicker and stream them. Personally I'd stash Patterson.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:05 am

1 kicker ever please

AspenLisa CommentedSep 25, 2021 2:25 pm

I'm 0-2 :( and need to get a win this week. I have Washington as my DST, who have not performed as had hoped in two weeks and play Buffalo this week. On my bench to potentially drop - Tim Patrick, Lat Murray, Sony Michel (want to hold). Should I drop one of them to pick up the Raiders DST against Miami, or is my bench potential too high to risk streaming a DST?

AspenLisa CommentedSep 25, 2021 4:16 pm

OR I suppose I could drop Wash DST this week and stream going forward. Wash plays ATL next week, I'm sure they'll get picked up - but games after ATL look tough.

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 7:43 pm

Ugh - I would not want to drop any of those bench guys. I'd prefer to keep just one Defense.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:07 am

One defense. Stream. And play raiders this week and don’t worry about next week till Tuesday (great band).

TOBIAS CommentedSep 25, 2021 6:31 pm

Aaron Rodgers or Jalen Hurts this week?

Nerd CommentedSep 25, 2021 7:44 pm

I would start Jalen Hurts

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:08 am

Rodgers. Unless you get crazy points for running qbs

Peh CommentedSep 25, 2021 8:25 pm

Would you start MIke Williams over Courtland Sutton.

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2021 9:10 am

That's a tough one. It's really close. Maybe slight edge to Sutton.

jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:08 am

Williams fir me

drcharlie CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:58 am

Williams. He actually has one more target than Keenan Allen.

Dmhawv CommentedSep 26, 2021 9:14 am

Claypool or M. Jones?

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2021 9:17 am


jamisdiablo CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:08 am


Gskeith CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:35 am

Two questions: Should I plug Mattison in instead of Mike Davis this week? E. Sanders or Logan Thomas (TE prem) as flex?

drcharlie CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:59 am

Mattison and Thomas

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2021 11:00 am

If Cook doesn't play (which it looks like he won't), I can see starting Mattison there.

It's Thomas for me at the flex.

Whack Everyone CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:46 am

James Connor or Kenneth Gainwell?
Have Darrell Henderson, too but probably wont play?

drcharlie CommentedSep 26, 2021 10:59 am


Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2021 11:01 am

James Conner

I hate Matt Nagy CommentedSep 26, 2021 12:05 pm

Sterling Shepard, Cordarrelle Patterson, or Damien Harris?
Have Darrell Henderson who won't play, thus the predicament. Leaning toward Shepard.

Nerd CommentedSep 26, 2021 12:09 pm

In PPR, I'd lean Shepard.
In standard scoring, I'd lean Harris.

I hate Matt Nagy CommentedSep 26, 2021 12:11 pm


I hate Matt Nagy CommentedSep 26, 2021 12:29 pm

Thank you! Will start Shepard then :)

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