Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford

Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports

Thomason: Hot/Cold Fantasy Picks For Week 3

Matt Stafford has a quality matchup, while Andrew Luck could have trouble on the horizon.

Jack Thomason
September 20, 2018 - 10:21 am

(670 The Score) "Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em" is a breakdown of some of the best and worst fantasy football matchups to help you navigate setting your lineups for the week.

My goal with this article is to provide you with a player to start who may not be the most obvious of starts and to share a player to sit who you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of the matchup.


START – Matt Stafford, Lions (vs. Patriots) Week 1 wasn't what we expected from Stafford and the Lions' passing attack, as he tossed four interceptions in a loss to the Jets. But he bounced back at San Francisco last Sunday, hooking up with his big three receivers to the tune of 347 yards passing and three scores. This week, he returns home to face the Patriots, who who rank 19th in Football Outsiders' pass DVOA and 32nd in 4for4's adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks. The Patriots are fresh off a torching by Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and with the Lions sitting as six-point home underdogs, there should be plenty of opportunities for Stafford to collect fantasy points.

SIT – Andrew Luck, Colts (at Eagles) Luck has struggled to get the ball downfield this season. He ranks dead last in average depth of target (aDOT -- 5.0), and it's not particularly close. The Eagles are returning home after an ugly loss to the Bucs and should be fired up for the return of quarterback Carson Wentz. Philadelphia's defensive line should have few issues getting to Luck, and we should see more of the same short passing attack from Indianapolis, which isn't fantasy friendly. With the Colts sporting a 20.5-point team total, there's not a lot to like here for Luck as a fantasy starter this week.

Running back

START – Kenyan Drake, Dolphins (vs. Raiders) There's a lot that's been made of Frank Gore's touch totals in the first two weeks, but Drake is averaging 16 touches to Gore's nine. Plus, Drake is out-snapping Gore two-to-one. There aren't a lot of running backs seeing 16 touches per game who also bring dual-threat ability. Drake is one of them, and the Dolphins are four-point home favorites. Drake should see plenty of work and has a good shot to slip into the end zone. I'm firing him up without hesitancy against a Raiders' defense that ranks 32nd in rush DVOA.

SIT – Royce Freeman, Broncos (at Ravens) The preseason hype was there and warranted with Freeman, but a closer look at snap counts during the dress rehearsal preseason game would've shown a three-way committee. That's exactly what we're dealing with here. Freeman, Devontae Booker and Phillip Lindsay are splitting snaps 32 percent, 29 percent and 39 percent, respectively. The positive for Freeman is he's seen the two goal-line carries. The negative is Freeman is playing most when the Broncos have a lead. And unfortunately, Denver is traveling to Baltimore as five-point underdogs this week.


START – Nelson Agholor, Eagles (vs. Colts) There were plenty of signs last year that Agholor was ascending since being moved into the slot, and he's off to a fast start this year as well. Agholor and Zach Ertz have tripled the next closest Eagles' player in targets. With a healthy 11 targets per game and a Colts defense ranking 22nd in aFPA to receivers, Agholor should be in store for a nice game, especially in PPR leagues with all the receptions he's racking up. If that wasn't enough fantasy goodness, Mike Wallace was just sent to injured reserve, meaning the Eagles will need to rely even more on Agholor and Ertz. For what it's worth, Jordan Matthews was signed by the Eagles this week, but that shouldn't have an immediate impact on Agholor. He's the WR1 for Philadelphia.

SIT – Corey Davis, Titans (at Jacksonville) While Davis is soaking up a ton of targets, he has three major issues going for him this week: A.J. Bouye, Jalen Ramsey and either an unhealthy Marcus Mariota or Blane Gabbert. The Jaguars rank first in aFPA to receivers and 11th in pass DVOA, and it should be all around tough sledding for the Titans' offense on the road. The line isn't up due to Mariota's elbow injury, but I'd just about guarantee the Titans will have the lowest team total of the week at around 17 points or below.

Tight end

START – George Kittle, 49ers (at Chiefs) In a week of multiple 50-plus-point game totals, this one is the highest at a whopping 56 points. We've seen what the Kansas City offense is doing with Patrick Mahomes, and Jimmy Garoppolo is going to have to throw to keep up. That's where Kittle comes into play. The Chiefs rank 31st in pass DVOA to tight ends, and Kittle is one of Garoppolo's favorite targets. If the Chiefs score early and often, the 49ers will have to abandon the run game. Win or lose, I like Kittle with the 49ers sporting a 24.5-point team total and with the expectation of trailing throughout the game. 

SIT – Eric Ebron, Colts (at Eagles) This may change given Jack Doyle's hip injury and the fact that he didn't practice Wednesday, but assuming Doyle plays, Ebron is racking up fantasy points on few snaps. You have to believe he'll regress soon enough. Doyle has currently played 95 percent of snaps, while Ebron is logging just 38 percent and played only 28 percent last week. The Eagles are also historically stingy against tight ends. It's not the game I'd want to take a flier on Ebron. 

Other starts: Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Steelers), Sony Michel (at Lions), Will Fuller (vs. Giants) and O.J. Howard (vs. Steelers)

Other sits: Philip Rivers (at Rams), LeSean McCoy (at Vikings), Robby Anderson (at Browns) and Jesse James/Vance McDonald (at Buccaneers)

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​