Thomason: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em For Week 3

Kyler Murray has a favorable matchup, while you should avoid Derek Carr.

Jack Thomason
September 19, 2019 - 9:14 pm

(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 whom you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of matchup. 

Let's get to it.

Quarterback

START – Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. Panthers) Those who have been on the Murray bandwagon from the beginning know the first three weeks of the schedule were going to be tough tough. That being said, Murray has performed better than expected from a fantasy standpoint, especially given that he has barely run the ball. That’s going to happen at some point, and with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton being banged up, it’s possible Carolina struggles to stay on the field offensively, giving Murray a lot of opportunities to put fantasy points on the board. This could be the breakout week we’ve been hoping to see.

SIT – Derek Carr, Raiders (at Vikings) With all the injured starting quarterbacks, it was difficult to choose a legitimate starter as a bench play this week. I first thought the obvious choice would be Newton with how he has played, but he’s likely to sit this week out. So it's on to Carr, who has to travel to Minnesota after coming off a poor performance at home against Kansas City. His top receiver and running back are banged up, and the Raiders' implied team total in Vegas is just 17.75 points, which is the second-lowest for the week. I’d go with the Steelers' Mason Rudolph or even Panthers backup Kyle Allen before I went with Carr.

Running back

START – Peyton Barber, Buccaneers (vs. Giants) The Giants have been gashed by the run so far this season, and Barber saw 65 percent of the snaps in Week 2. He’s averaging 17 touches per game, and the talks of Ronald Jones' role expanding seemed a bit premature after the win in Carolina last week, when Barber tallied 24 touches for 89 yards and a score. Barber is still Tampa’s primary runner and should have good opportunity to kill clock and get in the end zone in this matchup, in which the Bucs' team total sits at 27.25 points. Tampa is also a 6.5-point home favorite.

SIT – Joe Mixon, Bengals (at Bills) It’s been a brutal start to the season for Mixon and the Bengals’ running game. The offensive line is in tough shape due to injuries, and Mixon hasn’t had much room to go anywhere, totaling just 27 yards on 17 carries through two weeks. Buffalo’s run defense ranks 27th in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, so there’s a slight glimmer of hope, but you can’t feel confident putting Mixon in your lineup at this point.

Receiver

START – Nelson Agholor, Eagles (vs. Lions) With receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery sidelined with injuries, that means more looks for Agholor, who saw the second-most targets on the team (11) and had 107 receiving yards and a touchdown last week. Along with tight end Zach Ertz, Agholor should be heavily targeted against the Lions and becomes a solid WR2. 

SIT – Tyrell Williams, Raiders (at Vikings) Williams was a great pick later in drafts. He has been Carr’s go- to receiver along with tight end Darren Waller, but this is a tough matchup. He’ll be seeing a lot of Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and the Raider’s implied team total is just 17.75 points. With the way the Vikings run the ball, I envision limited opportunities for Carr and the Raiders offense due to the pace of the game. Williams isn’t anything more than a flex option this week -- and that’s if he can play through his hip pointer.

Tight end

START – Jason Witten, Cowboys (at Dolphins) Witten may be old and slow, but he’s finding his way into the end zone and may benefit with more targets given receiver Michael Gallup’s knee injury. The Dolphins are also a dumpster fire and can't stop anyone defensively. You can do a lot worse than Witten in your tight end spot this week. The Cowboys have the highest team total for Week 3 at 34.25 points.

SIT – Jared Cook, Saints (at Seahawks) It hasn’t been a pretty start to the season for Cook. Many thought he’d pick up right where he left off in Oakland last year, and that hasn’t been the case. Throw in Drew Brees' thumb injury, and it’s going to be tough sledding for anyone in this offense not named Alvin Kamara or Michael Thomas. The Saints' implied team total is just 19.25 points.

Other starts: Jacoby Brissett (vs. Falcons), Matt Breida/Raheem Mostert (vs. Steelers), Devin Smith (vs. Dolphins), Will Dissly (vs. Saints).

Other sits: Carson Wentz (vs. Lions), Le’Veon Bell (at Patriots), Stefon Diggs (vs. Raiders), Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis (vs. Bears).

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