Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 3 quarterbacks

Sometimes you just know a quarterback will break out… and some weeks you know it’s not going to happen. Check out these Week 3 quarterback predictions.

Week 2 saw nice comeback games for some veteran passers, while others continued to struggle. Who will pile up the NFL fantasy statistics in Week 3? And just as importantly, who will not? Read on to see my predictions. 

Start This Guy: Jay Cutler, Miami (at NY Jets) 

You know how sometimes you stream a defense against a particularly bad quarterback or offense? This is the opposite of that. The Jets’ defense has not put up much of a fight in their first two weeks. They will concentrate on slowing Jay Ajayi down. Meanwhile, Cutler will hit Jarvis Landry short, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills deep. Julius Thomas might even get a score. Jay Cutler finds his groove in New York with multiple touchdowns and only one turnover.

Sit This Guy: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (vs NY Giants) 

This is where Wentz comes back to reality. After holding Matt Stafford to 122 yards (with two touchdowns, to be fair) amid multiple hits and pressures, the Giants defense will be at their best against their backyard rival in Philly. Despite working behind one of the best offensive lines, Wentz will be forced to use underneath receivers all day due to the Giants coverage schemes. There will be coverage sacks and turnovers in a typical Giants-Eagles slugfest.

Start This Guy: Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at Detroit)

Dallas thought they had a really good passing defense after manhandling the Giants in Week 1. Then Trevor Siemian lit them up in Week 2. Now it is Detroit that goes home with delusions of grandeur after destroying the Giants in front of a Monday Night Football audience. Matt Ryan and company will shellshock the Lions in what could be a shootout in Detroit.

Sit This Guy: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (at Minnesota)

Tampa ran up some points against Chicago last week. Jameis Winston didn’t have to do too much to cement the victory. But facing the Vikings’ defense in the Great North is a far cry from playing with Chicago in sunny Florida. For one, you can be assured Minnesota will not let Mike Evans go one-on-one with a smaller defender all day. The rest will fall into place from there. 

Start This Guy: Carson Palmer, Arizona (vs Dallas) 

Dallas’ defense just gave up five touchdowns to the Denver Broncos and Trevor Siemian. Siemian is on the short list of quarterbacks to stream a defense against this year. Carson Palmer hasn’t looked like the gunslinger of past seasons, but he has a nice receiving corps with a crafty veteran, an upstart deep threat, and an unknown possession receiver to go with a quality pass receiving running back. Plus, they are going to play Dallas. Palmer finds the Fountain of Youth on Monday Night Football this week. 

Sit This Guy: Trevor Siemian, Denver (at Buffalo) 

This will be a tough day for Siemian. Feeling pretty good after handily beating the Dallas Cowboys last week, he will go against a sneakily good Buffalo defense in Week 3. The Bills are one of only three defenses to finish as a top-ten scoring fantasy D/ST in both Week 1 and Week 2. The game will either be close, which would indicate Buffalo’s defense is doing well., or it will be a rout, and the Broncos will spend the second half running down the clock. Either way, it results in an average NFL fantasy score for the Denver quarterback. 

Obvious points we should not have to mention 

Tom Brady and Drew Brees are alright. They remain weekly starts regardless of opponent. Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Derek Carr round out my top five must starts. I am interested to see how Andy Dalton does this week with a new coordinator and some released feelings among the players. But I’m sure not starting him until I see a bit of result. 

Week 3 flash-in-the-pan prediction

Indianapolis opens the week as a home underdog to Cleveland. (Cleveland!) Even the newest Colt, Jacoby Brissett, is mortified. He channels his inner Andrew Luck and tosses four touchdowns in a surprisingly entertaining 38-31 victory over the big, bad Browns. 

Full disclosure of Week 2

Last week’s Start ‘ems were Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derek Carr. That might seem like a no-brainer right now, but remember we were all questioning Tom’s age and Brees’ offensive line last week. They finished first, fourth and fifth in standard scoring. 

My sits were Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, plus Eli Manning, Dalton and every rookie starter. I’m calling that a perfect week. The veterans finished as the number 17, 21, 23, and 28 passers in Week 2. 

Check back to see how I do in Week 3 and don’t forget to send your NFL fantasy questions to [email protected]. We’ll post answers in our Mailbag feature every Wednesday.

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Pat Opperman

Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.