NFL fantasy: Week 3 Start ‘em… Sit ‘em… wide receivers

Some wide receivers are so predictable, but not all of them. So, here are some recommendations for which wide receivers to start and sit in Week 3.

Week 2 saw a few injuries and other things that made us wonder what the heck is going on. After some careful contemplation, here are a few players I think should start and a few I think should sit in Week 3. 

Start This Guy: AJ Green, Cincinnati (at Green Bay) 

There’s an old expression that says, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ AJ Green squeaked a lot after the Bengals’ horrible offensive showing in Houston last Thursday. Even though Green led all receivers in targets, he only had one in the entire second half when the game was being decided. The offensive coordinator was fired. Andy Dalton was named the starting quarterback in Week 3. I guarantee Green gets lots of targets and lots of fantasy points as Cincinnati tries to keep up with Green Bay. 

Sit this Guy: Ted Ginn Jr, New Orleans (at Carolina)

Saints quarterback Drew Brees looks like he is not quite in sync with most of his receivers just yet. But there is nobody he is more out of sync with than Ted Ginn Jr. Ginn was constantly moving away from throws or arriving late on timing patterns. To make matters worse, he had another big play drop through his hands against the Patriots. I expect Brandon Coleman and Coby Fleener to see more targets than Ginn in Week 3. 

Start This Guy: Devin Funchess, Carolina (vs New Orleans)

Ed Dickson will do a nice job in relief of injured Greg Olsen. But he won’t replicate the annual 1,000 yards receiving the star tight end provided. Enter Devin Funchess. Funchess caught four of seven targets Sunday. He gained 68 yards, second in all categories to Kelvin Benjamin. Funchess is a big guy who can take some of the targets that would have gone to Olsen. Especially with Benjamin in and out of last week’s game with injury issues, Funchess stands to be an important part of a revamped offense trying to keep up with New Orleans this week. 

Sit This Guy: Terrelle Pryor, Washington (vs Oakland)

Terrelle Pryor was the main guy in Cleveland last season. When he signed with Washington, he became part of an offense that distributes the ball among all possible receivers. On opening day, Pryor comfortably saw the most targets with unimpressive results. In Week 2, he saw the Washington norm. That was 26 targets split among seven players in search of a hot hand. Pryor caught two of the four passes thrown his way. That will be the norm for a while.

Start This Guy: Jarvis Landry, Miami (at NY Jets) 

If you are in a PPR league, you must start Jarvis Landry. He caught 13 of 15 targets Sunday against the Chargers, all of the short variety. The Chargers did a nice job of containment after the catches, yielding only 78 yards. Jarvis looked fast. If he receives the ball just a few yards further downfield, he could be a standard fantasy stud, too. In a standard league, you might want to…

Start This Guy Instead: DeVante Parker, Miami (at NY Jets)

Parker received nine targets of a distinctly longer variety. He only caught four of them for 85 yards. If Cutler threw a little shorter to Parker, he’d be a better threat, too. But against the Jets secondary this week, expect a similar number of targets with more success. 

Sit This Guy: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (at New England)

DeAndre Hopkins received over half of Deshaun Watson’s pass attempts last week. He is truly the only option, it seems, in Houston. With volume like that, you would think he is a must-start. But there are a couple of things working against him. His quarterback is not the most accurate passer in the league for one. The bigger issue is his next opponent. As the top offensive weapon, New England will scheme to eliminate Hopkins from the Houston offense. They will force Watson to distribute passes elsewhere, making Hopkins a risky play in Week 3.

Five obvious plays we shouldn’t have to mention

It’s Amari Cooper’s week for Oakland, but both Cooper and Michael Crabtree are must-starts against Washington. Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Julio Jones are also no-brainers. Here’s a bonus: I think JJ Nelson and Jaron Brown each have a good Monday Night Football experience against the Dallas Cowboys secondary.

Full disclosure about Week 2

Cooper Kupp failed me with only 33 yards Sunday, but my other five calls were good, with Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant as my other two starters, while Terrelle Pryor, Pierre Garcon, and Kenny Golladay were all sent to the bench. 

Check in next week to see how I do in Week 3. And don’t forget to send any NFL fantasy questions to [email protected] so we can answer them in the Mailbag feature each 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.