• Jace Sime

WEEK 3: Starts of the Week + Caution Plays

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

It's hard to believe we're already 2 weeks in to the season! There's been some highs, there's been some lows, and it seemed like every other QB found a way to injure himself. Regardless of how you did, we now start again with a fresh slate so let's break down my starts and caution plays for the 3rd week of the NFL season...





Jones has come out the gates looking pretty hot for fantasy owners. He currently sits as the QB5 on the season with 516 passing yards, a pair each of rushing and passing TD's, and no interceptions. This week, he takes on a Falcons defense that is dead last in the league in fantasy points allowed to the QB position. With Golladay getting healthier and Engram possibly returning, this could be another fantastic week for Danny Dimes.


Feilds got thrust in to action last week after an injury forced Dalton out of the game. While Fields didn't necessarily look like the second coming, he showed a lot of athleticism and managed to put up 31 yards rushing in just half a game. This week he gets to take on the Browns, who have allowed 28 points to the QB position. With a week to prepare and the weapons at his disposal, I see an emerging game from him on coming Sunday.





Williams was my start of the week last week and even though he underperformed my expectations, he's staying right where he is because he gets the privilege of playing the Detroit Lions, who have given up an egregious amount of fantasy points to opposing RB's at 32.9 points per game! Even if he splits carries with Murray, I find it hard to see a pathway (barring injury) in which he doesn't ball out this week.


I'm going to go a bit more bold on this pick as most people are smashing the PANIC button and looking to offload Devin Singletary 2.0...I mean Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Honestly, looking at his variables, he's still getting 88% of the RB workload and most of the RB passing work. He faces a Chargers defense who's been bleeding fantasy points to RB's and allowed both Zeke and Pollard to put up RB1 games last week. I think CEH could be in line for a big bounce back game and is worth taking one more roll on.





A generational level talent, Julio has finally set some new roots in Tennessee and those roots are growing strong. In his first two starts, he's seeing an incredible 32% target share in the offense which is among the top in the league. Last week he turned those opportunities in to a 15.8 point performance and this week, he plays a Colts team that is 3rd worst in fantasy points allowed to opposing WR's. Julio should have another fantastic game this weekend.


One goes down and one comes back. The Browns have placed Landry on the IR and Beckham is slated to return from that reserve on Sunday. Last year, Odell was given 42% of the teams WR targets, among the highest share ratios in the league. Returning to the field, he will now have that #1 role without Landry to split targets with and facing a Bears defense that has given up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing WR's. Odell has a prime opportunity to show the world he isn't done yet and I think he accomplishes that this weekend.





If we're going to feature one back-from-injury player, why not plug another one in? Engram was once a top fantasy prospect but has since been relegated to waiver fodder. Though he hasn't been the elite player we wanted him to be, he's still very involved with the offense. Last season, he had 80% of the TE targets and 21% of the teams total receiving targets. This week, he goes up against a Falcons defense that has been forfeiting 16.2 points a game to TE's. If there was a chance for Engram to put up a big performance, it'll be this week.


Let's flip to the other side of that field... Pitts has all but cemented himself in as the second option on this team, garnering 20% of the teams receiving targets and almost 70% of the TE work. He's a dominant athlete and gets to go up against the Giants this week, who are right behind Atlanta themselves in fantasy points allowed to TE's. He should be in for a strong game this week.





After a monstrous 5 TD game to kick the season off, Winston pulled an invert showing against the Panthers, with 111 passing yards, 2 picks, and no TD's. It was quite alarming seeing such a drastic change in performance and this week is looking even more challenging. The Saints take on the Patriots, who have shut down the QB spot and have allowed only 11.9 points a game to the position. I would go into this game with very tempered expectations for Winston.


Once again, we're going to stick to the same game and look at the other side. As great as the Patriots are against opposing QB's, the Saints are just as good, only allowing 12 points to the position. Jones is a rookie, is still adapting to the pros, and has yet to finish as the QB22 or higher. With a combination of all of those variables, I can't expect Jones to finish even as a top 25 QB this week.





Ingram started the season out and surprised the league with a 14.5 point fantasy game that saw him finish as the RB17 that week. Last week, he faced a much tougher defense and his fantasy output dropped to an ugly 4.5 point game. This week, he has an even tougher matchup against a Panthers defense that leads the league in stopping the run, allowing only 5.5 total fantasy points to opposing RB's. If you pick up Ingram after week 1, keep him on your bench this week.


After an impressive rookie campaign that saw him finish the RB12, Gibson had a lot of hype heading in to this year with what appeared to be a much improved offense. Well, it's been a bit of a rough ride for the sophomore back as he's the RB26 on the season only averaging 9.3 points a game. I think things will get better and open up for him as the year progresses, but I don't think that happens this week. They take on a stout Bills defense that's arguably the best in the league and has only been allowing 6.3 fantasy points a game to RB's. If you have another option to plug in, I'd explore that this week.





McLaurin showed that he's QB proof last week as he put up a 22 point game and finished the WR3 on the week. Pure talent and athleticism, he's arguably one of the best wideouts in the league. Just like Gibson, however, I'm urging caution this week against a Bills team that has also shut down the position and only allowed opposing WR's 15 total points per game.


Sutton had a fantastic game last week and showed the league why he was a top 10 receiver in 2019. He has the all the tools to be a dominant player at the position and you'd think facing the Jets, he would be a smash play this week, however, the area the Jets have been shutting down has been the passing game. They've only allowed 16 points a game to opposing wideouts, 4th best in the league in that metric so I would just limit your expectations of Sutton this Sunday.





Gesicki had an impressive 2020 campaign in which he finsihed as the TE7 on the season. He was drafted as such this year, with at least top 10 potential in mind, but has be stuggling so far to see that to fruition. After a goose egg in week 1, we saw a little life in him week 2 as he finished the TE19, but this week he faces a much improved Raiders defense that has only allowed 2.8 points to the TE position. I'm sure Gesicki owners already picked up a backup on Waivers after week 1 and I would recommend going the backup route again this week.


Last week I featured David Njoku in my caution list. This week, I'm switching to his team mate, Austin Hooper, who has been leading the team in targets so far this year. He had a decent 6.5 point game against the Texans last week, but now faces the Bears who, although they've been vulnerable to WR's, they've been locking down TE's, only allowing 3.6 points per game. I'd exercise caution starting him this week and if you have other options, I'd explore them.

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