By Jamal Murphy, Ourlads Chief Fantasy Analyst
Fantasy Strategies: Start ‘em/Sit ‘em
Each week, fantasy owner’s biggest conundrums usually boil down to which players on their roster they should start and which ones they should leave sitting on their bench. One wrong move could cost you a win for the week and consequently a playoff spot down the road. Here are a handful of not-so-obvious players you should definitely start or sit for Week 3 of the fantasy football season.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers…Benjamin started off slow this season with one reception in Week 1. Though he still is without a touchdown, he did catch six passes for 77 yards in a low scoring game against the Bills last week. Look for Benjamin to step it up even more this week versus the NFL’s worst defensive unit against the pass, the New Orleans Saints.
RB Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears…Cohen leads the Bears in receptions and is second in receiving yards. He has caught eight passes in each of his first two games as a professional. In PPR leagues, especially, he should be a staple in your starting lineup. Even against a tough Pittsburgh defense, the Bears will figure out ways to get Cohen the ball on Sunday.
TE Evan Engram, New York Giants…Throughout the Giants’ early struggles, the rookie tight end has been a consistent, if conservative, outlet for Eli Manning. Engram caught four passes each in week 1 and 2, including a touchdown versus Detroit on Monday night. His production should only increase, particularly against the Eagles, who gave up eight catches to the opposing tight end last week.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers…McCaffrey, like most of the Panthers, has started the season off slowly. But, like most of the Panthers, he should break out this week against the Saints. McCaffrey has averaged ten carries and six targets in the passing game, so he will be active.
WR Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons…Sanu has quietly been a solid part of the Atlanta Falcons’ offense. He caught six balls in Week 1, but was targeted nine times. Last week, Matt Ryan connected with Sanu on five of six targets for 85 yards. His Week 3 opponent, the Lions, are 21st in the league defending the pass, so there should be ample opportunity for Sanu to contribute.
WR Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles…Fantasy owners were giddy over Agholor after his big Week 1 performance, but it took only one week to bring him back down to earth. He was targeted only three times in Week 2 and caught one pass, luckily that catch was for a touchdown. Owners should sit Agholor until further notice.
RB LeGarrett Blount, Philadelphia Eagles…Blount had zero carries and one reception for zero yards last week. Despite a solid Week 1 performance, there is no justification for starting him this week.
RB Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns…Crowell is averaging just over 13 carries for 35 yards over the first two games. His running back mate, Duke Johnson Jr. is producing more in the Browns’ passing game. Leave Crowell on the bench for now, especially against an Indianapolis Colts defense that is surprisingly stout versus the run.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals…Fitz has been disappointing thus far. We don’t know if it’s age catching up to him or if Carson Palmer is the real problem, but it’s worth sitting Fitzgerald until he shows something more. His three catches for 21 yards against Indianapolis last week was alarming and Dallas has been pretty good against the pass.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts…As you should be doing with all Indianapolis Colts offensive players, barring emergency, you should sit Hilton until Andrew Luck returns – even if that’s next season. Hilton’s numbers have been extremely pedestrian with Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett under center, so hopefully you have other decent options.