Fantasy Football: Who we're starting and sitting in Week 3

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) is hit by Buffalo Bills defender Kevon Seymour (29) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Adrian Kraus/AP)

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) is hit by Buffalo Bills defender Kevon Seymour (29) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Adrian Kraus/AP)

Week 2 of the NFL season is behind us, and it was yet another hectic week in football. Running backs Adrian Peterson and Danny Woodhead went down with injuries, the New England Patriots are on their third-string quarterback and just to confuse fantasy owners a little more, we already have an offensive coordinator being fired in Buffalo. But don’t be confused because I have all of the answers for your fantasy football teams in Week 3 right here.

Start QB: Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer is a very solid quarterback option in any league this week, simply because he’s been consistently putting up strong numbers and the Bills defense seemingly could not stop anything in Week 2. So far this year, the veteran quarterback has 579 passing yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions and zero fumbles in his first two games. Those are the statistics of a fantasy stud that is averaging a solid 21 points a game in standard ESPN fantasy leagues.

This week I have to bet that he will achieve that or better. Palmer is facing a Bills’ defense that allowed Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to pick them apart for almost 400 yards and win AFC offensive player of the week in Week 2. This is not the defense we all expected the Bills to present but because it is, I am going with Palmer in Week 3.

Sit QB: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

Sorry Bills fans but personally, I don’t think firing your offensive coordinator was the solution to an 0-2 start this season. This week, Buffalo plays an elite NFL defense in Arizona after coming off of a divisional loss to the New York Jets, and it doesn’t have the makings to be pretty for Buffalo. Yes, Taylor did have two deep bombs versus New York that padded his stats but overall, he’s had a rocky start to this season. The Bills offense was not meant to be such a pass heavy offense and if they keep playing out of character, a defense as strong as Arizona’s is not going to let that fly.

Taylor had five fantasy points in standard ESPN leagues in Week 1 and even though his stats show he had a decent Week 2, don’t expect the same in Week 3. I expect Arizona to follow up their 40-7 Week 2 beat-down on Jacksonville with a similar one on Taylor and his Bills.

Start RB: Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers

Gordon has been so solid this year, leading the Chargers backfield with three touchdowns and 157 yards in two games on 38 touches. That has Gordon at about 4.1 yards per carry, which is all you can ask and more from any running back. Now the X-factor in starting Gordon this week begins with the fact that he went from splitting touches with Danny Woodhead to now being the only actual back the Chargers have after Woodhead went down for the season. In Week 1, he split the touches and had 14 touches for 57 yards and one touchdown. In Week 2, when Woodhead went down, Gordon had 24 touches for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon will now get even more touches, which should mean more yards, more touchdowns and most importantly, more fantasy points.

Sit RB: LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots

LeGarrette Blount has been stout while Tom Brady has been out, with 150 plus yards and two touchdowns in the first two games this season, while also averaging 14.5 fantasy points, but I just do not see that coming this week. Blount has not received a workload like this in a long time and, although he has done well with it so far this year, he is now going to be coming off of a short, four-day rest to play against a pretty strong Houston defense. On top of that, I expect Houston to load up the box every time out and dare New England’s third string rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett to throw the ball, essentially taking it right out of Blount’s hands. Now, you can never really count out Belichick and New England, but Blount? I would count him out this week.

Start WR: Eric Decker, New York Jets

Eric Decker has really become a big fan of his quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Over the last year, he has really succeeded with Fitzpatrick under center and this year has proven that Fitz needs him too. Decker has a touchdown in both games this year and is coming off of a game where he had six receptions for 126 yards. That shows that when Fitzpatrick looks for Decker, the Jets offense is just that much more dangerous. It also helps that superstar wide receiver Brandon Marshall is on a questionable leg, which means more action for Decker. They are also going up against the Kansas City Chiefs, who gave up 100 yards to two different receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller last week. I think it all adds up for a big week for Decker.

Sit WR: Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos

Last week, Emmanuel Sanders led the Broncos with a total of eight targets, the most on the team, but he only came down with three. This year, the Broncos have had a strong 2-0 start to their season, a rookie QB, a stout running back and a superstar defense, which all has had a lot to do with it. But Sanders has not been a top contributor. He is averaging an awful 3.5 fantasy points per game and has played two hobbled secondaries while doing so. This week, he faces a tough Cincinnati defense and I just don’t see why there would be any room for improvement. I would avoid having Sanders in your line-up this week, as I cannot see a rookie QB helping a receiver get out of a slump up against a stout defense.


Bobby Farris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at robert.farris@uconn.edu.