I nailed it last week. In last week’s Start/Sit column for the quarterback position I suggested it would be a good idea to start Cam Newton, Carson Palmer and Ryan Tannehill and even take a flyer on Tyrod Taylor.
I also thought you would be wise to sit Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees (who didn’t play).
So hopefully in your eyes I’ve built some degree of credibility/trust.
Let’s keep the good times rolling this week.
Teams on bye: Patriots, Titans
START THESE QBs...
Derek Carr, OAK (at CHI)
You’re probably as surprised as me starting off with the notion that you should actually start an Oakland Raiders quarterback this week. It simply just makes sense, not just because Carr is playing against the Chicago Bears, but because the second-year signal-caller has been outstanding in his last two games, scoring a combined 46.8 fantasy points. In case you were curious that’s more than Andrew Luck. If you’re a Tom Brady owner you are in need of a quarterback this week and if Carr is available don’t hesitate to pick him up and start him this week. The Bears have allowed eight touchdown passes and an average of 20.15 fantasy points to QBs this season.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. NYG)
Can you name someone who has been a better waiver wire pickup this season than Taylor? Believe it or not, after three games, Taylor is a top-5 fantasy quarterback. This week he will continue to put up 20-plus fantasy points as the Bills play host to a New York Giants defense that so far has allowed an average of 18.40 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Taylor figures to do better than that.
Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. KC)
Dalton is on fire. It’s almost like he is on a mission to prove all the haters wrong (even though he is usually good during the regular season. The playoffs are a different story). He currently ranks as the No. 4 fantasy QB after three games, ahead of Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger. This week Dalton is lucky enough to play against a Chiefs pass defense that can’t stop anyone – the Chiefs have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Look for Dalton to connect early and often with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert because the Bengals' run game will continue to struggle.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ (at MIA, London)
So let’s say you have Tom Brady and can’t get your hands on Derek Carr, what should you do? Go and get Fitzpatrick as a one-week starter. While Fitzpatrick hasn’t been a superstar from a fantasy perspective, he’s doing very well in the Jets system and this week he gets a matchup against the Dolphins that screams huge upside. The Dolphins allowed Blake Bortles to score 20 fantasy points in Week 2 and Tyrod Taylor to score 24 last week. The Jets should get Chris Ivory and Eric Decker back this week, giving their offense more balance and more weapons for Fitzpatrick. A 20-point fantasy day isn’t out of the question.
SIT THESE QBs...
Matthew Stafford, DET (at SEA, Mon.)
Hopefully you didn’t draft Stafford as your starting fantasy quarterback. If you did, I feel sorry for you. Stafford has failed to score 15 fantasy points in two of his first three games this season, that’s not good and things are not going to get better this week as he and the Lions gets to play in Seattle on "Monday Night Football." Even with Calvin Johnson at 100 percent and Golden Tate on the opposite side of the field, Stafford is going to struggle big time, making him a must sit this week.
Ryan Tannehill, MIA (vs. NYJ, London)
In real football, Tannehill was awful last week. In fantasy football, Tannehill wasn’t horrible – getting 18.78 fantasy points. This week Tannehill is a "must sit" simply because he is playing against a New York Jets defense that is currently ranked as the fourth best in the league in passing yards allowed and one that is giving up less than 10 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Traveling all the way to London, England this week won’t help either. Stay away from Tannehill this week.
Eli Manning, NYG (at BUF)
Manning played well in the Giants' first win of the season against Washington last Thursday, scoring 19.16 fantasy points thanks to 279 yards passing, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. This week he goes up against a Buffalo Bills defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. So why is Manning a must sit? Because other than Week 2 against Tom Brady, the Bills' D has held Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill to 18 fantasy points or less, while creating several turnovers. If you have a better option this week, go with that.
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED...
Michael Vick, PIT (vs. BAL. Thurs.)
As tempting as it might be to start Vick this week because of all the weapons he has at his disposal in Pittsburgh, please remember this isn’t 2006. Vick is 3-12 in his last 15 starts and is playing on a short week against a Ravens team that is currently 0-3 and desperate for a win. If the Steelers are going to win this game it will because Vick handed the ball off to Le'Veon Bell most of the game, not because Vick aired it out downfield for Antonio Brown. Stay away.
START THESE DSTs...
Arizona Cardinals (vs. STL)
The Cardinals' defense was ridiculous last week, scoring an incredible 28 fantasy points in a blowout win versus the 49ers. Even though it is extremely unlikely the Cardinals' DST will score 28 fantasy points every week, Arizona does go up against a very weak St. Louis Rams offense, which is still trying to figure out its identity. First-round pick Toddy Gurley is still getting acclimated to the NFL and also keep in mind that opposing defenses have averaged the fifth-most fantasy points when facing Nick Foles this season.
Denver Broncos (at MIN)
It would be very hard to argue against the Broncos being the best defense in all of football so far this season – both on the field and in fantasy football. To prove that point, no defense has scored more fantasy points through the first three games than the Broncos. Even though the Broncos are up against a rejuvenated Adrian Peterson this week, they are still a must start. All the Broncos have to do is contain Peterson and force the Vikings to use Teddy Bridgewater and fantasy success will be yours.
SIT THESE DSTs...
St. Louis Rams (at ARI)
The Rams were ranked as a top-3 fantasy DST heading into the season, but haven’t really lived up to their billing, even though they have scored 11 fantasy points in two of their first three games. However, this week the Rams go up against one the best offenses in football – the Arizona Cardinals. Carson Palmer is on fire, so is Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals got their ground game going last week too and Andre Ellington should be back this week. Find a different DST to start this week.
New York Giants (vs. BUF)
Even though the Giants are playing the Bills at home on Sunday, just ask the Dolphins how that worked out for them last week. Thanks to Tyrod Taylor the Bills have a sneaky-good offense and this week they will feature Karlos Williams, who is going to pound the ball up the middle for over 100 yards and at least one touchdown. Throw is at least two Taylor touchdown passes and you have a situation where you must sit the Giants DST this week.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.