After a week filled with injuries, week three will be presenting many fantasy owners with the challenge of selecting a replacement Tight End. As the season progresses it will be easier to select your lineups based on matchups, such as starting all players that are going against the Browns’ defense. However, it may still be a bit too early in the season to be counting defenses out altogether. Here are our week three “start ’em, sit ’em” candidates:
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. CHI)
Big Ben finally has all of his weapons healthy, which has helped Pittsburgh start off with a 2-0 record. He threw for 243 yards and 2 TDs last week against a Vikings defense that is much more competitive than the Bears defense he will be facing this week. Per ESPN, the Bears have allowed the fourth-most points per possession in the league. Big Ben is prepared to post some huge numbers in this one.
Trevor Siemian (vs. BUF)
Siemian has surprised the world with his extremely hot start, tallying 7 total TDs over his first two games. He currently ranks fifth in the league in passer rating, and will be facing a stout Bills defense so don’t expect the same eye-popping numbers. This will be a game to prove if Siemian is a legitimate fantasy option this season and I believe he is up for the task.
Carson Palmer (vs. DAL)
Palmer has already thrown 4 interception this season, and will be facing a solid Cowboys defense. He posted a decent stat line in his last outing against the Colts, but Indianapolis has one of the worst defenses in the NFL. This will be a huge step-up in competition, especially considering it is a MNF matchup.
Dalvin Cook (vs. TB)
The rookie was bottled up last week against the Steelers, posting only 64 yards on 12 carries. However he will be facing the Bucs this week, who contained Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen last week. If Sam Bradford is healthy, Cook should be a must-start in all formats. If he gets the opportunities, the rookie should post solid numbers.
Marshawn Lynch (vs. WSH)
Beast Mode put on a show last week on the field, as well as on the sidelines. He ended with only 49 total yards but found the end zone for the first time since he “retired”. Per ESPN, the Redskins have allowed the 11th-most rushing yards since the beginning of the 2016 season. The Raiders have one of the best offenses in the league, and Lynch is one of the best goal-line backs in the NFL. He is a must-start this week.
Jordan Howard (vs. PIT)
Not only do the Steelers possess one of the best run-defenses in the league, but Howard is still a question mark to play this week. He was seen in a sling after week two’s matchup that saw him tally only 9 carries for 7 yards. Play it safe this week and see how Chicago handles this backfield; Tarik Cohen could make an impact and significantly eat into Howard’s playing time.
Demaryius Thomas (vs. BUF)
Thomas has been posting respectable numbers so far this season, already recording over 130 receiving yards. He has yet to score a touchdown this season, but he should get on track eventually. He should be able to take advantage of this newly-formed Bills secondary. We expect a big game out of him this week, especially if Siemian continues to perform well.
Jermaine Kearse (vs. MIA)
Kearse has led the Jets in targets, catches, and TDs so far this season. He is clearly Josh McCown’s go-to receiver and he has benefited from the Jets playing catch-up. Kearse will continue to perform well as long as the Jets keep him on the field. This is the Jets’ first home game of the season and we expect Kearse to be the main attraction.
DeSean Jackson (vs. MIN)
The Bucs will be facing a stout Vikings defense, who even managed to limit Antonio Brown last week. Jackson has yet to make an impact for the Bucs, as he only caught 3 passes in their first game. If D-Jax can’t get open downfield, he will likely be a poor fantasy option this week.
Zach Ertz (vs. NYG)
Ertz has performed extremely well already this season. He has recorded over 90 yards in each of the Eagles’ first two games, but has yet to score a touchdown. The Giants have allowed a Tight End to score in both games this season, and Ertz should continue to exploit this defense. He’s averaged nine targets per game so far, which is exceptional for TEs. He’s a must-start every week as of now.
Charles Clay (vs. DEN)
Clay is finally healthy and is receiving a fair amount of targets. Denver is generous to Tight Ends, yielding the 10th most yards to the position since the start of the 2016 season. Clay should continue to see targets as long as he remains healthy.
Tyler Eifert (vs. GB)
Eifert has only caught 4 passes this season for a combined 46 yards. This is far from the TE1 numbers that we were expecting from the big man out of Notre Dame. Furthermore, he is now dealing with back and knee injuries, and is suggesting that he may not be ready to go for Sunday. He is a risky option until he is healthy.