Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 3: Wide Receivers - Fades, Sleepers, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Finally matching his rookie hype, Marquise Brown is featured as Week 3's wide receiver start of the week

UPDATED: September 24, 2021

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Week 3 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Start of the Week

Marquise Brown at Lions (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Brown has been bananas good after two weeks, averaging more than 20 fantasy points while garnering a near 30 percent target share for the Ravens. He’s a virtual must-start this week against the Lions, who have surrendered 14 touchdowns and the most fantasy points to opposing wideouts in their last nine games. Consider Hollywood a viable No. 2 fantasy receiver this weekend.

Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em


Start ‘Em

Ja'Marr Chase at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): This week’s matchup in the Steel City seems to be a bad one on the surface, but could the opposite be true? The Steelers allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wideouts in their first two games, including an impressive stat line from Henry Ruggs III last week. With Tee Higgins banged up, the talented rookie should see even more opportunities in this AFC North showdown.

Courtland Sutton vs. Jets (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Sutton went off last week, scoring 24.9 fantasy points on 12 targets in a win over the Jaguars. He should remain in all lineups this week too, as the Broncos host the Jets at Mile High. New York’s defense has been good against wideouts on paper, but D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson had 12-plus points in Week 1, and the Patriots threw the ball just 30 times against them in Week 2.

Sterling Shepard vs. Falcons (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Shepard has had a hot start to the season, ranking ninth in fantasy points among wideouts while seeing a near 28 percent target share for the Giants. He’s on solid FLEX option this week, as the G-Men host a Falcons defense that has allowed 15 touchdowns and the fourth-most fantasy points to wideouts in their last nine games. That includes the five touchdowns so far this year.

DeVonta Smith at Cowboys (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Smith didn't put up a nice stat line last week, but he did lead all Eagles receivers in targets for the second straight week. I like him as a flex starter this week, as the Eagles travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys. In their last nine games dating back to last season, their defense has given up 14 touchdown catches and the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts.

More Starts

  • Mike Williams at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Robert Woods vs. Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Bargains

  • Ja'Marr Chase at Steelers ($5,400)
  • Rondale Moore at Jaguars ($5,000)
  • Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Cardinals ($4,900)
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Week 3 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

Sit of the Week

D.J. Chark vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Chark has had an uneven start to the season, posting a nice line in Week 1 but following it up with a stinker against the Broncos. This week’s matchup against the Cardinals isn’t terrible, but Chark is third in target share behind Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault. What's more, rookie Trevor Lawrence leads all quarterbacks with a 39 percent uncatchable pass rate to this point.

Sit ‘Em

Jaylen Waddle at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Waddle saw eight targets in last week’s loss to the Bills and is second among Dolphins wideouts in target share. That is the good news. The bad news is that the team will be without starter Tua Tagovailoa this week, leaving Jacoby Brissett under center. As a result, I'd beware Waddle as a fantasy starter. He'd be even less attractive if Will Fuller V can return to the field.

New York Jets Corey Davis

Corey Davis at Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Listed as a sit ‘em last week, Davis put up an eight-yard stinker in a loss to the Patriots. Things won't get any better this week as the Jets travel west to face the Broncos. New York’s offensive line is a mess, allowing 10 sacks of Zach Wilson in its first two games, and Denver is certain to exploit that weakness. I’d keep Davis on the sidelines in the majority of fantasy leagues.

Henry Ruggs III vs. Dolphins (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Ruggs is coming off a monster performance in the Steel City, producing 22.5 fantasy points on a near 19 percent target share. I’d avoid chasing the points, however, as Ruggs has a tough matchup against the Dolphins. Miami has allowed 139 yards and the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts in their two games this season. At best, Ruggs is a FLEX this weekend.

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Michael Pittman Jr. at Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): This week’s matchup against the Titans is bananas good, so it might seem odd to have Pittman on the sit ‘em list. He also had a big game last week against the Rams, so what gives? Well, the potential loss of Carson Wentz and the elevation of Jacob Eason as the starter would cause me to downgrade all of the Colts' pass catchers. Keep tabs on Wentz’s status this week.

More Sits

  • Brandon Aiyuk vs. Packers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Will Fuller V at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Jakobi Meyers vs. Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

DFS Fades

  • Mike Evans at Rams ($6,300)
  • Michael Pittman Jr. at Titans ($5,500)
  • DeVante Parker at Raiders ($5,400)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!

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