Week 3 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Can We Keep Trusting the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Based on numberFire's Week 3 fantasy football projections, which players are must-starts, considerations, or preferable sits?

Another season of fantasy football, another trove of start-or-sit scenarios to answer.

It's not just enough to draft the right team and make the right moves off the waiver wire, no. We all know that. We also have to make sure that we are starting the right players each week.

Of course, we have our studs, anchors, and the players we're starting virtually no matter what. We don't need anyone to tell us to start Jonathan Taylor.

But, the further down the lineup we go, the more those questions trickle in.

Then again, no player is a "must-sit" in every scenario, and perhaps the WR3 you've been plugging in each week may have a better alternative.

To answer the question, "Should I sit Player X," depends on the answer to the question, "Who can you start instead?"

That's why I like to switch up the typical start-or-sit column format. I'm going to be listing out all relevant fantasy football players each week and bucketing them into tiers.

Take some of the guesswork out of setting our lineups weekly, I'll be leveraging thousands of slate simulations that are based on numberFire's player projections with dynamic measures for variance, such as quarterback rushing, running back receiving, and receiver target depth.

The results will boil down to three tiers: players we should be confident about starting, players we can consider starting whenever we don't have better alternatives but who aren't must-plays, and players we should try to bench whenever we do have better alternatives (i.e. players listed above them on the list).

These players are listed in order of frequency of hitting the stated threshold (i.e. QB12, RB24, WR24, and TE12 performances), and higher on the list means more startable.

The groupings reflect a 12-team, single-quarterback league with the following hypothetical in mind: if I had other viable options on my bench or the waiver wire, should I start this player this week?

Players not listed should be presumed sit-worthy in a shallow or standard-sized league, and all fantasy points references and rankings reflect half-PPR scoring.


Start With Confidence
- Josh Allen at MIA (72%)
- Jalen Hurts at WSH (68%)
- Lamar Jackson at NE (62%)
- Patrick Mahomes at IND (62%)
- Kirk Cousins vs. DET (56%)
- Joe Burrow at NYJ (55%)
- Kyler Murray vs. LA (51%)
Consider If Needed
- Matthew Stafford at ARI (46%)
- Tua Tagovailoa vs. BUF (46%)
- Derek Carr at TEN (42%)
- Justin Fields vs. HOU (42%)
- Russell Wilson vs. SF (40%)
- Marcus Mariota at SEA (38%)
Bench If Possible
- Daniel Jones vs. DAL (34%)
- Carson Wentz vs. PHI (34%)
- Aaron Rodgers at TB (33%)
- Jared Goff at MIN (31%)
- Mac Jones vs. BAL (30%)
- Trevor Lawrence at LAC (30%)
- Chase Daniel vs. JAC (28%)
- Ryan Tannehill vs. LV (28%)
- Tom Brady vs. GB (28%)
- Jimmy Garoppolo at DEN (27%)
- Jameis Winston at CAR (26%)
- Geno Smith vs. ATL (26%)
- Matt Ryan vs. KC (25%)
- Davis Mills at CHI (25%)
- Baker Mayfield vs. NO (25%)
- Mitchell Trubisky at CLE (24%)
- Cooper Rush at NYG (23%)
- Joe Flacco vs. CIN (23%)
- Jacoby Brissett vs. PIT (19%)

The Strong Start tier, Tier 1, boasts eight passers this week initially. Odds are that you aren't relying on streamers too often this week.

However, if you don't have one of those top eight or are considering streaming, you're in good shape for Week 3.

Justin Fields is a strong fantasy option, given his potential on the ground. Fields has averaged 9.5 rush attempts for 24.0 yards, and the Houston Texans haven't been tested on the ground yet. They have faced just six rushes by quarterbacks through two games while going against Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson.

Another rushing quarterback option is Marcus Mariota, who faces the Seattle Seahawks on the road. Seattle has faced Wilson and then, effectively, Jimmy Garoppolo, and thus have faced only eight carries so far by opposing quarterbacks. Mariota has averaged 44.0 yards on 8.5 rushes per game -- and 6.0 red zone rushes per game (a 40.0% team share).

Jared Goff has the Detroit Lions off to a hot start offensively. Detroit ranks sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to numberFire's metrics, through two weeks. The Minnesota Vikings' pass defense ranks outside the top-20 at the moment, and they'll be playing on a short week after being torched by Jalen Hurts on Monday Night Football in Week 2.

Running Back

Start With Confidence
- Christian McCaffrey vs. NO (80%)
- Jonathan Taylor vs. KC (79%)
- Derrick Henry vs. LV (79%)
- Dalvin Cook vs. DET (76%)
- Joe Mixon at NYJ (76%)
- Saquon Barkley vs. DAL (72%)
- Austin Ekeler vs. JAC (68%)
- Alvin Kamara at CAR (68%)
- Leonard Fournette vs. GB (68%)
- Nick Chubb vs. PIT (66%)
- David Montgomery vs. HOU (62%)
Consider If Needed
- Najee Harris at CLE (58%)
- D'Andre Swift at MIN (58%)
- Aaron Jones at TB (55%)
- Josh Jacobs at TEN (55%)
- Antonio Gibson vs. PHI (53%)
- Javonte Williams vs. SF (53%)
- Cordarrelle Patterson at SEA (53%)
- James Conner vs. LA (52%)
- Ezekiel Elliott at NYG (51%)
- James Robinson at LAC (49%)
- Jeff Wilson at DEN (45%)
- A.J. Dillon at TB (42%)
- Miles Sanders at WSH (42%)
- Rashaad Penny vs. ATL (41%)
- Michael Carter vs. CIN (41%)
- Damien Harris vs. BAL (41%)
- Chase Edmonds vs. BUF (41%)
- Dameon Pierce at CHI (40%)
Bench If Possible
- Rhamondre Stevenson vs. BAL (39%)
- Tony Pollard at NYG (37%)
- Darrell Henderson at ARI (36%)
- Kareem Hunt vs. PIT (35%)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire at IND (35%)
- Raheem Mostert vs. BUF (34%)
- Cam Akers at ARI (33%)
- Devin Singletary at MIA (33%)
- Jamaal Williams at MIN (32%)
- Melvin Gordon vs. SF (32%)
- Jerick McKinnon at IND (31%)
- Breece Hall vs. CIN (30%)
- J.K. Dobbins at NE (29%)
- Travis Etienne at LAC (27%)
- Rex Burkhead at CHI (24%)
- J.D. McKissic vs. PHI (21%)
- Nyheim Hines vs. KC (20%)

How likely are you to bench Aaron Jones after a two-touchdown game? Not very. We can say that we need to scale back expectations against a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive front, but let's contextualize it for this week. Tampa Bay ranks well overall against the rush but is actually 31st in rushing success rate allowed, meaning some consistent plays can still be had for Jones. Jones also has averaged 123.0 scrimmage yards and can have a floor even without scoring.

Jeff Wilson was a hot waiver wire addition entering last week's matchup. His role was solid. He played on 50.0% of the San Francisco 49ers' snaps and had 103 scrimmage yards on 20 total opportunities (carries plus targets). Tyrion Davis-Price played 40.0% of the snaps but will now miss multiple weeks. The Niners will still find ways to get Jordan Mason and possibly Marlon Mack involved, but the arrow is up on Wilson's opportunity.

The optimism on Javonte Williams has to be scaled back a bit, given the Broncos' offensive struggles. Denver ranks 13th in overall offensive efficiency still -- yet 30th on the ground. Williams' value has primarily come through the air, as he has 12 targets through two games thus far. Denver is a slight home underdog against the 49ers this week. That could lead to an elevated target workload once again.

Week 2 saw an extended role for James Robinson, who played on 62.7% of the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive snaps and handled 23 carries and 2 targets. He also had five red zone carries. The Los Angeles Chargers have allowed 5.79 yards per carry to opposing running backs and rank 25th in success rate allowed, as well.

Wide Receiver

Start With Confidence
- Cooper Kupp at ARI (84%)
- Justin Jefferson vs. DET (78%)
- Davante Adams at TEN (75%)
- Ja'Marr Chase at NYJ (67%)
- Deebo Samuel at DEN (66%)
- Stefon Diggs at MIA (64%)
- Amon-Ra St. Brown at MIN (62%)
- Tyreek Hill vs. BUF (60%)
- Jaylen Waddle vs. BUF (55%)
- A.J. Brown at WSH (54%)
- Jerry Jeudy vs. SF (50%)
- Michael Pittman Jr. vs. KC (50%)
Consider If Needed
- Brandin Cooks at CHI (48%)
- Courtland Sutton vs. SF (47%)
- CeeDee Lamb at NYG (46%)
- Diontae Johnson at CLE (45%)
- D.K. Metcalf vs. ATL (44%)
- D.J. Moore vs. NO (43%)
- Marquise Brown vs. LA (42%)
- Tyler Lockett vs. ATL (42%)
- Tee Higgins at NYJ (41%)
- Michael Thomas at CAR (41%)
- Terry McLaurin vs. PHI (40%)
- Christian Kirk at LAC (40%)
- Gabriel Davis at MIA (38%)
- Mike Williams vs. JAC (37%)
- Amari Cooper vs. PIT (36%)
- Rashod Bateman at NE (36%)
- Drake London at SEA (34%)
- Keenan Allen vs. JAC (34%)
- DeVonta Smith at WSH (33%)
- Sterling Shepard vs. DAL (31%)
- Allen Robinson at ARI (30%)
Bench If Possible
- Robert Woods vs. LV (29%)
- Garrett Wilson vs. CIN (29%)
- Darnell Mooney vs. HOU (28%)
- Russell Gage vs. GB (28%)
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling at IND (27%)
- D.J. Chark at MIN (26%)
- Adam Thielen vs. DET (26%)
- Elijah Moore vs. CIN (26%)
- DeVante Parker vs. BAL (26%)
- Robbie Anderson vs. NO (26%)
- Treylon Burks vs. LV (25%)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster at IND (25%)
- Chase Claypool at CLE (24%)
- A.J. Green vs. LA (20%)
- Allen Lazard at TB (20%)

The most consistent role among the New Orleans Saints' pass-catchers belongs to Michael Thomas. Week 1 was the Jarvis Landry week, and last week, we saw Chris Olave obtain more than 300 air yards. But Thomas has had 8 targets for 57 yards and 2 touchdowns in the opener and then 9 targets for 65 yards and a score in Week 2. He's had three of five end zone targets, too, helping explain the touchdown total.

Diontae Johnson hasn't produced a lot but has a really strong role. Johnson has run a route on 94.7% of the Pittsburgh Steelers' drop backs and is averaging 11.0 targets per game. His expected fantasy point output (half-PPR) of 14.7 is 5.9 points above his actual return (8.9). That's the third-largest discrepancy among any receiver in the NFL so far. The Cleveland Browns rank 30th in adjusted fantasy points per target allowed to opposing receivers through Week 2. The Thursday Night Football matchup means we need to decide on Johnson soon, but don't bail out just yet unless you have someone else close in the simulations.

Speaking of expected workloads, Christian Kirk ranks top-20 in expected fantasy points among all receivers on a per-game basis, and he is the clear number-one option on a passing offense that is currently ranked sixth in adjusted passing offense. The Chargers are 19th defensively, so don't get too cute with Kirk unless you have better choices.

Drake London's snap rate climbed from 73.2% to 80.4% in Week 2 after an injury-impacted preseason, so it was very promising to see that role increase in his second game. He drew 12 targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. That worked out to a 48.0% target share and a 47.0% air yards share. Of those 12 targets, five were at least 10 yards downfield, and two were in the red zone. He's a confident Tier 2 play if needed.

Tight End

Start With Confidence
- Travis Kelce at IND (83%)
- Mark Andrews at NE (72%)
- Darren Waller at TEN (68%)
- Kyle Pitts at SEA (57%)
- George Kittle at DEN (51%)
Consider If Needed
- Tyler Higbee at ARI (49%)
- Dallas Goedert at WSH (45%)
- Zach Ertz vs. LA (45%)
- T.J. Hockenson at MIN (41%)
- Dawson Knox at MIA (36%)
- Mike Gesicki vs. BUF (34%)
- Robert Tonyan at TB (33%)
- Logan Thomas vs. PHI (33%)
- Irv Smith Jr. vs. DET (33%)
- Pat Freiermuth at CLE (32%)
- Hunter Henry vs. BAL (31%)
Bench If Possible
- Gerald Everett vs. JAC (29%)
- Cole Kmet vs. HOU (28%)
- Hayden Hurst at NYJ (27%)
- Evan Engram at LAC (26%)
- Austin Hooper vs. LV (26%)
- Jonnu Smith vs. BAL (25%)
- Tyler Conklin vs. CIN (24%)
- Noah Fant vs. ATL (23%)
- Albert Okwuegbunam vs. SF (22%)
- Mo Alie-Cox vs. KC (22%)

Although the results for T.J. Hockenson haven't been great, the role has been there. He holds a 19.7% target share, fifth-best among all tight ends so far this season, and he has one red zone target per game. The Vikings have allowed 11 catches for 149 yards on 14 tight end targets this season.

Not many tight ends have yardage upside, but so far, Gerald Everett has flashed it by clearing 50 yards in each game (54 and 71). The 54 yards on 4 targets in Week 1 led to a jump to 10 targets in Week 2 as well as a route rate increase from 58.8% to 70.0%.

As mentioned with Christian Kirk, Evan Engram is involved in a top-six adjusted passing offense for the moment. Engram's role in Week 2 was noteworthy: 8 targets, 7 catches, 46 yards. That came with only a 4.0-yard average depth of target, which isn't what you want to see. However, he is holding a 17.6% target share in a solid offense right now and ranks seventh among tight ends in route rate (79.7%). That's a good streaming combination if needed.