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September 22, 2022

Fantasy football: Start Russell Gage, sit Cam Akers, Dawson Knox in Week 3

Also consider keeping Carson Wentz and the Titans receiving corps on your bench

It's Week 3 and fantasy managers should know full well who their underachievers are by now. The question is, when do you jump ship and dig into your bench — or explore the waiver wire to shake things up?

We're here to help. Below, we've singled out a player at each position we would recommend starting this week based on matchup and trends, and one player we think needs to be held out. We'll be avoiding obvious ones like Amon-Ra St. Brown or Jonathan Taylor. We are talking about the difficult, borderline conundrums. Here is some lineup advice for Week 3:


Start: Kirk Cousins, Vikings (vs. Lions)

Cousins was awful in his last outing against the Eagles but there are a few mitigating circumstances that should keep him in your fantasy good graces this week. For one, he's always bad in Prime Time. And second, the Eagles secondary is a talented unit, and way better than the Lions'. Expect a regression to the mean against a lackluster opponent in Detroit, and a decent showing from Cousins and his weapons Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, all looking to rebound.

Sit: Carson Wentz, Commanders (vs. Eagles)

Wentz has seven touchdowns this season, tied for the NFL lead. However, he is prone to making mistakes with the football and the Eagles defense knows this. Expect familiarity to play into the Eagles defense's favor and for Wentz — like Cousins — to revert to the mean and post more pedestrian numbers against the Commanders' toughest opponent yet this season.

Running back

Start: Jamaal Williams, Lions (vs. Vikings)

Reports from Detroit say that lead running back D'Andre Swift is nursing an injured ankle and did not practice Wednesday. It is completely possible he plays when Sunday rolls around, but he had limited reps last week (just seven carries) and that could continue in Week 3. Williams had 12 and 13 touches, respectively, in the first two games of the year and that could be his floor for production against Minnesota.

Sit: Cam Akers, Rams (vs. Cardinals)

Akers is not a reliable play right now and unless you are really starving for running backs, a spot on the bench makes sense for Week 3. After having just three carries in Week 1, Akers got the football 15 times in Week 2 and mustered only 44 yards (adding two catches for 18). He'll need to prove he's worth paying before getting a start again.

Wide receiver

Start: Russell Gage, Buccaneers (vs. Packers)

The wide receivers room in Tampa is a little messy right now, with Mike Evans potentially suspended, Chris Godwin banged up already and Julio Jones a non-factor last week. That leaves Russell Gage as potentially the top target for Tom Brady against Green Bay, and if you're ever going to start Gage it will be this week.

Sit: Robert Woods, Treylon Burks, Titans (vs. Raiders)

The Titans have been kind of a dumpster fire so far this year and their wide receivers have not been particularly impressive. Woods, fresh off a torn ACL, has just five catches on seven targets while rookie Burks has seven catches on 11. Neither has found the end zone. This entire offense is really unappealing to fantasy managers right now and you'd be best to avoid it.

Tight end

Start: Tyler Higbee, Rams (vs. Cardinals)

The only reason people are not raving about Higbee so far this season is he has not found the end zone. The tight end leads his entire position across the NFL with 20 targets. He has 12 catches for 110 yards and it looks like he's the No. 2 target for Matthew Stafford behind Cooper Kupp. He might be a no brainer start every week guy this season.

Sit: Dawson Knox, Bills (vs. Dolphins)

It was a nice idea to have some piece of the Bills' high-powered offense and many drafted Knox on that alone. But the Bills' tight end has been a non-factor fantasy-wise this season, hauling in just five receptions on seven targets so far this season. There are other more reliable options right now that are less contingent on a touchdown being scored.

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