Observer Fantasy Corner: Week 3, sit Barkley, start Singletary?
The first week of the NFL is in the books. Fans worldwide have gotten a feel for how their teams will be this season, including fantasy players. Now with a clear sense of how your fantasy team will perform, it is time to dive into who you can play, sit and add this week on Fantasy Corner.
Must Start: Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
What a game for the former Oklahoma Sooner. Mixon had a day against a disappointing Minnesota defense in which he rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown. Everyone has been hoping for Mixon’s big break since he came into the league and while he has shown flashes so far, I really believe this is his year to make the leap. The Bengals will be facing the Bears next week who looked terrible against the Los Angeles Rams and allowed Darrell Henderson to rush for 80 yards and a touchdown. If you have Mixon make sure you are starting him. If you do not have him, I highly suggest you begin to work on a trade before it is too late.
Must Sit: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
How do I start off when it comes to Aaron Rodgers? Last year’s MVP, Rodgers looked uninterested at times against the Saints. His zero touchdowns, two interceptions, and 138 passing yards along with a rating of 36.8 were his second-worst performance since 2014. While it makes sense as to why he would be in your starting lineup, I advise you get rid of him immediately. His performance aside, Rodgers had an eventful offseason with the Packers and while he is back, for now, I cannot help but think he just does not care anymore when it comes to Green Bay and this may not be the only time we see this stat line this season from him.
Who To Pick Up: Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots (Owned in 30% of leagues)
Must Start: Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
Singletary got a massive vote of confidence when it was announced that his backfield mate Zack Moss was going to be a healthy scratch in Buffalo’s opener. Singletary capitalized on the opportunity, leading the team in both carries and rushing yards. While the results weren’t anything to get elated about (just 11 PPR points with no touchdowns) an upcoming matchup with a Miami defense that gave up 100 rushing yards to Damien Harris should prove much easier than the staunch Steelers front the Bills faced in week one. I expect Buffalo’s entire offense to rebound from a rough showing, so start Singletary with confidence.
Must Sit: Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
I will admit, I was very high on Boyd coming into the season. A healthy Joe Burrow paired with a wideout room filled with talented yet inexperienced youngsters seemed to leave the door open for Boyd, a veteran reception machine, to have a sneaky good season. The Bengals game plan in week one, however, stared rookie Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins alongside a heavy run attack. Boyd appeared to be an afterthought, racking up just three catches for 32 yards. As the third WR in the pecking order, Boyd will no longer be worthy of a weekly start in fantasy. As long as you have other wideout options, Boyd would be better left on the bench until he proves that he has a legit role in the new-look offense in Cincinnati.
Who To Pick Up: Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (Owned in 25% of leagues)
Must Start: Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Carson looked great against what should be a solid run defense in week 1, and his matchup gets exponentially better in week 2. I’m sure that Mike Vrabel will have the Titans’ defense as motivated as ever following their embarrassment against the Cardinals, but it simply won’t matter. The Seahawks will be able to create mismatches across the board and open up running lanes for their feature back. Additionally, it’s worth noting that a healthy Chris Carson only posted below 4 yards per carry once last season. For those reasons, his floor is too high to be sitting on anyone’s bench.
Must Sit: Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers
I had a hunch that last year would be Robby Anderson’s career year, and I’m starting to believe it more and more. DJ Moore is the clear WR1 on this offense, despite the previous chemistry between Anderson and Sam Darnold. Additionally, Anderson didn’t even see WR2 target-share in Sunday’s game. That spot was held by rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. Anderson will obviously have homerun potential as a deep threat, but with that comes bust potential that could lose you a matchup. Combine that with his lackluster history versus the Saints, and he looks like an obvious sit for week 2.
Who To Pick Up: Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (owned in 2% of leagues)
Must Start: TJ Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
I gambled drafting Hockenson in all three of my leagues, and he repaid me big time in week one. Dan Campbell has sparked dozens of questions and memes alike with his, shall we say, unique approach over the offseason, but he’s unquestionably the perfect coach to make the Iowa product the clear favorite of the non-Kelce/Kittle/Waller options to be the premier fantasy tight end. A former tight end himself, Campbell reportedly works extensively and in a hands-on fashion with Hockenson and the other Lions TEs. Add Campbell’s coaching with Detroit starting a new quarterback known for favoring shorter, safer routes in Jared Goff, and it’s a perfect storm for Hockenson’s value.
Must Sit: Michael Pittman, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Generally speaking, I’m wary of overreacting to week one games and reading too much into what might have been a matchup issue or perhaps a nagging injury from preseason that limited reps. But if I had to pick from players widely considered fantasy starters that looked fully replaceable in the first week, Pittman is a strong call. Facing a Seahawks defense that was torn apart over the air last season as the nominal WR1 for the Colts, Pittman only generated four targets all game, producing three receptions for 29 yards. That’s not exactly a great sign for a player that has TY Hilton ready to supplant him as his team’s leading wideout in the future and will be matching up with Jalen Ramsey and one of the league’s best defenses next week in the Rams.
Must Add: KJ Osborn, WR, Minnesota (Owned in 0.1% of leagues)
Must Start: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Thielen had a monster game in Week 1, and it would have been a good game even if he had not caught two touchdowns. His final stat line came out to be nine catches for 92 yards and two scores, giving him over 30 fantasy points in PPR leagues. Thielen picked up right where he left off in 2020 and has a great connection with QB Kirk Cousins. The contest this coming week against the Cardinals is sure to be a high-scoring shootout, so make sure Thielen is in your lineup.
Must Sit: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Yikes, I feel bad for Barkley owners. Already feels like a waste of a first-round pick doesn’t it? Barkley’s talent is undeniable, but the Giants and their offensive line are horrendous. Volume was also a problem for Barkley, as he received only 10 carries, racking up just 26 rushing yards. The Giants will be playing from behind a lot, meaning fewer carries for Barkley, and this team really is just a disaster all the way around. They play Washington in Week 2, who has a better defense than Denver, so I would recommend keeping Saquon on your bench this week, as much as that may hurt his fantasy owners.
Who To Pick Up: Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (owned in 25% of leagues)
Must Start: Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Despite a quarterback competition, the 49ers passing game looked sharp, primarily running through Deebo Samuel. Samuel showed week one he may be the impact player who the fantasy community projected teammate Brandon Aiyuk to be. His versatility and big-play ability were on display, and while huge days like his game against the Lions won’t happen every week, his role moves him from a bench or fringe flex play to a weekly starting WR role on your fantasy team until further notice.
Must Sit: Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
Despite being selected in the early 2nd round, the University of North Carolina rookie has not yet become a player worth starting consideration. This may be upsetting to people that drafted Williams, but Melvin Gordon’s strong showing dampens Williams’ potential this season. I advise fantasy managers to wait to see if this situation changes.
Who To Pick Up: Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (owned in 2% of leagues)