Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks edition for Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season. In this week’s column, we take a look at two former top-10 picks shooting up the position’s rankings. Plus, Derek Carr has looked like his former MVP candidate self. Is the Raiders signal-caller a must-start vs. Miami?
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Patrick Mahomes will not be found in this column.
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QB: Start ‘Em
Sam Darnold at HOU
Darnold has completed nearly 69% of his passes this season while attempting no fewer than 35 passes in each of the first two weeks. The volume is there, the consistency is there and the matchup is there. The Texans have allowed an average of 20.3 points and five total touchdowns to quarterbacks this year.
Daniel Jones at ATL
Kyler Murray, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Those are the names of the only quarterbacks to score more fantasy points than Daniel Jones this season. A legitimate dual-threat option, Jones’ 122 yards rushing through two weeks are the third-most among NFL quarterbacks. Even more important, he’s been sound with the football, as he’s just one of eight signal-callers yet to throw an interception. The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, with no player scoring less than 28.76 points. They’ve yet to register an interception and surrendered 62 yards on the ground to Jalen Hurts in the opener.
Sleeper: Justin Fields vs. CLE
On the subject of running quarterbacks, Fields’ feet will make him fantasy relevant for as long as he’s under center in Chicago. He touted the rock 10 times in spot duty a week ago and gets a Browns defense that is just one of two defenses this season to surrender multiple rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Not to mention they’ve allowed the third-most points to the position (28.38 average).
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QB: Sit ‘Em
Jameis Winston at NE
Winston duped many in the football world with a five-touchdown opener. However, while that scoring pace inevitably fell off in Week 2, his volume and yard production remained very much the same — which is vastly underwhelming. Through two weeks he’s averaged just 12.5 completions and 129.5 passing yards. We are all aware of Jaboo’s tendency to turn the football over. He’s fresh off a two-pick game and gets a Patriots defense that forced four Zach Wilson interceptions a week ago.
Taylor Heinicke at BUF
A fun fact, no quarterback in NFL history has completed more passes over their first three starts than Heinicke, who has connected on 93 passes (h/t Washington Football PR). The Football Team is clearly not afraid to let the Old Dominion product sling it. However, that may not be a great thing against Buffalo. The Bills have allowed a fantasy low of 18.58 points total this season to quarterbacks. No player at the position has eclipsed 193 total yards.
Buyers Beware: Derek Carr vs. MIA
First and foremost, keep track of Carr’s health, as Jon Gruden labeled his quarterback questionable to kick off the new work week per News3 Las Vegas’ Jesse Merrick. Second, take notice of the matchup. The ‘Phins give up the 10th-fewest points to the position this season. In Week 2 they held Josh Allen in check to the tune of 179 passing yards on 33 pass attempts. Carr has been superb this season and his volume is mouth-watering — his 93 pass attempts tie for the NFL lead. You can do worse than Carr this week, but chances are with players like Darnold and Jones sitting on the majority of leagues’ waiver wires, you can also do better.