Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers for Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season. In this week’s column, we examine an electric rookie residing in Arizona. Plus, a former top-15 pick in Las Vegas hoping to build off of a 100-yard performance.
* 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 Tyreek Hill will not be found in this column.
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WR: Start ‘Em
Rondale Moore at JAC
Moore saw his snap percentage jump from 29% in Week 1 to 46% in Week 2. Expect that number to continue to trend upwards, as the rookie looks like one of the NFL’s most explosive playmakers. While Moore may theoretically be the WR4 in Arizona, his 13 targets through two weeks are the most on the team — including DeAndre Hopkins. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray ranks third in the NFL in average yards per completion (10.1). The Jaguars’ defense has allowed 8.8 yards per attempt — fifth-most in the NFL — and just surrendered 159 yards to a “possession receiver” in Courtland Sutton. Things are looking quite swell for Moore owners in Week 3.
JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. CIN
Mike Tomlin said Diontae Johnson (knee) is “looking better, but not to be confused with great” via PFF’s Doug Kyed. We’ll go out on a limb and say the injury will at least sideline Johnson for a week. In that case, Smith-Schuster should shoulder the majority of Johnson’s team-high 11 targets per game average. Great news for JuJu owners, who have already seen the Steelers wideout amass 15 total targets over the first two weeks. Four opposing receivers have seen at least eight targets come their way against the Bengals this season.
Courtland Sutton vs. NYJ
Sutton ate in Denver’s Jerry Jeudy offense last week, seeing 35% of the team’s targets. In fact, his 12 targets on the day were the most in his NFL career. The Jets haven’t allowed much in the passing game this year, mainly because opponents haven’t needed to truly air it out. So while Sutton may not push towards 160 yards like he did last week, the volume should almost certainly be there in PPR leagues.
Robby Anderson at HOU
Anderson has yet to pop off this year, but a matchup vs. Houston should do the trick. The Texans are just one game removed from allowing three opposing receivers to score double-digit points, two of which found the endzone. Anderson’s six targets in Week 2 were the second-most among Panthers receivers.
A Technicality: Cordarrelle Patterson vs. NYG
Patterson is operating as a swiss-army knife running back in Atlanta’s offense. However, depending on your fantasy platform, the former first-rounder likely has wide receiver eligibility. Patterson is currently the WR24 and RB10 in fantasy. Will he keep that pace up? Likely not. However, he could easily keep that magic going for at least one more week vs. the Giants. Big Blue’s defense has allowed an opposing running back to eclipse 100 yards from scrimmage in back-to-back weeks, including a 101-yard (83 receiving), one touchdown performance to JD McKissic last week.
WR: Sit ‘Em
Marquez Callaway at NE
Callaway was sensational in the preseason. Unfortunately, his stellar play hasn’t transitioned over into the regular season — and likely won’t. Not when Jameis Winston is averaging 12.5 completions and 129.5 yards per game. The Tennessee product is not a high-volume player and shouldn’t be started against a Patriots defense that allows the seventh-most points to receivers. With Michael Thomas still sidelined, he’s worth retaining for another game or two, but don’t let Callaway’s preseason hype supersede a potential add that can help your roster in the immediate future.
Henry Ruggs vs. MIA
Ruggs’s 61-yard touchdown helped the second-year pro net a top-10 finish among fantasy receivers in Week 2. However, remove that reception from the books and Ruggs has averaged just three receptions and 49 yards receiving per game. He’s always a threat to burn the secondary deep, but the idea that the former Bama star has arrived is a bit premature. On top of that, Miami has allowed the 12th-fewest passing yards and just two receiving touchdowns to receivers this season.
Buyers Beware: Brandin Cooks
The No. 1 receiver in Houston has been phenomenal up to this point, ranking within the top-five across the league in receiving yards (210). However, catching passes from rookie Davis Mills on a short week against a Panthers defense who has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to receivers this season sounds like a recipe for disaster. His target share (averaging 10.5 targets per game) gives him a chance, but he’ll be a volatile flex play in Week 3.