49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passes against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 16, 2018, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.


Fantasy Football Week 3 Sweet & Sour

Garoppolo, Ryan Ripe For Big Weeks

Matt Citak
September 20, 2018 - 10:32 am

The 2018 NFL season is only two weeks old, yet we have already witnessed our fair share of madness.

Crazy comebacks, countless injuries and two ties make up just a fraction of the storyline of these early stages of the NFL season.

Of course, I'll be here throughout the fantasy season sharing lineup suggestions.

Players who look poised for a big week will fall under the "Sweet" category, while guys who might be in for a tough matchup will fall in the "Sour" section. In addition, I'll add a couple of sleeper picks at each position for those in need of a streaming option.

Let me preface this article by saying I won't be telling you the obvious. You don't need me to tell you to start Todd Gurley or Antonio Brown each week. And a player falling in the "Sour" section doesn't necessarily mean you should bench him -- it means you should lower your expectations for that player given the circumstances that week (matchup, injuries, etc.). While I want these recommendations to help you make lineup decisions, at the end of the day, you have to go with your gut. 

With all that said, here are your Week 3 recommendations.



Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers -- It hasn't been the smoothest of starts for Jimmy G. in the Bay Area. Garoppolo has thrown for just 467 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions through the first two weeks of the year, but he should be able to get his season going in the right direction in Week 3. The Chiefs have allowed both Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger to throw for over 420 yards and three touchdowns this year. With Marquise Goodwin (thigh) getting closer to a return, this could be Garoppolo's first big game with the 49ers.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons -- Ryan's Week 2 fantasy performance was put over the top by two rushing touchdowns. But even without the rushing points, the former MVP got back on track against a stingy Panthers defense. The Falcons will welcome the Saints to Atlanta this weekend in what is shaping up to be a shootout between the two NFC South clubs. Don't forget, this is the same Saints defense that allowed Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for over 400 yards with five total touchdowns.


Russell Wilson, Dallas Cowboys -- Upon watching Seattle take on the Bears on Monday night, one thing became abundantly clear: The Seahawks' offensive line is essentially nonexistent. Wilson has been sacked 12 times through two games to go along with his three interceptions and one fumble. The Cowboys' defense is shaping up to be a lot tougher than people originally expected. The Dallas pass rush plus Seattle's offensive line equals a very long day for Wilson and the Seahawks.

MORE: NFL Experience In Times Square To Close Sept. 30

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers -- Rivers is off to an amazing start, throwing for 680 yards with six touchdowns and only one interception. However, those two performances came against the Chiefs and Bills. The Chargers will travel across town Sunday to take on the LA Rams at the Coliseum. The Rams defense has been fantastic to start the year and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. This matchup worries me for the 36-year-old Rivers.


Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals -- Dalton looked amazing against a tough Baltimore defense last Thursday. Going up against a Panthers D that just allowed Matt Ryan to go crazy, with no Joe Mixon, I like Dalton's chances of a repeat performance in Week 3.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars -- Coming off one of the best games of his career against the Patriots, Bortles could be in for another huge day if Leonard Fournette is unable to go. 

Running Backs


Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers -- While it may have been unclear which 49ers running back would take over as the lead back once Jerick McKinnon was lost for the year, it appears as if we found our answer -- and it didn't even take two weeks. Breida currently leads the NFL with 184 rushing yards, while Alfred Morris has struggled to find running room. Breida could explode for another big game against a very poor Chiefs defense.

Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins -- Despite being unable to rely on just about everyone else in the Washington offense (besides for Jordan Reed), Thompson has gotten his season off on the right foot. The 27-year-old has racked up 19 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown, as Alex Smith has checked down early and often through the first two weeks. Thompson can be started as a solid RB2 in all leagues, with an even higher ceiling in PPR formats. 

Redskins running back Chris Thompson


Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans -- When it rains, it pours down in Nashville. The Titans have suffered injuries throughout the team's entire roster, with the most significant ones occurring to quarterback Marcus Mariota and several offensive linemen, none of which bodes well for Henry. Averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and going up against the Jaguars' defense, Henry is an obvious sit this week. 

Carlos Hyde, Cleveland Browns -- While the Browns have certainly looked improved in 2018, the team is still winless through two games. The play of Hyde has certainly not helped Cleveland's cause: The veteran back is averaging just 2.8 yards on 38 rush attempts and has contributed just two receptions. The Jets have been solid against the run, and on a short week, I'm keeping Hyde on the bench.


Sony Michel, New England Patriots -- Michel had a quiet debut last week, but we'll chalk that up to the matchup against the Jags' D. Michel should find a lot more running room against the Lions on Sunday night, when game flow should play in his favor."

Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets -- Believe it or not, Crowell is averaging over 6 yards per carry so far this year. Add in the fact that it's a revenge game for the 25-year-old after spending his first four seasons in Cleveland, and I'm predicting a big outing for Crowell.

Wide Receivers


Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers -- The struggles of the Chiefs' defense have already been discussed, which is why I'm going all-in on the 49ers' offense this week. While Garcon's season has not gotten off to as strong of a start as he would have liked, the veteran did have a solid game against the Lions in Week 2. Goodwin returning to the field will help take some of the attention away from Garcon. If Goodwin plays, I'd even consider starting both San Francisco receivers this week.

49ers receiver Pierre Garcon runs through the Colts defense on Aug. 25, 2018, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions -- Although Golladay has slowly been working his way up the Lions' wide receiver depth chart, he still remains the team's official No. 3 receiver. Whether he's No. 2 or No. 3, one thing is clear: The second-year receiver will avoid coverage from New England's Stephon Gilmore on Sunday night. Golladay should see a ton of targets as the Lions will likely be playing a large chunk of this game from behind. 


Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams -- Woods has accumulated nine targets in each of the Rams' first two games, so any concerns about him playing a smaller role in the team's offense this year can be put to rest. But in Week 3, Woods will likely see a lot of shadow coverage from the Chargers' Casey Hayward, one of the top corners in the league. I'm looking elsewhere at wide receiver this week.

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans -- It's tough to trust anyone in the Titans' offense right now, especially with Mariota's throwing hand still not 100 percent. To make matters worse, Tennessee will be traveling this week to Jacksonville, where Davis will be facing off against the talented Jalen Ramsey. Davis, and everyone in the Titans' offense, are clear fades in Week 3. 


Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons -- Ridley scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 2, finishing the day with four receptions for 64 yards. This is only the beginning for the rookie, who should see his snaps increase as the season progresses. He'll keep rolling against the Saints.

D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers -- Moore is yet another rookie who was able to pick up his first career TD last week. The Carolina offense has been a bit unpredictable to start the year (except for Christian McCaffrey), but coach Ron Rivera has made it clear he wants to get Moore more involved in the passing game (pun intended).

Tight Ends


Trey Burton, Chicago Bears -- Burton has yet to live up to all of the preseason hype he was getting, although he did manage to snag his first touchdown with the Bears on Monday night. Burton has a great chance to extend his TD streak to two games this week against a Cardinals defense that has allowed Jordan Reed (Washington) and Tyler Higbee (LA Rams) to both find the end zone already this year. Fire him up in your lineup.

Bears tight end Trey Burton (80) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 17, 2018, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders -- In typical Cook fashion, the tight end put up a mediocre performance after his stellar season debut. Cook has garnered a whopping 28.6 percent target share on his routes this year, which is more like WR1 than tight end numbers. Nevertheless, the Cook wave will continue this week with another big game against a Dolphins' defense that isn't great against tight ends.


Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts -- Doyle still gets a decent amount of routes run and targets, but it's Eric Ebron who has been the Colts tight end to own so far this year. Doyle has caught just nine passes for 80 yards so far, and things won't get any easier this week against an Eagles team thirsty for a win after last week's shocking loss to Tampa Bay.

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns -- Njoku has to be one of the biggest disappointments at tight end to start the year, catching just seven receptions for 33 yards. I still like his season outlook, but the chemistry is simply not there between the second-year tight end and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Things will get a lot better for Njoku when Baker Mayfield takes over at QB.


O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Howard has a combination of size and speed that not many players in the NFL have. Fitzpatrick will continue to target the young tight end against a struggling Steelers defense Monday night.
Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks -- As we all expected, Dissly is the only tight end to have 40 yards and a touchdown in each of the first two games. You didn't see that coming? Me neither, but I'm all aboard the Dissly train as Russell Wilson doesn't have many other pass-catchers to target these days. 

Matt Citak is a Web producer for WFAN Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewCitak.