Thursday - Oct 29, 2020

Home / Lineup / START/BENCH: Week 3

START/BENCH: Week 3

Some weeks in the fantasy football slate are like a five-star gourmet meal. You want to savor the moment. Enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of victory. Digest slowly.

Then there the weeks that are like five-day-old Taco Bell, in that they make you want to vomit.

Week 2 rather fell into that second category.

The injuries that swept through the NFL in Week 2 cut a swath of destruction through fantasy rosters that is unprecedented in recent memory. The top two picks in the vast majority of fantasy drafts both suffered major injuries. One is out for the season. The No. 1 wide receiver was already on the shelf with a high-ankle sprain.

Simply put, quite a few seasons got wrecked last week.

It’s not like my recommendations went a lot better. I’m not going to get too far into the gory details — the fact that I beat the drum a New Orleans wide receiver all damn week long only to see him catch one stinking pass against Las Vegas rather sums it up.

Hard though it may be to believe, I’m not infallible.

Regardless of why Week 2 was a giant, festering ball of suck from which neither light nor hope can escape, there’s only one thing to do.

Dust ourselves off, pop in a few Tums, and get back to work.

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (at Baltimore)

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (vs. Kansas City)

Dak Prescott, Dallas (at Seattle)

Russell Wilson, Seattle (vs. Dallas)

Deshaun Watson, Houston (at Pittsburgh)

Kyler Murray, Arizona (vs. Detroit)

SPOT-START OF THE WEEK

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago (at Atlanta)

It wasn’t this long ago that it looked like Trubisky was going to lose his job. Now the fourth-year pro is the starter for the most surprising 2-0 team in the NFL. As Mike Florio reported for Pro Football Talk, Trubisky credited the competition with Nick Foles over the summer for bringing out the best in him as a player.

“The reps were split down the middle,” Trubisky said. “I tried not to think who had the edge. I just wanted to show my teammates what I’d done in the offseason and how badly I wanted it.”

Through two games this season, Trubisky has averaged 216 yards and 2.5 pass touchdowns per game — numbers that aren’t spectacular but are at least good for mid-range QB2 numbers. The former second overall pick in the NFL draft could be set for his biggest passing day of the season Sunday in Atlanta — Atlanta is dead last in the NFC in pass defense and lead the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in Sharks League Scoring so far this year.

ROLL THEM OUT

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (vs. Miami)

Through two games, Minshew has 512 passing yards, is tied for second in the NFL in touchdown passes and ranks inside the Top 10 in passer rating. There’s no reason to think Minshew can’t keep that rolling Thursday night in a favorable matchup with Miami.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (at New Orleans)

Rodgers exploded in Week 1 but had a quieter Week 2 as the Green Bay ground game took over against Detroit. The game script Sunday against New Orleans would appear to lend itself toward throwing more, and New Orleans is eighth in points per reception (PPR) league points allowed to quarterbacks in 2020.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Houston)

Through two games of the Roethlisberger 2020 Comeback Tour, he has been good but not great — he ranks at the bottom of weekly starter territory in 12-team fantasy leagues. This week’s favorable matchup with Houston could vault him into the Top 10.

SIT THEM DOWN

Drew Brees, New Orleans (vs. Green Bay)

Brees topped 300 passing yards Monday night in Las Vegas, but he managed just one touchdown pass and didn’t throw the ball in the first half. A year ago, Green Bay surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the quarterback position.

Jared Goff. Los Angeles Rams (at Buffalo)

Goff managed to play well back last week in an early game on the East Coast against Philadelphia. But that was in a much better matchup (at least in terms of fantasy points given up to quarterbacks in 2019) that this week’s tilt with Buffalo, also on the East Coast.

Deshaun Watson, Houston (at Pittsburgh)

Watson’s grip on the “Studs” list is slipping — he’s averaging just over 250 passing yards and one touchdown a game and hasn’t done much running the ball in 2020. That’s not especially likely to change in a bad matchup with a stout Pittsburgh defense.

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an nine-time FSWA Award finalist and three-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last four years. He won the honor in 2017 and 2019. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.