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Fantasy Football Week 3: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Liam McKeone
Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Welcome to our weekly fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em column. Week 2 of the NFL season was absolutely nuts but all good fantasy players know to channel Tom Brady and simply focus on the Next One. You can't win your fantasy football league in the first couple of weeks, but you certainly can lose it. Eyes on the prize, ladies and gentlemen.

Here are five players who you may think about starting or sitting this week in pursuit of that goal. We'll do the heavy lifting for you and explain why you should change your mind. Or stay the course. (All stats via ESPN PPR leagues)

Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns

The Browns have employed a dual RB backfield to start the year and will likely continue to do so, good health willing. The approach didn't work out great for Kareem Hunt owners last week as he managed only eight fantasy points on 15 touches while Nick Chubb scored three touchdowns. But, as you can see from the touches number, it's not like Hunt wasn't given the opportunity to produce. And he should have even more of those on a short week against the Steelers. Don't overthink it-- start Hunt and bank on better touchdown luck combined with more carries as the Browns attempt to keep Chubb healthy for the long run. START 'EM

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Welcome to all those who (like me) thought Dallas would have to lean on Elliott to get anything going without Dak Prescott. We were all wrong, and a support group will be formed. It looks like Zeke is washed, Dallas is still going to throw the ball with Cooper Rush back there, and Tony Pollard is going to get at least as many carries. This next game against the Giants will not be a particularly difficult matchup but Big Blue managed to limit Christian McCaffrey well enough to win last week and he's much better than Elliott. Until Pollard gets hurt or Prescott comes back, Elliott might be only good as injury insurance. SIT 'EM

Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fournette has definitely gotten the touches expected out of an RB1 for the Bucs, notching a whopping 45 carries over the first two games of the season. It hasn't paid big fantasy dividends, though. Fournette recorded a respectable 127 yards in the season opener but managed only 65 yards against the Saints this past week and he's scored exactly zero touchdowns on the year. That changes this week as Tampa Bay takes on the Packers. Green Bay won their primetime matchup against Chicago but allowed David Montgomery to average over eight yards per carry and Tom Brady is *slightly* more threatening than Justin Fields. Fournette is due for a big day, and he even promised fantasy players he'd score this week. What more could you want? START 'EM

James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Conner is a low-end RB1 option and receives the bulk of Arizona's carries, but can be hot-and-cold when it comes to actual production. Case in point-- Week 1, Conner had 15 carries for 60 yards and a TD to go long with four catches. Good for a solid fantasy outing. Week 2, Conner had only seven carries for 25 yards and two catches as the Cardinals fell behind early and ended up giving Eno Benjamin the majority of the snaps. The Cards will face the Rams in Week 3 and it feels like a recipe for fantasy disaster if one were to start Conner. L.A. gave up nothing on the ground against Atlanta and boast an offense that can score in bunches. All that adds up to a bad day for James Conner. SIT 'EM

Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

It came as a great surprise to find Christian Kirk is only started in 38 percent of all ESPN leagues. It's probably a reputation thing. Everyone in the NFL world agreed Kirk was wildly overpaid by the Jaguars, and it's been several years since anyone has expected good fantasy production out of Jacksonville. It turns out we were wrong about all of it! Well, maybe not Kirk's salary, but the man has arrived and, most importantly, established great trust with Trevor Lawrence. He's been targeted 14 times over the first two games of the year, so he'll get his numbers. Kirk is now solidly in WR2 territory and this week's matchup with the Chargers promises a lot of catch-up football, which means a lot of passes, which means production for Kirk and the rest of the offense. START 'EM

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