SSSQ is a weekly look at the under-the-radar fantasy players you should consider starting, and the potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
For the rest of your lineup decisions, consult our Week 3 rankings.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buccaneers
We live in a world where Fitzpatrick has thrown eight touchdowns and has more fantasy points than any other quarterback through two weeks. We’re all waiting for the Fitzmagic to run out, but that won’t happen this week in a matchup with the lost Steelers defense that was just torched for six scores by Patrick Mahomes in Week 2.
Boone’s projection: 306 passing yards, 2 TDs
Other QBs to start
- Matt Ryan vs. Saints
- Blake Bortles vs. Titans
Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings
With Dalvin Cook ruled out on Friday, Murray becomes an immediate fringe RB1 for Week 3. The Vikings are 16.5-point favorites at home against a Bills squad that’s given up six touchdowns to running backs in just two weeks. There is no better matchup out there.
Boone’s projection: 94 rushing yards, 9 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Other RBs to start
- Kenyan Drake vs. Raiders
- Corey Clement vs. Colts
- Matt Breida at Chiefs
Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars
Coming off a seven-catch, 116-yard, one-touchdown performance against New England, Cole gets an even softer opponent in the divisional-rival Titans. Kenny Stills, Will Fuller, and DeAndre Hopkins have all eclipsed 100 receiving yards against Tennessee’s secondary early in the season. Settling into his new role as the Jags’ top wideout, Cole is an excellent bet to join that list.
Boone’s projection: 104 receiving yards, TD
Other WRs to start
- Nelson Agholor vs. Colts
- Will Fuller vs. Giants
- John Brown vs. Broncos
O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers
One reason for Fitzpatrick’s newfound fantasy stardom is the quality of the weapons around him. In addition to a trio of skilled receivers, Howard is emerging as a dangerous threat at tight end. The Steelers watched as Travis Kelce made a pair of trips to the end zone last week. With their focus centered on slowing down Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Godwin, Pittsburgh will let Howard post his second straight big game.
Boone’s projection: 79 yards receiving, TD
Other TEs to start
- Eric Ebron at Eagles
- Ben Watson at Falcons
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
It’s rare to see someone featured in the same spot in this column in back-to-back weeks, but Wilson’s offensive line is increasing his degree of difficulty exponentially. Wilson has been sacked 12 times through two games, with that pressure leading to three interceptions and four fumbles. The Cowboys’ defensive line had six sacks of their own on Eli Manning last Sunday, and pose another tough challenge for Wilson and Co.
Boone’s projection: 267 passing yards, TD, 2 INTs, 39 rushing yards
Other QBs to sit
- Andrew Luck at Eagles
- Philip Rivers at Rams
Alex Collins, RB, Ravens
It’s been a strange start to the season for Collins, who saw limited touches in a Week 1 blowout, and then took far more criticism than he deserved for a Week 2 performance on Thursday Night Football. Fantasy owners have taken issue with Javorius Allen’s role as a pass-catcher and goal-line back. But Collins has outgained Allen in receiving yards (61-51) and has just one fewer carry inside the five-yard line than Allen does this year. Despite Collins being the far more talented back, the 60-40 timeshare doesn’t seem to be going away, and a matchup with a stout Broncos run defense looms. Keep an eye on Collins as a potential buy-low candidate after this week.
Boone’s projection: 58 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
- Adrian Peterson vs. Packers
- Royce Freeman at Ravens
- Chris Carson vs. Cowboys
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
It’s hard to make a case for Thomas after he caught only five of his 11 targets for a dismal 18 yards in Week 2. Emmanuel Sanders is Case Keenum’s preferred option in the passing game, rendering Thomas more of a low-end WR3 for fantasy. Unless Thomas can find the end zone in this game, he’ll struggle to produce against a Ravens defense that plays better at home.
Boone’s projection: 41 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
- Michael Crabtree vs. Broncos
- Corey Davis at Jaguars
- Mike Williams at Rams
Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals
The hope that Eifert could recapture his 13-touchdown season from 2015 is lost. The Bengals are playing a three-man rotation at tight end, with Eifert, Tyler Kroft, and C.J. Uzomah. With just one red-zone target on the season, the former TD machine shouldn’t just be benched, he should be dropped entirely.
Boone’s projection: 35 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
- Jonnu Smith at Jaguars
- Antonio Gates at Rams
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs
The Chiefs’ offense is one of the most prolific attacks in the NFL, so owning any piece of it is a smart fantasy investment. Kansas City’s running game hasn’t been a major factor in its early-season success, but as teams shift to stop the pass, it will open lanes at the line of scrimmage. Kareem Hunt is secure as the starter, but a Hunt injury would thrust Ware into a starring role. He should be stashed in more than just the nine percent of leagues he’s currently unavailable in.
Hayden Hurst, TE, Ravens
After fracturing his foot in the preseason, the first-round pick is likely to miss the first month. In his absence, the Ravens are using an uninspiring committee at tight end. Once he’s healthy, Hurst should return to a full-time role on a team that’s targeted the tight end 24 times in two games, third most in the league. If you’re in search of a potential difference-maker on the waiver wire and are able to wait a couple weeks, Hurst is a deep option with massive upside.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
This isn’t a recommendation to drop McCoy from your roster. But for anyone still hoping he can be a consistent fantasy starter in 2018, it’s time to take the loss and see what you can get for him on the trade market. After struggling in the opener, McCoy suffered a rib injury in Week 2. Even if he plays through the pain, his matchup with the Vikings isn’t likely to end well. Trade him now before his value falls even farther.
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets
No longer a featured element of the Jets’ offense, Anderson has been held to six catches in three games and hasn’t topped 41 yards in any of those contests. Quincy Enunwa is Sam Darnold’s favorite receiver, while Anderson is left competing with Terrelle Pryor and Jermaine Kearse for scraps in a low-volume passing attack. He belongs on the waiver wire.