Fantasy Football Week 3 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: Joshua Kelley’s ready for the spotlight


Welcome to Week 3. If you have a healthy player on your Fantasy roster — anyone — you might already be ahead of your opponent. It’s been a rough start to the season because of injuries.

Following Week 2, Saquon Barkley (ACL) and Courtland Sutton (ACL) were lost for the year, and Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is on injured reserve, which will keep him out for at least three weeks. And that’s just the start of the injury report when it comes to stars being hurt.

The injured quarterbacks are Tyrod Taylor (chest), Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and Drew Lock (shoulder), and only Garoppolo has a shot to play this week. At running back, we could be down Raheem Mostert (knee), Tevin Coleman (knee), James White (personal), Cam Akers (ribs) and Malcolm Brown (finger), as well as Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) and Phillip Lindsay (toe) already battling injuries.

The wide receiver injuries could be bad with Davante Adams (hamstring), Julio Jones (hamstring), Sterling Shepard (toe), Jalen Reagor (thumb), Parris Campbell (knee) and Sammy Watkins (head) all getting hurt in Week 2. We will hopefully have Adams and Jones play in Week 3, and Chris Godwin (concussion) and Kenny Golladay (hamstring) should be back this week. But Michael Thomas (ankle) and A.J. Brown (knee) could be out again, which isn’t ideal.

The biggest tight end injury is George Kittle (knee), who missed Week 2 and could be out again in Week 3. It’s been tough for many Fantasy managers, especially those dealing with multiple injuries on their roster.

Hopefully these injuries have created quality opportunities for other players like Mike Davis for the Panthers, Dion Lewis or Devonta Freeman for the Giants and Darrell Henderson for the Rams. We’ll see how these guys do in elevated roles, and these could be starting Fantasy options for you in Week 3.

We have plenty of other starting suggestions for you as well, and hopefully all of these injuries aren’t ruining your Fantasy season. And if we’re lucky we won’t have many more injuries in Week 3. It would be nice not to focus on the injury report as much — if that’s possible.

Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em

Joshua Kelley is on the verge of a big performance, and it could easily happen this week against the Panthers. He should be considered a starting Fantasy running back in all leagues. Kelley is getting plenty of work for the Chargers through two games. In fact, he has the same amount of carries (35) and three fewer catches than Austin Ekeler, who only has five.

Ekeler deserves more touches since he’s been more efficient than Kelley — 5.1 yards per carry for Ekeler to 3.5 for the rookie — but that shouldn’t matter here for Kelley. What does matter is clearly the Chargers like Kelley enough to trust him in big spots.

For example, he is among the league leaders in red-zone attempts (eight), carries inside the 10-yard line (six) and rushes inside the 5-yard line (three). In Week 2 against the Chiefs, Kelley handled 25 total touches (23 carries) in an overtime game, and he finished with 113 total yards.

While he only averaged 2.8 yards per carry — he was at 24.5 yards per catch — I’d be thrilled if he continues to get that kind of volume, especially in Week 3 against the Panthers. And that’s a big reason why he’s listed here.

Through two games, Carolina has been abysmal against opposing running backs. They lead the NFL with six touchdowns allowed to the position, with Josh Jacobs (three) and Leonard Fournette (two) already scoring multiple times against the Panthers.

And it’s not just the touchdowns. Carolina also has allowed the most receptions to running backs through two games with 19. Four running backs (Jacobs, Devontae Booker, Fournette and LeSean McCoy) have already caught at least three passes against this defense.

You are obviously starting Ekeler this week in all leagues, and this offense should be good with Justin Herbert starting for the injured Taylor. But Kelley shouldn’t be far behind Ekeler, especially if Justin Jackson (quad) remains out. I’m excited about the potential of Kelley having a breakout game in Week 3. 

START ‘EM & SIT ‘EM

Quarterbacks

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Running Backs

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Wide Receiver

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Tight End

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Colts (vs. NYJ): The Jets have scored 30 points so far this season against the Bills and 49ers, and that seems like a miracle. With Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) hurt, this offense is, well, hamstrung with a lack of talent. The Colts DST is ranked No. 1 for me in Week 3.

  • Chargers (vs. CAR): With Christian McCaffrey (ankle) out, the Panthers offense could struggle to move the ball, especially on the ground. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram should make things uncomfortable for Teddy Bridgewater, and the Chargers DST is a top-three unit for Week 3.
  • Buccaneers (at DEN): I’ll take my chances with the Buccaneers defense on the road against Jeff Driskel and the Broncos down Courtland Sutton (ACL). This could be a rough day for Denver’s offense against an underrated Tampa Bay defense.
  • Browns (vs. WAS): Dwayne Haskins was sacked four times in Week 2 at Arizona, and the Washington Football Team lost two fumbles. Back-to-back road games for a bad offense could be trouble, and the Browns DST is a sneaky starting option this week.

Rams (at BUF): This is back-to-back road games on the East Coast for the Rams, and they are facing a good Bills offense with a star quarterback in Josh Allen. Through two games against the Jets and Dolphins, Allen has been unstoppable with 729 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions, and he’s been sacked just four times. I wouldn’t trust the Rams DST in this spot.

START ‘EM & SIT ‘EM

KICKERS

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