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Changing the Call: Quarterback Start/Sits Week 3

Can Kirk Cousins rebound from a characteristically rough Monday night? How will Jimmy G fare in his return to the starter role? @Spydes78 answers these questions and more in the Week 3 installment of Changing the Call, a weekly start/sit guide for QBs. Don’t miss it! ⬇️

Huddle up, Nerds! You’ve looked to your favorite dynasty site to guide you through the spring and summer months, but a strong offseason alone will not win you a championship. No matter how talented your roster, you’ll need to make the right lineup decisions to wrestle glory from your league mates.

But, have no fear! Your Dynasty Nerds writers are here to shepherd you through the minefield of starts and sits. Each week, our staff will make recommendations to aid in your lineup decision-making. Look for the position-specific columns below to guide you to dynasty grandeur.

Follow us, friend us, tweet us.  We look forward to hearing from you! 

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc. and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.

About Last Week…

Previous Week Record: 4-0

Season Long Record: 6-2

Week 2 Starts:

Last week’s start column forecasted a rebound performance from Matt Stafford and the continuation of a hot start from Washington’s Carson Wentz. I felt the data showed vulnerability in the opposing defenses, and that’s exactly how it played out. Stafford posted 20.9 fantasy points and led the Rams to a defeat of the visiting Falcons. And though Wentz and the Commanders would fall to Detroit, he still managed a robust stat line, including 337 yards and 3 touchdowns. His 28.8 fantasy points placed him fifth on the week.

Week 2 Sits:

Fortune shone upon me, as my sit recommendations were flawless as well. Mitch Trubisky never mounted much of a threat through the air in a gritty street fight versus the visiting Patriots. His 168 yards paired with a touchdown and an interception were worth only 12.4 fantasy points, 23rd among Week 2 passers. However, Trubisky looked like Joe Montana compared to Ryan Tannehill’s exploits against a stifling Buffalo defense. The Titans quarterback managed just 117 yards and was intercepted twice in the lopsided Monday night affair. His fantasy performance was truly abysmal, making him indeed sit-worthy.

WEEK 3 STARTS

Jalen Hurts

Entering his third year as a pro, Jalen Hurts was something of a controversial conundrum for fans and media alike. Some were enamored with his rushing ability and supremely confident in his ability to develop into a top-tier quarterback. Others had reservations about his ceiling as a passer and therefore questioned his longevity.

Through two games, Hurts has his supporters looking like the proverbial cat that ate the canary. Second, only to Josh Allen, PFF has the Eagles’ quarterback graded as an impressive 84.1. Philadelphia has averaged 281.0 passing yards per game, seventh highest in the NFL. On Monday night, in primetime, Hurts put on a clinic against the visiting Vikings. His gaudy 34.0 fantasy points in that contest were actually an improvement over his 4th place Week 1 fantasy finish. He’s about as hot as you can get right now.

And, if you think that those stats alone make Hurts an attractive Week 3 start, wait until you hear about his upcoming opponent. Washington ranked dead last in the league for fantasy points surrendered to the opponent in 2021 (21.5 per game). In 2022, things have not improved in that regard. Facing off against the Jaguars and Lions, the Commanders have coughed up an average of 19.7 points to the quarterback. In this limited two-game sample, only three teams have allowed more passing touchdowns than Washington.

Bettors have already taken notice of this mismatch. According to bettingpros.com, the over/under line for Jalen Hurts’ player props is 246.5 passing yards and 1.5 passing touchdowns. There’s also a prop established at 51.5 rushing yards for the Eagles quarterback. Reading the tea leaves, this means that oddsmakers are anticipating more than 20 fantasy points for Hurts this week. This is corroborated by PFF’s projection of 22.5 fantasy points.   

With Hurts’ doubters rapidly becoming converts, dial him up in your Week 3 lineups and enjoy the bounty of points awaiting in D.C.

Kirk Cousins

The vanquished signal-caller in that aforementioned primetime matchup in Philadelphia was, of course, Kirk Cousins. Monday Night Football has been hauntingly unsuccessful for Cousins, posting an abysmal 2-10 career record in the bookend slate. Garfield famously hates Mondays, but he’s got nothing on Captain Kirk.

That being said, don’t let a poor performance against the Eagles cloud your immediate judgment. In Week 3, the Vikings will return to the friendly confines of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. There, just two weeks ago, Cousins carved up the division rival Packers in their home opener. Completing 23 of 32 for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Justin Jefferson, the Vikings’ quarterback got off to a hot start under new coach Kevin O’Connell. With elite weapons and a new scheme, Minnesota showed a lot of promise.

The visiting Lions will afford Cousins an opportunity to rediscover that early season promise. Though Detroit has been impressive in their own right, the pass defense has not been a strong suit. Through two weeks, the Motor City defense has conceded an average of 26.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, 30th in the league.

Perhaps the biggest indicator in this matchup is Justin Jefferson’s track record against the Lions. In four career games against the division rival, the stud wideout has averaged 7.5 receptions and 125.8 yards per game. Jefferson was embarrassed on Monday night and will be hungry to right the ship by bullying the hapless Lions. Enter JJettas’ personal chef, Kirk Cousins, with a heaping helping of production.

With a robust game over/under of 52.5 points and the home Vikes favored by 6, ample scoring is anticipated in this matchup. Get the Minnesota quarterback in your lineup, and you’ll be kissing Cousins in your Week 3 slate.

WEEK 3 SITS

Daniel Jones

The Brian Daboll regime is off to a strong start in New York, with the Giants boasting an unlikely 2-0 record. If you hadn’t watched their games, you might be tempted to believe that the new head coach has already had a transformative impact. And while that may be true in the standings, the truth is that the wins have been downright ugly. Sure, style points don’t matter when it comes to wins and losses, but they are the very basis of fantasy football.

The poster child for this cautionary tale is Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Now in his fourth season, the maligned field general has struggled to shake his reputation despite new leadership. New York has managed just 159.0 passing yards per game thus far, 31st in the NFL. Jones’ individual performance has earned him a grade of 52.9 from PFF, 30th among passers. Daboll seems reluctant to count on him, minimizing his role to an average of just 27.5 passing attempts per game.

In Week 3, the upstart Giants will host a Monday night matchup against the rival Cowboys. Though their offensive struggles have garnered the most attention, Dallas has quietly delivered defensively. In 2021, they were 7th best in the league, giving up just 15.9 fantasy points to quarterbacks. Through two games this season, they have actually improved that number to 13.5 points per game. Losing Dak Prescott for a month or more has forced the Cowboys to rally and take on a defensive personality. They seem entirely comfortable with this identity.

Look for stud defenders like Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs to dominate the play in primetime. A paltry 39-point over/under indicates that a defensive street fight is in the East Rutherford forecast. And while this may make for a compelling game, it is not one to invest in from a fantasy standpoint. If Danny Dimes is in your starting slot, slide him down and keep the change.

Jimmy Garoppolo

An off-season of uncertainty for Jimmy G abruptly locked into focus with the season-ending injury to his Niners counterpart, Trey Lance. The veteran quarterback who, for months, dealt with injury rehabilitation and trade rumors is now once again the unquestioned leader in San Francisco.

Given the uneven preparation of a backup quarterback, Garoppolo actually fared well when pressed into service in Week 2 against the Seahawks. Coming off the bench, he shook off the rust to the tune of a 61.9 completion percentage and even secured a passing touchdown. PFF graded his performance with a middling grade of 66.5. Not stellar, certainly, but strong enough to propel his team to victory.

While it’s true that Garoppolo will get the benefit of starter reps in practice this week, he’s going to need them given his opponent. In Week 3, the Niners will visit Denver. The Mile-High defense has been a gauntlet for opposing passers. In 2021, the Broncos gave up an average of just 15.2 fantasy points to quarterbacks, tied for third best in the league. So far, through two games, they’ve surrendered just 12.7. Led by a pernicious pass rush and with the lockdown, Pat Surtain lurking in the secondary, Denver is a tough place for quarterbacks to visit.

A look at the low 44.5 over/under is enough to reaffirm these concerns. Vegas doesn’t see a lot of scoring in this one, and I wholeheartedly agree. With injuries mounting in the Niner run game, look for Denver to utilize an aggressive game plan that takes away passing options and funnels the action to the depths of the ball carrier chart. This spells trouble for Jimmy G and the passing attack.

In Closing…

I thoroughly enjoyed bringing you this piece and would love to continue the conversation on quarterback start/sits. Please feel free to comment below or contact me @Spydes78 on Twitter. And also, stay tuned to @DynastyNerds for a steady pipeline of content from our eminently qualified staff to carry you through your season. If you like what you read, please consider becoming a subscriber to any of the elite tools that Dynasty Nerds has to offer. Make sure to use the promo code “SPYDES” to receive a 15% discount. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the grind!

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