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Changing the Call: Quarterback Start/Sits Week 3

Hey Nerds! Its time for another edition of changing the call. @dropthemikeFF is here with his start/sits for week 3.

Welcome in, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds have helped you throughout the NFL offseason preparing for the 2023 fantasy football season. Now that your teams are set, it is time to get to work and win some dynasty championships. Every week, our writers will help you with some of the tough decisions and give you insight that you can’t get anywhere else. I will be giving my quarterback start/sits every week to help you set your starting lineups.

Below is a list of all of our weekly positional articles.  Please follow us, tweet us, and DM us. We can’t wait to talk football with all of you nerds!

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

LAST WEEK

In Week 2, I started off hot and got one start and one sit prediction correct. For my starts, I went 1-1. Jordan Love continued his early season success against the Atlanta Falcons. Love finished the week with 151 yards passing and three touchdowns. He finished QB16 in standard scoring and QB10 in leagues with six points per passing TD. His point total would have had him at QB7 in Week 1. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong about Derrick Carr. Carr struggled mightily against the Carolina Panthers and finished as QB33.

For my sits, I was technically 2-0; more about that later. Justin Fields struggled most of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just like I expected. Fields started the game off strong but faded quickly while ending the week as QB20. My prediction of Anthony Richardson was technically correct since he finished as QB19. However, Richardson left the game with a concussion after scoring two touchdowns.

WEEK 3 STARTS

CJ Stroud, Texans QB25

Houston Texans rookie quarterback has had ups and downs in the first couple of weeks to start his NFL career. Stroud is QB19 through the first two weeks of the season. He took a major step forward in Week 2, scoring 21.5 points and finishing as QB13 in a week that saw 16 quarterbacks finish with more than 20 points. Against the Colts, Stroud led the NFL with 384 yards. He has found a favorite target in wide receiver Nico Collins, which he has thrown to 20 times so far this season.

This week, he faces division foe the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are 1-1 on the season. The Jaguars have a good defense. However, they are much more formidable against the run game than the passing game. The Jaguars are third in the NFL in points allowed to running backs in half-point PPR. So far this season, the defense is more of a pass-funnel offense. The defense is 27th in points allowed to the quarterback position through the first two weeks of the season. In a game where both defenses struggle against the pass, I have a feeling this game could easily turn into a shootout.

Besides finding a favorite target, Stroud has a lot of things going for him. In Week 2, Stroud was second in the NFL with 47 pass attempts. And even though I don’t believe he will throw that many passes this week, I do think the number of pass attempts will still be high. Stroud also had an impressive ADOT in Week 2 of 9.3 yards. Stroud will look to keep improving week to week during his rookie season. More specifically, if he can improve on his completion percentage and try to avoid being sacked, Stroud should be able to have a better performance than he did in Week 2.

His current Fantsypros ECR of QB25 is just too low.  The Jaguars will slow down an already struggling Texans run game, which will allow Stroud to have a good game. Stroud has the opportunity to be a top-18 QB but has the upside to finish as QB10-12 overall in Week 3.

Baker Mayfield, Buccaneers, QB20

Mayfield had more doubters than supporters coming into the season, and I was definitely worried about his fantasy value. Through the first two weeks of the season, Mayfield is QB14. So far, Mayfield is averaging 245 yards per game and has three total passing touchdowns. The Buccaneers, as an offense, are passing the ball 50.74%, which is only 26th in the NFL. Luckily, Mayfield has two All-Pro caliber wide receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to, to lean on when he needs a reliable target.

This week, Mayfield faces the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. Yes, the Eagles are talented on defense. However, they are not as strong against quarterbacks as many would assume. The Eagles are last in the league in points allowed to quarterbacks, averaging 26.85 PPG. They are very strong on the defensive line but have some weak spots in the secondary. Against the run, the Eagles are a strong tenth in the NFL. The Eagles will naturally force the Buccaneers to throw the ball more than they normally do, which could mean good things for Mayfield’s performance.

Mayfield is not a running quarterback, but he is mobile enough that he can be successful when he moves around the pocket and gives himself a little more time to throw the ball. Kirk Cousins was able to score 28.6 fantasy points in Week 2. If the Buccaneers get behind, which is likely, Mayfield could get a lot of fantasy points in an attempted comeback. Look for big plays as well. Mayfield is seventh in big-time throw % so far this season. Mayfield is a very strong SF option, but he is also a streaming option in 1QB leagues.

WEEK 3 SITS

Joe Burrow, Bengals QB15

Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have had some major struggles to start the NFL season. Burrow injured his calf during training camp and seemed to aggravate his injury in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens. After the first two weeks, he has been a disappointment, ranking as QB32. The Bengals need to have Burrow bounce back if he plays on Monday Night to get their season back on track after starting 0-2.

The Los Angeles Rams were supposed to struggle in 2023 but have had a 1-1 start to the season. Their defense has been strong, with both of their first two games being against divisional opponents. The Rams’ defense is ranked seventh in points allowed to quarterbacks. The Rams have Aaron Donald on the defensive line, who will look to attack the Bengals offensive line. The biggest challenge for the Rams will be stopping Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. With the over/under at 43.5, there’s a chance it’s a back-and-forth, low-scoring game.

Courtesy of Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

Burrow is looking to get his season back on track, but the Rams will do their best to not allow that to happen. He will not be able to get back on track due to the flow and low-scoring aspect of the game. Burrow will not be a starter option in 1QB leagues, and in SF leagues will only be a low-end option finishing between QB20-QB24.

Deshaun Watson, Browns, QB11

Watson has had a mixed bag of results so far in 2023. In Week 1, he finished as QB5. But when he has been bad this season, he has been very bad. In Week 2, he was very much off his game and finished as QB27. The Browns are now without running back Nick Chubb for the entire season. The loss of Chubb might be the worst thing to happen at the moment because the spotlight will now be on Watson. Will he be able to get back on track this week?

The Tennessee Titans are a team that is towards the bottom half of the NFL this season. The defense so far in 2023 has been one of the Titans’ strengths. The strength of the defense is the line, so if the defensive line can dominate the Browns offensive line, Watson could have a long game. The Titans are 16th in points allowed to the quarterback position. With Chubb out, the Titans have one less weapon to worry about. The Titans are the best team in the league against the run in fantasy points allowed to running backs. But with an over/under of 39.5, it will be hard for either quarterback to have a good fantasy performance.

Watson will need to be the star of the team for the Browns to win and for him to have a top-12 QB performance. I do not see that happening in this matchup. Watson will finish as an SF option, but for 1QB leagues, he will finish outside the to12 and closer to QB15.

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