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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 3

Has the George Pickens era begun in Pittsburgh?!? @THEtristancook is here with Slant Pattern - Week 3 to help with your WR start/sit decisions!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the WR starts and sits for the 2023 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

QB: Mike Hicks (@dropthemikeff) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Flex on ‘Em

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it.

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.


Before we get into the recap of last week’s picks, let’s go over how I determine the success and failure of my picks:

  1. Regardless of whether I have a player listed as a start or sit, if they get injured during the game where it significantly impacts their fantasy output, it is ruled a no decision based upon injury.
  2. If a player finishes within a handful of spots of their ranking, either above or below, it is considered a push.
  3. My goal is always to get all my picks correct.

However, I consider above 50% a moderately successful week. Let’s get to it.

This week was a better week for me. My best calls were to ‘start’ George Pickens and Mike Evans. Evans had a monster week, finishing as the WR3. Pickens finished as the WR11. For my ‘sits,’ Garrett Wilson was also a ‘hit’ as he finished well below the WR15 ranking he had. My best ‘sit’ call was Jahan Dotson. He came into the week ranked as the WR26 but finished all the way down at WR80. My two ‘misses’ were having Michael Thomas as a ‘start’ and Drake London as a ‘sit.’ Thomas had a solid game but finished outside the top 40 receivers. Drake London bounced back in a nice way, finishing as the WR21. Overall, that’s four ‘hits’ and two ‘misses’ for the week. Let’s try to do better this week. Here we go…


DJ Moore, Bears – WR 30

Week 2 Stats | WR 25 | FPts: 16.4 | Tgts: 7 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 104 | TDs: 0

DJ Moore is my first ‘start’ for Week 3. We saw the Bears do a much better job getting Moore involved last week against the Buccaneers, and I expect that to continue. The Bears face off with Kansas City, who struggled against two players that profile somewhat similarly to DJ Moore in Amon-Ra St. Brown and Christian Kirk. I expect Chicago to create some easy completions and manufactured touches for Moore early in the game. We’ve seen how much Justin Fields struggles when he holds onto the ball, so I expect Fields to look to dump the ball off Quickly. I am firing up DJ Moore again this week with confidence.

George Pickens, Steelers – WR 23

Week 2 Stats | WR 11 | FPts: 22.7 | Tgts: 10 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 127 | TDs: 1

My second ‘start’ is a holdover from last week. George Pickens had a very nice performance for fantasy last week as he stepped in for the injured Diontae Johnson. Pickens was struggling before catching a pass for a 71-yard score. He outperformed his ranking last week, and I expect him to do so again this week against a porous Raiders defense. 

The most encouraging thing from Pittsburgh’s win last week was the 10 targets that Pickens received. He must be the focal point of this offense while Diontae Johnson is hurt. If you have Pickens, you’re very happy with what he was able to do on only four catches. Fire him up again this week.

Michael Thomas, Saints – WR 35

Week 2 Stats | WR 42 | FPts: 12.5 | Tgts: 9 | Rec: 7 | Yds: 55 | TDs: 0

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 05: Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) knocks New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) out of bounds on January 5, 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

My final ‘start’ is another holdover from Week 2. Despite being a ‘miss’ last week, I am going right back to the well with Michael Thomas and putting him in my lineups. The main reason for my confidence is his continued significant target share. As long as Michael Thomas gets peppered with targets, he’ll be in my fantasy lineups. His stat line from last week is more of a “floor” level performance. I don’t think we’ll ever see Thomas racking up any massive yardage totals, but I expect him to be a steady producer going forward.


DeAndre Hopkins, Titans – WR 27

Week 2 Stats | WR 62 | FPts: 8.0 | Tgts: 5 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 40 | TDs: 0

DeAndre Hopkins is my first ‘sit’ this week. You’ll often see a theme in my ‘sits,’ and this one is no exception. I usually try to shy away from receivers in tough one-on-one matchups or receivers with a concerningly low target share. DeAndre Hopkins fits both of those categories.

Hopkins is facing off against Denzel Ward and the very talented Cleveland defense this week. He also only received 5 targets last week against the Chargers. Coupling those two things with Tennessee being a run-first team, I’m staying away from Hopkins this week.

Jerry Jeudy, Broncos – WR 30

Week 2 Stats | WR 77 | FPts: 5.5 | Tgts: 5 | Rec: 3 | Yds: 25 | TDs: 0

INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 25: Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) during the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Rams on December 25, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

My next ‘sit’ is Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy doesn’t fit both categories like the aforementioned DeAndre Hopkins, but he received an alarmingly low amount of targets in his first game back last week. Saying the Denver Broncos have underwhelmed in 2023 is quite an understatement. But until we see more consistency from Russell Wilson, I’m holding off on all Broncos’ pass catchers if I can help it.

Chris Olave, Saints – WR 14

Week 2 Stats | WR 33 | FPts: 14.6 | Tgts: 11 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 86 | TDs: 0

Chris Olave is my final ‘sit’ of the week. This call ties into why I have Michael Thomas as a ‘start’ this week. I fully expect to see Jaire Alexander on Chris Olave for a significant portion of this game. There will still be some opportunities for Olave to catch passes, but WR14 is a lofty ranking considering the matchup. If you count on Olave each week, you might not have better options. But, I would comfortably plug in any of my ‘start’s for Olave this week. I think Derek Carr will gladly take what the defense gives him, and I expect that to be passes to Michael Thomas and not Chris Olave.

That’s it for Week 3. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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