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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: Quarterbacks

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Gardner Minshew
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX · QB
Miami Dolphins
2020 · 0-2-0

Gardner is like the Bryan Danielson of NFL quarterbacks. In that, if you just saw him walking down the street, you would figure he was a handyman or something, not one of the best in the world at what he does. And just like how Danielson eventually got over despite the odds stacked against him, Minshew is the same way. I mean, Gardner wasn’t even supposed to be an NFL quarterback. Gardner is an absolute pleasure to watch on the football field and he has the Jaguars playing some good football. He’s thrown for 500-plus yards and six touchdowns (with just two picks) in the first two games. His team could be 2-0 (though 1-1 seems like a miracle). And on TNF, he’s got the Dolphins, who have allowed 30+ points on average through the first two weeks of the season 

Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans TEN · QB
Minnesota Vikings
2020 · 0-2-0

Speaking of guys who have now broken through glass ceilings, let’s talk a little bit about Tanny. He was good last year, but it seemed a little bit of a fluke, right? Wait, just me? Sure. Just me. But Tannehill was like going to watch DC movies in the theater. You were so used to being disappointed, you never really had a lot of expectations. And then all of a sudden, they start turning out great flicks and you’re now asking yourself if this is just the new normal. I’m not sure Tannehill is this guy. But he’s been great the first two weeks of the season. He’s currently fourth in the NFL in EPA (expected points added). He’s tired for second in the NFL with six touchdown passes with no interceptions. Phil Rivers wasn’t able to exploit this matchup, though. But Tannehill actually has my confidence to get this done.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills BUF · QB
Los Angeles Rams
2020 · 2-0-0

This will likely be the last time Allen is listed in this space because he’s soon to join the ranks of the must-start fantasy quarterbacks, if he’s not there already. He (along with Gardner and Tannehill) have six touchdown passes on the season. Bills fans got mad at me when I pointed out that defensive coordinators don’t want to get beat by him on the ground, but turns out they are getting beat by him through the air. He’s completed more than 70% of his passes. He hasn’t turned the ball over. Josh is still a huge threat with his legs, obviously. But he’s shown to be an adept passer this early in the season. The Rams haven’t been easy on quarterbacks this year, allowing an average of just over 15 fantasy points per game to the position (seventh-fewest). I don’t care. I’m not benching Josh. Especially with the Rams playing back-to-back East Coast roadies. I mean, I feel like there is the possibility of the Josh Allen letdown game, but he’s been too good.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys DAL · QB
Seattle Seahawks
2020 · 2-0-0

Dan Quinn might never live down his team blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. But his Falcons sure gave it a go on Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys fumbled four times in the first quarter. Lost three. But then Dak engineered a 15-point comeback in the last five minutes of the game, thanks in no small part to a huge blunder by the Falcons special teams. Dak passed for 450 yards and rushed for three touchdowns to become the first player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards and three rushing TDs in a game. I hope he doesn’t feel the need to put fantasy managers in that big of a hole again. It was like watching the first season of Parks and Recreation, where you knew it was awful but realized there would be a payoff at the end. But the matchup against the Seahawks is great, as they have allowed nearly 30 points to quarterbacks in the small sample size of the first two weeks.

Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT · QB
Houston Texans
2020 · 0-2-0

Roethlisberger has been pretty good here in his return to the NFL as he ranks as the QB14. Which, yes, doesn’t make him a QB1 per say, but he’s averaging more than 20 fantasy points per game, so how about we just back off. He’s had at least two touchdown passes in both games and the Texans have allowed the fourth-most. I’m worried about the Texans. But at 0-2, this seems like a good get-back game for them. I’m still confident in starting Roethlisberger.

Sleeper: Joe Burrow and his 97 attempts (vs. Philadelphia Eagles); Mitchell Trubisky (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

Sit 'em

Carson Wentz
Philadelphia Eagles PHI · QB
Cincinnati Bengals
2020 · 0-2-0

It’s pretty bad for Carson Wentz right now. Most Eagles fans probably watched the game Sunday in stunned silence like many audience goers did when they saw Thanos snap his fingers at the end of Avengers Infinity Wars. And many probably just wanted to disappear. Wentz currently has a 64.4 passer rating, which is the second-worst in the NFL. Behind only Kirk Cousins (61.9). He’s completing less than 60% of his passes and ranks among the worst in that category. Jalen Hurts will obviously become a fascination for many Eagles fans, and look, as a Bears fan I feel your pain (even though you leave way too many videos of the Double Doink on my social media). I’m not trying to say Wentz is washed. But the Bengals have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. One of them was Tyrod Taylor, you’re right. But should Eagles fans even be making that point right now? No. So let’s take some time with some other quarterbacks right now.

Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons ATL · QB
Chicago Bears
2020 · 2-0-0

Seems weird to mention Ryan considering he has been amazing in the first two weeks of the season. But the Bears haven’t really reached their full potential defensively yet, and still they have allowed just one touchdown pass so far this season. Sure, D'Andre Swift dropped one, but they still have allowed only one. The Bears have allowed an average of 12 fantasy points per game to the position. And I understand there is still a chance that Ryan has a monster game here against the Bears because he’s proven to be one of the most consistent fantasy quarterbacks over the past decade.

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB · QB
Denver Broncos
2020 · 0-2-0

Brady has not played well in his history against the Broncos. And I understand, this is a completely different team. Tom is playing for a completely different team. But a lot of us took a leap of faith on Brady during the offseason. These are the best receivers he’s played with and all of that stuff. I do believe Brady can be a viable fantasy starter for you at some point this season. The numbers don’t lie, though. Brady has four picks in his last three games. He managed less than 10 points against the Panthers. If you can grab Gardner off the waiver wire, I wouldn’t hesitate to make that move. So this kind of goes against my heart, I’m sitting him.

Sam Darnold
New York Jets NYJ · QB
Indianapolis Colts
2020 · 1-1-0

Look. I know I’m saving the world here by keeping you from starting a guy you would probably never consider starting in the first place. And that’s fair. I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you just how great the Colts defense has been against quarterbacks this season, allowing an average of less than 10 fantasy points per game to the position. And if you’re too lazy to switch over the defenses, I feel you. Yes, stream the Colts D this week if you can. Wait, why am I trying to save you from a click on my Start/Sit defenses? I’m the worst.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter at @adamrank.

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