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Start vs. Sit: Who to Play, Who to Bench Week 3

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.


Travis Wilson, QB, Utah (vs. Oregon State)

Utah's offense is off to a good start this season, though scoring 70 points against Weber State isn't all that impressive. Wilson has been the main driving factor of the high-scoring offense, . throwing for 566 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He has also run for 102 yards and two scores. Now the Utes get to play host to Oregon State. Sure, the Beavers only let up 14 points last week, but we are not that far removed from seeing them give up 49 points to Eastern Washington. It feels safe to bet on Wilson racking up fantasy points against Oregon State at home.

Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU (vs. Kent State)

Mettenberger was once a fairly highly touted recruit, but after a confluence of events he ended up at LSU, where he seems to finally be coming into his own. He was solid, but unspectacular, in a season-opening contest with TCU, but last week he threw for 289 yards and five touchdowns on a mere 19 passing attempts. That was against UAB, but Kent State isn't that much tougher, if at all. Mettenberger should have another big game.

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (vs. Nevada)

Yes, the hoopla around Winston before, and after, his college debut against Pittsburgh was probably a bit much. Nevertheless, he did complete 25-of-27 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns, adding a rushing touchdown for fun. Those numbers are inarguable. He is only a freshman, and he will have an off game or two, but it probably won't be against a Nevada team that gave up 58 points to UCLA. Now is the time to buy into Winston.

Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina (vs. Vanderbilt)

Davis, a sophomore, is usually mentioned in conjunction with Marcus Lattimore, but most of those mentions have been positive for Davis. He has only carried 28 times so far, but he's rushed for 264 yards and two scores in those carries. He has speed and is a big-play threat whenever he touches the ball. The opponents haven't been easy either, and last week at Georgia he rushed for 149 yards and a score on 16 carries and had four catches for 49 yards. This week he goes up against Vanderbilt. The Commodores are good, but they aren't Georgia, so Davis should be fine.

Fitzgerald Toussaint, RB, Michigan (vs. Akron)

Despite the presence of vaunted recruit Derrick Green, Touissant remains the main running back for the Wolverines. He hasn't rushed for 100 yards in a game yet this season, and last week he was held to 71 yards on 22 carries, though he did have a 31-yard reception. However, that game was against Notre Dame. This game is against Akron, one of the worst teams in the FBS. He scored two touchdowns in the season opener against Central Michigan. He could easily do that again against the Zips.

Jordan Parker, RB, MTSU (vs. Memphis)

Parker rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against Western Carolina was not really going to move the needle on him. But then the Blue Raiders traveled up to North Carolina, and Parker rushed for 109 yards and a score on 22 carries. That is a performance worth noting. Now, Parker and company welcome Memphis in that most heated of intrastate rivalries. If he can run well against the Tar Heels, he can do it against the Tigers, and he likely will.

Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado (vs. Fresno State)

Richardson doesn't just lead the FBS in receiving yards; he is more than 100 yards ahead of his closest competition after reeling in 417 yards in two games, with four touchdowns. Fresno State is a much more difficult opponent than either of Colorado's first two matchups, but Richardson doesn't have to surpass 200 yards for a third straight game to be worth a start. The Buffaloes have been down for a few years, but new coach Mike McIntyre turned San Jose State into a bowl team before coming to Colorado. He can weave magic, and maybe some of that is what has led to Richardson's dominating start.

Jordan Taylor, WR, Rice (vs. Kansas)

All we've seen from Rice's offense thus far is its Week 1 performance against Texas A&M, and it was a good game. Taylor, as expected, was Rice's top receiver, catching seven passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Playing visiting Kansas is a much easier matchup, so expect Taylor to be just as good as he was in the Owls' opener, and probably even better than that.

Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest (vs. Louisiana-Monroe)

Campanaro, who caught 79 passes for 763 yards and six touchdowns last season, missed the season opener with an injury. However, he returned last week on the road against Boston College, catching five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, while adding 10 rushing yards too. As he gets healthier, Campanaro should be a bigger part of the passing game, and a home game against Louisiana-Monroe is a palatable matchup as well.


Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina (vs. Virginia Tech)

Carden's numbers are impressive so far, sure. He has thrown for 638 yards and seven touchdowns in two games. However, 447 of those yards and five of those scores came against Old Dominion, a team transitioning to FBS. Last week against Florida Atlantic, another lowly team, he only managed 191 yards and two touchdowns. This week, he faces Virginia Tech, who gave Alabama's offense some trouble, especially the passing game. This is the first real test for Carden, and he is likely to have some issues with it.

Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada (at Florida State)

Even if you toss aside the game against UC Davis, Fajardo impressed against UCLA on the road in Nevada's opener, throwing for 164 yards and rushing 22 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Those are good numbers, but they aren't that great from a fantasy perspective. Florida State is as good, or better, on defense as UCLA is, so those numbers are probably the ceiling for Fajardo, which means there are superior fantasy options available.

Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn (vs. Mississippi State)

Auburn is running the ball really well this season, but Marshall hasn't been a big part of that. He also hasn't thrown the ball much either, as he has 246 yards and two touchdowns in two games. Additionally, the Tigers have faced two easy opponents, while now they have to face Mississippi State. The Bulldogs kept Oklahoma State in check in the season opener, which looks even more impressive after the Cowboys' points explosion in Week 2. Don't expect much of anything from Marshall this week.

James White, RB, Wisconsin (at Arizona State)

The Badgers have run the ball with ruthless efficiency this year, but they have also shared the wealth, which can limits the fantasy value of every running back, White included. Plus, Wisconsin has devoured cupcakes so far, which means early exits fro starters like White. Now, the Badgers have to face an Arizona State defense featuring Will Sutton. Expect White and friends to come down to Earth this week.

Storm Woods, RB, Oregon State (at Utah)

Oregon State's offense has been all about the passing game so far. Fortunately, in addition to being pretty much the Beavers' entire running game, Woods has been a big part of that passing attack, as he is second on the team with 15 receptions for 139 yards. That said, the opponents have been light, which Utah likely will not be, and the Beavers have to go on the road. Even if Woods remains a target in the passing attack, a big fantasy game is unlikely.

Andre Williams, RB, Boston College (at USC)

Williams has been the workhorse for Boston College, and last week he rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries. On top of that, everybody is having fun piling on good ol' USC after its loss to Washington State. However, USC's issues are on offense, not defense, where it did not let up a touchdown to the Cougars. USC can't score, but it can stop people from scoring, and this could be a reality check for Williams.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (at South Carolina)

Matthews was part of that great game in Week 1 against Ole Miss where, after a big hit, he vomited on the field but then came back and made a big catch. He also happens to be a very good receiver, as he has 289 yards and two touchdowns. The reason Matthews finds himself as a player to sit is because the Commodores visit South Carolina. Jadaveon Clowney may not be getting a sack on every player like some people apparently expected, but this is a very good defense that should keep Matthews' numbers down.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (vs. Alabama)

Evans is the primary target of Johnny Manziel, which is a good thing, as his 239 yards and two scores through two games indicate, and that's with Manziel missing half a game. This week is the big matchup between the Crimson Tide and the Aggies. Alabama had some questions in its first game, but those weren't on defense. Expect the Tide to limit Evan's production this week.

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