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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.


PLAYERS TO START

Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M (vs. Nevada)
Allenís only problem so far, from a fantasy perspective, is that the Aggies havenít asked much from him just yet. Take, for example, last week, when he only threw 13 passes. The thing is, he completed 10 of those passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Nevada isnít likely to be a much bigger test than Ball State, but Allen has had three touchdowns in both of his games so far, and if he can do that again, there is fantasy value there even if his yardage totals are on the lower end.

Anu Solomon, QB, Arizona (vs. Northern Arizona)
Arizona has given up some points this season, but it hasnít been a problem, because they are averaging 43 points per game. Solomon has been a big part of that, throwing six touchdowns against zero interceptions. Northern Arizona isnít going to provide any sort of challenge to Solomon, so expect him to add to his numbers in a tasty matchup.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (vs. Tulsa)
Mayfield struggled early against Tennessee before leading the charge in the overtime win over the Volunteers. He did turn the ball over a couple times in the victory, but he could be forgiven due to his four touchdowns in a road contest against a tough defense. Tulsa has a potent offense of its own, but their defense is less of an obstacle, so Mayfield should be able to return home the conquering hero and have another big game.

DeíVeon Smith, RB, Michigan (vs. UNLV)
As they have trouble throwing the ball, the Wolverines turned to running the ball against Oregon State with quite a bit of success. Smith led the way, rushing for 126 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. UNLV is far from a challenging opponent, so Smith should have an even easier go of it this week, and since he has emerged as the lead running back for Michigan, it should be another nice outing for the junior.

Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern (vs. The Citadel)
The first week of the season, Georgia Southern was the team that was scheduled to be an easy win, and Breida rushed for 70 yards against West Virginia. Last week, against Western Michigan, things went a bit better, as he rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns. This week, Georgia Southern has scheduled the easy win, as they are playing The Citadel. You know Breida will be given the ball, this is a run-first, run-second, run-third kind of team, and Breida has shown he doesnít need a lot of carries to put up huge fantasy numbers.

Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana (vs. Western Kentucky)
Howard, the UAB refugee, has taken to Indianaís rushing game quite well. The first week of the season, he rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Last week, he couldnít find the end zone, but he rushed for 159 yards against Florida International. Western Kentucky has a spotty defensive record the last couple of years - take for example last weekís 41-38 win over Louisiana Tech - so they donít seem likely to slow Howard down. If he can just score a touchdown, which is a decent bet, heíll make a great addition to your fantasy lineup.

Bralon Addison, WR, Oregon (vs. Georgia State)
The Ducks are coming off a loss, but they have a great chance to bounce back against Georgia State. Even against Michigan State on the road, their offense didnít exactly sputter, especially Addison, who caught seven passes for 138 yards. If you can do that against the Spartans, the skyís the limit against Georgia State.

Canaan Severin, WR, Virginia (vs. William & Mary)
Lost amidst the craziness of the ending of the Notre Dame-Virginia game and Malik Zaireís injury was the fact that Severin had 11 catches for 153 yards. The Cavaliers have a tough early-season schedule full of unfavorable matchups, but this week they get a respite with a visit from William & Mary. This is a rare opportunity to get a good matchup to play Severin, though heís proven that he doesnít need an easy matchup to have an impressive outing.

Dominique Williams, WR, Washington State (vs. Wyoming)
After causing great consternation with their season-opening loss to Portland State, Wazzu bounced back in a win over Rutgers to ease concerns about the potency of their passing game. While Gabriel Marks is an obvious start, Williams is worth using in this matchup as well. Wyoming may be the worst team in the FBS and just gave up 48 points at home to Eastern Michigan. There should be nothing standing in the Cougarsí way, save for themselves.


PLAYERS TO SIT

Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn (at LSU)
This should feel fairly obvious, given the way the early season has gone for Johnson. Frankly, even based on preseason expectation for Auburnís new starter, giving him a play in Death Valley would have been sketchy. Then, Johnson went out and struggled mightily to begin the year, ad he even had some trouble with Jacksonville State. How can you trust Johnson in a vacuum at the moment, let alone at LSU?

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech (at Arkansas)
Mahomes has been on a tear so far, throwing for 786 yards and eight touchdowns while also adding two scores on the ground. However, those numbers were accumulated in outings against Sam Houston State and UTEP. Mahomes finally is leaving Lubbock, and playing a team that isnít from the Lone Star State, and he has to go up against Arkansas. Yes, the Razorbacks were just upset by Toledo, but it wasnít because they lost a shootout. Arkansas will be looking to bounce back, and their defense will finally give Mahomes an actual challenge.

Dane Evans, QB, Tulsa (at Oklahoma)
Tulsa is ninth in passing offense this season, but thatís measured in terms of yardage. Evans actually only has four passing touchdowns (and one rushing) to two interceptions. When you consider that those numbers were compiled against FAU (in an overtime game) and New Mexico, Evansí star dims a bit. This week the Golden Hurricane will face Oklahoma on the road. The Sooners should be able to keep Evans in check a bit, even if Tulsa finds itself behind and in need of throwing the ball.

Travis Greene, RB, Bowling Green (vs. Memphis)
Bowling Greenís offense has been impressive so far, but Greene has not been a big part of the success. The team is tops in the FBS in passing yards per game, but Greene only has four receptions for 17 yards. Meanwhile, heís carried the ball 27 times for 99 yards and a score. Teammate Fred Coppet has as many carries, but for nearly twice as many yards. Plus, Memphisí defense has been formidable under coach Justin Fuente. Greene would really have to turn things around for him to help any fantasy teams this week.

Tyler Rouse, RB, Boston College (vs. Florida State)
You may have seen Rouseís numbers, namely his five touchdowns through two games, and gotten excited. Heís done that while averaging 8.4 yards per carry, too. Thatís all great. It has also come against Maine and Howard. Itís time for reality to set in for Rouse and Boston College. They have to play Florida State this week, who are a little better than Howard. It could be a rude awakening for Rouse. Expect that yards per carry average to drop, perhaps significantly.

Joel Bouagnon, RB, Northern Illinois (at Ohio State)
Like Rouse, Bouagnon has five touchdowns through two games, but he also has a better track record and he plays in a Northern Illinois offense that has run roughshod over the MAC the last few years. However, like Rouse, Bouagnon is finally set to face his first real challenge of the season: the No. 1 team in the country. Bouagnon is probably looking forward to his conference schedule, but he has to get through this game first, and itís not likely to be pretty for him.

Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina (at Georgia)
Cooper has been OK so far, as heís notched 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. Thatís solid, if it isnít perhaps what people wanted when they drafted him. However, South Carolina has turmoil under center, as Connor Mitch is now injured. Additionally, a trip to Georgia is tougher than games against North Carolina and Kentucky. The Gamecocks may struggle to get the ball to Cooper, and when they do, the Bulldogs should keep him from finally having a breakout game.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt (at Iowa)
Pitt has problems on offense. They are currently averaging just over 156 yards per game through the air. They are using two quarterbacks because, as the old adage goes, they donít really have one. James Conner is hurt. All this leaves questions about those around Boyd, if not Boyd himself. He has 11 catches, but they have only gone for 95 yards with no touchdowns. Iowa will be far and away the most difficult opponent the Panthers have played so far. We may not think of them as great, but thatís also what we should be thinking about Pittís passing game.

Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers (at Penn State)
Carroo has three touchdowns, but they all came against Norfolk State. Against Washington State at home, hardly a tough matchup, he only had four catches for 52 yards, though he missed the first half due to an off-the-field issue. A road trip to Penn State would have been an even greater challenge, but Carroo has been suspended indefinitely due to an assault after the WSU game. He definitely has talent, but until he gets his act together, heís not going to have much fantasy value this season.