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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 3
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, Le'Veon Bell, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Johnson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Matthew Stafford

Stafford is facing a high-octane offense in a game with one of the highest point totals of the week.

Grab a Helmet

Matthew Stafford v. ATL – If you’re wary about rolling Stafford out against this stingy unit, it’s understandable. But if you drafted Stafford as your No.1 and are thinking about ditching him for a QB2 with a plus matchup, don’t do it. Facing the Atlanta defense isn’t normally a favorable matchup, but the Falcons lost their best pass rusher in Vic Beasley to a hamstring tear. Stafford has loads of capable receivers and can really push the pace of the game with Jim Bob Cooter’s no-huddle. The veteran is off to an excellent start with six TD passes to one INT, and the reason last week’s yardage totals were low was because the Lions didn’t need to throw in the second half against the hapless Giants. He’ll have to be up to the task if the Falcons get their passing game going, and my bet is he won’t disappoint in a game with the second highest point total (50.5) of the week.

Alex Smith @ LAC – Getting off Smith after his ho-hum Week 2 might be a mistake, because this is shaping up to be another Travis Kelce week with a higher dose of Tyreek Hill. The Chargers defense has solid pass rushers, but the secondary is in dire straits, losing Jason Verrett (no timetable) while he gets his knee healthy again. Smith just looks like a different quarterback this season, and the Chargers are a defense you like to hit with mismatches, which Kelce (size & speed combo) and Hill (speed and agility) provide. You want a called shot? Smith throws for 3+ TDs and 300+ yards on Sunday. I’ve got him ranked ahead of consensus rankings darlings like Philip Rivers and Jameis Winston (you’ll hear more about them later), Dak Prescott, Carson Palmer and Marcus Mariota.

Jay Cutler @ NYJ – Newsflash: The Jets are pretty bad, and the way to attack them is via their secondary. Cutler might need to use this game to explore some of these receiving weapons he’s inherited, and guys like DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry should have a field day in space against this group. There’s a possibility Jay Ajayi gets a massive number of touches, but I think plenty will come via the passing game in screen plays. Cutler also makes a fun GPP play in DFS contests, and is a worthwhile option for Mariota owners or the other aforementioned QBs. Julius Thomas makes an excellent red zone target, and should be used more between the 20s this week.

Grab a Clipboard

Philip Rivers v. KC – The Chiefs, even without Eric Berry, are a team that historically limits Rivers. He’s only thrown 5 TDs against the KC-D in their last six meetings. The Chiefs’ corners shouldn’t have too difficult a time covering this crew of one-offs, and I have a feeling that Melvin Gordon will be the workhorse they turn to because of it. This is the game your likely to play Rivers because his projected points are one or two more than your bench QB in a good matchup, and you regret it later. Don’t regret it later. If you get the feeling Rivers is a little too old and his Laserface won’t be able to stop the Chiefs from getting to him, follow your gut. If you’re convinced he’s the right play, don’t complain when he throws for 200-1-2.

Joe Flacco @ JAC – As Joseph Hutchins pointed out last week, Flacco is best used as a spot starter and in previous years, a matchup with Jacksonville would have been one of those spots. But the Jags bolstered their front seven, said goodbye to the quixotic DB Jonathan Cyprien and embraced the fact that they’re going to play some damn good pass defense if they were going to compete. They made some bold moves in free agency, picking up standouts like Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Barry Church. The linebackers are a blend of talented youth and grizzled vets, and in the first two weeks all these changes have shown them to be a formidable unit. Who were we talking about? Joe Flacco. Yeah, that’s kind of the point – it’s less about Flacco and more about the instinct to start players against the Jags, which may take some time to fight. Start fighting here and keep Flacco on your bench.

Jameis Winston @ MIN – Winston is right on the borderline of a QB1 in 12-team leagues, but he’s facing a strong defensive opponent on the road. There’s plenty to like about his upside most weeks, but the Sam Bradford-free Vikings are going to slow this game down and run a lot of successful mid-range plays, especially with the Bucs starting LB Kwon Alexander (questionable) dealing with a hamstring injury. Even if Bradford plays, I can’t imagine this contest turning into a shootout with an underrated Bucs defense likely limiting the Vikings-O, so I’m generally fading him in DFS lineups (outside of a few large-field GPPs) and looking for better options at for my starter in season-long.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers