I’ve rebranded the classic fantasy football start sit column into “Roasts & Ghosts”. A roast is a player who is not only a clear start, but is in for a monster game. A ghost meanwhile is a player who could just be a typical sit, but also might be a star player who gives you less than you were expecting. I have a roast and a ghost for each position to help you set your best lineups for Week 3.
Not gonna lie, it’s been a bumpy start to the year for me. I’ve gotten really good at picking roasts as ghosts and vice versa. Last week’s call to fade Derek Carr didn’t look so good but at least T.J. Hockenson and Mike Williams pulled through. Praise be Mike Williams.
Let’s get into Week 3.
Roast: Daniel Jones vs Atlanta Falcons
Raise your hand if you had Daniel Jones as a top-5 fantasy quarterback two weeks into the season. Put your hand down you liar. No one saw this start to the year for Jones, who’s averaging 25.4 points per game. What might be an even crazier stat is that only Lamar Jackson has score more non-passing fantasy points than Jones. The New York Giants’ QB is averaging 11.1 points per game without even throwing the ball. That’s a pretty rushing floor right there.
Jones now gets to play against the Falcons who are allowing the most fantasy points to QBs to start the year (29.05 per game). This is a total smash spot for the third-year quarterback who’s trying desperately to assure the Giants they don’t need to draft a new signal caller. Fire him up with top-6 upside this week.
Ghost: Patrick Mahomes vs Los Angeles Chargers
This might go down as one of those “good at picking roasts as ghosts and vice versa” I mentioned at the top of the article. That being said, this Chargers’ defense did just come off of holding Dak Prescott to just 237 yards passing, no touchdowns, and picked him off once. Only the Buffalo Bills have started the season allowing fewer points to QBs.
I have Mahomes ranked as my QB6 this week which obviously is not a huge step down from the QB1 spot he normally lies. Still, LA’s defense is healthy and making plays all over the field. They’re a top-15 defense per NEFF rating and have allowed the fifth-fewest receiving fantasy points this year. Just don’t go building DFS lineups around Mahomes this week.
Roast: Melvin Gordon/Javonte Williams vs New York Jets
Am I picked both Denver Broncos’ running backs to cover my booty in case one of them doesn’t live up to the title of Roast? Maybeeeeee. But really, I’m picking both because I think both can feast against the Jets’ run defense.
The Broncos’ backfield has been almost a perfect slip in touches through two weeks. Gordon, the veteran, is averaging 14.5 touches per game while Williams, the rookie, is averaging 13.5. Meanwhile, the Jets’ run defense has given up the fifth-most points to RBs and the unit ranks in the bottom 10 in NEFF rating. The reliable work both backs are seeing to start the year is plenty for them to both post strong fantasy outings in Week 3.
Ghost: Antonio Gibson vs Buffalo Bills
It’s been a tough start to the for Gibson managers after an off-season of hype. While the second-year back is getting the bulk of the ground game, J.D. McKissic is still syphoning receiving work away. Even if Gibson was getting all the backfield touches, this would be a tough matchup for him to produce as the RB1 you drafted him to be.
The Bills’ run defense has given up only 108 yards rushing and no touchdowns through 2 games. They boast the second-best run defense (per NEFF), tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only the Carolina Panthers are allowing fewer fantasy points to RBs to start the year. All-in-all, it’s not looking good for Gibson managers this week.
Bonus Ghost: Alvin Kamara vs the “We Take Away Your Best Player” New England Patriots.
Roast: Ja’Marr Chase vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Remember when we were all in a panic about Ja’Marr Chase because he didn’t rip up the preseason and dropped a few balls? Remember that? Boy, that was a waste of time.
Chase has opened the year looking every bit the WR1 the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him to be. He leads the team in receiving yards (155), 20+ yard receptions (2), and touchdowns (2, tied with Tee Higgins). He’s the Bengals’ big-play receiver, as evidenced by his team-leading 18.1 average depth of target (aDOT). Good news for Chase managers, the Steelers are giving up the third-most catches and the fifth-most yards to the position to start the year. Chase feels destined for at least one 40+ yard touchdown this game.
Ghost: Amari Cooper vs Philadelphia Eagles
Amari Cooper ghosting fantasy managers isn’t anything new as he literally just did it last week against the Chargers. (I should know, I started him with feverish excitement.) His 3 catches for 24 yards was only made worse by the rib injury he sustained late into the game. Lucky for the Dallas Cowboys, Cooper, and fantasy managers, the team doesn’t play until Monday night, giving Cooper as much time as possible to recover.
Even without the injury, a matchup against the Eagles is not an easy one. Their pass defense (ranked eighth per NEFF) has allowed the fewest fantasy points to the position this year. Philly held Calvin Ridley to 51 yards on 8 targets and slowed down a red-hot Deebo Samuel last week. CeeDee Lamb has started the year as Dak Prescott’s top target (24 to Cooper’s 22) and leads the Cowboys in air yards (223). In a tough matchup, with Cooper nursing an injury, I think Dak looks Lamb’s way often again, leaving Cooper mangers out in the cold.
Roast: Kyle Pitts vs New York Giants
Happy Kyle Pitts Week everyone! Yes, that rookie tight end I told you all off-season to draft high is about to live up to his billing this week. Pitts’ slow start to the year hasn’t been because of lack of trying. He’s the Falcons’ second-most targeted receiver and is only 10 yards behind Calvin Ridley in receiving yards (104 to 114). What’s been missing is a juicy matchup to take full advantage against. Queue the Giants.
through 2 games, the giants have allowed to tight ends:
-t-2nd most tgt (21)
-t-2nd most rec (16)
-5th most yds (149)
-t-2nd most tds (2)
KYLE PITTS WEEK IS HERE BABY pic.twitter.com/Q7a4uLBZLu
— pete astronaut aboard the pitts-8 rocket rogers (@petemrogers) September 23, 2021
The Giants gave up 62 yards to Noah Fant in Week 1 and 66 yards and a touchdown to the combo of Logan Thomas and Ricky Seals-Jones in Week 2. I’m betting Pitts finishes the game with 80 yards and a touchdown which would instantly put him among the TE elites for Week 3.
Ghost: Mike Gesicki vs Las Vegas Raiders
You can treat Gesicki as just a classic sit at this point. The Miami Dolphins will be without Tua Tagovailoa this week, meaning Jacoby Brissett will start. While Gesicki did see six targets last week with Brissett playing most of the game, he only turned those into 3 catches for 41 yards. The Raiders have been one of the best defenses against tight ends to start the year, allowing just 56 yards total to the position. I’m not putting a lot of faith in this Dolphins’ passing game this week and neither should you.