Well, what a week that was? Week 2 was a bloodbath of injuries. Studs like Saquon Barkley(torn ACL), Christian McCaffrey(high ankle sprain), and Courtland Sutton(torn ACL) all went down with significant injuries, which in turn causes you to make significant changes to your lineups. Never has the waiver wire been such an important resource this early in the season than it is now. Most likely, the immediate replacements – Mike Davis in Carolina, Devonta Freeman/Dion Lewis in New York – were the hot commodities, but don’t bypass their backups, too. It might be a good idea to be one step ahead of your leaguemates and grab them right now before it’s too late. It’ll be money well spent.
In case you missed last week, each week during the 2020 season, I will preview every game in the NFL and give you my thoughts on each matchup. Below you will find my template I use to determine who you should feel confident starting, or who you might want to consider holding off on the bench this week.
Start with confidence – Great matchup
Temper expectations – Matchup isn’t the best, but talent will help produce
Look elsewhere – Bad matchup
Bust potential – Tough matchup. Could get phased out due to game script
Hopefully, you will find it helpful when you have to make those tough start/sit calls. Also, one other thing, I will give a quick breakdown underneath each section as to my reasons for making those calls. Use it as you wish!
Ok, time for me to shut up. Let’s take a look at Week 3.
Early Games – Sunday, 1p

49ers @ Giants
Start with confidence
49ers: None
Giants: None
If Saquon were healthy, he’d be here. Kittle was ruled out on Friday. Nothing to see here.

Temper expectations
49ers: 49ers WRs, Jordan Reed
Giants: Giants WRs, Evan Engram
Both the Giants and 49ers defenses are tough matchups for tight ends and wide receivers. If Deebo Samuel were healthy, he’s the only you’d feel confident playing this week. But, since he’s not, and with Nick Mullens at quarterback, it’s hard to get excited about starting any Niner wide receiver. Engram, Slayton, and Golden Tate should all see more work this week with Saquon gone, but this is still a tough matchup that very well could disappoint.

Look Elsewhere
49ers: Nick Mullens, 49ers RBs
Giants: Giants RBs
This game just doesn’t have a lot of good fantasy options for this week. Hopefully, you didn’t have high hopes for Dion Lewis or Devonta Freeman.

Bust potential:
49ers: None
Giants: Daniel Jones
Jones had a rough outing last week and it could be the same this week. Even without Nick Bosa and Richard Sherman, the 49ers are still a formidable defense that is certainly capable of shutting down Danny Dimes. Jones is a risky play, even at home.

Washington @ Browns
Start with confidence
Washington: Logan Thomas, Terry McLaurin/Steven Sims
Browns: Odell Beckham, Jr/Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield
This looks like a good game to trust Baker and his pass catchers. McLauring is a solid WR2 this week, and Sims you can play as an upside flex/WR4. Logan Thomas has a chance to be a sneaky TE option in this game.

Temper expectations
Washington: Dwayne Haskins
Browns: Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt
If Dwayne Haskins were better, he’d be a plug-and-play this week. But he’s in this slot because he just hasn’t looked like the franchise QB Washington hoped he’d be. The combination of Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt will produce in good matchups, but this is a tough test against Washington’s formidable front seven. Still start them, but lower your expectations this week.

Look Elsewhere
Browns: Austin Hooper
I just don’t like how he’s been used so far and he’s probably the 4th/5th option for the Browns offense. I think I’d actually rather start Logan Thomas this week.

Bust potential
Washington: Antonio Gibson
Gibson looks like he’s the Washington running back to own in fantasy, but the Browns are one of the worse matchups against RBs and Gibson hasn’t shown that he has anywhere close to matchup-proof.

Bengals @ Eagles
Start with confidence
Bengals: Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon
Eagles: Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz/Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson
Tyler Boyd is the only Bengal I trust this week. Mixon is just too talented to bench and it’s possible the Eagles are without Fletcher Cox, which bodes well for the Bengals offensive line to create some holes for Mixon. As for the Eagles, I think is a game they get back on track. Start all of them in a plus matchup.

Temper Expectations
Bengals: Joe Burrow, AJ Green
Eagles: None
Burrow showed last week that he’s ready for primetime. He gets ten days to prepare for this game, but the Eagles are a desperate team at home. You can still play Burrow if you want, but it could get out of hand. As for AJ Green, the peripheral stats are there, but it just hasn’t panned out yet. I don’t think this is the game it does.

Look Elsewhere
Bengals: Drew Sample, Tee Higgins/John Ross
Eagles: None
In time, I think Sample will be a guy to trust each week. I love his upside with Burrow throwing him the ball. The Eagles are a solid matchup for tight ends through the first two weeks, but we need to Sample command a target share before we start to trust him each week.

Bust potential
Bengals: Joe Mixon
Eagles: None
I put Mixon here too, in the event that this game gets out of hand and the Bengals are forced to throw a lot. If that happens, I think Giovanni Bernard will see more work, unfortunately.

Raiders @ Patriots
Start with confidence
Raiders: Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller
Patriots: Cam Newton
Chris Carson had a solid game last week against the Patriots defense(who just don’t look as potent as last year), and I think Jacobs could have similar production in this game and vulture a score or two. It was clear last week, Darren Waller is the top option in the Raiders passing attack and Cam looks as healthy as ever. Start him this week.

Temper Expectations
Raiders: Derek Carr
Patriots: Sony Michel, N’Keal Harry
Carr you can start as a high end QB2, but I want to see him string a few solid games together before I trust him each week. Sony may find the endzone this week, but he’s good for his usual 10 carries, 50 yard-game. And I liked what I saw from Harry last week, but let’s see him do it again.

Look Elsewhere
Raiders: Bryan Edwards
Patriots: Rex Burkhead
Edwards saw a couple of targets last week, but he’s not ready for a bigger role yet. And Rex Burkhead should really just be on your waiver wire.

Bears @ Falcons
Start with confidence
Bears: Allen Robinson, Mitchell Trubisky, David Montgomery
Falcons: Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley/Julio Jones(if he plays. He’s a game time decision)/Russell Gage, Hayden Hurst
I love ARob, Mitch, and DMont this week against the Falcons defense, who haven’t missed a beat in terms of being awful. Start them as a WR1, low-end QB1, and low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Ridley is the WR1 overall through the first two weeks of the season and should be played each week. Hurst can make it consecutive games of TE1 production this week. The Bears have yielded 18.10 points to TE’s through the first two weeks.

Temper Expectations
Bears: Anthony Miller, Tarik Cohen
Falcons: Todd Gurley
After Miller had double digit points in Week 1, he threw up a dud in Week 2 with zero points and no targets. Not what you were hoping for after a solid opening weekend performance, so you’d have to view him as a boom/bust WR4, while Tarik Cohen seems like will find some work this week. He can be played as a risky flex option, and Todd Gurley seems like he needs a touchdown to be relevant.

Look Elsewhere
Bears: Jimmy Graham
Graham was once a “set and forget” play each week. Those days are long gone.

Rams @ Bills
Start with confidence
Rams: Robert Woods/Cooper Kupp
Bills: Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs/John Brown
Josh Allen is only second behind Russel Wilson in QB points scored per game at 31.3/game. Start him as a QB1 until further notice. Diggs and John Brown have benefited from Allen’s progression and both are weekly starting options at this point. Kupp can be trusted as a high-end WR2 this week and should see good work out of the slot with Robert Woods being locked down by Tre’Davious White.

Temper Expectations:
Rams: Jared Goff, Tyler Higbee
Bills: Devin Singletary
The Bills defense is just a tough matchup against QBs in general, giving up 17.6 points against the position so far. Still start Goff, but lower expectations. As for Higbee, don’t expect a three-touchdown performance again.

Bust potential
Rams: Darrell Henderson/Malcolm Brown, Robert Woods
It could be two weeks in a row where Robert Woods is slowed down through the air, as he will most likely be shadowed by all-pro corner Tre’Davious White. However, he found the endzone last week on the ground, so keep an eye on how Sean McVay will look to get him involved. With Cam Akers out, Henderson and Malcolm Brown will lead the Rams backfield, but both could disappoint in this one. I prefer Henderson as the one you play, but only as a low-upside flex.

Texans @ Steelers
Start with confidence
Texans: None
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Juju Smith-Schuster/Diontae Johnson, James Conner
Big Ben looks he hasn’t missed a beat since his season was cut short in 2019 in Week 2. This is a nice matchup this week and he can be played as a QB1. Juju and Diontae Johnson should eat again in this matchup and James Conner you can start as an RB2 this week.

Temper expectations
Texans: DeShaun Watson, Brandin Cooks/Will Fuller
Steelers: None
Watson has had flashes of his dynamic ability, but his offensive line just can’t protect him well enough to make enough plays. This Steelers pass rush will not help this week and Watson should be viewed as a low-end QB1. The target share between Cooks and Will Fuller hasn’t truly established itself all that much yet, but that will change as the season treks along. Both are risky WR3 starts this week, but if you have a better option, then I’d go with that one.

Look Elsewhere
Texans: Texans TEs, Kenny Stills/Randall Cobb
Steelers: Eric Ebron
Jordan Akins has the established himself as the go-to option at TE, but this is not a week to trust him. Still and Cobb are just deep bench options at this point. And Ebron hasn’t had the role we all hoped. He’s tough to trust this week.

Bust potential
Texans: David Johnson
The Steelers front seven is still one of the most elite in the game and is a tough matchup for any RB. Johnson can be started as a mid to low-end RB2, but don’t be surprised if he throws up another dud.

Titans @ Vikings
Start with confidence
Titans: Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis
Vikings: Dalvin Cook
What has happened to the Vikings defense? Perennially, a difficult matchup for any team, they have been shredded in the early part of 2020. Now, a red hot Titans team at 2-0 comes to the Twin Cities looking to make it 3 for 3. Start Tannehill, Henry, and Davis in this one. Eventually, Dalvin Cook will have a breakout game, but it might not be this one. Still, you’re not benching him.

Temper expectations
Titans: Jonnu Smith
Vikings: Adam Thielen/Justin Jefferson
Jonnu Smith had a breakout game last week, but this matchup presents a much stiffer test. Despite Minnesota’s defense being a sieve, they still lock down tight ends like they’ve done; only yielding 6.2 points thus far. Adam Thielen was slowed down last week after a solid Week 1 outing, and he could be slowed again in this one. Consider Thielen a WR2 this week, with Jefferson a WR4.

Look Elsewhere:
Vikings: Kirk Cousins, Bisi Johnson Kyle Rudolph
This is not the week to trust Kirk Cousins. Both Johnson and Rudolph can be left on the bench or waivers.

Late Games, Sunday 4:05p, 4:25p, 8:20p

Panthers @ Chargers
Start with confidence
Panthers: DJ Moore, Robby Anderson
Chargers: Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler/Joshua Kelley, Mike Williams/Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry
It’ll be at least four weeks until we see Christian McCaffrey again as he nurses a high ankle sprain – seemingly crushing the hopes of fantasy owners where owned. DJ Moore and Robby Anderson are the only ones you can truly trust at this point. As for the Chargers, start every skill position player you own. By the way, Justin Herbert has the look of a franchise quarterback.

Temper expectations
Panthers: Mike Davis, Curtis Samuel
Let’s see how Mike Davis is utilized this week and what kind of role Samuel will have before we consider starting both of them. This is not the matchup to test the waters.

Look elsewhere
Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater, Ian Thomas
Where was that Ian Thomas breakout season we were all expecting? It’s disappointing.

Jets @ Colts
Start with confidence
Colts: Jonathan Taylor, TY Hilton/Michael Pittman, Phillip Rivers
Taylor looks fits perfectly in that Colts system and looks like a potential fantasy stud. Start him in every matchup moving forward. The Jets are just not good, so I think Rivers and his wide receivers can have success this week.

Temper expectations
Jets: Sam Darnold
Colts: Colts TEs
As talented as Darnold is, it is a damn shame that he has Adam Gase as his head coach. He deserves better. Darnold has no one to throw to at this point. Mo Alie-Cox shined last week, and I hope Frank Reich realizes that he should be the TE1 moving forward. I am not sure what they see in Jack Doyle.

Look Elsewhere
Jets: All Jets skill position players
Colts: Nyheim Hines
This seems like a game where Taylor goes off for 25+ points, leaving Hines to be phased out by positive gamescript. As for the Jets, well…. all you need to know is that Braxton Berrios will be their WR1 again this week. Enough said.

Cowboys @ Seahawks
Start with confidence
Cowboys: Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, Cowboys WRs
Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett
As was the theme last week with the Cowboys, it repeats itself this week. Seattle yields the most points to quarterbacks through the first two weeks of the season. My recommendation is to start every player you own from this game.

Lions @ Cardinals
Start with confidence
Lions: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones
Cardinals: Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Kenyan Drake
Kenny G returns, which is good news for Matthew Stafford. He should see his normal workload and be a borderline WR1 in this matchup. Marvin Jones can be a WR2 this week, but more likely a steady WR3. Start all three top options for Arizona until further notice.

Temper expectations
Lions: Matthew Stafford, TJ Hockenson, Lions RBs
Just not a good matchup this week for Hockenson against a Cardinals defense who has done a complete a 360 against the tight end position this year. I think Hock can give you 10-12 points this week. As for Stafford, he’s disappointed in back to back weeks, but I don’t think it lasts all year long.

Look Elsewhere
Cardinals: Dan Arnold, Larry Fitzgerald
Fitz is just a desperation play if you’re short-handed and Arnold is trending toward needing a touchdown to be relevant.

Buccaneers @ Broncos
Start with confidence
Buccaneers: Chris Godwin/Mike Evans, Tom Brady
Broncos: Noah Fant
Godwin sat out last week with a concussion, but should step right in and command his normal target share. Evans had a nice game last week, going 7/104/1. And Brady will continue to have upside QB1 potential the more he gets to know his weapons. Fant is shaping up to be a weekly starting option, and he’s only in this spot because Denver is light on receivers.

Temper expectations
Buccaneers: Bucs RBs
Broncos: Melvin Gordon
For the Bucs RBs, is it Fournette or RoJo? Most likely, it’s Fournette, but let’s see how this game shakes out. Melvin Gordon is the workhorse for the Broncos, but this is a stout Tampa front seven. Don’t expect a big game from Gordon. Consider him an RB2/3 in this one.

Look Elsewhere
Buccaneers: Bucs TEs
Broncos: Jeff Driskel, Jerry Jeudy
Arians came out this week and said Gronk is their…. blocking tight end? Ok Bruce. Drew Lock is out, so Jeff Driskel steps in to supplant him, but this is not the matchup to stream him. And Jerry Jeudy steps in as the WR1 in Denver with Sutton done for the year, but he is a game time decision. I’d look for other options.

Packers @ Saints
Start with confidence
Packers: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones
Saints: Alvin Kamara
Both Aaron’s should produce as a QB1 and RB1, respectively, this week. Both have started off in impressive fashion and should continue this week.

Temper expectations
Packers: Packers WRs
Saints: Drew Brees, Tre’quan Smith
Davante Adams is doubtful in this contest, so don’t count on him this week. If Adams is out, that usually means a heavier workload for Aaron Jones, so we will see which Packers’ WRs will step up this week. I’d put my money on Allan Lazard and start him as a WR3 if you wish. On the other hand, Drew Brees just doesn’t look like Drew Brees right now, but he’ll get back to normal soon…. right?

Look Elsewhere:
Saints: Jared Cook
Cook is hit or miss each week depending on the matchup and is the third option after Kamara and Tre’quan Smith. It’s difficult to trust him on a weekly basis, but I could see him finding the endzone this week.