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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 3

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We look at 49ers and Seahawks for Week 3, as well as other options around the league.

The San Francisco 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks this coming Sunday, kicking off at 1:05 p.m. PT. There are a lot of AM games, but you will still have some roster decisions to make as the PM games approach.

The sample size for fantasy football decisions and projections is slowly growing. Two weeks is not enough time to make many decisions if your big names are struggling, but you can start to consider some trends. Todd Gurley is struggling, but odds are pretty good he will bounce back. Arian Foster on the other hand suffered a groin injury, and it is safe to say you can expect more injuries from him.

We’re back with some start/sit advice as you work on lineup preparations for Week 3.


49ers-Seahawks: Normally this would be an easy call. Sit Blaine Gabbert, start Russell Wilson. While I would still say sit Gabbert, the Wilson call is a tougher one. My instinct is to sit him. He’s got the ankle issue, and if you’ve got a decent backup option, it might be worth it. He could do OK, but I think Seattle leans more on Christine Michael. Start: Neither; Maybe start: Russell Wilson; Sit: Blaine Gabbert

Other starts: The Raiders are giving up yardage at a record rate through two weeks. I don’t think it lasts forever, but while it does, Marcus Mariota is a good start ... Dak Prescott has plenty of rookie issues, but the Bears are baaaaaad. Go with the quality matchup ... I think we see a bounce back week at home against the Rams from Jameis Winston after his poor Week 2 in Arizona.

Other sits: The Giants are doing some big things, and that defense could be trouble for Kirk Cousins ... I suppose Alex Smith might bounce back after a bad week, but this Chiefs-Jets game looks a little funky to me.

Running Backs

49ers-Seahawks: Given the 49ers QB questions, and Wilson’s ankle injury, this could be a battle of the running backs. Hyde had a poor performance last week, with 34 yards and a fumble. You have to stick with him for now. Michael has been splitting carries the first two weeks, but with Rawls a big question mark for Sunday, look for Michael to get a huge workload. Start: Carlos Hyde, Christine Michael; Sit: Everybody else

Other starts: Injuries make for all kinds of options this week. Theo Riddick gets the start with Ameer Abdullah out, and will be a solid option against Green Bay, particularly in PPR leagues ... I would avoid Minnesota, but if you have to start one of the Adrian Peterson replacements, Jerick McKinnon is the better option ... Atlanta has a great matchup this week against the Saints porous defense. I think both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman could do some things.

Other sits: The Dolphins have not named a starter, but Jay Ajayi is likely going to get that nod. However, I wouldn’t touch him. Kenyan Drake is the guy to look to long-term, but neither is worth a start this weekend ... Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard are tough to figure out, and I suggest just staying away from both if at all possible ... Washington is going to have a tough time against the Giants, so if you have alternatives to Matt Jones, consider them.

Wide Receivers

49ers-Seahawks: The wide receivers are not good in this one. Doug Baldwin is the best of the bunch, and he’s dealing with a knee injury. He is expected to play, but he is not exactly a great start this week. Tyler Lockett holds some value as well, but again, more as a flex if you’re dealing with injury issues. On the 49ers side, Torrey Smith is the best wide receiver, and did manage a touchdown on 55 yards last week. But I just don’t think you can justify playing him just yet. Start: None; Maybe start: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett; Sit: Everybody else

Other starts: Take advantage of that Raiders defense and give rookie Tajae Sharpe a start this weekend ... Speaking of rookies, I’m high on Sterling Shepard, and think he’s worth a start against Washington ... The Chargers offense is doing some impressive work, and Tyrell Williams appears to have the best shot at attempting to replace Keenan Allen. He should keep it up against a porous Colts defense.

Other sits: I don’t really like the Chiefs matchup against the Jets, and would be inclined to sit Jeremy Maclin. The Eagles are off to a strong start, but I feel like they’ll hit a wall against Pittsburgh, particularly rookie QB Carson Wentz. Give Jordan Matthews a seat this week ... People are suggesting Terrelle Pryor, but with Cody Kessler getting the start for Cleveland, I wouldn’t touch that situation with a ten-foot pole.

Tight Ends

49ers-Seahawks: Vance McDonald has a touchdown in each of the 49ers first two games. If this were a bye week and you had a Jordan Reed or Greg Olsen missing the week, sure, maybe you roll the dice. But with two catches in Week 1 and one catch in Week 2, it’s gonna be boom or bust with Vance. Jimmy Graham is off to a slow start after recovering from his torn patellar tendon. I only recommend him as a maybe given his history. It’s not a strong maybe. Start: None; Maybe start: Jimmy Graham; Sit: Everybody else

Other starts: I think the Steelers will do some good things against the Eagles, and Jesse James should build on his Week 2 step forward ... Jacob Tamme has emerged as a big presence for the Falcons, and he gets a money matchup against the Saints ... Dennis Pitta came out of nowhere last week for only the second 100-yard performance of his career. He gets a solid matchup at Jacksonville this week.

Other sits: It’s safe to say the Gary Barnidge bandwagon has gone off the rails. Maybe Cody Kessler looks to him as a safety blanket, but I’m not expecting much in Cleveland ... The Chargers might be without Antonio Gates who has missed a couple practices. Might want to look for alternatives this weekend.