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Key Starters and Tough Calls - Week 3 Lineup Spotlights for Fantasy Football Include Kendre Miller, Alexander Mattison, Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Alexander Mattison - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Welcome back, RotoBallers, to my Week 3 Lineup Spotlights - Key Starters and Tough Calls for fantasy football. Every week, I share some of my favored players to go with when dealing with challenging lineup decisions. These choices are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a discount and get access to my ranks in all formats, plus a full roster of tools and analysis for the 2022 fantasy football season.

We feature players that you should lean to in tough calls, and guys who may exceed expectations this week are also highlighted, so you can feel even more confident about starting them. Skill position analysis here is based on my PPR rankings.

When considering each player for your lineup, also consult our fantasy football rankings to see exactly where they are positioned when compared to your other possible lineup choices.

Be sure to also check our other Week 14 fantasy football waiver wire pickups articles:


Running Backs – Fantasy Football Week 3

Kendre Miller

In Week 3, Tony Jones rushed for two touchdowns against the Panthers. The pair of end zone visits made him into a seemingly viable waiver wire pickup for Week 3. Fantasy football players naturally gravitate to a guy coming off a quality performance when entering their free agent bids for the week.

Yet those two TDs were the first-ever for Jones early in his fifth NFL season. He has averaged only 2.7 yards per carry in his career and Jones is more of a desperation depth RB for the Saints. Miller has recovered from a hamstring injury and is set to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Bears.

The rookie has potential promise that Jones lacks, and even if the two share reps, Miller can produce more on his touches. He is a power runner who will battle for yards, and he will certainly challenge the Chicago defense in ways that Jones just cannot.  The Chicago defense ranks 27th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to RBs, so take advantage of the matchup and pop Miller into your lineup as a flex option or injury replacement.

Javonte Williams

The second-year man has made an admirable recovery from two torn knee ligaments. Williams has not done much to stir extra optimism from those who roster him in fantasy football yet this season. But this should be a week when he at least provides a satisfying fantasy performance that can help you win, or Williams will complement the top producers on the roster well enough.

Williams has averaged 48 rushing yards per game in the first two weeks of the 2023 season. He has played on 45 percent of the snaps in each of those games. More snaps are very possible this week, and I am certainly optimistic about improved rushing yardage totals. The Broncos must establish the run game against Miami in their attempts to control the clock and set up play-action opportunities for Russell Wilson.

The Dolphins rank 29th in rushing yards allowed to RBs and have given up three rushing TDs in the first two games. The Broncos are desperate for a win and will stay in the game for a while. The Denver-Miami matchup has the second-highest projected total of the week at 48 points. Start Williams in an RB2 or flex spot this week for respectable production.

Raheem Mostert

In the same game, look for Mostert to make even more statistical noise than his Denver counterpart. When healthy, Mostert is an explosive runner and a consistent TD threat. The Broncos rank 23rd in FFPG allowed to RBs so far this season. Denver ranks 22nd in passing defense, which means the potent Miami passing game will put Mostert into position for possibly more than one TD run while also ensuring he will see much rushing room.

In Week 2, Mostert finished with 121 rushing yards and two rushing TDs. He is the only AFC RB with rushing TDs in each of his first two games. Mostert should be locked into all Week 3 lineups. His regular durability concerns also mark him as a possible sell candidate in trades after another good performance this week. But only prepare to move Mostert if you have quality RB depth and are not one of those fantasy players who is dealing with current injury concerns at the position.

Alexander Mattison

The Vikings RB will likely enter into an eventual timeshare situation after this week following the Minnesota acquisition of  Cam Akers. I was a Mattison backer in the preseason. Volume and the front office handing him the job with no major competition seemed to indicate a decent RB2 outlook. It looks like I was wrong, as the Vikings moved to bring in an obviously significant threat to Mattison’s workload.

I don’t want to hear about how Mattison has faced two tough matchups so far from those who actually still want him to improve on the fantasy output. If you have to use matchups as an excuse, then the player is simply not delivering the production we had hoped for and cannot be relied on in fantasy football.

Still, Mattison may be motivated by the Akers trade and all of the criticism that has been directed at him (which is totally uncalled for, to say the least, as we don’t have fantasy football without the players who make the game possible).  Plus, the Vikings-Chargers game has the projected highest total of Week 3 at 54 points, so Mattison should be a drive finisher in a high-scoring affair. Los Angeles ranks 20th in rushing yards allowed to RBs.


Wide Receivers – Fantasy Football Week 3

Jordan Addison

You can see that I will be rolling out a Vikings stack in DFS this week. Addison must also be bolted into all fantasy football seasonal lineups for Week 3. He can become the fifth rookie ever with 50-plus receiving yards and a TD in each of his first three career games. Addison only has seven receptions in his first two games, but he has averaged 19 yards per catch with TDs of 62 and 39 yards.

The exciting rookie did have five-plus targets in each of the first two weeks. The Chargers have allowed the most FFPG to WRs so far this season, and have surrendered four TD catches to the position. In a high-output matchup between two 0-2 teams, Addison can deliver more highlights and a higher reception total. He is a must-start fantasy WR3 this week.

Garrett Wilson

After Aaron Rodgers went down for the rest of the NFL regular season, I started receiving questions about whether to reserve Wilson in Week 2. Those questions have continued to come in despite the fact that the Jets’ star WR cooked the Dallas defense for a 68-yard TD last week, That was quite a feat against a defensive unit that was playing at a very high level.

Negative nitpickers will submit “If you take that long TD away, he only had 15 receiving yards.” What a load of baloney the “if you take that away” line of reasoning is and always has been. You can’t take that impressive play away to custom-fit a narrative. It counts and demonstrates the type of playmaker someone is.  Wilson ripping off a long TD against arguably the best defense in the game at the time was a clear illustration of how highly talented and special he is, and his ability to overcome an adverse QB situation.

Wilson is one of two AFC WRs with a TD catch in each of the first two weeks. The other is Tyreek Hill. Wilson had six catches for 115 yards in his last home meeting with the Patriots. New England ranks 19th in FFPG allowed to WRs. The Rodgers injury has bumped Wilson down in estimated fantasy value from a WR1 to a WR2, yet he remains a must-start in most cases.  Weather may be a concern in New Jersey but it not enough to move me off Wilson in seasonal leagues.

Jakobi Meyers

The former Patriot, who sat out last week because of a concussion, will return to action in Week 3. He caught nine of 10 targets for 81 yards in his Raiders debut in Week 1. Last season against the Steelers with New England, Meyers caught nine balls for 95 yards. The past Patriot regimes never seemed to take proper advantage of Meyers’ talents. It was apparent in the Las Vegas opener that the Raiders’ coaching staff can do better by him to extract more production.

The Steelers rank 21st in FFPG allowed to WRs. Davante Adams will naturally command heavy defensive attention, and Meyers is the only other dependable pass-catcher for Jimmy Garoppolo. I recommend starting the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder as a fantasy WR3 or flex option in Week 3.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Sometimes, we have to be patient with rookie WRs. Many fantasy players have exhibited such an approach with Smith-Njigba, who may deliver his first quality fantasy performance in Week 3. He caught five of six targets last week. DK Metcalf will obviously be a main focus of the Carolina pass defense, and he is also working through a rib injury. Tyler Lockett deserves much defensive attention, too.

Look for Geno Smith to get the 2023 first-round NFL draft pick more involved in the offensive flow this week with several quick-hitting throws. Injuries on the offensive line put an increased emphasis on Smith getting the ball out quicker, and part of Smith-Njigba’s role in the Seattle passing game is to make many possession grabs. He has yardage after the catch potential too and can challenge defenses at every level. The Smith-Njigba official “hello to the fantasy football world” performance is coming this week. Start him if you need a WR or flex streamer.


Quarterback And Tight End – Fantasy Football Week 3

C.J. Stroud

The new Houston “franchise” QB is off to a busy and impressive start to his NFL career. He completed 30 of 47 attempts for 384 yards and two TDs vs. 0 INTs last week, Stroud posted the second-most passing yards in any NFL game so far this season. He has 58 completions, the second-most ever by any player in his first two career games.

Jacksonville ranks 27th in FFPG allowed to QBs. Stroud is a high-end QB2 fantasy option for Week 3. He should get strong streaming consideration in one-QB leagues and the rookie is a must-start in superflex formats.

Kyle Pitts

In his last matchup with Detroit, Pitts had six receptions for 102 yards. Yes, that outing was in 2021, but The Lions still present a good matchup for the Atlanta TE. They rank 30th in FFPG allowed to the position. Keep faith in Pitts for one more week if you drafted him as projected starter.  Many fantasy players do not have an alternative choice with much upside if they drafted Pitts as a TE1.


Scott Engel's fantasy and betting analysis is also featured at The Game Day.

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