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Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Fantasy Football Week 3 Include Dameon Pierce, Sterling Shepard, Allen Lazard

Tua Tagovailoa - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Every week, I share some of my favored choices and players to go with when dealing with challenging lineup decisions. These selections 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, yet 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.

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Running Backs – Fantasy Football Week 3

Dameon Pierce

Pierce led the Texans with 77 scrimmage yards (69 rushing) last week, the most by a Houston rookie RB in a single game since 2017. He leads all rookies with 102 rushing yards this season. Pierce’s snap rate increased from 29 to 62 percent last week, according to lineups.com. Now he is ready to deliver what may be a breakout performance against the Bears in Week 3.

Chicago is allowing an NFL-high 189.5 rushing yards per game after two weeks, and this is a prime matchup for Pierce to exploit. He was drafted to upgrade one of the worst running games in the league, and will truly demonstrate why in Week 3. Pierce is a determined runner who is willing to be physical at the point of attack. Expect a 100-yard rushing outing while he notches the first TD of his career.

David Montgomery

You would not think a Chicago-Houston game would have much of a fantasy impact, but the RBs will shine. Montgomery had 136 scrimmage yards (122 rushing) in Week 2, his 15th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. He has 50+ scrimmage yards in 21 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the NFL.

One way to get the limp Chicago passing game moving is to start throwing the ball to Montgomery more frequently on flat and swing passes. He has just five receptions on six targets in two games. Late last season, Montgomery had a four-game stretch with five-plus catches. He is running with a lot of intensity right now. The ball should be in his hands often this week.

Rashaad Penny

Penny has 125+ rushing yards and a rushing TD in two of his past three games at home, and he is aiming for his fourth game in a row at home with 60+ scrimmage yards. Penny and the Seattle running game have not started well this season. The Seahawks haven't scored an offensive TD in their last six quarters and need to get the engine revving again.

A better offensive outing against a Falcons team that has allowed 58 points in two games begins with Penny, who is still the lead RB for Seattle. Opposing defenses have stuffed the ground game while allowing Geno Smith to complete higher percentage, but not explosive passes,

The Seahawks need to get Penny rolling again to help them open up the offense more, and it will happen against Atlanta after Seattle opened the season against Denver and San Francisco. Start Penny as an RB2 or strong flex option.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Kansas City RB has 192 yards from scrimmage with two receiving TDs so far this season. The fantasy production has not been terrific, but it has certainly been adequate. Edwards-Helaire had 118 scrimmage yards (74 rushing) last week, his sixth career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. He has a TD in two of his past three road games.

The Chiefs will roll to a convincing victory over the seemingly punchless Colts.  Shaq Leonard will miss another game with a back injury, and the Indianapolis defense is going to spend a lot of time on the field. Edwards-Helaire has a good shot to find the end zone again while posting quality combined rushing/receiving totals this week.


Wide Receivers – Fantasy Football Week 3

Garrett Wilson

You may still be skeptical about starting a player from the Jets’ offense, but ignore that narrative with Wilson. Many NFL experts considered him the best WR in the 2022 NFL Draft Class. Wilson led the team with eight catches for 102 yards and two TDs last week, becoming the first Jets rookie ever with 100+ yards and two receiving TDs in a single game. He is aiming for his third game in a row with 50+ yards.

Jets-Bengals might be a high-scoring affair, and Cincinnati is going to run the ball frequently to avoid an 0-3 start. Wilson gives the Jets their best chance to keep pace if they have to. But if New York can establish a good ground game, Wilson may benefit from play-action strikes. In either game script, Wilson looks like a must-start.

Drake London

The Atlanta rookie has been the Falcons’ best pass-catcher in the team’s first two games. London led the Falcons with eight receptions for 86 yards and had his first career TD catch in Week 2. He leads all rookies in receptions (13) and yards (160) and is the only rookie with five-plus catches in each of the first two weeks.

The Falcons will have to continue to throw to stay in games because of their defense. Atlanta is another team looking to score a much-needed win after an 0-2 start and London is going to be very busy in Week 3. He should be locked into lineups even if you play in a more shallow league.

Allen Lazard

Green Bay’s new default No. 1 WR registered his 15th career receiving TD in his season debut last week. He is shooting for his fifth game in a row with a TD catch. Lazard has a receiving TD in three of his past four games on the road.

The Packers’ WR corps looked highly questionable to begin the season and is even shakier with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out and Christian Watson questionable because of hamstring problems.

Lazard, who was recently dealing with an ankle issue, is off the injury report and would appear to be in line for a heavy amount of targets in Week 3. But the Tampa Bay secondary is well aware of Lazard’s projected role and could limit his statistical upside this week, so he is not a surefire fantasy WR3 option.

Sterling Shepard

Shepard has demonstrated that he can be productive enough early in the 2022 season after returning from last season’s Achilles injury. He caught a 65-yard yard TD pass in Week 1 and he had six catches on 10 targets in Week 2. Shepard has six-plus receptions in two of his past three games vs. the Cowboys.

Dallas has a pass defense that is known for its gambling ways, especially in the case of CB Trevon Diggs. Shepard may burn him a few times and should be a good fantasy WR3 option this week for some volume and a potential TD.


Quarterbacks And Tight Ends - Fantasy Football Week 3

Tua Tagovailoa

You may be hesitant to start Tagovailoa against the Bills, but don’t sit him in a tight lineup decision with less of a certain starting option. The Buffalo defense is dealing with several key injuries, and the Dolphins now have the speed to wear the unit down in the extreme heat that gives them a home-field advantage.

The latest reports at nflweather.com indicate 87-degree temperatures at kickoff in South Florida, feeling like 102 degrees.  Tagovailoa became the third-youngest (24 years, 200 days) player ever with six TD passes in a single game last week.

Carson Wentz

Wentz passed for 337 yards and three TDs vs. one INT in Week 2. He is the only NFL QB with 300+ passing yards and three or more TD passes in each of the first two weeks. Wentz has 23 career games with 300+ passing yards. The Eagles’ defense certainly presents a very challenging draw, but Wentz is going to be ready for this “revenge” matchup.

Wentz has a much better receiving crew than he did in the past few seasons with Philadelphia and Indianapolis. Even if he gets intercepted more than once, Wentz may throw enough to post a stat line that makes him worthy of back-end QB1 consideration this week.

Tyler Higbee

Higbee has consistently been one of the most overrated TEs in fantasy football, posting regularly mediocre stat lines. Last season, after Week 1, he scored in double figures in PPR points twice in his next 12 games played. Last week, Higbee had seven catches for 71 yards, and he has a TD catch in two of his last three games at Arizona.

With Van Jefferson out and Allen Robinson slow to emerge in the Rams’ passing game, Higbee does have the potential to produce better than usual for now.

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

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