The 2019 NFL season has been full of surprises through the first two weeks, and that extends to the fantasy football realm.
We've had several players, including Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, exceed expectations by a wide margin and reward fantasy owners who took a gamble in their league's draft. Other star players who entered the season with much fanfare, including Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, have disappointed fantasy owners with two lackluster performances.
What should we make of the first two weeks of fantasy football? Let's take a look at our top fantasy starts and sits for Week 3.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Wilson was awesome in Week 2, completing 29 of 35 pass attempts for 300 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He should have another strong game versus a New Orleans Saints defense that's allowed the third-most pass yards per attempt in the first two weeks. New Orleans also struggled to slow down Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson as a rusher in Week 1, as he gained 40 yards and a touchdown on just four carries. Wilson has a similar ability to escape the pocket and pick up huge chunks of yards with his legs.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers: Jones ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on just 23 carries versus a good Minnesota Vikings defense last week, and we expect more of the same Sunday. He has a nice matchup against a Broncos defense allowing 125.6 rushing yards per game, a total of three rushing touchdowns (tied for the second-most in the league) and 4.4 yards per carry.
Mark Ingram, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Mark Ingram is averaging 5.7 yards per carry through two weeks, and he should continue to consistently pick up yards against a Kansas City Chiefs defense allowing a league-high 6 yards per carry this season. Look for the former Alabama star to bounce back in a huge way after a disappointing Week 2 performance.
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens: You'll want to start as many players from this Chiefs vs. Ravens game as possible. Brown has tallied 12 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns to begin his NFL career, and the rookie wideout should be in store for another solid game versus a Kansas City defense that's allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 70.4 percent of their passes through two weeks. Brown's speed could be a problem for a Chiefs secondary that lacks a shutdown cornerback.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Ridley has been Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's favorite wide receiver through two weeks. The Alabama product has 12 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 16 targets in two games. His Week 3 matchup is a good one, too. The Indianapolis Colts are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 71 percent of their pass attempts, and the Indy defense also has given up four passing touchdowns in just two games. We expect Ridley to receive eight to 10 targets Sunday.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns: Mayfield has been a huge fantasy bust so far with only two touchdown passes and four interceptions. His Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams is a tough one. L.A. hasn't given up a passing touchdown this season, and it's only surrendering 201 passing yards per game. The Browns offensive line also has struggled, allowing eight sacks in two games. We wouldn't be surprised if elite Rams pass rusher Aaron Donald adds a couple sacks to that total Sunday night.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins: Peterson's matchup is too tough this week, making it hard to trust him to be fantasy relevant. The Chicago Bears have one of the league's best run defenses. This unit has allowed zero rushing touchdowns, along with defensive averages of 68.5 rush yards per game and just 3 yards per carry. Bears linebackers Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith are two of the best at their position in shutting down the opponents' rushing attack.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets: The Patriots allow both the second-fewest yards per carry (2.6) and rushing yards per game (37). One of the reasons for these impressive numbers is the Patriots have been jumping out to huge leads and forcing their opponents to abandon the run. A similar situation should unfold Sunday in Foxboro, where the Jets are expected to struggle to score points with third-string quarterback Luke Falk getting the start. Bell will also be a factor in the passing game, but if your league doesn't use a PPR format, he's definitely not worth starting Sunday.
Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets: Anderson is the Jets' top wide receiver, but he has a brutal matchup against an elite Patriots secondary. He'll likely go against cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was rated by Pro Football Focus as the league's top CB last season. Gilmore also was PFF's highest-graded player last week, and he will have plenty of motivation Sunday after Anderson called him out on Thursday.
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Fantasy Football Week 3 starts, sits: Is Le'Veon Bell trustworthy vs. Patriots? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston