The week three waiver wire has run, and you won the lottery! You snagged Mike Davis and Devonta Freeman! Thanks to your favorite website, FootballAbsurdity.com, you already had Joshua Kelley on your roster. Now, what do you do? Should you start or sit Mike Davis, Devonta Freeman, or Joshua Kelley?
Start or Sit Mike Davis at L.A. Chargers?
Well, this is a rough task for Mike Davis right off the bat. I implored you to not burn your waiver priority on Mike Davis earlier this week, so you already know where this is going to go. No, you should not start your shiny new toy this week against the Chargers. I outlined all the reasons why I think Mike Davis is a bad idea in that article. Mostly because he has not been good for fantasy football outside of a stint with Seattle. The Bears took literally one look at him last season in regular action and sent him on a quest for the One Ring.
This week, he gets a Chargers team that has played extremely well against opposing running backs this year. A matchup against a real stink pile in one week can boost you up the ranks. There is no noise in the Chargers’ ranking so far this year. L.A. is the third-stingiest team against opposing running backs so far this season, and it’s not a fluke. Between Joe Mixon, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (two top-ten running backs in most drafts), they’ve mustered 29 carries for 107 yards (3.7 YPC) while turning ten targets into seven catches for 34 yards (3.4 yards per target).
That’s… bad. And so is Mike Davis. This one is going to be an annoying slugfest because the Chargers will run the ball 500 times again, and it will probably end 23-17. That means that Mike Davis won’t get a bunch of dump offs on the last drive like he did last week. I’m advising you to sit Mike Davis this week against a tough Chargers defense.
Start or Sit Devonta Freeman versus San Francisco?
Your big brain stash paid off, and now Devonta Freeman has a team. Unfortunately, that team happens to be the New York Giants. The same Giants who let Saquon Barkley rock 94 yards on 25 touches before his leg exploded in week two. The same Giants who, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, think they can get Dion Lewis lots of touches this week. Those Giants. The Giants who play a pissed off 49ers team that allows less than 3.5 yards per carry through two weeks. Saquon Barkley ran into brick wall after brick wall in this offense, what makes you think that will change with Devonta Freeman in a part-time role?
And let’s not forget who Devonta Freeman was last season. Bad. He was bad last season. He stumbled over the 1,000 total yard mark in fourteen games, but it took him 243 touches to do so. When 25% of your touches are receptions, and your yards per touch is around 4.1, that’s bad news. 4.1 yards per carry is not what you want, and to get that with receptions… woof!
Please do not start the street free agent going against an angry team that allowed hardly anything on the ground. The 49ers linebackers are—knock on wood—not injured, and they still have plenty of run-stoppers on the DL. Losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas hurts, but it doesn’t turn the 49ers into a great matchup all of a sudden. Don’t get big-brained, sit Devonta Freeman in week two, if you can help it.
Start or Sit Joshua Kelley versus Carolina
The Carolina Panthers are currently mired in an unprecedented stretch of abject terribleness against running backs. They were a smash play last year, and through two games this season, they remain a smash play. They give up the most fantasy points to running backs in half-PPR, after giving up six touchdowns to the position in the last two weeks. Their 82.5 fantasy points through two games leaves enough to squeeze another RB2 game between them and the #2 team (the Bengals let Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt do whatever they wanted and still only gave up 71 fantasy points through two games). They stink out loud. The answer to the question this weekend when you decide between Joshua Kelley or Austin Ekeler is “yes.”
Joshua Kelley hit the ground running, and if you listened to us telling you to stash him, you got to sit pretty this week while the plebs fought and clawed to get Mike Davis and Devonta Freeman. Now, you unleash him upon the world. Through two weeks, Joshua Kelley ranks tied for thirteenth with 37 touches on the season. That’s two behind Alvin Kamara! He’s getting a whole load of carries in Los Angeles, as the Chargers utilize the same one-two punch philosophy they did last season with Ekeler and Melvin Gordon. Kelley is getting the opportunities, he has the talent, and this is literally the best possible matchup to have. If you don’t start Joshua Kelley this week, you never will.
Well, it’s pretty clear who you’re starting. The hotshot rookie in the smash matchup goes first. It’s Joshua Kelley in a potential start of the week role. After that, go with Mike Davis. The Chargers will work over the Panthers, but he is pretty much the only game in town there. Devonta Freeman coming off the street and strolling into a crowded running back room puts him third. Good luck out there with all your start or sit decisions!
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