While the wide receivers mostly survived the week two bloodletting in the NFL (knocks on wood), they didn’t escape entirely. Julio Jones aggravated his hamstring, Courtland Sutton and Parris Campbell hit IR, and Jamison Crowder’s balky ankle stayed balky. Literally, as I was writing this, the Eagles announced that Jalen Reagor would miss several weeks. Okay, but at least… Oh, Davante Adams might not play. Okay, well then. You might have to turn to someone else in your wide receiver slot this week. Let’s take a look at three young guns who are flying up depth charts through two weeks. Should you start or sit CeeDee Lamb, N’Keal Harry, or Laviska Shenault in fantasy football week three?
Start or Sit CeeDee Lamb versus Seattle
When the season started, we were unsure about how they would chop up the target situation in Dallas. Amari Cooper was The $100,000,000 Man, Michael Gallup was a hot young upstart, and the Cowboys pulled the trigger on CeeDee Lamb with a top-twenty pick. They all had a viable challenge to the throne, and it drove down Gallup and Lamb’s stocks in the draft process. Through two games, a definite pecking order emerged in Dallas. Not only does Lamb currently have more targets than Gallup (15 to 10), he was out-targeted in both games this season. Right off the bat, CeeDee Lamb leapfrogged Michael Gallup. Lamb has been great with those targets, turning them into 11 catches for 165 yards, which ranks him fifteenth and twelfth among wide receiver, respectively. He is only WR25 in half-PPR leagues, but that is because he has zero touchdowns.
Lamb has a great matchup this week with Seattle. While they’ve only let Calvin Ridley score WR touchdowns against them this season, six wide receivers have at least six catches against them, and the same six all went for at least 72 yards. That’s bad if you’re Seattle, but that’s good if you’re playing against Seattle… which CDL is! He’s a great start this week and has a chance to turn in the first touchdown of his career. Start CeeDee Lamb as he breaks through against the Seahawks.
Start or Sit N’Keal Harry versus Las Vegas
N’Keal Harry had the best game of his career last week, getting 72 yards on eight catches (twelve targets) from Cam Newton. I talked about N’Keal Harry in the past, pointing out that the 2019 first-round pick likely didn’t forget how to play football. Cam Newton also made Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess a thing in the past, so even if he forgot how to play football, it likely doesn’t matter. I was more than bullish on N’Keal Harry this season after we saw what DJ Chark did last year after a similarly lost rookie campaign. He’s good, folks.
This week, Harry gets the Raiders. Vegas is a neutral matchup for wide receivers, on paper, IN reality, they gave up 5/86 on seven targets to Tre’Quan Smith last week. Through two full seasons and two games in 2019, that represents 11.5% of his career receiving yards. Vegas also let Robby Anderson stunt all over them, going for 114 and a touchdown in week one. It’s a good matchup, but I understand being a little wary of N’Keal Harry. This is a fun fence straddle: sit N’Keal Harry in your 2WR leagues (even with a flex) but start N’Keal Harry as a dart throw in three WR leagues. How’s that for “I get to be right no matter what happens?”
Start or Sit Laviska Shenault versus Miami (Thursday Night Football)
Deebo Samuel led all wide receivers with 159 rushing yards last season. It provided a nice boost for his fantasy managers when he couldn’t get a big game going through the air. Through two games, Laviska Shenault is on track to more-than-double that figure. Shenault is on track to rush for 376 yards this season, which means you can throw traditional numbers out the window. Shenault is currently 29th among wide receivers, with 119 yards from scrimmage in two games. The Jaguars want to get him involved in more ways than just catching the ball, and given his playmaking ability, that makes for a great option in good matchups.
The Miami Dolphins—and this might shock you—are a good matchup. They give up the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers, including at least 70 total yards to four guys in their first two games. That makes for a great matchup. The only downside to this is that Shenault plays on Thursday Night Football, and there’s a high likelihood you searched this on Friday or Saturday to get information on the first two guys. If you see this before Thursday Night Football, start Laviska Shenault as a flex or WR3 in non-PPR or half-PPR three-wide receiver leagues. He gets a lot of yards, but not as many catches as you would like for full PPR formats.
[09/24 UPDATE: DJ Chark is downgraded to OUT. Get Shenault into your lineups, and Keelan Cole is a great stream play, as well]
CeeDee Lamb is a slam dunk start for me this week. Then, I would go Laviska Shenault in non-PPR and half-PPR leagues and round it out with N’Keal Harry. They’re all good starts this week, of varying degrees. Good luck with your remaining start or sit decisions this week!
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