2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Fantasy football is fully underway as Week 3 of the NFL season is quickly approaching. The running back position is one of the most important, as they have the ability to gain points through the ground and air. It’s time to continue our fantasy series with a fantasy football Week 3 start ’em sit ’em evaluation.
There are some great matchups for Week 3, but three running backs stand out amongst the crowd. We have a handful of superstar-caliber running backs going up against suspect defenses. This should make for an exciting week of football, which bodes well for fantasy football.
On the other hand, some unfavorable matchups could lead to failure. That seems to be the case for two starting running backs in the league for this week. However, one running back is in a questionable situation with his team. With that said, here is our fantasy football Week 3 start ’em sit ’em for your fantasy leagues.
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Fantasy Football Week 3 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
It’s been a rough start to the season for Saquon Barkley, but he’s likely to bounce back in Week 3. The New York Giants star running back is set to take on an abysmal Atlanta Falcons defense. That in itself bodes well for Barkley’s chances come Sunday.
He came back from a serious knee injury, so it was expected for him to struggle early this season. Additionally, Barkley has faced a sturdy Denver Broncos defense, then played against a tough Washington Football Team defense on a short week. Saquon Barkley has 10 days to prepare for a bad Falcons team. If he’s going to bounce back as one of the best fantasy football assets, this is the week he’ll do it.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey is so involved in the Carolina Panthers’ offense that he doesn’t need to score touchdowns to produce elite numbers. In fact, CMC is so good that you can feel safe starting him regardless of which defense he’s going up against. Even so, McCaffrey is in line to absolutely dominate in Week 3.
The Panthers face off against the Houston Texans on Thursday night. The Texans have one of the worst rush defenses in the league as this franchise is currently rebuilding. We just watched Nick Chubb go off for 95 yards and a touchdown off of just 11 attempts. McCaffrey is the ultimate play in our start ’em sit ’em series.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Oh, look! Another superstar running back with a favorable matchup! The Minnesota Vikings take on the Seattle Seahawks who just let Derrick Henry do whatever he wanted in Week 2. Dalvin Cook is easily one of the best running backs in the league, so we should see a monster game on Sunday.
The Vikings’ offense starts and ends with Dalvin Cook. For that reason, look for him to garner 20+ rush attempts in this matchup. We should see him put up insane numbers on the ground and potentially score multiple touchdowns. This game will show everyone why Dalvin Cook was a top-three pick in fantasy football drafts this offseason.
Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have looked great to start the season and Darrell Henderson has played a key role so far. He’s had two impressive games, making him an asset in fantasy football. However, he suffered a rib injury in Week 2, which is just one factor as to why you should sit him in your lineup.
The Rams are playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have the league’s best rush defense. Henderson is far from being a superstar caliber running back and the Rams are weak on the interior offensive line. Additionally, Sony Michel’s role on the team will increase as the season goes on. The clock is ticking on Henderson and he’s in line for his first bad game of the year. Trade him while you still have the chance, as you could acquire a valuable wide receiver in fantasy football.
Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team
Antonio Gibson hasn’t quite lived up to the hype in 2021 yet, but he still has time to be that RB1 we all know he is. However, it might take another week of disappointment before that happens. The Washington Football Team goes up against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, who have completely shut down the run game so far.
To be fair, Gibson has looked phenomenal with his carries. It’s just that he hasn’t scored any touchdowns and JD McKissic is the obvious go-to option in the passing game. Now Antonio Gibson is playing against a stifling Bills defense that won’t give him any running room. It’s best to avoid starting Gibson if you can and wait until Week 4 when he’s a smash play for fantasy football.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs
Remember when Clyde Edwards-Helaire was viewed as the next big thing just because he had the starting job on the Kansas City Chiefs? Well, it seems the tables have turned, as CEH looks to be a fantasy football bust. He has faced two tough rush defenses to start the season, which doesn’t bode well for his production.
However, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is more like the fourth or fifth option on the Chiefs offense. Kansas City calls more passing plays, as they believe having the ball in Patrick Mahomes’ hands gives them the best chances to win. Edwards-Helaire is a talented running back, but due to the Chiefs’ scheme and play calling, he may never reach his full potential on this franchise. It’s best to avoid him altogether for now in fantasy football and play him only if you have no other option.