Week 3 of the NFL season is here, and as a Buccaneers fan, I’m definitely ready to focus on my fantasy team rather than my real team. So let’s take an early look at some players to add and drop to keep your team looking strong, so they don’t wind up losing heartbreaking games every week like my Bucs.
QB to Add: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
The magic for Rivers isn’t over yet. Under a new coach, the veteran quarterback seems to have found new life, and is well worth a pickup.
Don’t forget that Rivers will play the Raiders twice before the season is over, and he also has a matchup with the Jaguars on the horizon. He’s the ideal backup quarterback (if you have the compulsion to hold onto a backup quarterback), and an excellent spot starter and fill-in for upcoming bye weeks. Keep him on your radar.
QB to Drop: Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Maybe you were one of the crazy few. Maybe you were like me.
“Josh Freeman is going into his second year in a new system. He did well in that system in 2012, so he should get better, right?” You told yourself all the excuses. You talked yourself into it.
You took Josh Freeman. But don’t worry, it’s not too late. You can correct your mistake.
Go to the drop button next to Freeman’s name and click it. No seriously, do it. Now.
There, isn’t that better? No more Josh Freeman on your team.
There seemed to be some upside for Freeman this year, but that’s all gone now. At this point, Freeman may not start for his NFL team much longer, so he certainly shouldn’t be anywhere near your fantasy team.
RB to Add: James Starks, Green Bay Packers
Starks might not have huge weeks every week once Eddie Lacy returns from a concussion, but the fact remains that Starks can be the beneficiary of a high-octane Green Bay offense as the running back who gains yards by default. Defenses have to respect Aaron Rodgers, so the running game will always be there.
Starks isn’t fun to own, but there are worse options on your roster right now. If you own Christine Michael, Roy Helu, or Michael Bush, you’d do better to add Starks instead.
RB to Drop: Isaiah Pead, St. Louis Rams
Unless you own Daryl Richardson, or it’s a deep, deep league, Pead isn’t worth hanging onto. Richardson is the featured back in an offense that will throw the ball around as well.
Pead’s suspension only served to solidify him as a backup, and his debut on Sunday showed that the Rams don’t intend to feature him in any way.
WR to Add: Austin Pettis, St. Louis Rams
This is a bit of a deep league special, but Pettis could be a nice pickup if you’re desperate for a wide receiver.
The Saints are spreading the ball around in their offense this season, which means it’s going to be tough to tell when Pettis will breakout. But he’s not owned in your league (I checked, he’s not), and so if you have a brutal WR situation, Pettis might be the lottery ticket you’re looking for.
WR to Drop: Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
This is a shallow league special. If you’re in a 10 team league, and you don’t start Sidney Rice, get rid of him. You can try to trade him first (maybe for depth at running back or a “worse” wide receiver), but don’t be afraid to let him go.
The Seattle offense doesn’t throw the ball often enough to sustain multiple relevant fantasy options, and Golden Tate is clearly the primary target that you want to own in fantasy.
Rice has seen eight passes thrown his way this season, and has caught only three, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He’s not efficient, he’s not consistent, he’s been dealing with injuries, and he just doesn’t have much upside to simply stash on the bench and hope he produces eventually.
TE to Add: Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins
He has five catches two weeks in a row. There’s a lot of tight ends out there who won’t have two five-catch games all season long. Clay is a factor in the Miami offense, and that is good enough to add him if you’re in need of a good tight end.
TE to Add: Garrett Graham, Houston Texans
A double add at tight end this week! No negativity here.
Graham is valuable for the same reason Kyle Rudolph is valuable. He’s going to get targets in the redzone, because there are only two relevant receivers in Houston, meaning two tight end sets are more likely.
He’s also going to be the lowest priority for an opposing defense, meaning he’ll have good matchups. Stash him away in your deep league, or pick him up to cover for Gronkowski if he can’t go in Week 3.