By Tristen Kinne | September 25, 2023
Sam Laporta finds the endzone against the Falcons.
Photo Credits: Kevin Sabitus / Getty Images
We are three weeks through the 2023 National Football League (NFL) season and Fantasy Football is in full swing. I am here to tell you who to start, who to bench, and who you should be targeting for your team.
1) Sam Laporta, Detroit Lions TE
Coming into the 2023 season somewhat unknown, the rookie out of Iowa is making a big name for himself early on this year. He is becoming a huge part of Detroit’s powerful offense and Jared Goff seemingly has himself a new weapon in Laporta.
Laporta is top ten in receptions this year in the NFL, and is second for tight ends behind former Detroit Lion T.J. Hockenson. He is still available in 36.4% of ESPN leagues, so if he is still out there in your league, get him and start him. Laporta is going up against a Packers defense which has been middle of the road so far and I can see him having another big game for Detroit.
Against the Falcons, Laporta exploded for 22.4 points in Point-Per-Reception (PPR) leagues and I can see him getting 15+ Fantasy points against the Packers. If you don’t have tight ends named Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, George Kittle, or Mark Andrews, I would say Laporta is a very good option to start Week 4.
2) Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver (WR)
After a solid rookie season for the Saints, the young wideout from Ohio State is having a very good start to 2023. He is sitting in the top five for receptions and is showing no signs of slowing down. With Derek Carr likely out for Week 4, I can see backup Jameis Winston trying to go deep down the field to the quick receiver Olave.
Through three weeks, he has been one of the best Fantasy receivers out there, averaging 20.1 points in PPR leagues and is projected at 16.6 points against Tampa Bay. Olave is already the 12th ranked receiver in fantasy and I expect a very big game in Week 4 and getting past 20 points again.
1) Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back (RB)
In 2021, Najee was a first round pick in most Fantasy leagues as a rookie and had a very successful year one, posting 1200 rushing yards from scrimmage, putting him fourth in the league. Unfortunately, his rookie success did not carry over to the 2022 season where he struggled only averaging 12 fantasy points a week, and his troubles are now pouring into the 2023 season.
In Week 4 he is going against a Houston Texans defense that has struggled against the run and this is the reason why I think many people will be in favor of starting Najee. Personally, I have not seen nearly enough from Harris to give him the start in Week 4. The past three weeks, he only averaged an ugly 5.7 points per game and he is projected at 13.4 points against Houston. Najee has shown no signs of reaching near those projected points through the first three weeks and I think this is why I would still have him on my bench.
2) Garrett Wilson, New York Jets Wide Receiver (WR)
It is unfortunate that I have to put the young wide receiver on the bench this early, because he has so much potential and it is out of his hands. Yes, he did not have the great game against New England’s rookie cornerback, Christian Gonzalez, who shut down Wilson for most of the day, but even when the WR was open the ball could rarely find him.
Until the Jets have a quarterback that is not named Zach Wilson, I can’t find a reason to start Garrett in Week 4 against the Chiefs. He has posted an average of 13.5 points in Fantasy and has relied heavily on touchdowns for his production, because Garrett has still not cracked 100 yards receiving yet. ESPN has him projected at 15.3 fantasy points, but I see him not even touching 10 points for the second week in a row.
1) C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans Quarterback (QB)
The rookie QB from Ohio State has been great so far to start off his NFL career, and is already fourth in passing yards through the first three weeks. Stroud is still available in 88.8% of leagues and has posted back-to-back 20+ point games. His next start will be against a tough defense in Pittsburgh, so I am not leaning towards starting him in Week 4, but I think he is a solid backup option.
ESPN has him projected at 14.2 points this week but I can easily see him getting between 15-20 again. As young weapons, Nico Collins and Tank Dell continue to develop into very solid wideouts, I think it is safe to say Stroud has plenty of options to give the ball to. I expect the demand for Stroud to rise in fantasy quickly, so I would get him now while he isn’t owned in many leagues.
2) De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins Running Back (RB)
If this rookie out of Texas A&M is still available in your league, you would be crazy to not put a waiver in for him. You do not see many performances like Achane had in Week 3 against Denver, and just for that alone he needs to be picked up in most leagues. Achane posted 203 yards rushing and tagged on two touchdowns, exploding for 56.3 Fantasy points.
He is only owned in 16.1% of ESPN leagues and I expect that to skyrocket after his recent performance. For Miami’s next game against Buffalo he is projected at 12.4 points, but I see no reason for him not to get 15+ points again. You have to take Raheem Mostert into account when deciding to start Achane because they both had monster games, but I would lean towards Achane for Week 4 against Buffalo.