Are you trusting any Saints or Steelers in Week 3?

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints lost future Hall of Fame quarterbacks on Sunday. Both teams are turning to back ups who are interesting but have plenty of question marks.

Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, James Conner and Juju Smith-Schuster are all still players that need to be rolled out on your fantasy football teams. Beyond these pieces it will get way more dicey.

I gathered a few of Fake Pigskin’s finest to break down these situations in our new series Question of the Week. we will be here each and every week with a burning question for the fantasy football season. If you have suggestions for the question of the week, feel free to hit me on Twitter.

Are you starting any Saint or Steeler in fantasy football not named Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, James Conner and Juju Smith-Schuster?

For me, I’m considering three players outside of the four elite options. On Pittsburgh, James Washington makes for an interesting dart throw. He and Rudolph have a connection from their time at Oklahoma State. This offense is in need of a WR to step up opposite Smith-Schuster and Washington could fit the bill.

Vance McDonald is still a compelling option for me given the state of the TE position. He saw the second most targets on Sunday after Rudolph went into the game. QBs with little experience tend to lean on the tight end position.

This is my logic behind rolling Jared Cook out this week as well. Like McDonald, Cook saw the second most targets after Teddy Bridgewater took over on Sunday.

Outside of these three I’m taking a wait and see approach. And honestly, if I have better or safer options at WR or TE I am probably looking that way.

Dennis Michelsen – Yes

Vance McDonald would get a start from me at tight end. Historically young quarterbacks love to lean on their tight end and Rudolph connected twice to McDonald for touchdowns last week.

Aaron Marcotte – Yes

For the Steelers in week 3, Vance is the only person I’m starting here in your normal re-drafts leagues. He looked like he had an instant connection with Rudolph which cannot be understated. You drafted McDonald as a breakout TE – use him unless you have one of the top 5 above him (Kelce, Kittle, Ertz, Engram, Andrews).

I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with Moncrief/Washington in Pittsburgh. I’m still holding Washington in re-draft and keeper leagues (of course) as I think he has the talent to surpass Moncrief as the WR2. If Rudolph looks comfortable this week, and shows that college connection with Washington, I might be starting him in week 4.

On the Saints side, Teddy is a very serviceable backup quarterback. I think Ginn Jr. or Tre’Quan could have some value in PPR leagues if Teddy finds a favorite. Remember, Brees is one of the most WR-agnostic QB’s in football. He throws to the open man and does not care what their name is. Michael Thomas is a top-tier WR and gets open a lot – that’s why he’s consistent. Teddy might lock into someone a little more coming into an offense where he hasn’t had much game experience.

Jared Cook could see a volume uptick per the note on Vance above – I’m fine starting him this week if you don’t have another option, but I have him as a fringe-TE1 this week (TE10/TE11).

Finally, Latavius Murray is still a hold for me, but we could see some more of the Mark Ingram volume coming if the Saints start running the ball with Teddy at the helm.

Charles Sears – No

Vance McDonald is the only one I would think about starting. New starting quarterbacks do favor tight ends a bit, but that would be the only reason. Vance has already had a let down season with 1 and a half games with Big Ben. I already benched Vance in some leagues. I am very picky about TEs and feel like they are like defenses. If you don’t have a top 3-5 player, they can be dropped.

Kyle Bellefeuil – Yes

I think James Washington can be used as a flex play in deeper leagues. He’s playing with his college quarterback and they looked really good together in the preseason. He should take over the WR2 duties in Pittsburgh as Moncrief has been rough the first two weeks of the season. Washington is a boom/’bust play, but does his best work on the deep ball and his old buddy Rudolph should look his way for a big play.


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