Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3
Every week, I put together a list of players that may worthy of starting in your fantasy league(s) and those that deserve to be on your fantasy bench.
Of course, a huge factor in determining which players to start (or sit) is the rest of your roster and depth of your league.
That said, here are some players to consider starting in Week 3:
QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at WAS)
It doesn't take a rocket scientist or fantasy expert to tell you to start Stafford, but I have yet to rank Stafford as high as I have him this week in my rankings (QB4). No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Redskins.
Although he is tied with Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer for 12th in the league in pass attempts (79) through two games, no quarterback threw it more than Stafford did last season (727) in NFL history. I expect Stafford and the Lions to fully exploit their fantasy-friendly matchup this week.
QB - Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. KC)
Along with Rodgers, Vick was the other quarterback to put up a big game against the Redskins. This week, Vick and the Eagles face their former coach on a short week. Although that may give Andy Reid a leg up in preparation against Vick, he's become a solid QB1 for as long as he's healthy due to his dual-threat abilities.
Through two games, Vick has thrown for 631 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, which gives him a passer rating of 119.0. In addition, he has 15 carries for 77 yards and two scores.
RB - Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (at WAS)
Eight running backs (and quarterback Terrelle Pryor) have rushed for 100-plus yards in a game this season. The Redskins have allowed two of those 100-yard gainers including two of the three highest totals this season.
It's unclear whether Reggie Bush (knee) will be ready to go this week, but Bell should have an opportunity to be an RB2 even with Bush in the lineup. If Bush is out, Bell could be a low-end RB1.
RB - Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. ATL)
After a dismal Week 1 performance of three rushing yards on 10 carries, Miller was more like the back we expected he would be in Week 2. He carried the ball 14 times for 69 yards (4.93 yards per carry) and a score. Although the coaching staff seems intent on continuing to give Daniel Thomas plenty of work, Miller will eventually emerge as the team's featured back.
RB - Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
More than a two-TD favorite over the Raiders, the Broncos will likely run away with this game early and we could see a lot of the running game. Against the Giants last week, Moreno had 13 carries for 93 yards and two scores plus three receptions for 14 yards. Montee Ball had almost as many touches as Moreno, but he rushed for only 16 yards on 12 carries.
WR - Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (at CAR)
Through two games, Nicks has nine receptions for 197 yards and at least 83 receiving yards in each game. Although he dislocated his finger in last week's game, he'll be ready to go on Sunday against the Panthers.
WR - Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins (vs. ATL)
Week 2 for Wallace was much different than Week 1 was for him. After a disappointing one-catch outing in Week 1 and frustrated comments about his role, Wallace was much more involved in Week 2 as he finished with nine receptions for 115 yards and a score. Early in the season, the Falcons have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
WR - Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (vs. OAK)
Like 60 Minutes, Decker was much more productive in Week 2. Against the Giants, he finished with nine receptions for 87 yards. At a minimum, Decker is a WR3 in Week 3 against the Raiders although there is some risk this game gets out of hand early and the Broncos take their foot off the gas.
TE - Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears (at PIT)
Bennett was limited in practice on Wednesday and although he "messed up" his shoulder, he should be active for Week 3's Sunday Night matchup against the Steelers. Through two games, Bennett has 10 receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
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Here are some players to possibly sit for Week 3:
QB - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (at SF)
Through two games, Luck has thrown for only 499 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. While better numbers are in store for Luck, he has a difficult matchup this week against the 49ers, who held Russell Wilson to only 142 passing yards and 10 fantasy points last week.
RB - Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (at SEA)
Leaving last week's game early due to an ankle injury, Jones-Drew is expected to play this week against the Seahawks. Unfortunately for MJD's owners, this is a 4 p.m. game so options could be limited if he is a scratch. Assuming he plays, however, Pocket Hercules should be kept on your bench.
In the Jags' low-powered offense (scoring a league-low 5.5 points per game), Jones-Drew is averaging only 2.88 yards per carry (25 carries for 72 yards) with one reception for one yard. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are allowing a league-low 5.0 points per game and held the 49ers to just a field goal last week.
RB - David Wilson, New York Giants (at CAR)
Wilson is clearly the most talented running back on the roster, but it's unclear how much work he'll get in Week 3. Last week, Wilson (seven), Brandon Jacobs (seven) and Da'Rel Scott (five) split carries fairly evenly.
With a pair of lost fumbles in the opener, Wilson has two fewer fantasy points than I do through two games. Plus he has a tough matchup against the Panthers solid front-seven.
Until we see Tom Coughlin trust Wilson more, he's better off on your bench.
RB - Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts (at SF)
With Vick Ballard out for the season, Bradshaw stepped up last week with a larger role and rushed for 65 yards and a score on 15 carries against the Dolphins. He added three receptions for 19 yards.
Not only does he have an extremely tough matchup this week against the Niners, but the team traded for stud running back Trent Richardson on Wednesday afternoon. While Bradshaw may get a larger share of the workload this week, the addition of a more talented back and a tough matchup does not bode well for Bradshaw's outlook.
WR - Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (at MIA)
The concern continues to be White's high-ankle sprain even though we know he will tough it out. In the past two weeks, however, White has only five receptions for 40 yards as plays through his ankle injury.
I'd prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with White and even miss out on a typical Roddy week than to continue to start him and get two or three points. Once he has one of his typical performances, then I'll comfortably move him back into my starting lineup for good.
WR - Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers (at TEN)
It's hard to bench a guy that leads the league in receiving touchdowns with five of them through two weeks, but it's unrealistic to expect multiple touchdowns from the 5-10 receiver on a weekly basis. Royal will continue to be involved plenty in their passing attack, but he has just 10 receptions for 114 yards as well. In other words, if he doesn't score this week, he will probably be little more than a WR4.
WR - Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars (at SEA)
The Jaguars are 20-point underdogs and, as noted earlier, they have the league's 32nd-ranked offense. Not only do the Seahawks have the league's best scoring defense, the team's strength is its secondary.
Although Shorts had eight receptions for 93 yards last week, it's unrealistic to expect close to those numbers this week against Richard Sherman, one of the league's best shutdown corners.
TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. CLE)
Rudolph's fantasy production is TD-dependent. Although he scored his first touchdown of the season last week, he has only five catches for 69 yards this year.
For Week 3 discussion, check out our Week 3 fantasy football podcast Sunday morning at 10 a.m. ET.
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