Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: 2012 NFL Fantasy Football Lineup Strategy

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIISeptember 18, 2012


This summer, Chris Johnson told everyone he was ready for a bounce-back season, but apparently, he forgot to actually watch film from last year and make corrections to his game. After two weeks of lack of productivity then throwing his teammates under the bus on Monday, it’s time to put Chris Johnson on your bench.


Tony Romo vs. Buccaneers

While members of the media point to the Cowboys looking flat last week, let’s give the Seahawks defense some credit and say they are a dominant force when playing at home. Romo really wasn’t that bad, but key dropped passes by Dez Bryant and Jason Witten did him no favors.

This week, the Cowboys return to Dallas for their home opener against a Buccaneers secondary that gave up over 500 yards passing to Eli Manning last week. Expect the Cowboys offense to put up some good numbers by the end of the game, and they should score at least four touchdowns.

Matthew Stafford at Titans

While I’m a little concerned about Stafford’s slow start, a matchup against the shaky Tennessee Titans should be just what the to doctor ordered to get things on the right track. Still early in the season, so the Lions need to watch out for a trap game, as this should be a rallying cry effort from a struggling team, at home.

Still, that shouldn’t stop Stafford from throwing three touchdowns and over 300 yards passing on the day.

Andre Brown at Panthers

An early game in Carolina should keep Ahmad Bradshaw out of the lineup. Expect Brown to be the starter as David Wilson continues to show his coaching staff he still has some work to do on the fine points of the game.

Carolina has had some problems against the run, so Brown should be a respectable flex play option with RB2 upside.

Mark Ingram vs. Chiefs

Not sure the Saints will ever allow Ingram to carry the football over 20 times a game with regularity, but he should be productive again versus a struggling Chiefs defense. Ingram is worth a start, but don’t expect numbers like C.J. Spiller put up last week.

Kansas City had problems against cut back runs, which makes Darren Sproles a more dangerous option, but Ingram should be good for 75 yards and a score if New Orleans builds a big lead early.

Brandon LaFell vs. Giants

The Panthers coaching staff raved about LaFell this offseason, and thus far, he’s gotten it done as the No.2 receiver. The Giants secondary is in trouble, and we should look to LaFell as a WR3 option this week.

Malcom Floyd vs. Falcons

Coming off an interesting Monday Night game against the Broncos, Atlanta heads out to San Diego. This could be a trap game for the Falcons as a West Coast trip on a short week should make this a close game. With Brent Grimes done for the season, expect potent passing offenses to attack this secondary.

Atlanta will make some plays, but it will also give up production to receivers like Floyd.

Dez Bryant vs. Buccaneers

Bryant still has a ways to go before he’s ready to live up to the lofty expectations his physical talent suggest he can be. In a favorable matchup at home, let’s stick with Bryant for another week and see if Dallas can feature him for a breakout game.

Brent Celek at Cardinals

Celek may struggle at times to find the end zone, but his yardage numbers over the past 13 weeks are good for his position. Off to a hot start this year, expect Celek to continue to produce with the Eagles receivers banged up, and we should look to him as a weekly starting option.

Bills Defense at Browns

Perhaps the Jets just have the Bills' number, because this defense looked like the group we expect to see week two. The Chiefs had problems putting points on the board and did their damage in garbage time.

Heading back on the road, Trent Richardson will be tough to stop, but this defense should have some fun with Brandon Weeden.


Michael Vick at Cardinals

Arizona’s defense deserves respect, and while Celek and LeSean McCoy need to be in your lineup, Vick and his receivers are a good bet to stay on the bench. Vick will throw for yardage, but he will be pressured throughout and is likely to turn the football over again.

Shonn Greene at Dolphins

Coming off an injury last week, Greene will take on a respectable Dolphins run defense. Greene will have some opportunities to start in your lineup, but sit him down this week.

Chris Johnson vs. Lions

Don’t know about you, but I have a smile on my face after Johnson’s struggles through the first two weeks. While Johnson blamed his poor performance last year on conditioning, he consistently displayed an inability to take on contact.

New year, same problems, and he’s actually playing worse at this time than he did a year ago, numbers-wise. Perhaps Johnson will figure things out but he needs to take a look in the mirror before pointing the finger at anyone else. Time to man up, Johnson!

Michael Turner at Chargers -

Not sure if it’s over just yet, but Turner looked slow against the Broncos, and his DUI after the game doesn’t help matters. Turner will be in a committee with Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. Keep him on your bench weekly until he starts to show something and has a great matchup.

Cedric Benson at Seahawks

Benson will give the Packers some tough running, but this is a matchup to avoid. Seattle is a different team when playing at home, and this defense is already stout against the run, no matter where they play.

Titus Young at Titans

We need to see Young step it up before trusting him in the lineup. Expect Stafford to look for Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and his running backs before Young. Maturity has been a problem for Young both on and off the field, and he’s probably one dumb move away from finding the bench.

Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. Steelers

If you cut Heyward-Bey, I wouldn’t blame you at this point. The fourth-year receiver continues to show a lack of football intelligence on the field, and Carson Palmer doesn’t seem to trust him anymore.

Jeremy Maclin at Cardinals

Maclin is banged-up again, and we shouldn’t like his odds of playing this week. Let’s make sure Maclin can put together a couple of full days of practice before thinking about having him in the lineup again.

Fred Davis vs. Bengals

Perhaps Davis will have value again at some point, but for now, you can safely cut him from your team. The Redskins are using a version of Robert Griffin’s old offense from college, and the tight end won’t be featured much.

Week 3 Standard Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Waivers |