Fantasy Football Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Underachieving Early Draft Picks

Gordie GoldCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2012

Fantasy Football Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Underachieving Early Draft Picks

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    Thought Chris Johnson was going to have a bounce-back year after his forgettable 2011?

    Still waiting for Matthew Stafford to play like the quarterback who threw for more than 5,000 yards last year?

    Don't worry, you are not alone.

    Every year there are previous fantasy football studs who cannot live up to their hype a few weeks into the season. You don't know whether you should give them another chance or give up on them.

    With the start of Week 3, here is a list of underachieving early draft picks that you should start and sit.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans, RB

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    Sit 'Em

    What has happened to Chris Johnson?

    The player we used to call CJ2K and was one of the best running backs in the league no longer exists.

    Many thought his 2011 season, in which he only ran for 1,047 yards, was a fluke. Fantasy football owners thought that it could be attributable to the distractions of his contract holdout, and with a full offseason under his belt Johnson would get back to his old form.

    So far, it's two games into the 2012 season and it looks like the 2011 fantasy football bust version is here to stay. Johnson has carried the ball only 19 times for a measly 21 yards.

    Things will not get any easier this week, as the Tennessee Titans take on the Detroit Lions. Expect Johnson to have trouble running against Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit front seven.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs, RB

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    Sit 'Em

    Before Jamaal Charles suffered his season-ending injury last year, he was one of the most explosive playmakers in the league. After rushing for over 1400 yards in 2010, it is clear the knee injury he suffered has taken a toll.

    After a solid outing in Week 1, Charles was horrible in Week 2. He only carried the ball six times and did not appear to be fully healthy. 

    If Charles still has lingering pain in his knee, he will not come close to matching his 2010 statistics. I know the Kansas City Chiefs are playing against the New Orleans Saints' non-existent defense, but I am not going to put a player in my starting lineup who is possibly playing injured.

Wes Welker, New England Patriots, WR

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    Start 'Em

    The fact that the New England Patriots are giving more snaps to Julian Edelman than Wes Welker is just flat-out foolish of them.

    Welker is by far their best receiver and needs to become an integral part of the Patriots offense once again. With Aaron Hernandez injured, this looks like Welker's week to break out.

    Last week, with no Hernandez, Welker was significantly involved in the offense. He was targeted 11 times, while catching five passes for 95 yards.

    Despite the limited amount of playing time, it is clear that Welker is still one of Tom Brady's favorite targets. In two games, Welker has been targeted 18 times.

    Expect Welker to go back to being Brady's favorite target as long as Hernandez is injured.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions, QB

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    Start 'Em

    After throwing for more than 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011, Matthew Stafford has gotten off to an incredibly slow start this season.

    Two games and Stafford has already thrown four interceptions, while only tossing two touchdown passes. Granted, Stafford played against the San Francisco 49ers, who have the best defense; and a St. Louis Rams team that is much improved.

    This week should be the end of Stafford's struggles. He is taking on the Tennessee Titans, who are allowing more than 400 total yards of offense per game. Do not be surprised if Stafford throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns.

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams, RB

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    Sit 'Em

    For years, Steven Jackson has been one of the most consistent running backs in the NFL, but that appears to be coming to an end.

    It looks like new head coach Jeff Fisher is a fan of rookie running back Daryl Richardson. In the St. Louis Rams' last game, Jackson was pulled out of the game after only nine carries. While he was taken out of the game because of an injury, it appears Jackson could have reentered the game.

    Richardson clearly impressed Fisher, and with Jackson's health in question for Week 3, I would expect Jackson to get a limited amount of carries.