Fantasy Football: Which Players to Start and Sit in Week 3
This week's edition is coming a little early since I'm headed to South Bend for the weekend for the big Michigan vs. Notre Dame game. So if you're there and my advice helped you win your matchup last week, why not hook me up with a cheap ticket?
First off, before we get to the Week 3 picks, I'd like to recap how well/bad I did last week.
It was pretty up and down, I could tell by the messages that I received. To some of you, I'm sorry. To others, you are very welcome.
The ones I hit on last week were Robert Griffin III (start), Matt Cassel (start), Chris Johnson (sit), Shonn Greene (sit), Reggie Wayne (start), Eric Decker (sit), Kyle Rudolph (start), Fred Davis (sit), Alfred Morris (start) and Stevan Ridley (start).
OK, so I didn't have a legendary week, but it wasn't bad at all. I predicted Robert Griffin would get it going on the ground and I predicted Matt Cassel to get 18 points. He got 18 points. That's pretty majestic.
Well you're probably hoping to put Week 2 behind you now and would like me to stop bragging/self loathing. So here you go, enjoy the advice as usual and I'll talk to you on the comment board.
Alex Smith, 49ers
If you play with decimal points (like my league), then Alex Smith has been literally as consistent as humanly possible after posting two-straight 17.7 point performances.
This has been good enough to place him seventh among all quarterbacks in fantasy football. That's not too bad if you're struggling for a QB, right? Well it gets even better. This week the 49ers play the Vikings. Excited now? Can we expect a 17.7 point outing again this week? Probably not. But you can expect over 20 and if he throws in a rushing touchdown, could have one of the best fantasy weeks of his career.
The Vikings aren't scaring/stopping anybody in the near future. Start Smith with confidence if you don't have a "must-start" like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and now Robert Griffin III. As much as I'd like to keep writing a paragraph about RG3, he's moved into that status and I guess I'll just have to save it for my Redskins-specific articles.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
Did somebody say Redskins? Oh right, I did. I usually do.
To say I was a little disappointed last week in the Redskins would be a gross understatement. The Danny Amendola Toyota Corolla ran across the Redskins defense, backed up, then went forward again.
Now everyone is saying that this player that's never gotten 700 yards in a season is the next Wes Welker. Maybe he's a later bloomer. That could be why his mustache is just now coming in.
Wow, talk about a tangent. Anyway, about the Redskins defense. They are not very good. Especially without their best pass-rusher in Brian Orakpo, and if the Skins can't get pressure on Dalton, he is going to eat that weak secondary for brunch (Pacific Time, of course).
In my honest opinion, I am going to say that Dalton will end with 23 fantasy points. If you don't feel like your QB can get more than 20, then Dalton is worth a look.
Philip Rivers, Chargers
You probably laughed when Rivers and Dante Rosario (yes, Dante Rosario) picked on the poor Tennessee Titans and connected for three touchdowns, you sadist.
Well this week the laughs will be on him when he faces the Falcons defense that picked off one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, a total of thrice, in one quarter last week.
Against Atlanta, I'm sure that Rivers will still get around 15 points, but if you have a Griffin-type quarterback then this is not the week for Rivers. His time will come around as he is usually a go-to starter in fantasy.
Peyton Manning, Broncos
I am the master of segues, aren't I? One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time was picked off three times in the first quarter last week (wow, where did I just hear that?). This week, the challenge doesn't get any easier when the Broncos face the Texans.
Not only has the Texans defense visibly improved dramatically, but Houston has been a thorn in Manning's side for quite some time now.
Again, don't bench him if your only other quarterback is Tim Tebow, but if you have one of the must-starts or one of my "Start 'Em" QB's. Then consider it.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals
I can't believe I'm saying this. I told myself I would never have him as a 'start' in fantasy after screwing my team repeatedly. I literally traded him for a Ham Sandwich once, thus earning him the nickname "Ham Sammich" amongst my circle of friends.
With that said, the Ham Sammich should go H.A.M. against Washington. Which is something I hate saying even more.
Was Green-Ellis for a Ham Sandwich a good deal in 2011?
I hope I've convinced you enough that as much as I don't want to, but still placed him in this section is reason enough to play him.
Trent Richardson, Browns
The other Ohio running back should have an even better game than Green-Ellis. How wowed were you by some of the big plays he made last week against the Bengals? That was pretty spectacular.
He'll keep his magic streak alive against Buffalo and if you also have C.J. Spiller, you are going to enjoy yourself on Sunday when these two play each other.
That's why I love fantasy football. It can get you excited about a Browns-Bengals game in September.
Darren McFadden, Raiders
Four points against Miami? Sorry, but that's pretty awful. Even for Raider standards.The Steelers defense, which you would know if you've watched football in the last 30 years, is a tad better than the Dolphins defense.
If he doesn't score a touchdown, which I assume will be the case, he's not going to get the yardage to save a mediocre day for your team.
The only reason he had a decent game against the Chargers in Week 1 was because of all the garbage passing yards when his team was trailing big in the second half. So maybe if you're lucky, you can get some of those. Don't bank on it, though. Banking on garbage time is how you lose fantasy games.
Adrian Peterson, Vikings
Crazy, I know. Don't worry though, there's reasoning behind it.
They play the 49ers for crying out loud.
Never play a running back against the 49ers. I don't care if it's Peterson, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Burt Reynolds, whoever.
Just don't do it. You'll be thoroughly disappointed.
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
Against the Giants, Jackson racked up 18 points. He made some sweet catches in double-team situations, which should give you confidence as a fantasy owner because you can imagine what he can do in a single-coverage situation.
This week, the Cowboys will likely think that Morris Claiborne will be enough to stop him but he will certainly still get his targets, and more importantly, catches.
If anyone was worried after Week 1, don't worry anymore. He will be just fine.
Reggie Wayne, Colts
Will you people just start him, already? He's back, OK?
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
Last week, I told you to bench Eric Decker. Actually, I did more than that. I told you to just cut him. Alas, my pick looked pretty good.
Not to say I would start Decker either, but Thomas will be going against the tough Texans defense and will likely be double covered in the red zone after getting by the Falcons last week.
He's good enough to still come down with the ball, but the added attention can't help him at all.
Marques Colston, Saints
Do You Still Like Eric Decker?
Colston is off to a very rough start this season, and even though it may not last forever, bench him for the moment.
Even though they are playing the Chiefs, I still am not confident in Colston anymore. If you want to play Jimmy Graham, then be my guest. He's the one getting all of the touchdowns in New Orleans these days, anyway.
Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
Again, folks. I can not stress how awful the Redskins are at pass defense. Or defense in general now that they are without Orakpo.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens
These days if you don't have Gronkowski or Graham, all you can ask of your tight end is to get targets. Fortunately for Pitta, that is the case as Joe Flacco tossed him the ball 15 times last week against the Eagles in Week 2. Expect it to continue while tight ends struggle in 2012.
Granted he only caught eight balls for 65 yards, but that is a great day for a tight end now.
Every Tight End That's Not Listed Above, or Named Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski
I would say Martellus Bennett, but he's already playing. Tight ends continue to be a thorn in the side of many fantasy owners.
Well, there you go. Again, good luck in Week 3, unless you are playing a fellow column-reader. In which case, a tie will help me keep credibility. Make it happen, fellow fantasy-nerds.
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