Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: Andy Dalton, Ryan Mathews, Eric Decker and More

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 21, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium on December 18, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Ravens 34-14.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Trying to decide whom you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them.  




Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals at Washington

I love Dalton as a low-end QB1 this week. The Redskins defense is banged up and has already allowed six passing touchdowns (not to mention 313.5 passing yards per game).

Dalton, meanwhile, actually has a pair of receivers now in A.J. Green and the emerging Andrew Hawkins, in addition to a running game to keep defenses honest and a tight end he can trust.

He has thrown for 539 yards in two games and should be in store for another good performance. 



Matt Schaub, Houston Texans at Denver

This is strictly for those in one-quarterback formats, because if your league allows two, he is a viable option.

However, the big knock against him right now is that it is so easy for the offense to center around the running game (with Arian Foster and Ben Tate) that the passing game becomes nearly meaningless.

He has thrown just one touchdown thus far and failed to eclipse 200 yards against the Jaguars in Week 2.

At this point, in shallower formats, he is hard to trust. 


Running Backs 


Michael Bush, Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis

With Matt Forte banged up, Bush should see the lion's share of the carries. Bush has proven that he can carry the load before, and taking on a Rams defense that has already surrendered four rushing touchdowns only helps his cause.

The Bears are going to try to make everyone forget how bad they looked last Thursday, and Bush should be a key to the offense.


Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers vs. Atlanta

Expected to return this week, Mathews gets a favorable matchup immediately. Throw in that the injury was not to his leg, meaning you wouldn’t expect him to be limited, and the Chargers' need for a spark plug in the backfield, and things should shape up nicely.

Assuming we don’t get a late report that he’s still banged up in some way, there is no reason to shy away from one of the elite backs in the league. 



Shonn Greene, New York Jets at Miami

The Jets want to be a ground-and-pound offense, but unfortunately for them, they do not have a back to put that plan in motion. Greene managed just 23 yards on 11 carries in Week 2 and now draws a Dolphins defense that has allowed 53.0 rushing yards per game.

The entire Jets offense is a mess, and it is impossible to trust the majority of their players.


Beanie Wells/Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia

I am lumping these two together because it appears that they are primed to continue sharing carries. As it is, neither has looked very impressive.

Unless one steps up and claims the job, neither is going to be worth using. 


Wide Receivers (2-Receiver Formats) 


Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills at Cleveland

Yes, the offense now runs through C.J. Spiller, but with the Browns defense is allowing over 300 passing yards per game (as well as already having allowed five passing touchdowns), there should be ample opportunity for Johnson.

While he has started slowly in regards to total receptions, he has found the end zone in both games. Don’t be surprised if he posts much gaudier overall numbers this week—he hasn’t had more than four catches or 60 yards in a game yet. 



Eric Decker, Denver Broncos vs. Houston

The Texans defense has been the best in the league and is allowing just 124 passing yards per game thus far. Makes it tough tough to trust Decker, who has just nine catches for 107 yards and no touchdowns, don’t you think?

If you want to use a Bronco receiver, Demaryius Thomas is the better option.


Wide Receivers (3-Receiver Formats)


Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams at Chicago

It finally appears that Sam Bradford has found a rapport with a wide receiver. Amendola ripped down 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown in Week 2, and while he won’t be able to replicate those numbers, he has clearly become the go-to option.

With Steven Jackson banged up, Amendola should continue to get plenty of opportunities to produce. 



Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis

The highly touted rookie has three catches for 24 yards over his first two games. Until he shows signs of turning things around, he should be stashed safely on your bench.


Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 3 rankings: