Start Em Sit Em Week 3: Projecting How Top Fringe Players Will Fare This Weekend

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2013

Sep 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end Garrett Graham (88) celebrates his first quarter touchdown against the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 will conclude on Monday night in Cincinnati, which means its time for fantasy football owners to start looking ahead to their Week 3 matchups.

With two weeks of football in the rear-view mirror, owners are able to analyze their players' performance, notice trends and crunch the numbers for their upcoming matchups on the field. In the end, though, it all comes down to the same old question: Start 'em, or sit 'em?

Below I'll highlight some notable fringe players and project how they'll fare this weekend.


Start Em: Matt Schaub, Houston Texans, QB

Sure, Matt Schaub has three interceptions through the first two weeks of the season. But he also has six touchdown passes coming into Week 3 and should toss a few more on Sunday in Baltimore.

Although the Ravens' secondary tightened things up against Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns this past weekend. Remember, it's the Browns. And after all, Peyton Manning carved up this secondary to the tune of 462 yards and seven touchdowns in the opener.

With DeAndre Hopkins coming on strong in Week 2, Schaub is a great play against the league's 29th-ranked defense in terms of fewest yards-per-attempt allowed.


Sit Em: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens, QB

While Matt Schaub should have considerable success this weekend against the Ravens' new-look defense, don't expect the opposing quarterback, Joe Flacco, to light it up for your fantasy team.

Houston's defense ranks sixth in the NFL in fewest yards-per-attempt allowed and has surrendered just 312 total passing yards through two games. With Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta banged up, and Anquan Boldin in San Francisco, Flacco should continue to struggle to put up quality numbers this weekend, per ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter:


Start Em: Joique Bell, Detroit Lions, RB

Lions running back Joique Bell wasn't nearly as productive for fantasy owners in Week 2 as he was in Week 1, but with Detroit set to visit the Washington Redskins this weekend, make sure to insert Bell into your Week 3 fantasy lineup if you have him.

No team has given up more rushing yards or rushing touchdowns this season than the Redskins and only the Jacksonville Jaguars are giving up more yards per carry to start 2013.


Sit Em: Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants, RB

After Week 1's debacle in Dallas, the Giants ran out and signed veteran running back Brandon Jacobs. In Week 2, Jacobs actually paid off somewhat for some bold fantasy owners, scoring on a short touchdown run.

But seven rushes for just four yards is hardly encouraging. On top of that, New York will be at Carolina in Week 3. Why does that matter? Well, the Panthers are allowing just 3.7 yards per carry and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown through two games.


Start Em: Austin Pettis, St. Louis Rams, WR

After going largely unnoticed in Week 1 against Arizona, St. Louis wideout Austin Pettis was targeted 11 times in Week 2 in Atlanta, catching a career-best eight passes for 78 yards and a score, as pointed out by Rams beat writer Jim Thomas on Twitter:

But don't expect Pettis to fade into fantasy irrelevance so soon. After all, the Rams will travel to Dallas in Week 3, and the Cowboys haven't shown they can stop the pass yet this season. Dallas is giving up over 336 receiving yards per game (14 yards per catch) and six receiving touchdowns through two games.

With Pettis making the most of his opportunities this past weekend, look for him to have his number called more often down the road.


Sit Em: Ted Ginn, Carolina Panthers, WR

Don't be fooled by Ted Ginn's stat line from Week 2 vs. the Buffalo Bills. Of Ginn's 62 yards, 40 came on one touchdown catch in the second quarter. And despite being targeted eight times in all, he finished with just three receptions.

He had just one catch against Seattle in Week 1 and won't find too many big plays in Week 3 against a New York Giants' defense that is allowing just 8.6 yards per reception this year (second-best in the NFL). 


Start Em: Garrett Graham, Houston Texans, TE

Another week, another touchdown for Texans' backup tight end Garrett Graham. Graham has been targeted five times in each of the Texans' first two games of the season, catching four balls for 27 yards and a score in Week 1 and reeling in three passes for 30 yards and a touchdown in Week 2.

With Houston set to visit Baltimore in Week 3, Graham is a good play at tight end.


Sit Em: Fred Davis, Washington Redskins, TE

Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis has gone unnoticed in Washington's offense through two games this season, catching just three passes for 25 yards total.

With Detroit coming to town in Week 3, look for Davis' struggles to continue. The Lions aren't giving up a ton of yardage through the air, certainly not as much as the Redskins' previous two opponents, Green Bay and Philadelphia.

Plus, Detroit has allowed just two receiving touchdowns through the first two weeks.


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