Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: Advice on the NFL's Biggest Struggling Fantasy Stars

Mike HoagCorrespondent IISeptember 17, 2013

Sep 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL stars are struggling to live up to their fantasy draft positions. But can you really put your top draft picks on the bench in Week 3?

It’s still early, but teams are already suffering for their selections. If you’ve lost two matchups already, can you afford a third?

Maybe it’s time to do some tinkering and hope for the best. Before you sit your struggling star, though, here are a couple of such players you should sit or start this weekend.


Start 'Em: RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings

Trent Richardson has been underutilized to this point by the Cleveland Browns. He’s been largely the biggest disappointment of the season for both Browns fans and fantasy owners. But all of that could change in Week 3 against Minnesota.

The Vikings have been a gold mine for running backs to get on track, either on the ground or in the passing game. Backs have scored three times and put up 45 fantasy points through two contests. Plus, quarterback Brandon Weeden injured his thumb in Week 2. If Weeden misses the action, the Browns’ coaching staff would likely be more inclined to getting Richardson going.


Sit 'Em: RB Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Potentially out of Bill Belichick’s doghouse after two Week 1 fumbles, Steven Ridley shouldn’t quickly get out of yours. The New England Patriots’ Week 3 matchup isn’t very favorable, and the Pats’ commitment to heavily involving the back is still up in the air.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have continued their success against running backs from a season ago, limiting them to just two yards per carry and five total fantasy points per game after two contests. Considering Ridley’s lack of value in the passing game, it’s best to wait it out another week before rolling with the back.


Start 'Em: WR Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans

Despite having cornerback Joe Haden shadowing him for much of Week 2, Torrey Smith still found a way to be a decent fantasy contributor. But he hasn’t found a way to get into the end zone to this point. Getting open and gaining yards is important, but some scores would be useful, right?

With rookie Marlon Brown emerging as a viable receiver on the other side of the field, Smith might be ready to break out this week against Houston. The speedy receiver has seen 21 targets from Joe Flacco. Eventually he’s going to break one.


Sit 'Em: WR Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams

While Dez Bryant is lighting up fantasy scoreboards, you’re stuck trying to justify starting his teammate Miles Austin. Continue to keep trying, but it’s a waste of time this week. For as effective as Austin has been playing in the slot, Bryant is starting to get looks in that position. The Dallas Cowboys know who their top weapon is, and they’re doing whatever it takes to get the ball in his hands.

The St. Louis Rams haven’t been as stout in their secondary as we imagined during the offseason, but then again, they’ve been burned by Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald in the opening two weeks. Those are the types of guys who can beat good defenses. Bryant may be able to find space out there, but keep Austin stashed again this week until he has a better matchup.