Start Em Sit Em Week 3: Breaking Down Intriguing but Risky Quarterbacks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Mario Williams #94 of the Buffalo Bills sacks  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 24-23.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Before we start deciding which quarterbacks to start and which quarterbacks to sit, we're going to assume that you don't have one of my top-10 quarterbacks for this week, which you can find here.

Because if you have one of those 10 quarterbacks, you start them, without question. 

But if you don't, which risky but intriguing quarterback should you be starting this week? 

Note: Rankings are based upon standard-scoring leagues. All fantasy stats via ESPN standard-scoring leagues.


Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles, allowing 24 points to opposing quarterbacks per game (ESPN).

Analysis: The Eagles secondary is dreadful. Just dreadful. As a diehard Eagles fan, I can attest to that fact first-hand. And Smith has been quite good this year in fantasy, with 37 total fantasy points (11th amongst quarterbacks). In a game that promises to be a shootout given Chip Kelly's turbo-charged offense, Smith looks like a safe bet to put up big fantasy numbers. 

Thoughtful Verdict: Not much to add here. If you don't have one of my top-10 quarterbacks this week, Smith is the guy I'd want to have.

Abrupt Verdict: START


Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Opponent: Dallas Cowboys, allowing 24.5 points to opposing quarterbacks per game (ESPN).

Analysis: Sam Bradford has started out strong with 651 passing yards and five touchdowns. He's currently fifth among quarterbacks in fantasy points, and he has a matchup against a Dallas team that has given up 673 passing yards and six touchdowns. In Tavon Austin, Jared Cook and Chris Givens, he has legitimate weapons in the passing game. Time to get onboard with Bradford. 

Thoughtful Verdict: The Cowboys are better defensively than the Eagles, which is the main reason I'd rather have Smith than Bradford. Likewise, I like his weapons more than the ones Philip Rivers is working with, which is why Bradford is No. 12 in my rankings. 

Abrupt Verdict: START


Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Opponent: Tennessee Titans, allowing 13 points to opposing quarterbacks per game (ESPN).

Analysis: Rivers has been excellent thus far this season, throwing for 614 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. He's currently the No. 4 quarterback in fantasy football, seemingly regaining fantasy relevance. The Titans were chewed up by Matt Schaub last week, giving up 298 yards and a touchdown. 

Thoughtful Verdict: I wouldn't start Rivers ahead of Smith or Bradford, but I currently have him at No. 13 on my rankings. He's just as capable as Schaub of carving up the Titans defense, whose defensive ranking against quarterbacks was aided in Week 1 against the hapless Pittsburgh Steelers offense.

Abrupt Verdict: START


Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Opponent: New York Giants, allowing 18 points to opposing quarterbacks per game (ESPN).

Analysis: Yes, I have Cam Newton at No. 14 in my rankings this week. Before you tell me to find the closest bridge and hurl myself off of it in the comments, consider that Newton currently has the 21st-most fantasy points amongst quarterbacks, behind players like EJ Manuel and Terrelle Pryor. If you'll recall, he started very slowly last year, too. 

Thoughtful Verdict: The Giants aren't exactly world-beaters on defense, but Newton hasn't shown himself to be trust-worthy for fantasy owners yet. It will be hard for you to sit him, but if you have one of my top 13 options this week, you should. 

Abrupt Verdict: SIT


Eli Manning, New York Giants

Opponent: Carolina Panthers, allowing 14 points to opposing quarterbacks per game (ESPN).

Analysis: Eli Manning has thrown seven interceptions this season, a number more staggering than his 812 passing yards after two games. The Panthers kept Russell Wilson in check, and while Manning has more weapons in the passing game than Seattle, he's been too erratic to trust thus far. 

Thoughtful Verdict: Starting Manning is like willingly giving yourself a nervous breakdown. For all of the production through the air, he can't seem to avoid interceptions. Plus, the Giants need to reestablish a running game. Until we have a better idea of who Manning is as a fantasy contributor, stay away. 

Abrupt Verdict: SIT


Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens, allowing 27.5 points to opposing quarterbacks per game (ESPN).

Analysis: Matt Schaub makes this list because he's been quite good this year, with 644 passing yards and six touchdowns. He's currently sixth in fantasy points for quarterbacks, and he gets a Ravens defense that was shredded by Peyton ManningBut that was Manning, and this is Schaub. The Ravens tightened up against Brandon Weeden and the Browns, sacking him five times.

Thoughtful Verdict:  Schaub and the Texans will try to throw given Baltimore's solid run defense, but the Ravens' defense isn't as bad as the Denver Broncos made them look. Unless you are in a 16-team league, sit Schaub.

Abrupt Verdict: SIT


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets went 4-0 in their fantasy leagues in Week 2. 

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