Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Top Players Who Must Be Left on Bench
Another week of fantasy football is almost upon us, and with it comes more tough decisions about which top players should sit or start in Week 3.
Injured players are always a huge risk to play. Even if those players do bite the bullet and play hurt, they may not be at full strength and that will almost undoubtedly hurt their production.
Other players who are dealing with injuries around them can also no-show from week to week. Throw in the fact that those kinds of players may have a tough matchup in their respective games and you have a definite recipe for a letdown.
Let's take a look at some top players who you should sit in Week 3.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Houston Texans)
Rice was thought to be one of the top running backs in fantasy football when the season began, but a lackluster start to the year is one reason to bench him in Week 3.
In two games this season, Rice has carried the ball 25 times for 72 yards to the tune of 2.9 yards per carry and one score. The 26-year-old has even been disappointing in the passing attack, as he has caught 11 passes for just 44 yards and has yet to see the end zone through the air.
Adding to the concerns about Rice, he is listed as questionable (hip) for this Sunday's game against the Houston Texans, per ESPN.com. Even if he does play, Rice may not be 100 percent and could give way to fellow back Bernard Pierce should he be ineffective.
Baltimore's best chance at moving the ball down the field against Houston will be through its passing game. The Texans are notorious for being weak against the deep ball, so that could further limit Rice's touches on the ground in this game.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (at Miami Dolphins)
While the Falcons have done a great job moving the ball through the air over the first two weeks, White has not been a beneficiary of that success.
Against teams like the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, White has compiled just five catches (six targets) for 40 yards and has yet to get into the end zone. Other receivers around him such as Julio Jones, Harry Douglas and even tight end Tony Gonzalez have been more prevalent targets for quarterback Matt Ryan.
White has been battling injuries since the preseason and it seems to be taking a toll on him, as it's rare for such a talented receiver—one who has gained over 1,100 yards in each of the last six seasons—to get off to such a slow start.
The 31-year-old is listed as questionable (ankle) for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, per ESPN.com, so it looks like he won't be fully healthy again this week.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
It's never an easy thing to sit a quarterback with the track record of Brady, but this is a very different season in New England. Brady is off to a very unimpressive start to the 2013-14 campaign with just 473 yards and three touchdowns during the first two weeks.
The Pats are having a ton of issues throwing the ball as their young receivers have proved mostly unreliable to start the season. Whether it's drops or miscommunication, Brady simply doesn't have anyone to trust in the passing game other than Julian Edelman.
Brady's best receiver this season, Danny Amendola, is now dealing with a groin injury and could miss the next few weeks, per Michael Whitmer of The Boston Globe, and star tight end Rob Gronkowski likely won't play in Week 3, according to the same report.
Until one or both of those players return, sitting Brady is the best bet unless he's up against a totally inept defense. The Bucs don't qualify as such with a revamped secondary starring Darrelle Revis, and the Bucs successfully kept Saints quarterback Drew Brees in check last week, picking him off twice.
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