Fantasy

Week 3 Start Em Sit Em: Breaking Down Maddening Flex Options

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15:  Greg Jennings #15 of the Minnesota Vikings runs a pass pattern against Tim Jennings #26 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 15, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 31-30.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2013

If Kermit the Frog thought he had it bad, just imagine how hard his life would have felt with the burden of selecting the right players for his flex position.

No part of fantasy football causes more anger than the flex slot. People filing for flex consideration are either unproven commodities vying for a chance to be trusted or underachievers hanging onto a place in your starting lineup.

Those who avoid sleepless nights with a sturdy running back or wide receiver to fill the void should count their blessings. For the rest of us, the decisions are brutal.

These guys are headaches to own due to their inconsistency and/or lack of opportunities to strive. None of them have been beacons of sturdiness after two weeks, forcing owners to think twice before making the final call. 

 

Greg Jennings vs. Cleveland Browns

If falling from top wideout to flex play isn't humiliating enough, the former stud isn't even a safe flex option.

In his first season away from the Green Bay Packers, Jennings is hardly carrying fantasy teams on his back. The 29-year-old has caught eight passes for 117 receiving yards while not locating the end zone.

Figuring to be Christian Ponder's go-to guy, Jennings has received as many looks (13) as Jerome Simpson through two games. If anything, Ponder will target Simpson more this weekend with cornerback Joe Haden lurking near Jennings.

Go ahead and file this under the duh department, but switching quarterback cohorts from Aaron Rodgers to Ponder has hurt and will continue to hamper the veteran's fantasy productivity. 

Mike Wallace, another pricey wide receiver who left a good situation, started his tenure in Miami on shaky grounds when Haden limited him to one catch on the afternoon. Jennings could suffer from similar frustration this Sunday.

Verdict: Sit

 

Eric Decker (vs. Oakland Raiders)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Wide receiver Eric Decker #87 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by cornerback Prince Amukamara #20 of the New York Giants after a reception during the first half  at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherf
Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

You might not be able to fully trust Eric Decker all season long.

Vanishing acts such as his 32-yard effort from Week 1 will continue to be part of the territory due to Denver's embarrassment of riches at wide receiver. Peyton Manning made sure Decker got involved last Sunday, but this week could be Wes Welker's turn to feel special again after notching three receptions against the New York Giants.

Even in triumph, Decker stayed shut out of the end zone after amassing 13 scores last year. Drafters who paid top dollar for that number will leave 2013 disappointed.

Against a defense that has allowed opponents to complete 70.5 percent of their passes, Manning could send all his teammates home happy against Oakland. 

Another good sign: Decker, not Welker, leads the Broncos in targets through two games. Manning will share the wealth down in the red zone, but Decker should still collect his points this weekend.

Verdict: Start

 

Ahmad Bradshaw (at San Francisco 49ers)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the Indianapolis Colts hits the ground at the end of a rush for a touchdown but was called down at the one yard line against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Indianapol
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Why did the Indianapolis Colts even bother signing Ahmad Bradshaw if they're so desperate to not play him?

While the 27-year-old back frequents the injury report every other week, there's no denying his skill when healthy. He has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over his six-year career, including a solid 65 yards and rushing touchdown last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Yet the Colts gave Vick Ballard more touches than expected before he suffered a season-ending injury, and one week later they pawned a first-round pick to Cleveland for Trent Richardson.

Did Bradshaw say something mean to Andrew Luck? What is the team's beef with him?

Nevertheless, anxious fantasy gamers cannot expect Richardson to contribute much this weekend with only a few days to learn the playbook. Bradshaw won't be relegated to mop-up duty just yet, but that still doesn't warrant him consideration against the San Francisco 49ers.

Although Marshawn Lynch earned 98 yards and two touchdowns against San Francisco last week, the Colts won't jump out to a similar lead. This game will more closely resemble the 49ers' Week 1 clash with the Packers, where Rodgers gave up on the run and put it all on his arm.

Bradshaw is in line for a boring line nearing 10-12 carries for 40-50 yards. Nothing special unless you get lucky with a touchdown.

Verdict: Sit

 

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