Fantasy Football: Week Three Start or Sit

Matthew BeckCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2009

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Todd Heap #86 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a pass for a touchdown while being defended by Steve Gregory #28 of the San Diego Chargers in the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on September 20, 2009 in San Diego, California. The Ravens defeated the Chargers 31-26.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Here is my week three list of who to start and who to sit: 

Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams                    

Start: Ryan Grant, RB (GB)

Explanation: Although Grant isn’t off to a good start in 2009, this week should get him going.  The Rams give up 130 yards per game to their opposition, so great matchup here. 

Sit: Donnie Avery, WR (STL)

Explanation: Marc Bulger has shown in the first two weeks of the season that his favorite target is Laurent Robinson now that Torry Holt is in Jacksonville.  Avery will have a lockdown cornerback on him this week, so not a good matchup for him.


Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens               

Start: Todd Heap, TE (BAL)

Explanation: Heap scored a touchdown in each of the Ravens first two games and will continue to be a red zone target for Joe Flacco.  Don’t hesitate to start him this week against a poor defense.

Sit: Jamal Lewis, RB (CLE)

Explanation: Lewis did not practice on Wednesday, which should throw up a red flag.  The Ravens lead the league in rush defense, so if he does play it won’t be a good matchup.


Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles                              

Start: LeSean McCoy, RB (PHI)

Explanation: Brian Westbrook missed practice on Wednesday, which leads me to believe he won’t be 100 percent if he does play.  Look for McCoy to get a significant amount of playing time this week.

Sit: Dwayne Bowe, WR (KC)

Explanation: Bowe has yet to lead his team in receiving this season, and will have a lockdown cornerback covering him in Asante Samuel.  Go in another direction this week if you can.


Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots                               

Start: Matt Ryan, QB (ATL)

Explanation: Ryan is off to a great start this season, and should continue it this week against a secondary that isn’t that good.  Look for the Falcons to pass the ball a lot in this matchup as they try to keep up with the air attack from the Patriots.

Sit: Wes Welker, WR (NE)

Explanation: Welker missed last week’s game with a knee injury, but is listed as questionable for Week Three.  I don’t think the Patriots will rush him back, since his backup, Julian Edelman, was great in his absence.  If Welker does play he won’t be 100 percent, so if you can, start a different receiver this week.


Tennessee Titans at New York Jets               

Start: Dustin Keller, TE (NYJ)

Explanation: The Titans are very vulnerable to the tight end this season, giving up close to 90 yards per game.  Keller is often targeted by Mark Sanchez, so look for Keller to have a good day.

Sit: LenDale White, RB (TEN)

Explanation: Coach Jeff Fisher has said that he is going to use Chris Johnson even more this week than he has already this season.  This is a bad sign for White as his carries will be affected.  So don’t start White this week.


San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings            

Start:  Percy Harvin, WR (MIN)

Explanation: Harvin has lived up to his first-round status thus far, establishing himself as a reliable target for Brett Favre.  He has had a touchdown in each game in 2009 and should continue that streak this week against a mediocre defense.

Sit:  Frank Gore, RB (SF)

Explanation: This is a brutal matchup for Gore, who is coming off of a 200-yard game last week.  The 49ers will probably be down early in this game, so their rushing attack with be non-existent.  If you can, start a different running back.


Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans            

Start: David Garrard, QB (JAC)

Explanation: The Texans secondary hasn’t been anything special this season, and Garrard had great numbers against them last season.  Expect the Jaguars to balance out their rushing game with a balanced passing game.

Sit: Steve Slaton, RB (HOU)

Explanation: Slaton is off to a dreadful start in 2009, with only 51 rushing yards after two games.  He also has a case of the fumbles, which is a nightmare for fantasy owners, with three already this season.


Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions                 

Start: Clinton Portis, RB (WAS)

Explanation: Over the last two weeks, the Lions gave up 142 yards on the ground to Mike Bell and 92 yards to Adrian Peterson.  Expect Portis to do the same.

Sit:  Kevin Smith, RB (DET)

Explanation: The Redskins defense has been good against the run thus far in 2009, holding Brandon Jacobs and Steven Jackson to zero touchdowns.  The Lions will be down early, so expect to see a lot more passing than running on Sunday.


New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers         

Start: Mario Manningham/Steve Smith, WRs (NYG)

Explanation: Both Manningham and Smith have stepped up to fill the voids left by Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer in the receiving corps, after their great performances in Week Two.  If you need to, start either one of these guys.

Sit: Carnell Williams, RB (TB)

Explanation: Williams had a horrible day rushing last week, rushing only seven times for nine yards.  He did have a touchdown reception out of the backfield, but that isn’t really his game.  Go in a different direction this week.


New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills                    

Start: Lee Evans, WR (BUF)

Explanation: This game is going to be a shootout, so Evans should see plenty of action this week.  He recorded a touchdown last week, for his first of the season and should get at least one this week against a weak secondary.

Sit: Mike Bell, RB (NO)

Explanation: Bell missed practice on Wednesday and is questionable for this week’s game.  He won’t be 100 percent if he does play, so start a different player in his position.


Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks                         

Start: Jay Cutler, QB (CHI)

Explanation: Cutler settled down in Week Two completing 27-of-38 passes with two touchdowns against a good Steelers defense.  The Seahawks are still missing their top cornerback, so a great matchup for Cutler.

Sit: Julius Jones, RB (SEA)

Explanation: The Bears are still a good defense against the run, and Jones hasn’t run the ball well, except for his 62-yard run against a horrid Rams defense.  Expect Jones to have a bad game.


Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers         

Start: Darren Sproles, RB (SD)

Explanation: LaDanian Tomlinson missed practice again on Wednesday, which leads me to believe he won’t be playing in Week Three.  The matchup for Sproles isn’t that good, but he will be the starting running back if Tomlinson doesn’t play.

Sit: Ted Ginn Jr., WR (MIA)

Explanation: Ginn had a good week last week, but he couldn’t make the big play at the end of the game to win it for the Dolphins.  Pennington will most likely not look his way as much as he did the last two weeks, also not the best of matchups.


Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders           

Start: Darren McFadden, RB (OAK)

Explanation: With quarterback JaMarcus Russell struggling, look for the Raiders to run the ball even more than they already have been.  Expect a big game out of McFadden.

Sit: Eddie Royal, WR (DEN)

Explanation: Royal is off to a slow start this season, with only five catches and 38 yards receiving through his first two games.  He hasn’t been targeted as much by Kyle Orton as he was by Cutler last season which is a concern.  Definitely sit Royal this week.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals                     

Start: Carson Palmer, QB (CIN)

Explanation: The Steelers defensive backfield just isn’t as dominating without Troy Polamalu and that was shown last week when the Bears took advantage of their situation.  Palmer also has great career numbers against the Steelers, so a good start this week.

Sit: Willie Parker, RB (PIT)

Explanation: Parker is in danger of losing carries after a poor start to the 2009 season.  Just avoid him at all costs.


Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals                   

Start: Pierre Garcon, WR (IND)

Explanation: Garcon stepped up nicely last week, filling in for injured Anthony Gonzalez.  He should receive more looks this week in a favorable matchup.

Sit: Beanie Wells, RB (ARI)

Explanation: Tim Hightower is running the ball great, and Wells hasn’t come through when he was called upon, which doesn’t help his case.  Start someone else if you can.


Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys                      

Start: Felix Jones, RB (DAL)

Explanation: Marion Barber is not expected to play this Monday against the Panthers, which makes Jones a great start.  He was great last week and will try to build off of that as a starter this week.

Sit: Jonathan Stewart, RB (CAR)

Explanation: The production is there, but Stewart isn’t getting enough carries to keep him in fantasy lineups.  If you want to take a risk go ahead and start him, but I don’t recommend it. 


Check back next week as I assist you in your fantasy lineup decisions!