Fantasy Football Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 3

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 23, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass during an NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week?  Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

Start – Ryan Fitzpatrick – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England

Not only has Fitzpatrick impressed thus far in 2011 (472 yards, 7 TD, 1 INT), but his game against the Patriots has a chance to turn into a full shootout.  Sure, the Bills could try to run the ball to keep it out of Tom Brady’s hands, but do we really believe it will work?  Fitzpatrick has proven that he can distribute the ball around to all his weapons. Stevie Johnson, Donald Nelson, Scott Chandler, Fred Jackson and company should continue to post impressive numbers for another week.

Sit – Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
Forget about Manning’s performance thus far.  Hakeem Nicks is hurting.  Mario Manningham is hurting.  Dominick Hixon’s season is over.  Depending on who is able to play, both Victor Cruz and Brandon Stokely could play vital roles for the Giants offense.  It wouldn’t matter who the Giants were playing, Manning would be a risk.  Taking on the vaunted Eagles secondary?  Forget about it.

Running Backs
Start – Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
You may look at his rushing numbers (37 carries for 129 yards and 1 TD) and think that he hasn’t produced enough to be a usable option for fantasy owners.  Of course, that would be ignoring his production in the passing game (10 receptions for 108 yards and 1 TD).  Throw in the fact that the Vikings have allowed 371.0 total yards/game and saw Ryan Mathews torch them for 119 total yards in Week 1 and you realize there is a lot to like.

Start – Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Oakland
I know he’s been a disappointment and will be without his starting center, but the match-up with the Raiders is too enticing.  They have allowed 130.5 rushing yards/game thus far, sixth worst in the league.  I wouldn’t consider Greene a high-end option, but you definitely could do a lot worse.

Sit – Thomas Jones – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Diego
With Jamaal Charles out for the season Jones figures to get a significant number of carries the rest of the way.  However, Dexter McCluster could easily steal a lot of the touches, as Thomas Jones is averaging just 3.1 yards/carry in 2011 (after being at just 3.7 yards/carry a year ago).  He’s clearly on the decline and is tough to depend on at this point.

Sit – Pierre Thomas/Mark Ingram/Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – vs. Houston
The fact of the matter is, in a passing offense, there are only so many touches to go around for the running backs.  Can you predict which one of the running backs is going to make the biggest impact?  In PPR formats it’s probably Sproles, but otherwise it really is anyone’s guess.  Thomas has 14 carries for 72 yards while Ingram has 27 carries for 91 yards.  There’s just too much risk involved.

Wide Receivers (Two Receiver Formats)
Start – Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Pittsburgh
He has a tough match-up and may not be posting the Reggie Wayne like numbers that we have all come to expect.  Yet, he has still managed 11 receptions for 172 yards and 1 TD and has been targeted 19 times (tied for tenth in the league).  You have to think that he and Kerry Collins will continue to develop a rapport and, before long, he’ll be posting some gaudy numbers even without Peyton Manning.

Sit – Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
The Lions defense is developing into one of the better units in the game.  Throw in the presence of Donovan McNabb (despite his improvement in Week 2) and there is a lot of risk at play with Harvin.  While he is viable in three receiver formats, I’d keep my distance, if possible, in shallower formats.

Wide Receivers (Three Receiver Formats)
Start – Eric Decker – Denver Broncos – at Tennessee
With Brandon Lloyd scratched in Week 2 Decker stepped up and had a monster performance, with 5 receptions for 113 yards and 2 TD.  Now, even if Lloyd is back, it is easy to imagine him having a major impact week in and week out.  While the Titans may not be an ideal match-up, they also have played a weak Jaguars team that helped to pad their defensive numbers (175 passing yards allowed)

Sit – Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints – vs. Houston
In a high-powered offense, could he post a big day?  Absolutely.  Is it a guarantee?  Absolutely not.  He had just 1 reception for 6 yards in Week 2 and will have to battle with Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Jimmy Graham for targets.  It’s just not worth the risk.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 3 information: