Fantasy Football Sunday Morning Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Decisions: Week 3

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 25, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys runs for yards after the catch against the New York Jets during the first quarter of their NFL Season Opening Game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Just hours before the start of Week 3, I know many people have questions running through their heads. 

Who should I start?  Who should I sit?  Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:


Dez Bryant: Wide Receiver – Dallas Cowboys
Brandon George (via Twitter) reported that Bryant returned to practice yesterday, which is a definitely a step in the right direction.  Does it mean that he’s a certainty to take the field on Monday night?  Obviously not, but it gives fantasy owners a lot of hope.

If he plays he is one of the better options, especially with Miles Austin out of action.  The question is if you want to roll the dice with him or not.  That is going to depend on the other options you have.  If you don’t have the depth, I can see keeping him active. 

My recommendation would be to plan on using him, but hit the waiver wire and have a “break in case of emergency” option on the bench.  The Redskins’ Anthony Armstrong (owned in five percent of Yahoo leagues), is the perfect option.  The Cowboys’ Jesse Holley, who had three receptions for 96 yards (on three targets) or Kevin Ogletree, who had two receptions for 50 yards (on four targets) would be other fallback options.


Antonio Gates: Tight End – San Diego Chargers
According to Mike Florio of NBC Sports (click here for the article), “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, officially questionable with a foot injury, will not play against the Chiefs.”  You had to be prepared for this, especially after he was targeted just once a week ago.  With a 4  p.m. EST game, Gates’ owners will likely want to look for an alternative for this week.  Head towards to the waiver wire and see what you can find.

Knowshon Moreno: Running Back – Denver Broncos
In answering a question on Twitter, Jay Glazer said, “Foxie told me macgahee will see bulk RT."

Moreno is currently listed as questionable due to a hamstring injury, but it sounds like even if he plays he isn’t going to be a viable option.  He should be benched in all formats.

As for McGahee, he is coming off a week where he got 28 carries for 101 yards and a TD.  He’ll take on a Titans defense in the middle of the pack against the run, allowing 104.0 rushing yards/game. 

Depending on your other options I could see using McGahee as a FLEX option, but he’s really nothing more that this point.  The 101 yards were great, but he averaged just 3.6 yards/carry.  If he doesn’t get as many carries, the numbers will look far less appealing.  His chance of scoring at least one TD is what keeps him intriguing.


Beanie Wells: Running Back – Arizona Cardinals
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter), “Cardinals RB Beanie Wells thinks he will play, but he first wants to test his hamstring in pregame warmups.”  Wells is listed as questionable due to a hamstring injury.  If healthy he’s a solid RB2, and it seems likely that he’s a viable option.  If you plan on using him, however, I would quickly grab LaRod Stephens-Howling, just in case, but it doesn’t appear like you will need him.


Michael Crabtree: Wide Receiver – San Francisco 49ers
A report from the San Francisco Chronicle (click here to view) said that:

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree ran routes through cones while under the surveillance of strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama at the start of Friday’s practice and is listed as ‘probable,’ meaning he has a 75 percent chance of playing. Crabtree looked crisp in making his cuts on a surgically repaired left foot.

We all know that the talent is there and, with Braylon Edwards out for Week 3, he could have the opportunity to produce.  Would you be willing to take the flier on him at this point?  Until he actually produces something on the field, he should be firmly on your bench in all formats.


Victor Cruz: Wide Receiver – New York Giants
With Mario Manningham officially out for Week 3 and Domenik Hixon’s season over, the Giants' thin receiving corps has gotten that much worse.  In the past two weeks the team has added Brandon Stokely and Michael Clayton to try and add depth, though they are hardly options you can trust.

Clearly there’s a big hole on the outside, and according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, “The Giants likely will start Victor Cruz at wide receiver opposite Hakeem Nicks with Manningham out. Cruz and Brandon Stokley also could see time in the slot with Devin Thomas perhaps seeing more snaps.”

Against the vaunted Eagles secondary, I wouldn’t recommend gambling on Cruz unless you are desperate for a receiver.  However, this is his opportunity to establish himself as a go-to option for Eli Manning throughout the rest of the season.  For those in deeper formats, he should be monitored closely today.

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