Welcome to Week Three, one of the most trying times of the season in fantasy football. The league is in disarray, nobody has a real clear-cut view of who is going to do what, and yes, the 49ers are 2-0.
What we’ll do here today is break down who to start and who to sit in a game-by-game manner. This will serve as a great reference point for all of you managers looking to get some answers to a great deal of heavy questions.
Atlanta @ New England
Brady has not lost his step and Welker is going to be available for this matchup (shhh…you didn’t hear it from me), but I wouldn’t start Welker. Brady has to get a bit more accurate on his passes, but I still like his chances against Atlanta’s passing D.
Atlanta is very dangerous, but I don’t see them having too much success against the Pats in New England outside of possibly Gonzalez.
Start: Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Tony Gonzalez, and John Abraham for IDP leaguers.
Sit: Matt Ryan, Brian Finneran
Tennessee @ New York Jets
I am not sold on the fact that the Jets are that good, nor am I sold on the fact that the Titans are that bad. The Jets will not have the same success they had stopping the run last week against the Pats, making Johnson's stock rise considerably.
The Jets have very little to offer in this game, and I don’t see the Titans giving any room to move. Sanchez will get his first loss of the season.
Start: Chris Johnson, Michael Griffin for IDP leaguers (he may even return kicks this week)
Sit: Mark Sanchez, Thomas Jones
Cleveland @ Baltimore
The title says enough, and the Browns aren’t going to do squat in this game. It is safe to start any Ravens player you have this week, and it is also safe to sit any Cleveland player you have this week. Trust me.
Washington @ Detroit
I like the Lions to pull the upset this week as well as Johnson and Smith to have a good day. Ernie Simms is out at WLB for the Lions, leaving two rookies to fill in. Can someone say Clinton Portis?
Start: Clinton Ports, Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson, and Louis Delmas for IDP leaguers.
Sit: Santana Moss, Jason Campbell
Green Bay @ St. Louis
Rodgers will face a Rams team that offers a significantly worse pass rush than the previous two competitors, and that should bode well for him, Driver, and Jennings. The Rams may have to rely heavily on Steven Jackson since Bulger is mentally MIA.
Start: Rodgers, Driver, Jennings, Jackson, and Woodson for IDP leaguers.
Sit: Bulger, Finley
Kansas City @ Philadelphia
Philadelphia will not have anywhere near the type of defensive collapse they had against New Orleans when KC comes to town, and it is safe to sit nearly everyone on the KC side of the ball.
Start: Westbrook, Kolb, McCoy, Jackson, and Celek
Sit: The entire KC team, unless Brandon Flowers gets the nod for IDP leaguers.
NYG @ Tampa Bay
Manning-to-Manningham was Week Two’s newest combo taking a place next to Manning-to-Wayne. The day will be focused, however, on Brandon Jacobs.
Tampa offers some fantasy relevance, too, with Winslow, and use Leftwich if you are stuck in a spot. Other than that, the Giants will be too much.
Start: Jacobs, Smith, Manningham, and the Caddy
Sit: Leftwich, Stovall, Clayton
San Francisco @ Minnesota
These two teams love to run the ball, with two QBs who are ancillary, but that’s not the only consideration here. Peterson is reported as having a back injury and was held out of practice today (Wed.), while the Vikings D has some issues with the run. I like Gore over Peterson, as taboo as it sounds.
I also like Favre, despite the fact that he hasn’t gone downfield yet. This could be the game Favre makes his true “return." Percy Harvin has yet to NOT have a TD.
Start: Favre, Gore, Harvin
Sit: Peterson, and the San Fran receivers
Jacksonville @ Houston
Arizona opened up a can of passing whoop-ass on the Jags, but Schaub is not Warner—don’t be fooled by his one-game performance until he starts showing some consistency. The Jags are without playmakers, but they can run on the Texans.
Start: Jones-Drew, Johnson
Sit: Schaub, Slaton
Chicago @ Seattle
Housh is hurt and Hasselback is, in fact, out, making Seattle the risky play team of the week. Stay away from them entirely. But for Chicago, Cutler should have a break-out game, and the Bears are primed to have a huge day.
Start: Cutler, Knox, Bennett, Forte, Patrick Kearney, and Tommy Harris for IDP leaguers.
Sit: All Seahawks players on offense
New Orleans @ Buffalo
If there was one thing we learned last week about the Saints and Brees, it’s that the only time to sit Brees is when he has a bye week. But the Bills are about as aggressive as they come on offense, and this game may be a nail-biter.
Start: Owens, Brees, Colston, Taylor, and Edwards
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
Big Ben is 11-0 in the state—the state—of Ohio, and 6-0 vs. the Bengals. Since the Steelers' running game is less than spectacular, expect a big day from both QBs in this one.
Keep in mind that Antwan Odom is leading the league in sacks and has been the brightest spot on the Bengals D this year.
Start: Big Ben, Ward, Palmer, Coles, and Odon for IDP leaguers
Sit: Parker, Benson
Miami @ San Diego
The Chargers don’t need to win to post huge fantasy numbers, and you don’t need them to win either. Although Miami plays sound defense, it just doesn’t seem to matter who Rivers goes up against. I don’t like L.T. or Sproles in this matchup, as the Miami D should contain them rather well.
Start: Rivers, Jackson, Gates, and Porter for IDP leaguers
Sit: Pennington, Williams
Denver @ Oakland
The surprising Broncos have been turning heads since Week One, and they should continue to do the same against the Raiders in Week Three. I just can’t fathom why Russell is still considered an option for the Raiders, I really can’t.
Oakland’s one bright spot will be McFadden.
Start: Orton, Marshall, McFadden, and safety Michael Huff of the Raiders
Sit: Russell, Miller
Carolina @ Dallas
The Cowboys will get a chance to redeem themselves at home against the Panthers, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen. The Panthers are facing an 0-3 start for the first time in Fox’s tenure, and for the first time since ’98.
If Carolina can get pressure up front, Romo will have another bad day; something that seems very possible.
Start: Delhomme, Smith, Williams, Jones, and Ware for IDP leaguers.
Sit: Romo, Witten, and Barber with his strained quadriceps.
Indianapolis @ Arizona
A show down in the Wild West as the Colts make the long flight to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, and what a game it will be!
Warner is coming off a career day for passing accuracy, while Manning proved last week he needs no more than a quarter of an hour to win games these days.
Indy is coming off a short week, and a long flight making them very vulnerable, so I don’t like the running game for the Colts here.
Start: Warner, Manning, Hightower, Fitzgerald, Boldin, Wayne, Clark
Good luck to everyone this week.