Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week 3

jay-cutler-kristin-cavallariWeek 2 was a bounce back week for many stars who disappointed in the first week of the season. You had players like James Jones, Pierre Garcon and Calvin Johnson all had big fantasy weeks after having a subpar Week 1.

I hope I helped out fantasy owners last week. I had some good calls, but missed on Garcon and Lacy (due to injury). I feel confident that this week’s edition of Fantasy Football Start/Sit will help fantasy owners win in Week 3.

Will Reggie Bush and Ray Rice play this weekend? Is Roddy White still a decoy? Will Trent Richardson contribute right away for the Colts? We try to answer those questions and many more.

START’EM

  • Joique Bell - Reggie Bush’s knee isn’t 100% and he’s a game-time decision. If Bush was healthy, I’d be ALL-IN on him against Washington this weekend. Since it’s uncertain if he’ll play, Bell is a must start. He already receives more touches than any other backup running back (not named Ben Tate). Bell will get his stats even if Bush toughs it out and plays.
  • Jay Cutler – Earlier today, a friend asked me if he should play Jay Cutler over Tom Brady. He’s a huge Bears fan, so he wanted to make sure he wasn’t being unjustly biased. I told him that I’d play Cutler over Brady nine times out of ten. The Bears are protecting Cutler better than ever and he’s play has vastly improved. Martellus Bennett will be hard for the Steelers linebackers to cover. He’ll also draw nickel cornerbacks into coverage, which he’ll overpower.
  • Coby Fleener – Speaking of a super biased fans (I’m a Colts fan), I love Coby Fleener going forward. Indianapolis lost their other bookend tight end, Dwayne Allen, to a season-ending hip injury. The Colts new West Coast offense took a hit, but Fleener knows the offense well. He was Andrew Luck’s teammate at Stanford and their old college offensive coordinator is now with the Colts. He’s not owned in many leagues and could be a sneaky TE, especially if your team’s TE is on a bye-week in the coming weeks.
  • James Starks - Eddie Lacy suffered an unfortunate concussion last week and has been ruled out this week. James Starks filled in for him last week and took control of the game. Aaron Rodgers even commented that it was nice to have a running game for a change. Starks may not be the best running back in the league, but it’s all about opportunity in the NFL.
  • Steve Smith - Carolina faces the New York Football Giants, which has a secondary that’s more porous than a spaghetti colander (Yes, I just went foodie on your ass). Steve Smith is best when he can flat-out beat his defender in a sprint. Giants are projected to have Prince Amukamara on him. I’m not saying Amukamara is slow, Smith is just really fast.
  • Jordan Cameron - Hmmm, why am I still on the Jordan Cameron bandwagon with Brian Hoyer as Cleveland’s starting quarterback? Well, I was on the bandwagon with Brandon Weeden as the quarterback, so I view this as an upgrade. I always upgrade the tight end position when a new quarterback starts. Tight ends are security blankets for a quarterback. I think Cameron will do just fine with all the changes on the Browns roster.
  • Seattle or Denver Def/ST - If you start the defense that play either Jacksonville (Seattle), Oakland (Denver), you’ll do just finein your league. Both of these team’s defenses are most likely owned, but if you have ANY question about starting either defense, second think your decision to play fantasy football.
  • Sam Bradford – Bradford is in that group of young quarterbacks that are backup fantasy quarterbacks until they take the next step. Bradford has already thrown five touchdowns and should do well against Dallas. He could end up on his back a few times, but look for Chris Givens and Tavon Austion to help Bradford be a top-10 quarterback this week.
  • Knowshon Moreno – Let’s all hold a memorial for Montee Ball’s fantasy relevance this season. It only took Moreno five seasons, but he’s finally living up to the hype he earned at the University of Georgia. Denver will be up early in their game against Oakland on Monday night, so Moreno will get a lot of garbage time work. He’s definitely worth a start and whoever owns him on their team, got a steal.
  • Eddie Royal - After Royal’s three touchdown performance last week, everyone is starting him in Week 3. He already has five touchdown receptions on the season. Malcolm Floyd is unlikely to play due to a neck injury, so look for Royal to produce once again. He may not have a multi-touchdown game, but he’ll get a lot of targets.
  • Colin Kaepernick - NO BRAINER START - This is quite simple. Terrelle Pryor made the Colts defense look slow in Week 1 and Kaepernick is an even better athlete. Indianapolis does have some speed rushers and decent secondary, but if Pryor can put up fantasy numbers against them, Kaepernick will have a field day. ESPN and Yahoo! has Kaepernick listed in the teens in their rankings, but he’s definitely a top-10 quarterback this week.
  • Jason SnellingDEEP LEAGUE START - With Steven Jackson ruled out this weekend, the rushing attack will be Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers. Many fantasy analysts believe Rodgers will be the guy to receive the carries, but I highly doubt that is the case. Snelling is the same mold as Jackson and is much easier to plug him into the offense than to change Rodgers’ role. I’m not saying to go drop an everyday running back for him, but if you have Jackson and have a roster spot free, he’s worth a flex play.

SIT’EM

  • Roddy White - This one is a no-brainer. White admitted that he’s nowhere near 100% and is still being used as a decoy. I will keep recommending fantasy owners sit him until he does something productive. White’s too valuable to drop, so just stick him on your bench until you feel comfortable starting him.
  • Ray Rice – Rice is a gamer and has played through injuries before, but he hasn’t practiced all week. Coach John Harbaugh said Rice does not need to practice to play on Sunday, but if he’s on your team, read everything Rice-related until game time. If the same information comes out, look for someone to fill his spot this week. Bernard Pierce could be a nice pickup if you have a roster spot available.
  • Trent Richardson – Even though the hype is at an all-time high for Richardson, I recommend holding off on starting him. He’ll only have the Colts playbook a few days by the time they play on Sunday, so Ahmad Bradshaw should get the majority of the touches this week against the 49ers. I do believe Richardson will be a fantasy contributor this season, but it may take a few weeks until you see results.
  • Vernon Davis - The Colts have played well against the tight end so far this year. Vernon Davis can be hot and cold as it is, so maybe look for someone like Martellus Bennett or Brandon Myers to add and start in place this week. The Indianapolis linebackers are good pass defenders and can keep up with him. Davis could be a threat if he lines up outside and faces a nickel cornerback or safety.
  • Pierre Garcon -  I was dead wrong on Garcon last week. The Redskins got into a gunfight with Green Bay and teams were just airing the ball everywhere. Garcon’s performance in Week 2 will not be duplicated against the Lions. Detroit has a reputation to gameplan to take away the opposing team’s best receiver. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort to take Garcon out of the game and the Lions will do it. I look for Leonard Hankerson to benefit from Garcon being blanketed.
  • Russell Wilson - I can see your face when you read this, but yes, Russell Wilson won’t have a good fantasy week against Jacksonville. I don’t feel this is a bold proclamation, but Seattle might have some trouble keeping him upright. Starting left tackle Russell Okung will be out and his backup had issues last week. Jaguars’ Jason Babin could have a career day in sacks if Okung’s replacement, Paul McQuistan, doesn’t play better.
  • New England Def/ST - This is my boldest prediction of the week. The Tampa Bay offense hasn’t looked NFL-level, but with added pressure to perform, Josh Freeman and Doug Wilson could put together a redemption game. The Patriots aren’t the same team this season and Tampa could steal one on the road. New England has squeaked by the last two weeks and their luck could be running out. Yes, you read that correctly, this will be a close game.
  • Antonio Brown - Chicago’s secondary is known for taking risks and forcing turnovers. Brown hasn’t lived up to the preseason hype yet and I don’t see his first fantasy game being against the Bears. I see Emmanuel Sanders putting up more points than Brown. I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting him this week.
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