by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
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 – Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Washington
At this point anyone against Washington appears to be a matchup to exploit. They have allowed “just” 310.5 passing yards per game over the first two weeks, while also yielding 6 TD with 0 INT. Keep in mind, though, that opposing teams have gotten of to big leads early against them, likely driving them more to the ground (where they have also excelled). In other words, it’s not hard to imagine the passing damage being even worse.
As for Stafford, he has thrown for 2 TD in each of the first two games. That was the biggest (and really only) knock against him a year ago. There’s no reason to think that he won’t continue to prosper this week.
Sit – Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Houston
The Texans are allowing a minuscule 156.0 passing yards per game. With Ray Rice questionable you would think that would mean more passing attempts for Flacco, but who exactly is he going to throw it to (besides Torrey Smith)? Toss in that the last two times Flacco has faced Houston (including a 2011 playoff victory) he’s thrown for under 200 yards and there’s just too much risk involved here.
Start – Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Indianapolis
It’s amazing how quickly fantasy owners can make a panic move, isn’t it? After Gore was non-existent in Week 2 I’m sure there are some people wondering if he’s simply lost it and if it is time to move on. Don’t be that person. He was facing one of, if not the stingiest defense in the league. This week he draws a Colts defense allowing the fourth most rushing yards early on (136.0 per game). This should be a significantly better week.
Start – Rashard Mendenhall – Arizona Cardinals – at New Orleans
Didn’t think he’d be a recommended play, did we? The truth is he’s a low-end RB2, but the Saints have allowed 124.0 rushing yards per game and Mendenhall is the clear lead back at this point. He’s also looked decent over the first two weeks and the Cardinals could try and ride him a bit more with Larry Fitzgerald banged up and Drew Brees waiting to get the ball across the field. Don’t be surprised to see 20+ carries and the chance to score.
Sit – Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Seattle
Jones-Drew is banged up as it is, so even if the team had a more favorable matchup he would be a questionable play. After what we just saw Seattle do to Frank Gore? Forget it. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend any Jacksonville running back this week given the matchup and the potential to split carries.
Sit – David Wilson – New York Giants – vs. Carolina
Maybe he breaks out, but the Giants only gave him seven carries in Week 2 and it appeared like he as running to simply avoid fumbling (as opposed to looking to make a play). Until he proves that he can hold onto the football and get significant touches, he’s going to be a risk.
Wide Receivers (Two Receiver Formats)
Start – Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at Philadelphia
I’ve been consistent in stressing my distrust for Bowe this season, given the arrival of Andy Reid and Alex Smith. However, even in shallower formats, this matchup is too enticing not to take advantage of. The Chiefs easily could be trying to keep up with the fast-paced style of the Eagles, meaning more opportunities to produce for the team’s clear top passing option.
Sit – Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Chicago
Emmanuel Sanders has actually been the most targeted receiver for the Steelers through two weeks and they draw a tough matchup with the Bears. The combination means that he can’t be trusted in shallower formats, especially with no running game to keep Chicago honest. In deeper formats, however, he remains a very good option in all formats.
Wide Receivers (Three Receiver Formats)
Start – De’Andre Hopkins – Houston Texans – at Baltimore
With Andre Johnson forced out early of the Texans Week 2 game, Hopkins exploded. Quickly emerging as a viable option, we all saw the Ravens get torched by the Broncos in Week 1. Even if Johnson plays Hopkins should be worth using, but if he’s out Hopkins surges even further up the rankings.
Sit – Kenny Britt/Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans – vs. San Diego
The Chargers defense has actually been solid this season and, as always, it’s anyone’s guess as to who the go to receiver will be for Tennessee. While, after his outburst, you would think it won’t be Britt you still never know.
Start – Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at New York Giants
The Giants have already yielded three touchdowns to tight ends this season, so right away Olsen is appealing. Throw in the fact that he is the clear second option, behind Steve Smith, and he should also have the opportunity to produce. He’s one of the top tight end options this week and, unless you also own Jimmy Graham, he has to be active in all formats.
Sit – Jermaine Grsham/Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Green Bay
The matchup appears appealing, but can you say with certainty which tight end will get the bulk of the opportunities? Chances are they split the tight end looks, limiting each of their potential production.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings: