Fantasy Football Week 3: Last Second Decisions September 22, 2012  |  Kevin Roberts

It’s like they say – another week in fantasy football, more problems. Okay, that’s not the saying at all, but you get the idea. The point is, it never changes. Every single week, injuries roles and matchups affect your lineup decision-making process.

That’s why you’re up early watching ESPN, hitting google, searching for online advice chats, or fiddling on your iphone. You want answers, and you want them now. Well, my last second answers may not be super duper fresh once Sunday morning rolls around, but I sound the alarm a day early so you’re extra prepared on some key issues.

Let’s dive into this week’s Last Second quandaries:

Injury Watch

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

Mathews (collarbone) is tentatively expected to make his 2012 debut. It comes against a Falcons run defense that can be brutal, but has been pretty soft to start the year. The big question is his role. I doubt he gets 20 touches in his first game back, so he’s shaping up to be a bit of a risk. If you’re desperate, you have to play him, though.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

Forte (ankle) is officially out for week three, so turn your sights to Michael Bush. On paper, he’s lined up for a huge day against a weak Rams run defense.

Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams

S-Jax seems to be fine, but he’s not 100% and groin injuries are tricky. Daryl Richardson killing it in place of him last week certainly doesn’t do him any favors. Neither does facing the Bears on the road. I’d find another healthy option if you can.

Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers

Jennings has gone on record saying he’ll play on Monday Night Football against the Seahawks, and I’m buying it. His groin still isn’t quite 100%, so I don’t know if I quite trust him in his first game back.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Maclin will not play this week due to a bum hip, so get him out of your lineups. Obviously that should give DeSean Jackson some extra targets, but it could also mean he becomes easier to stop. In the end, I think tight end Brent Celek and running back LeSean McCoy are the ones who see more receptions versus the Cardinals.

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

Colston is listed as questionable, but I highly doubt he misses this one against a bad Chiefs team. As long as he’s close to 100%, he makes for a very strong play against a banged up and just bad KC defense at home.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots

Lloyd is listed as questionable, but with Bill Belichick’s sketchy injury report history, I wouldn’t buy it. Obviously you’ll need to make sure he’s a full go, but I think he’s fine. The Ravens aren’t an ideal matchup, but he’s about to blow sooner or later. It could happen this week.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

Garcon is doubtful for week three and might end up being a full-blown game-time call. There’s no denying his potential against a bad Bengals defense this week, but it’s not looking good for him to play.

Austin Collie, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Collie is in much better shape than he was a week ago, so it looks like he might actually play this week. Monitor his status if you’re really hurting at receiver, but I’d refrain from using him in his first game back if you can help it.

Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

Gates was a major surprise scratch last week, so hopefully no one gets burned with another surprise sit in week three. I’m betting he plays, though, and he could put up solid numbers. Just make sure he’s a full-go.


The Smith’s and the Leshoure’s

Mikel Leshoure returns from a two-game hiatus, only to further complicate your fantasy football lineup. The good news is that Kevin Smith isn’t irreplaceable and the Titans (who he faces this week) are a jamoke of a defense these days. I’ll OK Flex value for week three, but you should probably keep the training wheels on until the little guy can ride on his own.

What About Wes?

What is up with Wes Welker? Pretty simple, if you ask me. You can forget about the “well, Julian Edelman is a better blocker and stuff” chatter, because I’m not buying it.

The real deal is, Welker is a machine, but the Pats see him as a slot machine – one that really doesn’t deserve stud #1 wide receiver money. They’re also a bit miffed he didn’t agree to the deal they offered, so it looks like he’s dealing with a temporary demotion. Or he was, anyways, as that plan back-fired when tight end Aaron Hernandez went down. That thrust our buddy Welker into a better role right away last week, and he finished with 90 yards.

He’ll have a more normal role starting this week, but he does face the Ravens. And just when we thought we had it all figured out…

Matchup Time

Brownie Cakes vs. Those That There Bills

No one knows for sure if the Bills are good or if the Browns aren’t terrible. All we know for sure is that Cleveland is unpredictable right now, and that Buffalo might have a good defense. Play it safe and stick with the stud runners in this one – C.J. Spiller and Trent Richardson. Trying to get all sneaky-like and playing Brandon Weeden because “he has a killer matchup, brah”, well, that’s just not really using your noggin, is it?

Steeler Magnolias vs. (in a Chris Berman voice, of course) zee Oakland Raiiiidaz

The Raiders can’t get anything going on offense, while their secondary is so banged up that you pretty much have to start anyone who is facing them these days. I like Big Ben and his top two wide receivers this week, and I still think you have to play Darren McFadden. Yes, even if you have Mikel Leshoure on your bench and you’re really, really excited to test him out.

The Lions Offices of Locker and Johnson

I just think that combo sounds like a law firm, and I’m sticking to that thought. But really, Detroit and Tennessee could combine for some nice offense in week three. The Lions have a decent defense, but they haven’t really shutdown the Rams and 49ers, and those offenses aren’t insanely good. I think it’s high time Jake Locker and Chris Johnson get it going. This could be their week. On the flip-side, Matthew Stafford and Megatron should destroy the Titan’s weak defense.

There’s more information to be had if you still need some help come Sunday morning. If that’s the case, hit me up on Twitter or send me an email at my info kindly placed in the bio below. It’s all that text and stuff next to the ridiculously good looking guy to the left. Oh, that’s me? Sweet.

17 Responses

  1. Zandercage says:

    Hey Kevin –

    Colston or Ryan Mathews?


  2. Glenn says:

    Kevin, should I pick up Hankerson and drop McCluster. 1 point PPR. I have Garçon on my bench. Also have Hawkins. I start Colston and Amendola. I am really thin with Garçon and Colston at WR’s banged up. Thanks!

    • McCluster actually has some PPR value after what we saw in week one, so maybe hold onto him. I’d actually play Hawkins, though. He has 10 catches through two weeks, Redskins D isn’t looking great and that guy is elusive as heck in the open field. Could have another quality effort this week.

    • Check that. I had a massive brain fat, Glenn. Get Hank and drop McCluster. Start him over Hawkins this week. Hold onto Hawkins, though.

  3. Daniel says:

    Pick 3 non PPR: Ryan Mathews, Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, DeMarco Murray. Thanks!

    • Quite a group you’ve got there. Murray is a no-brainer this week, but the others are all really tough calls. CJ2k could finally blow up against so-so Lions D. Ridley has Ravens but they’ve been run on through two weeks. And its hard to sit Mathews, but he is in his first game back.

      I honestly think you’re sitting a solid guy any way you look at it. I’m going to say Mathews, Ridley and Murray and leave CJ2k and his 21 rushing yards on the bench. The reality is, even if he does “blow up”, compared to what he’s done so far, that might just mean he rushes for like 34 yards. The other guys are a bit more reliable right now and I’m excited to see what Mathews will do in his first game back. Obviously if you catch a report that Mathews is out or even remotely limited, replace him with CJ2k, though.

  4. jay says:

    As a New Englander, I know, no one knows whats up w/ Pats injuries but what are your thoughts. Its tough cause I already have Nicks an Garcon on my bench and no one to drop if Lloyd doesnt play.

    • I personally think he’s playing, and he’s a solid option. But if he doesn’t play, you’ll obviously need to figure something out to be able to slide someone in to replace him.

  5. trevinski says:

    12 team ppr. who would you flex. pierre thomas or cedric benson?

  6. iMP says:

    Hi Kevin, I know you commented on Jennings above. Would you feel pretty good that either Jennings or Cobb (probable, hammy) make it to fill one starting spot? My alternative is to drop Cobb for a guy like DHB or Hankerson (PPR), for the spot fill-in.

    • I would imagine at least one of them plays. Unfortunately, you’re likely going to have to make that call before Monday. If it’s looking bleak or you don’t want to risk it, drop Cobb and pick up Hankerson. Pierre Garcon isn’t looking good for this week, so Hank could be a solid play against a really bad Cincy defense. I wouldn’t normally condone dropping Cobb, especially with Jennings being so shaky. Try to stay updated on his status and see if the Packers don’t tilt their hand there to help you out a bit. Good luck!

    • iMP says:

      Thanks for the previous help. I’m now set with Cobb or Jennings and a 4pt deficit (PPR). What do you think I should be looking for to have or not have confidence in Jennings if they are both active?

    • Kevin Roberts says:

      There should be reports that come out hours before the game. You should have an idea as to which to roll with 1-2 hrs before the game. If both are out, hopefully you’ll have enough time to scramble for James Jones or Donald Driver if available. At least one of those guys should play, though.

  7. LakerSteve says:

    Hey Kevin, question. We play 3 WRs (no flex) 1pt PPR. I’m starting Harvin, Bowe for sure. Would you start Amendola at CHI or L. Moore vs KC (in the Dome – where he seems to always catch a TD).

    • Many will disagree with me after Danny’s big week, but I think Moore is the guy here. He’s at home and the Chiefs stinks, so you have to like his odds. You could be fine with Amendola, too, but the Bears pass D isn’t easy and he’s on the road. I’d go with Moore by a hair.

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