Week 3 Start/Sit
September 20, 2012 | Mike Braude
QB: Robert Griffin III vs. CIN – Robert Griffin has dazzled NFL fans during the first two weeks of the season – don’t think for one second that his party ends this week. In what arguably couldn’t be a better matchup, RGIII will face off against the same Bengals defense that made Brandon Weeden look like a star last week. I believe in Griffin enough that I will be trotting him out instead Matt Ryan in one of my leagues.
RB: Alfred Morris vs. CIN – After being manhandled by the Browns offensive-line last week, I expect Washington’s 4th ranked rushing offense to dominate the Bengals defense. I’m not a big Alfred Morris fan but he looked to improve as a runner in Week 2. He’s yet to make any mistakes to lose the job and always falls forward. This week he draws a cupcake matchup against the defense that Trent Richardson exploded against last weekend.
Jamaal Charles at NO – Despite not loving Charles as buy low, I do believe he’ll have a great week. The Saints defense has looked absolutely dreadful this season – allowing Alfred Morris to run wild in Week 1 and rejuvenating the Panthers rushing offense in Week 2. Only the Jaguars have allowed more points to opposing running backs – point taken, start Charles.
Ryan Mathews vs. ATL – One of the few true workhorse backs left, Ryan Mathews will show why he’s was ranked 4th overall before his clavicle injury this week. He’s shown special talent over the past two seasons and finally has the backfield to himself with Tolbert gone. This week he draws a matchup with a Falcons defense that made Willis McGahee look explosive last week. I have enough faith in Mathews to start him over Reggie Bush in our Fake Football Spotlight league this week.
Mark Ingram vs. KC – This ‘start’ is for deeper league players. There’s usually concern about whether Ingram is going to get enough touches – in this game, I expect the Saints to dominate, which will lead to Ingram getting clock killing carries. Since they’re facing a decimated Chiefs defense there’s also a solid chance he’ll find the end-zone. It also doesn’t hurt that the Chiefs are ranked 28th against the run.
WR: Marques Colston vs. KC – This is another case of a favorable matchup. Colston is a proven player in this league – it’s only a matter of time until Brees and him work out the kinks. With the Saints going against one of the league’s worst defenses and attempting to avoid starting 0-3, I believe this will be the week.
Dez Bryant vs. TBB – If you have been following my writing consistently, you know that Dez Bryant was one of my guys this season. Sadly it hasn’t panned out favorably yet – but that will change this weekend. Facing the Buccaneers defense, who allowed Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to become the first teammates ever to catch 10 passes for 175 yards each. This week, it’s Dez and Miles Austin’s turn.
Lance Moore vs. KC – Another Saint player who gets to face the Chiefs defense. Moore exploded for 120 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, but was invisible in Week 2 against the Panthers. This week he’ll be involved in the Saints offensive explosion.
Brandon LaFell vs. NYG – Brandon LaFell was a popular breakout candidate this offseason as a possible second option in the passing game on an explosive, vertical offense. He’s rewarded owners who picked him with an average of 4.5/77.5/0.5 in the first two games. LaFell has a prime chance to improve on those stats tonight.
TE: Brent Celek at AZ – Brent Celek has been another pleasant surprise this season, grabbing 12 catches for 222 yards in the first two weeks. With Jeremy Maclin unhealthy and possibly sitting this week, expect Celek to continue to be a force down the seams.
QB: Jay Cutler vs. STL – After watching Cutler and his offensive line struggle against the Packers, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting Cutler this week. He could produce against the Rams but don’t forget that they haven’t looked bad; Stafford threw three interceptions against them in Week 1.
RB: Willis McGahee vs. HOU – I’m not a big fan of McGahee but he looked great against the Falcons. Facing Houston this weekend will be much tougher. Sporting the 8th best rush defense and the league’s best pass defense, this could easily become a throwing fest. Willis McGahee usually doesn’t get invited to those.
Shonn Greene at MIA – This is the ‘sit’ I feel strongest about. The Dolphins rush defense has been impressive this season. They held Arian Foster to 3.0 YPC on 26 rushes in Week 1 and completely shut down McFadden last week, holding him to 11 carries for 22 yards. The difference between them and Shonn Greene is they’re extremely talented.
Cedric Benson at SEA – I was extremely encouraged by the Packer’s usage of Cedric Benson last week but this is another tough matchup. The Seattle run defense has been remarkable, allowing just 92 rushing yards at a clip of 2.6 YPC in two games this season. Do your best to wait till Week 4 against the Saints to let Benson loose.
Steven Jackson at CHI – If you don’t have other options because he was a high draft pick for you, I understand. Jackson is likely to receive a heavy workload but could struggle against a typically solid Bears defense. Their unit looked stout against the Packers last week and tackled well against Cedric Benson.
WR: Larry Fitzgerald vs. PHI – Larry Fitzgerald is always a solid option and I do believe that Fitz will “get his” eventually but the receiver position is extremely deep this year and you shouldn’t be afraid to bench Fitzgerald if you prefer someone else. Although he’s an all-world wide receiver, he doesn’t get consistent quarterback play – which kills his production. Likely to squaring off against Nnamdi Asomugha hurts his chances of fixing that this week.
Jeremy Maclin at AZ – I’m a big Maclin fan but whether or not he plays, it’s obvious that he’s not completely healthy. Even if he plays I would sit him this week with Arizona’s suddenly ferocious defense on the horizon.
Randall Cobb at SEA – I wrote about Randall Cobb in this column last week, calling him a starter. Not only did he disappoint, but Green Bay showed their confidence in Cedric Benson. The difference between the 49ers in Week 1 and the Bears in Week 2 is the Packers didn’t believe they could run against the 49ers. This means Cobb will need pass-heavy games to be productive in fantasy. Cobb still has tremendous potential, but will need more playing time to be a consistent fantasy starter.
TE: Kyle Rudolph vs. SF – I’m a big Kyle Rudolph fan but the San Francisco defense is playing at an incredible level right now – I’d avoid using my offensive players against them as much as possible. Guys I would play instead: Celek, Pettigrew, Gonzalez, Pitta, Bennett, Cook, Witten, and Daniels.
Thanks for reading! Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!