Week 3 Fantasy Football Where to Put em

Thursday, Sep 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid in Week 3.

Put 'em In The Game: Donovan McNabb
Derek Anderson threw for 297 yards and a score in Week 1. Bruce Gradkowski threw for 162 yards and a score. It would be foolish to think that McNabb wouldn't do even better against St. Louis this week. He's coming off a brilliant performance against Houston where he threw for 426 yards and a score. McNabb deserves to be in your lineup this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Brett Favre
I know, I know. What are we thinking here? Favre has played terribly and has looked his age in the first two games this year including a 1 point fantasy day last week against Miami, but we're going to make a bold pick here and say Start 'em. The Lions have given up 372 yards and 2 scores to Jay Cutler and 284 yards and 2 scores to Michael Vick. It's a defense that can be taken advantage of. Detroit is currently the 3rd worst pass defense in the league and when Favre is on, he has the potential to be a scoring machine.
Put 'em In The Game: Michael Vick
We liked Vick last week and he did quite well against the Lions. We still like Vick this week against the Jaguars who are giving up 300 yards a game through the air. He's the type of player that defenses lose sleep over because he can beat you through the air as well as on the ground. His matchup is a great one and Vick is going to want to prove that Andy Reid made the right call giving him the job.
Put 'em In The Game: Darren McFadden
It's incredibly rare to see a Raider on the FFN Start List, but McFadden has been a fantasy machine so far. Steven Jackson rushed for 81 yards against the Cardinals and who can forget the ridiculous day Jason Snelling had last week burning the Cards for 129 yards and 2 scores on the ground (he added 57 receiving yards and a score as well). Arizona gave up a total of 221 yards on the ground. It's an attractive matchup for McFadden this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Knowshon Moreno
Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno has been ruled out of Sunday's game by coach Josh McDaniels.

He's been a little slow on the ground averaging a paltry 2.8 yards/carry but he has seen the endzone in both games. This week at home he faces the Colts who are a very different team without Bob Sanders. Arian Foster ran all over them in Week 1 racking up 231 yards rushing and 3 rushing TD's. Ahmad Bradshaw averaged 5.2 yards a carry in last week's contest. Moreno is currently the 11th-ranked fantasy RB on FleaFlicker.com and the Colts are going to have to try and figure out a way to stop him. This is a good matchup for Moreno.
Put 'em In The Game: Pierre Thomas
You hate to see a guy get hurt and watching Reggie Bush go out of the game last week was tough to see. Good things can come from a bad situation and the positive spin here is that Pierre Thomas becomes the every back in New Orleans. Thomas faces the Falcons this week who have given up 120 yards and a score to Rashard Mendenhall and 115 yards and a score to Tim Hightower. The Falcons gave up those yards without having to contend with someone like Drew Brees, so we're expecting a nice little fantasy day out of Thomas this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Mark Clayton
It's nice to see someone other than SJAX on the Start 'em list from St. Louis. The numbers are impressive after two weeks: 12 receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns. He's the go-to guy for Sam Bradford and this week he faces the Redskins who are bleeding fantasy points to WR's this year. Seriously - Washington is dead last against the pass giving up an average of 289.5 yards and 2 scores each game to WR's. It would be in line to expect 100+ yards and at least 1 score this week out of Clayton.
Put 'em In The Game: Santana Moss
Moss is capable of being the deep threat man in Washington and the Rams have already given up nearly a dozen pass plays of 20+ yards. McNabb is going to be throwing this week and he's bound to find Moss downfield. Moss is averaging 8 receptions and 83 yards a game. If he can see the endzone on one of those plays, this would be a great fantasy week for him, particularly in PPR formats.
Put 'em In The Game: Greg Jennings
Normally you won't see a stud on these lists as they are generally assumed to be starters, but Jennings has had a slow start to the season so far. Week 1 was a decent outing as he racked up 5 catches for 82 yards including a beautiful TD pass from Aaron Rodgers, but last week he only had 3 receptions for a measly 36 yards against Buffalo's poor secondary. Monday night should be a big game for Jennings against division rival Chicago. We're expecting a shoot out and Jennings took the Bears for 9 receptions, 166 yards, and a score in their two meetings last year. Also - consider the fact that Miles Austin just took Chicago to town for 10 catches and 142 yards last week. Jennings should do well this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Visanthe Shiancoe
Yes - that would be Visanthe Shiancoe on the FantasyFootballNerd.com homepage this week as the projected consensus #1 TE in Week 3. It's a well-known fact that Brett Favre favors his TE's and Shiancoe has earned that trust. Even though Favre put in poor fantasy performances during the first two weeks, Shiancoe has put up decent numbers (10 rec 162 yds 1 TD) in that time. Adrian Peterson is going to have a field day against the Lions, but if the Vikes toss the ball at the endzone, there's a very high chance that Shiancoe will be the one to catch it.
Put 'em In The Game: Chris Cooley
McNabb and Moss are on the Start 'em list so make room for Chris Cooley. While the Rams haven't been very kind to opposing TE's, Cooley's matchup still looks pretty good. McNabb likes him and so should you. He's currently the 5th-ranked fantasy TE on FleaFlicker and is coming off a 64 yard, 1 TD performance last week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez looked fantastic last week completing 70% of his passes while throwing for 220 yards and 3 scores. It was a brilliant performance against the Patriots. The problem this week is that Miami allows the 5th fewest fantasy points to opposing QB's. They held Trent Edwards to 139 yards and picked off Brett Favre 3 times. Sanchez will not have the full use of Braylon Edwards (definitely on the SIT list) this week either. We're expecting something a little better than his Week 1 performance against Baltimore but not much more.
Put 'em On The Bench: Eli Manning
Eli looked pretty good in Week 1 throwing for 263 yards and 3 scores (along with 3 picks) and average in Week 2 against the Colts. This Sunday he faces the Titans' secondary which allows the fewest yards in the air (111.5 yards/game), the 3rd fewest passing TD's, and is the 2nd stingiest defense allowing a paltry 6.1 fantasy points per game to opposing QB's. Granted, Tennessee played Oakland and a Roethlisberger-less Steelers, but their secondary looked fantastic. It will be a tough day for Eli through the air. Eli won't be on the bench for long however as the next 4 games before the bye week are great matchups.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jamaal Charles
We're not sure that we completely understand what's happening in the Kansas City backfield. During the preseason Jamaal Charles was the man with the starting job and Week 1 saw him average 8.4 yards a carry en route to 92 rushing yards and a score. What's odd is that he only had 11 carries in that game and 11 carries last week. Charles referred to himself on Sunday as "the backup running back". He only ran for 49 yards against the Browns while Thomas Jones saw 22 carries for 83 yards in the same game. Until Todd Haley gives Charles a more prominent role, he's probably best left on your bench, particularly this week against a solid 49er defense.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ronnie Brown
Here's the unfortunate fact for this week: it is VERY difficult to run on the Jets. They have the 3rd toughest run defense allowing 75.5 yards/game and they are the 2nd stingiest defense for fantasy points allowing a measly 4.95 standard scoring points to opposing RB's according to FleaFlicker. They kept Ray Rice to a deflating 43 yards on 21 attempts (2 yards/carry) and neither Kevin Faulk, nor BenJarvus Green-Ellis, nor Fred Taylor could get over 25 yards. No matter how you run the numbers, this is going to be a very difficult week for Brown.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jerome Harrison
Will the real Jerome Harrison please stand up? What happened to the guy who rushed for 561 yards and 5 TD's in the last 3 games of the year last season? Until that guy shows back up, Harrison is a tough play especially this week against the Ravens who have yet to give up a rushing score and held LaDainian Tomlinson to 62 yards, Shonn Greene to 18 yards, and Cedric Benson to 78 yards. Did LeBron take Harrison with him when he left?
Put 'em On The Bench: Braylon Edwards
Here's what we know: Edwards will not start the game against Miami. We also know that Edwards was incredibly irresponsible when he decided to drive while under the influence this week (officers tested him at twice the legal limit). Here's what we don't know: how much time Edwards will get to play. Based upon those items, he's not worth starting this week. Bench him and somebody please pass him a Coke or a cup of coffee.
Put 'em On The Bench: Steve Smith
This is a tough one. If we say "bench" Steve Smith and he turns in another great fantasy day, you're all gonna cry foul, however hear us out. Smith is one of our favorite receivers with an explosiveness that few can match, but he was limited this week in practice with a sore thigh and his QB this week is rookie Jimmy Clausen who will be starting his first NFL game. The run game in Carolina has been non-existent and there are no other receiving options there. Defenses are stacking the box and doubling up on Smith. Clausen has to face a Bengals' defense that will certainly blitz the daylight out of him and put enough pressure to force some turnovers. We saw last year what happens when the Carolina QB can't get the ball to Smith. Given all of these conditions, it becomes very hard to start him with any amount of confidence.
Put 'em On The Bench: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Looking at T.J. Houshmandzadeh's 2010 stats requires doing a double-take. 1 reception for 27 yards. Yep - that's it. Look as many times as you want and it's not going to change. We felt pretty good about Housh leaving Seattle and coming to Baltimore but it hasn't panned out yet. Housh was considered PPR-gold while in Cincy a few years ago so it's awfully disappointing to see him with such poor numbers. Better to leave him on the bench until he finds his place in that offense and proves that he belongs in your starting lineup.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kellen Winslow
Winslow played well last week against Carolina pulling down 4 receptions for 83 yards, but he's going to run into the Steel Curtain this week. The Steelers are not very friendly to TE's and haven't given up a TD to one yet. According to FleaFlicker, Pittsburgh is ranked 7th in the league in standard fantasy points allowed to TE's with an ego-deflating 2.75 points. The Steelers make for a bad matchup across all positions so starting any of the Bucs can be a risky proposition.
Put 'em On The Bench: Todd Heap
We like Todd Heap. At 6'5" and 247 lbs, he's a big, fast TE with good hands. He looked great in Week 1 grabbing 6 receptions for 72 yards. This week the Browns look like a great matchup, but Baltimore is going to run the ball against them and they'll do a fine job at that. Last year, Heap managed 43 yards and 41 yards respectively with no scores in the two games in which he faced Cleveland. Combine that with the fact that he's still nursing a sore shoulder and the Ravens will be rotating him in and out and it becomes very tough for anyone to like his odds.

Join the Discussion

DawgPound CommentedSep 24, 2010 11:00 am

I am conflicted about Steve Smith for the same reasons you've listed. It's hard to bench him but I think I will.

It's a bit of a gamble though because I'll be starting Demaryius Thomas in his place and I also have Royal, Moreno, and Prater. Basically if the Broncos offense stalls against the Colts this week I will be annihilated.

I've also had Jon Stewart riding the bench so far and I have to imagine with a rookie QB this week he will get more touches, but still it's against Cinci. Looks like I'll be giving Brandon Jackson another chance.

And yeah, Braylon is an idiot. Being a Browns and Buckeyes fan doesn't make it any easier to like him either.

Nerd CommentedSep 24, 2010 11:00 am

Boy - the Steve Smith decision is tough. Rule # 1: Never bench your studs. If Clausen is going to throw at anyone, he's going to want to throw to Smith, but how often will Cincy give him the time to throw and will Smith have double coverage on him? Add the fact that I have very little faith in that Carolina backfield right now. I'll go back and forth on this until Sunday.

You're going to want to yank Moreno out of your lineup as well, but let's hope that Denver keeps the ball moving. I like Royal in that contest.

Good luck.

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