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Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Play or Bench Advice on Top Fantasy Football Stars

Fantasy Football
September 24, 2015

Final call for owners ahead of Week 3 start ’em, sit ’em decisions.

Owners might feel the urge to shy away after a wild Week 2. It’s like touching the stove: One burn is enough to learn. Running back DeAngelo Williams was better than Adrian Peterson. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin was better than Antonio Brown. Tight end Crockett Gillmore was better than Rob Gronkowski.

Though it doesn’t sound reassuring, these things happen early on each year in the fantasy landscape. The environment will even back out, so last week’s anomaly-filled catastrophe shouldn’t influence owners much when it comes to decisions.

Below, let’s identify who has better value and break down a few start ’em, sit ’em decisions at each position.


Star to Know: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. CHI)

Seattle Seahawks superstar quarterback Russell Wilson has put on a strong showing so far with 15- and 21-point performances over the first two weeks.

Expect more of the 20-or-more variety, especially with the Chicago Bears in town.

Granted, Seattle sits at 0-2, and owners may want to shy away, but now would be the time to jump on board. The Seahawks are desperate and get a Chicago team that allowed 31 points to the Green Bay Packers and 48 to the Arizona Cardinals.

Look for Wilson to have a huge day while targeting tight end Jimmy Graham early and often.

Star to Sit: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs. CIN)

So far, it has been a roller-coaster ride with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco went out and posted zero points in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, and then, he rebounded like many figured he would with a 21-point showing against the Oakland Raiders (though it was still a loss).

Desperation won’t help here, though. Flacco is terrible against the Cincinnati Bengals more often than not, with four touchdowns to eight interceptions and just one game with more than 200 yards passing in his last five encounters.

To make matters worse, the Bengals just held San Diego’s Philip Rivers to 13 points. Flacco is a matchup-based play these days, and this showdown in particular looks like a nightmare.


Star to Know: Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (at TEN)

What a disaster Frank Gore has been for owners so far.

In theory, things looked amazing for the 32-year-old as he joined the Indianapolis Colts and would get to run wild with defenses focused on quarterback Andrew Luck.

Instead, Gore has just six points in two games and fumbled away what looked like an easy touchdown in Week 2, burning owners late. Kevin Bowen of Colts.com shared Gore’s thoughts on the matter:

Owners should share Gore’s confidence. Nobody would point the finger at him if he had scored the touchdown against the New York Jets. He figures to find paydirt in Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans, a team that just let the Cleveland Browns’ running backs total 17 points.

Fret not over Gore. He’s a major rebound candidate.

Star to Sit: Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)

It might be time to let go of Lamar Miller in Miami.

Miller hasn’t been a factor in the Dolphins’ approach so far this season, which means he hasn’t been a factor for owners. He has just 10 points in two games. While it sounds like he’s sure to suit up against the Buffalo Bills, it’s a bad sign the team promoted Jonas Gray from the practice squad this week.

Even if Miller plays, he’s a sit. He doesn’t have a score against Buffalo in his last five encounters with the unit. To make it even worse, the Bills have only surrendered one touchdown to backs thus far and were one of the units to shut out Gore, holding Colts backs to five points in Week 1.

Against what looks like an explosive Buffalo offense, the Dolphins will have to pass often anyway.


Star to Know: Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (vs. PHI)

Who is another veteran to trust this week? Look no further than New York Jets wideout Brandon Marshall.

It seems Marshall continues to find his groove in his new locale, not to mention build a strong rapport with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The running total through two games is 19 targets, two touchdowns and 28 total points, making him the seventh-highest scorer at the position.

Things will only improve this weekend against Philadelphia. The Eagles have allowed 35 points and 16 points to wideouts over the team’s first two contests. Marshall figures to see a bigger workload than usual against the sloppy unit, too, due to a knee injury to Eric Decker, per Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Consistent targets mean consistent production, so get Marshall in those lineups.

Star to Sit: Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (at GB)

The Jeremy Maclin of old is gone, folks.

Owners should have known this as soon as Maclin joined the Kansas City Chiefs, of course. For one reason or another, head coach Andy Reid’s team seems to ignore wideouts, a notion confirmed through two weeks as Maclin has just 10 total fantasy points on 16 targets.

While Maclin should see reliable usage, he isn’t receiving the sort of routes that translate to elite fantasy production. Despite what sounds like an impending shootout with the Green Bay Packers, it’s important to understand the defense has allowed just one passing touchdown and a maximum of 17 points to a team’s set of wideouts as a whole.

There will be better matchups for Maclin, which is when owners should loop back and reconsider. He needs to ride the pine this week, though.


Star to Know: Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams (vs. PIT)

While he only has 12 points through two games, St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook looks like one of the more consistent producers at the position.

As is the case every year, the tight end position is all over the place. Cook, though, has five receptions in each of his first two outings. Quarterback Nick Foles seems to defer to Cook when it matters, meaning it’s a matter of time before the talented tight end reaches paydirt.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense presents a great opportunity. A rebuilding Steelers unit allowed New England Patriots tight ends to go for 33 points in Week 1 before a run-first San Francisco 49ers offense saw its tight ends total eight points.

As the leading target for St. Louis, Cook should be able to get free and do some major damage against the unit.

Star to Sit: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (at ARI)

It seems Vernon Davis has something of a fantasy pulse after a disastrous 2014 campaign, totaling 10 points in two games.

Though, a pulse doesn’t mean he needs to be in lineups.

In fact, owners will want to steer clear this weekend. The Cardinals look great against tight ends so far, allowing just six total points despite tricky matchups with a pass-happy New Orleans Saints offense and a showdown with Chicago’s Martellus Bennett.

There will be big days for Davis this year, but owners need a bigger sample size on the erratic San Francisco offense first. On the road, Davis figures to find limited space with which to work against a strong unit.

All scoring info courtesy of ESPN standard leagues, as is points-against info and ownership stats as of September 24. Statistics courtesy of ESPN.

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