Fantasy Football Fix: Week 3 Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down
Week 3 of the NFL season is upon us, and with that, another stressing weekend of Fantasy Football.
However, do not fret! For I provide you with the guys I like, and those I’m not too fond of for tomorrow’s action. Remember, obvious names such as Arian Foster and Drew Brees will not be mentioned in this series. Let’s get started.
Thumbs Up; Quarterbacks
Robert Griffin III vs Cincinnati Bengals: Those of you who thought Griffin would slow down after his monster debut in week one were dead wrong. RG3 had another impressive fantasy day last week against the St. Louis Rams and is proving to be a viable number one quarterback. Next up, he faces the Bengals, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing signal callers this season.
Matt Cassel at New Orleans Saints: I know what you’re thinking. Matt Cassel? Really? Wait just a second. Obviously, you aren’t starting him over top tier guys. However, if you need a quarterback, Cassel should be available on the wavier wire. And he has a nice matchup against the Saints. Their defense just hasn’t been the same, allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Not to mention, there is a pretty good chance Cassel will be behind in this game, which means some garbage time points as well.
Peyton Manning vs Houston Texans: Manning is coming off a disappointing Monday night performance (which seemed to take ages). He surrendered three interceptions to the Atlanta Falcons. In just the first quarter! Now he gets the treacherous Texans defense, which has allowed the least fantasy points to quarterbacks thus far. Start Manning with caution, unless you have someone on your bench with a much better matchup.
Carson Palmer vs Pittsburgh Steelers: If Palmer is your starting quarterback in your lineup, I truly am sorry. Just kidding. Actually, the former USC Trojan is ranked eighth in fantasy points so far this season. That could easily change once the Steelers come into town. Everyone who follows the sport knows what the black and yellow are capable of on defense. In fact, they have only allowed 391 total passing yards through the first two games. I don’t like Palmer one bit this week.
Thumbs Up; Running backs
Maurice Jones-Drew at Indianapolis Colts: A bit of an obvious name, but the matchup is too good to leave out of this list. With MJD as the featured back again, he is easily the heart and sole of the offense in Jacksonville. After facing the Texans defense last week, he gets the Colts this week, putting smiles on fantasy owner’s faces. Indy has given up the eighth most points to opposing running backs. Not to mention, Jones-Drew has owned them over the years.
C.J. Spiller at Cleveland Browns: Let the good times roll, right? Spiller is the league’s leading rusher (yes that’s right) and shows no signs of slowing down. He is the focal point of the Buffalo Bills offense and has eclipsed at least 120 yards in both games so far. The matchup isn’t gorgeous, but there is no way you can sit this guy.
Donald Brown vs Jacksonville Jaguars: Let’s cut to the chase. The Jaguars defense has been the worst run defense in the league so far from a fantasy perspective, so this matchup is clearly favorable. They have allowed 5 rushing touchdowns already. Brown, who is the featured back for the Colts, is a nice flex play this week.
Adrian Peterson vs San Francisco 49ers: Now look, I am not saying bench AP. Odds are, you don’t have anyone else worthy of filling his spot. However, don’t be surprised if he lacks productivity in this game. Only Marshawn Lynch found the endzone against this stingy defense all of last season, so Peterson may struggle.
Steven Jackson at Chicago Bears: Honestly, I may dislike Jackson this week more than Peterson. First off, he is questionable with that nagging groin issue, and he faces the Bears defense, who are obviously no slouch. He hasn’t practiced all week, which is always a concern. Not to mention, Daryl Richardson could definitely receive a hefty amount of carries, regardless whether or not Jackson does play.
Thumbs Up; Wide receivers
Dwayne Bowe at New Orleans Saints: Again, the Saints defense is not what it once was. They are in the bottom ten for points allowed to quarterbacks, running backs, and wideouts. Yikes! Anyway, you know Matt Cassel is looking for Bowe at all times (15 targets last week) and will continue to do so in this game. Start Bowe with confidence.
Larry Fitzgerald vs Philadelphia Eagles: Only 5 catches for 60 yards this year? Are we in an alternate universe? Fitzgerald has disappointed those who drafted him thus far, but be patient. He is still a top 3 wideout in the game and is bound to catch fire. The Eagles defense may be off to a good start, but I believe Nnamdi Asomugah can be beat. Fitz also has a good history against the birds.
Miles Austin/Dez Bryant vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did you see what the New York Giants did to this secondary last week? Eli Manning threw for over 500 yards and Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz both tallied over 150 receiving yards. Bryant and Austin should be in your lineups, no questions asked.
Greg Jennings at Seattle Seahawks: To say I don’t like Jennings this week is a huge understatement. I like him about as much as Andre Johnson likes Cortland Finnegan. But seriously, if you can afford to, bench him. He was listed today as questionablefor Monday night’s game against Seattle. If he does manage to play, the matchup is not favorable, especially in a tough environment like the Seahawks.
Brandon Lloyd at Baltimore Ravens: Lloyd is questionable for Sunday night’s AFC Championship rematch against the Ravens. That alone is a concern because it is a late game. Also, he and Tom Brady have yet generate chemistry, and with so many weapons on that offense, I don’t trust Lloyd this week.
Thumbs Up; Tight ends
Brent Celek at Arizona Cardinals: All signs pointing up for the Eagles tight end. He is finally being targeted by Michael Vick and is producing. He is coming off a very nice game against the Ravens, and with wideout Jeremy Maclin out for this game, I expect Celek to be heavily involved in that offense.
Dennis Pitta vs New England Patriots: Pitta has been one of the great fantasy stories so far this season. Did you know he is the most targeted tight end in the entire league after two weeks? Well, he is. Not only that, but Pitta is tied with only Jimmy Graham for most receptions at their position. Being so involved in the Ravens offense, as well as being close friends with Joe Flacco, Pitta is a nice play this week if needed.
Fred Davis vs Cincinnati Bengals: I, myself, am an owner of Davis in one of my leagues. And I gotta say, he is letting me down. Through the first two games, Davis has been non-existent for the Washington Redskins , and the fact that he is coming off a concussion certainly doesn’t help his case.
Thumbs Up; Defenses
Chicago Bears defense vs St. Louis Rams: The Bears haven’t played a game since last Thursday night’s debacle, so they are well rested for this week. They welcome the Rams and their banged up offensive line to Soldier Field on Sunday. Two thumbs way up for this defense.
Washington Redskins defense vs Cincinnati Bengals: I typically like the Redskins defense, but after losing both Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan for the rest of the season, their pass rush concerns me. Especially after allowing Sam Bradford all the time in the world in the pocket last week.
Well boys and girls, that’s all for this week. Good luck in week 3 and I’ll be back next week to do it all again.
Adam Pfeifer is contributing Buffalo Bills writer and Fantasy Football expert for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.