NFL Week 3 Fantasy Analysis

By Jeremy Sickel

Geoff Ratliff, Editor

This is the first in what will be our weekly series on fantasy football, highlighting which players we think you should start and avoid for the upcoming week. 

Beast: San Diego Chargers Defense – I know, defenses aren’t typically drafted to win you a league championship but exploiting match ups effectively can definitely help you along the way. With zero total fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season, this pick might seem a bit odd, but those doubts are erased with their matchup this week against a lifeless Kansas City Chiefs offense.  After allowing the Bills and Lions to post 12 and 21 fantasy points respectively, the Chiefs are primed to be feasted upon again this week, making the Chargers a must start. If you drafted San Diego’s D based ontheir #1 ranking a year ago, this will be the week that they finally start justifying your faith. If for some reason they are still available in your league, snatch them up quickly and reap the spoils.

Bust: Tony Romo – This has nothing to do with Romo’s injury status; if he is out, he should obviously be relegated to your bench, but a final decision on that won’t be made until Monday. This decision is strictly based on the fact that Romo is without key weapons this week and quite possibly for longer. Miles Austin is likely out until after the Cowboys week 5 bye and Dez Bryant, who seems to be a mainstay on injury reports, is listed as questionable and is a game time decision at best. Without an established running game, and Felix Jones questionable with a dislocated shoulder, Romo may struggle against a vastly improved Redskins defense, assuming he makes it through the entire game.

Beast: Rashard Mendenhall – Forget about the slow start by Mendenhall. He has a great matchup this week against an Indianapolis Colts defense that cannot stop the run, a problem that has plagued this team for years. The Colts have given up 273 yards and 4 touchdowns to opposing runners so far this season. The fact that Mendenhall is the Steelers’ feature back and they will likely look to limit Roethlisberger’s exposure after a recent knee injury scare, plus the fact that they should be playing with the lead the entire game, makes this one of the most obvious “Beast” picks of the week.

Bench: Shonne Greene – Having done nothing over the first two weeks of the season, the matchup against an underrated Oakland Raiders defense will keep this trend moving in the wrong direction. Although the Raiders have given up 7.1 yards per carry to opposing rushers, teams have only rushed the ball 37 times against them the first two weeks and Greene simply isn’t explosive enough to exploit the advantage. Look for another sub-10 point performance from Greene again this week, so if you have better options look elsewhere.

Beast: Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – It seems that Jackson and Maclin trade-off huge weeks, but week 3 should allow them both to put up huge numbers. The New York Giants have a depleted secondary and give up 14.8 yards per reception to their opposing wide receivers which is tied for 2nd worst in the league. These two speedy pass catchers should be licking their chops this week and are both must starts even if you own them on the same team.

Bench: Reggie Wayne – The consensus fourth wide receiver off the board in most drafts benched? You got it!  Wayne just doesn’t seem to be the same without Peyton Manning at the helm and with a matchup against the Steelers this week, his chances of putting up “Reggie Wayne” like numbers is unlikely. Being the only legit threat on the Colts not named Dallas Clark means the Steelers can lock him down with Ike Taylor, who has only been targeted seven times through 2 games this year. It sounds crazy, but sit Wayne this week. Assuming he was your first WR drafted, hopefully you considered WR depth a draft day priority given Manning’s uncertain injury status at the time. If you did not, you might have to scour the free agent pool for a matchup play this week.

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