Week 2 of the NFL season saw a healthy mixture of studs doing their thing (Aaron Rodgers! Doug Martin! Julio Jones!) as well as a couple of surprises (James Starks? Charles Clay?). Fantasy football is a crapshoot, but let’s try to make some sense of it all for Week 3.
Hopefully you’re not in a spot where you’re scouring for a quarterback to play in Week 3, but Alex Smith has a very intriguing matchup. He had a very Alex Smith-like day against the Cowboys this past weekend, going 21-of-36 for 223 yards and two scores (plus 57 yards rushing!). He’ll face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in a very enticing Thursday night matchup, one in which Andy Reid will likely try to turn it up against his former team. Expect Smith to be the beneficiary of this approach, against an Eagles defense that has allowed 721 pass yards in the seasons’s first two weeks.
Sit ’em: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Granted he faced a tough defense on the road on Monday night, but Big Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have the offense behind him to warrant a starting slot on your fantasy team at this point. Roethlisberger completed just 54 percent of his passes against the Bengals, with just one touchdown as well as a pick. It doesn’t get any easier for Big Ben in Week 3, as he faces a Chicago Bears defense with some of the best corners in the league. Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman should be able to contain the Steelers’ receiving corp, sending Roethlisberger to your bench for this week.
Start ’em: Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
There’s an opening in the backfield in Detroit, thanks to what Lions coach Jim Schwartz labeled as a “medium-term” injury to the left knee of Reggie Bush. Not only will Joique Bell shoulder the brunt of the carries, but he’ll also continue to be used out of the backfield, with 10 receptions through the first two weeks of the season. While Detroit is still primarily a passing team, using a starting running back who will still see carries around the goal line in your lineup is a no-brainer.
Sit ’em: Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Sure, Darren McFadden had a good game in Week 2 (129 yards on 19 carries) but let’s not forget that it was against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Against a respectable Indianapolis defense in Week 1, McFadden averaged less than three yards per carry. The Raiders will play the Denver Broncos on Monday night, and the Broncos defense has allowed a total of 81 yards on the ground through two weeks. Time to sit McFadden.
Start ’em: Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
After a thoroughly disappointing Week 1 against Cleveland (1 rec, 15 yards), Mike Wallace showed up in Week 2, hauling in nine catches for 115 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown. Atlanta’s pass defense certainly has not been lock-down in the first part of the season, and Ryan Tannehill has shown a willingness to throw the ball around the field. If you were at all hesitant about Mike Wallace for Week 3, don’t be.
Sit ’em: Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
If you have a guy on your bench that you’re itching to play, don’t feel bad about swapping him in for Torrey Smith. Used as a big play receiver in seasons past, Smith is averaged “only” 12.1 yards per catch in Week 2. Baltimore may throw it more with Ray Rice dinged up, but Joe Flacco will be facing one of the league’s top defenses in Houston. Sit Smith this week.