Fantasy Football Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice and Projections

The Week 17 start em, sit em lineup advice post is up.

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It’s that time of the week again: time for your early look at Week 3 of the 2009 fantasy football season with this week’s Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em post.

As usual before we begin, it’s accountability time. Let’s see how I did in last week’s start ’em, sit ’em post:

  • Start ‘Em Hits: QB Jay Cutler (236 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT); WR Terrell Owens (3 rec, 52 yards, TD); Green Bay Packers D/ST (31 pts allowed, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, Defensive TD)
  • Start ‘Em Misses: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (37 yards rushing, 2 rec, 8 yards receiving); TE Robert Royal (1 rec, 13 yards)
  • Sit ‘Em Hits: RB Julius Jones (11 yards rushing, 3 rec, -2 yards receiving, 1 TD); TE Jeremy Shockey (4 rec, 49 yards); Philadelphia D/ST (42 pts allowed, 2 sacks, 1 safety)
  • Sit ‘Em Misses: QB Peyton Manning (303 yards passing, 2 TDs); Dwayne Bowe (5 rec, 56 yards, TD)
  • Sleeper Hits: RB Correll Buckhalter (76 yards rushing, 1 rec, 30 yards receiving, 1 TD); Washington Redskins D/ST (7 pts allowed, 1 sack, 1 TO)
  • Sleeper Misses: QB Shaun Hill (144 yards passing, 0 TD); WR Robert Meachem (1 rec, 11 yards); TE Vernon Davis (2 rec, 32 yards)

fantasy football week 3 start em, sit em lineup advice: trent edwards, carson palmer, cedric benson, steve slaton, donnie avery, derrick mason, brent celek, ben watson, denver d, dallas dObviously I am proud of my Cutler recommendation when everyone else was telling you to sit him, but there are a few valuable lessons that I was reminded of last week:

  1. Don’t ever sit Peyton Manning, especially against a suspect pass defense like Miami. In hindsight, this pick was more with my heart (as a Dolphins fan) than with my head. With less than 15 minutes of possession, Manning still had a great night. Stars typically play well on the biggest stages, and I should have looked elsewhere for a top-line QB who might not have a great day rather than telling you to sit an all-time great.
  2. Don’t pick any Browns offensive players until they show some semblance of competence on offense.
  3. Perhaps Vernon Davis isn’t going to explode and become a superstar this year. Either way, Brent Celek is the other guy I was considering last week and he is quickly a becoming a weekly must start TE. Amends are made below.

All in all, slightly more hits than misses, but still work to be done. I take these recommendations very seriously and want to steer you in the right direction.

I’m mainly trying to get tuned up for the bye weeks, because that’s where start ’em, sit ’em advice and sleeper picks really become important. But let’s see if I can build on my Week 2 improvement and have closer to a perfect week in Week 3.

As always, the comment section is yours. Post any lineup or waiver wire question and I’ll answer it as soon as I’m able up until kickoff.

Now onto the start ’em, sit ’em picks for Week 3.

Fantasy Football

Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice

fantasy football week 3 start em, sit em lineup advice: trent edwards, carson palmer, cedric benson, steve slaton, donnie avery, derrick mason, brent celek, ben watson, denver d, dallas d

Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks

Start ‘Em: Trent Edwards, Buffalo Bills (vs New Orleans)

I was high on Trent Edwards as a sleeper coming into the season and a lot of people laughed at me. Well after two games, who’s laughing now?

Edwards has been solid so far: 221 passing yards per game, 4 TDs, and 1 INT. This week, he gets to go up against a defense that has given up a lot of passing yards this year (288 per game) but also gotten its fair share of turnovers (6 INTs).

Trent Edwards though, unlike Matthew Stafford and Kevin Kolb, will not be making his first career start against the Saints.

We know that New Orleans can and will score, and that the Bills will have to keep pace to have a chance. I already predicted that the Bills will cover the 5.5 point spread at home in this week’s TV schedule and point spreads post, so obviously I think they will do just that.

With Fred Jackson providing a solid rushing complement to Edwards’ sound decision making and outside playmakers (T.O. and Lee Evans), this Buffalo offense has been one of the more underrated units in the NFL through two weeks.

Look for Edwards to get into a bit of a shootout with Drew Brees. He won’t win it — either in real life or fantasy — but he will put up points worthy of a starting spot in most leagues.

Trent Edwards Week 3 projection: 285 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT

Others I like in Week 3: Philip Rivers (vs Miami); Matt Schaub (vs Jacksonville); Eli Manning (at Tampa Bay); Joe Flacco (vs Cleveland)

Sit ‘Em: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals (vs Pittsburgh)

So far in 2009, Carson Palmer has been pretty ho-hum. He threw for 247 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs in Week 1 against Denver, then rebounded somewhat with a 2 TD performance this past Sunday (but with only 185 yards and 2 INTs).

fantasy football week 3 start em, sit em lineup advice: trent edwards, carson palmer, cedric benson, steve slaton, donnie avery, derrick mason, brent celek, ben watson, denver d, dallas dMany people expected Palmer to reassert himself as a top-10 or even top-5 fantasy quarterback this year. So far it hasn’t happened, despite the reemergence of the Bengals’ running game.

This will be Carson Palmer’s first game against the Steelers since December of 2007 after missing most of last year with an injury. And though Troy Polamalu will still not be in the lineup for Pittsburgh — and Jay Cutler had a good day against the Steelers last Sunday — I’d like to see a little more consistency from the Bengals passing game before I throw Palmer out there against such a great defense.

Palmer may have a decent day, and I would not sit Chad Ochocinco, but there are other 2nd-tier QBs that you might also have that I like better, including: Matt Schaub (vs JAX), Aaron Rodgers (vs STL), Eli Manning (at TB), Trent Edwards (vs New Orleans).

Carson Palmer Week 3 projection: 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Others I don’t like in Week 3: Kerry Collins (at New York Jets); Brett Favre (vs San Francisco); Kyle Orton (at Oakland)

Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Backs

Start ‘Em: Steve Slaton, Houston (vs Jackonsville)

There are some easy RB choices this week (look below in Others I Like) but I’m not taking the easy way out. I am a Steve Slaton owner, and others like me are probably wondering whether sitting Slaton is a good idea after watching him rush for 51 yards and not get into the end zone through the season’s first two games.

Start him. I am. And here’s why:

  • Last year in two games against Jacksonville, Slaton rushed for 166 yards, had 135 yards receiving, and scored 3 TDs.
  • Jacksonville’s defense has been overrated against the run for a few years now. They have already given up two rushing TDs in two games this year against the two worst rushing attacks in the NFL from 2008 (Indy, Arizona). Last year, they were 13th in the NFL against the run and gave up 14 TDs. Decent but not great, and I don’t think they are even that good this year.
  • Slaton is due.

Houston knows they have to run the ball to be successful this year. Last week, they got their passing game going against Tennessee. This week, it will be all about the run. Slaton had tough matchups in Weeks 1 and 2 (Jets, Titans) but should find plenty more room to run this week.

Steve Slaton Week 3 projection: 95 yards rushing, 1 TD, 5 rec, 55 yards receiving

Other RBs — specifically, good ones who have struggled so far in 2009 — I like in Week 3: Steven Jackson (vs Green Bay); Clinton Portis (vs Detroit); Matt Forte (at Seattle)

Sit ‘Em: Cedric Benson, Cincinnati (vs Pittsburgh)

Can you tell that I think it’s going to be a tough day for the Bengals at home against Pittsburgh?

fantasy football week 3 start em, sit em lineup advice: trent edwards, carson palmer, cedric benson, steve slaton, donnie avery, derrick mason, brent celek, ben watson, denver d, dallas dLook, I’m a card-carrying member of the I Hate Cedric Benson Club, but even I can’t deny that he has been very good this year. He’s run for 217 yards through two games and has scored a TD. But Pittsburgh has one of the NFL’s best rushing defenses week in and week out, and they have already shut down fantasy studs Chris Johnson and Matt Forte in back-to-back weeks.

Why in the hell would a perennial fantasy stiff like Benson do what those two could not?

You want numbers? Here you go: Last year, Pittsburgh gave up 80.2 yards per game on the ground and allowed only seven rushing TDs all year. This year, they are giving up only 64.5 yards per game and have yet to give up a rushing score. Cedric Benson has a career average of 3.7 yards per carry and has scored a grand total of 13 TDs in 49 games.

No thank you. That was easy.

Cedric Benson Week 3 projection: 41 yards, 0 TDs

Other RBs I don’t like in Week 3: Thomas Jones (vs Tennessee); LenDale White (at New York Jets); Willie Parker (at Cincinnati); Larry Johnson (at Philadelphia)

Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em: Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs Cleveland)

Cleveland’s defense has actually not been as bad as you might think. It is the offense that has truly been putrid. The problem is that the offense’s inability to stay in the field has led to tired legs in the second half and big plays for the opposition.

With Hank Poteat looking absolutely incompetent covering the slot, Derrick Mason could have another good game against the Browns. Here are his last four outings against Cleveland, the first two of which were with Joe Flacco at QB last season: 9 rec, 136 yards, TD; 4 rec, 42 yards; 6 rec, 83 yards; 10 rec, 78 yards.

Not too shabby.

Mason is hit or miss in terms of touchdowns, but makes an especially solid play this week in PPR leagues. The Browns will give up a lot of underneath receptions, which is exactly where Mason likes to operate. Plus, Baltimore should get up early and be salting away a win in the second half, which means they probably won’t be going deep too often after the first couple of quarters.

Derrick Mason Week 3 projection: 7 receptions, 87 yards, 1 TD

Other WRs I like in Week 3: Torry Holt (at Houston); Braylon Edwards (at Baltimore); Lee Evans (vs New Orleans); Mario Manningham and Steve Smith (at Tampa Bay); Desean Jackson (vs Kansas City); Johnny Knox (at Seattle)

Sit ‘Em: Donnie Avery, St. Louis (vs Green Bay)

A lot of fantasy owners had high hopes for Donnie Avery on the heels of his breakout rookie campaign during which he caught 53 balls or 674 yards and 3 TDs. Through two games in 2009, however, Avery has only 7 catches for 50 yards.

This week, the Rams play a Green Bay defense that was shredded by the Bengals last week at home. Green Bay’s primary problem on D is their inability to stop the run, but they do have two solid cornerbacks in Charles Woodson and Al Harris that will make life difficult for Avery and Laurent Robinson.

For St. Louis to win on Sunday, Steven Jackson will need to be the first, second, and third options in the offense. I think Avery will see limited targets, especially with Robinson’s emergence (11 receptions, 141 yards, 1 TD on the season).

Donnie Avery Week 3 projection: 3 rec, 35 yards, 0 TD

Other WRs I don’t like in Week 3: Nate Washington (at New York Jets); Laveraneus Coles (vs Pittsburgh); Nate Burleson (vs Chicago)

Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends

fantasy football week 3 start em, sit em lineup advice: trent edwards, carson palmer, cedric benson, steve slaton, donnie avery, derrick mason, brent celek, ben watson, denver d, dallas dStart ‘Em: Brent Celek, Philadelphia (vs Kansas City)

I should have listed Brent Celek here last week and taken advantage of his 8 catch, 104-yard performance. Alas, I did not; but I am righting that wrong this week.

Celek has been outstanding so far this year, catching no fewer than six passes through the Eagles’ first two games. Kevin Kolb, the likely starter for this Sunday’s game against Kansas City, clearly likes Celek and will throw the ball his way often.

And guess what? Kansas City sucks, which makes this a really solid matchup for Celek and his owners.

Brent Celek Week 3 projection: 8 rec, 79 yards, 1 TD

Other TEs I like in Week 3: Todd Heap (vs Cleveland); Dustin Keller (vs Tennessee)

Sit ‘Em: Benjamin Watson, New England (vs Atlanta)

I’m afraid fantasy owners are going to overrate Ben Watson for at least the first few weeks of the season. His Week 1 numbers will skew his cumulative totals and make otherwise sensible owners forget that he has caught only 58 passes over the past two seasons.

Watson was tremendous in Week 1, catching six balls for 77 yards and 2 TDs, but that was more of a fluky function of that game’s situation and a specific defense Buffalo had been employing that Tom Brady took advantage of in the waning moments of the game.

I expect Tom Brady to look deep early and often against the Falcons. Watson may catch a few balls, but there are plenty of better options who are probably available, but may not have the gaudy and misleading two week stats that Watson has put up so far.

Ben Watson Week 3 projection: 3 rec, 24 yards, 0 TD

Other TEs I don’t like in Week 3: Zach Miller (vs Denver)

Week 3 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense / Special Teams Units

Start ‘Em: Denver Broncos at Oakland

Denver’s D was a much-maligned unit heading the 2009 season, but thus far is the #2 ranked defense in fantasy. Granted, they played the Browns last week to help prop up the numbers, but they also held a pretty potent Cincinnati offense in check the week prior.

What I like about Denver’s D is their ability to pressure the quarterback. Elvis Dumervil alone sacked Brady Quinn four times last week. Sacks are a good way to balance out giving up a few points…but giving up lots of points shouldn’t be a problem this week for Denver.

Denver faces Oakland and JaMarcus Russell — the same JaMarcus Russell who went 7-24 last week against Kansas City. The Raiders are also without starting guard Robert Gallery, who is injured.

This should be an ugly, low-scoring game between two underrated defenses. Considering the Raiders’ porous QB play and Denver should be a solid start for at least one more week.

Denver D/ST Week 3 projection: 13 points or less given up, 4 sacks, 2 INTs

Other team defense units I like in Week 3: Philadelphia (vs Kansas City); Green Bay (vs St. Louis); Washington (vs Detroit); Baltimore (vs Cleveland)

Sit ‘Em: Dallas Cowboys vs Carolina

Dallas’ defense has been very disappointing so far this year. They have yet to force a fumble or record a sack. And while you might say that they are due, I’d rather not take my chances against an offense that has DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Steve Smith, no matter how much Jake Delhomme has struggled.

Truthfully, I came close to putting Jake Delhomme in the start ’em column for this week. Dallas’ D is very susceptible to big pass plays, and Delhomme-Smith is still a lethal downfield combo that is searching for its first TD connection of the year. Delhomme played better last week, and has perhaps put his ungodly INT problems behind him.

Either way, you have better options than the Cowboys’ D in what will probably end up being a shootout this coming Monday night.

Dallas D/ST Week 3 projection: 27 or more points given up, 1 sack, 1 INT

Other team defense units I don’t like in Week 3: Buffalo (vs New Orleans); Indianapolis (at Arizona); Arizona (vs Indianapolis); New England (vs Atlanta); Atlanta (at New England)

Can you tell that I think you should take the over in the Indy-Arizona and Atlanta-New England games?

I’m going to try something new this week and let you the readers chime in with some thoughts regarding my start ’em, sit ’em predictions. If nothing else, this should give other readers more insight into what the majority opinions are, rather than just my own.

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That’s it for this week’s start ’em, sit ’em lineup advice and projections column. As I mentioned above, use the comment section to its full extent. Let’s get some good fantasy tips, Q&A, and discussion going and help everyone get prepared for their Week 3 matchups.

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* – Carson Palmer photo credit: Rick Stewart/Getty Images via DayLife

* – Brent Celek photo credit: 2 Minuted to Midnight Green

About the Author

Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.