Fantazzle Weekly Fantasy Sports Games each week looks to give fantasy football insight that is not obvious. We focus on players that are overlooked by most major fantasy football sites. If your looking for high level start/sit advice (start Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson, bench Marc Bulger and Michael Crabtree) then you will want to read a different article. If you want analysis on players that are under the radar and are question marks each week, then read on.
It’s also worth pointing out that while some of those fantasy football start/sit articles can be useful, they aren’t always relevant for traditional fantasy football….BUT they are for playing weekly fantasy football games (given I’m the prez of Fantazzle.com, I recommend that site . Heck if you got the option to bench Tom Brady (thats even if you own Brady in the first place) and use a solid QB with a dream matchup, then much props on your drafting skillz. But I gotta believe Brady is going to be started regardless of the matchup or what you read. The beauty of weekly fantasy football is you choose a new roster every week and you can put that matchup info to good use by winning cash prizes. Ok, thats my soap box moment. Its really a call to action for fantasy writers rather than a sales pitch. There is just so much more value in the start/sit type articles once weekly fantasy football starts to gain popularity. Playing the matchups in fantasy football is a really key factor, but your options are limited given the draft was before the season starts and Frank Gore plays the Vikings this week.
Note – This is start/sit advice, here is Fantazzle’s week 3 fantasy football pickup advice.
Eddie Royal (WR Den) START - Royal will come back to life this week. Everyone is worried about him and rightly so. I believe this could be the week against Oakland. Oak’s shutdown corner, Asomugha, should be matched up with Marshall (Marshall is an iffy start) making Eddie Royal a big part of the game plan. Bobby Wade as the #2 last week had a good week and I see the same for Royal which is about 90 yds and a possible TD. Start him this week and if he doesn’t produce – be very worried….
Steve Slaton (RB Hou) START – Your probably going to start this guy regardless (like I said, I don’t wanna be ‘that guy’ and write about guys you will be starting every week), but he’s another guy who is off to a bad start for 2009 fantasy football owners. This is the week he’ll bounce back and show you why he was picked in the 1st/2nd round in drafts. Last year, Slaton had 2 big games against the Jags going over 100 all purpose yards easily and scoring a total of 3 TDs. Look for Slaton to bounce back with over 100 yds and at least one TD.
Arizona Players START – (Warner, Fitz, and Boldin are must starts so no surprise there), but Hightower owners probably are not looking at him as a must start each week and Beanie Wells owners are definitely not. Start Hightower with no questions asked and Wells owners may want to give him a shot if your using a flex in a large league and your other options have bad matchups (for example, Cedric Benson against Pit D or Julius Jones against Chi D…its a risky call so flip a coin and/or read some more articles before deciding). If you watched the MNF game this past week, you saw that Indy’s D was on the field for 45 minutes. Thats 3 quarters…and an unreal effort by the Dolphins (and Peyton for pulling off the win). You gotta believe off a short week for another away game that the Colts D is going to be tired. Oh and start Rackers as well.
Jeremy Shockey (NO TE) START – Buffalo has given up nearly 100 yards the past two weeks to its opponents tight ends AND gave up a TD to both of them (Ben Watson and Kellen Winslow). Look for the trend to continue with Shockey. He’ll get around the same stat line 5/80/1.
Green Bay Packers D/ST START – Green Bay was a big underrated player in Fantazzle’s preseason fantasy football rankings. They already have 6 INTs this year and 1 TD scored (middle of the pack in sacks). They play the Rams this week who will be missing several of their O Line starters and have scored a total of 7 pts this year (added bonus for Points Allowed leaguers). This is about as no-brainer as you can get. Its possible that they are still available as free agents in your league.
St. Louis Rams players SIT - Your probably don’t have much choice with Steven Jackson so go ahead and start him. He won’t do too bad, but I doubt he’ll put up 1st round draft pick numbers. I liked Laurent Robinson preseason and I like him even more after seeing two games, but bench him this week. If for some reason, your starting Avery or Burton you have to bench them as well and hope you can pick up better guys on the waiver wire. Those guys are not very good fantasy options any week.
Jermichael Finley (GB TE) ~~~~ – well this is tough for two reasons: A) you probably have a more proven TE on your roster and B) Donald Lee is still in the mix and that will reduce Finley’s stats. So while Finley has a great matchup, you better be hurting with your other options if you start him. Its usually not a good idea to start a team that uses to pass catching tight ends. BUT the Rams have given up close to 100 yds a game for the past two games and a score. In addition, Jennings is a bit nicked up so the TE could be a bigger part of the game plan as they look to ‘rest’ him. Speaking of which, you may love Jennings vs. the Rams, but I wouldn’t expect a lot. It scares me that Jennings had 0 catches last week. Its possible his injury is going to hamper him for awhile. If GB was smart they should put him on the bench once they’re up by a TD. My recommendation here is if you have your eye on Finley for a future week to week TE start, you should pick him up before he makes waves this week and he becomes a hot pickup.
Donald Driver (GB WR) START – As stated above, I’m a little worried about Jennings. GB is playing against the Rams. I look for Donald Driver to play like a #1 WR and put up some nice numbers.
Brian Westbrook (Phi RB) ~~~ – I’m not suggesting benching WB. In fact if he plays he should have some nice numbers. Playing at home vs the KC Chiefs is a fantasy football dream matchup ESPECIALLY considering the fantasy points the Chiefs have given up to RBs in the last two games (McGahee had a TD and LJ had ~40 yds which is unusual for him). That said, if the Eagles were smart they would pull WB as quickly as possible. They should win this game handedly and they have a BYE Week next week which will give WB the time he needs to get ready for the thick of the season. Plus the Eagles should really see what they got with LeSean McCoy as the #1 RB. That way when WB misses games later in the season (and we all know he will), they’ll know how much they can depend on McCoy in their game plans. Man…I should be a NFL coach. This stuff is easy!
Braylon Edwards (Cle WR) START – I’m a little worried about the Quinn/Edwards comments about not being on the same page plus Edwards has been a dud thus far so this is a risky start. That said, Edwards has always had success against the Ravens (I should know, I’m a Ravens fan). A TD every other game and close to 100 yds each game for the past couple of years. Not to mention that the Ravens haven’t been so hot against the pass so far this season, they won’t be able to run against them, and Fabian Washington is questionable to play. This is another guy that if he doesn’t produce this weekend, be very worried about his fantasy future.
A couple of guys your going to start every week so no need to get in-depth about, but they looked prime for a big Sunday for Week 3:
- Matt Forte (Chi RB) – disappointing so far, but he’ll turn it around. Seattle was the team that gave up over 200 yds to Frank Gore last week.
- Santonio Holmes (Pit WR) – he has been a beast against Cincy for the past two years (over 100yds and 1 or more TDs almost every game).
- Jason Witten (Dal TE) – both TEs that Carolina has played against have scored TDs (Celek and Tony G) so Witten is looking good for a TD.
- Min D/ST – San Fran is at the top of the league for sacks allowed and Min is at the top of the league for sacks.
- Balt D/ST – they haven’t been all that sharp this year especially their pass D, but a shaky Quinn IN Balt is askin’ for trouble. Could we see Derek Alexander starting the 3rd quarter a la Donovan McNabb? It would be a horrible coaching call (just like Reid’s was…unless he did that to motivate McNabb which I doubt), but a real possibility.
So thats the fantasy football week 3 advice. I hope that it adds a little more than the ‘start AP this week or bench McNabb. There is definitely a place for that (even more so if you play weekly fantasy football games) and should be the start of any weekly fantasy football strategy, but its also pretty easy to make those recommendations. Fantazzle tries every week to give you that extra edge looking at the not so transparent analysis that will give you that slight edge you need to pull off a close win.
General Week 3 NFL Notes
Games of the week:
Tennessee Titans vs. New York Jets – I’m fired up to watch this game! The Jets were one of my surprise teams this year in the NFL’s AFC division and so far that predict is looking good. I also had Ten as the AFC South winners so that is not, but give them a little slack. Games against the reigning Super Bowl champs (which went into overtime) and an always fierce division rival with Houston (its sometimes easy to forget that Ten used to be the Houston Oilers so that adds to the intensity). This is going to be a good one. I’m a little surprised that the Jets are favored in this game. I know the Jets are looking really good thus far, but even with the home field advantage I would say this is more like a pick’em. I expect the Titans to pull off the upset.
San Fran 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings - Another great game. 49ers is another team surprise team I picked in my NFL NFC division predictions. Plus I had the Vikings as this year’s Super Bowl champs. This is their first true test since they have played the Lions and Cleveland thus far, but a wins a win and we haven’t seen Brett Favre yet. We may need to with AP running up against one of the best linebackers in the game today (Patrick Willis) and a run D that has held both opponents thus far to less than 50 rushing yards. The Vikings are expected to win by 7 points according to Vegas, but I look for a much closer victory by the Vikings with a final score of 20-17 for Minnesota.
- Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots - I believe the Pats will win, but it will be interesting to see how close the game will be and if NE continues to be rusty and Atl continues to play at a high level (I predicted the Falcons to be disappointing this year).
- Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals – Should be an easy win for Pit right? Well, I think they’ll win, but I wouldn’t be amazed if there was an upset. Pit lost last week to the Bears and the Bengals beat GB in Lambeau. I expect this to be a close division game with Pit getting the victory by less than a TD: 23-20.
- Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders - Preseason, I was down on the Broncos and up on the Raiders. I haven’t changed this view. The season will right the 2-0 start by Denver. Denver is favored in the game so I guess I’m calling an upset with an Oakland win which will happen on Sunday. Denver will be limited in their passing game and Oakland should run all over Denver’s run D: 34-13 Oakland.
- Overreactions - Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel talks (last week it was Jay Cutler talks). For one, its been two weeks. For two, its Cle and KC. I mean, c’mon are they expecting to make the playoffs? These teams have to be realistic and realize that it doesn’t matter who they start, they are not going to be competing for a playoff spot come December (or October for that matter). Maybe its the press and not the teams starting the controversies. These teams have got to stick with their QBs so they can figure out if they are the guys for the future. Both teams look like they have invested in these two guys so unless things have changed, the best thing they can do is let them play 16 games so they know if they were right or wrong.
- Correctreactions – Ok, I invented a new word to stay in theme. The reaction to the New England Patriots and Tom Brady issues. I watched in entirety both of New England’s games this year. In both games (most especially the Jets games), the Pats were not the Pats. I think we’re looking at the exact same situation Peyton Manning was in last year to open the season. Remember Manning and the Colts looked really bad last year starting out 0-2 and going 4-4. It wasn’t until Week 9 with a win over the Pats (ironically enough) that the Colts got back into their groove. Even the games they did win were just as much luck as skill (if you can recall the win over the Vikings 18-15 win and the Frerotte debacle in Houston in the last 2 minutes). The major news outlets are calling this one right. The Pats will take some time to get back into rhythm and it will mean a lot of frustration much like this past weekend and close wins. Even more ironic is that the Pats play Indy in Week 10 which if history repeats itself will be right around the time that NE starts playing like NE.
- Underreactions – Yes, there has been a lot discussed about the Miami/Colts game and the 15 min time of possession that the Dolphins made the Colts work with. I’m just not sure if the ramifications are fully understood. Last year, Miami changed the league with the WildCat. Will they make another league changer with what they did on Monday or was it the perfect storm of a great and confusing rushing attack for Miami and a bad and undersized rushing D for the Colts? Or is this the most valuable game film to study in 2009? I think its a bit of both and that is BIG news. If over matched teams (you know who I’m talking ’bout Willis – Chiefs, Bucs, Rams, Browns, Lions) look to duplicate the feat, it could change the game. Obviously teams have tried to do this for years, but I still think there is a lot that can be learned. Miami and Tony Sparano may have done it again. As a fantasy sports games site, I really hope not. Not many other offenses will be able to still pull off a win and put up respectable fantasy points. It would be horrible for fantasy given how much fantasy stats would shrink.
Ryan Parr is the founder and CEO of Fantazzle Fantasy Sports Games. Weekly fantasy football games for cash prizes including free fantasy football.
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