Week 3: Start or Sit

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Welcome to week 3 of the fantasy football season.

Today we'll give you the names of some players we think you should start, and those who you should sit.

Like I tell you every week, you probably won't find your stud players on this list. Guys like Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson should always be started, regardless of who they're playing so it's a waste of time to even mention them.

If you have any questions about your lineup, send me an email at molsen@chicagosuntimes.com and between Ricky and myself we'll do the best we can to help you out.

Otherwise, good luck this weekend.


Must starts: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Drew Brees


J.T. O'Sullivan - 49ers vs. Lions - Amazingly enough, it seems this kid is the real deal. That is, at least for now.

But this week's matchup is especially tempting because 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz is facing his former team that fired him. He's going to try to put 100 points up on the scoreboard and O'Sullivan will be slanging it around the field all day. Could be a great game for him.

Trent Edwards - Bills vs. Raiders - A lot of people speak of the Raiders secondary as if it's impenetrable. I don't agree. They may have some good corners back there, but when you spend 80-percent of the game on the field because your offense is so bad, you're going to get tired.

That's just about the time when Edwards will find Lee Evans on a double move. This kid has impressed me after I've doubted him since he entered the league.

Jason Campbell - Redskins vs. Cardinals - After that atrocious opening game against the Giants in week one, I was ready to proclaim that Jason Campbell would never be a good NFL quarterback.

But last week he comes out looking like a man possessed and made me realize why I had such high hopes for him this year. With the Cardinals ridiculous aerial attack he'll have to make some big plays and I think he's going to deliver for the second week in a row.

Phillip Rivers - Chargers vs. Jets - If you're a Rivers owner I certainly hope that he found a way into your starting lineup last week. That game was ridiculous and I think that Rivers made a fantasy statement with his 377 yd, 3 TD performance.

The Jets defense is much improved, but with a banged up LT, Rivers will continue to air it out in week 3.


Carson Palmer - Bengals vs. Giants - How did we come this far?

How do you go from being considered one of the premier quarterbacks in football to an absolute joke in the span of only a year or two?

I don't have the answer to that question and neither do the Bengals. Until this team shows any kind of life, I'm keeping Palmer on the pine.

Marc Bulger - Rams vs. Seahawks - At this point it's becoming pretty clear that the situation in St. Louis is much worse than anyone could have anticipated.

Bulger is literally scrambling for his life on every play, trying to find Torry Holt. Only his favorite receiver is being triple teamed because they don't have anyone else at the position.

This is an ugly, ugly team.

Matt Ryan - Falcons vs. Chiefs - I know the matchup against the Chiefs may be enticing, but I implore you to resist.

Running Backs

Must starts: LaDanian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson (Min), Joseph Addai, Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore


Brandon Jacobs - Giants vs. Bengals - The Bengals are giving up an average of 203 yds per game on the ground and the Giants should come very close to that mark in week 3 with Jacobs leading the charge.

His running style will punish an already dejected and frustrated Bengals defense and will pick up chunks of yards throughout. I love him in this matchup and you should too.

Michael Turner - Falcons vs. Chiefs - You really didn't go into last week expecting him to repeat those gaudy week 1 stats did you?

But rest assured Turner will return to the list of top performers this week. The Chiefs gave up 300 yds on the ground last week to a very bad Raiders team and Turner has got to be licking his lips hearing about that. Big things this week.

Fred Taylor - Jaguars vs. Colts - The Jaguars have to get the run going this week and things have set up perfectly for them do so now that Colts super safety Bob Sanders is officially out of the lineup.

While everyone fawns over Maurice Jones-Drew, Taylor is still getting the most carries in this offense and showed some signs of life last weekend against a very solid Bills defense. Temper your expectations somewhat because the Colts are still a good football team, but Fragile Freddie will be ready to run come Sunday.


Joseph Addai - Colts vs. Jaguars - Chances are you won't bench him even if he shows up on this list and frankly, I don't blame you.

Addai was probably your first round pick and it's always hard to sit someone like that regardless of how they've looked through the first two weeks.

The Colts offensive line is in shambles and Addai can't even get to the line of scrimmage before having to get past a defender. Until that line is fixed, I'd be wary of giving him the nod.

Jonathan Stewart - Panthers vs. Vikings - No doubt you've been foaming at the mouth ever since you saw him take over against the Bears last week.

But week 3 brings the Vikings and you just don't run on the Vikings, they're too good.

Ryan Grant - Packers vs. Cowboys - Combine his hamstring injury with the Cowboys run defense and you have every reason not to start Grant this week. It's only week 3 and Grant will have a good season when it's said and done, but for now try to find another option.

Wide Receivers

Must starts: Randy Moss, Terrel Owens, Braylon Edwards, Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Plaxico Burress, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall


Steve Smith - Panthers vs. Vikings - Two weeks.

Two weeks Steve Smith had to sit at home watching his team somehow find a way to start the season 2-0. Now he's back and with a healthy Jake Delhomme on the other end, Smith is going to kick off his season with an exclamation point.

Greg Jennings - Packers vs. Cowboys - The 'Boys banged up secondary is going to have a tough time containing Jennings and the Packers will most certainly have to air it out to keep up. This is going to be another fantasy feast.

Roy Williams - Lions vs. 49ers - He's been griping about his role in the offense as of late and I think the Lions staff will try to make it a point to get him the ball often this week. Against the 49ers it shouldn't be too difficult and he should finish with nearly 100 yds and possibly a TD.

Isaac Bruce - 49ers vs. Lions - The old man just keeps trucking and looked like his old self last week, amassing 153 yds against a much improved Cardinals defense.

He's the trusted target a young quarterback like O'Sullivan looks for and against the Lions he should find plenty of room to run.


Patrick Crayton - Cowboys vs. Packers - You'd think with that shootout in Big D last weekend, Crayton would have had himself a nice ball game.

Instead he finished with only two catches for 23 yards. Playing opposite T.O., Crayton has every chance in the world to step up and deliver, yet fails to do so on a consistent basis.

Chad Ocho Cinco - Bengals vs. Giants - Carson Palmer is going to be under pressure all day and when he does have enough time to throw, it'll be to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Bernard Berrian - Vikings vs. Panthers - I stand by my prediction that Berrian will be a good fantasy player this year, but that doesn't mean I have to like him this week. I actually am excited about Gus Frerotte taking over the starting QB gig because it's going to benefit Berrian in the long run. Just not this week.

Tight Ends

Must starts: Antonio Gates, Chris Cooley, Kellen Winslow Jr., Jason Witten


John Carlson - Seahawks vs. Rams - The only consistent option Matt Hasslebeck has on this team is Carlson and against the Rams he'll find him open all day. Should finish as one of the top five tight ends this week.

Todd Heap - Ravens vs. Browns - While he may be healthy right now, by the first Ravens possession he'll come down with some ailment or another and be forced to leave the game. That's how Heap operates and you could do better at this position than him.

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No mention of Jay Cutler as a starter this week? Nice fantasy football advice column....

Olsen responds: Let's see.

He threw 4 TD passes last week, 2 the week before.

At this point do I really need to tell people that Jay Cutler should be in your starting lineup?

That's not advice. That's common sense.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on September 18, 2008 8:20 AM.

Can Week Two's stars keep it going? was the previous entry in this blog.

Injuries to monitor through the weekend is the next entry in this blog.

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