Start & SitSeptember 23, 2011

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Week 3: Play It Safe With Injured Stars - 3 comments

By R.J. White

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Start & Sit! As you read through our rankings, you’ll see players with big talent appear much further down in the rankings than you’d normally imagine (i.e., Arian Foster, Steven Jackson). Take this as a sign that we don’t feel very positive about their chances to earn a full complement of touches or targets if they do wind up playing. With players like that, it’s usually best to sit them on your bench if at all possible.

Thanks to c0megets0me, phackney, 204BC, Calyxes and tclangham for joining me in submitting rankings this week.

1Tom BradyNEat BUF94.00
2Philip RiversSDvs. KC93.43
3Aaron RodgersGBat CHI92.00
4Drew BreesNOvs. HOU89.29
5Michael VickPHIvs. NYG88.43
6Matthew StaffordDETat MIN84.57
7Matt SchaubHOUat NO80.86
8Tony RomoDALvs. WAS79.00
9Ben RoethlisbergerPITat IND78.29
10Matt RyanATLat TB76.00
11Ryan FitzpatrickBUFvs. NE75.10
12Cam NewtonCARvs. JAC74.71
13Joe FlaccoBALat STL72.86
14Kevin KolbARIat SEA68.43
15Jay CutlerCHIvs. GB67.71
16Josh FreemanTBvs. ATL66.00
17Matt HasselbeckTENvs. DEN65.43
18Rex GrossmanWASat DAL62.61
19Sam BradfordSTLvs. BAL62.57
20Mark SanchezNYJat OAK61.43
21Eli ManningNYGat PHI59.71
22Colt McCoyCLEvs. MIA58.59
23Chad HenneMIAat CLE58.00
24Kyle OrtonDENat TEN57.29
25Matt CasselKCat SD53.07
26Jason CampbellOAKvs. NYJ52.14
27Andy DaltonCINvs. SF51.57
28Alex SmithSFat CIN50.86
29Donovan McNabbMINvs. DET48.03
30Tarvaris JacksonSEAvs. ARI46.71
31Blaine GabbertJACat CAR46.43
32Mike KafkaPHIvs. NYG43.66
33Kerry CollinsINDvs. PIT41.79

Start: Ryan Fitzpatrick. The New England defense was abused by Chad Henne in Week 1, leading one to believe that Fitzpatrick will be just fine in this matchup. He’s one of three QBs in the league (Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford) with seven TDs over the first two weeks of the season. His yardage total (472 yards) doesn’t measure up to either of those other QBs, but since New England has allowed almost 400 yards per game through the air, Fitzpatrick could vastly improve his per game average in that department.

Sit: Eli Manning. The Eagles have an elite group of cornerbacks and the Giants, unlike the Falcons before them, don’t have a tight end capable of exploiting a favorable matchup against other Eagles players in coverage. The Giants philosophy in this game should be to control things on the ground and “shorten” the game clock, giving Michael Vick less of a chance to do something amazing and back-breaking on a single play. With hurting WRs, Manning is a virtual stay-away in this matchup.

RankRunning BacksTeamOppAvg
1Ray RiceBALat STL93.49
2Adrian PetersonMINvs. DET89.51
3Rashard MendenhallPITat IND86.39
4Chris JohnsonTENvs. DEN85.91
5LeSean McCoyPHIvs. NYG84.86
6Darren McFaddenOAKvs. NYJ81.77
7Michael TurnerATLat TB81.41
8Frank GoreSFat CIN81.17
9Maurice Jones-DrewJACat CAR80.77
10Jahvid BestDETat MIN79.69
11Ben TateHOUat NO79.03
12Peyton HillisCLEvs. MIA78.31
13Matt ForteCHIvs. GB77.21
14Fred JacksonBUFvs. NE74.71
15Ryan MathewsSDvs. KC74.26
16Beanie WellsARIat SEA73.20
17Ahmad BradshawNYGat PHI72.00
18LeGarrette BlountTBvs. ATL70.40
19Felix JonesDALvs. WAS69.57
20Shonn GreeneNYJat OAK69.57
21Tim HightowerWASat DAL69.29
22Cedric BensonCINvs. SF68.17
23Daniel ThomasMIAat CLE66.31
24BenJarvus Green-EllisNEat BUF66.20
25Willis McGaheeDENat TEN66.06
26DeAngelo WilliamsCARvs. JAC65.71
27James StarksGBat CHI63.37
28Mike TolbertSDvs. KC61.79
29Danny WoodheadNEat BUF61.51
30Jonathan StewartCARvs. JAC59.83
31Brandon JacobsNYGat PHI58.20
32LaDainian TomlinsonNYJat OAK57.66
33Marshawn LynchSEAvs. ARI57.40
34Mark IngramNOvs. HOU57.14
35Joseph AddaiINDvs. PIT56.11
36Reggie BushMIAat CLE55.57
37Ryan GrantGBat CHI55.49
38Pierre ThomasNOvs. HOU55.14
39Darren SprolesNOvs. HOU52.57
40Knowshon MorenoDENat TEN52.00
41Arian FosterHOUat NO51.40
42Thomas JonesKCat SD50.60
43Dexter McClusterKCat SD49.34
44Roy HeluWASat DAL47.43
45Earnest GrahamTBvs. ATL45.77
46Michael BushOAKvs. NYJ44.34
47Jerome HarrisonDETat MIN41.51
48C.J. SpillerBUFvs. NE39.43
49Jerious NorwoodSTLvs. BAL38.54
50Steven JacksonSTLvs. BAL33.79
51Tashard ChoiceDALvs. WAS27.80
52Delone CarterINDvs. PIT26.66
53DeMarco MurrayDALvs. WAS26.66
54Jason SnellingATLat TB26.43
55Deji KarimJACat CAR26.26
56Montario HardestyCLEvs. MIA26.26
57Javon RingerTENvs. DEN24.57
58Ricky WilliamsBALat STL23.26
59Marion BarberCHIvs. GB22.79
60Ronnie BrownPHIvs. NYG21.74
61Isaac RedmanPITat IND21.11
62Cadillac WilliamsSTLvs. BAL18.84
63Toby GerhartMINvs. DET17.20
64John KuhnGBat CHI12.91
65Marcel ReeceOAKvs. NYJ12.34

Start: Ben Tate. Tate has already been named the starter for Houston’s Week 3 game in New Orleans, and anyone with even a casual interest in fantasy football over the last year-plus knows how profitable it is to be a healthy starting running back for the Texans right now. Tate didn’t start either of the first two games yet managed to rank third in the league (behind Fred Jackson and Darren McFadden) with 109.5 yards per game in those contests. By the way, Fred Jackson? Yeah, make sure you start him too.

Sit: Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster. Both guys were hot waiver wire commodities this week after the injury to Jamaal Charles, but you shouldn’t be relying on either guy right out of the gate. San Diego had a great rush defense last year, and the Chargers figure to have the Chiefs in the same place they’ve been in each of their first two games: falling behind early and passing a lot. Let’s give the KC running back committee a week or two to shake out in terms of touches before we think about starting anyone.

RankWide ReceiversTeamOppAvg
1Andre JohnsonHOUat NO94.40
2Larry FitzgeraldARIat SEA92.14
3Calvin JohnsonDETat MIN92.14
4Roddy WhiteATLat TB87.57
5Vincent JacksonSDvs. KC85.86
6Steve SmithCARvs. JAC82.14
7Steve JohnsonBUFvs. NE82.11
8Kenny BrittTENvs. DEN81.77
9DeSean JacksonPHIvs. NYG81.74
10Greg JenningsGBat CHI81.14
11Mike WallacePITat IND81.06
12Wes WelkerNEat BUF80.84
13Santonio HolmesNYJat OAK77.80
14Brandon MarshallMIAat CLE76.63
15Hakeem NicksNYGat PHI76.14
16Jeremy MaclinPHIvs. NYG74.60
17Anquan BoldinBALat STL74.29
18Mike WilliamsTBvs. ATL73.50
19Santana MossWASat DAL71.29
20Dwayne BoweKCat SD70.31
21A.J. GreenCINvs. SF70.06
22Percy HarvinMINvs. DET69.26
23Mike ThomasJACat CAR66.23
24Robert MeachemNOvs. HOU65.94
25Reggie WayneINDvs. PIT65.86
26Nate BurlesonDETat MIN65.86
27Brandon LloydDENat TEN64.86
28Dez BryantDALvs. WAS64.50
29Devery HendersonNOvs. HOU64.17
30Lance MooreNOvs. HOU64.06
31Jordy NelsonGBat CHI62.91
32Mike Sims-WalkerSTLvs. BAL62.71
33David NelsonBUFvs. NE62.11
34Plaxico BurressNYJat OAK62.03
35Deion BranchNEat BUF61.50
36Johnny KnoxCHIvs. GB61.49
37Julio JonesATLat TB60.31
38Devin HesterCHIvs. GB59.89
39Mohamed MassaquoiCLEvs. MIA56.97
40Early DoucetARIat SEA56.31
41Sidney RiceSEAvs. ARI56.17
42Eric DeckerDENat TEN52.86
43Donald DriverGBat CHI50.66
44Nate WashingtonTENvs. DEN49.86
45Michael CrabtreeSFat CIN48.89
46Mike WilliamsSEAvs. ARI48.43
47Roy WilliamsCHIvs. GB47.31
48Denarius MooreOAKvs. NYJ47.29
49Hines WardPITat IND47.26
50Davone BessMIAat CLE47.17
51James JonesGBat CHI46.00
52Kevin OgletreeDALvs. WAS45.34
53Emmanuel SandersPITat IND45.34
54Derrick MasonNYJat OAK42.57
55Brandon LaFellCARvs. JAC41.97
56Andre CaldwellCINvs. SF40.23
57Danario AlexanderSTLvs. BAL39.57
58Legedu NaaneeCARvs. JAC38.43
59Brian HartlineMIAat CLE37.86
60Arrelious BennTBvs. ATL36.96
61Pierre GarconINDvs. PIT36.74
62Jabar GaffneyWASat DAL36.43
63Chad OchocincoNEat BUF33.76
64Greg LittleCLEvs. MIA33.57
65Brandon GibsonSTLvs. BAL33.00
66Randall CobbGBat CHI32.57
67Darrius Heyward-BayOAKvs. NYJ30.46
68Jason AvantPHIvs. NYG30.09
69Kevin WalterHOUat NO29.91
70Austin CollieINDvs. PIT29.11
71Dane SanzenbacherCHIvs. GB28.94
72Josh CribbsCLEvs. MIA27.14
73Steve BreastonKCat SD26.00
74Jacoby JonesHOUat NO25.71
75Andre RobertsARIat SEA25.71
76Bernard BerrianMINvs. DET25.49
77Josh MorganSFat CIN25.00
78Ben ObomanuSEAvs. ARI24.71
79Steve SmithPHIvs. NYG24.17
80Anthony ArmstrongWASat DAL22.86

Start: Mike Thomas. Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert is likely to spend most of his first start throwing the ball to his first read on a lot of plays, and that figures to be Thomas or Marcedes Lewis, who is still recovering from an injury. The Panthers haven’t done that good of a job at stopping the pass this year, allowing long TDs to Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Early Doucet and even backup TE Jeff King. Thomas should find himself in a position to score from far away at least once in this game, and he’s a darkhorse to have the best fantasy game of the week among wideouts.

Sit: Austin Collie. Kerry Collins has predictably sapped the fantasy value out of most of the Indy offense, and that’s reflected nowhere more than it is in Austin Collie. Despite being down in both their games this year and having to throw to try and catch up, Collie has just three catches for 24 yards over the first two games, with all of that production coming last week against the Browns. He’s clearly a non-factor in the offense right now and deserves to be nowhere near fantasy lineups until he proves himself.

RankTight EndsTeamOppAvg
1Jermichael FinleyGBat CHI87.14
2Jason WittenDALvs. WAS86.14
3Rob GronkowskiNEat BUF83.29
4Vernon DavisSFat CIN81.00
5Antonio GatesSDvs. KC76.80
6Owen DanielsHOUat NO76.71
7Jimmy GrahamNOvs. HOU74.71
8Fred DavisWASat DAL74.46
9Dustin KellerNYJat OAK70.51
10Tony GonzalezATLat TB70.43
11Kellen WinslowTBvs. ATL70.14
12Dallas ClarkINDvs. PIT65.54
13Scott ChandlerBUFvs. NE65.00
14Jermaine GreshamCINvs. SF64.71
15Greg OlsenCARvs. JAC64.29
16Marcedes LewisJACat CAR58.14
17Ed DicksonBALat STL58.00
18Ben WatsonCLEvs. MIA57.14
19Brandon PettigrewDETat MIN56.88
20Jeremy ShockeyCARvs. JAC55.49
21Evan MooreCLEvs. MIA55.29
22Anthony FasanoMIAat CLE53.43
23Todd HeapARIat SEA53.03
24Brent CelekPHIvs. NYG52.00
25Jared CookTENvs. DEN46.57
26Zach MillerSEAvs. ARI45.97
27Heath MillerPITat IND45.57
28Lance KendricksSTLvs. BAL44.57
29Daniel FellsDENat TEN44.43
30Visanthe ShiancoeMINvs. DET41.29
31Chris CooleyWASat DAL40.54
32Tony SchefflerDETat MIN37.43
33Leonard PopeKCat SD30.14
34Jeff KingARIat SEA30.00
35Kevin BossOAKvs. NYJ29.71

Start: Fred Davis. This seems like a “no-duh” pick at this point after Davis racked up 191 yards and a score over the first two games of the season, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see many owners slow to reacting to Davis’ new value. He’s a every-week TE1 until something proves otherwise.

Sit: Brandon Pettigrew. He’s a little banged up and didn’t practice early in the week, leaving his availability for Sunday in question. It seems likely the Lions will lean more on Tony Scheffler, who caught TDs on his only receptions in each of the first two contests.

1Neil RackersHOUat NO78.51
2Stephen GostkowskiNEat BUF76.20
3Sebastian JanikowskiOAKvs. NYJ75.17
4Rob BironasTENvs. DEN73.37
5David AkersSFat CIN71.69
6Mason CrosbyGBat CHI71.14
7Jason HansonDETat MIN69.86
8Nick FolkNYJat OAK69.37
9Jay FeelyARIat SEA68.14
10Billy CundiffBALat STL67.46
11Matt BryantATLat TB66.86
12John KasayNOvs. HOU66.66
13Alex HeneryPHIvs. NYG66.46
14Robbie GouldCHIvs. GB66.11
15Josh BrownSTLvs. BAL65.89
16Shaun SuishamPITat IND65.17
17Dan CarpenterMIAat CLE65.17
18Rian LindellBUFvs. NE64.00
19Olindo MareCARvs. JAC63.54
20Matt PraterDENat TEN62.74
21Adam VinatieriINDvs. PIT62.46
22Nick NovakSDvs. KC62.43
23Lawrence TynesNYGat PHI59.97
24Phil DawsonCLEvs. MIA59.86
25Ryan LongwellMINvs. DET59.71
26Dan BaileyDALvs. WAS59.37
27Mike NugentCINvs. SF59.29
28Graham GanoWASat DAL58.71
29Josh ScobeeJACat CAR56.97
30Connor BarthTBvs. ATL56.49
31Steven HauschkaSEAvs. ARI53.90
32Ryan SuccopKCat SD52.77

Start: David Akers. He’s been one of the top kickers over the first two weeks, largely on the strength of his Week 1 performance. San Francisco figures to be competitive in their game in Cincinnati, providing Akers with plenty of scoring opportunities.

Sit: Adam Vinatieri. The Steelers shut the Seahawks out in Week 2, and the Colts don’t appear to be any better than the Seahawks right now. It feels like the kind of game where Vinatieri may be limited to a single extra point or one field goal attempt.

RankTeam DefenseTeamOppAvg
1Pittsburgh SteelersPITat IND88.86
2San Diego ChargersSDvs. KC75.86
3Baltimore RavensBALat STL75.00
4Detroit LionsDETat MIN74.41
5Philadelphia EaglesPHIvs. NYG74.29
6New York JetsNYJat OAK73.93
7Green Bay PackersGBat CHI66.29
8Dallas CowboysDALvs. WAS66.29
9Cleveland BrownsCLEvs. MIA64.74
10Arizona CardinalsARIat SEA62.30
11Tennessee TitansTENvs. DEN61.04
12Atlanta FalconsATLat TB58.17
13San Francisco 49ersSFat CIN58.00
14Cincinnati BengalsCINvs. SF57.47
15New England PatriotsNEat BUF56.37
16Oakland RaidersOAKvs. NYJ56.04
17Washington RedskinsWASat DAL56.03
18Carolina PanthersCARvs. JAC55.56
19Houston TexansHOUat NO54.11
20New Orleans SaintsNOvs. HOU53.79
21Denver BroncosDENat TEN53.29
22Jacksonville JaguarsJACat CAR52.21
23Minnesota VikingsMINvs. DET52.06
24St. Louis RamsSTLvs. BAL51.81
25Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBvs. ATL51.73
26Seattle SeahawksSEAvs. ARI51.01
27Chicago BearsCHIvs. GB50.27
28Miami DolphinsMIAat CLE49.89
29New York GiantsNYGat PHI48.50
30Indianapolis ColtsINDvs. PIT45.63
31Buffalo BillsBUFvs. NE40.07
32Kansas City ChiefsKCat SD37.93

Start: Tennessee Titans. Despite having one game against a playoff contender, the Titans haven’t allowed more than 16 points yet this season. They’re coming off a three-turnover, three-sack performance against the Ravens and now get a much easier matchup with the Broncos.

Sit: Houston Texans. The Texans have been wonderful on defense so far this year, but they face a very difficult challenge in New Orleans against the Saints this week. Drew Brees should have no problem blowing Houston’s 10 PPG scoring defense out of the water, and with the Texans not getting many turnovers yet, it’s best to stay away.

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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3 Responses to “Week 3: Play It Safe With Injured Stars”

  1. User avatar joejlitz says:

    At QB, Dalton has been playing great and he’s got a hell of a matchup against SF and I’m thinking of starting him in lieu of Eli. Your 27th ranking leaves me wondering, though…I could also pick up Grossman, but I don’t think his matchup is nearly as sweet.

  2. User avatar Navyseal says:

    I was taken aback when I see Charger RB Mike Tolbert’s ranking this weekend! I would imagine that eventhough he is a bit banged up, Tolbert would be a bit higher on your list this week, yet he barely cracks the top 30 @ #28, the human bowling ball seems to have a nose for the endzone and is a darn good receiver in the redzone especially, not to mention that he faces an abysmal KC squad this weekend! To wit, Hightower is ranked @ #21 against an excellent run-stopping Dallas team who is playing in their home-opener (and rookie Helu is garnering more carries and the confidence of Skins HC Shanny)…

    Food for thought, that’s all… keep up the great work gang!

  3. PLease checkout my rankings


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