Week Three Who To Start/Sit

By Ted Cahill

Two weeks into the NFL season and we’re approaching panic time. Maybe not for the big boys, but for the fantasy owners.

For everyone out there that’s 0-2 headed into this week, hopefully we’ll be able to provide you with some quality advice to post that first W and start your path to the playoffs. As usual this isn’t to tell you to start Drew Brees or to sit Brady Quinn. You should be able to handle those moves on your own. Instead we’ll handle the more borderline questions every owner faces week in and week out.


Ryan Grant, Packers at St. Louis
The Rams are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, not a bad deal for Grant. St. Louis’ defense is downright awful, so expect Green Bay to get up big early. If that happens, Grant should see the ball often.

Baltimore running backs vs. Cleveland
Equally bad on defense are the Browns. It’s pretty much impossible to know which Ravens’ running back will see more carries, but you really can’t go wrong when playing the Browns, who are allowing 5.6 yards per carry.

Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Jacksonville
Schaub has been something of a disappointment so far this year, which fits his team as well. But the Jaguars have not been good in pass defense this year and have just one sack so far. Schaub will have plenty of time to find his targets. That is especially good news since Kevin Walter is expected to return from his hamstring injury this weekend.

Hines Ward, Steelers at Cincinnati
The Steelers simply haven’t been able to run the ball this year. They’ll clearly try again this week to get their running backs going, but if that fails Hines Ward will be there to save the day. He’ll also benefit from Santonio Holmes’ wrist injury.


Donnie Avery, Rams vs. Green Bay
Avery hasn’t done much so far this year, only catching seven passes for 50 yards. In addition, Avery has fumbled twice already. It won’t get any better this week, facing a Packers’ defense that has six interceptions and allows 217 passing yards a game.

Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings vs. San Francisco
The Vikings might be looking to air it out a little more this week, but the 49ers have an excellent linebacking group. After Seattle tight end John Carlson was held to just 46 yards last week this doesn’t look like a good matchup for Shiancoe.

Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers vs. Giants
Two weeks into the season, New York has the second-worst run defense in the league. With Tampa Bay’s talented running backs, there shouldn’t be a need for Leftwich to throw as much as he has been. Justin Tuck’s injury is a plus for Leftwich, but I’d stay away from him this week.

Colts running backs at Arizona
This just is an awful matchup for Indianapolis. They’re only averaging 3.4 yards per carry and Arizona is giving up only 2.5 yards per carry. This looks like another week of Peyton Manning gun-slinging for the Colts. Stay away from Joseph Addai and Donald Brown.

Matchup to watch: Adrian Peterson vs. San Francisco defense

The 49ers have been very good against the run so far this year, but Peterson is the best running back in the league. He should be able to eclipse the 2.7 yards per carry San Francisco is allowing, but this game will show just how good their defense is.

San Francisco has yet to face a good, physical back but stopping Tim Hightower, Beanie Wells and Julius Jones in their tracks is something to be proud of.

Pickup of the Week: Broncos defense at Oakland

Pretty much the surprise defense of the season this year gets an easy matchup in Oakland. The Raiders are reeling as usual and the Broncos should be able to take advantage of this rivalry game.

Denver has forced five fumbles and allowed only 13 points so far. They haven’t faced prolific offenses (Cincinnati and Cleveland), but this week’s test is no different.