For most of the Cleveland Browns game, Bobby Rainey was making me look like a fool for suggesting to start him. He made up for it late in the game in garbage time, ending the game with 18 touches (including seven receptions) for 105 yards, scoring 13.5 points. If it wasn’t for the 2 fumbles, which in most leagues cost him points, he would have finished in the top 10 for running backs in my league. My best “start” call was Dwayne Allen who finished as the sixth ranked tight end.
Week Three Start Grades
Joe Flacco (13.28) – F
Jonathan Stewart (8.00) – D
Bobby Rainey (13.50) – B-
Torrey Smith (4.50) – F
Justin Hunter (6.70) – F
Dwayne Allen (14.30) – A-
Week Three Sit Grades
Nick Foles (32.20) – F
Frank Gore (1.00) – A+
Antonio Gates (1.80) – A+
(Consider) Starting This Week
The players I suggest you consider starting this week are started in less than 50 percent of the leagues on MyFantasyLeague.com, but have favorable match-ups, are filling in for injured starters, or I believe are poised to have a break-out game. I would never sit my studs, but if you are looking to fill a spot, these are players I would consider.
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota vs. Atlanta (25.36% started)
With the unfortunate foot injury to quarterback Matt Cassel, rookie Teddy Bridgewater take over in Minnesota and will get his first start this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. After coming in during the second quarter, Bridgewater completed 12 of 20 passes for 150 yards and rushed six times for 27 yards. Atlanta is ranked 24th against the pass this season.
Darren McFadden, Oakland vs. Miami (43.81% started)
Much of Darren McFadden’s possible success against the Miami Dolphins this weekend will depend on how much Maurice Jones-Drew plays in London. With Jones-Drew sitting out last game, McFadden rushed 18 times for 59 yards, and caught four passes. He had a late touchdown run negated by a holding penalty; otherwise his point total could have been so much better.
Alfred Blue, Houston vs. Buffalo (31.76% started)
With Houston Texans starting running back Arian Foster nursing a recurring hamstring injury, Alfred Blue could be called on to carry much of the load this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are ranked sixth against the run this season, but I think Blue can improve on his 14 touches for 88 yards in week three.
Stevie Johnson, San Francisco vs. Philadelphia (35.32% started)
The Philadelphia Eagles rank 29th in pass defense this season, this could mean a big game for Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers receivers. After only four receptions in the first two games, Johnson had his best game of the year with nine receptions for 103 yards. With starting tight end Vernon Davis and back-up tight end Vance McDonald not playing this weekend, look for Johnson to repeat his week three performance.
Robert Woods, Buffalo at Houston (19.24% started)
Robert Woods only has eight receptions for 102 yards and no touchdowns. E.J. Manuel has improved in each game this season and if he can continue that trend I think Woods is the recipient of many targets against the Texans.
Ladarius Green, San Diego vs. Jacksonville (34.31% started)
The Jacksonville Jaguars have the worst defense in the NFL, enough said! Ladarius Green had his best game of the year in week three, four catches for 64 yards on six targets. He also saw two red-zone targets, but unfortunately could not cash in.
(Consider) Sitting This Week
When I say consider sitting this week, I don’t mean you should bench these players in favor of inferior players. I only list these players here due to match-ups, past performances, or injury questions. In most cases I would still start these guys but don’t expect them to finish near the top of scoring for their positions.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee (97.48% started)
I know it is silly to bench the top player in fantasy football, but he is facing the second ranked pass defense this season. His worst game this year came in week two against the Eagles, who were the 10th ranked pass defense at the time. The only way I am benching Luck is if I have another top five quarterback as my back-up.
Reggie Bush, Detroit at New York Jets (78.73% started)
In two games against top-10 rush defenses, Bush has a combined 15 rushes for 41 yards. The Jets are the top ranked rush defense, only allowing 55 rushing yards per game. Bush could make up some points in the receiving game if Geno Smith can find him.
Mike Wallace, Miami at Oakland (87.31% started)
So will it be Ryan Tannehill or Matt Moore throwing passes for the Miami Dolphins this weekend? According to head coach Joe Philbin, “At the end of the week, we’re going to pick the 46 guys that give us the best chance to win the game in London.” Wallace is currently questionable for the game, but if he plays he will be facing an Oakland Raiders defense that is ranked fourth against the pass.
Good luck to all the fantasy football players in week four!