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Week 3 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

It was frustrating watching James Starks play in Week 2 against the Redskins. That should have been Eddie Lacy having that dominant performance.

Lacy, last week's Start of the Week, was knocked out with a concussion in the first quarter while Starks had 20 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 32 yards. At least I know the prediction was right about a Packers running back doing well against the Redskins -- it just went to the wrong player because of an injury.

On the other hand, we nailed the 49ers going into Seattle and struggling, as Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Anquan Boldin combined for seven Fantasy points. If only we had similar success with Giovani Bernard, but we're confidently standing behind him this week.

Full Disclosure from Week 2
Start of the Week
Player Fantasy Pts. (proj.) Fantasy Pts. (actual) Start % Pos. rank
Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers 12 1 78 54
Recommended starts that made us look good
Michael Vick, QB, Eagles 23 37 56 2
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders 12 12 87 12
Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins 13 17 58 11
Recommended sits that made us look good
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers 18 5 74 31
Frank Gore, RB, 49ers 9 2 84 53
Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers 9 0 76 103
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Eli Manning, QB, Giants 23 12 55 26
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers 13 5 85 44
David Wilson, RB, Giants 9 1 64 55
Recommended sits that made us look bad
Sam Bradford, QB, Rams 16 32 14 4
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals 7 17 26 4
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins 7 12 37 15

Start of the Week: Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

It was so much fun watching Giovani Bernard in Week 2 against the Steelers. He had what should be the beginning of breakout season.

The Bengals gave Bernard the chance to be a playmaker with eight carries for 38 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 27 yards and a touchdown. Now, Cincinnati just has to give Bernard more touches. And this could be the week.

I'm starting Bernard over ...
Stevan Ridley vs. TB
David Wilson at CAR
Ahmad Bradshaw at SF
James Starks at CIN
Maurice Jones-Drew at SEA

BenJarvus Green-Ellis remains the starter, and so far he has tripled the workload to Bernard with 36 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 9 yards. By comparison, Bernard has just 12 carries for 60 yards and two catches for 35 yards. But you can see the difference in what Bernard does with the ball in his hands instead of the plodding Green-Ellis.

This week, the Bengals could be in a track meet with the Packers in a potential shootout. Green Bay should be able to score against Cincinnati, and the Bengals will likely need Bernard to make plays in the passing game. They drafted Bernard in Round 2 of the NFL Draft for games like this.

The Packers have already allowed two running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this season with Gore and Alfred Morris, and we hope Bernard keeps that streak going. He's worth starting as at least a flex option or even a No. 2 running back, and the only thing holding him back is the Bengals. We hope they let him loose this week against Green Bay because the results could be special.

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Colin Kaepernick (vs. IND): No quarterback has the chance for a bigger rebound game than Kaepernick after he was demolished in Seattle last week. He was held to five Fantasy points, and the Seahawks at home are a tough matchup for most quarterbacks. He faces a much easier test this week against the Colts at home, and Indianapolis has already allowed one quarterback to run for 100 yards in Terrelle Pryor and another to pass for 300 yards in Ryan Tannehill. Kaepernick has the potential to do both, and we expect him to return as a Top 10 quarterback this week after his debacle in Week 2.

Michael Vick (vs. KC): There are a couple of things working against Vick this week. The first is playing Thursday night, since most teams tend to struggle on the short week. The other is facing his former coach in Andy Reid, who should know ways to frustrate Vick like no other opponent. It's also a tough matchup based on Kansas City's defense. Despite those obstacles, we're still starting Vick since he's off to a hot start through two games. He's yet to throw an interception and is averaging 33 Fantasy points a game. The hope is facing Reid will motivate him to show his former coach what he left behind.

Robert Griffin III (vs. DET): It's easy to see Griffin doesn't look like himself, but Fantasy owners aren't judging his mechanics and don't get points for his throwing motion. He has at least 23 Fantasy points through two games, and we expect another quality outing this week. The Lions did a good job against Carson Palmer last week in holding him to one touchdown and just 248 passing yards, but Griffin is a tougher challenge, especially at home. He has at least 18 Fantasy points in three of his past four home games, and he should be able to make plays against this secondary.

Tony Romo (vs. STL): Fantasy owners are starting to give up on Romo as a starter after one bad outing against the Chiefs because he only passed for 298 yards and one touchdown. Kansas City has a good defense, and if Romo had a second touchdown no one would be concerned. He has a great matchup this week against the Rams, who have allowed consecutive games of at least 325 passing yards and two touchdowns to Palmer and Matt Ryan. In Romo's last five home games he has four games with at least 300 passing yards, two games with at least 400 yards and 14 touchdowns and three interceptions over that span.

Sam Bradford (at DAL): You might be surprised to know that Bradford is the No. 5 quarterback in standard leagues to start the season with 55 Fantasy points behind Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Vick and Philip Rivers. He's averaging 326 passing yards through two games with five touchdowns and two interceptions. And this week he has a favorable matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed 673 passing yards against Eli Manning and Alex Smith, with both topping 25 Fantasy points. This game has the potential for a shootout, and while Bradford isn't likely to be started this week in the majority of leagues, it might be time for Fantasy owners to buy into his potential since he's off to a good start in 2013.

Week 3 quarterback sleepers
Carson Palmer (at NO) If Larry Fitzgerald is healthy this should be a shootout vs. the Saints.
Andy Dalton (vs. GB) GB has allowed 732 passing yards and six touchdowns through two games.
Eli Manning (at CAR) CAR has allowed an average of 308 passing yards through two games.

Sit 'Em

Russell Wilson (vs. JAC): Wilson could obviously do whatever he wanted against the Jaguars this week if the Seahawks opened the offense and let him make plays. But that's not likely to happen. Instead, Wilson will likely have a performance similar to Pryor last week against Jacksonville when he passed for 126 yards on just 24 attempts and ran for 50 yards. Seattle just doesn't need Wilson this week in what should be an easy game, and Fantasy owners should look for other alternatives as a starting quarterback.

Ben Roethlisberger (vs. CHI): The Steelers are a mess offensively, and we need to see Roethlisberger have a good performance before trusting him, even in two-quarterback leagues. The good news is Heath Miller (knee) could be back in Week 3, and the Steelers are going to give talented rookie Markus Wheaton more playing time over Jerricho Cotchery. That said, this is a tough matchup against the Bears, who should be able to pressure Roethlisberger all game behind a makeshift offensive line. Consider Roethlisberger a permanent bench player going forward until he proves otherwise.

Joe Flacco (vs. HOU): Flacco has faced the Texans each of the past three seasons, and he's only had success against them once, which was 2010 when he passed for 235 yards and two touchdowns. In the last two games against Houston, Flacco has combined for 452 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions with a fumble. Now, the Texans have allowed six touchdowns to Rivers and Jake Locker through two games, but Flacco is coming off a down game against the Browns with 14 Fantasy points and isn't worth starting this week in most leagues.

Jay Cutler (at PIT): Cutler has done well in new coach Marc Trestman's offense with at least 20 Fantasy points in each game this season. Turnovers remain an issue with three interceptions and a fumble, but he's made up for it with five touchdown passes and only one sack. The Steelers will be a tough test, and Pittsburgh has allowed multiple touchdown passes just twice in the past 13 games to Rivers and Romo, including matchups against Andy Dalton three times, Eli Manning and Griffin. Cutler is only worth starting in two-quarterback leagues.

Matt Schaub (at BAL): While Bradford is a surprise as the No. 5 Fantasy quarterback, Schaub is also shocking at No. 6. He's averaging 322 passing yards a game with six touchdowns and three interceptions, but the Ravens should be able to keep him in check. In his last trip to Baltimore in 2011, Schaub passed for 220 yards and one touchdown. Left tackle Duane Brown (toe) could miss this game, which could cause significant problems for Schaub's protection, especially against Terrell Suggs. We don't mind Schaub in two-quarterback leagues, but he might cool off from his hot start this week.

Bust alert: Tom Brady (vs. TB): Brady's status changes dramatically if Rob Gronkowski (back) plays this week, but it's not looking good based on reports out of New England as of Wednesday. We've seen what Brady looks like without his best weapon, and we don't like it, especially with Danny Amendola (groin) also banged up. Through two games against the Bills and Jets, Brady has averaged just 237 passing yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He's combined for just 32 Fantasy points, which is half of Rivers' total to start the season. The Bucs did a great job against Drew Brees last week in holding him to 322 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, and clearly Darrelle Revis has made a dramatic improvement on this secondary. Brady is a great buy-low candidate now because once the receiving corps gets healthy he's going to take off.

Running back

Start 'Em

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Knowshon Moreno (vs. OAK): We had Moreno as a sleeper last week, and he came through with 13 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 14 yards. He's the only Broncos running back worth using in the majority of leagues, although Montee Ball could be considered a sleeper this week in the matchup with Oakland. The Raiders run defense hasn't really been tested this season against a divided Colts backfield in Week 1 and an injured Maurice Jones-Drew last week, but Moreno destroyed the Raiders in 2012 with 32 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 48 yards. He won't do that again Monday night, but he is worth starting in most leagues.

Rashard Mendenhall (at NO): Give the Saints credit because their defense is dramatically improved from 2012. They've allowed 31 points through two games this season against the Falcons and Bucs, but last year at this time they gave up 59 points. They're still allowing quality production to running backs as Steven Jackson had over 110 total yards in Week 1, and Doug Martin ran for 144 yards last week. Mendenhall is coming off a solid game against the Lions with 15 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 28 yards, and he could have success again this week. He's worth starting as at least a flex option given all the injuries at running back around the league.

Bernard Pierce (vs. HOU): We're speculating on Wednesday that Ray Rice (hip) is out, which makes Pierce almost a must-start Fantasy option even in a tough matchup against the Texans. Pierce came on for Rice in Week 2 against the Browns and had 19 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. That was the sixth time Pierce got double digits in carries in his career, including the postseason, and he has at least 90 total yards in each outing. The Texans gave up double digits in Fantasy points to Ryan Mathews in Week 1, and Chris Johnson ran for 96 yards last week. Consider Pierce a low-end starter or flex option if Rice is out.

Lamar Miller (vs. ATL): The Dolphins don't want to fully commit to Miller yet over Daniel Thomas, but it was clear with their production in Week 2 that he's the better running back. Miller had 14 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 6 yards. Thomas, meanwhile, had eight carries for 30 yards and one catch for 10 yards. Thomas should have a role, but Miller should get the majority of playing time and touches. We hope that's the case this week against the Falcons, who are without linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot) and defensive end Kroy Biermann (Achilles). Based on the running back landscape this week, Miller should be considered a starting option in the majority of leagues.

Joique Bell (at WAS): Even though it looks like Reggie Bush (knee) will play in Week 3 we still expect Bell to post quality stats in this matchup. Bush might be limited, and Bell has been solid so far this year in a complementary role. We saw last week what a No. 2 running back could do against Washington when Starks filled in for Lacy and dominated. In Week 1, the Redskins allowed LeSean McCoy to get 31 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown. Bell should be considered at least a flex option if Bush plays as expected, and Bell started the season with at least seven Fantasy points in two games against the Vikings and Cardinals.

Week 3 running back sleepers
Jason Snelling (at MIA) He has the better chance to score over Jacquizz Rodgers in Week 3.
Bilal Powell (vs. BUF) Consider Powell and Chris Ivory sleepers vs. weak BUF run defense.
Danny Woodhead (at TEN) He should be at least a PPR flex after catching eight passes in Week 2.
Robert Turbin (vs. JAC) Look for Turbin to get garbage-time production in a blowout win.
Pierre Thomas (vs. ARI) With Mark Ingram (toe) likely out we could see Thomas shine.

Sit 'Em

David Wilson (at CAR): We're hoping this is the game Wilson breaks out like Miller and Bernard did last week after a terrible start, but it's too hard to trust Wilson in the majority of leagues. It's clear the Giants are still going to give Da'Rel Scott and Brandon Jacobs touches, and Wilson has to prove he can run without focusing on his fumble woes. It's also a tough matchup against the Panthers, who have allowed just one 100-yard rusher and two rushing touchdowns since Week 14 last year.

Ahmad Bradshaw (at SF): This could be the last time you see Bradshaw as a starter following the news of Trent Richardson being traded to the Colts. Richardson is likely going to be limited if he plays at all this week, but Bradshaw can't be trusted even if he starts and gets the majority of carries. He did play well against the 49ers last season when he was with the Giants with 27 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown, but San Francisco has to be highly motivated following the embarrassing loss at Seattle last week. Now, the 49ers have allowed a running back to score in four of their past five regular-season games, but I wouldn't consider Bradshaw anything more than a flex option in deeper leagues.

Ben Tate (at BAL): I've liked Tate each of the first two weeks to open the season, and he's done well in limited work. He has 18 carries for 148 yards (a whopping 8.2 yards per carry) and five catches for 15 yards, and he looks better than Arian Foster, who is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. The problem is Foster has 37 carries and seven catches, and his playing time is keeping Tate's value down. This is also a tough matchup since the Ravens shut down the Broncos running game in Week 1 and held Richardson to 18 carries for 58 yards and five catches for 21 yards in Week 2. Foster is worth starting because of his workload and ability to score, but Tate is a risky starter this week.

Ryan Mathews (at TEN): Mathews can be used as a flex option this week against the Titans, who gave up at least nine Fantasy points to Foster and Tate in Week 2, but it's hard to say Mathews is worth starting across the board. He ran well in Week 2 at the Eagles with 16 carries for 73 yards, but he lost a fumble in the red zone, which is problematic given his fumble history (eight in his career, with three in the red zone). When the Chargers go to their hurry-up offense, Mathews leaves the field for Danny Woodhead or Ronnie Brown. And he's now gone 11 straight games without scoring a rushing touchdown. I'd avoid Mathews if you can because he's too inconsistent to trust.

Maurice Jones-Drew (at SEA): Jones-Drew is expected to play against the Seahawks despite hurting his foot in Week 2 at Oakland, but why bother? He's going to be bottled up by a swarming defense, and he could further injure himself by coming back too soon. Jones-Drew has looked sluggish so far this season and is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and only one catch. The Seahawks just shut down Gore with nine carries for 16 yards, and Jones-Drew likely won't do much better. Avoid him at all costs.

Bust alert: James Starks (at CIN): Starks was the hot pickup this week after his performance against the Redskins. His ownership went from 5 percent in Week 2 on CBSSports.com to 67 percent as of Wednesday. It was smart to add him with Lacy likely out, but that doesn't mean start him against the Bengals. Cincinnati held Matt Forte to 19 carries for 50 yards in Week 1, but he scored and added four catches for 41 yards. Starks clearly isn't the same caliber of rusher as Forte, and the Bengals held the Steelers to 43 combined rushing yards in Week 2. Now, the Packers have rushed for a touchdown in each of the first two games, and Starks will dominate the touches with Lacy out. But he's nothing more than a flex option against a good Bengals defense, and the Packers will likely be passing a lot this week in a potential shootout.

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

Anquan Boldin (vs. IND): Boldin is averaging 13 Fantasy points a game in standard leagues through two weeks, which is good. The bad part is he had 26 points in Week 1 and zero in Week 2, so he's due for a bounce-back performance. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Colts. Seven of the past eight No. 1 receivers to face Indianapolis have reached double digits in Fantasy points, including Mike Wallace last week. Don't worry about Boldin after just one catch for 7 yards last week against the Seahawks. The Colts don't have Richard Sherman on their side.

Torrey Smith (vs. HOU): Like Boldin, Smith gets free from last week's tough matchup when he faced Joe Haden. Smith actually fared better than expected with seven catches for 85 yards on 13 targets, and he has 11 catches for 177 yards through two games. The Texans have allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers so far this season, and we like that Flacco is going to Smith no matter the coverage with 22 targets to open the year.

T.Y. Hilton (at SF): The Colts realized they made a mistake in Week 1 by giving Hilton only five targets against Oakland, and he finished with just three catches for 20 yards. They corrected that problem in Week 2 against Miami with 12 targets, and Hilton had six catches for 124 yards. The hope is Hilton can line up against cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha as much as possible because that's a formula for success. The 49ers have allowed five receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points against them in their past five regular season games with five touchdowns allowed, and Hilton and Reggie Wayne should both play well against this secondary.

Mike Wallace (vs. ATL): The Falcons were torched last week in a comeback effort by the St. Louis receiving corps as Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Austin Pettis all reached double digits in Fantasy points on three touchdowns (two for Austin) and one 100-yard game (Givens). That's now four touchdowns allowed to opposing receivers for the Falcons, which bodes well for Wallace in his first home game in Miami. Wallace had the game he was hoping for in Week 2 at the Colts with nine catches for 115 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, and we expect he'll be heavily involved again. He's known for playing well early in the season throughout his career, so ride him while he's hot.

Steve Johnson (at NYJ): Johnson has started the season playing at a high level, and he seems to have a solid rapport with rookie quarterback EJ Manuel. Through two games, Johnson has 11 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 16 targets. He also has a good history against the Jets. He has three games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past three meetings with the Jets, including two touchdowns over that span. The Jets have already allowed three receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points through two games, so it's time to start Johnson with confidence based on his early season success.

Week 3 wide receiver sleepers
Chris Givens (at DAL) He and Tavon Austin have the chance to remain hot in a shootout.
Jerome Simpson (vs. CLE) No. 2 WRs shine vs. CLE because of Haden. Ask Hartline and Marlon Brown.
Josh Gordon (at MIN) He's back from suspension, and the Browns now need him after trade.
Nate Burleson (at WAS) Four WRs have already reached double digits in Fantasy points vs. WAS.
DeAndre Hopkins (at BAL) Should be great with or without Andre Johnson after breakout in Week 2.

Sit 'Em

Cecil Shorts (at SEA): We had Boldin in this spot last week, and we'll just swap him out for Shorts for the same rationale -- a tough matchup against Sherman and the Seahawks secondary. As expected, he followed Boldin all over the field and locked down the 49ers' No. 1 receiver. He'll likely do the same with Shorts, and he's not worth starting in most leagues. Shorts will have better days, but he's struggled so far this season and the bad quarterback play in Jacksonville has ruined his Fantasy value.

Kenbrell Thompkins (vs. TB): Thompkins nearly caught a touchdown last week against the Jets, and if he did a lot of the perception about Brady and this young receiving corps would be different this week. Thompkins has played a lot so far as a rookie and has 21 targets through two games, but he has just six catches for 89 yards to show for it. This isn't the week to trust him since a likely matchup with Revis is looming, and we'd be surprised if Thompkins can win that battle.

Golden Tate (vs. JAC): We're still waiting for Tate to start playing like a breakout candidate, and it's doubtful it happens this week. The Seahawks likely won't be throwing much against the Jaguars, and Tate really hasn't been a factor through two games with only eight targets. Jacksonville has allowed two touchdowns to opposing receivers, but no receiver has gone over 45 yards receiving yet. It's just not worth starting Tate until he proves he can produce at a high level.

Antonio Brown (vs. CHI): Brown is upset about his use so far through two games, and we don't blame him. He's the No. 1 receiver for the Steelers but has just 16 targets, and he's sitting on 11 catches for 128 yards and no touchdowns. By comparison, Brown has the same amount of targets as Cotchery and six less than Emmanuel Sanders. We expect Brown to see an uptick in targets this week, but he has a tough matchup against the Bears and likely Charles Tillman. It could be tough for Brown to post a big stat line this week, and we would only use him as a No. 3 receiver in most leagues.

Lance Moore (vs. ARI): Moore is obviously due for a big game soon because he's too talented and plays in an explosive offense. But he's been miserable to start the season with three catches for 38 yards and no touchdowns. He has just four targets in each game, and you have to be concerned that even the No. 4 option for Brees -- he's behind Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Darren Sproles -- isn't worth starting most weeks. Kenny Stills is taking away looks for Moore, and until he starts to produce like he did in 2012 we wouldn't consider him even a No. 3 receiver in standard formats.

Bust alert: Eddie Royal (at TEN): What should you do with Royal this week? That's the question for many Fantasy owners after his ownership spiked from 17 percent on CBSSports.com to 78 percent as of Wednesday. You should definitely add him where available because five touchdowns through two games are hard to overlook. But that doesn't mean start him. At some point he'll regress, especially since we're talking about a receiver with five touchdowns combined over the past four seasons. The Chargers are doing a great job keeping him involved with 14 targets, and he could see even more work with Malcom Floyd (neck) out. If you need a receiver this week then start him and hope this hot start continues. But don't take a proven option out of your lineup for what could just be a fluky performance. The Titans are now well aware of Royal, and they could limit his production this week.

Tight end

Start 'Em

Coby Fleener (at SF): Fleener is poised for a breakout season now that Dwayne Allen (hip) is out for the year, and he's worth starting this week at the 49ers even in a tough matchup. We saw what Fleener can do without Allen in Week 2 against the Dolphins with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. That was just the fourth time in his career he's had more than five targets in a game, and in two of those four he's had at least eight Fantasy points. The 49ers faced one quality tight end this year in Jermichael Finley in Week 1, and Finley had five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Owen Daniels (at BAL): The Ravens were the best team against opposing tight ends in 2012. This year they are among the worst. Through two games, Baltimore has allowed Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron to catch 10 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Daniels is also off to a hot start with seven catches for 91 yards and three touchdowns, and Schaub has thrown five touchdowns to his tight ends already. Daniels is worth starting at tight end or even as a flex in PPR leagues.

Greg Olsen (vs. NYG): Olsen continues to be a reliable weapon for Cam Newton, and he's coming off a great game in Week 2 at Buffalo. Olsen had seven catches for 84 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, and he has 17 targets through two games. Olsen did well against the Giants last season with seven catches for 98 yards, and the Giants have struggled to defend tight ends already this year. Through two games, the Gants have allowed Jason Witten and Thomas to catch 14 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Week 3 tight end sleepers
Tyler Eifert (vs. GB) GB has allowed three TDs to opposing tight ends already this year.
Garrett Graham (at BAL) Has two TDs and 10 targets through two games with a favorable matchup.
Charles Clay (vs. ATL) He's turning into a weapon for MIA with 10 catches on 13 targets.

Sit 'Em

Brent Celek (vs. KC): Celek did a nice job in Week 1 at Washington with two catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, and he looked like someone to covet given Chip Kelly's tight-end friendly offense. Then came Week 2 against San Diego when Celek was held without a catch on just one target. He could rebound this week, especially with the motivation of facing Reid, but the Chiefs shut down Witten last week with just three catches for 12 yards on eight targets. They should be able to contain Celek.

Kyle Rudolph (vs. CLE): Rudolph had a typical Rudolph game in Week 2 at Chicago. He had just three catches for 42 yards, but he scored a touchdown. His game is dependent on scoring, which makes him difficult to trust in the majority of leagues, especially with all the dynamic tight ends out there. The Browns haven't really been tested by a tight end so far this season with matchups against Charles Clay and Dallas Clark, but Rudolph should only be started if you're expecting a touchdown in Week 3.

Fred Davis (vs. DET): The Redskins appear to be grooming their tight end of the future in rookie Jordan Reed at Davis' expense. Through two games, Reed has outplayed Davis. He has eight catches for 56 yards and a touchdown on nine targets while Davis has three catches for 25 yards on six targets. You don't get points in Fantasy Football for blocking, and clearly Davis isn't involved enough to be considered in even the deepest of leagues. At this point we'd rather start Reed over Davis.

Bust alert: Martellus Bennett (at PIT): Bennett has been awesome to start the season with three touchdowns through two games and 29 Fantasy points in a standard league. He has 16 targets so far, and Cutler is looking for him in the red zone with four targets, which is tied for first among tight ends. But the Steelers are among the better teams at defending tight ends, and last year they held Bennett to three catches for 40 yards when he was with the Giants. It's tough to bench Bennett in the majority of leagues, but this could be his first down game of the season, especially since he's also dealing with a shoulder injury.

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Week 3 sleeper DSTs
Bills at NYJ
Giants at CAR
Jets vs. BUF

Vikings (vs. CLE): The Browns get Josh Gordon back from suspension this week, but lose their quarterback in Brandon Weeden (thumb) and running back in Richardson. Brian Hoyer will start at quarterback and likely Chris Ogbonnaya at running back, and the Vikings should benefit. Minnesota showed it's capable of producing on defense and special teams in Week 2 at Chicago when Cordarrelle Patterson scored on a kickoff return and Brian Robsion returned a fumble for a touchdown. The Browns have also scored just 16 points combined through two games, and the Vikings are worth starting this week based on the matchup.

Sit 'Em

Bengals (vs. GB): The Bengals DST has been a little underwhelming so far through two games. They have just two sacks against usual piñatas in Cutler and Roethlisberger and only two interceptions and a fumble along with that. This week, the Bengals face a juggernaut in the Packers, who limited a good 49ers DST in Week 1 to just six Fantasy points in a standard league. Now, Rodgers has been sacked six times, but he's thrown only one interception and the Packers have just one fumble. It's a tough week to start the Bengals, but hopefully they will rebound in Week 4 at the Browns.

Kicker

Start 'Em

Week 3 sleeper Ks
Alex Henery vs. KC
Nick Novak vs. TEN
David Akers at WAS

Steven Hauschka (vs. JAC): Hauschka had a solid game in Week 2 against the 49ers with two field goals and three extra points, and he might be kicking extra points all day against the Jaguars. Seattle should have its way with Jacksonville, giving Hauschka plenty of chances to score. He hasn't missed a field goal at home since the end of the 2011 season, and the Jaguars just allowed 13 points to Sebastian Janikowski in Week 2 with four field goals and one extra point.

Sit 'Em

Justin Tucker (vs. HOU): Tucker is coming off a miserable game in Week 2 against Cleveland, and he hasn't been the elite Fantasy option many owners expected. He missed his only two field goal attempts against the Browns and is now 2 for 4 on field goals with a long of 30 and five extra points to start the year. He'll obviously rebound against the Texans, but Houston has allowed just one field goal through two games against Nick Novak and Rob Bironas. In Tucker's last seven games, including the Super Bowl run to close last season, he has just one outing with double digits in Fantasy points.

Disclaimer ... Please understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you with the tough decisions.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg .

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Player News
Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) Running back Ray Rice has filed a grievance against the Ravens challenging the team's decision to terminate his contract in early September, Pro Football Talk reports.

Rice is arguing that the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows just one penalty per infraction. The league suspended the former Raven two games after reviewing the domestic-violence incident, but after a second video of the same incident was brought to light in the public forum, Rice was cut by the team and suspended indefinitely by the league.

Rice's grievance against the league is set for Nov. 5 and 6, while his grievance against the Ravens doesn't have a scheduled date for resolution. He'll look to seek the salary he would have earned if he had been reinstated in Week 3 in his grievance against the Ravens.


Arians: Cardinals TE Troy Niklas unlikely to return in Week 8
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians indicated Tuesday that tight end Troy Niklas (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Eagles, FOXSports.com reports.

Niklas has missed the last two weeks after suffering an ankle sprain. He has one reception for 16 yards on the season.


Report: Patriots expected to sign DE Alan Branch
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) The Patriots are expected to sign free-agent defensive end Alan Branch, the Boston Globe reports.

Branch was released by the Bills after a DUI arrest in August. The Patriots reportedly are going to be without defensive end Chandler Jones (hip) for about a month, leaving a need to add depth on the defensive line.


Report: Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) out multiple weeks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones missed practice Tuesday with a hip injury and is expected to be sidelined for about a month, the Boston Globe reports.

Jones recorded four tackles and a sack in the team's Week 7 win over the Jets last Thursday after entering the contest listed as probable. He has posted 4.5 sacks over six games this season.


Panthers LB Luke Kuechly to avoid fine after ejection
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly will not be fined for making contact with an official during his team's Week 7 loss to the Packers, NFL.com reports.

Kuechly was ejected from Sunday's game after the incident, which the linebacker contends happened because he wasn't aware it was an official pulling him from behind after a play. Panthers coach Ron Rivera disagreed with the decision to eject Kuechly and predicted the linebacker wouldn't face a fine.


Seahawks sign TE Brett Brackett, waive TE RaShaun Allen
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) The Seahawks claimed tight end Brett Brackett off waivers from Tennessee Tuesday and waived tight end RaShaun Allen. Brackett played two games with the Titans before being waived Monday.

Colts add Jeff Demps, Konrad Reuland to practice squad
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) The Colts signed running back/return specialist Jeff Demps and tight end Konrad Reuland to the practice squad Tuesday, the team announced. The team released quarterback Dominique Davis and wide receiver Chandler Jones to make room for the new additions.

Identifying a few streaming DST options
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) If you need to pick up and play a DST unit in Week 8, Jamey Eisenberg identifies three worth snagging in his waiver-wire column: the Colts (59 percent owned) in Pittsburgh, the Cowboys (43 percent) against Washington, and the Dolphins (36 percent) in Jacksonville.

Hitting the wire for tight ends
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) With how up-and-down many tight ends have been this season, identifying the right ones on waivers can be a key. In his Week 8 waiver-wire column, Jamey Eisenberg tries to pin down the best ones for you to target this week.

Ravens tight end Owen Daniels, coming off a six-catch performance with a touchdown in Week 7, is the top pick for the 41 percent of CBSSports.com leagues in which he is available. A big reason why is a matchup against the Bengals, who have allowed four double-digit Fantasy scoring games by tight ends this season.

The remainder of the top five for the week is rounded out by Coby Fleener of the Colts (44 percent owned), Charles Clay of the Dolphins (34 percent), Jared Cook of the Rams (47 percent) and Kyle Rudolph of the Vikings (32 percent), who makes more sense as a stash option if you can afford the roster space. 


Prioritizing waiver-wire picks at wide receiver
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/21/2014) In his Week 8 waiver-wire column, Jamey Eisenberg takes a look at the wide receivers most worth adding ahead of this week's games.

The list is headlined by new Seahawks' No. 1 Doug Baldwin (33 percent owned), with Odell Beckham (68 percent) of the Giants, Davante Adams (21 percent) of the Packers, Allen Robinson (34 percent) of the Jaguars and Brandon LaFell (56 percent) of the Patriots rounding out the remainder of the top five.

If you need to drop someone to make room for any pickups this week, he also recommends possibly parting ways with the Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson (81 percent) or the Steelers' Markus Wheaton (35 percent). 


 
 
 
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