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2009 Start/Bench List Week 3

Week 2 brought out monster performances from Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, and the newest Manning brother Mario. Well, maybe he’s a distant cousin, but I’m pretty sure he’s related. Anyway, this week, look for the Texans to dominate the air, the G-Men to control the ground, and all kinds of points and yards will be found in

San Diego as both the Dolphins and Chargers forget to play defense.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.

Quarterbacks

Studs

Drew Brees,

New Orleans at

Buffalo

Philip Rivers,

San Diego vs.

Miami

Peyton Manning,

Indianapolis at

Arizona

Tony Romo,

Dallas vs.

Carolina

Tom Brady, New England vs.

Atlanta

Aaron Rodgers,

Green Bay at

St. Louis

Start

Matt Schaub,

Houston vs.

Jacksonville: Schaub had a stud-like performance last week throwing for 347 yards and four TDs. It will be tough to reproduce those numbers, but he’s still worthy of a start against the 0-2 Jaguars pass defense who last week made Kurt Warner look like he found the fountain of youth.

Kurt Warner,

Arizona vs.

Indianapolis: Speaking of Warner, apparently there is some gas left in his tank! Warner completed 24-of-26 passes last week before leaving the game with an apparent shoulder injury. Watch the injury reports here, but if Warner starts against the Colts, he should once again post solid numbers. The Colts are still breathing heavy after playing 45 minutes of defense on Monday night.

Bench

Carson Palmer,

Cincinnati vs.

Pittsburgh: Palmer spread the ball around well last week connecting with three different receivers on TD passes and running one himself in a solid game against the Packers. Palmer won’t have an easy a time of things this week against the Steelers, who will continue to blitz and apply pressure to the quarterback to make up for the loss of Troy Polamalu.

Matt Ryan,

Atlanta at New England: Ryan has had back-to-back solid weeks proving that signing Tony Gonzalez was a great move for

Atlanta. I for one am not ready to count out the

New England passing defense despite their struggles in containing Mark Sanchez last week.

New England is one of six teams without an interception this season, but that will change this week. Sorry Matt, your return to

Massachusetts won’t be as pleasant as your days spent in the Mods at

Boston

College.

Running Backs

Studs

Frank Gore, San Francisco at Minnesota

Chris Johnson, Tennessee at N.Y. Jets

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. San Francisco

Marion Barber, Dallas vs. Carolina ** check his injury status **

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina at Dallas

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville at Houston

Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Green Bay

Michael Turner, Atlanta at New England

Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Kansas City

Matt Forte, Chicago at Seattle

Steve Slaton, Houston vs. Jacksonville

Start

Brandon Jacobs, N.Y. Giants at Tampa Bay: Jacobs has had a rough start to the season rushing for only 104 yards in the first two games combined. This week, he faces the

Tampa

Bay rush defense who allowed Fred Jackson to run wild last week in

Buffalo. Look for the big man to throw his weight around this week for big yardage totals and at least one score.

Ronnie Brown,

Miami at

San Diego: Look for the Wildcat formation to continue to succeed in

San Diego, who allowed 199 yards rushing to the Ravens last week. Ricky Williams will toke, I mean take, a few carries away from Brown, but it’s Brown’s show to run and he’ll perform well.

Darren Sproles,

San Diego vs.

Miami: Despite the status of LT2, Sproles is a dangerous weapon in the Chargers passing attack. With LT2 out, Sproles makes a fine start against

Miami who allowed big play after big play against the Colts on Monday night.

Bench

Jamal Lewis, Cleveland at Baltimore: Surprise, surprise, the Ravens have allowed the fewest rushing yards this season, allowing an average of only 41 rushing yards per game. With Brady Quinn struggling, the passing game won’t be able to spread the field for Lewis to find any holes. It’s going to be a rough day at the office when Lewis faces his old mates.

Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets vs.

Tennessee: The Ravens have allowed the fewest rushing yards this season and the Titans are No. 2 in that category.

Tennessee shut down Willie Parker and the Steelers in Week 1 and they kept Steve Slaton owners on edge by stifling the Texans running game last week. Look for more of the same against the Jets as Thomas Jones will lose more touches to Leon Washington in this one.

Kevin Smith,

Detroit vs.

Washington: The Matthew Stafford effect will continue to prevent Smith from finding openings as opponents simply will not spread the field until the rookie proves he can beat them. It’s unlikely that Smith will catch seven passes as he did in Week 1, minimizing his impact in the passing game.

Wide Receivers

Studs

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Jacksonville

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Arizona

Marques Colston, New Orleans at Buffalo

Randy Moss, New England vs. Atlanta

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Indianapolis

Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. Washington

Greg Jennings, Green Bay at St. Louis

Roddy White, Atlanta at New England

Start

Vincent Jackson, San Diego vs. Miami: Jackson is one more good game away from the studs list and he’ll get it this week. The Dolphins took Reggie Wayne out of the game last week, but Dallas Clark burned them badly. With

Miami likely to game plan to shut down Antonio Gates,

Jackson should find plenty of room to roam in the secondary.

Jackson shouldn’t be coming out of your lineup anytime soon.

Santonio Holmes,

Pittsburgh at

Cincinnati: Holmes is another player who is one more solid week away from the studs list. Holmes caught five passes for 83 yards last week in

Chicago and he is getting the touches of a No. 1 WR. Keep him active in your lineup and enjoy the stats.

Ted Ginn Jr,

Miami at

San Diego: When Miami passes, Chad Pennington is targeting Ginn on a regular basis. The Dolphins offense will perform well this week as the Wildcat continues to open up the secondary and Ginn finds his way to another solid game.

Jerricho Cotchery,

N.Y. Jets vs.

Tennessee: While the Titans have excelled in defending the run this season, they have allowed the most passing yards in the NFL this season after two weeks. The Jets will use Leon Washington and Dustin Keller effectively, but Cotchery will deliver the big blows as

Tennessee‘s defensive woes continue.

Bench

Lee Evans,

Buffalo vs.

New Orleans: Don’t get all excited over the TD catch from Evans last week. Terrell Owens and Evans will struggle this week as the Saints clamp down on the Bills’ passing attack.

New Orleans is tied for the league lead in interceptions after two weeks with six and will add to that total this week in

Buffalo.

Percy Harvin,

Minnesota vs.

San Francisco: Two games, two TDs for the rookie is not a bad way to start a career. Look for the red-hot 49ers to do a decent job at containing Adrian Peterson which will force Brett Favre into some decisions that will not work out in his favor. Harvin’s streak of games with a TD comes to a close this week and, unfortunately for Harvin, the receptions won’t be there this week either.

Mario Manningham, N.Y. Giants at

Tampa

Bay: The latest flavor of the week on the waiver wire, Manningham will be a solid pickup as the season progresses and Eli Manning searches for his Plaxico replacement. This week, Manning and the entire Giants offense will emphasize the running game and, unlike last week against the Cowboys, they’ll be very successful early on in establishing a consistent running attack. Manningham is someone worth gobbling up off the waiver wire, just don’t make the mistake of rushing him into your lineup just yet.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seattle vs.

Chicago: T.J. had a bad back all week prior to his four catches for 62 yards against the 49ers and back problems don’t go away overnight. With Matt Hasselbeck‘s status in question and a tough pass defense in the Bears this week, Housh should remain on your bench until he’s healthy and the Seahawks offense is performing better.

Tight Ends

Studs

Dallas Clark,

Indianapolis at

Arizona

Tony Gonzalez,

Atlanta at New England

Chris Cooley,

Washington at

Detroit

Jason Witten,

Dallas vs.

Carolina

Antonio Gates,

San Diego vs.

Miami

Start

Kellen Winslow,

Tampa

Bay vs. N.Y. Giants: With Antonio Bryant injured, Winslow is the top offensive threat in the Buccaneers passing game. Winslow won’t disappoint this week against the Giants, who have allowed a combined 12 catches for 101 yards and two TDs to tight ends in the first two weeks of the season.

Owen Daniels, Houston vs.

Jacksonville: The Texans passing attack will light up the

Houston sky this week, and there will be plenty to go around for Daniels to build on his six-catch, 72-yard, one-TD performance from last week. Giddy-up cowboy!

Bench

Zach Miller,

Oakland vs.

Denver: Mama always told me there would be days like these. Miller posted the golden sombrero last week in catches, and while he’s going to be a solid TE over the course of the season, he cannot be relied on to consistently help you on a week-to-week basis. Look for another down week for Miller as the Broncos continue to defend the pass well as they build on their total of seven sacks this season.

Vernon Davis,

San Francisco at

Minnesota: Everyone on the 49ers needed to just sit back in awe of Frank Gore dominating the Seahawks last week. Gore will once again have a solid day, as the Vikings cannot repeat last year’s success in defending the run.

Davis will once again be relegated to blocking.

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