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Rock and a Hard Place – Week 3

In my opinion, studs have been underperforming. I’m not saying there aren’t a few that have lived up to expectations: Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers have been as advertised. But guys like Trent Richardson, Ray Rice, David Wilson and Stevan Ridley have disappointed, to say the least. I am fortunate to own three of those four guys on one team. In case you are wondering, that team is 0-2. In that league, I am between a rock and a hard place. Or maybe I’m just dead. I don’t really know.

As far as Richardson goes, I’ll give you my spin on the trade: I think going to a better offense ultimately helps him. This week will be tough sledding against a San Francisco defense that will play like a pack of honey badgers. But Indianapolis didn’t trade for Richardson to sit him. I think he gets some carries as they try to involve him early. This also helps Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and even Coby Fleener. The only guy it really hurts is Ahmad Bradshaw, who will soon be relegated to occasional third down work. As far as Cleveland, it shouldn’t have much of an impact on Josh Gordon or Jordan Cameron because the Browns weren’t using the run game anyway. They’re going to continue to chuck it.

With guys underperforming and a few key injuries already taking their toll, what do you do if your team is already being held together by bubble gum and duct tape? What do you do if you’re already stretching to rationalize which backup gets a spot start this week?

Below, I’ll list a player with some upside for this week, their Week 3 matchup, and the percentage of leagues in which he is owned according to our friends at



The hope is that you don’t find yourself in a situation like this. The hope is that you dodge that bullet. But hope won’t help you come Sunday.

Let’s move on to this week’s targets, keeping in mind that these aren’t every week starters. Instead, these are guys that should only be used if you’re in some kind of roster emergency.


Jake Locker

vs. San Diego – 39 percent. Locker struggled in Pittsburgh in Week 1. He was better in Houston last week. But this week, he gets a San Diego secondary that has been victimized by both Matt Schaub and Michael Vick in recent weeks. The Titans will set the tone with Chris Johnson, but Locker will still need to make plays. I like Locker to hit our projection: 215 yards passing and a pair of scores.

Terrelle Pryor

at Denver – 27 percent. This is Pryor’s third appearance. That may tell you all you need to know about him, but the fact remains that a subpar quarterback with running ability can provide fantasy value. Will the Oakland Raiders win? No. Will he throw for 300 yards? I seriously doubt it. Will he throw for the 195 and a score we’ve projected? I think so. Will he run for 60 yards? Yes.

Brian Hoyer

at Minnesota – 2 percent. Again, this is only if all your other quarterbacks are dead. But for argument’s sake; the Browns will employ a pass-heavy attack against a porous Minnesota defense; Josh Gordon will return from suspension; and Trent Richardson is gone. What else are they going to do with the ball? We have him projected for 240 yards, a touchdown and an interception. That may still be ambitious, but if you’re considering this, you’re in a dark place right now anyway.

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