It’s only week three and we’ve seen big names at QB, RB, and WR go down to injuries. Team depth is very important for this very reason. Teams don’t win their league on draft day. It’s the week-to-week management that makes the difference. Find those gems on the waiver wire, start your Bills, Patriots, Packers, and Bears this week and sit back and enjoy as the stats pile up in two of the best games for fantasy numbers this week.
I utilize statistical analysis combined with over 15 years of fantasy football experience to give you an inside look of how players will perform on a week-to-week basis. The Studs list will be updated on a regular basis as players emerge and injuries occur, but be patient with those players listed early in the season. They were ranked and selected high in your draft for a reason.
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.
Tom Brady, New England at Buffalo
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Houston
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Chicago
Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Kansas City
Michael Vick, Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Giants
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo vs. New England: The Harvard grad has outsmarted defenses each of the first two weeks throwing seven TDs to just one INT. This week, he faces Bill Belichick and the Patriots defense who have given up 762 passing yards in their first two games this season. Fitzpatrick averaged 249 yards passing in the two games he faced the Patriots last season, but that included only two TDs to five INTs. Look for Fitzpatrick to minimize the turnovers on Sunday and post big numbers in a shootout in Buffalo.
Jay Cutler, Chicago vs Green Bay: The critics that Cutler silenced in his Week 1 performance against the Falcons came out in droves after a very poor outing against the Saints in week two as he completed only 42.2% of his passes for 244 yards. Cutler will be looking for redemption against the very same Packers who eliminated the Bears in the NFC Championship game a year ago. The game in which Cutler was injured and Twitter was the sounding board of choice to challenging Cutler’s toughness. It’s a year later and Cutler’s offensive line is still shaky at best, but the Packers defense is also shaky. They lost Nick Collins to a season-ending neck injury and Green Bay has allowed 800 yards passing in the first two games. Look for the Cutler to play more like he did in week one when Chicago soundly defeated the Falcons as he posts very solid numbers this week.
Kyle Orton, Denver at Tennessee: The Broncos receiving corps was so depleted last week, fan favorite Tim Tebow took some snaps at WR. That’s not a good sign for Orton heading into this matchup against the Titans who shut down a Ravens team last week and who looked like world-beaters after thrashing the Steelers in week one. Orton’s running game is also suffering with Knowshown Moreno dinged up. Expect Orton to struggle on the road as the Tim Tebow talk continues to get louder and louder.
Matt Schaub, Houston at New Orleans: I know those of you that own Schaub probably have him as your #1 option without much of an alternative. If that’s the case, feel free to start Schaub and move along to the running backs section of this article. If you have another QB on your team such as Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matthew Stafford, or even Kevin Kolb, you should seriously consider starting them over Schaub this week. Schaub has averaged only 225 yards passing after the first two games. Granted, the Texans blew out the Colts in week one which meant Schaub didn’t need to throw very often. Against the Dolphins last week, Schaub only attempted 29 passes so he really hasn’t needed to throw the ball 40 times in a game. That will change this week as the Saints will put up some points and Schaub will need to try and respond. The difference will be the Saints defense in this one. The Saints beat up Jay Cutler last week and they’ll bring the pain to Schaub this week. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.