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Start/Bench – Week 3

Another week of NFL action has come and gone, leaving quite a few fantasy owners shaking their heads. Or more like banging their heads if Tony Romo was your starting quarterback. Fantasy football is a fickle mistress and changes her mind from week to week.

We saw some big names that disappointed in Week 1 step up such as Odell Beckham Jr. as well as Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson. We saw some big performers from Week 1 post disappointing numbers in week two. I am looking at you, Jeremy Hill and Bishop Sankey. In other words we saw a typical Week 2 of fantasy football.

For the sake of clarity I want to point out that this is the last week we are standing by our original ‘Studs’ list. As I pointed out in the Week 1 article, we generally wait at least three weeks before starting to add or drop players from the list unless they are injured.

It’s the old, “One week is a fluke, two weeks is a trend and three weeks is a pattern” theory.

Here we go!



Aaron Rodgers
Andrew Luck
Russell Wilson
Ben Roethlisberger
Tom Brady
Peyton Manning
Matt Ryan
Drew Brees (may not play this week with rotator cuff injury)

Take a Seat Time

Tony Romo, DALLAS: A clavicle injury will sideline Romo for eight weeks or so. It’s time for him to take a seat and perhaps we will see him sometime around Thanksgiving.



Carson Palmer, ARIZONA vs. San Francisco: The Palmer train continues to steamroll defenses and we’ll continue to ride it. Week 2 saw Ben Roethlisberger shred the San Francisco defense to the tune of 21-of-27 for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Going back to last season over his last eight games, Palmer has thrown 18 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Through two weeks, quarterbacks are completing 74.6% of their passes against San Francisco. We like that.

Cam Newton, CAROLINA vs. New Orleans: Alright, he has convinced me that even with a rag tag wide receiving corps you can put up outstanding numbers. Of course, it helps that he is averaging 12 carries per game and 4.6 yards per carry. This week he gets a New Orleans defense that has allowed four passing touchdowns this season as well as an average of one rushing score to quarterbacks per game and has yet to pick off a pass.

Tyrod Taylor, BUFFALO at Miami: Taylor put up a top-5 finish last week despite tossing three interceptions against New England. He is getting it done with his legs as well as his arm and we love dual-threat quarterbacks. The Miami defense has managed to sack the quarterback just once in the first two games. More importantly, Miami just gave up 273 yards passing and a pair of touchdown passes to Blake Bortles. Oh yeah, he also rushed for 27 yards, which bodes well for Taylor this week.

Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI vs. Buffalo: Jacksonville upset Miami last week but Tannehill actually played a good game. He completed 68 percent of his passes, racking up 359 yards and two touchdowns. The Buffalo secondary struggled last week against Tom Brady and company after handling Indianapolis in Week 1 … although after watching the New York Jets handle Indianapolis in Week 2 that performance doesn’t look as good. Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews should be too much for Buffalo (who have allowed five passing touchdowns) to handle this week.



Sam Bradford, PHILADELPHIA at New York Jets: Bradford’s play has to have coach Chip Kelly wondering why he ever let Tim Tebow go. This offense is a dumpster fire with an awful offensive line and a hapless dink-and-dunk passing attack. Through the first two games, Bradford has two touchdowns (including a meaningless garbage time one) and four interceptions. No way we start Bradford again until he has at least one good game. It may be Mark Sanchez time soon for Philadelphia.

Matthew Stafford, DETROIT vs. Denver: Some folks may hold out the hope that returning to the friendly confines of Ford Field will rejuvenate Stafford. It won’t. He is playing behind an awful offensive line and was battered by Minnesota last week. He underwent X-rays on his chest following the game and isn’t even a lock to play Sunday night. Denver has racked up three interceptions while sacking the quarterback six times this season. With a weak running game and no time to throw the ball, there is simply no reason to start Stafford in Week 3.

Colin Kaepernick, SAN FRANCISCO at Arizona: Yes, I realize that we had Kaepernick as a bench candidate and he finished with top-10 numbers. If you watched that game he did not play well and amassed his gaudy totals during garbage time. Both of his touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter against a less-than-stellar Pittsburgh prevent defense (I’m being kind). I don’t see a Bruce Arians coached team at home taking its foot off the gas defensively.

Joe Flacco, BALTIMORE vs. Cincinnati: Let’s not chase Flacco’s big numbers from Week 2 against Oakland. Especially against a division rival that held him to 270 yards passing per game last year, intercepting him three times and allowing a single touchdown pass. The lack of receiving options behind Steve Smith and Crockett Gillmore are just too weak for Flacco to have another big week against a real NFL defense.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin