Week 3: Start 'Em
When it comes to setting your lineups for each week of the fantasy season, a good rule of thumb is simply to not overthink it. You drafted players for a reason and in almost all cases, it is to play them from the jump. Then again, don't let draft day pride interfere with a basic - or detailed - look at the matchups, something you most likely do throughout the season. That's why we offer the "Start 'em" column, where we look beyond the obvious names to offer suggestions on potential lineup options, perhaps someone sitting on your bench right now that you may have simply overlooked. Throughout the season check back here for sleepers and oh so subtle plays and also sneak a peak at our Matchup Analyzer page, which this week backs up our take on two sneaky AFC South wide receivers to ponder...
Most of the talk about the Giants' running game in the off season was about rookie running back David Wilson and the departure of Brandon Jacobs. Very little time was spent talking about Andre Brown and up until the very last day he was on the roster bubble. Brown ended up making the roster, slated to be the 3rd back on the depth chart behind Bradshaw and Wilson. Wilson fumbled in week 1 and when Bradshaw went down in week 2, it was Brown they turned to and he repaid them with 13 carries for 71 yards, a touchdown and 2 point conversion as well as 2 receptions for 19 yards. The Giants have a short week coming up, so there is a good chance Bradshaw won't be ready to play, if that's the case then Brown should be a great start this week vs. Panthers (the Giants coaching staff still doesn't have full confidence in Wilson to carry the load). Follow Bradshaw's injury closely.
There was a lot of talk in Rams camp about a rookie running back brought in to provide a breather for veteran Steven Jackson. The early talk was about 2nd round pick Isaiah Pead, but by the end of camp and after last week the talk is about 7th round pick Daryl Richardson. Through two weeks, Pead has yet to touch the ball, while Richardson came in to replace a banged up Jackson in a week 2 victory. Richardson came on in relief and rushed the ball 15 times for 83 yards and added 2 receptions for 19 yards. It's clear now who the handcuff is in St. Louis. While Jackson has been a great fantasy player over the last 7 years, he has also dealt with injuries; if he misses some time, Richardson could be a good fill in as a RB2 or flex.
Over his first four seasons, Donnie Avery was injured and inconsistent. The Colts brought him to camp to fight for a roster spot and couldn't stop talking about him. With Pierre Garcon gone to Washington and Austin Collie out with a concussion, Avery has started the first 2 weeks and so far so good. In week 1 he caught only 3 passes for 37 yards, but one of them was a TD. In week 2 he became a much bigger part of the offense, catching 9 passes for 111 yards. We have seen over the last few years that Austin Collie has had some bad luck staying healthy. That being the case, Avery makes for a good start, as long as Collie is on the sidelines. If you need a flex or have bigger issues and need a WR3 and Collie is out this week, I'd go ahead with Avery.
The Panthers had high hopes for Brandon LaFell when they drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft. They were looking for someone to start opposite Steve Smith. Going into this season they were still looking for that someone. After the first two weeks of the season, there are signs they might have found that someone.LaFell has all the physical tools to be an elite receiver; he just needed to become the full package. After two weeks LaFell has caught 9 passes for 155 yards and 1 touchdown, and he also rushed the ball one time for 25 yards. LaFell has a juicy match up this week vs. the Giants and their depleted DBs. IF you need help at Flex or even WR3, give LaFell a look.
Here is a guy for those fantasy owners in deep leagues. Anthony McCoy led Seattle in receiving during the pre-season, but in week 1 (with Zach Miller healthy) he didn't see any targets. All that changed in week 2 with Miller injured and barely able to make it through the game, McCoy tied for the team lead in targets (5) catching all of them for a team leading 41 yards and 1 TD as Seattle played ball control offense for most of the game trying to hold on to an early lead. There is a good chance Miller won't be healthy enough to play in the big Monday night match up vs. Green Bay. If that is the case, I think McCoy makes for a great start vs. the inconsistent Packers D.