The NFL is still a tire fire inside of a dumpster fire inside of a volcanic eruption, but the games must still be played and therefore there will still be fantasy players to start or sit. Yes, many big names are now exiled to the wonderful world of the exempt list, but football moves on, as I sadly haven't from being at the Jacksonville/Washington game on Sunday. Maybe this will help the acceptance process.
Who to Start:
QB Andrew Luck (IND) vs. JAX: Funny that, playing against the Jaguars is good for opposing players. As much as I loathe saying it, the Jags are a mess especially in the secondary, and despite the fact Jonathan Cyprien will play, Luck is mad. He's mad that his team is 0-2 and is better than the 2-0 Bills, so Luck will light up the humid Jacksonville sky on Sunday.
RB Knile Davis (KC) vs. MIA: With Jamaal Charles out injured, Davis will take the load of the carries. Even though sometimes Andy Reid forgets he has running backs, the Dolphins rush defense in their first 2 games has been... sieve-like, so Davis could have a big outing Sunday.
WR Andre Johnson (HOU) vs. NYG: Even though he didn't do all that much against Washington and Oakland, the Giants await next, and their secondary made Drew Stanton competent for most of the game last Sunday. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a little better than that, so Andre Johnson will do a little better than Michael Floyd did last Sunday.
WR Alshon Jeffrey/Brandon Marshall (CHI) vs. NYJ MON: Both Chicago wideouts are getting healthier, and even unhealthy Marshall had 3 TD's against the 49ers. The Jets secondary is depleted and got torched against Green Bay, so either of these receivers are very good starts.
TE Zach Ertz (PHI) vs. WSH: He doesn't really need to be in this column anymore after the first 2 weeks of being recommended. He's developing a rapport with Nick Foles as the latter looks increasingly skittish, and the Washington defense will not nearly play as well as they did last week because Nick Foles isn't Chad Henne.
DEF Indianapolis vs. JAX: Chad Henne. Enough said.
Who to Sit:
QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. CAR: The Panthers defense, despite everyone thinking it would fall off a cliff, has been awesome the past 2 weeks. And next up are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who haven't scored a TD in 6 quarters. Also, they've not conceded 2 passing TD's in a game since December of 2012! Please avoid Big Ben on Sunday, and this has nothing to do with the Scottish Independence vote.
RB Frank Gore (SF) vs. ARZ: Even though he's had a decent first couple of games, the Cardinals defense is the best one he'll face thus far, and his recent slate of games against Arizona have not been that good.
WR Eric Decker (NYJ) vs. CHI MON: This is not as much about the matchup as much as it is Eric Decker's nagging hamstring injury. It's tough to wait on game-time decisions, especially Monday Night ones, and the Bears defense looked better last week.
WR Torrey Smith (BAL) vs. CLE: The other Smith on the Ravens is getting most of the targets and the joy, leaving the longer tenured Smith out of luck. And to make matters worse, on Sunday he's going up against Joe Haden, and the Browns have traditionally held him in check in his career.
TE Delanie Walker (TEN) vs. CIN: Last week Walker tore up the Cowboys , and this week he's going up against the Bengals. That's not a good sign. Cincy's defense might be the AFC's best in the young season, and if the Jake Locker of last week shows up... uh oh.
DEF Denver vs. SEA: Denver's D has been up and down so far this season, but don't you think the Seahawks will be a little mad about last week? Just a touch?
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Ryan Tannehill (MIA) vs. KC: If you're deathly afraid of Peyton Manning against the Seahawks (see below), Tannehill might not be a horrible option off the pine. The Chiefs defense made Jake Locker look good already this season, and Tannehill is better than Jake Locker.
RB Bobby Rainey (TB) vs. ATL THU: Even if Doug Martin does play, Rainey has played well enough in the first 2 games in order to probably get the bulk of the carries. Also, the Falcons rush defense has been pushed around against New Orleans and Cincinnati, so it could be another 140+ yard day for Rainey.
TE Dwayne Allen (IND) vs. JAX: The Jaguars linebackers are incapable of covering Tight Ends and that's not changing this week, so Allen could have a monster game while a free agent in many leagues.
QB Peyton Manning (DEN) vs. SEA: You're going to start him, and why wouldn't you? But this is to sow that little seed of doubt in your head that he might not do great things. I benched Aaron Rodgers against the Seahawks knowing that he'd have a nightmare of an evening, and he did, so if you have a good option on the bench, this might be one of the few times where benching Peyton Manning is not a bad idea.
Good Luck in Week 3, and don't make your way on Roger Goodell's exempt list, whatever you do.
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