(Hey Mark, don't you wish you could play catch with LeBron?)
(Reggie Bush hasn't felt this good since his days with Kim)
By: Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Mark Strotman (AKA, the three best friends anyone could have)
Welcome to another edition of CSNChicago.com's Start'em and Sit'em, where three totally unqualified guys give their take on the best and worst plays in the upcoming fantasy football week.
We're not experts, but then again, how can anybody truly be an "expert" at fantasy football? This is a game of luck and nobody can predict the future.
We don't have special powers, but we are pretty obsessed with fantasy sports. Just ask our girlfriends...if we had any.
Every week, each of us will comprise a trio of players with the best matchups or situations on tap for the week ahead and a corresponding trio of guys who are most likely to run into a metaphorical brick wall.
[RELATED: 40 players to stay away from]
And because we're men and we love perpetuating stereotypes, we, of course, turned this into a competition. Why not?
Our scoring system is as follows (using ESPN standard scoring):
5 points if a player scores 25+ points
4: 20-24 points
5 points if a player scores negative points to 4 points
So without further ado, here are our picks for Week 3:
(Last week: Earned 20 points. Season total: 37 points)
I'm off to a good start in this little competition, but unlike Matt Harvey, I'm not going to lose sight of the purpose of my being here.
The purpose is you -- all three of you that may actually listen to something I say here.
What we learned last week: Sam Bradford is enjoying his breakout campaign, and Tavon Austin is helping. Jordy Nelson is back to his 2011 form (despite his horrendous acting) and I would have had a much better week if Reggie Bush did not get hurt.
[ROTOWORLD: Complete fantasy football coverage]
Oh, and the Seattle Seahawks defense is good. Very, very good. Sit damn near everybody playing against them this year, especially in front of that deafening crowd in Seattle.
Another quick note: Fantasy Football is more fun when something is on the line. It doesn't have to be money (I have to say that for legal purposes, of course), but you could bet, say, cleaning the apartment bathroom on a matchup with a roommate. Right, Chris?
Also, real football is more fun with Carrie Underwood doing the Sunday Night Football song. Great choice, NBC.
Sam Bradford, QB -- STL (@ DAL)
My man-crush on Bradford's breakout season is starting to reach awkward levels. But it still won't be as awkward as Matt Harvey's interview on "The Dan Patrick Show" Wednesday. Or his subsequent apology Thursday. Qualcomm for life.
Frank Gore, RB -- SF (vs. IND)
Indy's run defense has been suspect the last couple of seasons and they've given up a rushing score in each of the first two games so far in 2013. The Niners need to get back on track after a walloping in Seattle, and they will look to get back to their brand of football: hard-hitting defense and clock control, including lots of Frank Gore action.
Steve Smith, WR -- CAR (vs. NYG)
Cam Newton has been in a bit of a funk to start the year, but the Giants have struggled to limit opposing passing games, and here's to betting Newton and Smith link up for some big yardage and possibly a score.
Andrew Luck, QB -- IND (@ SF)
See Gore above. The Niners need a statement game to prove they belong among the NFL's elite. So Luck is going up against a determined, fiery unit eager to dominate. And Trent Richardson's full impact won't be felt with the Colts until at least Week 4, after he gets more acclimated to his new team.
Darren McFadden, RB -- OAK (@ DEN)
The Broncos have given up rushing scores each of the first two weeks, but surrendered just 81 rushing yards in eight quarters of football. Peyton Manning will have the ball for a long time against this Radiers defense and after Oakland falls behind early, McFadden will become a forgotten man in the Mile High City.
Pierre Garcon, WR -- WAS (vs. DET)
Pierre, it's not good to ever use "can't" when describing your quarterback's play. We can all see RG3 is off so far, but blaming the hefty knee brace won't help matters, especially if it puts Griffin and Garcon at odds, even privately. Plus, I just don't like Garcon in fantasy. I just don't. I don't have to have reasons for everything I do.
Also, Matt Harvey was awkward. Just felt it needed to be said again.
(Last week: Earned 17 points. Season total: 32 points)
Tony's off to a solid week after wisely starting Sam Bradford and benching Anquan Boldin (that Richard Sherman's pretty good, huh?).
Entering Week 3, I'm offering up a little bit of extra advice on how to use or not use your waiver system. Though you've likely already plugged in your pick-ups for the week, it's important to remember that backups becoming starters due to injury doesn't automatically equal success. I offer up a few examples -- albeit without fancy pants on like Mr. Krinch -- but this should help you out in deciding which waiver pickups should be in your lineup.
Gio Bernard, RB -- CIN (vs. GB)
What a difference a week can make. After picking up just three points against the Bears in Week 1, Bernard looked fantastic in a Monday night win over the Steelers, racking up two scores and collecting 18.5 fantasy points. He's still a boom-or-bust play, but against a Packers defense that has allowed pleeenty of yards through two weeks, this looks like a great play. BenJarvus Green-Ellis salted away the win over the Steelers, but the rookie Bernard looked like the much bigger back. Expect at least 50 total yards and a score this week from him.
Jaquizz Rodgers, RB -- ATL (@ MIA)
He was likely one of the top waiver wire pickups as Steven Jackson has been ruled out, and if you grabbed him, then congrats. I suppose this pickup is more for PPR leagues than anything, but I still like Rodgers this week. Against a Miami defense that has been solid, the Falcons will still be forced to use their tiny running back in some situations, meaning he's a decent flex play with stellar upside (think Bernard). He'll undoubtedly be used in the passing game and if he can get a few good runs under his belt early, Jason Snelling won't be a factor. Get him in your flex.
Eddie Royal, WR -- SD (@ TEN)
So where did this come from? The man who was probably drafted in less than two percent of leagues leads the NFL in touchdown receptions through two weeks. ESPN said only 12 total fantasy teams used him in both weeks. That's nuts. Against a below-average Titans defense I expect him to find the end zone again. Malcom Floyd is likely out after suffering a nasty neck/head injury, and Philip Rivers has (gasp) looked OK through two weeks. This is another boom-or-bust play, but if they continue to use him in the red zone he'll be successful.
James Starks, RB -- GB (@ CIN)
Don't let a solid performance against the pitiful Redskins defense make you a believer of a guy who almost didn't make the Packers roster out of training camp. Through two weeks the Bengals are 7th in the league against the run (for fantasy purposes) and Aaron Rodgers is likely to be throwing early and often. Lacy probably won't play and even if he does, Mike McCarthy has already named Starks the starter, so he will get touches. But Starks is non-existent in the passing game and isn't that great of a runner. He's worth a pickup as the starting running back in one of the best offenses in the NFL, but I'd sit him this week and see how it plays out against a tough defense.
Antonio Brown, WR -- PIT (vs. CHI)
If you're not a believer in Charles Tillman, I don't know what to tell you. A.J. Green is the second best wide receiver in the NFL and did most of his damage against Tim Jennings in Week 1, and Greg Jennings was just OK against the Bears in Week 2. And with not a lot of help around Brown against Chicago, I think Tillman does his best against the Steelers' top wideout. Chances are you drafted Brown to start him each week, and through two weeks he's been OK (7.5 and 5.7 points, respectively). I don't see that happening in Week 3, so find a better option.
Matt Ryan, QB -- ATL (@ MIA)
This is a tough one. Ryan has been fine through two weeks, scoring 42.4 points, thanks to Julio Jones, but if Roddy White misses time and the Falcons are forced to use Jaquizz Rodgers, I could see Ryan having just an average day against a tough Dolphins defense. If he's your No. 1 quarterback and you didn't draft another, then you've got to play him. But if you have a second QB who can rack up garbage-time yards (Palmer, Bradford, Pryor) it might be OK to go with them for a week. I think Ryan has just an average week.
(Last week: Earned 18 points. Season total: 32 points)
Last week I went with Dwayne Bowe and Alex Smith in my starting lineup which didn't go as well as I originally hoped. I was striving for perfection and that didn't happen.
Now, the heat is on (not the Miami Heat, sorry Mark I know your a LeBron fanboy).
Speaking of waiver pick-ups, I'm benching two of the hottest fantasy additions of the week. I'm sure most of you hit the wire in an attempt to snag Eddie Royal this week. If he's on your team this isn't the week to start the NFL touchdown leader. There are plenty of better options out there so listen to my advice this week if you know what's good for you.
Andy Dalton, QB -- CIN (vs. GB)
Dalton has been consistent so far in 2013 with 15 and 16-point fantasy games. Those numbers aren't going to win you many matchups, but his opponents have been the Bears and Steelers. This week, he'll battle a Packers "D" that's allowing 26 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. I don't expect either team to score less than 30 points on Sunday afternoon. If he's on your bench, get him in your lineup because there may not be a better week to start him.
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Knowshon Moreno, RB -- DEN (vs. OAK)
Moreno has been a bit of an enigma in his five years with the Broncos. The former Georgia running back is finally starting to show signs of why the front office drafted him in the first-round. Denver's offense suits the multidimensional Moreno well. Teams can't stack the box with all the weapons Peyton Manning has in the passing game and it's allowed Moreno to do work on the ground. Enter the Raiders defense this weekend, need I say more. This is a matchup made in heaven for Moreno's owners.
Julian Edelman, WR -- NE (vs. TB)
Are you kicking yourself for ignoring Edelman and drafting guys like Thompkins, Dobson and Sudfeld. For the lucky few of out there, Edelman has turned into a PPR machine. Currently, he's the only wide receiver Tom Brady seems to trust. Edelman was targeted 18 times against the Jets and with Amendola still out, look for him to be heavily involved in the team's passing game. Don't be scared of "Revis Bay," Edelman will be in the slot most of the game and should continue to rack up huge numbers.
Philip Rivers, QB -- SD (@ TEN)
Everybody's favorite quarterback Philip Rivers is back! Seven touchdowns in two games with only one interception. What can't you like about those numbers? It's a mirage people. Like we talked about in the video, he's still Philip Rivers and they're still the Chargers. In no way am I buying that he's moved himself back into fantasy relevance. The Chargers receiving corps is depleted -- don't worry I'll get to Eddie Royal shortly -- and Antonio Gates isn't getting any younger. I understand Tennessee's defense was just gashed by the Texans, but they aren't as bad as some people think. Don't buy into the Chargers' hype and put Rivers on your bench ... NOW.
Reggie Bush, RB -- DET (@ WSH)
I don't think I'll ever buy into the Reggie Bush hype. He's a decent player, but in fantasy football I want consistency and that's something he's never been. Bush had a 25-point game in Week 1 and followed that up with a six-point performance in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. He's also dealing with a knee injury. I expect the Redskins defense to improve after being thoroughly embarrassed in the early part of the season. If you want to start a Lions running back I'd go with Bell who's looking like the safer option this week.
Eddie Royal, WR -- SD (@ TEN)
It's still mind-boggling to me that Eddie Royal leads the NFL in touchdowns. Five in two games! How is that possible? He's Eddie Royal, he hasn't been this good since his days with Jay Cutler and it's not like he was a fantasy stud back then. If you picked him up on waivers this week I think you made a big mistake. I'm calling it right now, Royal will finish with less than nine touchdowns in 2013. And I expect the Chargers offense to struggle against the Titans this weekend like I stated earlier. Any option you have on your bench at wide receiver is better than Royal this week.