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Week Three NFL Analysis: Too Much Too Soon?

Who do you start? After two games of data to confirm our pre-season player evaluations, the question is more difficult to make. Is Jets' WR Jerricho Cotchery a solid start or is WR Eddie Royal or WR Bryant Johnson a better start this week against the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions respectively?

Do you sit Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson in favor of RB Chester Taylor? Do you sit both? I am in an eight-team league with Peterson and Taylor, and I went with a third option, Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson. The chances of two 60-yard backs if Peterson and Chester split carries is too great an hour before game time. Without playing time clarity, the sure thing of Johnson is a better risk than Peterson being active without the promise of full-time carries or Taylor getting full-time carries if Peterson is active.

What do you do with Tampa Bay RB Earnest Graham? He has had great stats in each of the first two games, but each performance was heavily reliant on one big run. Going into Chicago with WR Joey Galloway out and a new starting QB in Brian Griese, will Graham be productive against a Bears' defense that has no need to worry about any WRs? In a PPR format, do you start a WR you expect to get 5-8 receptions over Graham?

In New England, RBs Lamont Jordan and Laurence Maroney have no practiced or been very limited in practice. This has typically meant they will not play in the Sunday game. RB Sammy Morris looks like a solid choice to start, but will he cede third down recpetions to RB Kevin Faulk? That would take a solid chunk of Morris' value away in PPR formats.

In any of these situations, a fantasy footballer has to pause and ask whether he or she is over-thinking the situation. How much proof is there that the Bears' defense is dominating against the run? RB Jospeh Addai ran for 44 yards behind a decimated Colts' line, and Jonathan Stewart took the Bears' Defense to the wood shed with 76 second half yards.

If the Minnesota Vikings have Adrian Peterson active, couldn't that more simply mean he is OK to play? If his hamstring could be worsened by playing, wouldn't the Vikings just sit him?

Jerricho Cotchery has consectutive 80+ reception seasons. He accomplished both with weak-armed QBs. Brett Favre means Cotchery will be better. Why do two games of stats negate 32 games' worth? Why does a rookie off to a hot start and a 6th-year journeyman WR even merit consideration so early?