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2011 Fantasy Football Week 3: Start'Em/Sit'Em

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Start Em

Matt Hasselbeck QB – Coming off a 358 yard performance, Hasselbeck was a popular add this week. No, I don’t believe Hasselbeck is the savior to your fantasy team, but I do believe his match up against the Broncos Sunday makes him relevant. The Denver defense allowed over 330 passing yards to rookie QB Andy Dalton last week, so Hasselbeck should be licking his chops knowing that he is capable of putting up those numbers. After handing it to the Ravens, don’t be surprised to see the veteran be a hot topic of conversation on Monday morning.

Willis McGahee RB – Head Coach John Fox said he’s going with the hot hand, and its obvious Knowshon Moreno has cooled down. Moreno sat out last week, while McGahee carried the ball 28 times rushing for over 100 yards while getting in the end zone. Talent wise McGahee never lived up to the hype out of Miami, but his nose for the end zone has never left him. Monitor Moreno heading into the week, but even if he plays McGahee is the Broncos running back you want to start because of his touchdown prowess. Expect a minimum of 10-15 carries and score in what could be a high scoring affair in Tennessee.

David Nelson WR – Nelson came on strong at the end of 2010 and he’s picked it up to begin 2011. The undrafted rookie out of Florida is not your normal slot receiver; at 6’5 he’s playing that Wes Welker role in the Bills offense. He’s a crisp and sound route runner who’s a nightmare for the linebackers who get stuck guarding him. Last week he caught the game winning touchdown defeating the Raiders, and while he won’t always be a hero, he’s an integral part to the Bills pass happy offense. Lots of receivers became hot commodities after last week, but receiving options such as Denarious Moore and Eric Decker don’t have a pass happy Head Coach in Chan Gailey. Nelson should be a third receiver option going forward as he’s will have a stellar season particularly in ppr leagues.

Evan Moore TE – Moore was a sleeper coming into the season with the idea that a young QB relies heavily on his TE. Through the first two games it’s been true as Moore has scored in both games and is Colt McCoy’s favorite red zone target.  While many would point to his number of receptions on the season as a recommendation as putting on the breaks, you don’t need your TE to be Antonio Gates or Jason Witten. Moore is playing like Mercedes Lewis from a season ago, in what became a top 5 TE season. Go ahead and start Moore for his match up with Miami as he could be the fourth TE this year to score against the Dolphins defense.

Oakland Raiders DEF – Yes, the Raiders gave up 38 points last week and 35 in the second half to Buffalo but that offense is completely different then the Jets. If Oakland loses the field position battle in this game then I do apologize, but after watching Mark Sanchez throw two picks last week and the running game struggle against the Jaguars, I have a hard time believing this offense can’t be contained. The Bills spread offense put the Oakland secondary on their heels, and that won’t happen on Sunday as New York’s offense is conservative in comparison. Expect a lot of blitz packages as Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly should be able to take advantage of the depleted Jets offensive line.

The Sit Em selections are after the jump:

Sit Em

Eli Manning QB – This match up for Manning from every angle looks awful. Every receiver on the Giants is questionable and they are going against the best Eagles secondary which is full of Pro Bowlers. Does anything about this game looks promising for Manning coming off a short week where he was unimpressive vs. a pedestrian Rams defense? Do yourself a favor and bench Manning while picking up the recommended Hasselbeck, or the rookie QB Dalton.

Thomas Jones RB – With Jamaal Charles out for the year and ripping the hearts of fantasy owners everywhere, Jones was the number one pick up through the waiver wire. As a Charles owner, while I know owning Jones is a necessity, I don’t feel comfortable starting him this week at San Diego. Jones will see the bulk of carries in the red zone, but when Kansas City is down by 20 plus points and forced to abandon the run, Jones won’t see the field. With the injury to Charles, Jones will be fantasy relevant, but at the high powered Chargers offense, Jones could see fewer than 10 carries and I can’t risk that in my starting lineup.

Denarious Moore  WR – I mentioned Moore previously, and while I think he has talent, this Sunday lined up against Darrelle Revis, I don’t see any upside. As we saw in the Cowboys game, QB’s will attack Antonio Cromartie, so expect Moore to be trapped on Sunday and become fantasy irrelevant. The kid has a bright future, but playing on Revis Island with Jason Campbell as you’re QB doesn’t equal winning combination.

Dallas Clark TE - From a talent perspective this kills me, but the Colts most valuable fantasy asset at the moment is Adam Vinatieri. On offense Indianapolis looks anemic, and with Pittsburgh coming to town, you can bet they are going to look to eliminate Clark and make Collins throw the ball down field. Yes, he’s clearly a red zone option, but how often do we expect to see Colts putting six on the board? Obviously if you own Clark you will start him, but this is not the season to own the Colts.

Houston Texans – The Texans defense under Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips has been impressive, as their defense has outplayed their offense for the first time in the Gary Kubiak era. While I do like this defense for the season, the Saints offense refuses to be stopped. Houston hasn’t been tested yet from an offensive standpoint and until they prove they can play with the big boys of the NFL, I would bench them headed to New Orleans. After Watching Drew Brees shred apart the Bears defense last week, I can’t imagine what he will do to an inexperienced Texans secondary. Houston should be a top 10 defense this season, but heading to New Orleans has them out of my top 16.