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Dan's Sack (Fantasy Football Mailbag): Week 3

August 29, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; A Washington Redskins cheerleader dances on the field during a timeout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 30-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
August 29, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; A Washington Redskins cheerleader dances on the field during a timeout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 30-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

When I last closed up the old fantasy football mailbag, I left a lot of options on the table. The smart ones decided to follow my advice about starting Brent Celek and not benching studs in favor of guys who had big openers like Kevin Smith.

The unfortunate ones took my advice of starting Randall Cobb versus the Bears in a game Greg Jennings didn’t play in, and we all know how that turned out. The ones who were really unfortunate are the ones who pushed play on my "halftime" video of the Creed singer crooning about Marlins baseball. I promise I have a better video this week, and hopefully better advice.
Now, onward!

1x1an from the Hogs Haven Community writes:

I am frustrated with RB Chris Johnson (TEN) and WR Brandon Marshall (CHI).

I’m still waiting for them to show-up! Do I give them one more chance? Do I bench them? I have Alfred Morris and Garcon… Do I sit Chris Johnson and Brandon Marshall for them?

I think it’s time to sit CJ [insert beaten-with-a-dead-horse-nickname here] K, especially if you have a solid option like Alfred Morris on the bench. I’m all about being a patient boy in most cases, but Johnson ‘s slow start after a horrible first half last year doesn’t instill much confidence in me for the time being. Don’t cut him by any means, but I’d make him ride the pine until he shows me something.

As for Marshall, I’d be much more patient. Jay Cutler will be Jekyll-and-Hyde at times this season, so don’t get discouraged when Mr. Hyde shows up every time he plays the Packers now and again. Keep in mind that even in that miserable game, Marshall dropped a would-be touchdown pass, so the opportunities are going to be there even at the worst of times. And let’s not forget he’s not even two weeks removed from a 9-119-1 performance, so keep him in your lineup this week. My biggest concern is if he loses his cool and pulls an Andre Johnson on Cortland Finnegan and gets ejected.

@JayBaugh5 writes via Twitter:

RG3 has scored more points than Aaron Rodgers. Which to start this week?

Kevin Ogletree has scored more points than Andre Johnson. Reggie Bush has scored more than Ray Rice, too.

All right, but in all fairness, Robert Griffin III does have a mouth-watering matchup this week versus an ailing and aging Bengals secondary. Brandon Weeden and Joe Flacco just torched them in back-to-back weeks, and there’s no reason to think Griffin isn’t capable of doing the same thing in his first home game as a pro after destroying fantasy leagues in his first two weeks.

And I don’t mean to get too spiritual here, but it’s just bad fantasy karma to bench someone like Aaron Rodgers. I just know that if I ever got gutsy enough to bench him, he would throw for 550 yards, 10 touchdowns and get Kate Upton to tickle his mustache at halftime. And I don't wanna hear he doesn't have a mustache right now. He would grow another awesome one just to spite me.

Now it is true that he’s facing a very underrated Seattle secondary this week, but there’s no way that their talent outweighs Rodgers’, or even comes close enough to warrant benching him. Don’t get swayed by a small sample size. RG3’s been impressive thus far, but Aaron Rodgers will bounce back. He always does.

@flounder_MA writes via Twitter:

I have Gates and Fred Davis at TE. Do I need to get a TE off waivers for the week?

Doesn’t look like it. Gates and Davis were both full participants in practice on Wednesday, and barring any setbacks they should be good to go on Sunday. As always, keep an eye out on the injury reports.

But if you’re still stuck on who to start, I’d go Gates this week. Davis still has to prove his fantasy value in a new-look offense and Gates is always a favorite target of Rivers when he takes the field. Just pray he doesn’t leave halfway through the first quarter with a broken eyelash or something.

VA_Skin from the Hogs Haven Community writes:

In a PPR keeper league. Should I trade Chris Johnson for Doug Martin? My other RBs are Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis, Trent Richardson & Cedric Benson.

I didn’t even read who your other running backs are. Make that trade yesterday.

WThomas11 from the Hogs Haven Community writes:
Which two WRs should I play this week? Brandon LaFell, Wes Welker, Malcolm Floyd, Colston and Decker

I know that all this Wes Welker drama is not what his fantasy owners want to hear after spending a high draft pick on him. Lost in all the speculation of trade-talk and being "phased out" is that the man still had 95 yards receiving last week and 10 targets. His proficiency with quick, short routes are going to be crucial against a Ravens team that can still bring the heat. Start him.

The other one I would start is Marques Colston despite being the third passing option on his team and big weeks from Malcom Floyd and Brandon LaFell a week ago. There will be plenty of wealth to spread around against a miserable Kansas City Chiefs team that hasn’t stopped anyone from scoring this season, and Colston’s seven-inch height advantage could be a matchup nightmare for the smaller-- though very capable-- Brandon Flowers. Colston’s yet to break out, but I can’t imagine this lull will go on for much longer.


Skinzaholic56 of the Hogs Haven Community writes:
Which TE should i start this week? Jared Cook against Detroit or Dennis Pitta against New England? Thanks.

You are quite welcome. I think Jared Cook is the more talented of the two, but Dennis Pitta is the safer bet for points this week. Aside from the feast-or-famine Torrey Smith, the Ravens receivers are woeful and Ed Dickson isn’t getting the targets people have anticipated. Pitta is the new checkdown in town, and Joe Flacco loves him some checkdowns.

64 shagginwagon of the Hogs Haven community writes:
Dan, should I sit Larry Fitzgerald? Seems the Cardinals QBs hate throwing one of the best WRs in the league the ball.

They don’t, they just hate completing passes to him. I truly think Kevin Kolb feels the need to shower extra long after a game where he doesn’t throw an interception. Just doesn’t feel right, you know?

Fitzgerald still leads the team in targets with 13, although it’s still a two-game total that’s too low for my liking. John Skelton favors Fitzgerald more than Kolb, and the Eagles secondary has simply shut down opposing receivers this year that have had better quarterbacks. I don’t like the idea of a secondary that good being able to harness so much attention toward Fitzgerald this week. I almost never advocate sitting your studs, so if you really do feel like you have to bench him, you better have a damn good alternative to justify benching a player that talented.

@aodonne3 writes via Twitter:

PPR league, flex position, Desean Jackson or Crabtree?

He’ll never live up to his draft hype, but Michael Crabtree is turning into something of a PPR monster for that balanced 49ers offense.

Still, I just can’t advise against starting DeSean Jackson especially with Jeremy Maclin nursing a hip injury and the fact that Jackson actually looks like he’s trying to catch passes again.He should put up great numbers this week.

Ih8Dallas of the Hogs Haven community writes:

Pick one to flex: Garcon, Mathews, Stevie Johnson

Mathews has the highest ceiling, but I’d play it safe and go with Stevie Johnson. He’s the only one of the three who isn’t coming off of a missed game due to injury.

@airborne25p writes via Twitter:

I have two open roster spots for running back. I have A. Morris, J. Charles, D. Martin, M. Turner and R. Mathews. Who should I start?

Doug Martin is a must-start based on opportunity alone. Forty-eight touches in his first two games haven’t resulted in the monstrous amount of points one would expect, but the opportunities are still going to come for the rookie going forward. Both he and his fantasy output are only going to get better as the year goes on.

For the second option, I would start Mathews if you’re feeling ballsy, but Morris if you can afford to be…not as ballsy. The issue with Mike Shanahan’s running backs has never been over a lack of single-game production. The problem is that in the past, no one knew which back was going to get those precious points. As of now, we know it’s Morris, so give him the nod while you can.

It’s still unclear how much playing time Ryan Mathews will get after having missed all but one snap of preseason action. It’s possible Norv Turner could err on the side of caution and limit Mathews snaps until he gets back up to speed. But then again, it’s also possible Turner doesn’t, which means Mathews could absolutely run wild versus a defense that struggled with the far-less dynamic Willis McGahee. Let’s not forget how talented Mathews is and how huge of a part of the offense he has been as well. Thursday’s practice will be his first of the week in full pads, so my advice would be to monitor reports and see how he responds to that before inking him into your lineup.

That's all for this week. If you have any more questions, post away in the comments section and I'll get to as many as possible. Feel free to ask me on Twitter @PFF_Dan, too. Good luck, everyone!