Posted: 8:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
By Alex Welch
We're already passing through the quarter mark of the regular season. Fantasy owners still have time to turn their teams around, but an 0-4 start in any league would likely spell the end.
This week, we've expanded our start/sit recommendations a bit to help with roster trouble. Bye weeks are now taking their toll, so if you're in need of a spot start or two, you can find several players on this list worthy of that role.
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Vikings) - After a 406-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Bears, it looks like the Steelers might have the offense (somewhat) rolling again. The Vikings porous secondary has given up eight passing touchdowns in three weeks. This is a matchup Big Ben's owners will want to exploit.
Matt Flynn (vs. Redskins) - Is this gutsy enough for you? Honestly, Flynn should not be starting in many leagues, but if you're looking for a bye week fill-in, he could be an option. Terrelle Pryor is unlikely to play, leaving Flynn to take on a miserable Redskins defense. Washington has allowed 356 passing yards per game.
Philip Rivers (vs. Dallas) - He took a step back in Week 3, but don't write Rivers off that quickly. The Cowboys have faced mediocre passing games over the past two weeks. They gave up four passing touchdowns to the Giants in Week 1. Rivers can score on this defense.
Giovani Bernard (at Browns) - Cleveland has been tough against the run, but its allowed a rushing score in each of the first three weeks. Bernard is a playmaker, and the Bengals seem like they're finally ready to get him the ball more often. He will see plenty of touches in Week 4, especially as he continues to outperform BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Bilal Powell (at Titans) - Chris Ivory is battling a hamstring issue. Powell went off last week with 149 yards, and now he faces a Tennessee defense that has given up 100+ yards and one touchdown to running backs in each of the last two weeks. Powell is a solid flex play, at the least.
Jason Snelling (vs. Patriots) - While he's splitting time with Jacquizz Rodgers, Snelling knows how to find the end zone. He scored in each of the last two games, and the Falcons will continue to utilize his talents in the red zone.
Rod Streater (vs. Redskins) - We've yet to see a solid game from Streater, but he's at least getting looks and hauling in a few passes each game. Nate Burleson caught six passes for 116 yards against the Redskins last week. That should leave anyone owner confident about facing this secondary.
Josh Gordon (vs. Bengals) - Nineteen targets in Week 3. That isn't a typo. Gordon faces a much tougher task with Cincinnati, but it's difficult to sit a player getting this amount of looks.
Ryan Broyles (vs. Bears) - The aforementioned Burleson is out after breaking his arm in a car accident. Broyles might still be working his way back to 100 percent, but he's the No. 2 wideout in Detroit now. It's a little early to deem Broyles a must-start, but you should expect good things.
Heath Miller (vs. Vikings) - With Big Ben and the offense improving, Miller has a chance to feast on a defense that has allowed six touchdowns to tight ends in three weeks. After grabbing three catches catches in Week 2, Miller is set for a breakout performance.
Coby Fleener (at Jaguars) - Jacksonville is coming off a loss where it allowed 112 yards and two touchdowns to tight ends. Fleener and the Colts might not have to throw the ball for long, but his stock is up for at least the first half.
Antonio Gates (vs. Dallas) - While it looked like Gates was fading fast after Week 1, he's become a reliable target for Rivers once against over the past two games. His matchup with Dallas could turn into a high-scoring affair, leaving him and his owners to benefit. The Cowboys have yielded 21 catches to tight ends.
Matt Schaub (vs. Seahawks) - A total of 194 yards passing, one interception and zero touchdowns against the Ravens shouldn't instill much confidence in his owners. Schaub faces a Seattle defense that dominates opposing offenses. His value may be at its lowest point in 2013 for Week 3.
Ryan Tannehill (at Saints) - New Orleans' pass defense held Carson Palmer to 187 yards and no touchdowns. Tannehill is generally a mediocre fantasy play at best, but it's safe to avoid him as he heads into the Superdome. A revitalized Saints defense will enjoy facing a Dolphins offensive line that allowed five sacks in Week 3.
Andy Dalton (at Browns) - Cleveland has given up just two passing touchdowns in 2013. Dalton fared well against this defense in 2012, but it's hard to get excited about his matchup with the way the Browns are playing lately.
C.J. Spiller (vs. Ravens) - Assuming most owners drafted Spiller in Round 1, it's tough to sit a pick that high in any week. However, he managed just nine yards on 10 carries against the Jets, and now he faces a Ravens team that's yet to give up a rushing score in 2013. Spiller will bounce back at some point. It just doesn't appear to be coming in Week 4.
Chris Johnson (vs. Jets) - Spiller's nine yards rushing came against? You guessed it. The Jets are stout against the run. CJ?K has been decent with a heavy workload, but he hasn't broken away for any huge plays, or touchdowns for that matter. Expect New York to contain him.
David Wilson (at Chiefs) - Wilson finally found the end zone last week. Unfortunately his run came back after a holding call, though. The Chiefs run defense fell apart against the Eagles, but the Giants offensive line shows little reason to believe in it after the Week 3 debacle. Until Wilson provides reliable numbers, it's understandable to sit him.
Dwayne Bowe (vs. Giants) - Alex Smith continues to check down as often as he can. Bowe caught one pass for four yards in Week 3. The Giants are by no means solid against the pass, but Bowe's value only stems from potential red zone targets now. Smith ranks last in the league in pass attempts of 10+ yards.
Sidney Rice (at Texans) - Was Week 3 a breakout performance from Rice or just a fluke? The latter might be more accurate. Rice caught three passes in his first two games of the season. He looks like a boom-or-bust option at this point. Are you willing to roll the dice?
Mike Williams (vs. Cardinals) - Williams isn't practicing as he nurses a hamstring injury he suffered against the Patriots. If he does play, he'll likely be less than 100 percent. Throw in the fact that Mike Glennon is starting for the first time, and owners aren't feeling great about Williams' potential. Vincent Jackson has also been held out of practice. If he doesn't play, Williams would face Patrick Peterson, making matters worse.
Jermaine Gresham (at Browns) - Tyler Eifert has led to Gresham's demise. Now in a timeshare, Gresham is providing limited value. He caught four passes for 27 yards in Week 3 and coughed up a fumble. You can find a better option at tight end unless you're in a deep league.
Brandon Myers (at Chiefs) - Similar to Martellus Bennett in 2012, Myers started out hot with the Giants, only to tail off a bit shortly afterward. It's only been three weeks, but he faces another stingy matchup in Week 4. The Chiefs have given up 100 yards receiving to tight ends in three games. Don't expect an impressive bounce back from Myers.
Kyle Rudolph (vs. Steelers) - The aforementioned Bennett caught two passes for 10 yards against the Steelers last week. Rudolph is already volatile as it is. Look for a more consistent tight end who doesn't need to find the end zone to provide value.