Week 3 Startability Index (Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em)

Two weeks through the season and we have a boatload of fantasy disappointments (all in line behind CJNotOK). Many fantasy owners, myself included, are in a bit of a panic trying to figure out the short and long term value of many of the guys we loved so dearly on draft night.  Unless you really believe in the power of throwing darts, I can’t provide you any long-term comfort at this point other than RG3 is the real deal.

But here is some assistance with your starting lineup decisions for Week 3.  As always the Startability Index gives a guy a score equivalent to the confidence (or lack thereof) with which you would be starting him. (10) is a no-brainer, poised for a massive week.  (7) should have a big week but has some built-in limitations. (5) could go either way. (3) Very unlikely to be productive. And so on.


Andrew Luck vs. Jacksonville (5): Luck’s passing efficiency seems to be getting better each week. However he faces a tough test against the Jags, who have held Christian Ponder and Matt Schaub to modest passing totals through two weeks. The Jags run defense is atrocious so expect a heavy dose of Donald Brown.

Carson Palmer vs. Pittsburgh (5): Palmer has been putting up the yardage numbers this season (670), but has performed erratically. This week he faces a tough defense, and team that he’s lost to 8 times in 12 meetings.

Philip Rivers vs. Atlanta (7): Rovers has opened up the season hot with four touchdowns and 515 passing yards. And that’s with guys like Robert Meachem failing to fill the Vincent Jackson deep ball shoes. The Falcons have surrendered 230 yards passing and average, and will probably give up more to Rivers Sunday.

Alex Smith at Minnesota (6):  With smart decision-making (and two touchdowns in each of the first two weeks), Smith is quickly becoming a more viable fantasy option. This is a great matchup for Smith, one that should allow him to further develop his deep passing game.

Running Backs

Donald Brown vs. Jacksonville (8): See Andrew Luck

Reggie Bush vs. New York Jets (9): Bush may be my favorite start of the week, at home, and against Jets defense that’s giving up 130 yards/game on the ground.  It was impossible not to be impressed by Bush’s monster performance of 172 yards and 2 TDs – plus those 26 carries! The best about owning Bush is he seems to become a bigger part of the offensive pie every week.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis at Washington (5): Law Firm has been pretty efficient in this early season and looks like a workhorse. However, I don’t love his matchup against the Redskins, a team that has held opponents to 91 rushing yards a game and zero rushing touchdowns.

Mikel Leshoure at Tennessee (4): Despite Leshoure’s suspension coming to an end, and despite his jack-of-all-trades running style, you should take a wait and see approach. Even though Leshoure has been activated this week, there is no reason to believe he will greatly cut into the workload of Kevin Smith, who performed as well as can be expected against the Niners D last weekend. 

Darren Sproles vs. Kansas City (8):  While such a heavy dose of Pierre Thomas can be nerve-wracking, Sproles has scored at least one touchdown or garnered 100 yards in every game since Week 14 of last year.  Sproles is clearly more of a receiver these days, so a (9) or (10) in PPR formats, but who cares in other formats if he’s getting you those touchdown points.

Wide Receivers

Danny Amendola at Chicago (8): After 15 catches, 160 yards and a touchdown last week, it is challenging to think of three WRs who are better starts at this point. Plus, Chicago and a slowed down Brian Urlacher tend to give up space in the middle of the field.

Kenny Britt vs. Detroit (4): Britt is supposedly back to a full role this week. What that means is still to be determined as he’s coming off ACL surgery.  If you can, wait until Britt has at least 5-7 targets and generally shows chemistry with Jake Locker before giving him the start.

Brian Hartline vs. New York Jets (5): Hartline and his 20 targets for the season are certainly attractive for PPR owners.  He should get more on Sunday but with Darrelle Revis back, his reception total becomes a shakier bet. Hartline’s value goes up if he becomes an end zone threat.

Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. Pittsburgh (5):  DHB had eight targets last week and could emerge as the team’s #1 option over Denarius Moore. But Carson Palmer’s inconsistency should be considered before giving Heyward-Bay anything beyond a weak flex start.

Tight Ends

Brent Celek at Arizona (6): It’s hard not to love to number of catches Celek is earning – his 22 lead the team. He still has yet to reach the end zone, and the Cardinals have only allowed two passing touchdowns this season.

Fred Davis vs., Cincinnati (3): Worse than the fact that Davis is coming off a concussion is that tight ends seem irrelevant in the new RG3 offense. Through two games, Davis has four catches for 52 yards. Unless your league offers points for blocking, I would sit Davis until he becomes a bigger part of the offense.

Antonio Gates vs. Atlanta (7): Gates appears to be over the soreness in his ribs that kept him out last week and pick up where Dante Rosario left off. The Falcons D allowed a touchdown to Giants TE Kevin Boss Week 1 but help Colts TE Jacob Tamme to virtually nothing last week.

Have a player not listed that you’d like a Startability score for? Just ask in the comment section below and you shall receive!