Fantasy Football Start & Sit Running Backs: Week 3
By: Corby Yarbrough | 9/23/11, 7:00 AM EDT
Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season is almost ready to kickoff, which means it is time to start getting your fantasy football lineups in order. Athlon Sports will try to help you do that each week with its Start or Sit suggestions. Keep in mind that these are suggestions and you are the owner of your fantasy team, and setting your lineup comes down to what you think is right.
This is how I work out fantasy football scoring in my mind: I want to average 16 points from my QBs, RBs, WRs and Flex and average 10 points from my TEs, Ks and DSTs. It rarely works that way, but if you could get the skill spots to average 16 and the other three to average 10, that's 132 points in a 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST setup; it's a score that should win you most weeks.
Check back each week for Start or Sit and see who we are giving our thumbs up or thumbs down to and whether we had success or failure the week prior.
Ryan Mathews & Mike Tolbert (SD) vs. Kansas City — If they are both healthy (Tolbert was battling a calf on Thursday) then they are both good plays against their AFC West rival Chiefs. Kansas City has given up 89 points this season and must try to stop that IN San Diego as the Chargers return home from a road loss against the Patriots. Advantage: San Diego. Tolbert has been targeted 18 times in the passing game for 17 catches 131 yards and two scores; Mathews has 14 targets, 10 catches and 135 yards receiving. That's just in the air. Tolbert is 21-45-1 on the ground; Mathews is 24-109-1. With Antonio Gates (foot) Malcom Floyd (groin) and Vincent Jackson (abdominal soreness) battling injuries this week, look for the Chargers to lean on the run game. Monitor Tolbert's calf, but if both are a go, then they need to be a go on your roster.
Ben Tate (HOU) at New Orleans — Tate has back-to-back 100-yard outings and he will be getting his first start this week. The Texans should be able to run on the Saints, who are allowing 24 fantasy points per game to the position, in order to try and control the game.
Daniel Thomas (MIA) at Cleveland — Either the Reggie Bush experiment as a lead back failed or the Dolphins were just waiting for it to finally click for the rookie Thomas. Well there's no doubting him this week. Thomas is coming off a 107-yard, 18-carry performance against the Texans, and gets a Browns team that allows 4.4 yards per carry. Expect Miami to try and control the game with Thomas.
Joseph Addai (IND) vs. Pittsburgh — Colts are in shambles and it's Pittsburgh. Need any more reasons?
Mark Ingram (NO) vs. Houston — Ingram has not been able to get it going yet after tough match ups against the Saints and Bears, and now he gets a Texans team that is second-best against fantasy RBs so far this season at 10.9 fantasy points per game and no TDs allowed. Ingram should be able to get it going after this week, but I'd sit him one more time.
Willis McGahee (DEN) at Tennessee — The Titans are allowing 22 points to fantasy RBs (middle of the pack), but bounced back from the 97 yards and a score they allowed to Maurice Jones-Drew and held Ray Rice to 43 yards on 13 carries. Rice did get five catches for 53 yards and a score on eight targets, but don't expect McGahee to be able to break off a long run off a screen pass as Rice did. Plus, Knowshon Moreno appears ready to return to the lineup. While I think McGahee is still the better play for the length of the season, I don't think either are strong plays this Sunday.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
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