After a week two with many surprises, Playboy.com's Start 'Em, Sit 'Em returns with some more good finds for week three.
Welcome to Playboy.com’s Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit’ Em column. Each week, we’ll sort through the rubble of waiver wires and underappreciated players to find sneaky good players to start (or in some cases sit) to help you win your fantasy week. Please keep in mind that we’re not going after the big fish here; you should start Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Arian Foster all the time. These are the guys you might be on the fence about or find rotting on the wire. You can thank us later.
Tony Romo: After torching sixth-string Giants corners for three TDs in week one, the ’Boys stumbled against a potent Seahawks defense in week two. And while Romo is the lightning rod on which all the Cowboys’ faults are blamed, he looked pretty sharp in both. This week he gets Tampa, who has surrendered a league-worst 813 passing yards over the first two weeks and whom Romo has owned, going 3-0 with 908 yards, a 71 percent completion percentage, 11 TDs and no interceptions.
Michael Bush: Christmas comes early for fantasy owners who begrudgingly drafted Michael Bush knowing full well that his touches and yards would be limited by Matt Forté. A not-so-high ankle sprain has sidelined the Bears’ crown prince for at least a week, leaving the bulk of the carries against a Rams team that gave up 176 yards to Washington last week for Bush.
Brandon LaFell: Fun fantasy fact: Brandon LaFell currently ranks inside the top 15 for fantasy points among wideouts. He eclipsed the ailing Steve Smith last week with eight targets to Smith’s four and looks, at least for now, to be the preferred target of Cam Newton. This week he gets the banged-up Giants back seven and should be good for another strong showing.
Brent Celek: Last week we advised sitting Celek and he exploded on us for 157 on 8 receptions against a supposedly strong Ravens D. Mea culpa. With WR Jeremy Maclin dealing with hip issues and Vick up against a defense that managed to hold Tom Brady in check, look for Celek to catch a lot of check downs and pick up some yards along the way.
Chicago Bears: Granted, Sam Bradford and the Rams stormed back from 17 down last week against the ’Skins, but their offensive line is a wreck and Bradford is not a quarterback who likes to be rushed. Mistakes will be made here and the Bears’ corners and defensive ends will be the beneficiaries.
Peyton Manning: Manning is coming off a game in which he threw three picks inside 15 minutes of play. He looked downright confused in the first quarter against a shadowy Atlanta defense and has admitted that he’s probably not 100 percent yet. To add insult to injury, he’s playing on short rest against a very good Houston defense so the upside here is minimal.
Michael Turner: Michael Turner’s days as a surefire fantasy starter have been numbered for some time; this is a guy who’s getting awfully close to the woodshed with a paltry 2.5 YPC and only 74 yards on the season, although it’s still early. The Chargers have been particularly effective at stopping the run against some formative backs, so be wary starting one who’s definitely on the downside of his career.
Jordy Nelson: Last week the Seahawks held Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree to 17 combined fantasy points. While most leagues don’t afford owners the luxury of sitting a guy like Nelson, if you’ve got someone who’s a lock to get in the neighborhood of 10 points, we suggest starting him over Nelson.
Vincent Jackson: Many are probably inclined to set and forget a guy like Jackson, and why not? He went off last week 128 yards and a major. But that was against the Giants, who are picking guys out of the stands to defend the pass. This week he’s up against a Cowboys secondary that has yet to allow a score through the air, and there’s no reason to think Josh Freeman can break that seal.
Fred Davis: When the Redskins drafted RGIII they also drafted his college playbook; Washington has retooled to make the transition from the NCAA to the NFL as smooth as possible for their rookie QB, and unfortunately tight ends were not a prominent feature during RGIII’s days at Baylor.
Chargers: Let’s keep it simple: defenses are averaging -1 point against Atlanta after two games. Why take that chance?