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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fantasy football: Start and sit, expanded playlist and more for Week 3

Before we get to the start-and-sit advice and expanded playlist, here are a few injury notes:

-- The assumption here is Marion Barber is going to sit Monday night against the Panthers because of a quadriceps injury. If that's the case, electric Cowboys second-year back Julius Jones should be a quality play against a Carolina defense that is tied for 27th in the league in stopping the run, allowing 168 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. In eight career games, Jones, a first-round pick in 2008, has 43 carries for 384 yards (8.9 yards per attempt) and four touchdowns.

-- Expect Brian Westbrook's status to be announced about 15 minutes before kickoff Sunday. The Eagles back missed practice all week because of an ankle injury (stop if you've heard that before), but, unlike most players, that's never been a true indication that he won't play when it matters. The Eagles have a bye next week and might be more inclined to rest Westbrook, which would clear the way for rookie LeSean McCoy. Should that happen, McCoy is a good start, especially in point-per-reception leagues, vs. the Chiefs, who rank 21st against the run.

-- Mike Bell is out this week because of a knee injury, which is welcome news for Pierre Thomas owners. The latter, who missed the Saints' first game because of a knee injury and played sparingly in Week 2, should get the majority of the carries Sunday against the Bills. Reggie Bush is a worthwhile play in PPR leagues, but likely won't be much of a help in yardage- and TD-heavy formats.

Five to start

This week’s look at part-time starters and fantasy backups who should benefit from a favorable matchup:

-- Eli Manning, QB, Giants, at Buccaneers:
He’s thrown for 586 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 103.2. The Buccaneers rank 27th against the pass and have allowed the second-most TD throws in the league (five).

-- Trent Edwards, QB, Bills, vs. Saints:
He’s thrown for more than 200 yards and two scores in each of Buffalo’s first two games, and the Saints rank 29th vs. the pass.

-- Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens, vs. Browns: With four TDs, 4.9 yards per carry and six receptions, he’s one of the early season surprises. The Browns, as usual, can’t stop the run (No. 31, a league-high five rushing scores allowed).

-- Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers, vs. Dolphins: With LaDainian Tomlinson sitting for a second straight week, the explosive Sproles should have a productive game against a defense that has struggled mightily against the pass. Sproles has only 19 carries for 49 yards, but has thrived as a receiver, with 12 catches for 167 yards and a touchdown. He has scored a TD in each of the Chargers' first two games.

-- Devery Henderson, WR, Saints, at Bills: He has eight receptions for 174 yards, a 21.8-yard average that resembles his career norm of 21.6. With Lance Moore out because of a hamstring injury, Henderson will start against a Bills defense that ranks 31st against the pass and has given up five TD throws in two games.

More matchups I like:

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens, vs. Browns; Kevin Kolb, QB, Eagles, vs. Chiefs; David Garrard, QB, Jaguars, at Texans; Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints, at Bills; Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys, vs. Panthers; Ray Rice, RB, Ravens, vs. Browns; Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals, vs. Colts; Derrick Ward, RB, Buccaneers, vs. Giants

Three to sit

If you have a decent backup, these starters should take a seat for a week:

-- Thomas Jones, RB, Jets, vs. Titans:
He and Leon Washington both have 35 touches in two games, which limits Jones’ value significantly. The Titans rank second against the run, are giving up only 1.9 yards per carry and have yet to yield a touchdown on the ground.

-- Joseph Addai, RB, Colts, at Cardinals: This former first-round fantasy pick has only 116 total yards in two games and is being outplayed by rookie Donald Brown. The Cardinals have been surprisingly effective at stopping the run (No. 5 with 113 yards; Arizona is allowing only 2.5 yards per carry).

-- Lee Evans, WR, Bills, vs. Saints: New Orleans is very generous to opposing passing games, but with T.O. in the fold, Evans (four receptions for 57 yards) is no longer a fantasy starter.

More matchups I don’t like:

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons, at Patriots; Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals, vs. Steelers; Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs, at Eagles; Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks, vs. Bears

Last week

The start list had three productive players -- Fred Jackson (163 yards rushing, six catches for 25 yards), Ben Roethlisberger (221 yards passing, one TD, one interception, one rushing TD) and Brett Favre (155 yards passing, two touchdowns and no interceptions) -- and two duds. Nate Burleson (46 yards receiving) and Isaac Bruce (35) both had four catches and no scores.

On the sit list, Kevin Smith (83 yards rushing, two catches for 10 yards, no TDs) was a good call, but Matt Schaub (357 yards and four touchdown passes) and Jay Cutler (236 yards and two TD passes) certainly were not.



1. Drew Brees, Saints, at Bills (No. 31 vs. the pass)

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers, at Rams (No. 25)

3. Peyton Manning, Colts, at Cardinals (No. 18)

4. Philip Rivers, Chargers, vs. Dolphins (No. 23)

5. Tom Brady, Patriots, vs. Falcons (No. 17)

6. Kurt Warner, Cardinals, vs. Colts (No. 1)

7. Matt Schaub, Texans, vs. Jaguars (No. 26)

8. Jay Cutler, Bears, at Seahawks (No. 2)

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, at Bengals (No. 16)

10. Eli Manning, Giants, at Buccaneers (No. 27)

11. Trent Edwards, Bills, vs. Saints (No. 29)

12. Tony Romo, Cowboys, vs. Panthers (No. 3)

13. Joe Flacco, Ravens, vs. Browns (No. 7)

14. Matt Ryan, Falcons, at Patriots (No. 6)

15. Kevin Kolb, Eagles, vs. Chiefs (No. 14)

16. Carson Palmer, Bengals, vs. Steelers (No. 19)

17. David Garrard, Jaguars, at Texans (No. 22)

18. Brett Favre, Vikings, vs. 49ers (No. 20)

19. Matt Cassel, Chiefs, at Eagles (No. 12)

20. Kyle Orton, Broncos, at Raiders (No. 20)


1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings, vs. 49ers (No. 3 vs. the run)

2. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars, at Texans (No. 32)

3. Matt Forte, Bears, at Seahawks (No. 26)

4. Chris Johnson, Titans, at Jets (No. 6)

5. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers, at Cowboys (No. 23)

6. Michael Turner, Falcons, at Patriots (No. 14)

7. Ryan Grant, Packers, at Rams (No. 25)

8. Steven Jackson, Rams, vs. Packers (No. 18)

9. Frank Gore, 49ers, at Vikings (No. 15)

10. Steve Slaton, Texans, vs. Jaguars (No. 13)

11. Brandon Jacobs, Giants, at Buccaneers (No. 27)

12. Darren Sproles, Chargers, vs. Dolphins (No. 7)

13. Fred Jackson, Bills, vs. Saints (No. 4)

14. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins, at Chargers (No. 24)

15. y-Felix Jones, Cowboys, vs. Panthers (No. 27)

16. Willis McGahee, Ravens, vs. Browns (No. 31)

17. x-Clinton Portis, Redskins, at Lions (No. 22)

18. z-Brian Westbrook, Eagles, vs. Chiefs (No. 21)

19. Pierre Thomas, Saints, at Bills (No. 8)

20. Kevin Smith, Lions, vs. Redskins (No. 17)

21. Darren McFadden, Raiders, vs. Broncos (No. 10)

22. Tim Hightower, Cardinals, vs. Colts (No. 30)

23. Derrick Ward, Buccaneers, vs. Giants (No. 27)

24. Cedric Benson, Bengals, vs. Steelers (No. 8)

x-This is assuming Marion Barber sits with a quad injury. If Barber is active, he is a decent play against the Panthers. y-Portis missed practice Friday because of an ankle injury and is listed as questionable. He is expected to play, but if he doesn't, backup Ladell Betts is a decent start against the Lions. z-Make sure Westbrook (ankle injury) is active. If he is out, rookie LeSean McCoy is a good start.


1. Andre Johnson, Texans, vs. Jaguars (No. 26 vs. the pass)

2. Randy Moss, Patriots, vs. Falcons (No. 17)

3. Greg Jennings, Packers, at Rams (No. 25)

4. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, vs. Colts (No. 1)

5. Marques Colston, Saints, at Bills (No. 31)

6. Reggie Wayne, Colts, at Cardinals (No. 18)

7. Vincent Jackson, Chargers, vs. Dolphins (No. 23)

8. Steve Smith, Panthers, at Cowboys (No. 3)

9. Steve Smith, Giants, at Buccaneers (No. 27)

10. Santonio Holmes, Steelers, at Bengals (No. 16)

11. Roddy White, Falcons, at Patriots (No. 6)

12. Calvin Johnson, Lions, vs. Redskins (No. 10)

13. Mario Manningham, Giants, at Buccaneers (No. 27)

14. Hines Ward, Steelers, at Bengals (No. 16)

15. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals, vs. Colts (No. 1)

16. x-Wes Welker, Patriots, vs. Falcons

17. Terrell Owens, Bills, vs. Saints (No. 29)

18. Chad Ochocino, Bengals, vs. Steelers (No. 19)

19. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks, vs. Bears (No. 8)

20. Donald Driver, Packers, at Rams (No. 25)

21. Eddie Royal, Broncos, at Raiders (No. 10)

22. Braylon Edwards, Browns, at Ravens (No. 28)

23. Devery Henderson, Saints, at Bills (No. 31)

24. Derrick Mason, Ravens, vs. Browns (No. 7)

25. Brandon Marshall, Broncos, at Raiders (No. 10)

26. y-Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs, at Eagles (No. 12)

27. Roy Williams, Cowboys, vs. Panthers (No. 30)

28. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets, vs. Titans (No. 32)

29. Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins, at Chargers (No. 13)

30. z-DeSean Jackson, Eagles, vs. Chiefs (No. 14)

31. Santana Moss, Redskins, at Lions (No. 24)

32. Bernard Berrian, Vikings, vs. 49ers (No. 20)

33. Laurent Robinson, Rams, vs Packers (No. 15)

34. Torry Holt, Jaguars, at Texans (No. 22)

35. Justin Gage, Titans, at Jets (No. 9)

36. Pierre Garcon, Colts, at Cardinals (No. 18)

x-Make sure Welker (knee) is active; y-Same goes for Bowe, who is questionable because of a hamstring injury; z-Jackson (groin injury) is probable.

MORE FANTASY FOOTBALL: For my breakdown of struggling early draft picks Matt Forte, Steve Slaton and Steven Jackson, including our weekly audiocast, click here. ... We will have another live chat with readers on Thursday at 7 p.m. Go to the homepage of and look for the link to the live fantasy football chat at the top of the page.

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