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Start or sit: Don't give up on Bryant

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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

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Posted Sept. 21, 2012 @ 12:15 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

In “Start or Sit,” we make a call on players who merit strong starting consideration — and players who might be best on the bench. However, owners should tailor their own lineup strategy to their roster constraints, league rules and other relevant factors.

Here’s our Week Three rundown:

START

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (vs. Tampa Bay) — Through two games, Bryant has 102 receiving yards and no TDs. You may be tempted to bench him. Unless your WR depth is outstanding, you're best to give him another chance. The Buccaneers' defense has had its issues against the pass this season, allowing 801 yards through the air in just two games. Certainly Miles Austin, who's scored in each game this season, also belongs in lineups, and Kevin Ogletree is a consideration in bigger leagues, too.

Bears RB Michael Bush (vs. St. Louis) — Opponents are gaining 5.5 yards per rush against the Rams, and Bush will get the bulk of the carries for Chicago in Week Three with Matt Forté (ankle) sidelined. Find a place for him in the lineup, whether at the RB or "flex" position. The potential goal-line opportunities alone are worth it. 

Bengals QB Andy Dalton (at Washington) — Dalton played well in Week Two (24-of-31 passing, 318 yards, three TDs), and he has another favorable matchup on Sunday. The Redskins are allowing 313.5 passing yards per game. Both offenses figure to be able to move the ball. Dalton has a chance to post some nice numbers once again.

Redskins RB Alfred Morris (vs. Cincinnati) — The Bengals have had their problems vs. the run early in the season, allowing 126.0 yards per contest and 5.5 yards per attempt. I have Morris in just one league, and I wish I had him in all of them, because he's getting a lot of work (44 carries entering Week Three) for a good offense.

Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (at Tennessee) — Make sure to get him in the lineup. The Titans have surrendered five TD passes in the first two weeks of 2012. All five scores were to tight ends: one apiece to Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez of New England and three to Dante Rosario of San Diego.

SIT

Packers RB Cedric Benson (at Seattle) — I like Benson. I have him in one league and think he'll help me this season. Nevertheless, he's tough to play against Seattle, which is allowing 2.6 yards per carry. That said, I see some favorable matchups on the horizon for him.

Rams RB Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson (at Chicago) — Jackson has been bothered by a groin injury, missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can't go, Richardson would get the bulk of the carries. The Bears are solid vs. the run, and with the Rams' starter hurting and the backup somewhat unproven, I'm looking elsewhere. Take away Richardson's 53-yard run vs. Washington in Week Two and he had 30 yards on 14 carries.

Lions RB Mikel Leshoure (at Tennessee) — If I had to take one Lions back for the rest of the season, I would take Leshoure. That doesn't mean I'd start him in his first-ever regular-season game. Let's see how he plays on Sunday, and let's see how he fits in the RB rotation.

Texans QB Matt Schaub (at Denver) — The Broncos' defense has played wonderfully to begin this season, allowing a mere 4.11 yards per play. Moreover, the Texans have a strong running game. Through two games, they have attempted 83 rushes against just 68 pass dropbacks (passes and sacks). Owners in smaller leagues that employ one-QB formats might want to look elsewhere this week.

Broncos TE Jacob Tamme (vs. Houston) — Tamme's done well with the passes thrown his way this season, catching 7-of-9 for 56 yards and a TD. However, the Texans' defense is allowing fewer yards than any other in the league, and Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano (3-19-0) and Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (no catches) had little impact vs. Houston early this season. 

 

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