With WRs Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson banged up (Maclin is the more hurt of the two), Eagles QB Michael Vick could be shorthanded vs. the Cardinals. They did something of a number on him in a 21-17 Arizona win a year ago, holding Vick to 128 yards on 16-of-34 passing. He did rush for 79 yards but did not find the endzone. League observers feel the Cardinals’ defense is quite for real this season to date. Maybe it’s a week you consider other QB options, especially if OLT King Dunlap can’t go.
Eli Manning is typically good for 2-3 bad outings — and several great ones, but you get the point — per season. This might be one of those nights. Shorthanded (three offensive starters down, including RB Ahmad Bradshaw and WR Hakeem Nicks) in a short week on the road, Manning might not be throwing up 510 yards again versus a seemingly improved Panthers defense, despite its generosity against Drew Brees at times Sunday. If you have a strong backup, he might be the better play than Manning. Key word is might — you don’t want to overthink it, either.
We have seen a Jekyll-and-Hyde act from Bears QB Jay Cutler in the first two games of the season. After racking up 333 yards vs. the Colts in Week One, he threw for only 126 yards and tossed four interceptions in Week Two vs. the Packers, and that performance may be giving some fantasy owners pause about playing him this week. Historically, Cutler has bounced back well from his least efficient games, though. Heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Rams, Cutler has a TD-INT ratio of 12-4 in the six career games he’s played following a contest in which he threw three or more interceptions. In most two-QB leagues, Cutler is worthy of a start against a Rams pass defense that is ranked 24th in the league but has held QBs to a passer rating of only 75.7.
Peyton Manning showed he is human with three early picks against the Falcons, before helping bring the Broncos back in a Monday-night loss. Sunday’s game against the Texans is another tough test, as Houston has a stout defense and Wade Phillips’ zone blitzes will cause problems for Manning. One good thing for fantasy owners, though, is this has the potential to be a shootout with two high-powered offenses going at it.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton has a favorable matchup in Week Three. The Redskins have allowed six TD passes in two games and have allowed 627 net passing yards. Dalton’s a strong option in two-QB formats and might get starter consideration in one-QB formats given his upside this week.
Browns QB Brandon Weeden is a reasonable waiver claim in keeper leagues and two-QB formats after passing for 322 yards and two TDs at Cincinnati Week Two. While he’s not a highly recommended start in Week Three vs. Buffalo, the Bills do rank in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed. If you have the roster space, he’s not the worst pickup; he did show quite a bit of improvement last week. However, he’s not going to be an every-week starter for many teams, which somewhat limits his appeal.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco’s Week Two numbers (22-of-42 passing, 232 yards, one TD, one INT) don’t shout every-week fantasy starter, especially for owners in smaller leagues. If you’re in bigger leagues, setting expectations will be key. Flacco had something of a tough matchup in Week Two on the road at Philadelphia, but now he draws New England at home. It wouldn’t be surprising if he fared a little better back at M&T Bank Stadium.
- Eli Manning
- Michael Vick
- Andy Dalton
- Jeremy Maclin
- Peyton Manning