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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fine or Pine, Week 3

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

It's that time of the week again. Time for fantasy owners to give serious consideration to their starting lineups. Injury reports are out and fantasy owners know for the most part who has a chance to play and who doesn't. Of course there are always a few questionable players heading into Sundays but that won't stop us from setting our lineups anyway.

Quarterback

Fine- Jay Cutler- Chicago Bears- Cutler gets a weak pass defense on Monday night when the Bears face the Jets and since the Jets can defend well against the run, expect the Bears to pass a ton to play to the weakness of the Jets. As of this week, the Jets are allowing over 21 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks while Jay Cutler is averaging over 26 fantasy points per game. With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferey healthier than last week, fantasy owners can expect a big game from the Bears signal caller this week.

Pine- Brian Hoyer- Cleveland Browns- While Hoyer hasn't played bad at all the first two weeks of the season, he does face a tough Ravens defense that is allowing only 12 fantasy points per game to the opposing quarterback. Brian Hoyer himself is averaging just under 15 fantasy points per contest and those numbers could equal trouble when Hoyer faces the Ravens defense this week.

Running Back

Fine- Arian Foster- Houston Texans- Hopefully I'm not going to the well one too many times with Foster but barring his hamstring issues keeping him out for this week's game, Foster should have another fantasy relevant game in him when he faces the Giants. New York is giving up over 20 fantasy points to the running back position on average and Foster is averaging 16.5 fantasy points per week. Until the Giants defend against the running backs, expect teams to have success versus them.

Pine- Matt Forte- Chicago Bears- I'm going bold again on my running back prediction. Last week it was Eddie Lacy, this week is Matt Forte. I realize that this move can also work against me but the matchup for Matt Forte this week doesn't look good and with a bad pass defense, one can expect the Bears to pass more than run. The Jets are allowing barely six fantasy points per game to the opposing running back and Forte himself was held to under nine fantasy points last week by the San Francisco defense. The combination does not bode well for the Bears back.

Wide Receiver

Fine- Dez Bryant- Dallas Cowboys- The Rams defense is allowing almost 40 points to opposing receivers and Dez Bryant is as good as receivers come. Dez is averaging almost 11 fantasy points per game and Romo seems to only look for Dez or DeMarco so fantasy owners can expect another big game from the Pro Bowl wide out in week three.

Pine- James Jones- Oakland Raiders- Let me start off by saying that James Jones could end up with some garbage time points in this contest but waiting on those points could give fantasy owners fits. The New England defense has been vulnerable to the run more than the pass while giving up just over 13 fantasy points per game to wide receivers while getting torched for over 24 points per game on the ground. Again, Jones could end up with some fantasy points late if the Patriots go up big and ease up on defense but it's hard to wait on garbage time points when fantasy owners have other options.

Tight End

Fine- Julius Thomas- Denver Broncos- Regardless of how stout the Seahawks defense may be, somebody's got to catch passes from Peyton in this game. Orange Julius seems like a more likely candidate to make the plays seeing how the Seattle defense is allowing 15 fantasy points to the tight end position and Thomas is averaging over 19 fantasy points the first two weeks of the season.

Pine- Martellus Bennett- Chicago Bears- I realize I said the Bears will probably be throwing a lot this week versus a poor Jets pass defense but I think the wide receivers get more action in this game than the tight end. The Jets are allowing under three fantasy points per contest to tight ends and the Bears seem to have a healthy Alshon Jefferey and Brandon Marshall going in this matchup.

Defense

Fine- New England- How can the Patriots defense not be the overwhelming favorite to play this week? They face the hapless Raiders at home and the New England defense is giving up the second lowest amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks at under 12 per game. Couple that with a rookie quarterback facing a Bill Belichick defense and this has all the makings of the Patriots defense being a top fantasy unit in week three.

Pine- Seattle- I realize the last time these two teams met, the Seattle defense made Peyton look like a rookie but fantasy owners shouldn't expect those results again. I think the Broncos put up a few more points in this one.  Manning is averaging almost 25 fantasy points per game this season while the Seahawks are middle of the pack in passing against the Quarterback giving up almost 18 fantasy points per contest to them.