Fantasy football advice, Week 3: Who to start or sit in Cardinals vs. Saints?

Jeff Gross

Week Three of the 2013 NFL season is upon us. Which Cardinals should you bench, put in your lineup, or keep an eye on in Free Agency?

The Cardinals came away with a Week 2 win over the Lions, but no one other than a handful of IDP players, or the Cardinals defense were worth noting. Palmer did score a touchdown, and threw a pick, while the receivers were held in check relatively. Mendenhall had a solid outing, with 66 yards and a touchdown.So without further ado, let us take a look at the individuals I would recommend starting, putting on your bench, and keep a close eye on heading into Week 3.

Start:

Rashard Mendenhall:
Mendenhall enters this game with 126 yards and one TD to start off the season. He was out of practice all week, only participating in a limited roll on Friday. However, he is likely to play barring something that aggravates his toe. (Arians did mention that it was not Turf Toe, but something very similar)

Mendenhall goes up against the 26th ranked Saints rush defense, who are allowing an average of 124 yards per game and an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Do not let his toe scare you from starting him if you're in deeper leagues, but if it is a one, or two back league, wake up a little earlier on Sunday and keep your eye on him.

Rob Housler:
This is a risky pick, but it is certainly something you want to take advantage of. Arians offense is built to accommodate the versatility, and the mismatches that Housler embodies. Housler is a surefire candidate to play this week, replacing the consistent Jim Dray as starter. There may be some chemistry issues between Palmer and Housler, but Housler will be a big redzone threat that the Cardinals will need this week.

Tyrann Mathieu(IDP):
Mathieu has gotten off to a hot start to begin his rookie campaign. I personally have him and he has put up 9 points in back to back weeks. He saw his snap percentage spike last week, and I expect something similar against Drew Brees and a strong New Orleans passing attack.

Of course there may be better options at DB this week, but Mathieu will get you consistency if that is what you are looking for.

*Carson Palmer:*
* Palmer is a game time decision for me. After recording a 45.35 point season opener, he dipped down into 35 points against a weak Detroit secondary. He only managed to complete 56% of his passes.

The Saints secondary is nothing special, but it's tougher than Detroits. If you feel bold, his benefit is greater than the risk, so start him. If you have other options, give them a look before throwing Palmer in your lineup.

Bench:

Cardinals D:
The Cardinals D buckled down against the Detroit Lions in the second half, so it will be intriguing to see if they can carry that into New Orleans. Only reason I say bench them, is because of the lack of pressure. If they want to be succesful, they need to get pressure. Not just outside pressure (Abraham, Campbell) but inside as well. (Williams, Dockett) I do not however believe we can generate that pressure, unless Bowles dials up a few blitzes.

Larry Fitzgerald:
Yes yes... Larry is going to play, but his hamstring is cause for concern. He missed the final quarter against the Lions because of it, and I honestly expect him to be ineffective this week. I don't expect him to get a large amount of play time, as to keep his hammy from flaring up. If you're in deep WR leagues, give him a shot, but I'm sure there are other options available via free agency. (Marlon Brown-Ravens)

Keep An Eye on This Week:

Andre Ellington:
Ellington has made his presence felt the last few weeks. He's been a key factor in the passing game out of the backfield, In two weeks he has three catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. He's also carried the ball four times for 20 yards, (5.0 yards per carry). When he's on the field, it seems that he's likely to get a look at for the ball. Alfonso Smith appears to be fighting to stay the backup, for now. If he produces this week he's still available in 99.2% of leagues on NFL.com.

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