Monday Night Football in Week 3 features the Broncos hosting the Raiders, with Denver sitting as 15-point favorites. Fantasy matchups are coming down to the wire, so let's figure out who should be starting and sitting on Monday.
Peyton Manning: He threw for more than 300 yards against the Raiders in both 2012 contests, and Oakland isn't showing enough promise of containing him this season. Manning is on fire this season. Week 3 will likely continue his hot streak. Even if you're in a two-team league, you're starting Manning this week.
Wide Receivers: Eric Decker started off the season with only two catches for 32 yards in Week 1. He redeemed himself with nine catches and 87 yards in Week 2. Fantasy owners will need to come to terms with Decker having ups and downs as Manning spreads the ball around to a lot of talent. Decker is easily a WR3 against Oakland in Week 3. Wes Welker leads the team in receptions and has three touchdowns this season. He continues to be a strong WR2 with even more value in PPR scoring formats. Demaryius Thomas had a shaky Week 2 performance, but is still Manning's deep threat. He'll be a WR1 against Oakland on Monday.
Running backs: Knowshon Moreno had a career performance in Week 2. He rushed for 93 yards on 13 attempts along with two touchdowns against the Giants. He also caught three passes for 14 yards. Moreno's performance doesn't exactly mean that there will be some consistency in the backfield. Because of John Fox's shifty decision making with his running backs, Moreno is a high-end flex and a low-end RB2 in deeper leagues. According to Yahoo, Oakland has given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs in 2013. That information is a bit deceiving. Oakland faced the Colts, who were chasing down Trent Richardson for a reason. They faced the Jaguars, who were missing Maurice Jones-Drew for the majority of the game. That said, Moreno is the hot hand heading into Week 3 and should have a decent outing. Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman could see some garbage time production, but should be avoided.
Tight Ends: Julius Thomas proved his Week 1 performance wasn't a fluke after scoring a touchdown against the Giants along with 47 yards off six catches. He's a TE1 play on Monday.
Broncos defense/ special teams: Denver continues to be a quality start for fantasy owners. Don't be surprised if Oakland is able to at least manage a few touchdowns on Monday. The Broncos have yet to hold a team to less than 20 points, but they'll find a way to generate fantasy points with both turnovers and special teams as Trindon Holliday aims to get another punt return touchdown.
Terrelle Pryor: He's a risky start even in two-quarterback leagues, but Pryor's upside could come through against Denver on Monday. Pryor started off strong against the Colts in Week 1, but managed to follow up his performance with only 126 passing yards in Week 2 against the Jaguars. Considering that the Broncos were able to intercept four of Eli Manning's passes in Week 2, it's difficult to trust a quarterback in his fourth career start that will likely be throwing the ball in order to play catch-up on Monday.
Wide Receivers: Rod Streater leads the team in receptions and yards, but his numbers aren't translating well in fantasy. The Raiders will likely need to throw the ball a lot on Monday, and Denarius Moore is likely the favorite among receivers in Oakland. Moore was held without a catch against Jacksonville in Week 2. He's a shaky start to say the least. Moore is probably the best option on Monday night, but he's a desperation play in deep leagues.
Running backs: Darren McFadden wasn't much of a factor against the Broncos in 2012, and will likely have a challenge doing much damage against them on Monday. The Broncos held the Ravens to 58 total rushing yards and the Giants to 23 rushing yards so far this season. The rushing totals are bit deceiving however. In Week 1, Ray Rice added eight receptions for 35 yards to his stat line, and the Giants haven't exactly figured out their backfield just yet as David Wilson makes amends with Tom Coughlin. That said, McFadden's value will rely heavily on his receptions on Monday, and owners should hope he'll find the end zone. He's a strong flex play.
Tight Ends: Mychal Rivera is available in virtually every Yahoo! league right now. In fact, he's owned in zero percent of Yahoo! leagues. In two weeks, he has five receptions for 58 yards. There really isn't much to see here from a fantasy perspective.
Oakland defense/ special teams: There might never be a week where we'd recommend starting a defense against Peyton Manning, and this week is certainly no exception. Oakland's defense is owned in 2 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and it should probably stay that way. Speaking of special teams, it's worth noting that kicker Sebastian Janikowski tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 2011. He returns to the thin mile-high air on Monday night for a shot at finally beating the record.
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