Week 3 Fantasy Rundown
Before I dive into this weeks Fantasy Football rapid fire, I want to offer a word of advice for all you trade-happy owners that are selling the farm for the “hot” players.
You remember Calvin Johnson’s monster season last year? Sure you do. Megatron had 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. While that may lead you to do some simple math and figure he racked up 100 yards and a score each and every week, Calvin Johnson actually had one game where he had 3 catches for 29 yards. The Lions wide-out also had 3 games where he didn’t crack 90 yards or find the endzone. My point is, let’s say these 3-4 games all started at the beginning of the season…would you have traded him for his slow start? Someone would.
Patience is a virtue in life and in fantasy football. If you’re in a 12 man standard fantasy league, then your playoffs consist of 8 teams, meaning all you have to do is beat 4 owners to make the post season. Bad fantasy luck will happen, but I strongly recommend you just ride it out.
Now, back to the rapid fire:
Buffalo at Cleveland
- This is the kind of game that could be 9-6 or 39-36, you never know who’s going to show up for either of these teams. Regardless, Browns Trent Richardson is starting to get comfortable. I would not over think this match-up, as the Bills are giving up 4.5 yards per carry.
- The Browns have not allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season, so do not downgrade your Bills wide receivers just because Spiller has been playing so hot. The Bills gameplan will not be to feed Spiller 35 carries, the team will use their strength in running the ball to help open up the passing game.
- I like Stevie Johnson to find the endzone this weekend.
Atlanta at San Diego
- This game is one to watch; two great offenses, both with quarterbacks who are hungry to lead their team to a Super Bowl. Atlanta will be a little out of their element on the West Coast and far from the warm cozy dome they play so well in, yet Matt Ryan has matured into an elite talent and should have no problems in San Diego. The Chargers are facing a lethal passing attack that in a way mirrors the same explosive quick strike that they love to run. Both defenses could have sore necks from being twisted awkwardly as passes zip by their heads for big plays. Injuries are a concern for both teams, but shouldn’t play too much of a factor.
- Love the Matt Ryan to Roddy White Combo in this one.
- PPR sleeper: Jacquizz Rodgers
Tampa Bay at Dallas
- Love’em or hate’em, I respect the Cowboys. In fantasy football you need to recognize talent, and despite an off road game in Seattle last week I believe Dallas is about to gel and light up the score board for weeks to come. Tony Romo is ranked very high on my Fantasy Rankings board this week, I’m confident he can rack up at least 270 yards and 2 (possibly 3) TD’s on hometurf.
- There is not a lot of attention being directed at Dallas’s first home game of the year. I believe the noise and hype will give the Cowboys that extra gear to embarrass the Buc’s.
- Miles Austin has a touchdown in 5 out of his last 6 games dating back to last year.
- Rookie Doug Martin may have a quiet Sunday if the Buc’s get behind early.
NY Jets at Miami
- Mark Sanchez is facing a passing defense that has allowed 313.5 yards per game.
- The Dolphins have allowed more passing TDs (6) than any other team in the league.
- Brian Hartline is tied for 12th in the NFL for targets with 12.
- Dustin Keller is out of this game, so Sanchez may look more to his WR’s in the redzone.
San Francisco at Minnesota
- This Sunday match-up could be low scoring. The over/under is 42.5, but with two very solid run defenses, offensive rhythm could be stalled early and often.
- ADP is a tough start this Sunday, but you can’t bench him. That being said I can’t see him getting more than 70 yards and a possible TD, so dress him accordingly.
- Kendall Hunter is a guy I’m waiting to see more carries given to. If your league has a small bench, and he is on the waiver wire…pick him up.
- Michael Crabtree hasn’t found the endzone this season, but does have 16 targets, 13 rec for 143 yards in two games, not bad for a run-first team.
Kansas City at New Orleans
- Shoot out Alert! Both teams will run up the scoreboard, and I would consider upgrading all tier 2 and even tier 3 fantasy options. If your regulars are banged up or have bad match-ups, this is the game to look to.
Cincinnati at Washington
- Underrated value: Andrew Hawkins, with 12 targets, 10 rec, 142 yards, 1 TD.
- A lot of risky fantasy options on both side of the ball in this game, I would just stick to players like RG3, Dalton, and A.J. Green despite the fact that the Washington Redskins are scoring and allowing 30-plus points per game.
- Sleeper: Aldrick Robinson.
Detroit at Tennessee
- Giving up on CJ2K? check out this article first
- The Lions passing game has not been as explosive as fantasy owners had hoped. People are asking me if they should drop Titus Young on twitter (@GridironExperts) but it’s too early to panic. Good things are coming, and this game may be where it starts. The Titans have allowed 5 passing TD’s in 2 games and have a subpar secondary.
- The Titans have scored just 23 points, while giving up 72 points in their first two games.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
- Donald Brown is not a sexy fantasy option, but he will get his carries. I’m predicting 70 yards with a possible score.
- Andrew Luck is getting better by the game, he should be a regular fantasy starter but I can’t reccommend him just yet.
- Coby Fleener is the 10th most targeted TE in the NFL at this point (14).
- Laurent Robinson has 15 targets thus far; he is beginning to find a nice rythm with Blaine Gabbert.
Philadelphia at Arizona
- This game could be trouble. Banged up offensive lines sometimes get lucky with surprise backup players, but most of the time it results in false starts and blown coverage. Although, the Eagles have been all or nothing for years, so why is anything new this Sunday? Mike Vick will be running a little more than usual, his line will break down, but the speedy veteran will create plays…he always does. The problem is the risk-factor for fantasy football; with Maclin out I’m hesitant on certain fantasy options for this game
- Bench Larry Fitzgerald? What are you crazy? Arizona is on the verge of being 3-0, they will force the ball to Fitzgerald whenever they can. The Cardinals have more than a few receiving targets that are good enough to draw enough attention away from Fitzgerald long enough to expose the Eagles secondary. I’m predicting 4 catches, 65 yards, and a touchdown for Fitz.
- Is Kolb throwing footballs or cutting umbilical cords? Kevin Kolb‘s wife is about to pop, he may have to miss the game if she goes into early labor.
St. Louis at Chicago
- I secretly cheer for the Rams, and have a lot of respect for Jeff Fisher. I picked St. Louis to win last week, and wouldn’t be surprised if they played tough against the Bears. A close game will keep Jay Cutler in passing mode. Most fantasy owners are hoping for a Bears blowout, one that would allow Michael Bush to drain the clock with a ton of 4th quarter carries. I think Bush will be active regardless, but a close game should boost dilemma starters Jay Cutler’s and Rams Danny Amendola‘s value.
- Undervalued: Brandon Gibson: 9 Targets, 6 Rec, 104 yards, 2TD’s.
Houston at Denver
- This is the first true test for the Texans, and a difficult game to predict for Peyton Manning and his receiving corps. Houston has never won its opening 3 games in franchise history, but it’s positioned to do so. The Texans head to Denver No. 1 in the league in both total defense (196.0 yards per game) and scoring defense (8.5 points per game).
- The jersey may be different, but Peyton Manning and the Texans defense are very familiar with each other from his days in Indianapolis. This game could come down to who will budge more.
- The focus may be to commit heavily to shutting down the Texans run game; this could open things up for Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.
- Expect a predominantly defensive game, start fantasy options accordingly.
Pittsburgh at Oakland
- I’m picking the Raiders in a spoiler at home win with my Week 3 picks. The Steelers are a seasoned group that play well on the road, but the team is banged up and will be without some key defensive starts.
- Antonio Brown has been quiet thus far, although I’m starting him in my league this week and expect great things.
- Pittsburgh has rushed for just 141 yards the first two weeks of the season and averaged a pathetic 2.6 yards per carry.
- The zone-blocking scheme has been blamed for the Raiders problems running the ball. The team just needs to shake off the rust, and eventually Oakland will start to be more productive.
- Raiders have won two straight against the Steelers, including a 27-24 upset at Heinz Field during the 2009 season.
New England at Baltimore
- If the Patriots lose to the Ravens, they will have a losing record for the first time since being 0-1 in 2003.
- The Patriots have the advantage with their defensive line. Chandler Jones should be able to out-leverage LT Michael Oher, and Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love should dominate the interior. The Ravens have all the marks of an elite AFC team, but the Patriots are going to be a huge test.
- I’m predicting Wes Welker to step up and fill the role of injured Aaron Hernadez (aka Wes Welker 2.0).
- Stevan Ridley is the man, don’t hold back on starting him Sunday night.
- This will not be as much of a defensive battle as previous games. The over/under is 49.5.
Green Bay at Seattle
- Jordy Nelson was my huge prediction of the 2011 fantasy season, I had him in many leagues and he won me many weeks. This year the Packer-wideout is not getting his targets. The offensive line has been pestered by defenses, which has thrown a wrench into the deep passing attack.
- I expect a huge night from Marshawn Lynch; the Packers run defense is very vanilla.
- Start Jordy and Sit Jennings if you have better options.
- Aaron Rodgers owes his fantasy owners (me) a big game, lets see it!
Have a great Sunday!
Send me fantasy questions on twitter: @GridironExperts
Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 25 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had an outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike has three kids and lives on the West Coast. He’s happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.