Departure From Fantasy Island ( Week 3 Thoughts)

By Steve D   (Note: Click the underlined links)

To open things up this week former Raiders Quarterback George Blanda passed away today at the age of 83. Blanda was also a kicker for many years. Blanda was Favre like in that he played until he was 48 years old and also led the league in interceptions until Favre broke his record in 2007. Blanda holds the record for most seasons played at 26. Blanda still holds the record for most points ever scored in the NFL with his passing TD’s combined with his kicking points. In 1999, Blanda was ranked number 98 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. Blanda was elected to the hall of fame in 1981 in his first year of eligibility. George Blanda  was regarded as the first EVER pick in Fantasy Football when the game started back in 1962. Pretty much it all started with Blanda. RIP George Blanda NFL Great.

We are now through 3 weeks and this season is already flying by. Most of the games went as expected besides the Redskins losing to the Rams the Chargers losing to the Seahawks and the Saints losing at home to the Falcons after Saints kicker Garret Hartley missed a 29 yard FG late that would have sealed it for the Saints.

Week 3 was also filled with some scary injuries to some very important players. Jahvid Best left early, Steven Jackson and Ray Rice also left the game. Fortunately for all of them their injuries aren’t considered to be serious. Best has Turf Toe which can be lingering however and I remember back in the 90’s it was injury that Kept Deion Sanders out for weeks. However Best said he expects to play this week. Ray Rice only has a Knee contusion but again could miss this week although that should be it. Steven Jackson initially feared he could have a groin tear but it was only a little strain and is not considered serious. All 3 of these guys are at tops looking at missing 1-2 games but no more than that. They all could easily play this week but of course monitor their status.

The 1 O’clocks

Titans at Giants

Giants pretty much kicked themselves in the foot in Week 3 with multiple turnovers in the redzone. From a fantasy standpoint nothing really changed in this game. Chris Johnson was being slowed by the Giants D but eventually after 32 carries got over the century mark and hit the endzone twice. Vince Young is being used more as a Game Manager right now but still had an efficient game and didn’t turn the ball over. Kenny Britt finally scored and should be owned in Keeper leagues but it appears these Titans wideouts are going to be inconsistent over the course of the year unless Vince Young starts to step it up. He needs to stop sitting in that pocket so much and become the playmaker he used to be.

Ahmad Bradshaw should remain the man in the Giants backfield as Brandon Jacobs appears to officially be in Coughlin’s doghouse with only 4 carries on Sunday. Eli Manning threw for 300 again but still makes bone headed mistakes from time to time. Steve Smith finally hit the century mark with 9 catches for 105 yards. His touchdowns will remain low but he should be fine for PPR leagues. It looks like all Giants wideouts should be owned right now with Nicks and Smith probably swapping who has the most productive game each week with Mario Manningham finishing behind them while putting up around 50 yards each week.

Bengals at Panthers

Steve Smith was seen barking at Jimmy Claussen because obviously Smith is an emotional guy who wants the ball. It’s not gonna be easy with this rookie QB as Smith finished with only 3 catches for 22 yards. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Matt Moore return at QB as brutal as he’s been. Until then, Steve Smith could have some games like this every once in a while especially when the run game struggles like it did again Sunday.

DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart continue to struggle as both again were held under 100 yards rushing. As long as this passing game is struggling to move the ball this Run game will remain inconsistent. They really need Tackle Jeff Otah back as well. However, The Bengals are no slouch defense so once Carolina starts getting some easier matchups (TB) DeAngelo and Stewart should fare better. Also it really made no sense to throw the ball 33 times and only run it 18 with Claussen being under center and the running game being the strength. Look for Carolina to run it a lot more next Sunday. DeAngelo Williams could represent a nice buy-low candidate right now.

This was supposed to be a good matchup for Carson Palmer and his Batman and Robin combo of Terrell Owens and Ocho Cinco. However Palmer only threw one TD (to Cedric Benson) and was held under 200 yards passing. Palmer was throwing terrible passes and looked to have “happy feet”. He just hasn’t been the same since his knee injury. He will however, have some big games here and there but will also have weeks like this and remain inconsistent. There is a possibility though, that Palmer stops being the Joker of the offense and starts delivering the ball to Batman and Robin in a bigger way. Rookie Tight End Jermaine Gresham had another decent game with 4 catches and 59 yards but will be off and on each week as well because Palmer wants to keep Ocho and T.O happy.

Cedric Benson had 27 carries after complaining the Bengals were too “Pass happy” but only finished with 81 yards although he had a rushing TD, as well as his first ever receiving TD. Now is the time to try to move Benson as he is only averaging 3.1 ypc and Benard Scott as stated by Marvin Lewis will start to see a bigger and bigger role because of his talent.

Pittsburgh at TB

Tampa Bay was simply a pretender at 2-0. The Pittsburgh defense went in there and just terrorized the Bucs and Josh Freeman. Cadillac Williams is shot at this point and it looks like Legarrette Blount will start to see more carries going forward. He’s worth a waiver pickup as Blount has great size and is pretty shifty.

Rashad Mendenhall went nuts with 143 yards rushing and a TD. When Big Ben comes back Mendenhall is really going to shine as the offense will open up for him. Mike Wallace had a big game going for 100 yards and two TD’s and that was with Charlie Batch. He may be on your waiver wire so go grab him because when Ben comes back his value goes up nicely as well.

Bills at Pats

Finally a C.J. Spiller sighting as Spiller had a TD catch and a 95 yard kickoff return. He finished with 4 carries for 29 yards (7 ypc) and 3 catches for 10 yards. Hopefully the Bills will realize that they need to put the ball in his hands more and more. Marshawn Lynch should remain a hinder to Spiller’s development unless he is traded before week 6. Lynch finished with 13 carries and 79 yards. Just make sure you hold onto Spiller especially in keeper leagues because he will be one of the best players in this league in a couple of years and should have some nice games this year. It’s looking more and more like Fred Jackson (4 carries 8 yards) is going to be phased out, will see, you never know with the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick (247 yards 2 TD’s) played pretty well taking over for the now released Trent Edwards and he could make Lee Evans (5 catches 54 yards) somewhat meaningful.

Tom Brady continues to look Aaron Hernandez’s way ( 6 catches 65 yards-led the team in yards and receptions), although Rob Gronkowski looks like the better bet in the Redzone as he caught a TD. Both guys are worth owning. Wes Welker was quiet with only 4 catches for 45 yards but remains fine because Brady Loves him like his Justin Beiber haircut.

I would still avoid the Pats backfield situation. This week it was BenJarvus Green-Ellis leading the way with 16 carries for 98 yards and a TD but next week it will be Fred Taylor then after that it will be Sammy Morris then after that it will be Danny Woodhead then after that it will be my Aunt Lucie, then after that it will be Rich the Garbage Man, Then after then it will be Harry the Florist then after that it will be Chuck the Bum who hangs out at the Quickcheck and finally got his chance to play in the NFL after leading his highschool in rushing back in 1977. You get the point.

Browns at Ravens

It looks like it’s all over for Jerome Harrison right now as Peyton Hillis went completely nuts vs a tough Baltimore Defense. Hills rushed for 144 yards and a TD on 22 carries and finished with 7 catches for 36 yards. With that, Eric Mangini said that Hillis would now be the clear #1 back going forward. You can forget about James Davis and it looks like Harrison will only come back in a limited role at this point. However, remember a lot of Hillis’ success much like Harrison last year is based on Cleveland having a solid run blocking line so hang onto Harrison because he could see the same success at some point this year. Pretty simple, I will not give up on my boy Jerome Harrison and you shouldn’t either!

Yet another disappointing game for Ray Rice. Rice did have 96 yards on 19 touches but again went without a TD and hasn’t scored yet this year. Also he left the game early with an apparent Knee sprain. However everything came back fine and it looks like it’s just significant Knee contusion. Rice is day-to-day and will be questionable this week against Pittsburgh. If Rice plays you may want to explore other options because of his injury and of course of Pitt’s D. Remember, Rice broke out after week 4 last year and I expect him to do that again. If you’re not a Rice owner go see if you can snag him up for good value this week.

On the other hand Anquan Boldin had his coming out party as he went for 3 TD’s against Cleveland and finished with 8 catches for 142 yards. Flacco will have some iffy games here and there but Boldin is in for a solid season finally being the #1 wideout after years of slightly taking a backseat to Larry Fitzgerald. When healthy Todd Heap will continue to be a fairly solid play each week. Derrick Mason had only 3 catches for 30 yards . 8 of the last 9 years Mason has finished with 1,000 yards that run is over now with the presences of Boldin.

49ers at Chiefs

Holy Kansas City Chiefs! Now 3-0 and they gotta be one of the toughest teams to play at home. Also heard that Charlie Weiss delayed his emergency Gall Bladder surgery so he could be at the game. Now that is love and dedication, Wow!  But from a fantasy standpoint it was pretty much the usual for the Chiefs although a little bit different.

Jamal Charles finished with 15 touches with 157 yards but was without a score. That was left to Thomas Jones who also had a good game with 19 carries for 95 yards and a TD. Charles only had 12 carries but averaged 8 yards a carry and it’s crazy how much talent this guy has. I really hope the Chiefs realized by now  that they need to get him the ball more so look for Charles to average about 15-20 touches per game going forward. Go trade for him while you still can.

Matt Cassell easily had his best game this season as he finished with 250 yards and 3 TD’s. There was a Dwayne Bowe sighting finally this week as he caught a 45 yard TD but only finished with 2 catches for 61 yards. Also his TD came on a fake Dexter Mcluster reverse which left Bowe open in the endzone. Bowe is talented but it looks like Cassel’s favorite target is Tony Moeaki who had an insane TD catch. We told you to go get Moeaki hopefully you listened. Moeaki!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Dexter McCluster created two TD’s this week. One from that Fake Reverse which he lateraled back to Cassell and the other on the little screen pass he got from Cassell that he took for a TD personally. McCluster could prove to be a decent 2nd Flex play in PPR leagues but most likely will be inconsistent week to week. Still he is extremely talented and they will find ways to work him in the gameplan. If Thomas Jones were or Charles were to get injured , God Forbid, McCluster would have receive a huge boost.  Man never thought I would have so much to say about Kansas City but hey they are a talented bunch.

Frank Gore was shutdown in the ground game (15 carries 43 yards 2.9 Ypc) against the emerging Chiefs Run defense but finished with 9 catches for 102 yards to make up for it. Alex Smith reverted back to his old ways this week as he looked confused again. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree as a result were both held to 3 catches for under 50 yards with no scores. Also because the 49ers rank 31st in offense offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye was fired today. Quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson takes over. The move should help, will see. The biggest winner could be Crabtree. BTW 49ers lost 31-10 so obviously there are some problems with this team right now.

Cowboys at Texans

Our resident Cowboy expert Mike D, predicted a Cowboy win and the Boyz won 27-13 in what was a must win coming in at 0-2. The Cowboys won the game with defense as they harassed Matt Schaub (241 yards 1 TD 2 Int’s) and contained Andre Johnson (6-64). Arian Foster went over 100 yards but failed to reach the paydirt. Kevin Walter disappeared all game until the last two minutes when he caught a cheapy TD. He will most definitely put up some turrible games this year but for now he has been solid. Owen Daniels (3 catches 27 yards) continues to struggle coming back from the ACL injury.

The Cowboys got back to a more balanced approach this week and their offense was more efficient because of it. Marion Barber received 17 carries that went for 55 yards and score and Felix Jones got 7 carries that went for 43 yards. Barber is not gonna be a big yardage guy but he could easily get 10-12 TD’s this year. Jones will have some nice games but is looking like a low-end flex play. Miles Austin had only 2 catches for 20 yards but he will be fine.  They gameplanned against him heavily and it opened up things for Roy Williams who had a great game finishing with 5 catches for 117 yards and Two TD’s. Dez Bryant is slowly getting accustomed but he’s in line for some big games. He had a TD called back due to penalty. Jason Witten might only see 1-2 TD’s again this year and isn’t as good as he used to be but is still is solid in PPR leagues.

Lions at Vikings

Adrian Peterson is coming for the #1 RB crown again. Peterson went over 100 again this week finishing with 160 and Two TD’s rushing. Visante Shiancoe was quiet (1-10)but that’s because he left the game due to injury. Brett Favre is still not yet there but the bye week this week should help and eventually he should get going. Percy Harvin (6-60-1TD)will continue to be his #1 wideout until Sidney Rice returns or pending a Trade for Vincent Jackson before week 6. No other wideout is worth owning as of now.

Calvin Johnson is not delivering for his owners like they had hoped. He hasn’t had a 100 yard game yet and has only 1 TD. It’s hurting him that Matthew Stafford and him aren’t getting to develop a chemistry. Megatron will have some big games this year but he will also have some games where he doesn’t do much because defenses put so much focus on him. Overall, the results should be positive. If Jahvid Best is out with his turf toe for an extended period of time of course that will not help Megatron. Will see if Best plays this week but Turf toe’s can linger.

Falcons at Saints

The Matt Ryan to Roddy White connection will probably prove to be the most consistent and effective connection in the league. Roddy White is just a receiving machine. White has 25 catches for 258 yards and 2 TD’s already this season. Tony Gonzalez finally showed up with a 100 yard game and a TD. Also so much for Michael Turner’s groin injury as he went for 30 carries for 114 yards and a TD. When the Atlanta offense clicks like this they are easily one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. Michael Turner’s durability however remains a ? mark. Make sure to hold onto Jason Snelling.

The Saints looked a little less fluid without the presence of Reggie Bush but Brees still threw for 365 yards with 3 TD’s although he had two picks. Still Pierre Thomas was slow in the run game (9 carries for 30 yards) but finished with 90 total yards and had 6 catches. Once again in the absence of Reggie Bush, Lance Moore (6-149-2 Td’s) emerged. Moore is talented and Brees loves to throw to him. He easily could surpass Marques Colston (4-25) as the #1 option on this team. Jeremy Shockey also had a solid game going for 8 catches for 78 yards and score.  Like Moore, Maybe he sees more targets as a result of Bush being out. BTW go out and get a new kicker Garrett Hartley is bugging out right now. This is a prime example of why you never spend more than a dollar on a kicker. Oh wait I spent $2 on Hartley! Wowwwwwwwwwwww Never again!!! A rarity for me to spend $2.

The 4 O’clocks

Washington at St. Louis

This is also another reason why not to bet on Football. The Skins went out and not only didn’t cover against St. Louis they flat-out lost and by Two TD’s at that losing 30-16. Donovan Mcnabb (252 1 TD)will put up yards each week but he won’t throw a ton of TD’s. Still a nice QB to own while he continues to hit the talented Santana Moss. Moss, (6-124 1 TD) is going to be a nice WR this season. Props to you if you drafted him this year, I know I liked him coming in. He and Mcnabb have a nice chemistry going. Chris Cooley (5-54) is the other guy who will continue to produce with Mcnabb.

All week we thought Keiland Williams would be the #2 behind Clinton Portis, Mike Shanahan even complemented Williams on his talent. However, Ryan Torain the ex-Bronco was the back to see the carries with Portis. Torain is also listed 2nd on the depth chart so go grab him because remember Clinton Portis isn’t the most durable back.

Sam Bradford got his 1st career win Sunday and although he may not get many this season the kid has a bright future ahead of him. He and Mark Clayton continue to share a nice rapport. Clayton finished with 5 catches for 85 yards and it really looks like he is going to be a nice, consistent wideout each week. Steven Jackson finally saw the endzone after a nice 42 yard TD run. It’ s just too bad he ended up getting hurt and leaving the game early with a groin injury. Jackson is day 2 day but will be questionable for this weekend. Jackson runs with so much force and is so relied upon by the Rams that injuries could be a problem for him all year, he was already battling a knee injury. You may want to move him.

Eagles at Jaguars

It was the Michael Vick show once again this Sunday as Vick absolutely went off against Jacksonville throwing for 291 yards with 3 TD’s throwing and 1 rushing. Jacksonville’s defense stinks but Vick is still putting balls on the money and is using his legs. However Vick has seen back to back nice matchups with Detroit and Jacksonville and things don’t get easier as his schedule toughens ahead. Following this week against the Redskins if you have good QB depth or a solid starter already you may want to move Vick while his value is at its peak. Only do this if you have another Solid QB on your team and you have a glaring weakness at RB/WR/TE.Vick is a household name and has played excellent so he should garner up some nice interest from fellow owners. For example, I have Aaron Rodgers in one of my leagues and have Vick on the bench. I am going to push Vick hard this week while I look to improve my RB/WR situation. I will let you know how it goes. I’m not saying Vick is going to suck going forward but if fits your team and you can trade him do it now because his value won’t get any higher.

While Vick is in there Desean Jackson (5-153-1TD) and Jeremy Maclin (4-83-2 TD’s) will continue to produce as they are perfect wideouts for Vick. They have the speed to catch his lead passes and will get open while Vick creates time with his feet. Brent Celek should continue to improve and he will be Vick’s main target in some games when they face tougher defenses and Vick has less time to throw.

It’s official David Garrard is completely lost right now. 13/30 for 105 yards 0 TD’s and a pick? He is killing Maurice Jones Drew right now. Drew has yet to see a 100 yard game this season and hasn’t even reached the endzone. Jones-Drew isn’t even his PPR beastly self either. There is some concern because Garrard is so brutal right now and Jones-Drew’s knee could be bothering him more than he is letting on. Still, no matter what we have to remain patient with Jones-Drew. Garrard should see better games ahead which will help MJD get into the endzone. Mike Sims-Welker is also suffering as result of Garrard’s horribleness. The Jaguars are just a pathetic team right now on both sides of the ball.

Colts at Broncos

Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark nuff said. Wait, Wait I can’t forget about Austin Collie who is turning into Brandon Stokley on Steroids this year. Collie finished with an unreal 12 catches for 171 yards and Two TD’s. To think , I thought my one boy was crazy when he spent $16 bucks on Collie in our Auction, man I was wrong. Peyton Manning simply loves this guy like Rex Ryan likes Yodels at 2am.

Man just when I thought I had this Broncos wideout situation figured out they go out and mess me all up. Jabar Gaffney came back from the dead after a 2 catch performance last week to go off for 12 catches and 140 yards. Also Brandon Lloyd was zombie like as he went for 6 catches and 169 yards and a TD. What the hell happened to Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas this week? Royal after two consistent weeks did next to nothing and Thomas was held to 40 yards. Still I am going to go with my gut here and say that Royal will be the most productive wideout in this offense this year. I mean Brandon Lloyd and Gaffney have been in the league for years and have never done anything impressive so I will bet against them. I will take Royal #1 then either Lloyd or Thomas finishing as the #2 producer. Will see how it pans out but this is one of the examples why Fantasy Football is so hard to predict sometimes. Meanwhile the biggest winner in all of this is Kyle Orton who threw for 476 yards this week, Wow! Orton is turning into a stud fantasy QB all of a sudden.

Knowshon Moreno needs to come back soon because Lawrence Maroney stinks and Correll Buckhalter has seen one to many surgeries.

Raiders at Cardinals

Darren Mcfadden produced once again as the workhorse of the Raiders offense going for 105 yards on 25 carries and a TD. I still don’t think Mcfadden is this good and is an injury risk but as long as he continues to get this many carries he should be Ok for the most part. He did play the Rams and Cardinals the last two weeks though, and I think he will definitely have some games where he disappears. I still would trade him if you can for a more proven back.

Bruce Gradkowski is making Louis Murphy (5-119)relevant and he’s probably the only Raiders wideout that is worth owning in the long run. Zach Miller also had a good game going for 64 yards on 4 catches with a score.

Still am wondering what Ken Whisenhunt was thinking when he just cut Matt Leinart and decided to Bank the season on the horribleness of Derek Anderson. Anderson will continue to hurt Larry Fitzgerald’s value this year (2-26 1 TD). Beanie Wells finally returned this week and outproduced Tim Hightower on the ground. Beanie went for 75 yards on 14 carries while Hightower went for 40 yards on 11. Expect the Cardinals to take a heavy-run approach in the coming weeks because Anderson is just so so bad.

Chargers at Seahawks

Even though the Seahawks won this game I do not want to own any of their players. Well maybe Seattle D because of Leon Washington (2 kick returns for TD’s.) but that’s about it. Nothing to comment on here, just avoid these guys like a 4am 7/11 Burrito.

How did the Chargers lose this game? Leon Washington. Phillip Rivers didn’t have a great day throwing two picks but he finished up solid throwing for 455 yards with two TD’s. This remains a past first offense even with the absence of Vincent Jackson. Antonio Gates Beast. Malcolm Floyd (6-97 1 TD) not Legedue Naanee is emerging as the top option at the Wide Receiver position for San Diego.

Ryan Matthews might be back this week and look for him to get 20 carries possibly but only if he’s fully healthy. Still I expect him to sit one more week with that Ankle Sprain. Mike Tolbert really didn’t impress that much this week (17-73 with a fumble). To be fair though Tolbert started out horrible but got better as the game went on.

Jets at Dolphins- Sunday Night

Chad Henne looked good throwing some nice passes throughout the game. I really didn’t expect him to play that well. He ended up throwing for 363 yards with 2 TD’s and 1 Int. It was good to finally see him connect with Brandon Marshall (10-166-1 TD) in a big way. Great sign for Marshall owners going forward. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams were shut down again but they were facing yet another tough run D. Better days are ahead but this Offense is going to focus more on the pass than ever with Henne and Marshall.

The Sanchize returned this week again after showing up last week against the Pats. Mark Sanchez had an impressive game throwing for 256 yards with 3 TD’s. Sanchez has such a nice bounce and delivery. He is turning into a nice reliable option at QB. Dustin Keller had an even bigger game this week than last finishing with 6 catches for 98 yards and two TD’s. Him and Sanchez are looking very nice together.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that L.T. is for real this year and that he is the #1 back on this team not Shonn Greene. Ladainian, finally healthy to start the season looks revived and continues to produce (15-71-1TD). Shonn Greene will remain in the mix but he needs to start playing better as he looks to look more and more like a low-end flex play. I still think over the course of the season he will get better however and have some nice games. I’m not giving up hope on him.

Braylon Edwards was benched the entire 1st quarter but came back in for the start of the 2nd. He caught two passes one that went for a 67 yard TD after Jason Allen slipped trying to make the tackle. With Sanchez playing better Braylon should remain a factor especially around the redzone. A suspension is possible in the future with his DWI however.

Monday Night Football

Packers at Bears

Aaron Rodgers is good. Watching him run and make plays with his feet it makes me wonder why the Heck Vince Young doesn’t run the ball more. He loves to sit in the pocket now. It’s like his little cacoon now. Anyway Rodgers is very good that’s all I have to say. Jermichael Finley I underestimated this year. He’s talented but having Aaron Rodgers makes for all the difference. Donald Driver continues to produce with 9 more catches tonight. Looks like Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn are in for a clean time share. Neither back is talented but with the right matchup are decent flex plays.

Jay Cutler threw 4 picks 1 that counted and 3 that came back due to penalties. Actually 2 were penalties one of the Int’s was called an incomplete pass as they ruled the packers defender not sure who it was dropped the INT. However it clearly looked like he had the pick and then fumbled it away but the Packers looked to recover the ball. There was no challenge from Mike Mcarthy and there was no mentioning of the play or replay by Espn. Even now I still can’t find a highlight of it. It really looked like a INT to me. Can’t believe nobody said a peep. Anyway Cutler was OK overall hitting Greg Olsen for his only TD pass of the night. Cutler will remain inconsistent because he stills throws of his backfoot way too much and tries to make difficult throws often. Still is a good QB to own in Fantasy Football unless your heavily penalized for Int’s because more of those are bound to be coming. Tonight he dodged a couple of bullets.

Matt Forte did nothing tonight finishing with only 13 touches for 43 yards. He will be a disappointment overall again. Johnny Knox will put up around 6 catches for 60-80 yards each week but his TD’s will be lacking. Bears are now 3-0 after tonight but I see rough seas ahead for them. They should have lost tonight.

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