Week 3 recap: Beyond the Box Score
- After watching the Baltimore Ravens get carved up by Peyton Manning in Week 1, who could have predicted that their defense would not allow an offensive touchdown the next two weeks? It just goes to show that you don't need to draft a defense in fantasy football, just play the matchups every week; there is always a good one on the wavier wire. For those who are in IDP leagues, Daryl Smith is about as solid as they get at the linebacker position. A long-time stud in Jacksonville, Smith had a team-high seven tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown in this game.
- Bernard Pierce was solid, yet unspectacular, starting in place of an injured Ray Rice, rushing for 65 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Pierce will remain a factor in the offense even when Rice returns, but will shoulder the entire workload until he does.
- Torrey Smith (five catches for 92 yards on a team-high nine targets) remains the only option fantasy owners can trust in the Ravens passing game. Popular wavier wire addition Marlon Brown was targeted only three times, catching two passes for only six yards.
- For the second straight game, Andre Johnson missed a stretch of action due to injury, this time with a bruised shin. Covering the game, Ben Standig reported a down Johnson said he would have an MRI on Monday, but remained uncertain about his status for Week 4 against Seattle.
New Orleans 31
- Jimmy Graham is the best tight end in the NFL. There isn't much else to take away from this game. We have seen this before from Robert Meachem, trust me, don't buy into him becoming a factor in this offense. If you look up fluke in the dictionary Meachem's picture will be there.
- Arizona never seemed to put anything together offensively. Alfonso Smith, not Rashard Mendenhall (nine carries for 29 yards) or Andre Ellington (three carries for 19 yards) punched in as goal-line touchdown to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead, but they would be shutout the rest of the way.
- After throwing two touchdowns in the season opener, Carson Palmer has tossed only one in the next two weeks, none against the Saints. No reason to dump him, no reason to use him in Week 4 against the Bucs.
- IDP owners who don't own Tyrann Mathieu (nine tackles and an interception) should look into acquiring his services. He is going to be a playmaker for a long time.
San Diego 17
- Jake Locker turned in an outstanding game for fantasy purposes throwing for 299 yards and a touchdown, while adding 68 yards and a score rushing. Nate Washington was Locker's favorite target, hauling in eight passes for 131 yards on 10 targets. Kendall Wright caught six passes for 71 yards, while Kenny Britt did not catch a pass on five targets. Washington and Wright are worth owning, but Britt is not worth holding onto any longer.
- Chris Johnson has rushed for at least 70 yards in each of the first three games this season, but has yet to find the end zone. Solid yet unspectacular.
- Eddie Royal's magical early season touchdown streak predictably came to an end, finishing with two catches for 34 yards.
- Danny Woodhead (one of my favorite PPR bench targets) turned in a nice game, rushing for 31 yards on five carries and caught seven of the eight passes thrown his way for 55 yards. Ronnie Brown scored a goal-line touchdown, which is a reminder to all Ryan Mathews owners that anytime the Chargers get near the goal line he won't be on the field.
- It was nice to see Antonio Gates (five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown) put together a nice game; he remains fantasy relevant at the tight end position in fantasy.
- Robert Griffin III wasn't the (fantasy) problem once again as he threw for 326 yards and one interception. Aldrick Robinson dropped what would have been a 57-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and the breaks just didn't go Washington's way.
There isn't a ton of fantasy takeaway from this game as Alfred Morris continues to produce at a high level on the ground. One player to target (especially in deeper formats) is rookie tight end Jordan Reed. With Fred Davis out, Reed caught five passes for 50 yards and had a touchdown the week before. He also suffered a quad contusion. Even when Davis comes back, Reed may hold onto the starting job. Reed has big upside and needs to be owned.
- Joique Bell turned in a solid effort in place of injured Reggie Bush, rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Bell also caught four passes for 69 yards. Bell is expected to remain in the mix even when Bush gets back on the field, which could be as soon as next weekend against division-rival Chicago.
- The Dolphins improved to 3-0, knocking off the injury depleted Falcons thanks to another solid effort from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who completed passes to nine different receivers. Lamar Miller got a majority of the carries - rushing for 62 yards on eight carries - while Daniel Thomas once again vulture a goal line touchdown. It is what it is.
- The Falcons filled the void left by the injury to Steven Jackson with a heavy dose of Jacquizz Rodgers (18 carries for 86 yards) and Jason Snelling (11 carries for 53 yards and four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown). Both players are worth owning and using until Jackson is back in the lineup. In case you weren't paying attention, Julio Jones has recorded back-to-back 100-yard games.
New York Jets 27
- Geno Smith made some nice throws and the result was a big victory for the New York Jets over Buffalo. Smith hooked up with veteran Santonio Holmes for a 69-yard game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter and finished with 331 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. Smith (who also ran for a touchdown) targeted Holmes 10 times, completing five of them for 154 yards and a score.
- Stephen Hill was also a big part of the Jets win, catching three passes for 108 yards including a 51-yard touchdown.
- Bilal Powell, not Chris Ivory was the standout on the ground for the Jets against one of the league's worst run defenses. Powell chewed up 149 yards on 27 carries, while Ivory had just four carries for five yards before exiting with a hamstring injury.
- C.J. Spiller (who lit up the Jets for 325 yards from scrimmage in two meetings last season) was a non-factor in this game, as he had more carries (10) than yards (nine) on the ground before leaving with a knee injury. It's too early to speculate, but if Spiller were to miss any time, Fred Jackson (seven carries for 72 yards and four catches for 37 yards against the Jets) becomes a nice plug in option for fantasy owners.
- Russell Wilson matched a career-high with four touchdown passes and sat out most of the second half as the Seahawks rolled to a victory over the offensively challenged Jacksonville Jaguars (that's putting it nicely) at home. Sidney Rice and Zach Miller caught a pair of touchdowns, while Doug Baldwin added a late 35-yard touchdown on a one-handed grab.
- Chad Henne was a disaster, completing just 18-of-38 passes while throwing a pair of interceptions (league-worst 6.1 QBR). The Jaguars, who scored just one offensive touchdown in the first two weeks and gave up 11 sacks, didn't score until Maurice Jones-Drew punched in a short touchdown in the third quarter to make it 31-7. Aside from MJD and Cecil Shorts (who managed to put up 143 yards receiving on eight catches on a ridiculous 15 targets), there is no reason to own or start any Jaguar.
San Francisco 7
- After looking like the best quarterback in the NFL in Week 1, Colin Kaepernick has turned in back-to-back duds (14 QBR in Week 2 and an 11.8 QBR in Week 3). If the Kaepernick owner in your league is panicking, the time to buy low is now. Jim Harbaugh is too good of a coach and Kaepernick is too good to continue to be this ineffective on offense and look the way they did against the Colts.
- Despite only two practices and a walkthrough, Trent Richardson saw plenty of action in his first game with the Colts, scoring a one-yard touchdown on his first carry and finishing with 35 yards on 13 carries. Ahmad Bradshaw showed some explosiveness and that he's not going anywhere if he's healthy, rushing for 95 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
- Andrew Luck only threw for 164 yards, but ran for a score as Reggie Wayne (five catches for 63 yards) was his most targeted wide out against a tough Niners defense. For some reason, Darrius Heyward-Bey continues to get targets (five catches for 59 yards) at the expense of T.Y. Hilton (two catches for 13 yards on four targets). It's hard to tell Hilton owners to remain patient, but greener pastures are ahead with matchups against Jacksonville, Seattle (maybe not), San Diego and Denver before the bye in Week 8.
- Really what can you say about the Pittsburgh Steelers offense? They are devoid of any playmakers in the passing game except for Antonio Brown (nine catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the loss), their running game is non-existent and the play calling makes no sense.
- Not a ton of yards for Jay Cutler (159 yards), but some effective football. Under new head coach Marc Trestman, he's not getting sacked a lot either