Week 3 delivered a real feast or famine week as we saw huge numbers roll in from some usual suspects and some guys we didn't necessarily expect it from. You probably needed to have one or two of those big performances to have a shot at winning your matchup this week. With all the big time numbers put up on the stat sheet, let's hear your best performance in the comments. Personally, one of my teams enjoyed a big day from the Matt Ryan to Julio Jones combination with Steve Smith Sr. going old school, leading the way with his monster performance from my WR3 slot. I love it when a plan comes together.
- If you're having Tony Romo or Ben Roethlisberger problems, I hope you've considered Tyrod Taylor. We're only 3 games into the season and he's already made multiple mentions in this column. He's still widely available, has legit weapons, can earn it with his legs when needed, and is improving each week. The thinking on the Bills before the year painted this offense as a "ground and pound" team that was going to rely on its killer defense to win games. However, that offensive line lacks topflight talent and LeSean McCoy has struggled to stay healthy. Taylor may be the salve to your QB injury woes if he's still out there.
- If you have Andy Dalton and you started him yesterday, please take your victory lap in the comments section. However, as you're running that lap, please explain to the class what your other options were. Dalton's reputation and performance in the playoffs notwithstanding, he's a legitimate starting QB in the NFL with the occasional splash game potential. Despite his hot start, I wouldn't give him the set and forget status. If you have Dalton as a backup, I'd try and target the owner struggling from a Romo / Roethlisberger injury and see if you can package a trade. Dalton has Kansas City, Seattle, and Buffalo his next 3 games - his value likely won't be any higher than right now.
- Is Andrew Luck broken? A consensus top 2 QB in fantasy drafts, Luck hasn't eclipsed 300 yards and has a 5:7 TD to INT ratio. I was willing to look the other way against Buffalo and the Jets, but against the Titans I have greater concerns. Luck has been getting a free pass on his turnovers since he entered the league because of all the other great things he's been able to do but they're catching up with him this year. If he doesn't light Jacksonville on fire next week, it might be time to evaluate your roster and see if someone is still willing to pay close to draft day prices.
- Tom Brady had a down week - only 358 yards and 2 TD as his running backs poached 4 TD runs. Such a rough life with Tom Brady as your QB...
- Last year, it was frustrating to see the Falcons hand the ball off to Steven Jackson so that he could plow into the line and fall over for a 2 yard gain when Devonta Freeman looked like he was shot out of a cannon. This year, the Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman, who has the look of an every down back, and it looked like a pure timeshare situation with Coleman in the driver seat. Yesterday we got a full dose of Freeman and anyone fortunate enough to stick with the second year back was rewarded with 30 carries for 141 yards and 3 TDs. He even chipped in 5 catches for 52 yards in the passing game. Don't expect that kind of epic performance again, but hopefully this new coaching staff continues to give him the ball.
- It appears my Chris Johnson recommendation was a week premature as CJ2K logged 22 carries for 110 yards, 2 TDs, and a 40 yard reception. As long as Andre Ellington is sidelines, Johnson will be the lead back as Bruce Arians likes to lean heavily on veterans.
- That Alfred Blue game (31-139-1) was so obvious I forgot to mention it last week... I missed that one in the column because I missed it in my league - he was widely available as a feature back going against the Bucs. That should've been a clear signal to the masses but he's only 23% owned in Yahoo! leagues right now. Foster should be back soon so we likely missed the usable window.
- I thought Karlos Williams of the Bills was just a touchdown vulture but he took over for an injured / ineffective LeSean McCoy and took the work seriously, turning 12 carries into 110 yards and a TD. If you're a McCoy owner, this should be your priority add of the week. If you're betting against McCoy playing next week, this is a cheap way to get a high potential starting RB for the short run.
- AJ Green and Julio Jones will always be connected as they were both taken in that amazing 2011 NFL Draft (JJ Watt went 11th, Richard Sherman in the 5th round...). Green delivered 227 yards on only 10 catches while it took 12 receptions (on 20 targets!) for Julio to get 164. They both took 2 trips to the end zone. AJ needs to keep this up though if he wants to be in this conversation as Julio has already recorded 440 yards and 4 scores. It's a fool's errand to project this early, but this could be the year we see a 2000 yard receiver.
- If someone can explain Keenan Allen's year so far, please let me know. 17 targets in week 1, 4 in week 2, 18 in week 3. Allen is a PPR monster when it's going well, and it did against the Vikings. We'll see if Joe Haden can shut him down next week and establish an odd / even week trend.
- The Larry Fitzgerald "I ‘aint dead yet" tour continues rolling along with another 134 yards and 2 scores. As long as Palmer is healthy, he knows where to butter his bread. Keep rolling with Fitzgerald who, may we remind ourselves, will be in the Hall of Fame and looks hungry for a title. He's one of those guys that most of us can cheer for despite our affiliation and it's great to see this early success.
- Hat tip to the other target monsters this week - Mike Evans and the aforementioned Steve Smith Sr. with 17 each. Evans could only haul in 7 of his targets for 101 but those are promising numbers that should improve as the connection grows between Winston and Evans.
- There are two semi-recent trades that I have a hard time getting over as a Bears fan. One of them was the Greg Olsen trade to the Panthers. Happy to see him doing well as we all liked him when he was here. He served as the primary target for Cam Newton with 134 yards and 2 end zone visits.
- The good news for Jimmy Graham owners was that he found the end zone and put up a good line. The bad news is that it was against a porous Bears defense and it just didn't look natural. The game plan to get the ball to Graham looked forced and it appears that it may take a longer than expected for Graham to assimilate into the offense. His talent is proven but his floor and ceiling in this offense are undetermined.
- Rob Gronkowski did not score a TD this week. That news is so rare, I thought it was worth reporting.
- Matt Forte - 20 carries for 74 yards, 0 catches, 0 TDs. A brutal day all around and those 74 yards were all well-earned against a defense focused on stopping Forte. The hard to grasp statistic is that Forte outgained the passing attack... This will almost certainly be the toughest matchup he'll face and I expect him to get back on track next week against the Raiders.
- Martellus Bennett - Bennett led the team in targets (5), receptions (4), but only had 15 yards. It was always a bad idea to start him this week but this was a truly terrible result.
- Jay Cutler & Alshon Jeffery - Injured and did not play. Hopefully we'll get Alshon back soon. Alshon is in his final year of his rookie deal and I'd like to see him perform well for the new bosses and get an extension. That's tough to do if he's on the sidelines all the time. He's getting to the point where he's battled injuries too often.