Quicker than Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing the wrong team or Kirk Herbstreit melting down at Taylor Lewan on Twitter, Week 3 was one to remember.
Packing in the points: The Lions game featured points aplenty with Marvin Jones topping the 200-yard mark with his first two scoring catches of the season establishing him as the team’s No. 1 receiver. In fact, currently Jones leads the NFL in receiving yards with 408 (yes it’s early) and almost 100 yards more than second-place Stefan Diggs of Minnesota.
While Golden Tate appears stuck in neutral or maybe struggling against other teams top cornerback, through three games Jones is averaging 136 yards a game. Interestingly enough, his eight targets by Matt Stafford was a season-low.
Speaking of Stafford, one might complain in real-world football conversations about a chunk of his production as empty catch-up stats, but his touchdown to interception ratio is 26/4 since Jim Bob Cooter’s promotion to OC. Just imagine if he had a running game.
Eddie Lacy showed signs of life with a 100-yard effort and when you look at the carnage of injuries with other 1st to 3rd round pedigree RBs, Lacy’s big game despite coming against a depleted Lions defense is encouraging, as is QB Aaron Rodgers’ strong showing.
The Mr. Consistency Award: Jordy Nelson leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns and is the only WR as of Sunday night to have scored all three weeks this season. While Randall Cobb has disappeared into milk carton material (and hasn’t looked right since 2014, really), Nelson’s connection to Rogers remains rock solid.
What we learned Week 3
Play LeGarrette Blount. No matter what. Something I’ve had to learn the hard way in my own league, is that no matter the quarterback or injuries, Blount seems to be the only constant in Tom Brady’s absence. He is the league’s leading rusher and is averaging about 100 yards a game and is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns with Melvin Gordon and Carlos Hyde. Just imagine how effective he could be once Brady comes back, he could stay in the top three among rushing TDs.
Hello Mr. Robinson. Finally Allen Robinson found the end zone. As a borderline first round pick this season, he had been brutal the first two weeks. The native Detroiter has still to hit the 80-yard mark, but it was nice to see production with the two scores - even though the Jaguars offense has just seemed off in the early going. If Blake Bortles is to get things on track, Robinson will have to play a larger role.
Ezekiel Elliot came close to a legendary Sunday night but owners are shaking their heads at what could have been. On the surface 140 yards on 30 carries is wonderful, but to get vulture by Dak Prescott, backup Alfred Morris and the final indignity, Lance Dunbar, is just tough to take.
Trevor Siemian might be starting to get it: A great outing for the Broncos QB who allowed for Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas to shine. It is time to dust off your Denver receivers, I might have been too hasty with my early season disgust at the rudimentary Denver passing game. I’m still not ready to canonize him yet or trust my Bronco receivers blindly. Skeptical with a chance for hope is my forecast.
The Rams are fantasy relevant: Todd Gurley owners have officially stepped off the ledge at this point. While the PTSD of the San Francisco Monday night nightmare may stick around a while, hope is not lost. It was refreshing to see Rams touchdowns scored for the first time and the fact that Gurley, despite averaging 3 yards a carry, scored twice, is a great sign. Consistency might be elusive due to the offensive “talent” surrounding him, but stick with it and have some faith.
Garbage time is the best (unless you’re on the other side of the box score) sincerely, Carlos Hyde, Doug Baldwin, Antonio Brown.
The biggest running game messes that are too tough to figure out or not worth it:
1 The Ravens. In the immortal word of Keanu Reeves: “Whoah.” Justin Forsett was supposed to be the guy, Kenneth Dixon showed preseason promise and got hurt and now Terrance West seems to be getting more carries. Keep an eye on Dixon when he returns to health, but for the most part – there’s nothing to see here.
2 The Dolphins. I may have been wrong on Kenyan Drake, but I reserve the right to more than one week for analysis of that after suggesting to pick him up. Drake got more work, but Jay Ajaye got the OT TD. He is still the same guy who got left behind – on purpose – for the opening week game on the road and has done little to impress. Arian Foster is decent as a third RB or flex, but count the minutes he’s healthy as borrowed time.
3 Eagles. Too many cooks in the kitchen, at least for now, pass. Despite the gigantic RB rotation the exception here, is Darren Sproles who’s really more of a receiver at this point (see below).
Pick these guys up:
Terrelle Pryor, Browns – Without knowing Corey Coleman would be injured in practice as of last week’s writing, no matter how bad a QB situation is, a No. 1 receiver is almost always a value. What increases Pryor’s possibilities is his opportunity to moonlight at quarterback and pass or run in touchdowns as the Browns throw anything at the wall hoping for it to stick.
Darren Sproles, Eagles: A lukewarm endorsement. Yes the Eagles backfield is a mess with multiple entries and a supposed starter in Ryan Mathews nowhere to be found Sunday. But if you are in a PPR or looking a prospective flex play especially once the byes begin, Sproles will is primed for a big role on this offense. When Doug Pederson was the OC in KC, Dexter McCluster fulfilled a similar role and Sproles is 10 times better.
Phillip Dorsett, Colts – Don’t let Sunday’s poor showing dissuade you, Donte Moncrief’s shoulder injury means more targets for everyone else, including Dorsett.
Jordan Howard, Bears – This is obviously tied to the health status of Jeremy Langford who was injured Sunday night. Jump all over Howard if he is available. Kadeem Carey is hardly a factor here, doing little the previous two years to establish himself. Howard is a bigger more physical rusher. He’s a rookie with upside and a chance to start, which means he is stashable.
Orleans Darkwa, Giants – There’s a panning for gold element here, sure. But it would not hurt to stash a young promising RB from a good team that has a 30-year-old starter in Rashad Jennings who has spent half his career on the injured list, it seems. The only other threat is Shane Vereen who is and always will be, a third down back who is also injury prone.
About the Author:
David Komer is a web producer/multimedia journalist for FOX 2. He is a former fantasy sports columnist for SportsIllustrated.com where he wrote for three years and he has won more than 20 Michigan Press Association awards in news and sports coverage in his career.