NFL Week 3 Recap

49ers v. Bengals: Yawn. Unless you owned Vernon Davis (8 for 114), you got nothing out of this game. Seriously. No TD passes, and only 1 rushing TD, courtesy of Kendall Hunter, Frank Gore’s backup.  Too early to label Frankie a bust?

Panthers v. Jaguars: In the battle of the 90s-expansion-feral-cat-mascot teams, there were not very many fantasy winners. MJD had his typical day (167 total yards), Mike Thomas caught a TD (4 for 55), and Greg Olsen was useful (7 for 57, TD), but no one else was worthy of a fantasy start; Cam Newton came back down to earth with only 158 yards passing.

Lions v. Vikings: Ah, here’s a game with some fantasy studs. Matt Stafford was great again (378, 2 TDs); if you drafted him late as a QB 1, congrats, you are probably near the top of your league. Many Detroit receivers thus had great days as well: CJ was god-like (7 for 108, 2 TDs), Brandon Pettigrew played and played well (11 for 112), and Jahvid Best salvaged his poor rushing day with a fine receiving performance (5 for 74); even Titus Young, my deep league waiver pick, was respectable (4 for 51). For the Vikes, AP was solid (78 rushing, TD), McNabb didn’t embarrass himself (211, TD), and Michael Jenkins led the receiving corps (9 for 88).

Broncos v. Titans: Chris Johnson owners are ner-vous, and likely open to trade talks after his latest dud: just 21 yards rushing, with 54 receiving, making his day somewhat tolerable. Matt Hasselbeck continues to surprise (311, 2 TDs), and Nate Washington (8 for 92, TD; waiver pick!) took over the primary receiving duties after Kenny Britt went down with a serious knee injury, possibly of the dreaded torn ACL/MCL variety (own him in 2 leagues, he was developing into a monster – damn). For Denver, Kyle Orton (173, 2 TDs) is the extent of the fantasy news.

Dolphins v. Browns: Not much to report here: Daniel Thomas (95 rushing, 27 receiving, TD) looks like the lead back for the Fins going forward, as he also got the majority of the carries compared to Reggie Bush – 23 to 11. Chad Henne was a borderline QB 2 (255, TD), and Brian Hartline led Miami’s receivers (4 for 87). Colt McCoy was ok (210, 2 TDs), and Josh Cribbs (3 for 49) and Mohammed Massaquoi (2 for 26) caught the touchdowns. Peyton Hillis was out, but was a strep throat, so he should be good for next week.

Giants v. Eagles: A surprising win for the G-men (I’m glad they proved me wrong), and some big fantasy days for Eli Manning (254, 4 TDs) and Victor Cruz (3 for 110, 2 TDs). Both NY RBs had receiving touchdowns, none more shocking than Brandon Jacobs’ (2 for 42, 40 yard TD catch), who was otherwise useless on the ground. Bradshaw had 139 total yards and the aforementioned TD catch, while Hakeem Nicks had his second straight poor week (3 for 25); something is amiss. For the Eagles, LeSean McCoy was the lone bright spot (141 total yards, TD run). Vick? He had a rough day – but no broken right hand supposedly, just a contusion – so we will just leave it at that.

Texans v. Saints: Anyone expect this to be a low scoring affair? Didn’t think so. Matt Schaub (373, 3 TDs) and the Houston WR group of Andre Johnson (7 for 128), James Casey (5 for 126, TD – right, who?), and Owen Daniels (5 for 76, TD) were prolific; Kevin Walter caught the other one. Ben Tate got the start in the backfield again, and was serviceable (82 rushing). Once again, New Orleans had no fantasy value, unless you count Drew Brees (370, 3 TDs), Jimmy Graham (4 for 100, TD), Lance Moore (9 for 88, TD), Robert Meachem (5 for 51, TD), Darren Sproles (85 total yards, TD), and Mark Ingram (38 rushing, TD).

Patriots v. Bills: Big time shootout, hope you had a fantasy interest in it. Brady was very helpful to us gamers (387, 4 TDs) but very unhelpful to his own team with 4 INTs; he must only be in it for the fantasy stats. Wes Welker is on his way to a career season, and added to it immensely today (16(!) for 217, 2 TDs). Rob Gronkowski (7 for 109, 2 TDs) isn’t missing Aaron Hernandez. Ryan Fitzpatrick was golden, again (369, 2 TDs), Fred Jackson was great, again (161 total yards, TD), and Stevie Johnson (8 for 94, TD)..yea you get the picture. Who is this Donald Jones guy? (5 for 101). Another unknown Buffalo WR coming out party! David Nelson was useful once again (6 for 84 – another waiver gem hit I’d say).

Ravens v. Rams: Welcome to the show, Torrey Smith! The bench depth afterthought had quite the game (5 for 152, 3 TDs) after Lee Evans was deemed inactive. He’ll be a huge waiver add, but I need more evidence before I am convinced a Ravens WR not name Anquan Boldin is fantasy worthy. Speaking of Mr. Boldin, he had an acceptable WR 3 day (7 for 74). Ray Rice again racked up the all-purpose yards (162 total), but didn’t break the plane. It was all Smith and Joe Flacco (389, 3 TDs) accounting for the scoring. For the Rams, um, Brandon Gibson had 55 yards and a touch. That is all.

Jets v. Raiders: Darren McFadden is starting to look like a #1 overall fantasy pick for 2012 as he went crazy against the supposedly stout NY D (171 rushing, 2 TDs). Denarius Moore and Michael Bush also chipped in rushing TDs. Sure, the Jets passing D was great, but when you can rush for 234 yards, why throw it? For Gang Green, Mark Sanchez had a great fantasy day by any standard (369, 3 TDs, 1 rushing), and LT was great out of the backfield (5 for 116, 1 TD). Shonn Greene had a 106 total yards, but only 59 rushing; you won’t see 40+ receiving from him that often. Plaxico Burress (3 for 55, TD) and Dustin Keller (5 for 87) were also solid.

Chiefs v. Chargers: Alot closer than most thought, but not much fantasy relevance. Matt Cassel finally had a decent enough game (176, 2 TDs), while Dwayne Bowe (4 for 67) caught his first TD of the year; Leonard Pope caught the other. Ryan Matthews is finally justifying his 2010 hype (149 total yards, 2 TDs), but no other San Diegan (San Diegon? San Diegoan?) did anything of significance.

Packers v. Bears: It was an aerial duel in Chicago. Aaron Rodgers, like clockwork, was great (297,  3 TDs), while Jay Cutler wasn’t bad either (302, 2 TDs). Jermichael Finley was, in a word, unfair (7 for 85, 3 TDs), and Greg Jennings was uncoverable (9 for 119). For Chicago, Johnny Knox (4 for 84) and Matt Forte (7 for 80) led the receiving group, but the TDs were caught by an unlikely duo: Kellen Davis and – for the 2nd week in a row – Dane Sanzenbacher. Ryan Grant had 92 rushing, well outperforming James Starks, thus providing multiple fantasy owners with hatred towards the Green Bay backfield situation.

Cardinals v. Seahawks: Some honorable mentions, but little of note in this one. Fitzgerald was solid (5 for 64, TD), there was a Sidney Rice sighting (8 for 109), and Kolb I guess had some use (252, TD), but that’s about it.

Falcons v. Bucs: Yuck, another ugly one. Roddy White (9 for 140) and Julio Jones (6 for 115) performed, while Matt Ryan had good yardage (330, TD), but no one else impressed. Mike Williams (5 for 43), can you say ‘waste of a top pick?’

Steelers v. Colts: Strange game, strange stats. Mike Wallace (5 for 144, TD) had most of his yards and his TD in the first quarter, Big Ben had good surface stats (364, TD) but lost two fumbles, and no Indianapolis QB had 100 yards passing. Joseph Addai well out-rushed Rashard Mendenhall (86 to 37, with a TD), and Pierre Garcon was the Colts’ leading receiver (6 for 82).

Cowboys v. Redskins: Well, if you owned kicker Dan Bailey in this one, you probably will end up with one of the best fantasy scores from that slot all year, as he booted 6 FGs. Besides that, the defenses ruled the day here. Rex Grossman gave you something (250, TD), but Tony Romo was a dud, just “managing” the game. Felix Jones had his first productive game of the year (155 total yards) and Tim Hightower caught the TD pass, adding 80 combined receiving/rushing, but that was about it folks. Romo owners can at least take solace in that he got through this division battle in one piece, without anything else punctured.

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