Let’s take a look at the NFL box scores from Week 3. I’ll pick out a few things that could benefit fantasy owners in Week 4 and beyond.
Lot’s of talking points, so less introduction, more box scores reviews:
Redskins 14, Lions 19
Jason Campbell threw for 340 yards, 2 TDs and an INT in the loss. It was a great matchup and he delivered. Clinton Portis did not deliver, in fact it might have been better if had stayed at home.
Rookie QB Matthew Stafford got his first win as a Lion. So did second-year RB Kevin Smith. Still not much news on the shoulder injury I discussed yesterday.
I mentioned Bryant Johnson towards the end of the preseason because Calvin Johnson’s going to draw attention and the Lions are going to have to throw. He had a TD and I’d consider Johnson rosterable in deep leagues.
Packers 36, Rams 17
Anybody watching or monitoring this game online were introduced to John Kuhn and Daniel Fells. Who? Exactly. Each scored two TDs.
Kuhn is Green Bay’s fullback, he caught one and ran for one. Fells is a Rams tight end, he caught 2 TDs. Neither did anything else notable, but if either gets targeted again in the red zone, they might be a flex-filler if your faced with a really painful bye situation.
Greg Jennings only had three targets, but made one catch for 50 yards and another for 53. Donald Driver led the Packers in targets (7) and made the most of it, catching 4 for 95 and a TD.
Steven Jackson went 27-117, but also led the team with five catches and eight targets. He is the only Rams player worth owning at this point, especially now that Laurent Robinson is done for the year.
49ers 24, Vikings 27
So many things from this game. I already talked about how Brett Favre thought it was 1995 again yesterday, but I need to talk about Percy Harvin right now. He’s an impressive athlete who, so far, has avoided the injury reputation he had coming out of college.
Harvin is fast and has been a great addition to the Vikings special teams, but take away his two TD catches – which were hardly long game-breakers – and he’s been mediocre. Maybe he’s the second coming of Cris Carter and all he does is catch touchdowns. Maybe he’s the second coming of Deion Branch. Maybe we shouldn’t jump to conclusions and call him anything yet.
Adrian Peterson got “shut down” last week by the Lions and again this week by the 49ers. OK, he’s still helping teams win, but for anyone who spent 1.01 on him, you have to be a little disappointed.
Fantasy owners who stuck with Vernon Davis – count me out of that group – were rewarded yesterday when the much discussed TE pulled off a 7-96-2 line. While monitoring Twitter yesterday, one came across that said “Vernon Davis is taking over.” Who else is going to take over for them. Isaac Bruce? Josh Morgan. I’d pick up Davis, especially if you have a crud backup TE on your roster. And by crud, I mean Anthony Fasano.
Frank Gore tweaked his ankle. He’s a brittle running back who can be phenomenal when healthy. Smart Gore owners drafted Glen Coffee, who despite a mediocre showing against a great run defense still got 25 carries. Check your waiver wire today or tomorrow and get you some if he’s available, Gores’ gonna miss a couple weeks.
Falcons 10, Patriots 26
Michael Jenkins, Fred Taylor, Chris Baker, Randy Moss – which one of these doesn’t belong? Moss, right? Nobody expected Jenkins, Taylor and Baker to be the big difference makers Sunday, but they were.
Roddy White continues his horrible start to the season, 4 catches for only 24 yards, giving him 15-119-1 through three games.
Michael Turner has been equally unimpressive. Take away his TD on Sunday and he only earned you 5.6 fantasy points. If you get penalized for lost fumbles, make that 4.6. That’s hardly first-round RB material.
Stephen Gostkowski was helpful for fantasy owners yesterday: 4-for-4 FGs, 2-for-2 XPs.
Titans 17, Jets 24
Take away Mark Sanchez’s rushing TD and his performance Sunday wasn’t that impressive from a fantasy perspective. But his team’s 3-0, he’s only going to get better and he’s already on pace for a solid rookie campaign. Dynasty leaguers might be smart to overpay a little for him now before he has a 300-yard, 3 TD game and becomes overpriced.
On Sunday, Jerricho Cotchery had 12 targets, twice as many as any of his teammates. He made 8 catches for 108 yards and a score. Chanzi Stuckey, who was second with six targets only caught two for 11. The biggest thing holding Sanchez back right now is this receiving corps.
Chris Johnson was good, but only good this week against one of the best run defenses in the league. LenDale White ran in a TD. They finished with 10.5 and 8.5 fantasy points respectively.
Nate Washington caught a TD pass, but only had two total catches for 25 yards. Kenny Britt is still the only receiver I want from this team because he’s the only one with upside.
Chiefs 14, Eagles 34
I gushed over DeSean Jackson in the Monday update, but Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy need some love too.
Celek had his second consecutive 8-catch, 104-yard performance. This week he added a TD. He was a Chinstrap Ninjas sleeper since very early in the preseason based on his postseason performance in 2008. He’s definitely living up to expectations.
Much preseason hype was heaped on McCoy, and Brian Westbrook owners probably had to reach a little for him if they wanted insurance. Anybody who took out that policy reaped the rewards Sunday. McCoy seems to be the real deal. Now there’s talk of an RBBC with McCoy and Westbrook, when he comes back. While that sounds bad, both of these guys only need a couple touches to break big plays. And if it keeps Westbrook healthy, I’m all for it.
Matt Cassel threw 2 TDs and completed 14 of 18 passes but had only 90 yards. The Chiefs are a bad, bad team.
Giants 24, Buccaneers 0
Byron Leftwich was so pathetic against the Giants, coach Raheem Morris decided to demote him to third string and promote Josh Johnson to starter.
How bad was he? 7-for-16, 22 yards and an interception. Except for maybe Cadillac Williams you don’t want to start any Buccaneers players until we see what Johnson can do.
Meanwhile, the Giants offense was all sorts of awesome. Ahmad Bradshaw had more than 100 yards rushing, Brandon Jacobs had 92 and a TD and Steve Smith caught all seven of his targets for 63 yards and a TD.
Mario Manningham, who some people had started calling Super Mario after Week 2’s performance against Dallas, only had 4 catches for 55 yards. But, he was targeted seven times, just like Smith.
Browns 3, Ravens 34
Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason were the biggest surprises out of this bunch.
Based on the matchups, I never would have expected Flacco to throw for 342 yards. He hit Mason 5 times for 118 yards and a score.
Mason had eight targets, Ray Rice had seven and Mark Clayton and Kelley Washington had six each.
The Browns struggled running the ball against the Ravens without Jamal Lewis, and starting QB Brady Quinn was benched for Derek Anderson, who promptly came in and threw three interceptions.
Jaguars 31, Texans 24
It shouldn’t have been a surprise to see Maurice Jones-Drew and Matt Schaub have excellent games, that was expected based on their matchups.
However, there were a handful of surprises. I like Mike Sims-Walker to be at least a decent flex play for the rest of the season. He had 6 catches for 81 yards.
Kevin Walter came back from his injury and proved why he shouldn’t have been ranked so low all those months ago. His line 7-96-1 on seven targets.
And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Walter returned the same week Steve Slaton put up his first respectable numbers of the season.
Bears 25, Seahawks 19
First off, those Seahawks uniforms could be seen from space. Whether they’re awful or not I leave up to you, but they were bright.
As I said yesterday, Julius Jones seems to like them. Nate Burleson 9-109-0 with 12 targets, does too. TJ Houshmandzadeh? Not so much.
For the Monsters of the Midway, the continued struggles of Matt Forte is notable, as is the 3-TD game by Jay Cutler. Devin Hester, Greg Olsen and Johnny Knox all caught TDs. Hester and Earl Bennett had good yardage totals as well.
I’m sure you all heard enough about Olindo Mare’s struggles. At least he did make four FGs for fantasy owners.
Saints 27, Bills 7
Hey, where’s TO? After the game, Terrell Owens tweeted from the locker room that he was just trying to figure out what he could do to help this team. Let’s hope it’s sincere. The Bills were mediocre across the board, even Fred Jackson never really got on track.
Meanwhile, as mentioned yesterday, Drew Brees was rather pedestrian against Buffalo. They sacked him twice, hit him three other times and knocked down four passes.
Despite all that, Pierre Thomas announced his presence with authority (14-126-2), scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the game away.
Steelers 20, Bengals 23
Maybe it’s best if Willie Parker doesn’t have good games. The world champion Steelers lost to the Bengals.
It’s really not as bad as it sounds though. The Bengals defense continued its good play, Johnathan Joseph had a pick-6. They sacked Ben Roethlisberger once, hit him four other times and knocked down three passes.
The QB still finished with fairly respectable numbers, hit Hines Ward with four passes for 82 yards and turned Mike Wallace into a likely waiver wire candidate after he had a 7-102 line with eight targets.
Speaking of targets, it’s worth noting that Chad Ochocinco had 11, Andre Caldwell had 9 and Laveraneus Coles had 7. Meanwhile, Chris Henry, of mercurial preseason fame, had three targets. I’m thisclose to cutting Henry on a couple teams.
Broncos 23, Raiders 3
As if Darren McFadden hasn’t been bad enough, he also had three fumbles and lost one on Sunday. I wonder what the ratio of cause to sucktitude is. I figure the four key components are: McFadden’s talent, the playcalling, offensive line play and general Raiderness.
JaMarcus Russell watch!: 12/21, 61 yards, 2 INTs, 22.6 QB rating.
Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter combined for 35 carries and 198 yards. Buckhalter was the more impressive of the two, but this thing is a full blown committee until one of them gets hurt.
Brandon Marshall went 5-67-1 and led the team with seven targets.
Dolphins 13, Chargers 23
The big news here was Chad Pennington’s injury. I read a report today that he could be out for the rest of the season. If that’s the case, Miami’s best bet is to just run Ronnie Brown wildcat all game.
Chad Henne was awful in relief of Pennington and I don’t think it’s going to get any better.
Ricky Williams had 84 total yards and a TD and Brown finished with 115 total yards. Davone Bess continued to rack up the catches, hauling in seven for 54yards.
The Week 3 Darren Sproles is the one I expect to see most games. Forty yards rushing and a couple catches. Philip Rivers (303 yards passing, rushing TD) and Vincent Jackson (5-120-0) had good games.
Colts 31, Cardinals 10
That smell is Icy/Hot on Kurt Warner’s shoulder. He threw 52 times and finished with 332 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. And that wasn’t even the most painful part.
The Colts defense had four sacks, 10 QB hits and batted down six passes.
At least Warner did the best he could getting his throws to the right places: 13 targets in Larry Fitzgerald’s direction, 11 to Anquan Boldin and 10 to Steve Breaston. They all had good days, but Boldin’s TD made him the one to own this week.
Everybody probably knows – and if you read Chinstrap Ninjas yesterday, you do – that Peyton Manning shredded the Cardinals’ defense. Reggie Wayne had a great game. Dallas Clark had a 7-62-1 line and Pierre Garcon went 3-64-1.
The RBBC situation was much discussed in fantasy circles last week, so here’s how it all played out: Donald Brown had 11.2 points in standard scoring. Joseph Addai had 13.1. A relative push. If Brown wouldn’t have had a 71-yard catch, his numbers would have been less impressive. Then again, if Addai wouldn’t have had a short TD catch, his wouldn’t either.
Panthers 7, Cowboys 21
Steve Smith and Jake Delhomme are not friends right now. I didn’t see much of the game while at work, but I overheard one broadcaster say Delhomme’s INTs weren’t his fault.
Smith made four catches, but had an unSmith-like 9.5 yards per catch.
Dante Rosario scored the Panthers only TD. Another guy for your fantasy TEBC if you will.
If the Panthers wouldn’t be so awful, DeAngelo Williams might get a chance to rack up some yards. He had 64 on 5.8 per in the game.
The Cowboys defense clinched the win on Terrence Newman’s pick-6, but Tashard Choice and Felix Jones were impressive in Marion Barber’s absence.
Choice got the bulk of the carries (18-82-1) had four catches for 36 yards and scored a two-point conversion. Jones finished with more rushing yards on half as many carries (8-94-0) and made one 20-yard catch.
Cowboys TE Jason Witten led all receivers with a 9-77-0 line and Roy Williams had four catches for 75 yards.
Another long wall of text. Probably going to skip the box score reviews next week. There’s got to be a more digestable format. Maybe a post per game? Maybe just a player update post? What do the ninjas think?