2016 Draft Kit

Just how we drew it up: Week 3 in the rearview

This is a new feature I’ve wanted to write since the first week, but just haven’t had the time to do it.

The new projections model I’m using this season isn’t quite as time consuming as the one I used in previous years. Obviously, it’s not quite as robust either, but it leads to some interesting rankings. The one advantage, other than just crunching numbers until my eyeballs bleed, is being able to write something like this.

My goal with this article is to write one bit, one note, one paragraph from each team the previous week.

Let’s get to it and review Week 3.

In the preseason, I had Le’Veon Bell ranked as a top-6 running back in standard leagues and a top-5 back in PPR leagues. He’s living up to those expectations. If I re-ranked right now, he might be top-3.

I had Kelvin Benjamin as a top-6 PPR wide receiver in Week 3. And I stood alone compared to the experts at Fantasy Pros. I had him projected for 5.4 catches on 9.7 targets, 90.6 yards and 0.7 touchdown chance. He finished 8-11-115-1. Now, I’m cherry-picking here. My projections aren’t more accurate than the experts. There is some subjectivity that goes into creating my projections. That said, I do try to follow a formula. That formula, at least so far this season has been good at pointing out potential outliers week to week, like Ahmad Bradshaw last week and Benjamin and Rashad Jennings this week.

Interesting that Stevie Johnson picked up extra targets with Vernon Davis out. He finished with 9 and turned them into a big day. The 11 targets to Michael Crabtree also indicates the 49ers commitment to him. They caught a combined 19-of-20 targets for 183 yards and a touchdown, both putting up fantastic PPR numbers in a loss.

Cardinals rookie WR John Brown is averaging five targets and one touchdown per game. His two TD catches on Sunday were 21 yards and 24 yards. Brown should be owned in all of your leagues. I mean you should pick him up. Larry Fitzgerald isn’t done but he’s showing signs of decline and has caught only half of his targets this season.

I’ve said to a couple people that Jake Locker‘s time is next year. Bishop Sankey‘s time, however, appears to be much closer. Sankey averaged 6.1 yards on 10 carries against the Bengals. I’ll be putting together a Daily Fantasy tournament team or two with Sankey in the lineup each week until he gets 20 carries and breaks out.

Mohamed Sanu to triple threat, apparently, Andy Dalton for an 18-yard touchdown. Just how we drew it up. Also, the Bengals are good.

Hemmed and hawed about Lorenzo Taliaferro before the game started. But everybody, EVERYBODY, was all over Justin Forsett, so I kept my projections. I’m going to put in a waiver claim or three on Taliaferro. One does not go 18-91-1 and remain on waivers.

Isaiah Crowell goes 11-55-1 with a 22-yarder for his long run and a 14-yard touchdown. That’s explosive. Terrence West goes 12-36-1 with a long of eight. West cost the team more so it will take longer for them to make the switch, but Crowell will be the starter in Cleveland.

Donald Brown only averaged two yards per carry but San Diego handed the ball off to him 31 times and threw five passes to him. Thanks to volume alone — and the Chargers desire to control the clock — he may have 800 yards against Jacksonville in Week 4.

Eight targets for Sammy Watkins and only two catches for 19 yards. Going into this week only Jordy Nelson and Andre Johnson had seen a higher percentage of their teams targets than Watkins. As a rookie, he’s going to have 2-for-19 games, but he’s got too much talent and is getting too many opportunities to ignore.

There was a lot of buzz around Kirk Cousins being a better fit for Jay Gruden’s offense than Robert Griffin III. It’s only been two weeks, but it’s hard to argue. He threw for 427 yards against the Eagles and he’ll project as one of the higher yardage total QBs in Week 4 against the Giants.

Jeremy Maclin had a day. Jordan Matthews caught two touchdown passes. But we need to talk about LeSean McCoy‘s 22 yards on 19 carries. Yes, Washington was the sixth-most difficult team to run on coming into the game, but that really shouldn’t hold an elite talent like McCoy to 1.2 yards per carry. He appeared to take a helmet-to-helmet hit according to Rotoworld. Best keep an eye on this situation.

Matthew Stafford put up a dumpster fire of a performance in a dumpster fire of a game for fantasy owners.

The Packers-Lions game was projected by Vegas to be one of the highest scoring of the week, with an over/under of 52.5. Eddie Lacy had 11 carries for 36 yards and lost a fumble against a tough front seven. But if he can’t get out of neutral in Week 4 against the Bears, we need to worry.

Monster game for Andrew Luck against Jacksonville, but not for any of his receivers. He spread the ball around to nine different pass-catchers, all who had at least three targets and no more than seven.

You know how the day you stub your toe is also the day you spill coffee on your lap, drip ketchup on your tie and hit reply all when you really didn’t want to? That’s Jaguars life 9-to-5 for the last few years. Blake Bortles is the weekend. I am a bit concerned about his health — Chad Henne was sacked 16 times in three games. Bortles was sacked once and threw two picks, but he did throw a pair of touchdowns and had a 20-yard run.

Manage your bankroll, they say. Diversify your lineups, they say. What does ep do? He dumps 95 percent of his money into Drew Brees in Week 4 at the daily fantasy sites. It wasn’t all bad, but it also definitely wasn’t what we expected from Brees and the Saints at home against Minnesota.

Just like with the Jaguars, the Vikings turned to their rookie signal-caller in Week 3. Teddy Bridgewater put on his helmet because of Matt Cassel‘s broken foot. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 150 yards and ran 6 times for 27 yards. He was sacked twice. Like with Bortles, it’ll be interesting to see how pass distribution and game scripts change with a rookie at the helm.

I hated the Raiders-Patriots game. I posted one 25-cent tournament lineup with Darren McFadden as an upside sleeper at RB because opposing running backs had run roughshod over New England so far this season. He finished 18-59.

I faded all of the players in this game except McFadden and Julian Edelman. I don’t like either offense, but you can’t argue with Edelman’s usage — he has four running plays this year. He did OK in PPR leagues with 10 catches and 84 yards.

DeAndre Hopkins had the catch of the year this week but it was nullified by a penalty. He finished with six catches for 116 yards on nine targets. Andre Johnson led the team with 11 targets but was only able to haul in four of them. It might be a bit early to call, but it seems like this is what Ryan Fitzpatrick means for AJ and Nuke.

I’m going to tout my projections again, where I had Rashad Jennings as the No. 3 running back in standardPPR and FanDuel. Again, I’m cherry-picking specific players from my projections. But unlike many of you, I had Rashad Jennings in a couple lineups this week at the daily fantasy sites.

Tony Romo throws a pick-6 to start the game and Twitter pounces like a school of piranha. Then Romo throws touchdown passes to Dez Bryant and Terrence Williams to help the Cowboys come back from down 21 points to victory. Still, because of his balky back and DeMarco Murray‘s RB-of-the-year running, Romo is a game manager and probably will be for the rest of the season.

He was picked twice, but Austin Davis also throw for 327 and three TDs. I haven’t watched the condensed game at NFL.com yet, but he also distributed the ball quite a bit. Most interestingly, Kenny Britt had five catches on seven targets for 69 yards. That stat line isn’t impressive, but Britt has always been one of those million dollar athletes with 10-cent heads. He’s only 26 and could still emerge as a breakout star if he continues to get targets.

At the end of the game the Buccaneers showed their JV team could hang with Atlanta’s. but it’ll be interesting to see what Mike Glennon does as the starter with Josh McCown out. He had a 96 QB rating after he came in against Atlanta, which isn’t bad considering how all the wheels fell off for the Buccaneers.

Devin Hester breaking Deion Sanders‘ return TD record deserves a lot of praise, but Julio Jones is the note of the week out of Atlanta. Did you see his second TD catch? Other defenses won’t leave him quite as open as Tampa Bay did, but Jones is in the conversation as the most talented wide receiver in the NFL.

What did I miss? Leave your note in the comments.





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