Inside the Huddle: Week 3

Matt Forte & Steve Slaton continue to disappoint owners.  Maurice Jones-Drew was the offensive player of the week.  Terrell Owens was held without a catch.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

Detroit 19, Washington 14

  • Jason Campbell, one of the sleeper selections for this week (click here to view), had a huge week.  He went 27-41 for 340 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT, hooking up with Santana Moss (10 catches for 178 yards and 1 TD) early and often.  It’s tough to base anything off of this one game, but this may have been the medicine Moss needed to get himself going.  With their next game coming against Tampa Bay, it’s likely that they keep things rolling another week, so now is not the time to sell high.
  • Clinton Portis could be a different story, though they aren’t really selling high.  He carried the ball 12 times for 42 yards, while adding 1 catch for 6 yards.  He was questionable heading into the game, with bone spurs in both of his ankles.  That’s not an injury that’s just going to go away, making him a risky option moving forward.
  • Matthew Stafford was solid, going 21-36 for 241 yards and 1 TD, but it was Kevin Smith who was the big start, rushing the ball 16 times for 101 yards, as well as adding 3 catches for 18 yards.  Considering he entered the game with just 103 yards on the ground, it’s a great sign.
Green Bay 36, St. Louis 17
  • Steven Jackson was considered the entire offense for the Rams to begin with, but with Marc Bulger going out with an injury it just gets worse.  Jackson rushed for 117 yards, while adding 5 catches for 46 yards (leading the team).
  • Aaron Rodgers was extremely strong, going 13-23 for 269 yards and 2 TD, as well as rushing for 38 yards and a TD.  He’s not the most mobile of QBs, so don’t expect that type of bonus in most weeks, but enjoy it while you can.
  • After not having a catch last week, Greg Jennings caught 2 passes for at least 50 yards, totaling 103 yards.  Too bad he didn’t find the end zone.
Minnesota 27, San Francisco 24
  • Brett Favre showed in this one why the Vikings added him to the team, despite him not being the focus of the offense (we all know that goes to Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 85 yards).  Favre went 24-46 for 301 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT.  If those numbers weren’t good enough, one of the TD came with two seconds left, bringing the Vikings back from the brink of defeat.  Are people still wondering why he came back?
  • Frank Gore was forced out of the game after just 1 carry for 4 yards.  Get to your waiver wire and put in the claim on Glen Coffee if you’re in need of a running back.
  • Vernon Davis had 7 catches for 96 yards and 2 TD, equaling his number of catches for the first two weeks.  Is this the season that he finally realizes his potential?  It sure looks possible and if you are weak at TE now seems like a good time to grab him, though I wouldn’t give up too much to get him.  Only put in the claim if you have an easily dispensable option.
New England 26, Atlanta 10
  • Michael Turner rushed for just 56 yards and 1 TD, the second time this season that he has been at 65 yards or less.  While he did get into the end zone, this is still far from the type of production owners had been hoping for.  Still, it’s just three weeks so don’t make the mistake of selling low on him.  He showed last week just how good he can be.
  • Have the Patriots selected a main running back?  Fred Taylor got 21 carries rushing for 105 yards and 1 TD.  That’s got to get fantasy owners a little excited.
  • The Patriots still managed to throw the ball 42 times, however, with Randy Moss erupting for 10 receptions for 116 yards.  We all know he’s good, so what’s the big deal?
New York Jets 24, Tennessee 17
  • Kerry Collins was awful, going 15-37 for 170 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT.  While he helped get the first offensive TD against the strong Jets defense (a rush from LenDale White), as well as adding a TD pass to Nate Washington, there is nothing to be excited about here.  He has some weapons and should be better then this moving forward, but this wasn’t a very good game.  It really does help to show how good the Jets D is.
  • Jerricho Cotchery was the one Jet who had a big day, catching 8 passes for 108 yards and a TD.  No other receiver had more than 24 yards.  No running back rushed for more than 46 yards.  Mark Sanchez only had 171 yards through the air.  While you’d expect more from the running game, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Cotchery will be the biggest offensive weapon for this team.
Philadelphia 34, Kansas City 14
  • Matt Cassel went 14-18 for 90 yards and 2 TD.  Really?  That’s it?  Without Dwayne Bowe, it’s obvious that the Chiefs passing game lacks much of anything doesn’t it?  It’s going to be a long season for the Chiefs and Cassel is only relevant in two QB formats right now.
  • DeSean Jackson exploded for 6 catches for 149 yards and 1 TD and Brett Celek had another huge day, catching 8 passes for 104 yards and 1 TD.  Donovan who?  Kevin Kolb had a big day (24-34, 327 yards and 2 TD), but let’s remember who they were playing.  The one good thing to come out of McNabb’s absence is the emergence of Celek.  While his numbers may decrease once McNabb returns, due to his resistance from simply going “safe”, but he clearly has stepped up and should be a factor in Philadelphia this season.
New York Giants 24, Tampa Bay 0
  • Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 104 yards and Brandon Jacobs added 92 and a TD.  How do you think Derrick Ward (5 rushes for 2 yards) felt watching his former backfield mates thrash his current team?
  • Steve Smith had 7 catches for 63 yards and 1 TD.  He clearly has emerged as the #1 receiver and while he may not be a big play threat, he is a great possession receiver who could rack up the catches all year long.
  • I wish there was something to say about the Tampa Bay offense, but they were flat out pitiful.  Byron Leftwich was 7-16 for 22 yards and 1 INT.  The Giants defense is good, but this game was just as much about terrible offense.
Baltimore 34, Cleveland 3
  • Brady Quinn was 6-8 for 34 yards and 1 INT when they finally decided to give Derek Anderson his chance to run the offense.  All he did was go 11-19 for 92 yards and 3 INT.  Ugh.  Neither of these guys are fantasy relevant and until they show positive signs should just be relegated to waiver wire duty.  The truth is you don’t really know who is going to play in any given week right now.
  • Willis McGahee got just 7 carries, but he took them for 67 yards and 2 TD.  He has been a real find for those in deeper formats, already scoring 5 TDs on the ground and 1 through the air.  If the team does not want to make Ray Rice an every down back, this is likely to continue, making McGahee a great option in all formats.
  • How about Joe Flacco?  He went 25-35 for 342 yards and 1 TD.  It’s the second time this season he’s eclipsed the 300 yard mark and already has tossed 6 TD.  Did anyone anticipate a sophomore slump?
Jacksonville 31, Houston 24
  • Maurice Jone-Drew, who had just 1 TD and had yet to surpass 100 yards in a game, exploded for 119 yards and 3 TD on the ground, while chipping in 4 receptions for another 28 yards.  Now that’s what owners have been waiting for.
  • Michael Sims-Walker had 6 catches for 81 yards as he entrenches himself as the team’s #2 receiver.  There could be a whole lot more games like this one moving forward.
  • Steve Slaton had his biggest game of the season, rushing for 76 yards and adding an additional 37 through the air.  Still, after rushing for over 1,200 yards in his rookie season, he has yet to find the end zone and has rushed for just 127 yards.  He has a long ways to go to justify the selection, but don’t give him away already.  You need to show patience.
New Orleans 27, Buffalo 7
  • Pierre Thomas was given a chance to really contribute for the first time in 2009, thanks to Mike Bell being out of the line-up, and boy did he make an impact.  He had 14 carries, going 126 yards and scoring 2 TDs.  Now, that complicates things once Bell returns, doesn’t it?  At this point it’s tough to tell who is going to be the main back, so selling high may not be a terrible idea.  It was nice to see him step up, especially when Drew Brees failed to have a huge game for the first time this season (16-29, 172 yards and 0 TD).
  • Terrell Owens was held without a catch, leaving him with just 5 catches and 98 yards on the season.  How happy do you think he is to be playing in Buffalo right now and how long do you think it will be until he starts making some major waves?
Chicago 25, Seattle 19
  • Matt Forte had just 66 yards on the ground, to go along with 6 catches and 40 yards in the air.  Granted, overall it wasn’t a bad days work, but he’s rushed for just 150 yards on the season and has yet to find the end zone.  I said it last week, but I think it’s worth repeating.  How do those who opted to draft him over Adrian Peterson feel?
  • Jay Cutler threw for 247 yards and 3 TD (Devin Hester, Greg Olsen & Johnny Knox).  Are people still questioning the receivers around him?  I guess we shouldn’t be, huh?
  • Nate Buerlson had a huge game with Seneca Wallace as the QB, catching 9 passes for 109 yards.  He’s had a solid start to his season, with 20 catches, but he has scored just 1 TD on the year.  Obviously, we’d all like to see a little bit more than that, especially with the number of catches he’s had, but he’s proven to be a solid option in all formats.
Denver 23, Oakland 3
  • Knowshown Moreno was questionable heading into the game, but he not only played, but had a huge day.  He got 21 carries for 90 yards and 1 TD.  However, if you were an owner who opted to use Correll Buckhalter, you were rewarded with a 108 yard day as well.  If healthy, it appears that Moreno is going to be the more productive back, but right now I’d keep him handcuffed with Buckhalter, just in case he continues to suffer from injury concerns.
  • JaMarcus Russell went 12-21 for 61 yards and 2 INT.  It’s the second consecutive game that he’s failed to pass for more than 110 yards, and he has just 1 TD and 4 INT on the season.  I know the Raiders are trying to get him to learn on the job, but how much longer can they really continue to use him when he’s playing this poorly?
San Diego 23, Miami 13
  • Chad Pennington went 8-12 for 54 yards, but was forced from the game with a shoulder injury.  Word is he could be out for a while, meaning Chad Henne is going to take over the offense.  Pennington wasn’t a great option to begin with, but now he certainly should be found on waiver wires, even in two QB formats.
  • Ricky Williams was another of my sleeper picks for this week and he delivered.  He carried the ball 8 times for 55 yards and a TD, as well as picking up 4 catches for 29 yards.  In deeper leagues with a Flex, could you ask for much more than that?
  • Darren Sproles did not deliver a huge game in the absence of LaDanian Tomlinson this week, rushing for just 41 yards and adding just 14 in the passing game.  At least they got a monster performance from Vincent Jackson, who caught 5 passes for 120 yards.  It’s his second consecutive game of over 100 yards, as he has 317 yards and 2 TD already this season.
Cincinnati 23, Pittsburgh 20
  • Mike Wallace had 7 catches for 102 yards.  With Santana Holmes (1 catch for 18 yards) and Hines Ward (4 catches for 82 yards), don’t expect him to be the team’s leading receiver too often.
  • Willie Parker had been struggling for the season’s first two weeks, but he broke out with 93 yards on the ground, as well as 2 receptions for 36 yards and 1 TD.  He’s a solid option in all formats, so hopefully you didn’t get too discouraged early on.
  • The Bengals won, but there was no overwhelmingly good performance on the offensive side of the ball.  Carson Palmer went 20-37 for 183 yards and 1 TD, though it was the first time this season that he has not thrown an interception.  He clearly still needs time, as he has thrown for 185 yards or less the past two weeks, but he is working in the right direction.
Indianapolis 31, Arizona 10
  • Peyton Manning went 24-35 for 379 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT.  The TDs went to four different receivers: Reggie Wayne (7 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD), Dallas Clark (7 catches, 62 yards, 1 TD plus 7 yards rushing), Pierre Garcon (3 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD plus 17 yards rushing) and Joseph Addai (3 catches, 8 yards, 1 TD to go along with 63 yards rushing).  Garcon appears to be filling in the deep role exceptionally well, with catches of 48 and 53 yards the past two weeks, so he’s certainly worth considering in deeper leagues until Anthony Gonzalez returns.
  • The Cardinals gave Beanie Wells just two carries, which went for -2 yards.  That speaks volumes about the trust they have in the youngster.  This was a shoot out, with Tim Hightower also not getting many carries (9 for 22 yards), but you would still expect Wells to get a few more looks.  Don’t give up on him, but I’d certainly leave him on your bench for now.

What do you think was the biggest story coming out of yesterday’s games?  Who was the brightest star?  Who was the biggest disappointment?

Make sure to check out our baseball site by clicking here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

Inside the Huddle: A Look At Week 4s Games
Inside the Huddle: Colts vs. Dolphins

One comment

  1. fiji.siv says:

    Another great write-up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>