Jamaal Charles, RB, KC – I love this time of year for fantasy owners. Weeks 2 and 3 teach us more about our draft strategies and tell us a lot about how good our teams will be for the rest of the way. The verdict isn’t fully in on Charles yet but I did learn a lot in the last two games. The first thing I learned is that if Charles isn’t performing well or suffering ANY pain in his knee, he will sit. The second thing I learned is that I am not worried about that. Charles had THIRTY THREE carries just one game after he only managed one fantasy point and didn’t play in the 2nd half of week 2. 33 carries isn’t going to repeat itself, not for this runner in that offense but at least we KNOW he’s got his speed and lateral quickness back. And if your thinking that these impressive numbers are all about that one big play… without it he still average 4.4 yards per carry on 32 carries.
Torrey Smith, WR, BAL – God bless this man and his family. Smith played in this game very shortly after learning of his brother’s motorcycle accident that resulted in his death. Where he summoned the strength required to put up this performance, I couldn’t ever figure out. He hauled in 6 catches on 10 targets for 127 yards and two scores. Not much else to say here as performances like this speak for themselves.
Andre Brown, RB, NYG – I rated Brown as a low-end RB2 or good flex-play this week but I didn’t expect the numbers he put up. I also didn’t expect Cam Newton and the Panthers to collapse and hand the game to the Giants either. That is why Brown looked so good… because the Panthers played awfully. Regardless, Brown showed some traits that make him a solid RB2 for as long as Bradshaw is out and those traits were vision and patience. Brown saw holes before they developed and the reason I know this is because he would delay himself behind his blockers and wait for them to open before putting on a burst and getting through them. It was a very impressive performance.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT – Ben had a great game and did what he could to get the win and it worked for many of his fantasy owners at least… Ben was 36/49 for 384 yards with 4 TDs and no turnovers. These stats are impressive considering the offensive line that guards him. He will remain a streaky player and he isn’t a reliable QB1 but when the defense isn’t particularly adept at rushing the QB, he will be ranked as one for the week.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC – There was a lot of mystery around MJD at fantasy drafts. We all expected the team to struggle but even through struggles, MJD was always a productive and elite fantasy back. There is a big stigma surrounding players that hold out of their contracts. Players like Chris Johnson have done it and then collapsed into complete irrelevance ever since and others come back only to suffer an early-season injury and cost fantasy-owners dearly. MJD put those fears to bed and debunked the myth in this game. He simply looked great in this game and had the numbers to back it up, 193 total yards and a score. Even if he goes out and gets hurt next week, I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t because of the hold out.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET – He might be a second year player but Week 3 was Mikel’s first ever game. 26 carries, 100 yards and a TD. Funny thing is, the Lions always wanted him to be a weekly 100 yard rusher so expect them to keep giving him the opportunity to fulfill this need.
Mark Ingram, RB, NO – Another week and another loss for the Saints. Ingram had fantasy value on draft day because he was the goal line back on an elite offense. Woops, this offense and this team are not what we thought they would be and neither is Ingram.
Antonio Gates, TE, SD – Admittedly the entire team stayed at home on Sunday, but Gates has NOT been worth a round 10 or higher draft pick yet. He has been drafted in higher than the 10th round in just about every league. Most frustrating thing about this is that Rosario scored three times in Gates’ absence.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, PIT – I had previously thought that this was the guy to own of the Steelers’ running backs. Now I just don’t want to own any of them but Mendenhall and I promise, my expectations are pretty low for him too.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN – I know that the match-up was bad against Houston but Thomas had shown himself to be the top receiver in that offense. If the Broncos are going to be a playoff contender, then Thomas must stand up and make plays in the tough games. His value won’t take a hit from one game but it certainly got my attention.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE – I am not going to pretend like this guy isn’t still the #2 TE for fantasy owners but there is a reason I put Graham at #1 and this is why. Gronk will do this at least one more time over the course of the season, twice if Hernandez is out a while.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN – I said to drop him in yesterday’s article. I’ve got nothing left to add today.
Tony Romo, QB, DAL – Oh Dallas, you got the win but what happened? The Buccaneers secondary has played terribly and yet, the Cowboys could only manage 283 yards passing and an INT. Disappointing and from the limited film I’ve seen on the game, it was Romo’s fault.