Reggie Bush, RB, MIA – Bush carried the ball 26 times for 172 yards and 2 scores with an added 25 receiving yards on 3 catches. He was week 2′s highest scoring player and is on what was thought to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. For the record, I still think they are but west coast teams always struggle on the road to an east coast city for a 1 o’clock start. Also, the Raiders aren’t as good as I thought thus far and they could NOT contain Bush at all. Tannehill simply didn’t throw any interceptions and that was the ball game. This was a great draft day pick and he’s a must-start at the moment. The offense will come back down to earth against the Jets, especially if Revis is back. Bush will still be a great flex option or low-end #2 RB.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG – Nicks just beat up on Aqib Talib all day. He was effective in the first half when the Giants offense wasn’t as a whole and he was pivotal on the final drive and came up with the big play when it was needed most. I think he’s still a shade behind Cruz in the rankings but it is close and Nicks remains the safer and more consistent of the two. This week showed that he still has plenty of upside as he put up 199 yards on 10 catches with a score. Cruz had similar numbers but his stats are much more invested in one play (80 yard TD) than Nicks’.
Robert Griffen III, QB, WAS – Griffen was more impressive to me this week than last week. The Shanahan offense is going to look good with this guy at the helm but I’m starting to worry about this team winning many games, which is pretty much how it went for Newton. Shanahan is doing a good job of incorporating some of RGIII’s college playbook into the offense to keep him comfortable and he’s throwing accurately down the field. He got his team up big early and the defense let them down. Expect more of this with Orakpo and Adam Carriker on injured reserve. These were KEY players on the front-seven and they simply won’t be able to fill those needs with the people on their roster. So what i’m hearing is that Griffen will be throwing more late in the game and he should be quite an effective junk-time player as well. He’s a top 5 QB at the moment. Even if this wave doesn’t last, ride it to a few wins while you can.
C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF – Spiller has an average yards per carry of OVER 10 yards. No RB has done this over a two week span since Jim Brown forever ago. Impressive, to say the least. We were all so blinded by the defensive line that we may have missed the maturation of Buffalo’s OFFENSIVE line. Spiller has had BIG holes to run through against KC as well as the Jets (more impressive). The team has also not allowed a single sack yet this season. Fitzpatrick is even worse than we thought but congrats Spiller owners, he’s playing his way to the starting job and the lion’s share of the carries after Jackson is back. Cleveland next week, so I’ll be sure to have more fun-facts on this guy again next week. Top 3 RB next week.
Willis McGahee, RB, DEN – Once that first quarter ended, the Broncos were pretty much the team we were expecting. The hole they dug was simply too deep to climb out of. Playing from behind the entire time, McGahee tallied 22 carries for 113 yards and 2 TDs. He may not have the same physical prowess he did in his youth but Manning will do a lot for his value the rest of the way. Manning knows when they should be running the ball and has done a good job of audible-ing into effective running plays, most notably inside the 5 yard line. Lastly, don’t worry about seeing Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno get some carries. McGahee isn’t a young guy and these carries are about keeping his legs fresh.
Trent Richardson, RB, CLE – The Bengals were supposed to be a good defense, I don’t know what happened. They were fine from a fantasy-perspective thanks to a return TD but they were assaulted by Richardson and Weeden. I believe that if Haden was active in this game, the Browns would have won. Richardson’s value depends on the offensive line and Weeden keeping the passing game relevant. If I owned Richardson, which I don’t, I’d feel pretty decent about him as my RB2.
Danny Amendola, WR, STL – I don’t have anything new to say after my Pickups/Dump List post. But how can I not include him here? 15 grabs, 160 yards and a score.
Jamaal Charles, RB, KC – There are a lot of confusing reports about why Charles saw barely any work in this lopsided defeat. Some are saying that he simply wasn’t getting it done and was pulled and others say he suffered a minor set-back to his knee injury and was sidelined to preserve the work he’s put in rehabbing since last season. I don’t know what happened but I do know that he gave me one point in 2 leagues and that’s not acceptable. I personally don’t think he saw enough carries to reasonably be benched for poor performance and lean towards the set-back side of the conversation, which is potentially worse. If he plays, I’m gonna start him. I was a firm believer in the preseason and I’m a stubborn guy.
Jay Cutler, QB, CHI – I’m not going to discuss his rant or the pre-game comments. I’m going to talk about fantasy points. He had two. I severely mis-judged Cutler in this match up and it’s because I let the poor secondary play of the Packers in week 1 distract me from the perpetually poor offensive line play of the Bears. Marshall was bottled up in man coverage with a safety keeping a lid on the deep routes all game and they both got frustrated. Cutler couldn’t find a guy down the field under the pressure that Clay Matthews was bringing and forced some bad throws. The day could have been salvaged if Marshall didn’t drop that pass in the end-zone.
Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI – Read above. They were both so bad, they each just needed to be named on this list. Don’t worry much going forward though, they’ll remain a competitive team.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN – He doesn’t have an offensive line to open and holes for him and on the few occasions they do open one up, he isn’t running through them. It’s like last season all over again and I’m getting close to suggesting you bail out and dump him in almost any trade you can make happen. He needs to use his quickness to burst through the opening and get into the second level before he starts trying to dance a round and break off a HUGE gain.
Dez Bryant, WR, DAL – The Cowboys just never seem to put it all together over multiple weeks. They go on the road to Seattle, which isn’t easy but they just knocked off the defending champs in Week 1 and sights were set high. Get ready for a roller coaster. Ill let Bryant be the poster-boy for this failure but everyone but Murray was a disappointment. They’ll keep being a hot and cold offense but your going to have to keep them out there unless the cold spells last more than 2 weeks in a row.
Peyton Manning, QB, DEN – Don’t panic about this one but three first-quarter interceptions is not a promising way to start a game on the road. This was his first road game since his return and I suppose it got to him early on. He looked good later though and audibles to a run at the goal line which kept him from a decent fantasy-point total on the week. He wasn’t drafted as an elite guy so you can expect some sub-optimal games but he’s still going to be quite effective.
Andre Johnson, WR, HOU – The Texans are a run-first team and there is a reason why Johnson went late. I bit too hard on his week 1 performance and ranked him on talent. There will be games when the Texans have no need to push the ball through the air and while you are going to have to start him, hopefully he is your WR2.