Fantasy Football Focus: Week 3 NFL Review

Week 3 fantasy wasn’t quite as bad for me as my picks went. I wasn’t completely on top of my game, but I did finish on top of the rest of the guys in the group. If you can’t beat everyone, you might as well make sure to beat your friends. We all had some good picks and some misses as well. Here’s how the week went.

Elite Starters: Guys picked early that I love this week…

1. Maurice Jones Drew – 123 yards, three touchdowns, top running back, you bet. A+
2. Andre Johnson – 4 catches for 85 yards, well, after his 4th catch he got hurt, played but didn’t record another catch. C
3. Drew Brees – I said he had to come back down to earth, but said it wouldn’t be this week. I was right but wrong. F
4. Matt Schaub – #4 quarterback, finding himself high on the charts for the second week in a row. A
5. Brandon Jacobs – #13 running back, 92 yards and a touchdown, I expected more from Brandon than 15 points. C

Solid Starters: Guys picked in middle rounds that should outplay their ranking/draft position this week…

1. Ray Rice– #9 running back overall, not bad when your teammate was tied with you. B
2. Ryan Grant – 99 yards for Ryan on 26 carries, I expected more and at least 1 TD. The Pack hates giving him TDs. C-
3. Larry Johnson– And Larry Johnson might never be a high play for me ever again. 38 yards for Larry. F
4. Dwayne Bowe – Not really fair because he was a last second scratch after no info about that all week. F
5. Braylon Edwards – 3 catches for 35 yards, Braylon must hate his QB situation with a passion. I know I do. F

Sleeper Starters: Guys ranked low, drafted low or not at all, but I still like them this week…

1. Mario Manningham – 4 grabs for 55 yards, just a score away from a big week. I still like Mario. C-
2. David Garrard – A 16th rated QB this week, Garrard’s numbers were just fine. B-
3. Trent Edwards –Trent couldn’t do diddly against the Saints secondary, missing a lot of open plays. F
4.Fred Jackson– His team couldn’t do anything offensively, but Fred still carried the ball 18 times for 71 yards while grabbing 4 passes for 26 yards. Not a bad day for Fred, who has been good through three. B-
5. Jabar Gaffney – 4 grabs for 39 yards, ugh, lots of better sleepers I could have picked; Reed, Jacoby, and Wallace… D+

Sit ‘Em Son: I don’t care where they were drafted, I don’t like these guys starting this week…

1. Joseph Addai – 13 carries for 63 yards was better than I thought, plus he caught a short TD. Miss. F
2. Cedric Benson – 17 carries for 76 yards and  TD, better than I expected from Cedric. D-
3. Willie Parker – 20 fantasy points for Willie Parker, a very good week for the Steeler RB. F
4. Bernard Berrien – 4 catches for 56 yards, a little higher than I expected, but not starter worthy. B
5. Chris Johnson – 22 carries for 97 yards, not bad, but just 10 fantasy points, right what I expected. Ranked 31st RB. B+

PS – Don’t trust Eagles injury reports….

Week 2 Fantasy Rankings

Josh Arsenault	        Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester


1.Drew Brees 28   	1.Drew Brees 28		1.Peyton Manning 1	1.Drew Brees 28
2.Tom Brady 13    	2.Aaron Rodgers 3	2.Tom Brady 13    	2.Matt Schaub 4
3.Phillip Rivers 17	3.Matt Schaub 4    	3.Drew Brees 28   	3.Peyton Manning 1
4.Aaron Rodgers 3  	4.Peyton Manning 1	4.David Garrard 16	4.Tony Romo 23
5.Carson Palmer 19 	5.Trent Edwards 27	5.Aaron Rodgers	3	5.Tom Brady 13

1.Michael Turner 32	1.Maurice Jones-Drew 1	1.Adrian Peterson 28	1.Maurice Jones-Drew 1
2.Maurice Jones-Drew 1	2.Brandon Jacobs 13	2.Steve Slaton 24 	2.Brandon Jacobs 13
3.Adrian Peterson 28	3.Ronnie Brown 18  	3.Maurice Jones-Drew 1	3.Adrian Peterson 28
4.Matt Forte 9		4.Matt Forte 9   	4.Fred Jackson 23 	4.Matt Forte 9
5.Clinton Portis 47	5.Steven Jackson 6	5.Clinton Portis 47 	5.Ryan Grant 29


1.Randy Moss 8		1.Andre Johnson 27   	1.Larry Fitzgerald 24	1.Andre Johnson 27
2.Larry Fitzgerald 24	2.Reggie Wayne 3  	2.Reggie Wayne 3	2.Randy Moss 8
3.Reggie Wayne 3   	3.Randy Moss 8		3.Steve Smith (NY) 12   3.Reggie Wayne 3
4.Andre Johnson 27	4.Greg Jennings	27	4.Andre Johnson 27 	4.Steve Smith (C) 55
5.Steve Smith (C) 55  	5.Santonio Holmes 93	5.Calvin Johnson 42	5.Jericho Cotchery 4


1.Chris Cooley 17 	1.Jeremy Shockey 11	1.Dallas Clark 3 	1.Antonio Gates 10
2.Tony Gonzalez	33	2.Tony Gonzalez	33	2.John Carlson 19 	2.Dallas Clark 3
3.John Carlson 19	3.Dustin Keller 22	3.Tony Gonzalez 33	3.Jason Witten 5
4.Antonio Gates 10	4.Dallas Clark 3 	4.Owen Daniels 7	4.Chris Cooley 17
5.Jason Witten 5  	5.Owen Daniels 7   	5.Jason Witten 5	5.Tony Gonzalez 33


1.Ravens 2		1.Ravens 2		1.Bears 13		1.Ravens 2
2.Redskins 17		2.Broncos 3       	2.Steelers 25		2.Packers 10
3.Packers 10		3.Giants 7		3.Eagles 8		3.Broncos 3
4.Broncos 3		4.Bears 13		4.Packers 10		4.Redskins 17
5.Vikings 16		5.Redskins 17		5.Redskins 17		5.Eagles 8


Top 5 Kickers for Week 3: Olindo Mare, Stephen Gostkowski, Mason Crosby, Ryan Longwell,
Matt Prater
Keeping score for week 3! This is the positional breakdown based on Week 3's rankings:
Josh Arsenault		Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester

1.QBs 4         	1.QBs 2		        1.QBs 1  		1.QBs 3
2.RBs 3		        2.RBs 1	   	        2.RBs 4                 2.RBs 2
3.WRs 3		        3.WRs 4		        3.WRs 2         	3.WRs 1
4.TEs 4  		4.TEs 3          	4.TEs 1         	4.TEs 2
5.DST 3         	5.DST 2         	5.DST 4         	5.DST 1

Well, Josh came in last for this week’s rankings. Papa and Kauffman came in tied for second (as they like to say) or tied for 3rd (as I like to say). The winner, for the 3rd straight week is me. I’m telling you, I had a tough week in picks, and my fantasy predictions didn’t end up being too great as far as sleepers, elite guys, starters, and sits, but as always it’s nice to beat your friends at stuff. I’ll go for 4 straight weeks as the top fantasy genius in Week 4. As for this week, we got a few things right. Our number one ranked RB, between the four of us, was Maurice Jones Drew – he came through in fine fashion. Three of us had Peyton ranked in the Top 5, and he was the top QB this week. Reggie Wayne was our top rated receiver, and he was ranked 3rd overall this week. Kauffman swung and really missed on Santonio Holmes, as the man crush comes back to haunt him again. As the 93rd rated receiver this week, he pretty much had no chance at anything but 4th in receivers. Drew Brees let everyone down, as only Papa Weimer didn’t rank him 1st for Week 3. Sticking Jericho Cotchery in my top five made up for keeping Steve Smith there, and despite Steve’s low output I still snuck away with the top receiver spot this week. Who’d we miss? Lets go backwards, the Dallas Cowboys were the #1 ranked defense for the week, they didn’t make any top 5 list. New Orleans, San Diego, and Indy rounded out 4, 5 and 6 this week, not a one made our lists. Vernon Davis was the beast that everyone thought he’d be when he first came out of Maryland, taking the top TE spot for Week 3 while Brent Celek finished a close second in helping the Eagles win big. A cat named Daniel Fells caught a couple touchdowns for the Rams, making the most of his two grabs – he finished 4th. And Greg Olsen was 6th overall, finally showing what many expected. Either it was crazy that nobody listed Santana Moss in their top 5 lists, because he ended up with 7 more points than any other receiver in the league, or his huge performance was a stunner. I’ll go for stunner. DeSean Jackson wasn’t supposed to suit up, or so the Eagles made fantasy owners believe all week long, only to finish 2nd overall in fantasy points while also performing a front flip splits move celebration in the end zone… I think his groin is fine. Jerks. Kevin Walter had a big week and Derrick Mason had his first lofty performance of the season. Andre Caldwell burst onto the scene to finish in the Top 10, one wonders what to expect of him going forward? As for running backs? How about lots of misses, we only picked one out of the Top 5, as Pierre Thomas, Tashard Choice, Julius Jones, and Willie Parker rounded out the Top 5. Who knew? Fred Taylor and Ricky Williams also made Top 10 performances of the week, bringing us back to the year 2000. As for QBs, Kevin Kolb was huge again for the Eagles, and maybe they knew what they were doing drafting the gun slinger a couple years ago, huh? Also in the top 10 and off of our lists, how about Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Brett Favre, Big Ben, Mark Sanchez, and a little guy name Kyle freaking Boller. How about that one? Check back later to see our picks for Week 4, and wait and see if somebody can’t dethrone me as the token fantasy genius!

Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Watch: Thing 1 and Thing 2

Welcome back for my next installment of Thing 1 and Thing 2. If you followed my advice last week you got comparable (and in some cases better) production from your lesser-owned fantasy players. The lone exception was due to Kellen Winslow’s breakout game and Robert Royal’s disappearing act. You can’t win them all I guess but four out of five ain’t bad. As the weeks go on it will get tougher and tougher to uncover those hidden gems so staying active on your league’s waiver wire early can really pay off as the season wears on. Who should you be paying attention to as week 3 approaches? … Let’s get after it.

Thing 1: A much-hyped rookie coming out of college, this kid has loads of talent but hasn’t looked ready for the NFL early in his career.  He is currently the sexier pick in a RBBC offensive scheme but his production has yet to match his 95% ownership in ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: A career backup that has had some injury troubles but has always done the most with the chances that have been given to him.  He is currently being overlooked as a fantasy contributor but his production on the field warrants much more consideration than his 38% ownership suggests.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Knowshon Moreno and Thing 2 is Correll Buckhalter.  The running back situation in Denver will likely be fluid all season long, but don’t miss out on the cheap production you can get from a guy like Buckhalter, especially early in the season.  Moreno will finish the season with more touches, but I think Buckhalter will score more TDs for the Broncos due to his big play ability and slightly larger build.

Thing 1: This QBs upside is marginal but he does have a talented group of wide receivers and young, imaginative offensive mind calling the shots.  That said, his decision-making has always been a huge question mark and I am amazed that he is currently owned in 78% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This QB came into the season undrafted in all but the deepest of leagues but is steadily making strides toward fantasy consideration.  He does turn the ball over more than he should but early in the season his yardage and TDs are more than making up for it.  He is currently owned in just 12% of leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Kyle Orton and Thing 2 is Byron Leftwich.  Orton is the prototypical “game manager” and has the potential to post more consistent stat-lines than Leftwich, but the upside of the sluggish-armed Tampa QB is intriguing.  He has shown a good rapport with TE Kellen Winslow early in the year and a defense on the decline could have him playing a lot of catchup.  Ask Jay Cutler how that worked out for his fantasy stats last year.

Thing 1: This WR is an extremely gifted route-runner and has some of surest hands in the NFL.  Due to some off-season changes to his supporting cast, his early-season production has taken a major hit.  I still like the kid a lot, and he is becoming a good buy-low candidate, but he is currently owned in 90% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This young WR has blazing speed and his big-play potential has caused his team to try and find more opportunities to get the ball in his hands.  A big jump in his ownership percentage this past week means owners are starting to take notice so this may be your last chance to go get him.  He is currently owned in 20% of leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Eddie Royal and Thing 2 is Johnny Knox.  Royal’s loss this past off-season has been Knox’s gain in the form of Jay Cutler.  A strong-armed QB with decent accuracy, Cutler is able to fit the ball into tight spots for Knox to work those shallow crosses and sideline routes that made Royal a household name last year.  As their chemistry grows expect to see more of the speed merchant from Abilene Christian.

Thing 1: This physical WR uses his body extremely well to make tough catches in traffic.  He has a rookie signal-caller tossing him the rock and over the first two weeks of the season they have shown decent chemistry.  He has yet to get into the end zone, but this productive wideout is currently owned in 96% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This second-year WR won a preseason battle for the #2 role on his team.  Although his play was inconsistent in his rookie season, he has shown flashes of big-play potential and has developed into a good route-runner.  He won’t produce as a fantasy starter every week, but there is value here and he is owned in just 12% of leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Jerricho Cotchery and Thing 2 is Chansi Stuckey.  I like what I have seen from Stuckey and his rookie QB thus far.  Mark Sanchez’s lightning-quick feet and superb vision mean he will be able to keep plays alive longer than his aging predecessor, allowing his receivers to work toward open space.  I think Stuckey has big-time sleeper potential in an offense that looks to be much more balanced than anyone thought heading into the season.

NFL Fantasy Football Advice: Ask Papa Weimer Week 3

I’m old. I’m tired. I’m grumpy. My ass hurts from sitting in this chair. Where can I get one of those soft little pillow doughnut things to sit on anyway? Note to family: get my ace a nice chair for Christmas or you’re not getting any inheritance. I’ve had questions screaming in this week, people wondering which guy to start, who to trade, who to target in trades. These are the questions and answers I picked out to share.

Dennis in and out of the US asks, “I have a couple guys that I think are overachieving, and I know there are some players out there underachieving. Of these four guys (Percy Harvin, Cadillac Williams, Cedric Benson, and Santonio Holmes) which ones would you try to trade, and are there any guys you’d try to grab while their value is down?

Red Red Ryan makes a pretty good point about Cedric Benson, but I think he’s still a solid guy to have on your squad, he and the three other guys you mention should all have solid years, but you’re right in assessing their value right now, it’s probably higher than it should be. I would probably try to move Benson, Harvin, and Williams and keep Holmes, if you can get some good value. I think Holmes might be a treat for fantasy owners that paid the price for his services this season. He’s getting tons of targets on a Steelers team that doesn’t run the ball well, and is going to throw a lot more this season. Plus, he’s a playmaker. But like I said, all four of these guys are solid, I just think Holmes holds onto his value all season long, while a couple of these guys will fall off. In a trade, I would try to acquire Matt Forte, Steve Slaton, Clinton Portis, Steve Smith (Carolina), Ryan Grant, Knowshon Moreno, and Daren McFadden. All of those guys have pretty low value considering their ability, and all look like they are going to gain some value this week. I think all of them will have pretty solid seasons. Forte and Slaton have begun the season with really tough match-ups. Portis has an easier schedule coming up. Steve Smith’s value is still suffering despite being heavily targeted early in the season. Ryan Grant will get more rushing attempts from here forward. Moreno is dynamic and will only get better as he gets used to the speed of the game. And McFadden is still a superior talent. If you can trade some guys flying high for a couple guys that haven’t impressed owners, I think it’s a good move.

David from Minnesota asks, “Would you trade LT away to get Ray Rice? How about Leon Washington and TJ Houshmanzadeh moving to get LT and Donald Driver or Percy Harvin? Thanks in advance!”

David, thanks for the questions. These must be different leagues as you’re trading away LT in one, and getting him in another. On the first half, Yeah, I think so. I think LT will be fine. But Ray Rice is solid too – tough call, but I’d probably go with LT if I had the choice. On the second question, It just depends what you think about the Hawks and their recent string of injuries to start the season. I personally think they’ll get healthy here very soon, and TJ Housh will be huge, especially in PPR leagues – so I would much rather have him than Driver or Harvin, even though he’s firmly behind them in rankings thus far. Leon looks like he’s getting at least 20 touches per game, which should lead to some big days. ON the other side, as much as I love LT, I’m not sure he’s going to be getting much more than 20 touches the rest of the way. The Jets have a stellar offensive line, better than the Chargers if you ask me. If I had to choose, between LT and Leon, I would go with LT, like I said – but I don’t think I’d give up Housh to do so – his value is still high on my board.

Pretty Patty in Seattle asks, “Weims, having trouble picking my starters this week. Who do you like this week between these guys. (Need to pick 3 to go with my other two starting receivers, colston and manningham) Thanks! (Steven Jackson, Darren Mcfadden, Leshon McCoy, Braylon Edwards, Johnny Knox, Nate Burleson) PPR league…

Pretty, McCoy would be a sure thing if, and only if, you’re sure Westbrook isn’t playing. He should get lots of carries against the Chiefs porous run defense, and if it’s a PPR league I’m sure he’ll get a handful of catches as well. Steven Jackson is one of the three no matter what. The Packers have been terrible against the run, and I’m sure Jackson will be a huge part of the Rams game plan as they try to trick the Packers out of a win. Bulger can only throw 10 yards accurately, which puts Jackson in his range most of the time. Plus, he’s just flat out the best player in this group, and you have to go with your horses. I think another guy would be Braylon Edwards. Surprisingly, the Ravens have been pretty terrible against the pass, as Brodie Croyle of all clowns, had a good outing against them in Week 1, and Rivers torched them to the tune of one billion yards in Week 2. The problem with the Ravens is they are so good against the run, and they’ll likely be up early, so the Browns will probably have to throw a lot. I usually don’t like Cleveland offensive players, but 7 catches and 100 yards from Edwards wouldn’t surprise me. If Westy is going to play, and from what I read, it looks like he will, I think I’d go with McFadden. Now this one is a little tricky because Denver has been great against the run this season, but then again, you have to look at who they’ve played. Cincinnati and Cleveland aren’t two rushing attacks that strike fear into my heart. So I’m not sure they’re as good as they are lucky to have been scheduled to pissy running attacks to start the season. The Raiders can really run, and McFadden should get the ball more this week. JaMarcus Russell has been a joke (he’s barely batting .350 through the air, gross) so Denver could stack up against the run – but I still think they don’t have elite front 7 power, and McFadden should have his best yardage output of the season. If you don’t want to go with McFadden, take a chance on Nate or Knox. Nate’s been getting targeted lots of times, and obviously a dynamic touchdown threat, he could get to the house against a Bears secondary that doesn’t really have the speed to cover elite WRs. Nate might not be elite, but his speed and touchdown play potential is definitely amongst the games best. Knox is looking like one of Cutler’s favorite targets, and the Hawks secondary isn’t an exciting shut down group at the moment. I just think the Bears will run a lot more this week against a D-front that doesn’t look powerful after Frank Gore had his way with them. So I’d side with Nate, but just barely. Hope that helps, Patty. Good luck!

Week 2 Fantasy Football News: Ten for Tuesday

After two weeks, Drew Brees is on pace to throw 72 touchdown passes while gaining one million yards (but is still second to Phillip Rivers in the yardage area). His QB Rating is 132.9, damn near perfect. However, it’s not Brees and his 9 touchdowns that has me amazed. It’s second year studs, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco that have me impressed. These guys haven’t heard of sophomore slump, both have their teams undefeated, and are tied for second in QB TDs behind Drew….   Three offensive coordinators were fired right before the season started, of the three, it looks like only the Chiefs little fella has had any effect, and that might be pushing it. See Buffalo is moving the ball and putting up points despite cutting their OC, Trent Edwards is Top 5 in passer rating and tied for 4th with four touchdowns thus far. Byron Leftwich has also tossed 4 touchdowns while Tampa’s running game has put up some solid totals as well. The Chiefs have been brutal, but it’s hard to see KC being much better with Bill Walsh calling plays….    Brett Favre has the highest completion percentage in the NFL, and has yet to toss an interception. So much for him being too much of a gunslinger, and starting off the season a little rusty after spending more time throwing to high school receivers than pro guys. It has to be nice handing the ball to Mr. Peterson……  The 2007 Draft class is beginning to look like a quarterback bust. So far, the best season has to be given to Tyler Thigpen for his performance down the stretch last year. Trent Edwards is probably the best player of the bunch, especially given that Tyler couldn’t beat out Brodie Croyle for the Chiefs #3 job. Maybe Troy Smith would be getting the nod if he had not gotten hurt before the 2008 season, but Joe Flacco has that job on lock down so we may never see. The two first round picks, Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell (not in that order) have been guys I’ve tried to like, but they are making it very difficult to do so….    Matthew Stafford is not ready to be an NFL quarterback. I don’t know how else to put it. I know his first name is Matt, and last year a guy named Matt was a first year stud, but it’s not that kind of copycat league. He throws the ball really hard, and will pull an amazing toss out of his ace here and there, but the kid has a guy named Calvin Johnson on his team, of course he’s going to look good now and again. The Lions have lost nearly 20 straight football games, I know they’re not going to win a lot this year, but they might want to get Culpepper in there so they have a chance to break that streak before it gets into the 30s….   Speaking of that class, it may not have been QB heavy (to say the least) but there are some absolute freaks of nature (from that group) taking the league by storm. Adrian Peterson, beast. Calvin Johnson, freak. Patrick Willis, machine. Darrell Revis, stud. And there’s more pro-bowlers from that group. It may be top heavy, but you could argue that those four guys are either the best but no lower than Top 5 at their positions…..   Marc Bulger is brutal. Somebody tell me how Jeff Garcia can just get signed last week when Marc Bulger can have a starting gig and millions of dollars getting paid to him to do what he does. Brutal. If they lose 16, they need to get the nod for worst team of all time….    It’s hard to write a weekly fantasy re-cap without mentioning Mario Manningham, it’s not fair to you guys and it’s not fair to him. Manningham looked like a beast in college, but he looks frail in the NFL. But looks can be deceiving, because all you have to do is ask the Cowboys to understand how tough this guy is to tackle. Apparently Elly Manning knew something when he told everyone that he expected big things from mini-Mario. He’s fast enough to get open, runs good routes, and has shown fearlessness when catching the ball in traffic. Steve Smith has been solid, but I don’t expect this to be Mario’s only good week. And I don’t know if the Giants are going to have a mediocre receiving corps for long. A trio of Hakeem Nicks, Mario, and Smith – with Hixon as a 4 – that is going to be a good group…..   Julius Jones in Week 1 or Julius Jones in Week 2? Somewhere inbetween. It’s tough to fault him completely for his 8 carry for 11 yard performance against the 49ers. The Hawks will start getting offensive linemen back this next week, and should get better as the season moves forward. That being said, they only play the Rams one more time – still, Jones will be alright…..   Felix Jones is still averaging over 8 yards per carry, which is just disgusting. I know he only has 13 carries this season, and barely over 40 for his short career, but he might get real carry numbers next week, and here’s to hoping he continues to bust carry’s off for 8.9 per clip. He might be the only RB in the history of the NFL that averages more yards per run than he does per catch….   Brandon Jacobs, Darren McFadden, and Kevin Smith: 3 guys I thought would have big years, are all averaging less than 4 yards a carry through 2 games. Kevin Smith has had a tough time early, but Sunday’s 85 yard performance against a stout Vikings defense makes me think he’ll be just fine. Jacobs should start to see more running room with Elly and his receivers looking good enough for the girls he goes with. And McFadden, well, unless Russell starts showing defenses that he can complete more than half his passes, he’s going to struggle to find room. Still, if you’re paying a running back that much cake, get him the ball at least 20 times a game. Yeah, that’s 11, not 10, so sue me.