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NFL Fantasy Week 3 Risers and Fallers

Posted By Brandon Galvin On Sep 22 2010 @ 1:25 pm In Fantasy | No Comments



Mark Sanchez, NYJ:

After a miserable Week 1 performance against the Ravens, Mark Sanchez looked as good as he did in last year’s Super Bowl run in Week 2.

Sanchez completed 21 of 30 passes (70.0 completion percentage) for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

Sanchez displayed better pocket awareness this week, decision making, accuracy, and a willingness to go down field. He did so against one of the better defensive minded coaches in Bill Belichick.

Sanchez distributed the ball to five receivers this week. He never appeared to lock on to one target like he did with Dustin Keller in Week 1.

Sanchez is more than likely to be up and down this season, but in three weeks Santonio Holmes comes back from suspension. The addition of Holmes could make this one of the deadlier offenses in the league. He will instantly be the best receiver on the Jets with the biggest playmaking ability for Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez is a weaker option against Miami despite his Week 2 performance, but he could be a top option against Buffalo in Week 4.

Beware of the Jets’ stance on the Braylon Edwards DWI arrest. He won’t start Week 2 but will dress. However, he is one of the main reasons to like Sanchez’ upside, and he could be scarcely available in upcoming weeks.

Jimmy Clausen, CAR:

Clausen has made appearances in the past two weeks as Matt Moore has been hurt and ineffective.

Clausen hasn’t looked much better.

Against Tampa Bay, he completed 7 of 13 passes for 59 yards and an interception.

He will start Week 3. Perhaps with first team reps in practice this week he will fare better.


He has a tough matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that picked off Ravens QB Joe Flacco four times.

It is also doubtful that Clausen will be a fantasy threat this season with only one legit wide receiver on an offense that is determined to run the football.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Kyle Orton, DEN: 25 for 35 (71.4 completion percentage), 307 yards, 2 TD

Matt Ryan, ATL: 21 for 32 (65.6 completion percentage), 225 yards, 3 TD

Donovan McNabb, WAS: 28 for 38 (73.7 completion percentage), 426 yards, TD

Shaun Hill, DET: 25 for 45 (55.6 completion percentage), 335 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF: Will start at New England Week 3

Bruce Gradkowski, OAK: Could start at Arizona Week 3

Michael Vick, PHI: 21 for 34 (61.8 completion percentage), 284 yards, 2 TD, 37 rushing yards

Last Week’s Rising QB in Week 2:

Sam Bradford, STL: 14 for 25 (56 completion percentage), 167 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT


Jahvid Best, DET:

Best had a good debut. Although he had just 20 yards on 14 carries, he was impressive inside the 10 yard line with two touchdowns. He also added five receptions. His receiving ability was a major reason the Lions drafted Best.

His encore against Philadelphia was other-worldly.

Best displayed great burst at the line of scrimmage, big play speed running past defenders and excellent vision as he gutted the Eagles throughout the day.

Best finished the day with 17 carries for 78 yards, 9 receptions for 154 yards and three total touchdowns.

With Calvin Johnson demanding immense attention from opposing defenses, Best has been able to exploit defenses in his first two games.

The Lions now have two home runs threats in Megatron and Best. They have been competitive on both sides of the ball in their first two games. Brandon Pettigrew also had a big day.

When Matthew Stafford comes back, Best should find even more running room. He will continue to catch a lot of passes out of the backfield as he is the second best receiving option on the team. Best will be relied on heavily throughout the season.

It appears the only way Best could be stopped this season is if he hits the rookie wall and becomes fatigued late in the season.

Although Detroit battles Minnesota’s tough rushing defense next week, Best’s receiving abilities will keep him involved in the offense each week.

Look for Best to continue to put fantastic numbers on his way to becoming a top RB fantasy option because of his dual threat abilities.

Donald Brown, IND:

Donald Brown had his best game of his career in Week 2. He rushed 16 times for 69 carries, a touchdown and caught one pass for 19 yards.

Brown is a talented back who had a rough rookie campaign. Now that he is healthy, the Colts are going to want to see what the sophomore can do as they potentially prepare for life without Joseph Addai whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Brown is one of the better back up running backs in the league. He has good vision and hands and enough speed to break away from defenders. Look for Brown’s playing time to increase and easily set career highs if he stays healthy.

The Colts ran the ball more times in Week 2 than they threw the ball, the first time ever in the Peyton Manning era. Manning will always get his. However, as he looks to make another Super Bowl run, he will gladly take what the defense gives. As defenses game plan to stop Manning, look for Manning and the Colts to run more throughout the season.

Now a year in the system, Donald Brown should be more prepared with the game plan, picking up blitzes and building chemistry with Peyton Manning on play action and working out of the backfield in short routes.

Brown should continue to see plenty of reps in games and could work himself into an even split for touches with Addai along the lines of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. Brown is an early trade target before he blows up.

Jason Snelling, ATL:

Last season, Snelling had three strong performances relieving Michael Turner.

Turner left Week 2 with a groin injury and Atlanta went on to win 41-7. The team did not miss a single beat. Snelling became stronger as the game went on. He finished with stunning stats: 29 carries for 129 yards, 2 touchdowns, five receptions, 57 yards and a touchdown.

Snelling proved to be a strong runner last season and it was visible against the subpar Arizona Cardinals. Snelling is also solid pass catcher, finishing with 30 receptions last year.

Snelling will be one of the top waiver additions this week based on his numbers, but Michael Turner was reportedly able to return to the game if necessary.

Clearly the groin injury is not a concern, but Snelling must be added in all leagues.

Backup Jerious Norwood left the game with a knee injury and appears out for the season. If Turner were to get hurt again, Snelling could provide big games in the future.

The Falcons are a run first team and with the lack of receiving depth after Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, Snelling would be a good check down option for the improving Matt Ryan.

Michael Turner will be set to go in Week 3, but Jason Snelling is one of the top waiver additions in any league this week.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Tim Hightower, ARZ: 11 carries, 115 yards, TD, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Marshawn Lynch, BUF: 73 carries, 64 yards

Mike Tolbert, SD: 16 carries, 82 yards, 2 TD, 1 reception, 13 yards, could be goal line back

Earnest Graham, TB: 3 carries, 1 yard, 5 receptions, 33 yards, TD

LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ: 11 carries, 76 yards, 4 receptions, 26 yards

Keiland Williams, WAS: No. 2 on depth chart

Last Week’s Rising RBs in Week 2:

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG: 17 carries, 89 yards

Darren McFadden, OAK: 30 carries, 145 yards, 2 receptions, 8 yards

Arian Foster, HOU: 19 carries, 69 yards, 3 receptions, 69 yards

Brandon Jackson, GB: 11 carries, 29 yards, TD, 1 reception, 10 yards


Kevin Walter, HOU and Austin Collie, IND:

Jacoby Jones was supposed to take over the No. 2 receiving job this season, but last year’s No. 2 refuses to go away.

Walter was a potential sleeper pick last season after a fantastic 2008 season with 60 receptions, 899 yards and eight touchdowns. Some thought he could vault into the top 25-30 fantasy wide receivers with Matt Schaub throwing him the ball in that high powered offense.

Walter had a monster Week 2 as the Texans passing attack made its 2010 debut. Walter caught 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. In Week 1 he scored a touchdown on two receptions for 25 yards.

Austin Collie is in a similar situation as Kevin Walter. Pierre Garcon took over the No. 2 wide receiver position to start the season, but has not looked like the threat seen in the last year’s postseason run.

In Week 2, Collie had four receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown. Through the first two games, Collie has accumulated 15 receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns, matching Reggie Wayne’s production.

Walter and Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie are similar players. Both are solid route runners who can create enough separation for two of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league to get them the ball. Each have dependable hands and will be reliable targets in these outstanding passing attacks.

With the amount of threats on both offenses, these two receivers hardly garner any attention from opposing defenses. Although they aren’t top options, Schaub and Manning will distribute the ball to the open defender instead of trying to force a big play. This will lead to plenty of opportunities throughout the season.

Each should remain fantasy relevant for the rest of the year and make for great flex options each week.

Eddie Royal, DEN:

Although rookie teammate Demaryius Thomas outperformed Eddie Royal in his NFL debut, Eddie Royal makes the list again because he was able to build from his impressive Week 1 performance.

Despite a terrible sophomore slump, Eddie Royal is regaining rookie form in the always heralded ‘third year.’

Now that Eddie Royal has seen different defenses in his two year career, work on his route running and build chemistry with Kyle Orton.

Royal is proving that he is not just a one year rookie wonder.

Royal looked more explosive in Week 2 than he did in all of 2009.

He caught five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. He made a nice catch and turned up field on a well executed trick play but was tripped up at the one yard line or else he would’ve finished with two touchdowns.

Royal needs just 24 catches and 182 yards to match last season’s production.

Through two games he already has one touchdown. He didn’t catch a touchdown in any game last year.

Last preseason, many analysts predicted Royal would become Head Coach Josh McDaniels’ Wes Welker of the offense.

Perhaps Royal just needed time to adjust to the offense. This could be the year Royal regains his moniker as one of the best point-per-reception receivers in the game.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Mario Manningham, NYG: 4 receptions, 75 yards, TD

Demaryius Thomas, DEN: 8 receptions, 97 yards, TD

Devin Hester, CHI: 4 receptions, 77 yards, TD

Louis Murphy, OAK: 6 receptions, 91 yards, TD

Jacoby Jones, HOU: 6 receptions, 53 yards, TD

Last Week’s Rising WRs in Week 2:

Mark Clayton, STL: 2 receptions, 24 yards, 2 TD

Legedu Naanee, SD: 1 reception, 14 yards


Dustin Keller, NYJ:

Dustin Keller was Mark Sanchez’ favorite target in Week 1 and should continue to be throughout the season. Sanchez often looks for Keller as a check down option, but also trusts him up field. Keller is a big target with good hands, making him an ideal red zone threat.

Keller finished with 7 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.

When Santonio Holmes returns from suspension, Keller will see even more room to work with. Keller could easily become this year’s Brent Celek with the amount of targets he will receive each week.

Keller could put up big numbers working against the Miami and Buffalo linebackers in the next two games.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Aaron Hernandez, NE: 6 receptions, 101 yards

Brandon Pettigrew, DET: 7 receptions, 108 yards

Martellus Bennett, DAL: 7 receptions, 45 yards

Tony Moeaki, KC: 5 receptions, 58 yards

Marcedes Lewis, JAX: 5 receptions, 70 yards

Last Week’s TE in Week 2:

Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN: 6 receptions, 86 yards



Brett Favre, MIN:

Brett Favre has looked terrible to start the season.

For perhaps the first time, Brett Favre actually looks old. The youthful exuberance that we have grown accustomed to is absent.

The lack of receiving depth has hurt Favre, but he has worked with worse.

Favre stated after Sunday’s game that he needs time to gel with his teammates. Clearly, training camp would have helped but that is a moot point.

Through two games, Favre has 396 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions while completing 58.7 percent of his passes.

Although one of his three interceptions on Sunday was the result of a bobbled pass, he has frequently thrown poor passes into tight coverage in the first two games. Favre also lost a fumble on Sunday.

Favre had nine turnovers all last season.

He has five to open the season.

Percy Harvin is questionable for Week 3. Favre will lean heavily on the mismatch of Visanthe Shiancoe against whichever Detroit defender he lines up against. Look for Favre to continue to force deep passes to Bernard Berrian, who probably won’t pull them in. Expect Greg Camarillo to fill the role of Percy Harvin if he is unavailable.

Expect Favre to struggle throughout the season without their breakout superstar Sidney Rice. The Vikings could use a big target like Vincent Jackson. At this time, a trade is looking unlikely.

Favre has a great opportunity to get back on track against the Detroit Lions in Week 3. They have surrendered four passing touchdowns in the first two games.

Look for Favre to throw at least one touchdown Sunday. However, the Vikings could very well put the game away early on the legs of Adrian Peterson as LeSean McCoy gutted the Lions for three rushing touchdowns in Week 2.

Although Favre could get back on track in Week 3, do not expect him to crack the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks this season.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Matt Cassell, KC: 16 for 28 (57.1 completion percentage), 176 yards, 2 INT

David Garrard, JAX: 15 for 23 (65.2 completion percentage), 173 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT

Joe Flacco, BAL: 17 for 39 (43.6 completion percentage), 154 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT

Vince Young, 6 for 10 (60.0 completion percentage), 66 yards, 2 INT, lost fumble

Derek Anderson, ARZ: 17 for 31 (54.8 completion percentage), 161 yards, 2 INT

Jason Campbell, OAK: Could lose starting job after being benched Week 2

Matt Moore, CAR: Lost starting job to rookie Jimmy Clausen

Last Week’s Falling QB in Week 2:

Kevin Kolb, PHI: Did not play, expected to miss Week 3


Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX:

Maurice Jones-Drew had a solid outing in Week 1 against Denver.

Against San Diego, Jones-Drew was terrible.

He could not develop any kind of rhythm as David Garrard was throwing four interceptions throughout the game. Jones-Drew finished with 12 carries for just 31 yards and one reception for 17 yards. Jones-Drew also lost a fumble. Rashad Jennings managed to produce better numbers than Jones-Drew and MJD owners may want to pick him up as insurance if he’s available.

Luckily, the preseason concerns over his knee have yet to creep up in the first two weeks. However, this was the type of inconsistency that frustrated many fantasy owners last season.

With a mediocre passing attack and a below average offensive line, Jones-Drew faces about as much attention as any player in the league. Expect many inconsistent games until Jacksonville improves its glaring offensive weaknesses.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG:

Brandon Jacobs’ career continues to go downhill in New York. He was awful in 2009 and has been frequently injured over the past three seasons. He has been extremely tentative running the ball over the past two seasons, clearly cautious of getting injured again.

Over the preseason, Ahmad Bradshaw was announced the starting running back as he is easily the more explosive and tougher back as he played last season with two injured ankles. Bradshaw is also better at the goal line than Jacobs, which is where Jacobs should excel given his size and power.

Jacobs has poor vision, runs too upright to evade defenders and does not seem willing to power through defenders like he did in his first three seasons.

Jacobs has been openly frustrated with his decreasing role. He has been a problem in the locker room and has done more harm than good for the New York Giants overall.

Against Indianapolis, he carried the ball four times for eight yards. More importantly, he somehow managed to throw his helmet into the stands. It is being reported that he has requested a trade. This may be the only way to save his fantasy value unless Ahmad Bradshaw was to miss playing time.

It will remain to be seen if Head Coach Tom Coughlin will try to remedy this situation by giving Jacobs more carries. Given Coughlin’s hard-nosed stance and Jacobs’ lack of production, this will remain unlikely.

Jacobs is still worth stashing on the bench for now, but do not look for him to be productive any time soon.

Reggie Bush, NO:

Bush was amazing in last year’s postseason. That intensity appeared to carry over to 2010. Reggie Bush was running stronger throughout the postseason and to open the regular season. He was running up the middle better and was hitting holes quicker. Arguably the best pass catching back in the game, Bush was receiving plenty of touches in the first two games.

Unfortunately, Bush will miss at least the next four to six weeks with a broken fibula in his right leg.

The Saints used to DeShawn Wynn to spell Pierre Thomas last season. Wynn caught fire in 2007 with the Green Bay Packers. In three of seven games appeared in that year, Wynn had 36 carries for 165 yards and four touchdowns.

Rookie running back Christopher Ivory should miss Week 3 as he is still nursing a sprained MCL suffered in the preseason. However, he should be back in Week 4. Ivory is a strong, explosive young runner who presents more upside than Wynn.

The Saints could also relook at Ladell Betts who they signed and cut earlier this month.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Michael Turner, ATL: 9 carries, 75 yards (groin injury, expected to play Week 3)

Ryan Mathews, SD: 5 carries, 26 yards, fumble (ankle injury, expected to play Week 3)

Cadillac Williams, TB: 27 carries, 51 yards (1.8 average), 1 reception, 8 yards

C.J. Spiller, BUF: 1 carry, 3 yards, 4 receptions, 23 yards

Kevin Faulk, NE: Out for season (torn ACL)

Jerious Norwood, ATL: Out for season (torn ACL)

Larry Johnson, WAS: Released Tuesday

Last Week’s Falling RBs in Week 2:

Jerome Harrison, CLE: 16 carries, 33 yards, 3 receptions, 35 yards, lost fumble

Shonn Greene, NYJ: 15 carries, 52 yards, 1 reception, 8 yards


Hines Ward and Mike Wallace, PIT:

Spark plug’ Dennis Dixon left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and may not play in Week 3. Dixon was ineffective against the Titans despite a strong performance in Week 3. Charlie Batch stepped in and played even worse than expected for a game managing veteran. He completed 5 of 11 attempted passes (45.5 completion percentage) for 25 yards and was sacked twice.

Mike Wallace had just two catches for 25 yards. Hines Ward had just one reception for nine yards.

Both offenses were abysmal and the Steelers were playing with a lead the entire game. Still, Batch was Mike Tomlin’s last option to start at QB, which he may have to do in Week 3 against Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay’s defense is better than expected although they have given up two receiving touchdowns this season.

This week of practice will be extremely important for Batch. He’ll look to quickly build chemistry with Ward and Wallace.

The Steelers will attempt to play ball control by running the football with Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers defense is on point to start the season. Mike Tomlin will most likely simply ask Charlie Batch not to turn the ball over as they play a game of field position.

The Steelers have resigned Byron Leftwich who was released over the weekend. However, it remains to be seen how healthy he is after spraining his knee in the preseason. If he starts in Week 3, he would be an upgrade over Charlie Batch.

If Batch does start, expect Wallace and Ward to have terrible numbers until Ben Roethlisberger returns from suspension in Week 5. It might be best to seek other options as the Steelers travel to Tampa Bay Week 3 and host the Baltimore Ravens Week 5.

Braylon Edwards, NYJ:

Braylon had a poor Week 1 but had one of his best games for the Jets in Week 2. He caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. He made good catches in tight coverage.

He should have been a player on the rise.

Instead, he is on the downfall.

Edwards was arrested Tuesday morning in New York City for driving while intoxicated. The Jets organization is rightfully furious with Edwards’ irresponsibility.

Edwards could be benched Week 3 and could even face suspension from the Jets. All is speculation at this point but cannot be ruled out. So much for playing for a contract, Edwards may not even play much the rest of the season depending on the stance the Jets take.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Greg Jennings, GB: 3 receptions, 36 yards

Lee Evans, BUF: Held without a reception

Robert Meachem, NO: Held without a reception

Michael Crabtree, SF: 1 reception. 32 yards

Percy Harvin, MIN: 5 receptions, 32 yards (hip injury, questionable Week 3)

Last Week’s WRs in Week 2:

Mike Sims-Walker, JAX: 10 receptions, 105 yards, TD, lost fumble

Pierre Garcon, IND: 1 reception, 11 yards

Kenny Britt, TEN: 5 receptions, 41 yards


Tony Gonzalez, ATL:

Gonzalez has been the most disappointing tight end to open the season.

Through the first two games last season, Gonzalez had 12 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

In the first two games this season, Gonzalez has four receptions for 54 yards and zero touchdowns.

Matt Ryan had a great game, throwing for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Falcons dismantled the Cardinals. Somehow, Gonzalez was excluded.

Look for Gonzalez to bounce back in a big way in the next few weeks, starting this Sunday. Visanthe Shiancoe and Vernon Davis both had good games against the Saints.

Gonzalez should have no trouble matching last season’s stellar production.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Owen Daniels, HOU: 2 receptions, 24 yards

Brent Celek, PHI: 3 receptions, 27 yards

Bo Scaife, TEN: 3 receptions, 20 yards

Heath Miller, PIT: 2 receptions, 3 yards

Jermaine Gresham, CIN: 3 receptions, 15 yards

Last Week’s TE in Week 2:

Jason Witten, DAL: 5 receptions, 51 yards (concussion, expected to play Week 3)

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