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Peyton Hillis Shocks in Week 4′s Fantasy Risers and Fallers



Kyle Orton, DEN

Orton was excellent against the Indianapolis Colts, just like he has been in the previous two games.

Orton completed 37 of 57 passes (64.9 completion percentage) for a whopping 476 yards. He also threw one touchdown and interception.

He completed passes to nine different receivers and has made all four of his top receivers (Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas, Jabar Gaffney, and Brandon Lloyd) fantasy relevant through three games.

Orton is an efficient and intelligent quarterback. He will take what the defense gives him and has learned in his NFL career that it is more important to avoid a turnover than anything else. This mentality, combined with an above average receiving corps. has allowed Orton to achieve fantastic fantasy numbers.

It is worth noting that Demaryius Thomas escaped a wrist injuty in Week 3.

Orton is proving that is more than a bye-week fill in and is actually a decent every week starter. However, in Week 4 the Broncos travel to Tennessee to face a tough Titans defense.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Matt Cassell, KC: 16 for 27 (59.3 completion percentage), 250 yards, 3 TD, INT

Joe Flacco, BAL:22 for 31 (71.0 completion percentage), 262 yards, 3 TD

Michael Vick, PHI: 17 for 31 (54.8 completion percentage) for 291 yards, 3 TD, 30 yards rushing, TD

Charlie Batch, PIT: 12 for 17 (70.6 completion percentage), 186 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF: 20 for 28 (71.4 completion percentage), 247 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Chad Henne, MIA: 26 for 44 (59.1 completion percentage), 363 yards, 2 TD, INT

Last Week’s Rising QB in Week 3:

Mark Sanchez, NYJ: 15 for 28 (53.6 completion percentage), 256 yards, 3 TD

Jimmy Clausen, CAR: 16 for 33 (48.5 completion percentage), 188 yards, INT


Peyton Hillis, CLE

Hillis has officially planted himself as the starter for the Cleveland Browns.

Against one of the toughest rushing defenses in the NFL, Hillis exploded for 144 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He also added seven receptions for 36 yards.

Hillis is the most versatile back for the Cleveland Browns.

He has the best receiving ability and is the most powerful back on the team.

With the lack of receiving options in Cleveland, Hillis should continue to see a lot of targets out of the backfield.

He will be the starter going forward and has a nice matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals Week 4.

Expect Hillis to remain a solid flex play as long as he continues to start with borderline RB2 potential.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE

After the Maroney trade, Green-Ellis was easily the best option to take over the starting gig, not Fred Taylor.

Green-Ellis proved two years ago that he has the skills to be the every down workhorse back that the Patriots will lean on late in the season.

In 2008, Green-Ellis scored in five of six games from Week 7 to Week 12.

Against Buffalo, he rushed 16 times for 98 yards and a touchdown. He also contributed one catch for six yards.

Expect Green-Ellis to lead all New England running backs this season and be the most fantasy relevant.

Laurence Maroney, DEN

Laurence Maroney started in place of Knowshon Moreno who pulled his hamstring over the weekend. Moreno is expected to miss at least one more week, but a hamstring injury is difficult to put a timetable on. Moreno missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. These injuries can linger and the Broncos may want to play it safe with their star running back.

McDaniels clearly trust Maroney or he probably would not have traded for him. Maroney is solid, powerful back and excelled last season in the feature back role late in the season for the Patriots. Maroney’s style of play, however, makes him injury prone, which has always been a cause of concern.

Maroney rushed 12 times for 24 yards, an abysmal 2.0 yards per carry. However, Maroney did receive goal line carries, which is always a plus for owners looking at the waiver wire or looking for bench players to trade for.

Maroney is playing for a new contract. At least for the next few weeks, he will have the opportunity to prove he deserves one.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

C.J. Spiller, BUF: 4 carries, 29 yards, 3 receptions, 10 yards, TD, KR TD

Kenneth Darby, STL: 14 carries, 49 yards, TD

Marion Barber, DAL: 17 carries, 55 yards, TD, 1 reception, 5 yards

Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells, ARZ: 14 carries, 75 yards

LeGarrette Blount, TB: 6 carries, 27 yards, TD

Marshawn Lynch, BUF: Reportedly on the trade market

Kevin Smith, DET: Expected to make season debut Week 4

Ryan Torain, WAS: No. 2 on depth chart behind Clinton Portis

Last Week’s Rising RBs in Week 3:

Jahvid Best, DET: 7 carries, 26 yards, 2 receptions, 13 yards (sprained toe ligaments, hopeful for Week 4)

Jason Snelling, ATL: 14 carries, 62 yards, 1 reception, 8 yards

Donald Brown, IND: 7 carries, 12 yards


Lance Moore, NO

Last season, Moore was burdened by injuries throughout the year.

Two years ago, Lance Moore exploded on the fantasy scene. He became Drew Brees’ security blanket and most dependable receiver. The chemistry was outstanding. The two reconnected once again against the Falcons.

Moore beat the Falcons secondary for 149 yards and two touchdowns and six receptions.

In his breakout season, Moore totaled 928 yards and 10 touchdowns on 79 receptions in 16 games.

With Reggie Bush out for at least five more weeks, expect Moore to be heavily involved in the passing attack. Moore will also by the primary punt returner (he almost took one to the house) for those in leagues that count return yardage or touchdowns.

Roy Williams, DAL

With Miles Austin and rookie Dez Bryant demanding defensive attention, Roy Williams was able to slip past the already suspect Houston Texans secondary to completely take over the game.

Tony Romo hit Williams in stride on two big plays en route to Williams’ best game as a Cowboy.

Williams caught five passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

It is being reported that Jason Witten suffered an MCL sprain in Week 3. The Cowboys have a bye this week so Witten will have almost two weeks to heal. Still, MCL sprains can linger and usually take at least four weeks to heal. Witten may not be 100 percent healthy for Week 5, which means Williams could see more targets after the bye.

In the highly explosive Dallas offense, Williams is a good flex option each week.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Brandon Lloyd, DEN: 6 receptions, 169 yards, TD

Jabar Gaffney, DEN: 12 receptions, 140 yards

Santana Moss, WAS: 6 receptions, 124 yards, TD

Jeremy Maclin, PHI: 4 receptions, 83 yards, 2 TD

Louis Murphy, OAK: 5 receptions, 119 yards

Last Week’s Rising WRs in Week 3:

Kevin Walter, HOU: 3 receptions, 34 yards, TD

Austin Collie, IND: 12 receptions, 171 yards, 2 TD

Eddie Royal, DEN: 4 receptions, 23 yards


Tony Moeaki, KC

Moeaki has been spectacular in his first three games as an NFL pro.

He helped the Chiefs upset the San Francisco 49ers with an incredible one handed 18 yard touchdown grab. He finished the day with four catches for 44 yards and the score.

Most important is that it seems that Moeaki is Matt Cassell’s favorite target. Moeaki has been targeted often in the first three games.

With 12 receptions and two touchdowns already, do not expect Moeaki to fade down the stretch. Dwayne Bowe may be the most talented receiver on the field, but Moeaki has been the most dependable for the Chiefs.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Jeremy Shockey, NO: 8 receptions, 78 yards, TD

Zach Miller, OAK: 4 receptions, 64 yards, TD

Tony Scheffler, DET: 7 receptions, 60 yards, TD

Greg Olsen, CHI: 5 receptions, 64 yards, TD

John Carlson, SEA: 5 receptions, 61 yards, TD

Last Week’s Rising TE in Week 3:

Dustin Keller, NYJ: 6 receptions, 98 yards, 2 TD



Eli Manning, NYG

Although, Manning threw for 386 yards in Week 3 on a rather impressive 34 of 48 completed passes (70.8 completion percentage), Manning played a poor game, again.

He threw two interceptions and failed to throw a touchdown.

The Giants and Eli Manning were undisciplined throughout the game.

They committed several turnovers and mistakes.

The worst was Manning’s left handed throw as he was being tackled inside the 10 yard line, which was, as expected from an off-handed attempt, picked off in the end zone.

The Giants host the tough Chicago Bears defense on Sunday night. Manning and his receivers can exploit the Bears secondary.

However, it is the Bears’ pass rush against the mediocre Giants offensive line that will determine the game.

It is difficult to believe that anyone on the Giants line will be able to contain Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.

Expect Manning to be running behind the line of scrimmage and forced to make quick decisions, which could result in erratic throws and interceptions.

Manning could still throw for a ton of yardage, as he did when the Giants were outplayed by the Titans in Week 3, which will be his saving grace Week 4.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

David Garrard, JAX: 13 for 30 (43.3 completion percentage), 105 yards, INT

Carson Palmer, CIN: 19 for 37 (51.4 completion percentage), 195 yards, TD, 2 INT

Derek Anderson, ARZ: 12 for 26 (46.2 completion percentage), 122 yards, 2 TD, INT

Donovan McNabb, WAS: 19 for 32 (59.4 completion percentage), 236 yards, TD, INT

Alex Smith, SF: 23 for 42 (54.8 completion percentage), 232 yards, TD, INT

Trent Edwards, BUF: Released Monday

Last Week’s Falling QB in Week 3:

Brett Favre, MIN: 23 for 34 (67.6 completion percentage), 201 yards, TD, 2 INT


Cadillac Williams, TB

It is difficult to root against Cadillac Williams.

He is a warrior, having returned from two terrible knee injuries.

Last season, he was able to escape injury and entered this season as the clear cut starter.

However, Tampa Bay wants to play it safe with Williams and attempt to keep him healthy throughout the season.

In order to do so, Williams’ workload will be cut into. We have already seen this in the past two games.

In Week 2, Earnest Graham received catches out of the backfield and made the most out of his limited workload by scoring a touchdown.

In Week 3, Graham once again saw limited work. In addition, LeGarrette Blount received six carries and scored a touchdown as he rushed for 27 yards.

Expect Blount, who is a powerful, bruising running back with fresh legs, to receive more carries going forward.

Williams will remain a flex option throughout the season, but unless injuries strike the Buccaneers backfield, an inconsistent flex option is all he will be.

Meanwhile, Blount could turn into a flex option himself if given double digit touches and goal line opportunities. Keep him on your watch list as he could have the most upside of any running back for Tampa Bay.

Clinton Portis, WAS

Portis was fighting an uphill battle this season after suffering a concussion last year on top of the wear and tear on his body.

Portis has not looked good to open the season.

Both of his touchdowns have come from the one yard line.

He looks eerily similar to LaDainian Tomlinson last season.

Portis is lacking the burst he once had and his dancing behind a terrible offensive line. At this stage of his career, Portis needs an excellent offensive line to open holes for him to make one cut through instead of trying to find it behind the line of scrimmage.

Portis rushed seven times for 44 yards and added one reception for 14 yards in Week 3.

A wrist injury sidelined Portis for the second half of the game.

Even before the wrist injury, Head Coach Mike Shanahan was looking at Keiland Williams as potential third down back. Williams’ inability to pass protect has relegated him back to No. 3 on the depth chart.

The Redskins brought back Ryan Torain, one of my preseason sleeper running backs, to the team and appears to be No. 2 on the depth chart. Torain is familiar with Shanahan’s system and could make noise if given the opportunity.

Portis could be relegated to third down duties because he is a capable receiving option, while Torain could take over first and second downs.

Pay close attention to the situation, as one of Torain or Williams could emerge as a good fantasy option this season.

Expect Portis’ value to continue to decrease behind a bad offensive line and lackluster offense.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

LeSean McCoy, PHI: 11 carries, 54 yards, 2 receptions, 7 yards

Shonn Greene, NYJ: 10 carries, 36 yards

Ricky Williams, MIA: 7 carries, 28 yards

Joseph Addai, IND: 13 carries, 29 yards, 2 receptions, 10 yards

Matt Forte, CHI: 11 carries, 29 yards, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Steven Jackson, STL: Strained groin, questionable to play Week 4

Ray Rice, BAL: Sprained knee, questionable to play Week 4

Keiland Williams, WAS: No. 3 on depth chart behind Ryan Torain

Last Week’s Falling RB in Week 3:

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX: 22 carries, 88 yards, 2 receptions, 1 yard

Brandon Jacobs, NYG: 4 carries, 17 yards, 1 reception, 1 yard

Reggie Bush, NO: Did not play, expected to miss at least five more weeks


Michael Crabtree, SF:

It is evident that Alex Smith and Crabtree, despite having a full offseason to work with each other, are lacking the necessary chemistry to make Crabtree the top 15 fantasy wide receiver owners were hoping for when they drafted him early.

The Chiefs have a good, young secondary, but one Crabtree should be able to find separation and power over.

Statistically, it was Crabtree’s best game of the season as he had three receptions for 37 yards.

For the year, Crabtree has six receptions for 81 yards.

Crabtree is easily one of the biggest disappointments through the first three games.

On his lone catch against the New Orleans Saints Week 2, he made a fantastic after the catch spin move to break away for a few more yards.

The talent is there. Crabtree has the skills to be the No. 1 receiver for Alex Smith. Somehow, it seems that he is lacking the trust in Crabtree.

Owners will hope that the firing of offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye will spark life into this lackluster offense. The team will look to be more creative as they travel to Atlanta Week 4.

Atlanta shut down Marques Colston and Robert Meachem on the outside, while Lance Moore did a ton of damage in the slot.

Perhaps San Francisco will take notice and move Crabtree into the slot to give him more room to work with in the middle of the field. Crabtree is good at creating separation from defensive backs and could be lethal breaking tackles in the open field.

Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and Braylon Edwards all made the falling list last week.

All three scored in Week 3.

Week 4 could be Crabtree’s coming out party.

Robert Meachem, NO

Meachem broke out last season, but it seems he was just the yearly Saints break out receiver. Only Marques Colston is a constant in the Saints passing attack, and even he can become inconsistent.

With Reggie Bush out, it seems the Drew Brees is turning to his once trustworthy option, Lance Moore.

Meachem has been one of the bigger disappointments to open the season. After catching 45 passes for 722 yards and nine touchdowns last year, he has just four receptions for 38 yards.

Until Meachem actually does something noteworthy in a game, or at the very least, sees more targets, it is best to bench Meachem.

Expect many inconsistent games from Meachem this year as Drew Brees rarely plays favorites. Meachem would do most of his damage in the slot, but a healthy Lance Moore is currently occupying that position.

Meachem would need an injury to Lance Moore or Devery Henderson, or perhaps both, to reach meet or exceed last season’s breakout totals.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Mike Sims-Walker, JAX: 2 receptions, 34 yards

Marques Colston, NO: 4 receptions, 25 yards

Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ: 2 receptions, 20 yards

Miles Austin, DAL: 2 receptions, 20 yards

Steve Smith, CAR: 3 receptions, 22 yards

Last Week’s Falling WRs in Week 3:

Mike Wallace, PIT: 3 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TD

Hines Ward, PIT: 3 receptions, 34 yards, TD

Braylon Edwards, NYJ: 2 receptions, 87 yards, TD


Owen Daniels, HOU:

Daniels is struggling to open the season after coming back from knee surgery.

Daniels could be a top five fantasy tight end with his talent in the dynamic Houston passing attack.

However, Daniels may have returned too soon. Instead of allowing his knee to handle the pressure of the fast paced NFL game, he increased the intensity of his rehab to be ready to open the season.

This is absolutely commendable and impressive.

However, Daniels’ fantasy production is suffering.

Daniels is losing reps and looks to Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones.

It is difficult to believe that Daniels will be fully healed in the next few weeks. Until he proves he can produce more (6 receptions for 60 yards in three games) or Andre Johnson misses time with the ankle sprain, keep Daniels on the bench.

Other Notable Performances and Notes:

Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN: 1 reception, 7 yards (suffered leg injury, expected to play Week 5)

Kellen Winslow, TB: 3 receptions, 24 yards

Vernon Davis, SF: 3 receptions, 22 yards

Marcedes Lewis, JAX: 3 receptions, 15 yards

Heath Miller, PIT: 2 receptions, 25 yards

Jason Witten, DAL: Sprained MCL, expected to play Week 5

Last Week’s Falling TE in Week 3:

Tony Gonzalez, ATL: 8 receptions, 110 yards, TD

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