What is going on ProSportsBloggers and followers! Sorry that I did not write anything in preparation for week 3, my computer actually broke and I have had no internet access for the past 3 days (that is like a 3 years in fantasy terms). Although week 3 is not over yet, there a lot of takeaways from yesterday’s games. In this article, I am going to shed some light on some players I am sure people are worrying about, some players that people need to pay attention to, as well as some personal insights on some players.
Tom Brady- NE
No need to worry about this guy, obviously. Yesterday just showed us that Tom Brady is human and can make mistakes, but not really many of them. I am putting Brady here because I believe he probably will have his best statistical game next weekend. Not much more to say other than this guy is amazing.
Michael Vick- PHI
Some may hate to hear this, but this could be a blessing in disguise. As an Eagles fan, it killed me to see Mike Vick leave the game for the second straight week. Every week, heck, every play, Vick is getting smashed to the ground and is getting no love from the refs. In his press conference, Vick made it clear that he doesn’t get the same treatment as other elite QBs, and hopefully the refs will start to recognize this. Needless to say, people are going to have to play without Vick for at least 1-2 weeks (reports say 3-4 but I am not buying it). I say this is a blessing in disguise because it is pretty clear that Mike Vick will always be taking heat and getting hit hard, regardless of the penalties. With a few weeks to rest, Vick should return to prime form. I am somewhat nervous as a fan, and owner of Vick, but we all knew this going into this year’s fantasy drafts.
Ryan Fitzpatrick- BUF
Fitzpatrick is the man, simple as that. He may not be the best fantasy QB, but anyone who drafted him knows he has helped greatly. And for the most part, unless you are in deep leagues, Fitzpatrick was most likely a FA going into the year, if not going into this week. Looking at his numbers from these past three games, Fitzpatrick is on pace for over 4,400 yards, and could break 50 TDs this year, which would be career highs in both categories. Looking at his ADP (average draft position), Fitzpatrick was being taken in the middle of the 13th round in standard drafts (152 overall), and was the 24th rated QB, which is not a starter in almost any league. Pretty much, Fitzpatrick came out of nowhere and is proving to everyone that a Harvard QB can get it done just like anyone else. He is also showing everyone that the Bills are a legitimate contender. Many people believe that this is just a fluke, and that Fitzpatrick will calm down and return to normal form like last year. I tend to disagree. There are other statistics, besides TDs and yards, that prove that Fitzpatrick is performing well and this is not just pure luck. The statistics that I tend to value more than just yards and TDs are Defense-adjusted yards against replacement (DYAR) and Defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA). Both of these statistics help evaluate players more accurately. DVOA is the value, per play, of a player compared to the average player. DVOA, as well as DYAR, take into account the various defenses as well as plays. For example, if Roddy White caught a pass and got all the way to the opposing team’s 2 yard line, but Michael Turner got the TD, the statistics would be skewed for each player. DVOA and DYAR take this into account. Lets say a QB had a DVOA of 20%, this would mean that the player is 20% better than the average QB. Next, DYAR is the value a player has over its replacement, in terms of yards (For more in-depth definition, look at FootballOutsiders webpage www.footballoutsiders.com/info/methods). Although these statistics are not the only ones that should be evaluated, they definitely are helpful. With this in mind, looking at DVOA and DYAR, Ryan Fitzpatrick has 57.1% and 325 yards, respectively (And this is only first two weeks). This puts Fitzpatrick as the 3rd ranked QB in fantasy right now over guys like Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Phillip Rivers. One guy that I was contemplating writing about instead of Fitzpatrick was Joe Flacco who has also had a stellar first three weeks. Looking at his DVOA and DYAR, he is -5.2% and 24 yards, receptively! This just shows that the standard statistics do not always tell the whole story. If Fitzpatrick is somehow still available in your league, just grab him already because he is going to become a household name.
Lesean McCoy- PHI
Right now, McCoy could arguably be the best fantasy back and player in the league. If you own him in a PPR league, you surely are reaping the benefits of taking him with your fist pick. With Mike Vick sitting out for the next couple weeks, the Eagles are definitely going to be relying on McCoy a little bit more. I have a lot of faith in Kafka (not Vince Young), but McCoy is the only guarantee the Eagles have right now. People were somewhat hesitant with McCoy because Vick would be stealing some of his touches and TDs, but that has yet to be the case. McCoy is only going to get better, especially since the passing game may be hindered a little bit with a new QB.
Darren McFadden- OAK
I know I just said how McCoy is the best player right now, but Run-DMC is a freak of nature that WILL be the best RB in the league by the end of the season. We all know McFadden has the talent, it’s just whether or not he can stay on the field. Right now, even with the little nicks, McFadden seems to be ready for an entire season and has erased all the doubt many people had. I mean, I drafted him in the 3rd round this year, which is ridiculous. McFadden is a workhorse and can really do everything. Remember him from Arkansas? According to many analysts, if McFadden and Adrian Peterson were drafted the same year, McFadden would be drafted ahead of him. He is the best combination of speed, agility, and power in the NFL today and will continue to improve. I do not think it is possible to get him, but you might as well try because he is the best.
Chris Johnson- TEN
What is up with this guy? I am glad I am not one of those people who guaranteed an amazing week from CJ2K because he stunk! Not only did he just stink, he stunk against the Broncos. There is not much I can say about this guy that has not been said other than to keep waiting. He was the best RB 2 years ago, and one of the best last year. DO NOT GIVE UP
Deangelo Williams- CAR
On the other hand, this is a guy that really is making me nervous. You would think that after such a huge contract, Deangelo would tear it up and prove to everyone (including many of his fans) that he is the number 1 RB in Carolina, not JStew. Should you drop Deangelo, probably not but I understand how frustrating owning a guy like this is (I know because I own him). It seems like the Panthers are relying heavily on their rookie QB Cam Newton and have shied away from the run. I cannot imagine how long this will happen as Deangelo was a top 5 runningback two years ago. Am I worried? Of course I am….Am I jumping ship? NO! Stick with it, even if it is torturing and you do not want to, it’s only week 3.
Eric Decker- DEN
I wrote about Decker as one of my sleepers, and a benificiary to the Bronco’s injuries. Although not a stellar performance in standard leagues, Decker did quite alright for owners in PPR leagues with 7 receptions and 48 yards. More importantly, Decker has 12 catches over the last 2 games, and had 12 targets in this past game. With his emergence, and an Eddie Royal injury, Decker should be a consistent WR3 or flex in PPR leagues. Decker’s performance yesterday obviously did not compare to his week 2 performance, but Kyle Orton loves throwing him the ball. On top of his team high 12 targets, Orton also missed Decker on a wide open play that turned into a pick. Kyle Orton does not get enough love, but he is a good fantasy option and has helped Decker emerge as a legitimate fantasy option as well.
Lance Moore- NO
I was somewhat skeptical about Lance Moore going into this week as he really has not done anything this year, mostly due to the groin injury. It appears the groin injury has healed and Moore can be considered a solid WR3 or Flex, especially in PPRs. Moore was praised throughout the off-season for his boosted value due to the departure of Reggie Bush. Darren Sproles though has effectively taken Bush’s role which has caused some people to speculate whether Moore can still perform well. Yesterday was a clear indication that when healthy, Lance Moore is a solid option. Even with Sproles playing well, Moore grabbed 9 receptions for 88 yards and a TD. Unlike Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem, Moore is a consistent WR that has always performed well in Drew Bree’s spread offense. With Marques Colston still injured, Lance Moore should reap the benefits for a while. He is Bree’s favorite target and is playing the Jags next weeked. He is a must start.
I really feel bad for this guy. After reading various reports and insight, it is pretty clear that Antonio Gates will never be the same freakish TE that he once was. The tear in his foot is a lingering problem that is said to restrict him from running deep vertical routes. I am not sure what kind of value Gates really has right now because his status is truly uncertain. How can a guy with a tear in his foot be considered questionable? It seems like the Chargers have started to shift away from him, involving other players like Ryan Mathews (look for an article later this week about Mathews). I obviously would not go and drop Gates, but it is really scary what could happen over the next few weeks as more information is known. Owners need to understand that Gates will most likely never return to form, but can still expect a solid performance, if he can get onto the field. It is really frustrating owning this guy because you clearly will not get the same value as was expected earlier this season. With that being said, owners may need to look to the FA market for guys like: Randy McMichael, Fred Davis, Brandon Pettigrew.
Brandon Pettigrew- DET
Speaking of Brandon Pettigrew, this guy needs to be owned in all formats. If yesterday was not an indication of his skills and potential, go back and take a look again. With 11 receptions and 112yards, this guy is a PPR monster. The Lions have always had high hopes for this guy, seeing as they drafted the Oklahoma State Product in the 1st round. Stafford has always loved throwing Pettigrew the ball, and Pettigrew should emerge as a top 10 TE with a healthy Stafford. Even with Stafford playing limited time last year, Pettigrew racked up 111 targets. There are not many other TEs that get this many receptions and targets, so go after him before he gets even better!
About the Author
Written by Spencer Lieberson
Avid sports geek, looking to pave my way into the sports industry. I am a DIE HARD Philadelphia Sports fan and am addicted to fantasy sports. I have been active and addicted to fantasy sports for the past 10 plus years. I am currently a student at Indiana University (GO HOOSIERS!) studying Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Management. I love sports and I am excited to share my passion with everyone! If there was one fantasy expert that has given me inspiration to start blogging, it is Matthew Berry......aka TMR Hope you guys enjoy!