Fantasy Football Projections 2012: Most Ideal Plays of Week 3
Cam Newton is set to have a monster game against the New York Giants in Week 3, according to my projections, and he's an ideal player to start in your fantasy league.
Newton isn't the only player with a favorable matchup this week, either.
Follow me as I take a look at the top-five players at each position—guys who will earn you massive point totals for Week 3 of the 2012 season.
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1. Cam Newton vs. New York Giants
The secondary of the Giants is weak. This unit has given up 518 yards and five touchdowns to Tony Romo and Josh Freeman the past two weeks. Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell will be in position to make a ton of plays down the field, and Newton will have a monster game.
2. Tony Romo vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs gave up 510 yards to Eli Manning last week, and they gave up another 303 yards to Cam Newton in Week 1. Romo and his receivers will have the kind of big game we saw from them in Week 1 against the Giants, and their fantasy totals will be gaudy.
3. Matt Ryan vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are much improved on defense this year compared to last season's debacle, but Matt Ryan is going to find Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez on a regular basis for his third-straight big fantasy game.
4. Matthew Stafford vs. Tennessee Titans
Stafford was stymied by the San Francisco 49ers for most of the game in Week 2 and only threw one touchdown. He won't have the same issues against the Titans in Week 3, and I expect him and Calvin Johnson to blow up.
5. Drew Brees vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have lost both of their games thus far in 2012, and they've allowed five touchdowns while failing to produce a single interception. I have predicted that the Chiefs will upset the New Orleans Saints, but I still think Brees will put up big fantasy numbers.
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1. Calvin Johnson vs. Tennessee Titans
After getting shut down for the most part by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, Johnson is ready to explode with a 120-plus yard, two-plus touchdown performance against the Titans.
2. Julio Jones vs. San Diego Chargers
Jones' butterfingers unexpectedly showed up once again against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, but I don't expect him to let that happen two games in a row. He's the only receiver in the league right now that favorably compares to Johnson, and he's going to put up big numbers against the Chargers.
3. Steve Smith vs. New York Giants
Smith is back and practicing with his team, which is good news for his fantasy owners (h/t Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer). The Giants are the team that allowed Kevin Ogletree to have a field day, and I guarantee you Cam Newton will find Smith on a number of deep passes.
4. Miles Austin vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Austin seems to be healthy these days, and he has caught a touchdown in both of the games so far this season. He will be going up against the worst passing defense in the NFL, and I expect Tony Romo to find him on a number of occasions.
5. Victor Cruz vs. Carolina Panthers
Cruz is such a consistent producer, and his quickness is going to be a problem for the secondary of the Panthers. I expect Cruz to end up being Eli Manning's top target on Sunday, and he'll come down with at least one touchdown.
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1. Marshawn Lynch vs. Green Bay Packers
The Packers' pass-rush seems to be back, and better than ever after two games. Pete Carroll won't be inclined to try and throw the ball all game with his rookie running back. After gobbling up 122 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, Beast Mode will have another big game against the seventh-worst run defense in the NFL.
2. Reggie Bush vs. New York Jets
The Jets aren't as good on defense as many people think, and a big reason for it is that they don't stop the run on a regular basis. So far this year, the Jets are ranked 22nd in the NFL against the run, letting opposing running backs break off 4.8 yards per carry.
Bush is going to have a monster game, because there's no way Joe Philbin will put his rookie quarterback at risk against a stingy secondary.
3. Arian Foster vs. Denver Broncos
Most weeks on the NFL schedule, Foster would head this list. He's the most reliable running back in fantasy football. He's going up against a tough defense this week, though, and his numbers will decline a bit.
4. Frank Gore vs. Minnesota Vikings
This is more about Gore and the San Francisco 49ers than it is about the Vikings having a bad run defense. The 49ers are going to feed their star running back, and it seems safe to say he'll have 100 yards and a touchdown by the end of the game.
5. Trent Richardson vs. Buffalo Bills
Richardson—not C.J. Spiller—will end up being the fantasy stud in this contest. The Cleveland Browns are going to rain on Spiller's parade, while Richardson will build on his impressive performance against the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago against the 24th-ranked run defense in the NFL.
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1. Vernon Davis vs. Minnesota Vikings
Davis and the San Francisco 49ers offense have been unstoppable this year. I expect Davis to haul in at least five catches and one touchdown against the Vikings' unstable secondary.
2. Jimmy Graham vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Drew Brees will be looking for his mammoth tight end early and often, and the two of them will torch the Chiefs all game long.
3. Rob Gronkowski vs. Baltimore Ravens
The loss of Aaron Hernandez will certainly aid fantasy owners who roll with Gronkowski. Tom Brady will be looking to get rid of his throws in a timely matter against the Ravens, and I expect Gronk to have a big game. Look for him to score at least one touchdown.
4. Martellus Bennett vs. Carolina Panthers
Eli Manning is starting to develop a rapport with Bennett, and the two of them will continue to gel in this game against the Panthers. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks force opposing defenses to commit two safeties deep on most plays, so Bennett will find himself in favorable matchups all game long.
5. Tony Gonzalez vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers haven't faced a tight end like Gonzalez this year, and their middle linebackers will have trouble defending the Hall of Famer while their safeties attempt to fend off the deep passes to Julio Jones and Roddy White.
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