Thursday night’s New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers matchup was supposed to come complete with offensive fireworks. Quarterbacks Eli Manning and Cam Newton were expected to lead the charge.
Each signal-caller was missing at least one piece of his offense.
The one who was missing the most is the one who delivered anything of note.
Eli Manning completed 80 percent of his passes for 288 yards and a touchdown without his No. 1 receiver, running back and left tackle.
Cam Newton threw zero touchdowns. He rushed for one, but those fantasy points were nullified by his three interceptions. He finished with 242 passing yards and six rushing yards.
For those who still have decisions to make at the quarterback position in Week 3, here is how I would prioritize starting fantasy QBs.
1. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
I want the dude that’s going to be able to throw for 300 yards, rush for some more and punch in a touchdown or two of his own.
2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)
It’s time for Stafford and the Lions offense to really come alive in Week 3. I’m not put off by the presence of Mikel Leshoure.
3. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Romo has the weapons and ability to duplicate what Eli Manning pulled off (in terms of total game stats) against the Buccaneers in Week 2.
He shouldn’t need to throw as much with DeMarco Murray in the backfield, but the Bucs have been solid against the run so far. Romo should be efficient through the air.
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
Brees should welcome the Chiefs to the Superdome with open arms.
5. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)
Vick drops a little with the absence of Jeremy Maclin in this game. He’ll likely lean on Brent Celek and Jason Avant a little more. LeSean McCoy might see a few more targets coming out of the backfield.
6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at San Diego Chargers)
The Chargers’ cornerbacks are not Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter. Ryan still played pick-free football against a team that had Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter. He even got a touchdown vultured from him by Michael Turner.
And he finished with 200-plus yards and a pair of scores.
7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (at Seattle Seahawks)
Rodgers isn’t the ideal start in fantasy this week because of where he’s going to play. He also hasn’t started the year off so hot, but he may still have a chance to be fantasy’s No. 1 scorer by year’s end.
8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at Baltimore Ravens)
Brady’s last performance against the Ravens (in the playoffs) was not something he’d like to remember too much. But the Ravens are missing a little T-Sizzle in the upcoming matchup.
9. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. Houston Texans)
Manning has experienced success against the Texans as a division rival in the past. But he hasn’t seen them in a couple of years, and the little brother has gotten stronger since then.
10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Oakland Raiders)
The Steelers are still playing running back shuffle. They’ll rely on Big Ben to move the football.
11. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New England Patriots)
Flacco had 306 passing yards, one interception and two touchdowns against the Pats in the playoffs. He should have had three scores.
This is an upside play, but the Patriots’ defense has improved this season.
12. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers (at Minnesota Vikings)
Smith is perhaps the safest fantasy quarterback. He’s just not turnover-prone.
13. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
The return of Ryan Mathews can take some pressure off of Rivers in the passing game.
14. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at Washington Redskins)
Without Brian Orakpo in his face all day, Dalton should find success throwing the ball on the road. 300 yards and a couple of scores are not out of the question on Dalton’s final stat line.
15. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
The Jaguars aren’t very good.
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