Fantasy Football Studs and Duds for NFL Week 3
For many of us, fantasy football is a huge concern every Sunday. Sure, you want your favorite NFL team to win, but your fantasy team is crucial, too.
It's impossible to know what you might get out of your players in a given week. Certain players will step up, and others will fail to meet expectations.
Who were these players in Week 3, and how exactly did they come about their disappointing or pleasantly surprising performance?
Stud: Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants
With Ahmad Bradshaw hurt, Andre Brown stepped up for the Giants. He gained 113 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while adding three catches through the air.
Brown was one of the NFL's top fantasy players in Week 3, as he helped carry the Giants to a blowout victory over Carolina. Anyone who actually started Brown got great production.
Dud: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
In a typical league, Cam Newton put up just over 10 fantasy points. For a star quarterback, this is a disappointing performance, to say the least.
Newton struggled against the Giants, turning the ball over three times while not producing a whole lot of offense. Fantasy owners needing big production from their quarterback were let down.
Stud: Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco dominated the Patriots, throwing for 382 yards and three touchdowns. That's a huge game for any quarterback, much less a borderline fantasy starter in Flacco.
The Ravens starter has been a lower-end starting fantasy quarterback for a while now, but he was one of Week 3's best. Anyone starting Flacco got a huge boost.
Dud: Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Just 63 rushing yards and a fumble killed Frank Gore's fantasy production. A usual above-average starting running back, Gore didn't add many points in Week 3.
In a typical league, Gore added less than six points. That's bad production at any spot, much less running back.
Stud: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew went off against the Colts, rushing for 177 yards. He scored just one touchdown but still put up a ton of points due to his high yardage.
Jones-Drew was still a bit of a question mark as he returned from his holdout, but his performance puts an end to the questions. MoJo is back, and he's here to stay.
Dud: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
I'm not sure if we can still call this a bust because it's sort of expected. Chris Johnson is off to a horrific start, but his Week 3 was pretty well useless for fantasy owners.
Johnson put up less than four points. That's enough to cost a team a victory. At this point, there is no reason to start the former CJ2K.
Stud: Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Jamaal Charles has recovered from his torn ACL. If 288 total yards doesn't show that, then nothing ever will.
Charles put up what will be one of the best fantasy performances of the year. The Saints could do nothing to stop him, as the star running back put up 44 points in a PPR league.
That type of production will win a few games for an otherwise bad team.
Dud: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick's struggles have been obvious in 2012, but putting up under 10 points is still a disappointing performance. The ever-talented quarterback should do better than that.
Vick's yardage wasn't terrible, and he avoided interceptions, but his two fumbles were costly, both to the Eagles and fantasy owners. Many owners were expecting big games from Vick but were let down in a big way.
Stud: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
It's never a surprise when Calvin Johnson goes off. Ten catches, 164 yards and a touchdown is a great game, even for "Megatron."
In a PPR league, Johnson put up over 30 points. At any position, that's a huge week that could make the difference between a win and a loss.
Dud: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers threw for just 173 yards while successfully completing two passes to the defense. Not only is this not the huge performance owners are hoping for against Atlanta's defense, this is a terrible effort.
Any team starting Rivers got essentially negligible production at quarterback. Rivers could have lost a few good teams' games this week.
Stud: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Nine catches, one carry. 194 total yards, one touchdown. That's why A.J. Green is one of the NFL's most valuable fantasy players.
Green dominated Washington's secondary, seemingly catching the ball at will. He could not be stopped, and he carried many fantasy teams to victory as a result.
Dud: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Two catches for 21 yards and no touchdowns isn't a Gronk-like performance. In fact, Rob Gronkowski has disappointed thus far this season, as he hasn't put up elite tight end production.
Gronkowski is still just a tight end, but many owners used high picks on him, and he isn't producing at that level. In fact, in Week 3, almost any tight end did just as well as Gronkowski did. Most probably did better.
Stud: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
As a general rule, Ben Roethlisberger isn't an elite fantasy quarterback, but he certainly was in Week 3. 384 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions will have that effect.
In a shootout with the Raiders, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass 49 times, earning the gratitude of his many owners. The unexpected performance no doubt propelled quite a few teams to victory.
Dud: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Once again, Jay Cutler struggled. He probably isn't expected to do much at this point, but some owners are probably stuck with him as a starter.
Cutler threw for 183 yards and also tossed an interception. His production was certainly well below average at quarterback, and he definitely set his owners' teams back.
Stud: Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Propelled by Ben Roethlisberger's huge game, Mike Wallace caught eight passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. For someone not named Calvin Johnson, that's a huge performance.
In a PPR league, Wallace was incredibly valuable. As a borderline No. 1 wide receiver who fell some due to his holdout, Wallace is giving his owners a huge boost.
Dud: Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints
For once, Darren Sproles contributed nothing as a receiver while finding some success on the ground. However, he wasn't nearly successful enough as a runner to compensate for his lack of catches.
Sproles' 62 rushing yards are impressive on just seven carries, but yards per carry doesn't earn fantasy points. His owners were no doubt disappointed with his lack of production after a hot start.
Stud: Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Torrey Smith did something few of us can even imagine. He played a game the day his brother passed away. And he tore it up.
Smith's six catches, 127 yards and two touchdowns made him not only a top-scoring wide receiver but a top-scoring player across the league. Many owners probably benched Smith in wake of his brother's passing, but Smith rewarded those who stuck by him.
Dud: LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy's lack of fantasy value in Week 3 was through no fault of his own. He made the most of his 13 carries (70 rushing yards) and caught three passes. The problem was the lack of opportunities.
However, the reason for McCoy's lack of production is largely irrelevant to fantasy owners. He didn't put up many points in Week 3, and as a top draft pick, he likely caused many teams to lose.
Stud: Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans
Throwing for 378 yards and two touchdowns, Jake Locker busted out in a big way. He showed promise in previous weeks, but his Week 3 performance was key for those few owners who started Locker.
Anyone who did start Locker likely expected average-at-best production but was rewarded with an elite performance. A pleasant surprise, to say the least.
Dud: Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
Reggie Bush gained 61 yards on the ground and caught one pass for one yard. For a player who had been doing quite well, this is a huge disappointment.
The Dolphins were of course facing a great run defense in the Jets, but Bush's performance was underwhelming even considering the situation. If it weren't for Bush's recent success, this wouldn't be a disappointment.
He has recently set the bar high, though, and is now expected to produce.
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