Kevin Kolb picked his former team apart? Yup, in Week 3 of the fantasy football season, anything was possible.
In a nation that loves its reality TV, we've been treated to a lot of unrealistic tomfoolery the first three weeks of the fantasy football season.
Wins have become losses. Interceptions have become touchdowns. Kevin Kolb is near the top in fantasy scoring, the Minnesota Vikings dominated the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs dropped the New Orleans Saints to 0-3. If you have a strong roster, you likely lost last week. If you've got a middling group of guys, you probably won.
What does it mean? Who knows? Maybe 2012 will be the Year of the Kolb. Perhaps we'll return to reality and the Aaron Rodgers of the world will return to form. In the meantime, we've got to roll with the fluid storylines and hang on tightly through this storm. Here's one guy's attempt to read the extended forecast for Week 4.
The worst pass defense in the league belongs to Josh Freeman’s Tampa Bay teammates.
Who’s got the second worst? Sunday’s opponent for the Bucs, the Washington Redskins. The ‘Skins defense allows nearly 34 points and 340 yards passing per game, a 60 percent completion rate and 10 total TDs through the air.
Freeman is having an average season so far, but this game should inflate his totals considerably.
Washington's deep-threat antics will be more difficult against the Texans.
A hidden home-run hitter, Nate Washington averaging a gaudy 26.4 yards per catch and has two touchdowns.
But this isn’t the weekend to go all-in with him. The Tennessee Titans are heading to Houston, which is looking like the class of the AFC these days. The Texans are the NFL’s No. 2 defense overall and No. 4 against the pass. He’s Jake Locker’s go-to guy, but Washington may not get many chances.
If you didn’t notice Fred Davis’ under-the-radar game against the Bengals last weekend, here it is: Seven catches for 90 yards.
That’s great fantasy productivity from the tight end position. Cincinnati is ranked 22nd against the pass. This week’s foe, Tampa Bay, is 32nd and dead last. Conversely, the Bucs are No. 1 against the run, and head coach Mike Shanahan is no fool. The ‘Skins will be passing. Davis needs to start.
Bountygate has savaged the 0-3 Saints, but nowhere has it done more damage than on defense.
Bounty-Gate has taken a tremendous toll beyond the 0-3 start.
New Orleans’ defense has already allowed 102 points in three games and is giving up 215 yards rushing per game. On Sunday, it must travel to Green Bay and try to slow down an offense that was frustrated Monday night at Seattle.
The Saints should be in for a long afternoon defensively.
MoJo's got his mojo back after a lengthy preseason holdout.
Maurice Jones-Drew shook the rust off his legs on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
His 193 total yards (177 rushing) alleviated many fantasy worries last week, and now he gets the Cincinnati Bengals as an encore.
Cincinnati is next to last in defending the run (155 yards per game), and tied for next to last in scoring (34.0). This is a feast made in fantasy heaven for Jones-Drew owners.
Though he may be one of the breakout rookies of the season, Alfred Morris is in for a long day at Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The Bucs are the league’s No. 1 run defense, allowing just 47 yards and less than a touchdown a game. As a sixth-round draft pick with 4.67 speed from a 1-11 college team last season, Morris is a success story at running back
But his 4.3 yards per carry and touchdown-a-game averages will be sorely tested on the road.
An early-season mega-bust, Nelson's got to break out against the Saints this weekend or owners are going to start cutting their losses.
This is it.
Nelson has been a colossal fantasy bust through the early part of the season (13 catches, 167 yards, 0 touchdowns).
But I’m giving him one more chance Sunday at home against the Saints. After a 15-TD season in 2011, Nelson has given owners a donut through three games in 2012.
New Orleans is 25th against the pass and has been bested by the Redskins, Panthers and Chiefs. Nelson and the Packers should get well in a hurry against the Big Queasy.
The Arizona Cardinals have a chance to go 4-0 at home against Miami on Sunday, so why am I getting cold feet about starting Williams?
A lot of it has to do with the Dolphins’ stubborn run defense (third in the league). Ryan Williams does appear to be taking the No. 1 RB job away from always-injured Beanie Wells, and he gained 83 yards last week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
But after watching the upsets in Week 3, and the fact that the Cards have a chance to make more history with their fast start, something tells me they won’t.
There’s uncertainty in Detroit about Matthew Stafford playing Sunday against the Vikings. Even if he does, he won’t be looking for contact.
That suggests a more dedicated run game, and that means more Mikel Leshoure. After a 100-yard game against the Titans last week, Leshoure will be hungry for more carries. And the Lions, at 1-2 and in need of a win, should feed him liberally.
Bush is only averaging 50 yards a game rushing in Matt Forte's absence.
Matt Forte’s understudy gets a real test this Sunday.
The Chicago Bears visit the Dallas Cowboys, and Michael Bush gets to run against the league’s top overall defensive unit (250 yards per game).
Dallas surrenders less than 16 points a game, and Rob Ryan’s guys are just the sort of team to frustrate Jay Cutler into another tantrum-filled day. Bush has three TDs, but he is only netting 50 yards a game on the ground.
Start Mark Sanchez against the mighty 49ers?
If he’s at home, yes. He didn’t get much credit for it, but Sanchez turned in a gritty, come-from-behind win at Miami in Week 3, throwing for 306 yards. Like Sam Bradford, he’s a decidedly better producer in front of the home crowd, and the 49ers are reeling a bit after being upset by the Vikings.
Marques Colston has been a notable disappointment to fantasy owners. He has been hobbled a bit, but his 10-catch, 160-yard and no-touchdown totals are unacceptable in an offense like the Saints.
He’s on pace for less than 1,000 yards receiving, a low-water mark he’s not seen since 2008. At 0-3, desperate and at Green Bay against the top-rated pass defense, Colston is not a pony I’d bet on for a breakout game.
It might sound like a reach, but Bradford's a different QB at home, and the Seahawks are due for an avalanche of karma payback.
Sam Bradford at home is night-and-day different than Bradford away.
At home so far in 2012, he’s completing nearly 75 percent of his passes, has three TDs and one interception. In two games on the road, he’s only completed 58 percent of his attempts for three fewer yards per completion, along with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Seattle is coming off a huge night defensively in the “Fail Mary” win over the Packers. Expect a big emotional letdown for the Seahawks, as well as a sizable dose of karma in St. Louis.
It won't be the Bills Richardson will run against Thursday night, and it won't be at home.
The new Cleveland Browns travel to Baltimore on Thursday night to face the old Browns, now known as the Ravens.
Long-time Browns/Ravens owner Art Modell recently passed away. But don’t expect Baltimore to send any condolences to the city of Cleveland on the field.
The Ravens are a superior football team, and the defense will be looking to put Richardson in his place. All of the rookie’s TDs have come at home, and this is one of the toughest road trips in the NFL.
Stevie Johnson caught a TD pass in each of Buffalo’s first three games.
He’s Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite target, even though he’s only averaging four catches a game.
The New England Patriots come calling in Week 4, and though they’re a top-10 pass defensive unit, they’ve only got one interception. Fitzpatrick is on a roll too, with five TD tosses and no picks over the last two games.
The bookies expect a high-scoring game (51.5 total points), which means Johnson has an excellent shot at putting points on the board.
There's only one reason not to play McFadden in Week 4. But if you believe in the D-Mac Curse of a 24-year keeper league, sit him.
Here’s the thing about Darren McFadden. An owner in my keeper league is cursed by him. Every single time he starts him, D-Mac collars or winds up close to it.
Every time he gets frustrated and benches him, McFadden goes off (like he did last week with his 113-yard day that included a 64-yard TD scamper). Every. Single. Time.
Of course, this owner has put him back in the starting lineup this week, throwing good money after bad again. Disregard this pick if you want, but know that my league’s been going for 24 years and the karma is very strong.
Finally, the big bustout game happened. Jamaal Charles is fully back from the knee injury that sidelined him almost all of the 2011 season.
His 288 total yards against the Saints included a 91-yard TD run that turned owners who started him positively giddy. Kansas City returns to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday to a divisional game with the Chargers.
The fans will want to see Charles do some celebrating at home and even the team’s record at 2-2.
Seven TD passes, five interceptions, and a strange 0-3 record for Brees and his Saints as they enter Lambeau Field in Week 4.
Is anyone else shocked that the Packers are No. 1 in the NFL in pass defense?
They’ve already sacked the QB 12 times and intercepted four passes. That’s not good news for Drew Brees (only seven TDs, with five interceptions already). The former Super Bowl MVP is staring into the very real possibility of a 0-4 start.
The Eagles’ entire offense has been grinding its gears to date.
The browbeating at Arizona just brought it into the light. But heading home tends to heal many wounds, and the archrival Giants are coming to town. LeSean McCoy wasn’t offered many chances in Week 3 to employ his skills, and head coach Andy Reid will get back to the business of establishing the run Sunday.
McCoy’s numbers and Michael Vick’s body will thank him for it.
Until he gets his head right, starting Newton against good teams like the Falcons is a measured risk.
Ordinarily I’d be in favor of a Panthers-Falcons offensive dustup, but not this time. Cam Newton looked abysmal at home in a blowout loss to the Giants.
The Falcons went across the country and manhandled a 2-0 Chargers team. With Atlanta at home Sunday and looking every bit the class of the NFC, I’d hesitate to start Newton. He also stunk it up in his previous visit to the Georgia Dome (0 TDs, 3 INT).