Fantasy Football Roundtable: Week Three

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Fantasy Football Roundtable: Week Three
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It’s amazing how fast it comes and goes. What seemed like yesterday was the start of preseason football and now here we are preparing for Week Three of the NFL season.

After two weeks of action it’s quite simple, you are either 2-0, 1-1, 0-2, or in some rare circumstances you have mixed in a Tie. Regardless of your record it’s time to prepare yourself for fantasy football battle in Week Three. Knowing that many fantasy owners’ are on the fence about which RB2, WR3 or Flex to start we approach this article as a way to talk about some of your question marks. With that in mind, check out the Week Three edition of Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Roundtable.


Week Three Burning Questions


1. After two weeks of the NFL regular season in the books what do you feel has been the biggest surprise in the world of fantasy football?

Bruno Boys Whooley:

I’m going to go with Mario Manningham of the New York Giants here. Heading into the season, we knew one of the young wide receivers for the Giants would step up and produce with both Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer gone, but Manningham’s name was never really a part of the discussion.

Rather, fantasy owners waged their bets on the likes of Domenik Hixon and Hakeem Nicks. Through two weeks, Manningham has 32 fantasy points compared to a combined total of 3 for Hixon and Nicks.


2. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on pace to throw an NFL record 72 touchdown passes this season. Do you think he can break Tom Brady’s record of 50 TDs in 2007?

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

It’s hard to bet against Drew Brees right now. He and the New Orleans Saints have been perfect offensively thus far. There’s still 14 games to go, though, and you never know how injuries will factor in or if we’ll see a defense that will finally be able to quiet the Saints down a bit.

In 2008, no defense really found a way to stop Brees, even when his receivers were getting injured every week. As long as Brees stays healthy, I’ll say yes he has a shot to break Tom Brady’s record.

The problem for owners of the WRs on the Saints is, unless you have Marques Colston, how can you predict who’s going to rack up the fantasy points that day?

Bruno Boys Whooley:

This is what makes projections ridiculous sometimes. Seventy-two touchdown passes?

That’s like saying a guy who hits a HR on opening day of the baseball season is on pace for 162 dingers for the year. Is Drew Brees phenomenal? No doubt about it. Does he have a shot at Brady’s record? With nine TDs in just two games, I’d say yes.

But, with only two games of 16 in the books, I’d say it’s a bit premature to be talking about this right now as there’s still so much that can happen this season. Heck, there’s plenty that could happen just in week 3 that could derail Brees’ quest to match Brady’s 50.

Week Three Lightning Round  (Fantasy Football Questions in a Flash)

Real Deal or One-Week Wonder

 

1. Correll Buckhalter, RB, Denver Broncos (16 points in Week Two)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

ONE-WEEK WONDER. This is a backfield where it seems like its somebody new everyday. I don’t trust any of the running backs on the Denver Broncos. I still say this is Knowshon Moreno’s backfield, but he’ll have to share it.

With how quiet Denver’s passing attack has been thus far, keeping Correll Buckhalter on your bench in case the injury bug hits Moreno again may not be a bad idea.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

REAL DEAL. Let me qualify Buckhalter’s “Real Deal” status, by putting this stipulation on it—he’s only a “Real Deal” if we’re talking about his value as a flex option. With nine carries to Knowshon Moreno’s 17 in Week Two, it’s obvious that Buckhalter is the change of pace back and not the featured back for the Broncos.

Still, with around 10 carries a game, Buckhalter can still do enough damage to warrant fantasy consideration.

 

2. Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants (21 points in Week Two)

Bruno Boys Whooley:

REAL DEAL. As I said above, we knew one of the Giants’ young wide receivers would have to step it up in 2009. Manningham has done just that, earning the favor of quarterback, Eli Manning.

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

REAL DEAL. We’ve all been waiting for a receiver to emerge as the top target. I don’t think it’s fair to call Mario Manningham the clear No. 1 receiver on this team, Steve Smith gets a lot of targets, but Manningham should continue to produce for Eli Manning.

 

3. Justin Forsett, RB, Seattle Seahawks (8 points in Week 2)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

ONE-WEEK WONDER. As long as Matt Hasselbeck is out of the lineup, all running backs on the Seattle Seahawks will see more action, but Hasselbeck won’t be gone for long. Despite trying to run the ball more, this is still Julius Jones’ team, and I just don’t see Justin Forsett getting a legitimate share of the action unless something happens to Jones.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

REAL DEAL. Again, a stipulation needs to be placed here—Forsett will be a “Real Deal” at some point this season. Right now, he’s a guy I’m picking up and stashing on my bench. Forsett looked dynamic in his work against the 49ers in week 2 and should begin to earn a bigger role in Seattle’s offense moving forward.

4. Kelley Washington, WR, Baltimore Ravens (11 points in Week Two)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

ONE WEEK-WONDER. Joe Flacco has been strong through the first two weeks this season, but the Baltimore Ravens are still going to run the ball first and foremost. When Flacco has to pass, he has Derrick Mason as his consistent target and Mark Clayton as his playmaker.

There’s just no room for Kelley Washington.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

ONE WEEK WONDER. Despite a solid week 2 outing, Washington is still the 4th receiving option behind Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, and the rejuvenated Todd Heap.

 

WEEK 3 MATCHUPS  (Who’ll Have the Better Week?)


1. Braylon Edwards (Cle) vs. Derrick Mason (Bal)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

MASON. The Cleveland Browns’ defense hasn’t been bad, but the difference here is the play of Joe Flacco compared to Brady Quinn. There’s already some doubt as to whether or not Quinn will remain Cleveland’s starter. Braylon Edwards is the more talented of the two, but Derrick Mason will produce more this week because Flacco’s throwing him the ball.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

EDWARDS. Surprisingly enough, it’s the Ravens’ pass defense that currently ranks toward the bottom of the league in the 28th spot. Meanwhile, the Browns rank 7th, but that’s probably because their run defense is so putrid. I fully expect the Ravens to simply pound the ball all day in this one, which will limit Mason’s opportunities.


2. Mark Sanchez (NYJ) vs. Kerry Collins (Ten)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

SANCHEZ. The New York Jets’ secondary should have no problem shutting down the Tennessee Titans’ receivers if they were able to keep Andre Johnson and Randy Moss off the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez has been thriving as a rookie and should continue to do so against Tennessee’s very poor pass defense.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

SANCHEZ. Heading into the season, it would have been the match-up with the Titans’ defense that scared me in this one, but as the Jets have yet to give up a passing TD despite facing two solid QBs in Matt Schaub and Tom Brady, it’s Collins I’m avoiding here.


3. Derrick Ward (TB) vs. Cadillac Williams (TB) vs. Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

WARD. Cadillac Williams is listed as questionable for this week’s game, putting Derrick Ward back as the starter. Besides Kellen Winslow, the passing game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is pretty bad right now, and I think Ward is determined to score against his old team.

I’m taking Ward over Ahmad Bradshaw simply because it will be Brandon Jacobs having the best day in the backfield for the New York Giants this week.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

BRADSHAW. It’s a bit of a gamble going Bradshaw here, but I like the explosiveness he’s shown along with a solid matchup against a weak Bucs’ defense.


4. Ryan Grant (GB) vs. Steven Jackson (StL)

Bruno Boys Whooley:

GRANT. After coming out flat against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 2, I fully expect the Packers’ to come out of the gate hard in this one. That will result in the Rams falling behind big early, taking Jackson out of the game, while Grant will be used late to burn clock.

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

GRANT. The shaky offensive line for the Green Bay Packers right now will keep Aaron Rodgers under pressure all day long. While he should still have a nice day with the air attack, I foresee a lot of draws to Ryan Grant to beat the blitzes from the St. Louis Rams. Grant should also see a lot of carries when the Packers are running out the clock with the game well in hand.


5. Dwayne Bowe (KC) vs. DeSean Jackson (Phi)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

BOWE. I’m not a fan of Dwayne Bowe for the entire season, but it looks like DeSean Jackson may not be 100 percent if he plays. You have to go with the guy who’s healthy. Bowe may not get you the yards, but he could score again.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

BOWE. You just can’t go against consistency like Bowe’s. Sure, Jackson is the more likely of the two to break off a long one, but I’ll take my 10 or 11 points from Bowe and be happy.


6. Tom Brady (NE) vs. Matt Ryan (Atl)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

BRADY. This game very well may be a shootout, but I’ll give the edge to Tom Brady since he’s back on his home turf. Bill Belichick is going to have his team fired up to play well this week. Both Brady and Matt Ryan will have nice games.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

BRADY. While Ryan is definitely rising up the QB totem pole quickly, Brady still holds the edge in this matchup. I mean, he can’t put up two clunkers in a row, can he?


7. Bernard Berrian (Min) vs. Percy Harvin (Min) vs. Isaac Bruce (SF)

Bruno Boys Whooley:

HARVIN. While Berrian has shown no rapport with Brett Favre, Harvin is becoming a favorite of the veteran QB. The result? 11 fantasy points in each of the first two weeks of the season. Double digit fantasy points are definitely a real possibility in Week Three as well. As for Bruce, let’s be honest, the 49ers are not a pass happy offense.

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

HARVIN. Bernard Berrian has still been MIA through the first two weeks, while Percy Harvin has two redzone touchdowns from Brett Favre. Isaac Bruce has quieted some naysayers about him being too old to play, but let’s face it, the San Francisco 49ers are only going to win this game if Frank Gore leads the way.


8.Kevin Walter (Hou) vs. Mike Sims-Walker (Jac)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

SIMS-WALKER. The Houston Texans should have the lead for most of this game, which means the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have to throw the ball to stay in it. With Troy Williamson gone for the year, David Garrard should be looking for Mike Sims-Walker all day. Houston is just hoping Kevin Walter will play.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

SIMS-WALKER. With Troy Williamson lost for the year, Sims-Walker very well could be the Jaguars’ No. 1 wide receiver at the moment. That gives him the edge on Walter who has yet to even find the field in 2009.


9. Clinton Portis (Was) vs. Kevin Smith (Det)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

PORTIS. While I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith overall, this week he’s running into Albert Haynesworth. Smith is facing a defense that kept Brandon Jacobs in check in Week One. I’m not crazy about Clinton Portis for the season, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt to put up some numbers against the Detroit Lions.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

SMITH. Had Portis taken advantage of an easy Week Two matchup with the St. Louis Rams, I’d give him the nod here, but his 7 points were just as good as the 7 Smith put up in Week Two against a much tougher Minnesota Vikings rush defense.


10. Lance Moore (NO) vs. Devery Henderson (NO) vs. Robert Meachem (NO) vs. Lee Evans (Buf)

Bruno Boys Whooley:

HENDERSON. What, no Marques Colston to pick? With the way Brees is throwing the ball right now, it has to be one of the Saints’ wide receivers to come out on top in this match-up (Sorry, Lee Evans!). Right now, Henderson has been the most consistent wide receiver for New Orleans outside of Colston.

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

EVANS. You just don’t know who’s going to be the man of the hour among the receivers for the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees spreads the wealth around to everybody. Trent Edwards really only has two passing options, and Terrell Owens is not an elite WR anymore. Evans should get a lot of looks against a defense that made Kevin Kolb look pretty good last week.


11. Johnny Knox (Chi) vs. Nate Burleson (Sea)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

BURLESON. I’m not sold on Johnny Knox yet. I need to see one more productive game from him before I drink the kool-aid. Nate Burleson is a much more established receiver in comparison. While he may not have Matt Hasselbeck throwing him the ball, I’ll still take the receiver who I know better.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

KNOX. Knox is developing a mighty fine rapport with new Bears’ quarterback, Jay Cutler. Meanwhile, Burleson will be working with back-up Seneca Wallace in this one.


12. Chad Ochocino (Cin) vs. Hines Ward (Pit) vs. Santonio Holmes (Pit)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

OCHOCINCO. Jay Cutler found a way to put up good numbers against the impressive Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense. Carson Palmer seems to have found his groove back with Chad Ochocinco. The Cincinnati Bengals should struggle trying to run the ball, so you can expect the Palmer-Ochocinco duo to connect a lot.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

HOLMES. The momentum Holmes had going in last year’s post-season action has carried over into 2009 with the wide out notching 27 fantasy points in two weeks of play. This may finally be the breakout year we’ve all been waiting for.


13. Darren McFadden (Oak)  & Michael Bush (Oak) vs. Knowshon Moreno (Den) & Correll Buckhalter (Den)

Bruno Boys Whooley:

MORENO & BUCKHALTER. Credit must go where credit is due. After an abysmal 2008 season, the Denver Broncos’ rush defense has stepped things up in 2009, holding opponents to just 70.0 rushing yards per game.

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

MORENO & BUCKHALTER. The Denver Broncos’ defense looks much improved from last season, and I don’t think any team is too scared of the Oakland Raiders’ offense. Combine that with the so-far stagnant passing attack for the Broncos and we could be seeing Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter all day long.


14. Ronnie Brown (Mia) vs. Darren Sproles (SD)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

BROWN. The Baltimore Ravens had a lot of success running the ball on the San Diego Chargers last week and Ronnie Brown is a more than capable running back, as we saw last Monday. Darren Sproles is a nice bolt of lightning, but he struggles running between the tackles. I think you can also expect the Chargers to pass more and the Miami Dolphins to run more.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

SPROLES. Doesn’t Ronnie Brown’s Week Two performance against the Colts remind you of the game he had against New England last year that got fantasy owners all giddy? Remind me again what he did the rest of the season following that performance.


15. Tim Hightower (Ari) vs. Joseph Addai (Ind)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

HIGHTOWER. The Indianapolis Colts have not solved their struggles with stopping the run. Tim Hightower has done a good job of keeping Beanie Wells below him on the depth chart.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

HIGHTOWER. Plain and simple, the Colts, who are giving up 176.5 rushing yards per game, just can’t stop the run.


16. Patrick Crayton (Dal) vs. Muhsin Muhammad (Car)

Bruno Boys Jimbo:

CRAYTON. As long as Steve Smith is there, he is by far the best option in the Carolina Panthers’ passing attack. Mushin Muhammad is a nice role player, but a terrible fantasy option. Patrick Crayton, on the other hand, has fantasy relevance as a big play threat for Tony Romo.

Bruno Boys Whooley:

CRAYTON. Really, out of all the potential match-ups in the Monday Night game, we go with this one. Crayton disappeared in Week Twp, posting just two fantasy points after a superb 19 point performance in Week One. I say he ends up in the middle of those two numbers, securing 11 fantasy points. That will be enough to give him the edge over Muhammad.

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