Fantasy Football: Ranking Sunday's Top 10 Week 3 Surprises

Keet BaileyCorrespondent IISeptember 28, 2010

Peyton Hillis wouldn't go down easily, but where does he rank?
Peyton Hillis wouldn't go down easily, but where does he rank?J. Meric/Getty Images

We got through another Sunday, which again, was full of surprises. Many of us expected a shootout between the Cowboys and Texans, and it ended up being just a stomping of the Texans as Wade Phillips and the Cowboys got back on track.

A lot of people also saw a New England/Buffalo matchup and immediately went to the betting lines and threw down money for a New England win with the spread. Instead, they lost their money as Buffalo put up 30 on the Patriots and came within 8 points.

Perhaps the most surprising news of all was the 31-10 beatdown the Chiefs put on the 49ers. Everything was clicking for the Chiefs, while San Francisco’s offense left more heads shaking, and now has their former offensive coordinator out of a job.

Those of you that watched the Sunday night game got to witness Miami nearly pull one out in a close one. I was told that I was “smoking stuff” for thinking Miami could win, from people that picked Tampa Bay to beat Pittsburgh. Funny, I know. This game was more surprising in the sense that neither team has showed any offense in their first two games, yet they both put up at least 23 points.

But what about Fantasy Football? What about the guys that perhaps you picked up early Sunday morning and put in, or perhaps a guy that you ended up losing to that you had confidence you’d beat?

Here are the top-10 surprises in fantasy football in Week 3 on Sunday.

10. Chad Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins

Henne really impressed me last night. Until about midway through the 4th quarter, he was just spot on with his throws between the hashes, and only struggled with fades. But he threw for 363 yards on 26 completions, with two touchdowns and an interception. He is a guy that should be picked up if you need a solid backup.

9. Braylon Edwards, WR, New York Jets

Those of you who actually had the stones to start Edwards got rewarded with at least 11 or 12 points. Braylon had two catches for 87 yards, but 67 of those yards came gift wrapped thanks to Miami’s poor turf as Jason Allen went in to make a routine tackle and slipped. Regardless, he had the touchdown the ultimately led to the Jets victory, and had 87 yards despite missing out on a quarter of football.

8. Jabar Gaffney, WR, Denver Broncos

How about these Broncos wide receivers? Brandon Lloyd (what?), Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas, and now Jabar Gaffney are making fantasy owners happy. Gaffney would be a bit higher on this list had he registered a touchdown, but still, a guy that you probably put in your Flex spot got you between 12 and 18 points on 12 catches for 140 yards.

7. Roy Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Roy Williams finally seems to be making some sort of impact for not only the Cowboys, but also fantasy owners. Problem is, you probably don’t own him, and for good reason. Those that do own Williams most likely did not start him, as he was only started in just over 1% of fantasy leagues. However, those 1% got a great performance from him after he caught two touchdowns and 117 yards on just five receptions.

6. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots

“BenJarvus Green-Ellis: If You Don’t Get Paid, He Doesn’t Get Paid”. Ok, so he’s in the NFL. Of course he’s getting paid. But fantasy owners who listened to my deep sleepers article last week and picked him up also got paid after he amassed 98 yards on just 16 carries and even got into the end zone. He’s still just splitting time with Fred Taylor, but the Buffalo matchup was as good as any to get him going. The Patriots find players that can produce. I don’t know how, but it just happens. You may start considering him for at least matchup starts.

5. Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

I do have to eat a bit of crow on this one. I told many to sit him because I was unsure how much Pittsburgh would pass in this game, against Tampa Bay’s defense that (then) ranked just above average against the pass. But Wallace was found early by Batch, not once, but twice on big touchdown passes. Now both were really flukes as they were tipped and should have been intercepted, but those that started Wallace got 100 yards and two touchdowns off just three catches.

4. Charlie Batch, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Here’s another guy that I listed to pick up in deeper leagues, and again, those of you that listened got rewarded despite Batch completing just 12 passes. Batch’s two interceptions kept most from eclipsing 20+ points, but he still had three touchdowns and 186 yards passing. If you started him as your QB two, you were probably jumping for joy. Batch only gets one more start, so the value isn’t really there, but if Big Ben goes down at any time during the season, you may pick up Batch. He always seems to win.

3. Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Man, those Chiefs really had it out for the 49ers, and they wanted that 3rd straight win badly. Cassel is #3 on this list because of the fact that he had just one touchdown in his first two games, and kept turning the ball over. The 49ers defense was stellar in 2009, and it seemed that it was only a matter of time that they got back to that… but it wasn’t this week.

Cassel threw for more yards in Week 3 (250) than he did in his first two weeks combined, and had three touchdowns. It could just be the fact that he needed to warm up. I’m still not saying  to pick him up just yet, but he could be a guy to keep your eye on.

2. Lance Moore, WR, New Orleans Saints

For those of you who don’t remember, Moore had a stellar 2008 campaign coming out of nowhere and catching for over 900 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had a reduced role in 2009, and many of us came into 2010 expecting next to nothing from the former Westerville South High School and Toledo Rocket standout.

Moore exploded for 149 yards on just six receptions and two touchdowns in an overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Moore is another guy to keep your eye on, especially in deeper leagues. The Saints have so many weapons, it’s hard to tell who will see the ball in that offense.

1. Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns

Down  to the number one surprise of Week 3, we get Peyton Hillis. Hillis made me feel absolutely stupid, after I suggested that Fantasy owners sit him against the Ravens defense, which had given up just five 100-yard rushers in 70 games. The Ravens also hadn’t given up a touchdown in the first two games to offenses that are just plain better than the Browns.

Hillis ended up finishing with 144 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Don’t forget to add in his seven receptions for 36 yards. He’s the only guy on the Browns offense that seems to want to do anything, so as of now, I’m starting him in most formats until he slows down. The Browns mentioned that James Davis would be getting a few more carries with Jerome Harrison out, but I’m not counting on either Harrison or Davis taking many reps from Hillis.


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