50 Lessons We Learned in Fantasy Football Week 3
Fantasy football is filled with twists and turns, as we learned once again in Week 3 of the NFL season.
We expected Kenny Britt to continue his dominant stretch in Week 3. That didn't happen.
We expected huge numbers from everyone on the San Diego Chargers roster. That didn't happen, either.
However, we learned from these frustrating facts of the week.
Let's take a look at 50 fantasy football lessons learned in Week 3.
50. The Bills' Passing Attack Is Legitimate
Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard, and he doesn't care if that makes you think less of him as a fantasy football quarterback.
Steve Johnson, David Nelson and Donald Jones were all productive in Week 3, and that should continue as the Buffalo Bills continue to roll.
49. Ryan Mathews Is Alive
Ryan Mathews has turned into the feature back for the San Diego Chargers.
If you picked him last year, you were one year too early in your thinking.
His production on 21 carries in Week 3 proved that he will be an elite fantasy back going forward.
48. Rookies Are Not Consistent
A.J. Green struggled to back up his impressive Week 2 performance and finished with only 29 yards receiving.
This is reason to avoid looking at Torrey Smith as your savior next week.
Rookies simply struggle to dominate consistently.
47. Injuries Happen
In the first two weeks of the NFL season, Kenny Britt was winning games for your fantasy team.
Now, he is potentially out for the year with a knee injury.
Injuries happen, and you always need to be improving your bench to prepare for them.
46. Some Running Backs Might Simply Be over the Hill
Frank Gore and Michael Turner have taken a lot of hits over the past few years.
In Week 3, they both played terribly.
It might be time to cut ties with both of these guys through a trade.
45. Michael Vick Is a Huge Risk
Michael Vick broke his right hand and left the game against the New York Giants in Week 3.
This simply proves once again that any time you put him in your lineup, he is going to be one of the biggest risk/reward players you will find in fantasy football.
44. The Kansas City Chiefs Aren't Done Yet
The Kansas City Chiefs lost a nail-biter to the San Diego Chargers in Week 3.
What did we learn?
After two hopeless weeks of play, there is still some fantasy value to be found in the form of Dexter McCluster and Dwayne Bowe.
43. Antonio Gates Is Still Frustrating
Antonio Gates was a game-time decision and missed Week 3's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
We've heard this one before.
Gates' owners must have Randy McMichael on the roster to help ease the pain.
42. Cam Newton Is Human
If you traded Cam Newton before his struggle against the Jacksonville Jaguars, I commend you.
His value is going to slip from here on out, but you still should consider him a valid fantasy option.
41. Sam Bradford Isn't There Yet
Yes, Sam Bradford got beat up in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Yes, they are one of the best defenses in the league.
No, Bradford should not be starting for your fantasy team no matter who he is playing!
40. The Texans Haven't Changed
Matt Schaub led the Houston Texans' offense to 33 points in Week 3.
Despite how poorly the defense played, the offense provided all kinds of fantasy fun for owners.
The Texans have been the same for years: poor defense, but fantasy value at every offensive position.
39. Don't Expect Much from the Minnesota Vikings in the 2nd Half
The Minnesota Vikings lead the league in second half collapses, and it's killing the fantasy value of the offense.
Adrian Peterson becomes an afterthought as the game slips out of their hands.
Hope for the best from your Vikings in the first half, because they will likely fail to produce in the second half.
38. Darren McFadden Is a Monster
We all thought the Oakland Raiders would struggle against the New York Jets.
Darren McFadden had other ideas.
Look at him as a top five fantasy running back going forward.
37. Torrey Smith Is an Anomaly
Torrey Smith of the Baltimore Ravens caught his first five balls in the NFL in Week 3.
The first three catches were touchdowns.
He won't have another performance like this all season.
Sadly, he probably wasn't used this week at all by fantasy owners.
36. Daniel Thomas Is Better Than Reggie Bush
In Week 3, Daniel Thomas of the Miami Dolphins established himself as the clear feature back in the offense.
Reggie Bush had a nice run for a week or two, but Thomas is clearly the better true runner and will provide nice value going forward for those who were smart enough to draft him.
35. Victor Cruz Can Do It in the Regular Season, Too
Victor Cruz finally had his chance to shine in the regular season for the New York Giants.
He had a solid reputation as the preseason phenom, but his Week 3 performance proved that he might be able to help your fantasy team when Mario Manningham is on the sidelines.
34. Shonn Greene Only Does It in the Playoffs
Shonn Greene has not been able to help the New York Jets in the regular season like he has in the playoffs, and that didn't change in Week 3 against the Oakland Raiders.
He accumulated only 59 yards on 15 carries and was stuffed on a goal-line attempt.
His value increases tenfold in the playoffs' version of fantasy football.
33. Matt Hasselbeck Still Has It
Matt Hasselbeck has revived his career in Tennessee with the Titans.
He led them to a come-from-behind victory in Week 3, and his stat line was impressive.
He is a great pickup for teams in need of a quarterback.
32. Matt Ryan Isn't Who We Thought He Was
Matt Ryan is a good real-life quarterback, but his fantasy value is slowly diminishing.
The Atlanta Falcons have not looked as good as we expected, and Ryan is part of the problem.
With the weapons he has, he should have no problem putting up better numbers.
31. Bill Belichick Will Never Pick a Running Back
Six different players carried the ball for Bill Belichick's New England Patriots in their Week 3 bout with the Buffalo Bills.
Stay far, far away from New England's running backs!
30. Timeshares Are Annoying
Last week, we thought James Starks was turning into the feature back for the Green Bay Packers.
In Week 3, he gained 5 yards on 11 carries, while Ryan Grant racked up 92 on 17 carries.
Next week, Starks might get more carries, and that is why timeshares are so annoying!
29. Deep-Threat Wide Receivers Are Risky
DeSean Jackson accumulated only 30 yards on two catches in Week 3 against the New York Giants.
This is a common stat line for Jackson.
He has huge games when he breaks out for a long score, but if he doesn't, he has games like these.
That's what makes deep-threat receivers such a risk/reward start in fantasy football.
28. Tom Brady Will Dominate in Week 4
The four interceptions that Tom Brady threw against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 had his blood boiling.
Expect huge numbers from him in Week 4.
27. Some Coaches Won't Take Risks
The Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars, among others, were prime examples of teams that are avoiding taking risks down the field.
This kills the value of the wide receivers and quarterbacks for both teams.
26. Expect the Unexpected
No one expected the New York Jets' defense to get obliterated by the Oakland Raiders.
No one can see the future.
Always expect the unexpected in fantasy football.
25. Andy Dalton Has Work to Do
After an impressive Week 2 performance, Andy Dalton proved that he has plenty of room for improvement in Week 3.
His two interceptions and poor completion percentage ultimately decided the Bengals' fate.
If you picked him up, don't give up yet, but realize there will be games like these.
24. The Pittsburgh Steelers' Offensive Line Is Horrid
The offensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers was exposed on national television in Week 3.
It makes life tough for Ben Roethlisberger.
It also pains Rashard Mendenhall owners, who is averaging just three yards per carry this season.
23. It's Time to Cut Ties with Indianapolis Colts Receivers
The Indianapolis Colts offense is going nowhere fast, and this is the time to get rid of receivers like Austin Collie.
Kerry Collins has shown he cannot get the job done.
Unless Peyton Manning comes back, receivers like Collie and Garcon have little value.
22. There Are Two Types of Games
There are shootouts like the New Orleans Saints versus Houston Texans battle, and offensive struggles like the San Francisco 49ers versus Cincinnati Bengals matchup.
Try to accumulate players that are usually involved in the former.
21. Plaxico Burress Is the Red-Zone Target We Thought He Would Be
The New York Jets used Plaxico Burress effectively in the red zone in Week 3.
This is a promising trend that adds to his value going forward.
20. Fred Jackson Is a Starter
In Week 3, the Buffalo Bills proved once again that they are committed to Fred Jackson.
He proved that he is ready to handle the workload as well as crack your starting fantasy lineup every week.
19. Wes Welker Is a Stud
Wes Welker played fantastic for the New England Patriots in Week 3.
His 217 yards and two touchdowns on 16 catches prove that he is the go-to receiver for Tom Brady in 2011.
18. Joe Flacco Has Matured
Joe Flacco may have had a soft opponent in the St. Louis Rams, but he also proved that he has taken the next step as a quarterback.
Well, at least as a regular-season fantasy star!
17. The Denver Broncos Are a Mess
John Fox's emphasis on the run game has not helped the Denver Broncos or fantasy owners.
Willis McGahee has struggled and Kyle Orton is spreading the ball too much.
Stay away from Denver players as much as possible.
16. DeAngelo Williams Is Not an Elite Running Back
DeAngelo Williams had 18 rushing yards on 10 carries in Week 3 for the Carolina Panthers.
At this point, this early-round pick is more suited for your bench despite the investment you made in him on draft day.
15. Maurice Jones-Drew Can Handle the Workload
Maurice Jones-Drew has carried the Jacksonville Jaguars so far this season.
There is no longer reason to think he cannot handle a starting workload in 2011.
14. Sidney Rice Still Has Value
In his first game as a Seattle Seahawk, Sidney Rice looked impressive.
We learned that Tarvarvis Jackson doesn't completely denigrate his value for 2011.
13. Jermichael Finley Is the New Antonio Gates
While Antonio Gates was watching from the sidelines in San Diego, Jermichael Finley was sending shock waves around the league in Chicago.
He hauled in three touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers and earned the label of fantasy football's top tight end.
12. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aren't Fantasy-Friendly
Josh Freeman performed far below expectations, and Mike Williams struggled once again for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.
LeGarrette Blount was the only bright spot, but this offense has yet to live up to preseason expectations.
11. Jay Cutler Is Still Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler is a good passer when he has time in the pocket, but the offensive line for the Chicago Bears has failed to provide that.
In Week 3, he showed that he still struggled under pressure, leading to wildly inconsistent statistics for fantasy owners.
10. Quarterback Play Is Below Average
There is a staggering number of horrid quarterbacks in the NFL today, and players like Jason Campbell and Blaine Gabbert proved that in Week 3.
In Campbell's case, he didn't need to have a large impact because the running game was so effective.
Nonetheless, you are gaining a huge advantage this year by having one of the elite quarterbacks on your fantasy team.
9. Team Defenses Are Inconsistent
The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets are prime examples of elite defenses that struggled in Week 3.
This should give you even more reason to wait on a defense in your fantasy draft next year.
8. The Cleveland Browns Are Short on Fantasy Value
Peyton Hillis is the only valuable player in fantasy terms on the Cleveland Browns' roster.
He was out in Week 3, leaving the running game in Montario Hardesty's hands.
It was clear that the fantasy value begins and ends with Hillis in Cleveland.
7. Kickers Will Always Be Unpredictable
Fantasy owners of Jason Hanson were probably very frustrated to see that he had zero points at halftime against the Minnesota Vikings.
Then Hanson accumulated 14 points in the second half. Kickers are and always will be extremely unpredictable.
6. You Play to Win the Game
You may be frustrated with Phillip Rivers after his porous performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.
Unfortunately, he doesn't care how you feel, and he is likely ecstatic that his team got the win.
Sometimes, fantasy owners need a little more perspective.
5. Aaron Rodgers Is Officially the Top Fantasy Quarterback
Aaron Rodgers threw his first interception of the season against the Chicago Bears in Week 3.
When it happened, it seemed as if no one could believe it.
That's when you know a guy is special. There is not a more consistent quarterback in fantasy terms out there.
4. Fantasy Football Isn't Fair
There is probably someone reading this that played against Torrey Smith who is a rookie that had three touchdowns for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3.
Life isn't fair, and neither is fantasy football.
3. Chris Johnson Still Thinks the NFL Is in a Lockout
The Tennessee Titans just paid Chris Johnson to be one of the best playmakers in the NFL.
His struggles continued in Week 3 with only 21 rushing yards.
We learned that he still thinks the NFL is in a lockout because he failed once again to show up on game day.
2. Mike Wallace Is Really Good
Playing on Sunday night, Mike Wallace showed the world that he has made the transformation from deep threat to complete wide receiver.
He has turned into one of the most consistent, elite wide receivers in fantasy football.
1. Fantasy Football Is Fun
Fantasy football may be frustrating at times, but don't let it get the best of you.
This is the best time of the year.
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