Week 3 Monday Night Matchup
Washington Redskins (Redskins Schedule)
Opponent Defensive Ranks
Dallas Rush Defense – 2011: Yards Allowed/Game 2nd (59.5 Yds/Gm) - TDs Allowed T-5th (1)
Dallas Pass Defense – 2011: Yards Allowed/Game 16th (224 Yds/Gm) – TDs Allowed T-17th (4)
Washington Offensive Cast
Rex Grossman (QB Week 3 Ranking: No. 15)
2011 Season: 46/77 – for 596 yards, four TDs
Isn’t it about time Sexy Rexy threw a fat goose-egg up on the board?
Normally I’d say yes, but not this time. I believe the surprises will keep coming this week against a banged up Dallas D that could barely stop Alex Smith and the 49ers last Sunday.
The Redskins wide receiver corps may be in the middle of the pack in terms of talent, but the tight end position with Fred Davis and Chris Cooley brings an element to Rex’s game that seems to work well within his talents.
When called upon to start against the ‘Boys last season, Grossman threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns in a fantasy outing up close to 30 points.
That said, expect the unexpected.
Tim Hightower (RB Week 3 Ranking: No. 23)
2011 Season: 45 carries for 168 yards, one TD; four receptions for 35 yards, no TDs
Dallas has been crushing opponents trying to run against them, holding teams to just 59.5 yards and one rushing TD on the ground through the first two weeks of action.
Hightower has been a horse so far, carrying the ball 45 times in two games (second most in the league prior to Sunday—Ben Tate had 47), but I can’t see him getting much more than 15 totes in this one after the coaching staff sees him get stuffed every other time he touches the ball.
Roy Helu (RB Week 3 Ranking: No. 48)
2011 Season: 11 carries for 76 yards, no TDs; three receptions for 38 yards, no TDs
Roy will likely get in for a few series tonight, as Hightower will need a few breaks from being pummeled all game long. It probably won’t be enough to make a difference in fantasy, but he could come out of the game impressing the coaching staff yet again.
Santana Moss (WR Week 3 Ranking: No. 16)
2011 Season: 11 receptions for 137 yards, one TD
The 32-year-old Santana Moss has become one of the more consistent wide receivers in the game in his old age and should have no problem putting up nice fantasy numbers against a relatively weak Dallas secondary.
Last season against the Cowboys, Santana had a combined 14 catches for 149 yards and two TDs in the two games these inter-division rivals hooked up. An average of those numbers (seven catches, 75 yards and one TD) looks pretty good for Moss tonight, but there's definitely some upside here.
Jabar Gaffney (WR Week 3 Ranking: No. 44)
2011 Season: Eight receptions for 116 yards, one TD
Gaffney should get a bunch of targets and a handful of catches tonight with the Redskins likely having to gear up the passing game in this one. Five receptions for 55 yards sounds about right.
Anthony Armstrong (WR Week 3 Ranking: Not Ranked) 2011 Season: Four receptions for 38 yards, one TD
Armstrong puts up a decent week from time to time, with one of those games being against the Cowboys last season when he rattled off 100 yards on five catches in Week 15.
Grossman will probably toss a couple of bombs his way to open up the playing field, but the chance Armstrong puts up any sort of fantasy numbers is pretty slim as AA has just four TDs in 17 career games and only four games with more than three catches in the same span.
Fred Davis (TE Week 3 Ranking: No. 5)
2011 Season: 11 receptions for 191 yards, one TD
If for some strange reason Fred Davis is still available in your league, go grab him immediately. The guy is one of the more athletic TEs in the NFL, and it seems he’s put enough space between him and Chris Cooley to warrant a weekly start.
Dallas was really good against tight ends last season, but not so much this year. They’ve already given up two touchdowns and 150 yards to them through two weeks of action.
Grossman loves his TE, so get Fred in your lineup.
Chris Cooley (TE Week 3 Ranking: No. 25)
2011 Season: Two receptions for 21 yards, no TDs
Cooley has been pretty well phased out of the offense with the emergence of Fred Davis, though he does still have the talent to surprise every now and then. I don’t expect much tonight—but you never know.
Dallas Cowboys (Cowboys Schedule)
Opponent Defensive Ranks
Washington Rush Defense – 2011: Yards Allowed/Game 8th (84 Yds/Gm) - TDs Allowed T-27th (3)
Washington Pass Defense – 2011: Yards Allowed/Game 17th (236 Yds/Gm) – TDs Allowed T-4th (2)
Dallas Offensive Cast
Tony Romo (QB Week 3 Ranking: No. 9)
2011 Season: 43/69 – for 687 yards, four TDs
Yes, Romo has a fractured rib. Yes, Miles Austin is out tonight. Yes, Dez Bryant is still not at 100 percent.
But NO, none of this will matter to Tony Romo and the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.
Washington is 2-0 and has an early division lead going into tonight, so I expect Dallas to do everything it can to get a win—which to the Cowboys means pass, pass and more pass.
Food for thought—since Romo became their starting QB, the Cowboys have averaged 34.25 points a game in home openers.
Felix Jones (RB Week 3 Ranking: No. 30)
2011 Season: 26 carries for 69 yards, one TD; four receptions for 27 yards, no TDs
Felix is banged up and was thought to probably miss some time with a dislocated shoulder, but it looks like he’ll suit up tonight and play against the Redskins.
I don’t expect more than maybe 15 touches for him, though, as he’ll share time with both DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice, so play him only if you absolutely have to.
DeMarco Murray (RB Week 3 Ranking: No. 46)
2011 Season: Eight carries for 21 yards, no TDs; two receptions for 17 yards, no TDs
Both Murray and Choice should get some reps tonight with Felix Jones still pretty well banged up. Even though he’s just a rookie, he already looks better than Tashard and should get somewhere around 10 touches tonight.
Tashard Choice (RB Week 3 Ranking: Not Ranked)
2011 Season: Eight carries for nine yards, no TDs; three receptions for 29 yards, no TDs
Choice is playing like garbage right now and really shouldn’t be considered in terms of fantasy.
That said, the Cowboys will need his experience for a few series tonight with both Jones hurt and Murray being a rookie, so he’ll at least have another chance to prove himself.
Dez Bryant (WR Week 3 Ranking: No. 9)
2011 Season: Three receptions for 71 yards, one TD
With Miles Austin out for this game and Felix Jones a bit banged up, guess who will be looked at to produce a big play or two? Dez Bryant, that’s who.
Jason Witten will undoubtedly get a truckload of targets as well, but Bryant will be the one stretching the field against a highly overrated DeAngelo Hall.
Bryant and Tony Romo may be a bit banged up themselves, but the best of the best tend to excel in these situations, which is exactly what these two will do.
Kevin Ogletree (WR Week 3 Ranking: No. 50)
2011 Season: Four receptions for 62 yards, no TDs
Ogletree could end up with some decent stats in this one if the Redskins give their full attention to Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
He hasn’t shown much since signing as an undrafted free agent back in 2009, but he has nice speed and decent size, and he might turn out to be a nice target for Romo tonight.
Miles Austin (WR Week 3 Ranking: Not Ranked)
2011 Season: 14 receptions for 233 yards, four TDs
Austin has officially been ruled out with his hamstring injury and will be left on the Cowboys shelf tonight. Make sure he’s out of your lineup until further notice.
Jason Witten (TE Week 3 Ranking: No. 2)
2011 Season: 13 receptions for 212 yards, no TDs
How far do you really think Romo can throw the ball with a cracked rib? Well, maybe still a lot farther than you or me, but he definitely won’t be at full tilt this Monday night.
With Miles Austin out for the game and Dez Bryant still a bit hobbled by his quad injury, I expect Witten to see at least 10 targets in this one and possibly even more than that.
By the way—in his last game against the Redskins, Jason put up 140 yards on 10 catches with one TD. Just sayin’.
Oh, and one more thing—if Romo isn’t ready to play or has to be taken out in the middle of the game for any reason, guess who Jon Kitna’s favorite target is? Yep, “The Groomsman,” Mr. Witten.
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