The Sunday games are now in the books, and it's been an eventful Week 3 thus far, here are my early takeaways...
(1) C.J. Spillage: Fuck you, fuck me, and fuck anyone who traded for Spiller, after he looked to be picking up right where he left off the last two weeks then....he separates his shoulder. Tough to say how long he'll be out (early reports say 1-2 weeks), but with Fred Jackson looking to push Adrian Peterson for quickest healer in the NFL, your fantasy tank may be empty for a spell on Spill. If you rostered FJax and stashed him away, bully for you. He should have a full workload if he practices next week in full. None of the other RBs are worth a sniff, and hold on Spiller is you can, because he'll have a role upon his return, no matter how Fjax fares.
(2) Reggie too?!!!: Yep. It figures, the RB I once compared Spiller to, and warned about due to their physical make-ups and susceptibility to being dinged up...get dinged up. Reggie's is more worrisome, as he was helped off the field with a leg injury. If you have Daniel Thomas , Lamar Miller, or even Javorskie Lane, I'd dump everyone but Miller, who's clearly the most talented back not named Reggie. If you're the easily tweaked type? Wait a week and see how it unfolds.
(3) False start, Cowboys: Seriously, if there was a legit reason to fire Jason Garrett, it would be based on the undisciplined play of his offensive line. As they go, so will their fantasy prospects. The only consistent production will come from DeMarco Murray...that's it. End of story.
(4) VJax, that sandbagging sonofabitch: Forbes and I joke about it on the @2MugsFF Podcast, but check the stats. Vincent Jackson appears then vanishes every other game. Granted, the Cowboys secondary is much improved this year with Carr and Claiborne, but Jackson dropped easy passes, jogged on routes, and was seen picking his nose and eating it. Okay, I made that last part up, but the dude mailed it in on Sunday. I would start him next week vs. the weakened Skins defense, and sit his goofy ass week five versus the Chiefs.
(5) Speaking of the Bucs: This is not an offense to count on week to week. Freeman was terrible, the running game was anemic, and the Cowboys practically gave away opportunities left and right with self inflicted penalties. I'd sell off your Buc skill players or just play optimum matchups going forward.
(6) Cough, cough! : Danny Amendola- 5/66/0 TDs
(7) Ponderstruck: Whoah! Who saw that coming? It was nice to see Ponder bust like a bubble vs. the mighty Niners defense, and not come at the expense of Harvin (9/89) and Kyle Rudolph ( 5/36/ 2 red zone TDs). Ponder is shaping up as a high end QB2 with spot start upside.
(8) Matt Stafford...sigh, and goodbye Kevin Smith: Well at least it wasn't a shoulder injury. No updates on Stafford's leg injury just yet, but run, don't walk to the waiver wire for Shaun Hill. Historically we know he's good for 250 and 2 TDs every week...oh and he went to school with Forbes I think, so that's cool, right?
As for Smith, I was one of the few that said sell high if you could after week one on Smith. Bad week vs. SF in week two, and enter LeShoure who is clearly the lead back for Detroit. May as well keep Smith stashed or trade him to the LeShoure owner as a handcuff at this point.
(9) I was wrong about Jamaal Charles...sort of: He straight balled, to the tune of 33/233/1 TD and 6 rec./55 yards ( a long 91 run for a TD) , but it was against the horrible Saints run defense. In any case, the rest of the Chiefs backup RBs can be added to the scrap heap in the short term. Let's hope Charles can hold up with this type of workload, because if he can? Fuck the rest of your league, sans lubricant.
(10) While you're at the market, pick up some P. T. : Pierre Thomas that is, as he's a much better option than Ingram in PPR leagues. The Saint backfield is brutal outside of Sproles, but Thomas was a Garbage Man Superman in years past, and could outpace Ingram, who continues to underwhelm after being drafted in round one in 2011.
(11) Rummy Shots: I don't care how great the Cardinals look, Fitz is the only Card I would want on my team, and he destroyed Asomugha and the Eagles secondary. Help from a solid Arizona defense elevates the team on a weekly basis, who to me are worth a pickup off waivers as well. Hold off on the Kolb frenzy folks, it's premature.
Roethlisberger's red zone binky is clearly Heath Miller as of late. Two red zone looks, two TDS vs. Oakland. Granted, the matchups won't be this easy going forward, but he's worth an add in 12 team leagues is he's out there.
Like I said before, it may take a while with Peyton Manning. Facing one of the better defenses in the Houston Texans doesn't help, but he's still working his way back. While his defense can get to the QB, they'll give up plenty of points, so Garbage Time Pey-Pey isn't necessarily a bad thing...as long as he's hitting orange jerseys.
Matt Schaub was playing lights out in the Denver game, before Joe Mays literally put his lights out. A roughing the passer call (Mays will be getting a nice empty envelope from Goodell), overshadowed a dropped TD from Andre Johnson, with a nice save by Champ Bailey at the end of the play. Schaub was bleeding from his ear after he was separated from his helmet at the end of the play. Schaub did return to the game and didn't miss a beat, throwing for 4TDs early in the 3rd quarter. He's shaping up as late round QB gold, even in a run heavy offense.
(12) Antonio Brown going Downtown: Not in a good way, folks. The preseason worry over Mike Wallace was clearly premature, as Wallace is matching up fine in PPR with Brown, and finding the end zone...which isn't the case with Brown. I'd look to wait for a big game with Brown and sell high, as his red zone reps are coming at the expense of Wallace and Miller.
Sunday Night "40 Ounce"- Well, if you were expecting a well officiated game from the scrub zebras last night, you're shit outta luck, kids. Phantom calls galore were the order of the night, and whether is swayed the game either way, neither defense helped their team in crunch time, both NE and BAL had issues all game. Torrey Smith, playing with an unbelievably heavy heart after his 19 year old brother died in a motorcycle accident, put on a show for the ages. Finding the end zone twice, Flacco picked on McCourty all day, and wisely it paid off. Granted, Smith is still boom or bust most weeks for fantasy, this was a favorable situation for production, in an otherwise sad day for Torrey. Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta got it done for fantasy owners, and even Flacco had a great game. A by product of the bend-don't-break mentality of NE on defense. I fully expect NE to draft yet another CB in the Draft next year, hopefully they move up like they did in 2011 to favor quality over quantity.
As for NE, Welker and Lloyd kept PPR owners happy with 8/142 and 9/108 respectively, as NE shifts to a 3-wide spread attack while Aaron Hernandez is on the mend. The spread offense does hurt players like Gronkowski, who are generally expected to block more with speedy WRs split out across the field. It might be a good time to work a trade with a Gronkowski owner, as the matchups will get easier for NE going forward, and Gronk will see more targets. Edelman? Well, he did score, but ended up with an injured hand at the end of the game. I never bought into his emergence over Welker, and the numbers support that theory. When Hernandez returns could that change? Sure, but in the short term, Wes and Lloyd will continue to thrive in the spread attack. The reasons for the lack of Ridley in the game (other than Belichick's hate for your fantasy team) is Woodhead being the preferred RB option in the hurry-up offense. Honestly, I think they got too cute. Ridley will hopefully return to a bigger role next week, but this is certainly something to monitor. Brady was Brady last night, but the lack of red zone passing attempts hurt his TD numbers. As it turns out, it helped Gostkowski's numbers more than anything.
Look for my MNF game updates on Tuesday, until then follow me at @RumfordJohnny on Twitter. Cheers.