If you went to bed early Sunday night, you missed some of
Manning has steadily improved in each game, both statistically and via the eye test, and though he doesn't look anything like peak-Peyton -- or last year's version, to be honest -- he's done enough to at least put aside fears that he is totally cooked. That and the defense's continued dominance is the good news for the
And then there's the running game. The Broncos were held below 70 yards on the ground for the third straight game in Week 3, as the offensive line continues to generate little push and the running backs continue to look plodding at best. First-round Fantasy pick
It is too early to panic about Anderson, especially when you look back at the start
With Manning not looking like the same player he was in years past, can we assume the same thing for Anderson? There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about this situation for him right now.
1. Maybe you shouldn't sell high on
In this space last week, I suggested that Fantasy players should look into selling high on Fitzgerald, who got off to a ridiculously hot start and seemed destined to come back to Earth eventually. Maybe he will come back down eventually, but it wasn't in Week 3, as he went out for nine more catches, 134 more yards and two more touchdowns. Over his last 16 games with
One of the reasons often cited for the
3. Disappointing tight ends got their revenge
If the first few weeks were all about the new class of tight ends asserting themselves, Week 3 was about the old guard restoring order. Declarations of
I'm not speaking to the Aaron Rodgers,
Coaches have tendencies, and Fantasy players who can identify them are going to be at an advantage when it comes to those tendencies. With Bruce Arians, it's pretty clear at this point he doesn't want to hand a significant role to a rookie running back; he leaned on a cooked Rashard Mendenhall in 2013 when
Running behind what should be the best line in the league, Joseph Randle looked like a non-factor in the first two games, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry and leading to some chatter about
Granted, Lewis may not have even gotten the opportunity if Blount wasn't suspended for Week 1, but then when the virtual unknown was great in that game and Blount returned with only two carries in Week 2, you had to wonder if Bill Belichick was open to something as un-Belichick-like as having one running back carry the load. And now you're probably wondering how you could have been so naive. Granted, Blount's three-touchdown performance wasn't everything it seemed. All 13 of Lewis' touches came in the first half, when Blount had only two of his team-high 18 carries, but just because the scoreboard dictated the distribution this time doesn't mean it will next time, especially now that Blount has reminded the
Through three games, the Raiders' rebuild looks to be coming along swimmingly. Quarterback
10. You're wasting your time with the
Losing a franchise quarterback for any amount of time is going to be a big blow, but with how well
Based on a four-week timetable for his return from a sprained knee, the Steelers are going to lose out on a lot with Roethlisberger's injury. Our Sportsline projections have the Steelers' odds of making the playoffs dropping from 51.8 percent to 34.7 with Vick starting four games in Roethlisberger's place, with an average drop of 5.0 points per game for the offense. That will obviously have big Fantasy repercussions, as you can see here from the rest of the projections:
|WEEK 4 TO 7 QB||FP AVG||POS RANK||COMP||ATT||%||PASS YD||PASS TD||INT||RUSHYD|
Vick's ability to run the ball helps boost his Fantasy appeal a bit, though our projection system isn't terribly high on him in that regard; he is projected for just 53 rushing yards in four games. However, the Steelers have enough weapons around Vick that he might still be able to remain Fantasy relevant, as his No. 16 ranking at the position illustrates.
If you're looking to replace Roethlisberger, Vick probably shouldn't be your first choice. With
|Antonio Brown||FP AVG||POS RANK||REC||RECYD||YPR||RECTD|
The drop in rank from No. 2 to 3 isn't huge, but 2.8 Fantasy points per game isn't an insignificant dropoff either. If you own Brown, you likely used a first round pick or something close to that to acquire him, so this injury could be particularly devastating. Vick threw the ball six times in Week 3, and only one of those passes went Brown's way; it fell incomplete. Brown is still one of the toughest covers in the league, and Vick has enough arm to hit him downfield when he gets behind the offense. Still, you have to imagine the Steelers will throw the ball significantly less often with Vick, and a large part of Brown's appeal was the huge pass volume. This injury hurts him more than anyone, though that doesn't mean you should be looking to bench him. He should still be a top-five wide receiver, but all of a sudden, there's downside to a guy who should be the safest receiver in the league.
|Le'Veon Bell||FP AVG||POS RANK||RUSH||RUSHYD||YPC||RUSHTD||REC||RECYD||RECTD|
If there is one player who might not lose out much with Vick under center, you would think it would be Bell. Running quarterbacks tend to open things up for their running backs, increasing their efficiency, and a stacked box means more potential for a big play if Bell can find his way into the second level. Our projections are conservative on Bell, but the bulk of his step back doesn't really come from a drop in per-touch production; he just isn't expected to find the end zone as much.
Given the expect dropoff in the offense overall, that isn't exactly a shock. Bell's replacement
The rest of the Pittsburgh offense obviously suffers significantly in this change, especially the fringe-y Fantasy types. After a terrific opening game,
Martavis Bryant might be the biggest loser of all, because he has true star potential as the deep threat for Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has been one of the best deep ball passers in the league over the last couple of seasons, and he's made
The Steelers are going to miss Roethlisberger, and Fantasy players might miss him even more.
The injuries piled up in the run up to Week 3, with the already-thin tight end position hit especially hard by a few key injuries. The first week of the season brought optimism that there might be more options at tight end than usual, but a slew of injuries have key players looking questionable for Fantasy owners.
Between those tight ends and injuries that could leave the likes of
With the way the Eagles have been running the ball this season, you might have been wondering if you should sit Murray even if he was healthy. That would probably be an overreaction, but after he was unable to practice all week, it is more than fair to wonder if Murray is going to be able to do much in Week 3. You shouldn't give up on Murray, but it's awfully tough to rely on him against this tough Jets' defense while coming back from an injury, if he plays at all.
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins (Ankle) - Questionable
Similar to Murray, there is reason to question whether Miller would even be worth starting if he was healthy. With Miller's skill set and the Dolphins' success running the ball, I would feel OK about starting a healthy Miller, but this injury really does sound like one he is gutting out at this point. Assuming you drafted him as an RB2, it might be best to go with an understudy this week; the Dolphins might have to follow the Patriots' game plan from last week anyway.
Stewart has been thoroughly underwhelming so far, rushing for just 3.4 yards per carry against defenses that know they can load up against the run. The Saints know they have to slow the run down as well, but they might not be the most well-equipped team in the league when it comes to doing that. With
This short week comes at the worst possible time for Ivory and his Fantasy owners, as he was limited to 57 yards and no scores in Week 2 and may not be able to go now in Week 3; he has been dubbed a game-time decision. He did make enough progress with the injury to practice Friday, but his status won't be known until inactives start to come out around 11:30 am EST Sunday. Pick up backup
First you miss a game, then you come back in a limited role as a decoy, then you're full strength. We've seen this script before, and it shouldn't be a huge surprise if Evans follows it by being his usual self in Week 3. You drafted him surely hoping he would at least have one catch by Week 3, but Evans could make up for lost time quickly with his upgrade at quarterback. He should be a must-start option.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans (Concussion) - Probable
Hopkins was back at practice Friday and has been cleared to play, so hopefully he doesn't have any lingering issues to deal with.
Nine receptions for 111 yards is fine production for Cooks through two games, but it hardly screams "must-start option." And, of course, he was doing that with Drew Brees under center. The Saints will be starting
Just like with Ivory, this short week comes at an extremely bad time. Decker was unable to practice all week as a result of the injury, and that doesn't bode well at all for his prospects. He had a terrific Week 2, hauling in eight passes for 97 yards and a score, but you have to stay away from someone who was probably little more than a borderline starter when healthy anyways.
Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers (Concussion) - Questionable
Green still has to complete the concussion protocol before he's even cleared to play, so we'll have a pretty good indication relatively early on whether he can get on the field at all. Whether you should play him at all even if he is able a tougher question to answer, because Green has been pretty solid in his first two games, hauling in 10 of 12 passes for 121 yards and a score. The target volume hasn't been overwhelming, but he's been a reliable option for
Walker was able to practice without limitations, which is a great sign for his chances to play at full health. Usually, you want to stay away from a hand injury, but the tight end position is so thin, Walker might be worth rolling the dice on; remember, he had three receptions for 43 yards and a score in his first game with
The risk in drafting Cameron was always that he has had persistent issues staying healthy. When he played, he's terrific, as evidenced by his 19.3 yards per reception in the first two games of the season. Few tight ends have this kind of big-play ability, so it comes down to whether Cameron is well enough to play. He was limited in practice throughout the week, so there's risk here, but the Bills did just allow 136 yards to tight ends in Week 2, so the upside is high. You might not have any better options, so starting Cameron seems like a worthy gamble, assuming he is active.
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So Week 1 in the FanDuel-CBSSports Championship was good. Week 2, well, not so much.
After starting out with a finish of 184 out of 1,415 entries in Week 1, I was miserable in Week 2 at 1,341 out of 1,642 entries. The reason for my failure was going all in on the
This week, I'm again using our CBS Sports Start of the Week with
I spent big on
Here's my lineup in full:
Some other players I like for the FanDuel-CBSSports Championship are
Good luck to everyone in Week 3. I just hope my lineup is better than yours!
One of the trickiest parts about building tournament lineups is knowing when to fade the most popular plays. There's little doubt with the way the Patriots are rolling everyone is going to want a piece of that offense against Jacksonville.
In cash games that's fine, because I want the safest, highest scoring, lineup regardless of ownership. In GPPs the story is a little bit different. The upside of Brady, Edelman, and Gronk are so high that I don't believe you can fade them completely but I will have plenty of tournament lineups with none of them. Even if they are at the top of my rankings.
We have more injury concerns in Week 3. I'm staying away from the
I've also added an extra column for ownership percentage from the Thursday night contests. This is extremely useful for setting those tournament lineups.