Week 3 Studs
Michael Vick QB, Philadelphia Eagles (321 total yards and 4 TDs) Adrian Peterson RB, Minnesota Vikings (160 rushing yards and two TDs), Rashard Mendenhall RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (143 yards and one TD)
Anquan Boldin WR, Baltimore Ravens (142 yards and three TDs), Austin Collie WR, Indianapolis Colts (171 yards and two TDs), Lance Moore WR, New Orleans Saints (149 yards and two TDs)
Roy Williams WR, Dallas Cowboys (117 yards and two TDs), Seattle Defense (2 INTs, 3 Forced Fumbles, 4 Sacks, 2 TDs)
Week 3 DUDS
David Garrad QB Jacksonville Jaguars (13 of 30 passing for 105 yards and 1 INT), Jonathan Stewart RB, Carolina Panthers (8 carries, 13 yards, 1 fumble lost), Miles Austin WR, Dallas Cowboys, (2 receptions 20 yards),
Steve Smith WR, Carolina Panthers (3 receptions 22 yards), Marques Colston WR, New Orleans Saints (4 receptions 25 yards), Chad Ochocinco WR, Cincinnati Bengals (4 receptions 34 yards)
Sebastian Janikowski K, Oakland Raiders (3 missed FGs) Miami Defense (31 points allowed on 402 yards, 0 sacks, 0 turnovers)
Week 4 Tip Sheet
BYE: Buccaneers, Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings
Michael Vick vs Washington
Analysis: Vick is playing like a #1 fantasy QB right now. In three games, Vick has 750 yards, 6 touchdowns and no interceptions through the air and another 170 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. This week he faces a Redskins defense ranked 28th against the pass that allowed rookie QB Sam Bradford to throw for 235 yards and a touchdown last week. Vick faces former Eagle Donovan McNabb this week in Philadelphia which should add some emotion to this contest.
Chad Henne vs New England
Analysis: Henne was impressive vs the Jets last week throwing for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns. He takes on Tom Brady and the Patriots this week on Monday night in Miami. The Dolphins will be playing catch-up against a soft New England secondary that has already given up 812 yards and 7 touchdowns through the air this season. I expect another nice night from Henne.
Other QBs with good matchups: Matt Ryan vs San Francisco, Bruce Gradkowski vs Houston, Sam Bradford vs Seattle, Eli Manning vs Chicago
Peyton Hillis vs Cincinnati
Analysis: Hillis was a beast last week vs Baltimore pounding the ball for 144 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 7 passes for another 36 yards. The Browns are struggling to pass the ball while Jake Delhomme recovers from an ankle injury so expect Hillis to carry the load. The Bengal’s rush defense is decent overall but is allowing 4.5 yards per rush.
LaDainian Tomlinson @ Buffalo
Analysis: LT continues to outperform second-year RB Shonne Green and looks stronger every week. LT had 88 total yards and a touchdown in Miami last Sunday and should continue that production this week vs a Bills defense that has given up 30-plus points in their last two games.
Other RBs with good matchups: Ryan Mathews vs AZ, Justin Forsett vs St. Louis, Brandon Jackson vs Lions
Austin Collie @ Jacksonville
Analysis: With Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzales injured, Collie has stepped up in a big way. He now has 359 yards and four touchdowns in the past three games and has become Peyton Manning’s go-to receiver. Collie faces a Jacksonville defense that allowed 291 yards passing and three touchdown passes last week against the Eagles and could be in line for another big day.
Jeremy Maclin vs Washington
Analysis: Maclin caught four passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns last week and has seen his stock soar since Michael Vick was named the starter in Philadelphia. Maclin now has 4 touchdowns on the year and appears to be Vick’s favorite red-zone target. Washington is 31st in pass defense allowing 325 yards per game.
Other WRs with good matchups: Louis Murphy vs Houston, Malcolm Floyd vs Arizona ,Mark Clayton vs Seattle, Steve Smith (NYG) vs Chicago
Zach Miller vs Houston
Analysis: Miller caught 4 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown last week and faces a Houston defense that has allowed a league-high 25 receptions to tight ends. Darren McFadden’s success has opened up the passing game for Oakland and Bruce Gradkowski is looking Miller’s way.
Other TEs with good matchups: John Carlson vs St. Louis, Jeremy Shockey vs Carolina, Adrian Hernandez vs Miami
New Orleans vs Carolina
Analysis: Carolina is awful right now with rookie QB Jimmy Clausen at the controls. This is a good match up for the defending Super Bowl Champions at home.
Other D/ST with good matchups: Green Bay vs Detroit, NY Jets vs Buffalo, Atlanta
vs San Francisco, Seattle vs St. Louis
Donovan McNabb @ Philadelphia
Analysis: McNabb returns to his old house in Philadelphia this week after a mediocre outing against St. Louis. Don’t count me among the many who are expecting great things from him. Nobody knows McNabb’s strengths and weaknesses like his former coach, Andy Reid. McNabb will certainly be under pressure to perform in front of his former employees but I expect Reid to have his underrated defense hungry and prepared to feast on his former protégé.
Joe Flacco @ Pittsburgh
Analysis: After struggling against the Jets and Bengals, Flacco rebounded with a solid game this week against Cleveland. It’s difficult to trust Flacco to produce week-to-week as he appears to need the right match up in order to flourish. The Steelers rank in the middle of the pack in passing defense but they have given up only one touchdown pass and rank 4th in fantasy points allowed against opposing quarterbacks.
Other QBs with tough matchups: Charlie Batch vs Baltimore, Shaun Hill vs Green Bay, Derek Anderson vs SD
Ray Rice @ Pittsburgh
Analysis: You might consider benching Rice this week in Pittsburgh. I’m a proponent of starting your studs each week but when any RB faces the Steelers defense, you have to think twice. Rice has yet to score a touchdown this season and he left the game last week with a knee contusion. Rice is regarded as questionable for Sunday’s but is likely to play. Consider other options if you have them.
Ahmad Bradshaw vs Chicago
Analysis: Bradshaw faces the #1 ranked rush defense this week in what may turn out to be an air-show between Jay Cutler and Eli Manning. The Bears are not nearly as efficient at stopping the pass allowing 279 yards per game which ranks 28th in the NFL. Look for the Giants to rely on Eli Manning’s arm this Sunday night.
Other RBs with tough matchups: Any Buffalo RB vs Jets, Jahvid Best vs Green Bay, Jonathan Stewart vs New Orleans
Steve Smith @ New Orleans
Analysis: Here is another stud I‘d consider benching. Panthers coach John Fox said that it’s “more than likely” rookie QB Jimmy Clausen will start this Sunday against New Orleans. Having a rookie QB like Jimmy Clausen behind center impacts all of Carolina’s fantasy players. Clausen will also be dealing with the rowdy Superdome crowd for the first time. The Saints passing defense ranks 2nd in points allowed to wide receivers.
Michael Crabtree @ Atlanta
Analysis: Crabtree has done nothing so far this season to warrant a starting position. Crabtree is averaging 27 yards receiving per game and zero touchdowns. San Francisco fired their offensive coordinator this week which tells you everything you need to know about Crabtree’s chances this week.
Other WRs with tough matchups: TJ Houshmandzadeh/ Derrick Mason vs Pitt, Lance Moore vs Tennessee, Nate Burlson vs Green Bay
Brent Celek vs Washington
Analysis: Celek is a solid TE but has vanished since Michael Vick has taken over at QB. No reason to think Vick will start hitting Celek this week.,/div>
Other TEs with tough matchups: Owen Daniels vs Oak, Todd Heap vs Pitt
Arizona @ San Diego
San Diego has the #1 ranked offense in the NFL. The Cardinals have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Making matters worse for the Cardinals is that Steve Breaston and Early Doucet are out this week which means the Chargers offense will dominate the time of possession.
Other Defenses with tough matchups: Dolphins vs NE, Jacksonville vs Indianapolis, San Francisco vs Atlanta, Detroit vs Green Bay
STEELER FANTASY IMPACT
Analysis: Batch was very solid in Tampa Bay completing 17 of 28 passes for 186 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Ravens pose a much bigger challenge this week and rank #1 against the pass. Batch is a risky start this week.
Analysis: Mendenhall has gotten off to a fast start this season rushing for 332 yards and 2 touchdowns in three games. Mendenhall continues to find room to run despite defenses stacking the box against him. You have to think the Steelers will try to run the ball this week especially after Baltimore allowed Peyton Hillis to run wild last week. Ray Lewis and company will be fired up for this one but Mendenhall remains a must-start.
Analysis: Wallace had a breakout performance last week in Tampa Bay. He finished with 100 yards and two touchdowns. Look for Batch to throw a few deep passes to Wallace in an effort to loosen up that Ravens rush defense. Wallace had just three catches for 83 yards in two games against Baltimore last season.
Analysis: Ward came into week 3 nursing a calf injury but still managed to score a 9-yard touchdown pass. Since his 108-yard, six-catch performance in Week 1, Ward has totaled just four catches for 43 yards in his last two games but remains involved in the passing game every week. Ward had just seven catches for 84 yards in two games against Baltimore last season. Like Wallace, consider other WR options before starting Ward this week.
Analysis Miller had just two catches for 25 yards against Tampa Bay. He has only 8 catches for 68 yards and zero touchdowns on the season. The most disappointing thing is that Miller just isn’t getting the red-zone looks with Ben Roethlisberger out. Baltimore has been very good against opposing tight ends so bench Miller this week and hope that his stats improve in week 6 vs Cleveland.