Coming off one of my best prognosticating weeks where I nailed almost all of my predictions and who was going to score for the Bills, Steelers and Browns, I am ready to tackle Week 3. I promise my tackling will be much better than the display the Carolina Panthers put on this past Thursday night against the Giants. The Giants missing four key offensive players still crushed the Panthers 36-7 and made an overnight sensation of everyone's free Agent pick up Andre Brown (130 yards, 2 TDs). Brown is the type of feel good story we all love to hear about as he had been cut by the Giants twice, the Broncos twice, the Colts, the Panthers and the Redskins. Five teams, seven cuts in two years and here he was making a name for himself in primetime.
It is amazing how poor blocking, poor quarterback play and a change in offensive coordinators and philosophy can affect a superstar player's perceived value. I can name three names that were all Top 24 picks that would fall dramatically if you drafted today, none because of injury. Is there anyone out there willing to gamble on CJ50cents? Chris Johnson looks terrible and his offensive line looks even worse. I refer to them as the Matadors, ole! Contrary to other's opinions, Tennessee is the worst team in the NFL, it is not Cleveland or Oakland like most suggest.
Kevin Kolb has taken Larry Fitzgerald and made him nothing more than a million dollar decoy. In the short-term I do not see much changing in the desert as the Cardinals are 2-0 and Fitzgerald has a grand total of 5 receptions for 67 yards in those games. In comparison, that's about a quarter for St. Louis PPR machine Danny Amendola. The Cardinals are winning by eliminating turnovers and playing solid defense and not letting their offense lose games. This week they battle the turnover prone but still undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
Rob Stewart is... The Fantasy Oracle
Wes Welker is the victim of a coordinator change as Josh McDaniels apparently is abandoning the Tom Brady gun-slinging offense for a more ball control offense featuring Steven Ridley. Aaron Hernandez' injury opens the door for Welker to get more receptions in the short-term. However, rumors are swirling that the Patriots may trade Welker before the trade deadline. I am a firm believer where there's smoke there's fire as evidenced by Julian Edelman's growing involvement in the offense, especially in two receiver sets.
On to the WTO Laid Back League where Jacob "Where's Perry? Man", Mitch Wilston and Cody Elms are the only undefeated teams left.
Wilston handed the Oracles their second loss, 128.72-90.
Perryman slipped past Derek "Mountain Man" Farr, 130.36-129.74, while Cody "Nightmare on Elms Street" defeated the Bob "Big Bossman" Patchen, 96.24-89.54.
Brian "Fish" Ferry escaped with an 81.96-81.90 victory over Brian "Defending Champion" Hagberg in the toilet bowl.
Josh "The Gambler" Cotton won a hand with ace high as Houshmanzadeh Sitler's squad forgot to show up. After a Week 1, 132-point effort against the Oracles, Sitler scored a putrid 68 points in an 89.56-68.58 loss.
Jonathan "Foosball" McAfoos used Allen "Wingnut" Seybert's team as a warm-up in a brutal 116.40-80.20 thumping.
This week all three undefeated teams face opponents that could give them fits, especially Perryman, who plays Seybert's Lion-dominated squad and should put up big points this week.
(Editor's Note: The Crystal Ball sees a Josh Cotton win over the Oracles. Do you see it?)
SURPRISE STAT OF THE WEEK: Dante Rosario caught 3 TD passes for the Chargers last week. He had not caught a TD pass since week 3 of the 2009 season (against Dallas) and in his six year career had only five TD receptions in all.
BONUS SURPRISE STAT OF THE WEEK: The Philadelphia Eagles have turned the ball over nine times in their first two games, both wins. The last team to accomplish that feat was the 1983 Los Angeles Rams who turned the ball over ten times in wins over the NY Giants and the New Orleans Saints. Their luck ran out in Week 3 however, as they lost to Green Bay 27-24. Ironically, they only committed two turnovers, while the Packers had four.
FANTASY DUD OF THE WEEK: Larry Fitzgerald with one catch for 4 yards.
FANTASY STAR OF THE WEEK: Robert Griffin III has been amazing so far and last week he did it without his best wide receiver Pierre Garcon. RGIII finished 20-29 for 206 yards with a TD pass and 82 yards rushing with two TD runs.
STEELERS: The Steelers travel to Oakland to face under-utilized Darren McFadden and the Raiders. I like Pittsburgh in this one 27-17. Look for Big Ben to throw three TD passes and the defense to force three turnovers. I predict Antonio Brown will be over 100 yards and score in this one.
BILLS VS. BROWNS: I like Buffalo on the road as I think C.J. Spiller will continue his amazing run with 150 yards of offense and a pair of scores. I also like Scott Chandler to score a touchdown for Buffalo. Look for the Browns to feature Trent Richardson, who makes a solid pay and should score a TD, but the Browns come up short 31-16. The Bills defense will force a few turnovers in this one with one being returned for a short touchdown.
FANTASY BUST OF THE WEEK: DeSean Jackson. The Cardinals and Patrick Patterson are a great defensive team and with Jeremy Maclin out, things don't look good for Jackson at all.
FANTASY START OF THE WEEK: Calvin Johnson. Huge numbers coming this week.
ELIMINATOR PICK: So far so good as the Bears and Bengals have me rolling. This week I really expect the Lions to pulverize the Tennessee, even though the Titans are at home.