Week 3 Fantasy Scouting Report (cont.)
5. My lineup has a Stafford infection
Matthew Stafford is one of three quarterbacks to ever pass for 5,000 yards and 40-plus touchdowns, along with Hall of Famers Drew Brees and Dan Marino. This season Stafford is closer to a Hall of Shamer with his four picks, two touchdowns and a two-game passing total that amounts to around one Eli Manning Week 2 performance.
Chalk it up to a funk. Stafford is going to light up the Titans this weekend, making Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and perhaps even Nate Burleson and Titus Young monsters like Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Martellus Bennett and now Ramses Barden has been for Eli.
We are still wondering if maybe Stafford's 2011 was a fluke. We don't think so, but we'll be unhappy you if it winds up being so.
6. Yo, Adrian!
Mr. Adrian Peterson, we sat you in Week 1 because we figured you would be too limited. You tore it up (and we're not talking about your reconstructed knee).
We trusted you in Week 2, and you blew ... it.
Now, like Run D-Mc vs. the Steelers D, what are we to do as the best run defense in the NFL (San Francisco 49ers) comes to town?
You're playing for us in fantasy, but like lineman Richie Incognito said to Ryan Tannehill on Hard Knocks: "Now, don't (blank) it up."
7. Keeping up with the Jones
Julio Jones was a world-beater in the preseason and Week 1. He was Hide-e-o Jones in Week 2.
Jones was considered by most as the breakthrough fantasy star of the year, the kind who won't let you down, no matter the matchup.
Nope. In Week 2 it was Roddy White's turn in the Matt Ryan air show.
Mr. Jones, don't do that again.
8. Who removed the slot machine?
The Pats' slot machine, aka Wes Welker, has been inexplicably removed from our gaming room, or at least rigged. For some reason in the indecipherable mind of Bill Belichick, Welker had been getting phased out of a Pats offense that was once the best in football because Welker was gashing teams through the soft underbelly of opposing secondaries.
Sure, Aaron Hernandez warranted more targets. But Julian Edelman? Come on. You cannot fool us into thinking "Edelman is a better fit for those plays" than Welker.
With Hernandez injured, Welker may have a path back to fantasy stardom. Let's just hope Belichick doesn't keep playing his fantasy-killing mind games.
Many missed on Newton out of training camp a year ago, then watched him post the greatest rookie season for a quarterback in history. This year, many skipped on Robert Griffin III because Newton just had to be a once-a-generation phenomenon. Newton was the real deal and thus became a second-round pick for many teams.
Save for some rushing yards against the Saints, Newton has looked like a soft soph with two passing touchdowns and five interceptions through three games.
Most figured there was no matchup in which to sit a top-five quarterback pick. Now fantasy owners are left to surf the red zone channel this Sunday for a potential backup to start until Newton's sophomore growing pains stop.
Thanks for making us consider picking up Matt Cassel, Sam Bradford, Ryan Fitzpatrick and, gasp, Alex Smith, Cam.
10. Niners, you're making me spew four-letter words
It easy to rank the best defense in the NFL. The 49ers are a bunch of bad dudes. Eleven mean men swarming to the football and putting opposing players in the training room.
Then why in the world must fantasy owners look at the fantasy D/ST scoring totals and see the first defense off the board in many drafts in the bottom 10 in scoring through two weeks.
Some passed on Tony Romo, C.J. Spiller, Malcom Floyd and Tony Gonzalez in Round 7 to select the Gold Rush defense.
Those mistakes are making us look foolish. And we hate looking foolish.
So, fantasy football, this is what we hate
playing a game supposed to make us feel great.
Instead, we are left with this empty feeling
And frustrations that start the skin peeling.
Let's finally get the season going, start to ball,
so we don't have to be hating you at all.
1. RB Andre Brown, Giants -- He was just fine in his first start. So good, in fact, Ahmad Bradshaw's owners might be sweating over more than just the neck injury.
2. WR Donnie Avery, Colts -- Andrew Luck's going to make everyone around him better. Avery is a factor in PPR formats at least until Austin Collie (concussion) can start to contribute.
3. RB Daryl Richardson, Rams -- He trumped Isaiah Pead and might even get a start for the mysterious slide of Steven Jackson. The rookie runs with a purpose.
4. TE Martellus Bennett, Giants -- He adds a new dimension to Eli Manning and the Giants. He has moved into the must-start category with three touchdowns in three games.
5. TE Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- He is officially listed above Ed Dickson on the TE depth chart now, but Pitta is getting snaps as a slot WR a lot. This is your poor man's Aaron Hernandez.
6. K Justin Tucker, Ravens -- The rookie has displayed accuracy and a big leg. He is a lethal fantasy option with those traits and that offense positioning him.
7. WR Brian Hartline, Dolphins -- He was finally something greater than a flat-line. Ryan Tannehill is going to struggle, but he's also going to be playing behind a lot and throwing a lot of targets in the short, rhythm passing game. Hartline is a potential PPR start, albeit not a great one this week vs. the Jets.
8. RB Jackie Battle, Chargers -- The expected return of Ryan Mathews (broken clavicle) sours Battle's fantasy value just when it could have been getting good.
9. WR Danny Amendola, Rams -- A revival of Sam Bradford was going to make a sleeper out of someone. Amendola is the PPR monster Wes Welker should-a, used-a be.
10. WR Andrew Hawkins, Bengals -- He looks like a poor man's Victor Cruz. That's some lofty praise. Absolutely worth owning and stashing right now.
1. Oakland Raiders D/ST -- That stinker against the Dolphins seals it: The Raiders are not worth owning.
2. TE Fred Davis, Redskins -- People are giving up way too soon. RGIII is going to figure out how to get the ball to his tight end. Davis is their No. 1 weapon with Pierre Garcon (foot) banged up. He'll be back among the most-added soon, if not next week.
3. Cincinnati Bengals D/ST -- This has been an awful start and this week's matchup against RGIII should make things worse before they get better.
4. RB Roy Helu, Redskins -- It is a shame Mike Shanahan's doghouse-nature has chosen to marginalize this talent. If you don't need the last guy on your bench, Helu is an extremely talented player waiting in the wings behind Alfred Morris and Evan Royster.
5. Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers -- Turf toe tends to be a kiss of death, but Dwyer practiced in full and is facing a Raiders defense that was shredded by the Dolphins. This might be Dwyer's last chance to impact fantasy before the bye Week 4 and probable Rashard Mendenhall (knee) return in Week 5.
6. WR Titus Young, Lions -- Stafford is off to an awful start, which has made Young a non-factor. The Titans figure to change all that this week.
7. RB Ronnie Brown, Chargers -- He is a waste of (roster) space now as the last choice of the Triple-Bs: Battle, Curtis Brinkley and Brown. A healthy Mathews makes all three of those wastes of (roster) space.
8. RB Rashad Jennings, Jaguars -- The knee injury probably didn't cost him as much as Maurice Jones-Drew's return.
9. TE Greg Olsen, Panthers -- He was one of the few bright spots for the Panthers on Thursday night. The lack of receivers at Cam Newton's disposal makes Olsen a solid start going forward. He'll be popular on waivers next week.
10. WR Stephen Hill, Jets -- Ah, the fickle fantasy footballers. They add him after his surprising debut and then cut him after a stinker against the Steelers. Uh, a lot of good veterans fail against that defense. Hill is going to surprise those impatient owners all over again.
Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. Track his weekly starts and sits every Wednesday, his Scouting Report on Friday and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).