Well at least this week wasn’t as bad with injuries. After a week where we saw four top Running Backs get hurt, we are through this week relatively safe. I like not having to write about all of the injuries that happened here, but rather can get right to the purpose of the article.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect some similar performances in the future from them or if it was a flash-in-the-plan. In addition to that, I will also cover a couple of other performances and what to expect from them going forward. So without rambling on longer in this intro, let’s take a look at those who performed well in week 3.
QB - Trevor Siemian 312 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 5 Rushing Yards, 28 Fantasy Points
I certainly didn’t expect to be writing about how Trevor Siemian would be the top QB this week. After two bad fantasy performances to start the season, Siemian went out and carved up a good Bengals defense. For now I think that this performance was an outlier, and that Siemian will go back to being outside of the top 20. If you are in a 14 team league or deeper and need a bye week filler, he may be your best option, but I will still see who the other guys are before going all in on Siemian.
QB - Aaron Rodgers 205 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 22 Rushing Yards, 26 Fantasy Points
I think Rodgers is too good to a fault. At this point we expect Rodgers to do this each and every week, but when he doesn’t, it seems that he is looked at as being off his game. The biggest reason that Rodgers can’t be a top QB this season is because of his lack of passing yards. That doesn’t mean Rodgers isn’t still a top 3 guy, but it means he just doesn’t have the upside anymore to be the top QB.
QB - Matthew Stafford 385 Passing Yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT, 11 Rushing Yards, 26 Fantasy Points
Stafford really misses Calvin Johnson right? For as much of a storyline as that was this offseason, it sure seems like Stafford may be ready to have his best season yet. His offensive coordinator is the biggest reason behind this. Jim Bob Cooter is running an offense through Stafford that utilizes his skills perfectly. At this point Stafford is a must start, and a top 8 QB.
RB - Carlos Hyde 21 Carries for 103 Yards, 1 Reception for 2 Yards, 24 Fantasy Points
It doesn’t matter when you score your points. Carlos Hyde owners surely won’t care that he got most of his points at the end of the game when it was a blowout. When looking at his start of the season, here are the defenses he has faced: Rams, Panthers, and Seahawks. The fact that Hyde has now had two games of over 80 yards and 2 TD’s bodes well for what he can do going forward. Next week against the Cowboys expect Hyde to be a top 10 guy.
RB - LeSean McCoy 17 Carries for 110 Yards, 3 Receptions for 6 Yards, 23 Fantasy Points
Not much to go here. McCoy is and always has been a borderline top 10 back. Nothing changed with this performance for me. Has been right around 20 touches each game, and that will keep up the rest of the season barring an injury.
WR - Marvin Jones 8 Targets, 6 Receptions for 205 Yards and 2 TD’s, 32 Fantasy Points
The guy who has stepped in and is actually doing a great job of filling the shoes that Calvin Johnson left. This is the type of game you would have expected to see from Johnson in the past. While I don’t believe Marvin Jones is going to be putting up the numbers we saw from Calvin, Jones is making a strong case to be considered a top 10 receiver right now. At this point I would have him just outside my top 10 for the season, but in the top 12.
WR - Emmanuel Sanders 13 Targets, 9 Receptions for 117 Yards and 2 TD’s, 23 Fantasy Points
Sell Emmanuel Sanders. If you can get face value, or even a premium from where you drafted him before the season, you need to take it right now. As I said with Siemian, this won’t continue. Out of Sanders and Thomas, I don’t see how Sanders will be the one who is best the rest of the season. I am going to chalk this up to an odd game with the Bengals, and think Sanders will revert back to his 50 or so yards with no TD’s against the Bucs next week.
WR - Terrelle Pryor 14 Targets, 8 Receptions for 144 Yards, 4 Carries for 21 Yards and 1 TD, 35 Passing Yards, 23 Fantasy Points
Was there anything that Pryor didn’t do on Sunday? We saw Pryor not only be the number one receiver on the team, but he also lined up at QB for some plays as well with 5 pass attempts and 4 rushes. I can see his usage continuing going forward. The Browns realize they have a special talent in Pryor, and with this already being a lost season, you might as well see what all he can do for your team going forward. This is a must add this week if he is still available in your league. Even with Josh Gordon only having one week left before he returns, with Corey Coleman out for 4 to 6 weeks, Pryor will continue to be heavily targeted, and heavily used in the offense.
WR - T.Y. Hilton 11 Targets, 8 Receptions for 174 Yards and 1 TD, 23 Fantasy Points
With no Donte Moncrief, Hilton was bound to have a better game this week. This is who Hilton is though sadly. He has become a better DeSean Jackson to an extent, as every year he will be quiet for a couple of weeks only racking up 50-80 yards, but then he will go out and have these 150+ yard games with one or two TD’s. This makes him a tough guy to rank on a week to week basis, but for the rest of the season I feel confident in saying he is a top 20 guy still.
TE - Zach Miller 9 Targets, 8 Receptions for 78 Yards and 2 TD’s, 19 Fantasy Points
A popular sleeper pick before the season, Miller got out to a slow start with Jay Cutler in the first two weeks. With Hoyer as his QB in the game Sunday night, we saw a different gameplan. The Bears used Miller as there short to intermediate route runner, trying to get Hoyer to be as comfortable as possible. While it didn’t work in the end for the Bears, this is something that will continue for as long as Cutler is out. Once Cutler returns expect Miller to slip back into being only a top 15 option instead of top 10.
TE - Cameron Brate 10 Targets, 5 Receptions for 46 Yards and 2 TD’s, 16 Fantasy Points
With Austin Seferian-Jenkins getting cut this week, Brate has stepped into the role of not only the blocking Tight End, but is also now the receiving Tight End for the Bucs. With this change in his role, we just saw what that can lead to. Going forward Brate should be viewed as a lite version of Dwayne Allen. This is someone who will be doing most of his damage in the redzone, and outside of that will be used mostly for his blocking ability. This can be useful as a bye week fill in, as well as a starter in deep 16 team leagues if you need someone.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday’s games:
QB - Kirk Cousins 296 Passing Yards, 2 TD’s, 19 Fantasy Points
For all of the talk coming out of Washington about the locker room starting to turn on Cousins, don’t let that skew your view of him. Cousins is still a great fantasy QB for your teams. This game was actually the least amount of yards he has had in a game, even though it was his best. What was missing the first couple of weeks were TD’s. This week I think is the turn where we will see Cousins start to finish more drives in the redzone, which is where Cousins thrived last season. Don’t look at this as a sell high opportunity, keep him and start him going forward.
RB - Wendell Smallwood 17 Carries for 79 Yards and 1 TD, 13 Fantasy Points
In news that will shock nobody in the fantasy football community, Ryan Mathews hurt his ankle in this game. While his status is currently unknown for the next game, they have a bye next week, Smallwood looks like he could be the guy who outside of Sproles could see the biggest bump in production. Smallwood has gone from being the 4th string back to ahead of barner on the depth chart in the matter of one game. You probably want to wait to hear on the status of Mathews, but assuming Sproles is gone in your league, Smallwood is a nice waiver wire pickup if you can afford to use a bench spot for a week on him.
WR - Randall Cobb 3 Targets, 1 Reception for 33 Yards, 3 Fantasy Points
This looks all too familiar to last season right now. Cobb has been quiet to start the season, or is this just his new norm? Cobb has gone from being a top 15 receiver two years ago to now at best a WR3 or FLEX option most weeks. I can’t see Cobb as a top 30 guy going forward with all of the talent there is at the WR position. Until we see Cobb either start to catch the ball further down the field, or he is getting the redzone targets he used to get, this is a player you can’t expect to just bounce back to his old form soon.
Want thoughts on a specific player? Leave a comment on who it is, and I will respond with my thoughts on that guy’s performance and where he stands going forward.