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Sunday, September 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 WRAPUP

-Maybe Blake Bortles just plays well overseason.  One of the most maligned QB's in the entire NFL, Bortles came up aces Sunday in London as he completed 20-of-31 throws for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He hooked up three times with Marcedes Lewis and also got one to Allen Hurns in a spectacular performance.  The question is how many in the fantasy football community started Bortles?  The answer is likely not many and that should continue despite the big game.

-Speaking of Lewis, he caught four balls overall for 62 yards and the hat trick of scores.  Lewis has always been a solid red zone target but he has never gained much traction as a fantasy football starter during his entire career.  That won't change now.

-Joe Flacco looked like he had a nice matchup as a QB 2 in two passer leagues Sunda but he was taken out of the game early after he completed just 8-of-18 throws for 28 yards and two picks.  It was a brutal outing all the way around and speaks to the fantasy football limitations he carries each season.

-Prior to the season I said that Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton was garbage and a major bust pick.  Only three weeks into the season and Newton has been horrendous like I said he would be.  Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints Newton completed just 17-of-26 throws for 167 yards with 0 TD and 3 INT's.  Unsightly QB play for sure and I would not object to dropping Newton in any league.  He is more name brand than actual producer.

-For the second week in a row, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was unstoppable and likely will be the player of the week in fantasy football.  He completed 25-of-35 throws for 378 yards and 5!!!!! touchdowns in the comeback win over the Houston Texans.  Brady has been some kind of ridiculous the last two games and he again shows no signs of ever slowing down.

-Despite Kareem Hunt getting all the rookie running back hype, don't overlook the spectacular start to the career of the Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook who rushed for 97 yards and a score on 27 carries; while also catching five passes for another 72.  The Vikes have stayed true to their word in using Cook as their bellcow and he is a clear RB 1 in all formats.

-The Garbage Time Special was in play for Miami Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker who had two catches for three yards going into the fourth quarter of the team's loss to the New York Jets.  Parker wound up catching 8 passes for 76 yards and one score.  Parker has hinted at big-time ability but he has to get going earlier in games to be more than a WR 3.

-Jameis Winston is off to a rough start as he threw three picks Sunday in an ugly loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  Overall Winston completed 28-of-40 passes for 329 yards with 2 TD and 3 INT, with a lot of numbers coming in the second half when the Buc's had to pass almost every down.  Despite the ugly game, I am still very high on Winston and think he will be fine overall.

-So many early large deficits in Sunday games which necessitated lots of passing by the losing team in the second half.  That allows for numbers padding like with what took place with Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey who caught 9 balls for 101 yards in the loss to the Saints.  From the beginning of the year we have said McCaffrey should only be used in PPR formats and that remains true given the presence of Jonathan Stewart.

-On paper there was not a more attractive matchup for a running back than what Miami Dolphins' Jay Ajay had facing the 30th ranked Jets defense.  Well Ajayi managed just 16 yards on 11 carries; while adding two catches for another 9 yards.  All week we heard about Ajayi's knee still being a problem but he suited up anyways.  Those concerns have to be growing now seeing how poorly Ajayi played.

-Devonta Freeman continues to show how underrated he is as he rushed for 106 yards and a score on 21 carries, while also adding 3 catches for another 32 yards.  Freeman should be talked about as one of the best RB 1's in fantasy football and despite the presence of Tevin Coleman, is still getting a high workload.

-C.J. Anderson were likely not happy to see him rush for just 36 yards on 8 carries, while adding 2 receptions for 7 yards.  In other words it was a no-show performance as Anderson split work with the rising Jamaal Charles.  Charles outplayed Anderson and so already the latter looks like a busted pick like he as in 2016 and 2015.

-Despite another ridiculous antic, New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. showed his breathtaking talent as he hauled in 9 balls for 79 yards and two scores.  Of course Beckham made a fool out of himself by pretending to be a dog on all fours and lifting a back leg to pee but that is par for the course with the guy.  At least he is healthy now and a firm top tier WR 1.

-It is amazing how there is never any in-between with Patriots wideout Brandin Cooks who went nuts to the tune of catching five balls for 1331 yards and 2 scores Sunday.  This after Cooks was a no-show the first two weeks of the season.  This is standard operating procedure for Cooks who will always test the patience of his owners.

-We really are starting to see the emergence of second-year Giants wideout Sterling Shepard who caught 7 balls for 133 yards and a score Sunday in the loss to the Eagles.  Already one of the best route runners in the game, Shepard will only get better from here on out.  He very well could continue being the number 2 guy over Brandon Marshall.

-While the Giants had a gut-wrenching loss to the Eagles, QB Eli Manning did his part in completing 35-of-47 throws for 366 yards with 3 TD and 2 INT's.  The Giants protection has been brutal this season which has hurt Manning more than anything but at least the passing offense seems to be back in sync now.  Still Eli should be just a QB 2 for the time being.

-Yes once again I remind you that I said to avoid all the other high-priced tight ends this summer in the draft and instead go with Zach Ertz.  Ertz has been a receiving monster in all three games for the Eagles so far; including Week 3 when he caught 8 balls for 55 yards and a score.  He gets a nice matchup versus the Los Angeles Chargers next week so the fun should continue.

-The change to Jacoby Brissett at QB has done wonder for Indianapolis Colts ace wideout T.Y. Hilton who caught 7 balls for 153 yards and a score in the team's win over the Cleveland Browns.  While it is tough to trust Hilton with Andrew Luck out, at least things are looking up.

-Speaking of Brissett, the former Patriot completed 17-of-24 throws for 259 yards with 1 TD. while adding two scores on the ground on his 4 carries for 14 more yards.  There is no reason to pick up Brissett in any leagues as he is still a shaky passer but at least the Colts skill guys should be looking a bit better with him under center over Scott Tolzien.

-It is about time owners of Jordan Howard in fantasy football got something for their money.  Howard rumbled for 138 yards and 2 scores on 23 carries, while adding 5 catches for another 26 yards.  This is a big outing for Howard in that it should re-establish confidence in him and also because it shows he can be effective while injured as he battles a sore shoulder.





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