Ballers, and Bums – Week 3


When it comes to life, and even more importantly, Fantasy Football – stick to your gut. Period. My fiancée tells me all the time, but guess what? I don’t listen. The grass is always greener, and/or self doubt creeps in. Now sometimes, a gut call may land you in jail, have you waking up next to someone you may not remember, or countless other less than favorable situations. However, follow your instincts, and there’s no room for regret. The other end of that spectrum, is a bit tougher to swallow.

Example(s)… My initial DraftKings QB Start of the Week for Week 3 was Matthew Stafford. I loved the matchup and his performance thus far, the loss of Abdullah meant even more passing, and I figured they’d be playing from behind and have to put up points. I then wrote a few words detailing my thoughts, and even had his beautiful picture headlining the article… Check it now. It’s not Stafford, but Carson Palmer, and guess what? Stafford played exactly as expected, and Palmer… More on him later. Final score, Stafford: 26 Palmer: 3. Ouch.

Same game, switching to WR. My initial rankings had Jordy Nelson as the #4 WR, but check them now, he’s #15. Still, not a bad ranking, but due to potential rain (among other reasons), I decided to drop him… He finished as the 5th highest WR with 22 fantasy points. Sigh. These two choices alone, took me from serious money contention, to next to nothing.

We all make bad calls in life, and some more meaningful than others. Luckily, none of these decisions will have any serious repercussions, but I know one thing: waking up Monday morning would’ve had a slightly different feel, had I stuck with my gut. So, begrudgingly I write, the Ballers and Bums of Week 3…

*Disclaimer: Not necessarily the best (or worst) fantasy scorers. Ballers are guys who weren’t expected to put up huge numbers, but did, and visa versa. Fantasy points based on the ESPN standard scoring system.

Baller of the Week
Terrelle Pryor: 3/5, 35 yards; 4 carries 21 yards 1 TD; 8 receptions 144 yards – 23 fantasy points

My man played three positions on Sunday: QB, WR, and S (four if you want to count the wildcat runs as RB). When he wasn’t playing QB, the Browns had rookie signal caller Cody Kessler at the helm; didn’t matter to Pryor. He almost single-handedly won this game for Cleveland – accounting for 47% of their yards from scrimmage, and their only offensive TD – in a game many thought would be a blowout.

Bum of the Week
Ryan Fitzpatrick: 20/44, 188 yards, 6 INTs; 3 carries, 22 yards – ¯ 3 fantasy points

He threw more interceptions than the Jets scored points, and he put up negative fantasy points… There’s really not much more to say here, but thank you for the memes!


Baller of the Week
Trevor Siemian: 23/35, 312 yards, 4 TDs – 28 fantasy points

After a disappointing performance (fantasy wise) in a cake matchup last week vs. Indy (10 fantasy points), Siemian lit up the Bengals in Cincinnati. He showed he’s more than a game manager, but may not need to do much next week at TB; temper your expectations for a repeat performance.

Honorable Mention – Check The Wire
Brian Hoyer: 30/49, 317 yards, 2 TDS – 18 fantasy points

The Bears aren’t good, and will be playing in most games from behind on the scoreboard. Garbage time points still count in fantasy, and if Cutler misses more time, Hoyer has shown he’s not particularly shy when it comes to airing it out. With Jeffery, White, and Royal catching passes and the Lions, Colts, and Jags next up on the schedule, there’s very few streaming options offering more upside.

Bum of the Week
Carson Palmer: 26/50, 287 yards, 4 INTs – 3 fantasy points

The Bills came into this game with one of the worst passing defenses in the league… Well, at least he finished with positive points, and his team had more points than he threw interceptions, but he was a very close second to Mr. Fitzpatrick as the unanimous Bum of the Week. However, don’t panic… Yet.

Running Back

Baller of the Week
LeSean McCoy: 17 carries, 110 yards, 2 TDs – 23 fantasy points

Guess who’s back? Back again? Shady’s back. Tell a friend… After rushing for 117 yards in the 1st two games combined, McCoy went off against the 5th best fantasy defense vs. opposing RBS, and nearly matched his season total of rushing yards. The Cards had allowed an average of only 3.2 yards per carry, two total rushing TDs, and were the #2 overall fantasy defense going into week 3… Not exactly a favorable matchup. No worries for McCoy, however, who went ahead and doubled them up; averaging 6.5 yards per carry, and adding two rushing TDs for good measure.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Charles Sims: 13 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD; 6 receptions, 69 yards – 17 fantasy points

With Doug Martin out, Charles Sims capitalized on an uptick in snaps. The Rams defense has struggled in two of their first three games, so maybe they’re not as tough of a matchup as expected coming into the season. However, Sims is a versatile back, who can do it all, and Martin is expected to miss a few more games. Sims is an excellent pickup, especially in PPR formats.

Bum of the Week
DeAngelo Williams: 8 carries, 21 yards; 4 receptions, 23 yards – 4 fantasy points

I guess we found out that the Eagles defense is legit. The Steelers fell behind from the jump in this one, and game flow contributed to the lack of carries for Williams. However, Big Ben still threw for 257 yards, and was also under pressure all day (sacked 4 times), so you’d expect more production on the receiving end from Williams. With Le’Veon Bell returning from suspension this week, not exactly the going away party owners would have liked from DeAngelo.

Wide Receiver

Baller of the Week
Emmanuel Sanders: 9 receptions, 117 yards, 2 TDs – 23 fantasy points

Talk about a bounce back performance. After being held to 3 receptions for 39 yards against the porous Colts secondary, Sanders drew a Bengals secondary who had held Brandon Marshall/Eric Decker to a combined 5 catches for 69 yards in Week 1, and followed it up in Week 2 holding A.J. Green/Brandon LaFell to 5 for 77. He, and Thomas, both went over 100 yards, and accounted for 3 TDs.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Michael Thomas: 7 receptions, 71 yards, 1 TD – 13 fantasy points

Should Willie Snead miss more time, Thomas showed he’s more than capable of filling the void. Granted, the Falcons secondary has yet to stop anyone, Brees loves to throw the ball around the yard and Thomas could ending up being very Colston-eque. He’s 3rd on the team in targets (behind Cooks, and Fleener), and tied Fleener for the team lead in targets last night with 11.

Bum of the Week
Julio Jones: 1 reception, 16 yards – 1 fantasy point

There were 77 total points scored in this game (we easily cashed in on the over, btw), and 45 of them came from the Falcons. Yes, Freeman dominated the Saints on the ground, but Matt Ryan completed 67% of his passes for 240 yards, and 2 TDs. Jones was targeted 7 times, managed only 1 one catch (responsible for 60% of Ryan’s incompletions), and didn’t appear to be bothered much, if any, by his calf. Disappointing outing, but no need to worry. He’ll be fine going forward.

Tight End

Baller of the Week
Coby Fleener: 7 receptions, 109 yards, 1 TD – 16 fantasy points

Finally! There were several surprising TE performances this week: Jimmy Graham, Cameron Brate, Zach Miller… But, after back-to-back Bum of the Week titles, none were better than Fleener’s. I knew it was only a matter of time, but hopefully Snead’s return doesn’t send him back under the bridge.

Honorable Mention – Check the Wire
Hunter Henry: 5 receptions, 76 yards – 5 fantasy points

A lost fumble cost him a Top 10 finish, but he caught all 5 of his targets Sunday, and should continue to be involved in the Chargers offense should Gates miss any more time. There’s really has no other option for Rivers.

Bum of the Week
Dwayne Allen: 3 receptions, 35 yards – 3 fantasy points

Jack Doyle may be the TE to own in Indy, but similar to years past, it may be best to avoid the situation altogether. This was a great matchup, and Allen/Doyle combined for 9 catches for 100 yards, but unfortunately picking which guy will provide value each week may come down to a coin toss.

We’ve been on a nice roll to start off the football season, so as always, be sure to check back for the Week 4 Positional Rankings, and DraftKings Starts of the Week to ensure you’re dominating your leagues!

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