Week 3 of the NFL season provided a good reminder to fantasy football players—certainly one that’s good for me to have every now and again: don’t overthink it.
1) “Should I sit Russell Wilson this week? The Seahawks should run all over Jacksonville.”
— I dropped Wilson in my rankings based on just that premise, and his yardage was a good indication that Seattle didn’t need to pass much. But four touchdowns later, it should be noted that just because something should happen doesn’t mean it will.
2) “Should I start Sam Bradford over <insert stud quarterback here>?”
— Yes, Bradford had two good games. And yes, his completion percentage and quarterback ratings are both career bests thus far. But he hasn’t proven anything over the long term yet, and should be used with caution until he shows that back-to-back decent fantasy performances are more than blips on the radar.
3) Not just anyone can be Peyton Manning.
— I never could’ve predicted seven touchdowns in Week 1, but I did note that Manning was likely going to roll the Ravens in a revenge game after last year’s playoff loss. But I made the mistake in carrying that adage over to the San Francisco 49ers after they took a beating in Seattle, figuring the Colin Kaepernick from Week 1 would show up at home against a Colts defense that isn’t anything special. Whether I overrated the Niners or underrated Indy, or both, that swing-and-miss led to bad calls on both the San Francisco and Colts side of the ball.
4) No. 1 receivers are No. 1s for a reason.
— I was all for benching Antonio Brown and Cecil Shorts this week. Whoops.
It’s perfectly reasonable to ding a guy’s ranking based on facing Darrelle Revis or Joe Haden, but to do so simply because they play for a bad team and are going against a good team isn’t always smart business. In fact, both teams responded to a difficult challenge by targeting their best player even more (makes sense), as Shorts went for 8-143 on a season high 15 targets, and Brown went off for 9-196 and two touchdowns on a season-high 13 targets.
The Shorts one I don’t feel too terrible about, as Seattle had been annihilating fantasy wideouts for two weeks. But Brown followed the mold of AJ Green, who also scored twice on the Bears.
5) Coaches aren’t always liars.
— The Bengals said they wanted backfield duties to be a 50/50 split after two weeks of BenJarvus Green-Ellis owning the lion’s share of carries. And sure enough, Cincy came through. Both Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard rushed 10 times, with Bernard adding four catches as well. So long as the split remains this way, Bernard is a weekly fantasy starter. Green-Ellis scored in Week 3 to salvage some fantasy value, but going forward I’ll have a hard time ranking him as more than a flex play at best.