Gregg Rosenthal

Goal Line Stand

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Week 3 Rankings

Friday, September 24, 2010

It didn't take long for the Bears to change perceptions. At the end of a sluggish preseason, the Jay Cutler sleeper shine had worn off. I didn't think I was particularly high on Cutler – (Silva and Wesseling ranked him higher than me in our magazine) – but I wound up owning Cutler in two of my three leagues because Sweet Baby Jay's stock plummeted late in August.

(Note: I've never been in fewer than 8-9 leagues because of work until now. Three is awesome. Highly recommended.)

In two weeks, Devin Aromashodu went from everyone's favorite sleeper to fantasy waiver wires. Earl Bennett has taken his role. Aromoshadu will probably have a few big weeks, but I don't think he's worth waiting for in most formats. (For what it's worth, Rotoworld listed Aromashodu on our busts list.) The big question in Chicago was whether Cutler had enough weapons. The mistake was looking only at wide receiver.

Greg Olsen has proven to be a far bigger factor in Mike Martz's scheme than anyone imagined. I'm not convinced Olsen can be consistent in fantasy leagues, but the team essentially uses Olsen as a wideout, not a tight end. Chester Taylor completed the offense. He's not playing a ton of snaps, but his presence guarantees that an elite pass-catching back is in the game at all times.

Most importantly, Cutler is slinging the ball again. He's making throws other quarterbacks simply can't make. He's always been aggressive, which suits Martz's offense perfectly.

This week against Green Bay provides another test for Cutler, but he's shown me enough. I'm willing to live with a few ups, downs, and interception. He's not coming out of my lineup.

Week 3 Quarterbacks

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Aaron Rodgersat CHI -
2Peyton Manningat DEN -
3Drew Breesvs. ATL -
4Tony Romoat HOU -
5Matt Schaubvs. DAL -
6Tom Bradyvs. BUF -
7Michael Vickat JAC -
8Philip Riversat SEA -
9Jay Cutlervs. GB -
10Donovan McNabbat STL Questionable(ankle)
11Brett Favrevs. DET Probable(ankle)
12Kyle Ortonvs. IND -
13Eli Manningvs. TEN -
14Matt Ryanat NO -
15Joe Flaccovs. CLE -
16Carson Palmerat CAR -
17Vince Youngat NYG -
18David Garrardvs. PHI Probable(back)
19Matt Hasselbeckvs. SD -
20Sam Bradfordvs. WAS -
21Alex Smithat KC -
22Shaun Hillat MIN -
23Matt Casselvs. SF -
24Chad Hennevs. NYJ -
25Mark Sanchezat MIA -
26Derek Andersonvs. OAK -
27Bruce Gradkowskiat ARZ -
28Josh Freemanvs. PIT -
29Jimmy Clausenvs. CIN -
30Ryan Fitzpatrickat NE -
31Seneca Wallaceat BAL -
32Charlie Batchat TB -

All sorts of extra goodies over at Season Pass.

Notes: In lieu of the normal notes culled only from re-watching games, I'm going to review what players at each position have seen their value change the most after only two weeks of the season.

Going up: Every year, we look at the final magazine rankings and know there will somehow be a bunch of undrafted guys that turn into every week fantasy starters. Michael Vick is one of those guys this year. The old fantasy incarnation was oddly consistent because his running game was the great equalizer. Vick actually seems like he's maturing as a passer, but he barely needs to be a top ten guy.

Carson Palmer is coming off an ugly box score, but he would actually inch up my rankings now. The arm looks better; he can be a higher-level QB2. … I pumped up Kyle Orton quite a bit this offseason, but it wasn't enough. He was still ranked as an endgame QB2. Now he's closer to top-15 range. … Would Joe Flacco move down if I had to do it over? Not really. Most quarterbacks would struggle against the Jets and Bengals. Give him time. … We've gone over Cutler, but he could possibly now sneak into the top six quarterbacks or so. I'd put him roughly around Matt Schaub and Tony Romo. … Sam Bradford would now be ranked as barely draftable. Which is pretty damn good for a rookie quarterback.

Going down: The top guys are who we thought they were. Romo's YPA will bump up. … Kevin Kolb will go down as a bust, even if he gets his job back eventually. I wouldn't hold on him in redraft leagues. … Despite Miami's winning start, Chad Henne looks less potentially explosive than I hoped. … Very excited to see what Matt Ryan does this week. I own him in our office league and have concerns despite the three scores last week. … Brett Favre is a matchup-play type of quarterback now, not an every-week starter like he was last year. … Matt Cassel's sleeper shine is wearing off, but it never figured to be an easy transition to Charlie Weis' schemes.

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Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for and Catch him on Twitter.
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