TE Notes: It wasn’t just the Patriots’ bracket coverage that took Gates out of the game in Week 2. He’s not as explosive down the field while continuing to battle foot woes. Gates is a good bet to bounce back against the Chiefs, but the foot will remain an issue all season. … Witten is a good bet for a third straight 100-yard game with Miles Austin out and Dez Bryant up in the air. … Gronkowski’s already stout production figures to sky-rocket with Aaron Hernandez out for at least a couple of weeks.
Daniels hasn’t been needed with the Texans in second-half clock-killing mode the first two games. That will change against a high-scoring Saints team in Week 3. … Forget Chris Cooley. He’s no longer a factor in the Fred Davis fantasy equation. Davis has been the Redskins’ offensive MVP through two weeks, racking up more yards than Cooley has ever produced in back-to-back starts. Consider Davis a top-six stud tight end for the rest of the season. … Don’t be fooled by Gonzalez’s monster game in Week 2. He’s still an outstanding red-zone weapon, but the Falcons wideouts won’t be bottled up every week.Week 3 Team Defense
Week 3 Kickers
Congratulations to Gregg and Emika Rosenthal on the birth of their daughter, Ellis (Elly) Rosenthal. Mother and baby are doing great after a long day Wednesday. Gregg confirms via Twitter that, yes, his first child is named after his favorite Red Sox player as a child.I’ve been partnering with Gregg on the rankings since the beginning of last season, and I’m happy to report that Rotoworld’s rankings started off the season with a first-place finish in the Fantasy Pros contest. We can only hope that accuracy carries over the rest of the way.As Gregg takes a couple of well deserved days off with his family, I’ll be your fantasy sherpa for this week’s goal line stand. Enjoy the show.Week 3 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: With a 29:1 TD-to-INT ratio over the past 10 regular season games and 940 yards through two starts this season, Tom Brady is as hot right now as any quarterback has ever been. Sunday’s game against the Bills has shootout potential. … Brees has a tougher than expected matchup against the league’s No. 1 pass defense. Wade Phillips defense is bringing the pass rush, but that ranking is skewed by an easy early-season schedule.
With second-rounder Titus Young emerging, no quarterback has more weapons than Stafford. … Vick missed Wednesday’s practice, but signs point to him starting Sunday. He averaged 250 passing yards and 82 rushing yards with five total touchdowns against the Giants last year. … Rivers may spend the second half handing off against a Chiefs team on the brink of packing it in for the season.
Romo is without Miles Austin and could be missing Dez Bryant as well. His outlook takes a hit if Kevin Ogletree stands in as the No. 1 receiver. … The most promising aspect to Newton’s white hot start is the obvious faith the coaching staff has in his arm. Coordinator Rob Chudzinski planned an agressive aerial attack against the Packers last weeek, and Newton delivered. Jacksonville is another plus matchup for Carolina’s passing game. … After talk of a more aggressive downfield attack, the Falcons fell short against Chicago’s cover-2 defense and Philly’s dream team. It’s a fine time to buy low on Ryan and his receivers.
Gregg noted after Week 1 that Freeman didn’t have enough weapons, and that remained an issue against the Vikings. Mike Williams hasn’t been separating from coverage going back to preseason action. … The Bears’ first two games are eerily similar to the start of last season. Cutler is getting hit far too often behind a overwhelmed offensive line. … Eli’s been off since training camp opened. … Hasselbeck is going to pass more than anyone expected, and he has the weapons to clear 4,000 yards for the first time in his career.Week 3 Running Backs
RB Notes: The Vikings beleaguered offensive line has been more of an issue for Donovan McNabb than Peterson. … McCoy looks as explosive as any back in the league this season. It wouldn’t be an upset if he finishes as the top fantasy back for 2011. … It’s now or never for CJ2K against an injury-depleted Broncos defense. We’re betting on a breakout game. … Forte is the lone beneficiary of Chicago’s shaky offensive line. He’s turning Jay Cutler’s dumpoffs into big plays.
It’s time for the Jags’ coaching staff to take the reins off Jones-Drew. Backup Deji Karim has yet to impress while MJD’s knee checks out just fine. With Blaine Gabbert making his first career start, the matchup against Carolina’s woebegone run defense is made to order. … Running with more power than expected, McFadden is proving that last season was no fluke. … Mendenhall had five goal-line opportunities against Seattle last week. Expect more of the same against the Colts.
The Lions running game has yet to take off, but Best’s skill-set is perfect for the Lions’ pass-heavy offense. He’s playing the Brian Westbrook role for Matthew Stafford. … Tate will start against the Saints after trucking a Dolphins team that closed out last season as an elite run defense. Expect 20+ touches in Tate’s first start. … Seattle’s run defense is tougher than advertised, but Wells is showing impressive power on his way to 5.71 yards per carry through two weeks. … Tolbert still has better odds of scoring a touchdown, but Mathews has been the more explosive back on the ground and through the air the first two weeks. Mathews’ role could grow at Tolbert’s expense. … Don’t bother with the Kansas City backfield. It’s a committee attack in an offense that doesn’t move the ball and won’t have many scoring opportunities.Week 3 Wide Receivers
WR Notes: Calvin Johnson missed Wednesday’s practice, but you know the drill. Put him in your starting lineup and wait for the touchdowns to roll in. … Keep an eye on Britt’s hamstring. It flared up in Wednesday’s practice, but the Titans don’t seem overly concerned yet. … Cam Newton has breathed new life into Smith’s career. This is now a top-ten fantasy receiver.
Nicks came out of Monday’s game with no lingering knee issues. He has to be played even in a tough matchup against Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel. … Welker’s targets should only increase with Aaron Hernandez out of the lineup. … Marshall is playing lights out through two weeks, but will likely see plenty of emerging shutdown corner Joe Haden in Cleveland. … Bryant’s status is up in the air, but the extra day will help in a Monday night matchup against the Redskins.
Stevie Johnson was held out Wednesday to rest his groin, but all signs point to him being in the lineup for a potential shootout against the Pats. … Don’t get too worked up about Harvin’s limited snap count. When he’s in the game, the ball is in his hands. … Branch is a must-start until proven otherwise. … Manningham is expected to play, but he’s yet to practice this week. Make sure he practices Friday before locking him into lineups this week.
As mentioned earlier, Mike Williams isn’t gaining separation from coverage this season. Until he does, the Bucs offense will continue to struggle. … Lloyd returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play against the Titans. … David Nelson has the look of a target hog with Roscoe Parrish out for the season and Stevie Johnson fighting through a groin injury. … Sims-Walker is the biggest beneficiary of the Danny Amendola elbow injury. … Lance Moore is a safer play now that he’s practicing fully again.Week 3 Tight Ends