Through the first two weeks Jamaal Charles totaled 90 rushing yards and in week two he disappointed many fantasy owners with a grand total of three yards rushing and a bruised knee, which once again reminded us that Charles’ season ended last year with a torn ACL in that same knee. So going into this week, even against the Saints poor defense, expectations were tempered.
But as we know now, our expectations should have been stoked. Charles went from 90 yards rushing through two weeks, to a league leading 323 yards rushing after Sunday's games were over.
Charles had a career high 33 carries and a career runner-up 233 yards rushing to go along with six receptions for 55 yards for a total of 288 yards, which is also a career high. So that’s a little more than last week.
This game was vintage JC Superstar. According to ESPN Stats and Info, “only four players in NFL history have had multiple games of 230+ rushing yards- Jim Brown (3), Jamaal Charles (2), Corey Dillon (2), O.J. Simpson (2).” That is some pretty good company to keep, well, as far as football ability goes.
If you bought low on Charles you are doing the Dougie while counting all the fake points you accrued. Congrats.
Torrey Smith - I’m not often swayed by the drama that producers manufacture around NFL games, but there was absolutely nothing artificial about Torrey Smith’s internal fortitude to play Sunday night and excel after losing his brother only hours before the game.
His 127 yards and two touchdown game was the second time he topped 125 yards a two touchdowns in a game. That’s a first for a Ravens receiver.
This game itself was marred by controversial calls and fighting, but each time Smith caught the ball, it seemed like a completely different game, between just him and his brother.
Jake Locker - After a slow start to his sophomore season, Locker broke out with a career day against the Lions in an absolutely wacko game. The two teams scored 46 points in the fourth quarter alone!
The promise of Locker was a strong arm that could stretch the field with the Titans young pass catchers, but after two weeks many were worried that his promise wasn’t going to be kept. But this week we saw what he could do. His two touchdown passes went over 60 yards each and he still had a nice 69% completion percentage.
A.J. Green - Green continues to show that he’s very much in the elite wide receiver conversation. This week he had nine receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown. That puts him at 311 yards and two touchdowns on the season, just behind Calvin Johnson for the league lead in yardage.
If Andy Dalton can continue to improve, this could be a special year for the ultra-talented Green.
Maurice Jones-Drew - Mr. Jones-Drew and me have never told each other fairy tales or looked into the future, but if we did, I think all his tales and predictions would have been a little more spot-on than mine. This guy is never going to slow down.
He ran for 177 yards and a touchdown and is only second in rushing yards to Jamaal Charles on the season. That’s after holding out and missing all of preseason.
Much like last season, the Jaguars are going to have to ride him into the dirt (I wonder why he held out?) but he’s one of the few backs in the league able to take the beating and still put up big numbers.
Christian Ponder/Kyle Rudolph/Percy Harvin – So the Vikings took on the 49ers who just beat the Packers and the Lions, i.e. Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. So what do you expect out of Christian Ponder? The fifth best fantasy game of the week? Stop lying!
Of course that’s exactly what he did as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the process of upsetting San Francisco. I’m sure many of you had Ponder in the “who will be the first player to rush for a touchdown against the 49er’s?” pool.
His two main pass catchers, Harvin and Rudolph combined for 14 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Harvin leads the league in receptions and Rudolph just caught his third touchdown in as many games.
The Vikings have a lot to be thankful for right now. Ponder, Harvin, and Rudolph are 24, 24, and 22 respectively. There’s a lot of good football to come.
Matt Ryan - It seems that Matt Ryan’s ascent into the elite is happening right before our eyes. This week he dismantled the Chargers with ease, completing 30 of 40 for 275 yards and three touchdowns.
He leads the league in passer rating and is tied for the lead in passing touchdowns with eight. His completion percentage also is tops in the league at 72 percent.
He’s not putting up the crazy numbers other quarterbacks put up last season, but the Falcons defense is keeping him from needing to throw all game long.
Mikel Leshoure - Well, I guess we know now. It took him over a year, but he finally made it into a regular season NFL game and managed to rush for 100 yards and a touchdown and catch four passes (on four targets) for 34 yards.
There’s no doubt he is the guy now, especially after it looked like he would only have about 15 touches and he ended the day with 30.
Darren McFadden - Mr. MacDaddyFadden finally broke out with 113 yards rushing and a touchdown on 18 carries against the Steelers. It was only a matter of time of course, but it was nice seeing him do it against a good defense.
Larry Fitzgerald - The Arizona Cardinal’s defense is getting some good press right now as they’ve helped lead the Cardinals to a 3-0 start, but since I’m a fantasy football nerd with offensive blinders on, it’s been hard to give much praise in this column to them, but thankfully Fitzgerald had his coming out party for 2012 with nine receptions (on nine targets) for 114 yards and a touchdown.
He’s still one of the best in the game, but to see Kevin Kolb get him those nine targets where Fitz could catch all nine, is a nice change of pace for the ex-Eagle.
Ben Roethlisberger - Roethlisberger threw the ball an amazing 49 times and targeted Miller, Wallace and Brown all in the double-digits. The Steelers have no run game to speak of and Roethlisberger is putting together some good numbers so far this year. He is tied for third in passing yards, tied for first in touchdowns, and second in passer rating.
If the Steelers defense continues to miss key players and their offense can’t get the run game going, Roethlisberger could put together a nice fantasy season.
Alfred Morris - I may be beating a live horse here, but I just don’t see Morris keeping up his fantasy relevancy with Shanahan calling the shots and him not having any presence in the passing game, when the Redskins defense is going to keep the Redskins offense in pass mode.
Michael Turner - Sell him and sell him now. He got into the end zone again, but that is the only way he will ever help your team out this season. Hey, I may be wrong, but he just looks like he’s laboring. His upside is just too low for him to be on your team every week.
Heath Miller - I really have no idea if you can sell him high or not, but four touchdowns in three games is pretty spiffy. Yes, the Steelers are going to throw more this season, but Miller isn’t an offensive talent the likes of Rudolph, Cook, Olsen and Davis.
Fred Davis - Did his seven catch game for 90 yards and no touchdowns raise his stock too high? Probably not, but you can find out. I don’t want to give away the farm for him, because I’m not totally sold that he’s going to flourish with Griffin, but he leads the team in targets and if they do get on the same page, they could do some special things.
Percy Harvin - I’m going to tell you to buy low on the receiver who leads the league in receptions because I still don’t think people realize just how good he is.
If you aren’t scoring touchdowns in fantasy football, people are ready to upgrade to someone who is and yesterday, because that’s when they scored the touchdowns!
Ryan Mathews - Much like above, people want to see results fast. Mathews was a bit rusty his first game back, but still managed to put up 76 total yards and catch five passes on eight targets. I’d get him now.