The first one-sided, barely watch-able Thursday night game was brought to you by the meticulous game-planning of Bill Belichick and the terrible scheduling of the NFL front office. It's just really hard for NFL teams to grind through a normal week then have to get ready for another game with one day off and two days of practice. The Texans Week 2 game ended around 7pm Central time and their Week 3 game was scheduled less than 95 hours later in New England??! And the NFL still expects us to believe they care about player safety?
**Editor’s Note - Format difficulties delayed this from posting Thursday**
Add that game to the Bears terrible showing on Sunday night combined with Monday Night Football battling the first 2016 Presidential Debate, and the TV ratings for the Primetime games were the lowest they've been in over 20 years.
Week 3 Review
1. Vikings defense scored again with an early Safety to break the ice. Then Special teams flipped momentum in our favor with a Punt Return for TD. Some offensive adjustments at half-time mixed with an even better second half defense and now we are undefeated heading back home to showcase U.S. Bank stadium again on Monday Night Football!
2. Extending his own NFL record; another game with no turnovers and another (blow-out) win to start the season 3-0 for Carson Wentz. Take a week off Carson... you deserve it. If he can lead them to victory in their next two games after the bye week and the Vikings hold the fort at home the next two weeks then we will have a Week 7 showdown of two 5-0 teams!!
3. Same song different verse; don't underestimate the New England Patriots. Only one game left until the return of Tom Brady, so if they don't lose this week I'm not sure when they will.
4. Kansas City home-field advantage was on full display as they forced the Jets to commit eight turnovers including six interceptions by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. He gets to play at home this week but the Seattle defense is no easy task.
5. Not sure what to expect from the AFC South now that JJ Watt is expected to miss the rest of the season due to injury. His impact on every defensive play is so great that I can’t consider them the favorite anymore. I think it will be hard for any team in this division to go 9-7.
Week 4 Schedule
Two teams have a Bye this week: Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles
Miami Dolphins (7) @ Cincinnati Bengals (22) <> Thursday 7:25pm
Home teams have a distinct advantage in Thursday night games and Miami needed three missed field goals by the Browns plus overtime to win last week. Put that together and I expect another one-sided game in favor of the Bengals. One main concern for them going forward is that their defense has regressed more each year since losing Mike Zimmer… and we are glad he is on our team!
[QB] = Ryan Tannehill = 22.693
[WR] = Jarvis Landry = 22.667
[WR] = A.J. Green = 20.167
[QB] = Andy Dalton = 18.307
[WR] = DeVante Parker = 17.850
[RB] = Giovani Bernard = 14.367
[RB] = Jeremy Hill = 13.233
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (London) <> Sunday 8:30am
Jaguars are still alive because they have not played a divisional game yet. A win this week in London and they are still (barely) alive. Remember to set your lineups Saturday night or get up early Sunday morning. With two struggling defenses in this game I expect high volume passing yardage. Need a rooster to sound the alarm for this early FFF Alert!
[QB] = Andrew Luck = 22.940
[QB] = Blake Bortles = 19.340
[WR] = T.Y. Hilton = 18.800
[WR] = Allen Robinson = 15.433
[RB] = Frank Gore = 14.133
[TE] = Jack Doyle = 12.900
[RB] = T.J. Yeldon = 11.167
[TE] = Julius Thomas = 10.600
[WR] = Allen Hurns = 10.300
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans <> Sunday 12:00pm
More AFC South action that will provide good insight as to who will emerge in this division, and if the Titans can win then it will be wide-open. Both teams rely on the run so look for a low-scoring defensive battle.
[RB] = DeMarco Murray = 24.900
[WR] = DeAndre Hopkins = 17.767
[WR] = Will Fuller = 16.067
[RB] = Lamar Miller = 15.033
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons <> Sunday 12:00pm
Another theory this week based on match-up affiliation. Right now the Broncos and Vikings look like the two best defenses in the league and the Saints have the worst defense in the league. That leads me to believe the Panthers are the better team here and will bounce back with a big win on the road. Matt Ryan looks good so far in the new offensive system, but I need to see more consistency from him before I believe he can do enough to win this game.
[QB] = Matt Ryan = 26.367
[QB] = Cam Newton = 24.353
[RB] = Tevin Coleman = 20.567
[WR] = Kelvin Benjamin = 17.967
[TE] = Greg Olsen = 17.633
[RB] = Devonta Freeman = 17.333
[WR] = Julio Jones = 14.600
[TE] = Jacob Tamme = 11.800
[WR] = Mohamed Sanu = 10.667
[RB] = Fozzy Whittaker = 10.467
Cleveland Browns @ Washington <> Sunday 12:00pm
Kirk Cousins was saved last week by the late mistake of his counterpart Eli Manning. Now he should be able to gain some confidence against the lowly Browns. Terrelle Pryor looked like a tri-athlete last week as he completed passes, rushed 4 times with a TD, and caught 8 of 14 targets for 144 yards. Too bad the kicker they signed four days before the game was worthless.
[QB] = Kirk Cousins = 18.953
[WR] = Terrelle Pryor Sr. = 16.967
[RB] = Isaiah Crowell = 16.167
[WR] = DeSean Jackson = 15.600
[WR] = Jamison Crowder = 15.167
[TE] = Jordan Reed = 11.667
[RB] = Duke Johnson Jr. = 10.233
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Jets <> Sunday 12:00pm
Six interceptions for Ryan Fitzpatrick last week and now he faces the Seattle defense without his second best WR Eric Decker. I think the Jet’s defensive line will play well enough to keep this game close, but Seattle is starting to look like a contender with TE Jimmy Graham finally giving them a big red zone target.
[RB] = Matt Forte = 20.933
[WR] = Doug Baldwin = 20.733
[RB] = Christine Michael = 15.933
[WR] = Quincy Enunwa = 13.767
[TE] = Jimmy Graham = 11.100
[WR] = Brandon Marshall = 10.333
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots <> Sunday 12:00pm
I doubted the Bills last week and they made me look stupid. With a new offensive coordinator in place, LeSean McCoy looks to build on his huge game last week. I don't think they can win or make the playoffs, but it’s worth noting that the Patriots have one suspended starting QB, two injured backup QB’s, and one 4th string QB that starts at WR. Divisional rivalries tend to bring the best out of every team so it should be close, but I’ve learned my lesson.
[RB] = LeSean McCoy = 19.867
[RB] = LeGarrette Blount = 19.600
[QB] = Tyrod Taylor = 16.093
[WR] = Julian Edelman = 13.000
[DST] = Bills = 12.333
[TE] = Martellus Bennett = 11.133
[WR] = Danny Amendola = 10.633
Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens <> Sunday 12:00pm
Third game in four weeks that Oakland has to fly East for an early kickoff. So far they have had success (2-0), and their defense finally showed up last week. Ravens won’t go down quietly at home, but I still don’t see them as an elite team because the combined record of their opponents thus far is 1-8. I like both teams here so hopefully it turns into a high-scoring game full of highlights.
[QB] = Derek Carr = 21.060
[WR] = Michael Crabtree = 17.333
[QB] = Joe Flacco = 15.987
[RB] = Latavius Murray = 15.700
[WR] = Amari Cooper = 15.667
[WR] = Mike Wallace = 15.400
[TE] = Dennis Pitta = 13.100
[WR] = Steve Smith Sr. = 11.000
[DST] = Ravens = 10.333
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears <> Sunday 12:00pm
I can’t imagine any scenario where either team can make the playoffs. Nevertheless, we have another situation of talented offensive players gaining big yardage as they face sub-par defenses. Of course that means we have another FFF alert.
[WR] = Marvin Jones Jr. = 25.600
[QB] = Matthew Stafford = 25.367
[RB] = Theo Riddick = 16.700
[WR] = Alshon Jeffery = 14.700
[TE] = Zach Miller = 13.167
[QB] = Brian Hoyer = 13.000
[TE] = Eric Ebron = 12.267
[WR] = Eddie Royal = 12.000
[WR] = Anquan Boldin = 11.167
Denver Broncos @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers <> Sunday 3:05pm
Who knew Trevor Siemian could throw his team to a win in his first NFL road game? Huge game for him as the Broncos defense is looking as good as last year when they won the Superbowl. If Mike Evans goes for another big game against this defense I will be ready to put him in the conversation of best WR.
[WR] = Mike Evans = 24.033
[QB] = Jameis Winston = 22.220
[QB] = Trevor Siemian = 18.480
[RB] = C.J. Anderson = 17.767
[WR] = Emmanuel Sanders = 17.500
[WR] = Demaryius Thomas = 16.267
[RB] = Charles Sims = 14.433
[WR] = Adam Humphries = 13.933
[DST] = Broncos = 12.333
[TE] = Cameron Brate = 10.733
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals <> Sunday 3:25pm
Cardinals need to regroup again after putting up a stinker in their early kickoff game on the East-coast. The three hour time-zone difference affected them more than I expected as the Bills were able to wear them down with the run game. Their down-field passing game was too predictable, but should get back on track this week. Two fantastic young RB’s on display and Todd Gurley finally showed up for the Rams (and me) last week. Hopefully he keeps it going.
[RB] = David Johnson = 22.200
[WR] = Larry Fitzgerald = 20.067
[QB] = Carson Palmer = 17.860
[WR] = Tavon Austin = 12.500
[DST] = Cardinals = 12.000
[RB] = Todd Gurley = 11.400
[WR] = Kenny Britt = 10.967
New Orleans Saints @ San Diego Chargers <> Sunday 3:25pm
Southern California weather shouldn’t be a big concern, but Drew Brees is not the same QB on the road and especially not outdoors. Loser of this game has no shot at the playoffs, while the winner is still a long-shot. Expect a bunch of points – FFF alert.
[QB] = Drew Brees = 26.627
[WR] = Willie Snead = 25.800
[RB] = Melvin Gordon = 19.833
[QB] = Philip Rivers = 18.220
[WR] = Brandin Cooks = 18.033
[WR] = Travis Benjamin = 17.933
[RB] = Mark Ingram = 14.033
[WR] = Michael Thomas = 13.833
[WR] = Tyrell Williams = 12.367
[TE] = Coby Fleener = 11.133
Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers <> Sunday 3:25pm
Dez Bryant is not likely to play in this game, but has not been officially ruled out. 49ers need this win more than the Cowboys so I expect them to play desperate at home. Zek Elliott has definitely proven himself worthy of the 4th overall pick so far.
[RB] = Carlos Hyde = 19.667
[QB] = Dak Prescott = 17.360
[RB] = Ezekiel Elliott = 16.300
[WR] = Cole Beasley = 13.767
[WR] = Dez Bryant = 11.667
Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers <> Sunday 7:30pm
The big story here is the return of two top RB options, Le’Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles. Both were top 10 in 2015 fantasy points before suffering season ending injuries. Bell missed action due to suspension so he is expected to be full speed. Charles sat out because he was not fully recovered from injury so his role may be limited depending on how he feels. It will be interesting to see how both players are used in what should be a high-scoring game.
[WR] = Antonio Brown = 24.167
[RB] = DeAngelo Williams = 23.233
[QB] = Ben Roethlisberger = 18.847
[RB] = Spencer Ware = 18.567
[QB] = Alex Smith = 16.947
[DST] = Chiefs = 14.333
[TE] = Travis Kelce = 14.233
[WR] = Jeremy Maclin = 12.500
New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings <> Monday 7:30pm
Expectations are now sky-high after our upset victory over the Panthers as every sports talk show is proclaiming the Vikings defense as the best in the NFL. Regardless of rank, the defense will be tested again this week by the Giants’ passing offense that is full of weapons. The pressure and notoriety of success shouldn’t be an issue with Zimmer in charge, but it is something to be aware of going forward as each player handles it differently.
[WR] = Stefon Diggs = 21.467
[DST] = Vikings = 19.667
[QB] = Eli Manning = 18.200
[WR] = Sterling Shepard = 18.100
[WR] = Odell Beckham Jr. = 16.667
[TE] = Kyle Rudolph = 14.200
[WR] = Victor Cruz = 11.833
A busy week and some formatting difficulties led to a late post this week. I still plan to have the column online Thursday each week before the game. Injuries keep piling up as we get to each new week so make sure to stay updated on the Active and In-Active players. Any feedback just email me: [email protected]