Bye Weeks: Green Bay, Carolina
Grab a Helmet
Gordon v. CIN: In the immortal words of Clark W. Griswold,
ďIf I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't
be more surprised than I am right now.Ē Iím rarely confounded
by things I see in this most unpredictable of leagues, but Gordonís
Week 3 line against the Vikes certainly qualifies as shocking.
He hadnít played a down prior to Sunday thanks to a drug suspension.
Heíd never caught a single regulation pass from Brian Hoyer. The
Browns didnít have even the semblance of a rushing threat to keep
Minnesota honest. All that and Gordon still somehow managed to
convert 19 targets (19!) into 10 receptions, 146 yards, and a
score in the biggest upset of the young season. Oh, and he added
a 22-yard scamper for good measure. If Clevelandís brass is actively
showcasing the young star for other interested GMs (theyíre denying
it), letís hope they donít find any suitors before Sunday.
Dobson @ ATL: Julian Edelman was the waiver wire darling after
Week 1 and fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins is likely commanding
the same sort of affection after a two-TD Week 3. Dobson, though,
is the Patriot receiver I think could be on everyoneís minds come
early next week. Hereís what he has going for him: 1) He plays
with Tom Brady; 2) Tom Brady throws a lot of footballs; 3) Tom
Brady doesnít have a lot of healthy bodies to throw footballs
to. Dobsonís already garnered 20 targets in two NFL starts, a
per-game rate that places him at the very top of the rookie class.
Granted, targets arenít everything (see Greg Little) but the Marshall
alum has turned them into a solid 8.4 fantasy points/contest,
just two tenths lower than Andre Johnson and a couple ticks above
more celebrated rooks like Thompkins and Tavon Austin. Dobsonís
really cheap and has a high ceiling. Go get him.
Garcon @ OAK: If targets are what you like, GarÁon is certainly
accumulating them. Lots of them. Washington has held a lead for
just 4:14 through three contests to start the year and for most
of the rest of that time, theyíve been playing from way, way behind.
That has helped inflate the numbers for both GarÁon and the guy
throwing him passes, Robert Griffin III. Though RGIII doesnít seem
healthy enough to keep the Redskins from getting consistently blown
out, heís obviously been healthy enough to post useful fantasy numbers
thus far. That, in turn, has rendered GarÁon fairly useful (23 receptions,
280 yards, and a score to date). I wouldnít worry about that changing
anytime soon because the Washington defense is appalling (get used
to him playing from behind) and Kirk Cousins has proven to be a
capable fill-in (should RGIII get shut down at some point).
Garcon is going to be a busy man regardless
of who's under center.
Grab Some Wood
Johnson v. CHI: THAT got your attention, eh? I know youíre
going to ignore this advice and Iíd probably do the same if I
were in your position. Certain players just donít sit, regardless
how many impediments to success seem to be stacked in front of
them. You hafta admit, though: There are definitely some impediments
here. Warning sign #1: Nate Burleson is out, meaning Johnson has
Chicagoís complete and undivided attention (as if he didnít already).
Warning sign #2: His career numbers v. Chicago arenít whatíd you
call stellar. Heís only topped double digits in points two out
of the last six times heís faced them. He also recorded his worst
and fourth worst fantasy outings against the Bears in 2012. Warning
sign #3: OK, there isnít a #3. Just donít come crying to me if
Johnson doesnít provide an explosive point total come Sunday.
Washington v. NYJ: Full disclosure alert: Iím playing against
Calvin Johnson this weekend so itís possible Iíve led with my
heart on the above recommendation. Sorry. To make up for it, Iíll
pan Washington, a player I actually do want/need to perform in
order to counteract ĎTron on Sunday. I donít own him, no, and
probably wouldnít start him much if I did. I do, however, own
Aaron Rodgers (duh) and heís in street clothes this weekend. That
means Iím stuck with Jake Locker against the Jets. Can you tell
Iím one of those GMs who doesnít factor in the schedule when he
makes his draft picks? Sigh. You might never read this column
again if I tell you who Iím pairing Locker with (itís a 2-QB league
and Terrelle Pryorís iffyÖhint, hint). All Iíll say is that I
hope Iím horribly wrong about Washington and he goes off for triple
digits and a couple scores.
Avery v. NYG: Iím sure a whole bunch of folks who just plucked
Avery off the waiver wire are hoping I’m horribly wrong
about him. I don’t think I will be, however. You know how
many 100-yard games he’d accumulated in his five-plus injury-riddled
seasons prior to last Thursday night? Three. In fact, let’s
call it three 100-yard games in just four seasons (he missed all
of 2010). That sounds better, doesn’t it? Nope, didn’t
think so. What we saw a week ago was basically the result of a
decent receiver taking advantage of a less-than-decent secondary.
And though it would be fair to argue the Giants’ secondary
isn’t a whole lot better, their run defense is even worse
than Philly’s, meaning Jamaal Charles may have a field day.
If I were gonna start a KC receiver this weekend, I wouldn’t
roll the dice on a guy who’s already used up his triple-digit
effort for the season. Go with Dwayne Bowe and ignore Avery until
he makes the big days more routine.
Good luck, folks!