A rundown of Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Bengals 28, Ravens 24
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
In a crazy Week 3, we start with an insane game here as this contest featured a combined 21 points through three quarters before a 31-point fourth-quarter flurry. Andy Dalton, who overcame an interception and a fumble to throw for a career-high 383 yards and three TDs and rush for another score, and A.J. Green, who had 10 receptions for a career-best 227 yards and two scores, were the headliners. If it can even get more impressive, the duo’s two scoring plays came in the final 6:37 of the game.
Extra points: Somehow TE Tyler Eifert got shut out on three targets and had an apparent TD grab controversially overturned in the second quarter. ... On the ground Giovani Bernard (13-49) out-performed Jeremy Hill (12-21) once again and also had three receptions for 34 yards. And this time there were no Hill fumbles to banish him to the bench. Hmmmm. ... WR Marvin Jones (5-94 on eight targets) also continues to be involved for Cincy. ... On the other side of this wild stat sheet, the ageless Steve Smith Sr. caught 13 of his game-high 17 targets for 186 yards and two scores to post his second straight monster week. With no other Baltimore pass-catcher having more than three receptions or 44 yards, you wonder when opposing defenses are going to catch on. ... Smith’s huge outing made it a big day for Joe Flacco who threw for 362 yards, the two TDs and an interception. ... Week 2 stud TE Crockett Gillmore got off to a 3-40 start, but was oddly not involved in the second half as rookie Maxx Williams (3-44) wound up as the team’s most-productive tight end. ... The Ravens’ ground game, meanwhile, was stuck in mud as Justin Forsett (10-13 rushing, 4-16 receiving) went nowhere.
Panthers 27, Saints 22
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Who said Cam Newton is going to struggle with this supporting cast? The QB simply scorched the Saints with 315 yards and two TDs through the air and a 7-33-1 showing on the ground.
Extra points: There also was some concern over TE Greg Olsen’s slow start to the season, but eight catches on 11 targets for a career-high 134 yards and two scores Sunday silenced that. ... Other than Olsen, though, the Carolina passing game remains fairly barren with WR Ted Ginn Jr. (4-93 on six targets) serving as the best of the rest. ... On the ground, Newton – with two – continues to have the team’s only rushing scores while Jonathan Stewart (14-52, no receptions) continues to underwhelm. ... For the Saints, cellphone pitchman Luke McCown got his first NFL start since 2011, and it was far from a disaster as he completed 31-of-38 passes for 310 yards and an interception. ... Mark Ingram (14-50-1, 5-49) and Brandin Cooks (7-79 on a team-high eight targets) were New Orleans’ leading rusher and receiver, respectively. RB Khiry Robinson (7-12-1, 2-8) scored the Saints’ other offensive TD while C.J. Spiller (1-4, 2-22) was largely uninvolved for the second straight week.
Raiders 27, Browns 20
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
This Derek Carr-Amari Cooper combo is legit as they hooked up eight times out of 11 attempts for 134 yards in this one, but it was WRs Seth Roberts (3-56) and Andre Holmes (1-3) hauling in the QB’s TD tosses. It was the undrafted rookie Roberts’ second scoring grab in as many weeks.
Extra points: WR Michael Crabtree finished second on the Silver & Black with nine targets but caught only four for 36 yards. ... On the ground, RB Latavius Murray took full advantage of the Browns’ suspect run D with a career-high 139 yards and a TD on 26 carries. ... For the hosts, Josh McCown got the unpopular start and wound up doing OK – at least fantasy-wise – with 341 yards, two TDs and an interception. ... His most productive targets, with 10 apiece, were TE Gary Barnidge (6-105) and WR Travis Benjamin (4-45) as both had TD grabs. WR Brian Hartline caught five of his seven targets for 96 yards. ... The Cleveland RBs remain non-factors with Isaiah Crowell (10-36) and rookie Duke Johnson Jr. (4-3, 6-32) combining for 71 total yards on 20 touches.
Falcons 39, Cowboys 28
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas
RB Devonta Freeman had the ATL RB gig all to himself with rookie Tevon Coleman sidelined, and he delivered a 141 yards and three rushing TDs on 30 carries while adding five receptions for 52 yards as the Falcons rallied from a pair of two-TD deficits to move to 3-0. And against the Dallas D that completely shut down DeMarco Murray and the Eagles last week? Hey, we said it was a crazy week.
Extra points: We thought Julio Jones might be busy and he most definitely was, garnering a Sunday-high 20 targets and hauling in 12 of them for 164 yards and two TDs, leading to another strong day for Matt Ryan (285 yards, 2 TDs, no turnovers). Jones’ 34 catches on the season is the most through the opening three games in league history. ... WR Roddy White was active but didn’t even attract a target, while fellow wideout Leonard Hankerson caught three of his six targets for 45 yards. TE Jacob Tamme had one catch for eight yards left late in the second quarter with concussion symptoms. ... Joseph Randle (14-87, 2-18) ran for three first-half TDs but wasn’t heard from much thereafter. ... RB Darren McFadden (6-35) also had a ground score while the third back in the Dallas rotation, Lance Dunbar, continues to be a PPR beast, catching all 10 of his team-high 10 targets for 100 yards. ... Ailing TE Jason Witten (6-65 on eight targets) played like we all knew he would, but wideout Terrance Williams (no catches on two targets) was a brutal no-show. ... Oh, and Brandon Weeden? He completed 22-of-26 passes but netted only 232 yards and didn’t have a TD while throwing a costly pick.
Texans 19, Buccaneers 9
NRG Stadium, Houston
A strong day for DeAndre Hopkins (8-101-1 on 14 target was no surprise. But how about RB Alfred Blue pulling a 31-139-1 rushing performance totally out of the blue? Kudos if you took a flier on the Texans’ RB – or were using him by default – after he had accuumlated all of 48 yards on 14 carries coming into the contest.
Extra points: WRs Cecil Shorts (6-58) and Nate Washington (4-42) had nine targets apiece as Ryan Mallett struggled through a 24-of-39, 228-yard, one-TD, one-interception outing. ... It also was a struggle for Bucs rookie QB Jameis Winston (17 of 36, 261 yards, TD, pick), who had his most success targeting WR Mike Evans (7-101 on a game-high 17 targets). Fellow WR Vincent Jackson, meanwhile, was quiet with two grabs for 40 yards on four targets. ... RB Charles Sims (2-41) had a 32-yard receiving TD but gained only 11 yards on six rushes. No. 1 back Doug Martin, meanwhile, rushed for 46 yards on 14 carries and wasn’t targeted in the passing game.
Vikings 31, Chargers 14
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
So, yeah, we can safely say Adrian Peterson is all the way back now. He had 126 yards and a pair of TDs on 20 rushes to end a shocking run of 142 straight carries without a TD and take full advantage of the Bolts’ leaky run D.
Extra points: FB/vulture Zach Line had a one-carry, one-yard, one-TD stat line for the second straight week. ... That was it, though, for the Vikes’ offensive TDs as Teddy Bridgewater (13 of 24, 121 yards, interception) continues to underwhelm in frustrating fashion. ... TE Kyle Rudolph (2-14) was targeted a team-most five times while WR Mike Wallace (3-49) paced the Purple pass-catchers. Disappointing wideout Charles Johnson (1-9 on two targets) departed with a first-half rib injury. ... Philip Rivers finished 21 of 34 for 246 yards, a TD and an interception while taking a beating behind a decimated offensive line. ... Kellen Clemens (5 of 6, 63 yards) finished up with the game out of hand, connecting with Keenan Allen (12-133 on 18 targets) for the wideout’s second scoring grab of the day. The rest of the S.D. pass-catchers had a combined 14 grabs on 22 targets for 176 yards and no scores. ... RBs Melvin Gordon (14-51, 0-0) and Danny Woodhead (5-11, 3-32) were non-factors.
Patriots 51, Jaguars 17
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Yeah, everyone knew the Jags’ D faced a tough task against the defending champs, but nine scores in nine possessions without a punt? Yeeesh.
Extra points: Speaking of nine, Tom Brady had only nine incompletions in 42 attempts while throwing for 358 yards and a pair of TDs, including the 400th scoring toss of his career. The only surprise is that TE Rob Gronkowski (4-101) or WR Julian Edelman (8-85) didn’t have a scoring grab as those went to backup wideouts Danny Amendola (5-39) and Keshawn Martin (3-33). ... RB Dion Lewis (8-37, 5-30) was involved early, scoring the Pats’ first TD on an 8-yard run, but it was clearly a day for LeGarrette Blount (18-78) to close things out and he did with three second-half, 1-yard rushing scores. ... Blake Bortles (17 of 33, 242 yards, two TDs, interception) and the Jags’ young offense were the proverbial knives at this gun battle as WR Allen Hurns (2-70) and TE Clay Harbor (3-43) had the team’s only touchdowns. ... Wideout Allen Robinson (4-68) couldn’t do much with his team-high nine targets following his big Week 2, and it was the same story for rookie RB T.J. Yeldon (11-33, 2-9).
Eagles 24, Jets 17
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Sure, it was a must-have road win over a previously undefeated foe without starting RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring), but the offensive/fantasy questions remain for Chip Kelly’s crew, most notably for Sam Bradford, who completed only 14 of 28 passes for 118 yards and a TD.
Extra points: At the least, though, Ryan Mathews jump-started a moribund Philly ground game with 108 yards on 25 carries. Running mate Darren Sproles managed on 17 yards on 11 rushes but ran for a TD and brought a punt back 89 yards for another score. ... WR Jordan Matthews led Philly with eight targets, reeling in six for 49 yards, while rookie wideout Nelson Agholor (zero catches on four targets) continues to struggle. ... The Jets were missing RB Chris Ivory and WR Eric Decker due to injuries so the big numbers (10-109-1 on a game-high 14 targets) put up by WR Brandon Marshall were no big surprise. B-Marsh, however, fumbled twice, losing one on an ill-advised lateral attempt. ... Wideouts Jeremy Kerley (6-33-1), Quincy Enunwa (5-50) and Devin Smith (3-39) were targeted a combined 30 times with limited success as Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled through a 35-of-58, 283-yard, two-TD, three-interception outing. ... Speaking of struggles, the N.Y. ground game went nowhere with backups Bilal Powell (10-31) and Zac Stacy (2-3) shouldering the load. Powell at least helped out his PPR-league owners with seven catches for 44 yards.
Steelers 12, Rams 6
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Far overshadowing anything here, of course, is the left-knee injury suffered by Ben Roethlisberger on a low hit in the third quarter. He was carted off and didn’t return, completing 20-of-24 throws for 192 yards and an interception before leaving. Michael Vick finished up, completing 5-of-6 for 38 yards, and is expected to guide the Steelers for the next month or so.
Extra points: Le’Veon Bell debuted following his two-game suspension and looked to be in prime form, rushing for 62 yards and a TD on 19 carries and catching seven of his eight targets for 70 yards. We’re told DeAngelo Williams will still be involved, but it certainly didn’t look that way Sunday with the veteran backup rushing only once for 2 yards and not drawing a target in the passing game. ... It was another ho-hum/busy week for wideout Antonio Brown as he caught 11 of his game-most 13 targets for 108 yards. TE Heath Miller, though, was shut down with only two receptions for 17 yards. ... Pittsburgh no longer features the Steel Curtain D – it’s been that way for some time now – but someone needs to inform the Rams’ offense as Nick Foles (19 of 28, 197 yards, 0 TDs, interception) and Co. gained only 258 total yards and failed to find their way into the end zone. ... Highly touted rookie RB Todd Gurley made his pro debut, but he netted only 9 yards on six carries while caching a 5-yard pass. ... It also was a struggle for RB Tre Mason (9-16, 1-15) as WR Chris Givens (1-24) led the team in rushing. ... Wideout Kenny Britt, who came into the contest with four catches for 81 yards, caught seven of his team-most 10 targets for 102 yards.
Colts 35, Titans 33
Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.
Andrew Luck struggled once again with throwing the ball to the wrong team, tossing two interceptions to mark his fifth straight game with at least a pair of picks, but he bounced back with two fourth-quarter TD passes and finished 18 of 30 for 260 yards. He also rushed six times for 21 yards.
Extra points: Hey, we have a Frank Gore sighting as Indy’s new RB rushed for 86 yards and two TDs on 14 carries. ... Young wideouts Phillip Dorsett (2-43) and Donte Moncrief (4-32) were on the receiving end of Luck’s TD tosses while T.Y. Hilton paced the Horseshoes in receiving yards (94 on four catches) on seven targets. TE Dwayne Allen was inactive with an ankle injury, and that meant six targets, four catches and 51 yards for the previously invisible Coby Fleener. ... Meanwhile, it’s officially time to panic over WR Andre Johnson as he drew only one target and failed to catch a pass. ... For the host Titans, rookie Marcus Mariota nearly outdueled Luck, completing 27-of-44 passes for 367 yards, two TDs and two picks. ... Mariota’s top targets were WR Kendall Wright (7-95-1 on 12 targets) and TE Delanie Walker (7-68 on 10), who returned after sitting out Week 2 with a wrist injury. Emerging rookie WR Dorial Green-Beckham (2-22 on three targets) caught a TD pass for the second straight week. ... On the ground, Antonio Andrews (12-49) and FB Jalston Fowler (4-9) ran for scores, leaving little production for Bishop Sankey (5-10) and Dexter McCluster (5-7).
Cardinals 47, 49ers 7
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
If you started the Cards’ defense, you received two pick-sixes off Colin Kaepernick on the Niners’ first two plays from scrimmage and had two more additional interceptions and two sacks before this laugher was all said and done. San Fran finished with 156 total yards.
Extra points: The Carson Palmer-Larry Fitzgerald train keeps rolling with the two 30-somethings hooking up for nine receptions on 11 targets for 134 yards and two scores following a three-TD display a week ago. Palmer finished 20 of 32 for 311 yards and a pick in improving to 16-2 in his last 18 starts. ... On the subject of veterans, Chris Johnson rushed for 110 yards and two TDs on 22 carries and had a 40-yard reception. Rookie RB David Johnson (7-25, 3-15), meanwhile, failed to get into the end zone after tallying three TDs over his first two games. ... WR John Brown caught three of his five targets for 62 yards, but Fitz keeping monopolizing the TD grabs. ... For the Niners, Kaepernick finished a brutal 9 of 19 for 67 yards and the four picks, but did manage to account for the team’s only TD as part of a 7-46 outing on the ground. ... Carlos Hyde (15-51, 1-10) led the team in rushing, while TE Garrett Celek (3-29) was San Fran’s top pass-catcher. Fellow TE Vernon Davis (two targets, no receptions) departed early with a knee injury.
Bills 41, Dolphins 14
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
If you hadn’t picked up on it already, Tyrod Taylor is playing like an above-average NFL QB and an even better fantasy one. And he’s doing it with his arm, completing 21-of-29 passes for 277 yards, three TDs and no turnovers Sunday in carving up the disappointing Miami D.
Extra points: LeSean McCoy is getting the big RB bucks in Buffalo, but rookie Karlos Williams continues to be the Bills’ most productive back this season, rushing for 110 yards and a TD on only 12 carries here – the third straight game he’s had a rushing score. McCoy, meanwhile, continues to battle to hammy issue and finished with only 16 yards on 11 rushes although he did provide his fantasy owners with a 10-yard receiving score on his only catch of the game. ... Taylor’s other TD tosses were snared by former Dolphins’ TE Charles Clay and reserve wideout Chris Hogan (3-42). Sammy Watkins had one early catch for 39 yards then departed with a calf injury while fellow wideout Percy Harvin caught seven of his team-high eight targets for 66 yards. ... For the ’Fins, Ryan Tannehill struggled with three interceptions but did save some face with a pair of second-half scoring strikes to fast-emerging WR Rishard Matthews (6-113 on 10 targets). WR Jarvis Landry led the team in targets (13) once again and finished with eight grabs for 67 yards. ... RB Lamar Miller (7-38, 3-27) and TE Jordan Cameron (3-16) both played despite health questions, but neither contributed much in fantasy or reality. ... Practice-squad call-up Jonas Gray (9-49) led the Dolphins in rushing.
Seahawks 26, Bears 0
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Jimmy Graham (reportedly) was a squeaky wheel during the week over his role in the Seattle offense, and on Sunday he predictably got the grease, leading Seattle in targets (eight), receptions (seven) and receiving yards (83) while hauling in Russell Wilson’s lone aerial TD of the afternoon. Wilson finished with a not-so-useful 235 passing yards and 28 on the ground.
Extra points: The more shocking news was that a RB other than Marshawn Lynch led the ‘Hawks in rushing as backup Thomas Rawls rumbled for 104 yards on 16 carries. Lynch, meanwhile, was battling calf and hamstring issues and finished with only 14 yards on five carries before sitting out the second half. ... Exciting rookie Tyler Lockett added another return score – taking the second-half kickoff 105 yards to the house – but received only one target in the passing game. Jermaine Kearse led the Seahawks’ wideouts, catching all six of his targets for 76 yards. ... Da Bears? Da-ugh! Matt Forte (20-74) ran hard but that was about the extent of it for a Jimmy Clausen-led “attack” which, surprisingly, didn’t the ball over but didn’t score for the first time since 2002 in franchise history, punting on all 10 of their possessions. Clausen continues to looks woefully overmatched, completing 9-of-17 attempts for a whopping 67 yards. Jay Cutler’s hammy needs to heal ASAP. ... With the injured Alshon Jeffery missing a second straight game, TE Martellus Bennett led the team with a whole five targets and finished with four catches for 15 yards.
Broncos 24, Lions 12
Ford Field, Detroit
Don’t look now, but 39-year-old Peyton Manning has put together back-to-back decent fantasy outings, completing 31 of 42 for 324 yards, a pair of TDs and a pick. It helped immensely that he wasn’t throwing under near-constant duress for the first time all season as he was sacked only once in 43 drop-backs.
Extra points: Demaryius Thomas was targeted a team-high 13 times and caught nine for 92 yards and a score – his first of the season. Fellow WR Emmanuel Sanders grabbed six of his nine targets for 87 yards, and there was a tight-end sighting in this offense as Owen Daniels caught five of his nine targets for 28 yards and the win-sealing TD grab. ... The Denver ground game, meanwhile, continues to flounder and fluster, generating all of 41 yards on 19 attempts. Starter C.J. Anderson overcame an early concussion scare to lead the team in rushing with all of 18 yards on eight carries. Ronnie Hillman (7-13) fared even worse, but did notch the team’s first rushing score of the season. ... Matthew Stafford was under steady heat from the blitzing Broncos, getting sacked four times and finishing 31 of 45 for 282 yards, a TD, two interceptions and a fumble. ... Rookie Ameer Abdullah (2-19) caught Stafford’s TD toss and led the ineffective Motown ground game with 23 yards on eight carries. Joique Bell finished with all of six yards on 10 carries but managed to dive in for a 1-yard TD. ... Calvin Johnson (8-77 on 13 targets) and RB/WR Theo Riddick (8-66 on 10) paced the Lions’ pass-catchers while WR Golden Tate (5-57) and TE Eric Ebron (4-61) had pedestrian outings.
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