Anyone who thought Jamaal Charles was going to be the clear cut No. 1 in the Kansas City backfield needs to think again. Even though Charles has been a beast thus far (8.5 yards per touch), it is Thomas Jones who is actually averaging more touches a game. Jones is getting 18 touches per contest compared to Charles’ 13. Yes, I think Charles is the better of the two and yes Charles has more rushing and receiving yards, but Jones is coming off a 19-carry, 95-yard and a score outing in week 3. There’s no reason to think that he won’t keep getting those kinds of touches at least in the near future. The schedule is very favorable over the next month for the Chiefs’ running game so continue to use Jones as a viable option on your team.
If there is one positive thing you can take out of the Cleveland Browns’ offense, it has been the efforts of running back Peyton Hillis. Filling in for Jerome Harrison last week, Hillis ran for 144 yards on 22 carries and also scored a touchdown. The impressive thing about this was that Hillis did all this damage on the road against a very tough Baltimore defense. The Browns are home the next two weeks against Cincinnati and Atlanta so Hillis should be in your starting lineup no matter what. He may have taken over the starting job from Jerome Harrison already, but another solid performance this weekend would definitely put him atop the depth chart.
It looks like Darren McFadden is finally starting to figure the NFL out in Oakland. Though being healthy is the main reason ‘Run DMC’ has had so much success early on, it’s clear that the Raiders are getting him involved in the offense a lot more this season. He’s already rushed for 345 yards and a touchdown and also has 80 receiving yards and another score. He’s getting more than 20 carries a game and is making the most of it. Oakland is home against Houston and San Diego the next two weeks and neither team has that impressive of a run defense so expect McFadden to get a lot of work. He’s a great option in week 4 and should put up terrific numbers. As long as he can stay healthy owners are looking at a breakout season out of the third-year back from Arkansas.
Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins
Henne is coming off a career game where he threw for 363 yards against the best defense in the league, the New York Jets. Although the Jets didn’t have the services of Darrelle Revis or Calvin Pace, it was still a very nice showing for Henne. The reason I like him this week is obviously because of the matchup. The Dolphins play host to New England Monday night and Henne proved he wasn’t afraid when he was on the big stage last week so who’s to think any different in week 4? The Patriots’ defense is not what it used to be by any means and they are coming off a terrible game where they let the lowly Bills scored 30 points on them. If your starting quarterback is a little suspect then go grab Henne because he is starting to get comfortable in the Miami offense and after last week it really looks like him and Brandon Marshall are starting to click as teammates. Expect Henne to put up around 250 yards with two touchdowns and one turnover.
Roscoe Parrish, WR, Buffalo Bills
In all likelihood, Parrish will be matched up most of the day against Jets rookie Kyle Wilson. Advantage Parrish. I don’t know how effective Buffalo’s offense will be against the stingy Jets defense, but I do know that Wilson has had a very forgettable first three games of his career. Even without Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace, New York still has a solid defense, but I expect Parrish to have a solid game. Ryan Fitzpatrick breathed some life into the Bills’ offense last week and Parrish saw a huge jump in targets as well. He had five catches for 83 yards in week 3 and you can almost guarantee that Buffalo will take a few shots at Wilson with the long ball. If they connect with Parrish on one, he could have a big day. Byes start this week so if you’re in need of a flex option he may be an option.
Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Wells made his 2010 debut last week against the Raiders and put up pretty good numbers. He had 14 carries for 75 yards and more importantly he reported no pain in his knee after the game. His role is going to increase in week 4 against the Chargers and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the starting nod over Tim Hightower come Sunday. If Wells gets around 20 carries, owners could be seeing a 100-yard game out of him. Arizona still loves using Hightower on the goal line most of the time so that might hurt Wells’ chances of scoring a short touchdown, but he’s still a sleeper to look at this weekend if you’re in need of a running back.
Lock of the Week
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones-Drew has had a tough start to the 2010 season and I’m sure owners are getting very upset with their first-round pick as well. He’s put together just 250 total yards this year with a fumble and has failed to find the end zone. A home game against the Indianapolis Colts may be just what Jones-Drew needs to get his season going. The Colts were strong against the run last week against Denver, but that was primarily because the Broncos were playing from behind all day and threw the ball 57 times. Indianapolis normally allows more than 100 yards rushing a game, including a week 1 outburst of 231 yards by the Houston Texans’ Arian Foster. Jones-Drew will definitely get his share of touches on Sunday and I fully expect him to finally find pay dirt in week 4 with more than 100 total yards.