With the departure Jeff Fisher after 16 seasons as well as quarterbacks Vince Young and Kerry Collins, the Tennessee Titans looked forward to a fresh start in 2011. With a wealth of talent from their young dynamic duo of running back Chris Johnson and breakout wide receiver Kenny Britt combined with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee received some attention as a potential sleeper candidate to compete for the AFC South especially following the injury to Peyton Manning.
At 2-1, they are tied for the division lead with the Houston Texans. However, Week 3 marked the end of Britt’s season after a torn ACL and MCL. Not to mention, Chris Johnson could not look any less like “Chris Johnson.” Not only has Johnson not posted a triple-digit rushing effort, he has yet to accumulate 100 total rushing yards after three games. To make matters worse, he is averaging only 2.1 yards per carry and has not yet crossed the end zone. Although Johnson was one of the Top 3 off the board in many drafts, he currently ranks 147th in standard leagues. On a positive note, at least he’s doing more than Arian Foster!
Week 3 continued the trend of “Worst-To-First” as Buffalo showed New England “where there’s a Bill, there’s a way.” Led by Fred Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo rebounded from a 21-0 deficit to defeat Brady’s Bunch 34-31, and now own sole possession of the AFC East. Buffalo was not the only team that failed to surrender when they were down as the Detroit Lions caught up to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in overtime after a 20-0 halftime deficit. Both Buffalo and Detroit have been criticized in previous seasons for finding ways to lose. Thus far in 2011, both teams sit atop their divisions undefeated and have now shown the ability to find ways to win.
If your team consists of Arian Foster, Peyton Manning and Antonio Gates, then the fantasy football gods are punishing you. Your team would certainly be playoff-bound last year, but is in absolute dire straits this season. Don’t give up as there are likely some gems on the waiver wire to snag and trades to be made. Take a dive with me and let’s see who is set to impress in Week 4.
QB – Eli Manning
– With older brother Peyton sidelined, Eli is now the only Manning to consider on your roster. Although his season has been far from pretty, he has improved from week to week. After a solid four-touchdown performance in the win against Philadelphia last Sunday, he seems to be more comfortable and free of early season jitters. Manning has an attractive matchup playing indoors against the Arizona Cardinals, who struggled against Rex Grossman and Cam Newton already this season. With Mario Manningham likely returning and Hakeem Nicks healthy, this Manning should be a strong play.
Week 4 Projection: 225 passing yards, 2 TD.
RB – Darren Sproles
– If you thought New Orleans’ offseason addition of Sproles may get lost in coach Sean Payton’s running back pool, then you were wrong. In fact, the former San Diego Charger has added a much needed spark to the Saints’ special teams, rushing and passing game. Although Jacksonville’s defense has been solid thus far, expect Sproles to be a major contributor to the offense again this week.
Week 4 Projection: 100 total yards, 1 TD
WR – Nate Washington
– This Tennessee wide receiver is often overlooked on draft boards, but seemed to get picked up early in the season due to his consistent production. With quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s top target now finished for the season, Washington has the opportunity to shine. He is already averaging 86 yards per game, and will now receive the bulk of the targets with a matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Start Washington with confidence. Although Donnie Avery was just signed to fill Kenny Britt’s roster spot, it will take some time for him to become familiar with the offense.
Week 4 Projection: 100 receiving yards, 1 TD
TE – Randy McMichael
– It seems that any news being announced about Antonio Gates this season has been strictly injury related and his prognosis seems to be getting worse. Although the veteran tight end McMichael may have very minimal upside, he should serve as a decent fill-in for Gates. After a solid start against Kansas City where he earned four catches for 51 yards, McMichael should improve in Week 4 with a full game with Philip Rivers behind him along with a matchup against the Miami Dolphins, who have allowed the most yards to opposing tight ends along with three touchdowns.
Week 4 Projection: 50 receiving yards, 1 TD
D/ST – Minnesota Vikings –
Formerly one of the most feared defenses, the Vikings have now begun the season 0-3. This record is even more disappointing considering they led in all three games and were unable to hold their lead. Jared Allen will lead the Vikings into battle against the injury-riddled, offensively incapable Kansas City Chiefs.
Week 4 Projection: 11 points
Week 3 Results: How’d I do?
QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick
Week 3 Projection: 225 passing yards, 2 TD
Week 3 Results: 369 passing yards, 2 TD, and 2 INT (SUCCESS)
RB – Ryan Mathews
Week 3 Projection: 130 total yards, 1 TD.
Week 3 Results: 149 total yards, 2 TD (SUCCESS)
WR – David Nelson
Week 3 Projection: 100 receiving yards
Week 3 Results: 84 receiving yards (PARTIAL SUCCESS)
TE – Zach Miller
Week 3 Projection: 60 receiving yards, 1 TD.
Week 3 Results: 9 receiving yards (FAIL)
D/ST – Detroit Lions
Week 3 Projection: 10 points
Week 3 Results: 4 points (FAIL)
Good luck in Week 4!