Week 3 saw some HUGE performances in fantasy. Below is my analysis on how the rookies performed.
Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay – It is pretty simple to see that the growth for Jameis Winston will have to be of the slow and steady variety. Once again this week, Winston showed some promise that made him the first overall selection in the draft, but he also showed that he still has a ways to go before belonging on fantasy football rosters. Winston ended up completing less than half of his throws going 17-of-36 for 261 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Winston completed several throws of 20 yards or more, but the incompletions are going to be a problem on a weekly basis if he doesn’t improve.
Marcus Mariota – Tennessee – On the contrary, Mariota has played very nicely in his first three games. Mariota is joined by Jay Cutler and Mark Rypien as the only quarterbacks of the Super Bowl era to start their careers with multiple touchdown passes in three consecutive games. Mariota completed 27-of-44 passes for 317 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the near-upset of Indianapolis. One of the interceptions was not his fault because Delanie Walker had the ball in his hands before losing it. Tennessee has a bye in Week 4, but Mariota is deserving of starter-status in fantasy football starting in Week 5, even against Buffalo’s defense.
Garrett Grayson – New Orleans – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Sean Mannion – St. Louis – Inactive
Bryce Petty – New York Jets – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Brett Hundley – Green Bay – Inactive
Trevor Siemian – Denver – Inactive
Todd Gurley – St. Louis – Gurley was finally able to suit up and play against Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh was excellent against the run on Sunday. Gurley only had six carries for 9 yards and caught a 5-yard pass. It is good to see him out there, let us hope he can see the ball much more often and with more success in the coming weeks.
Melvin Gordon – San Diego – I sensed that Gordon was going to have a bad day against the Minnesota defense, and I guess I was right. Gordon found very little running room at Minnesota and struggled to 58 yards on 15 carries. He did seem to be on the field a little more on passing downs, so maybe he is catching on in the passing game and will see the field more in the coming weeks.
T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville – New England started off so strong that it took away the Jacksonville running game, so we can’t be too surprised that Yeldon only had 33 yards on 11 carries. This Jacksonville team is young and only going to improve so don’t get discouraged by this result. Better days are ahead.
Ameer Abdullah – Detroit – Just like with the case with the two running backs above, Detroit had a tough time running the ball. Abdullah ran for 23 yards on eight carries and also added two catches for 19 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Abdullah is playing ahead of Joique Bell now, so don’t let this bring you down. He will bounce back.
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta – Inactive
Duke Johnson – Cleveland – Cleveland did not have much success running the ball Sunday against Oakland, and Isaiah Crowell dominated the runs with 10 carries to only four for Johnson. However, Johnson was much more a part of the passing game, catching six passes for 32 yards on seven targets. Keep an eye on him in points per reception leagues. He might be a sneaky play, especially if you are desperate during the bye weeks.
David Johnson – Arizona – In a surprising turn of events, Chris Johnson actually looked alive and well on Sunday against San Francisco. Chris Johnson ran with confidence and had 22 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns and also had a 40-yard catch. Unfortunately, that only offered David Johnson seven carries for 25 yards and 15 yards on three catches. With Andre Ellington now due back from injury, this will truly become a headache for all fantasy owners.
Matt Jones – Washington – After the promising start to his career, how can Matt Jones do this? He struggled for running room against the New York Giants, but when it finally looked like he had broken free for a touchdown, he fumbles out of bounds for a touchback. Oof! Jones ended up with 38 yards on 11 carries. Jones still looks better than Alfred Morris, but wait to see if he gets banished and held back a little because of his miscue.
Jeremy Langford – Chicago – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Jalston Fowler – Tennessee – Fowler had four carries for 9 yards before suffering a knee injury. Check your injury reports and updates.
Javorius “Buck” Allen – Baltimore – Three carries for 12 yards. Did not see much playing time.
Mike Davis – San Francisco – With injuries mounting for San Francisco, Mike Davis was able to get some playing time in the blowout loss to Arizona. Well, Davis fared about as well as the rest of his teammates with seven carries for 6 yards. Davis does not belong on your fantasy radar.
David Cobb – Tennessee – Injured Reserve
Jay Ajayi – Miami – Injured Reserve
Karlos Williams – Buffalo – LeSean McCoy missed portions of this game, giving Karlos Williams many chances to perform, and he did not disappoint. Williams had 12 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown against Miami on Sunday and was very impressive. He now is a must-have handcuff for McCoy owners, and nobody should be sleeping on him anymore.
Michael Burton – Detroit – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Cameron Artis–Payne – Carolina – Three carries for 6 yards. Not getting many chances, yet.
Aaron Ripkowski – Green Bay – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Marcus Murphy – New Orleans – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Zach Zenner – Detroit – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Jarryd Hayne – San Francisco – Did Not Play/No Stat Line
Thomas Rawls – Seattle – Marshawn Lynch suffered a hamstring injury and did not play after halftime, giving the touted rookie a chance to play. After all, Seattle traded away both Christine Michael and Robert Turbin in favor of Rawls. Rawls ended the day with 16 carries for 104 yards and looked fresh. Rawls needs to be picked up in all leagues, especially by Marshawn Lynch owners.