How many Dallas Cowboys fans were ready to lock them in for the Super Bowl after their opening day smackdown of the defending champion New York Giants? Their Week 1 victory could not have appeared more “storybook” with Tony Romo’s second half rebound, Jason Witten’s heroic will to play in spite a spleen injury, and unknown receiver Kevin Ogletree posting a career game. Not only did fans and some analysts deem this Cowboys squad to be the favorite in the NFC East, but many were faithful that this may be the team to earn Dallas’ first Super Bowl appearance since 1996.
However, these optimistic aspirations fell a few steps backward after their Week 2 no-show against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle held Dallas to seven points and only 49 yards on the ground. Although Romo’s performance was satisfactory, he was unable to defeat this nemesis again and refreshed memories of his notorious botched snap that resulted in Dallas’ 2007 playoff loss.
The Dallas Cowboys sputtering against Seattle was only one of many surprising happenings in Week 2. Other highlights and lowlights included Peyton Manning’s three-interception outing on Monday Night Football, C.J. Spiller’s second huge performance in a row, Arizona’s shocking upset of New England, Eli Manning’s monster second half comeback effort, and the post-game altercation between New Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano. There was no shortage of action and shockers in Week 2. Let’s take a dive into several key Week 3 matchups to give your fantasy team an edge over the competition.
QB Andy Dalton – Cincinnati’s ginger-haired quarterback turned it on in Week 2 with a 24-for-31, 318-yard performance with three touchdowns. In Week 3, Dalton faces a Washington defense that has allowed more than 300 passing yards and three touchdowns per game over the first two weeks.
Week 3 Forecast: 275 passing yards, 2 TD
RB Andre Brown – Brown began the season as the third string running back for the New York Giants. In Thursday’s Week 3 battle against the Carolina Panthers, Brown will be the starter. After Ahmad Bradshaw’s neck injury in Week 2, Brown took advantage of his increased playing time by running for 71 yards on 13 carries with a score and caught two passes for 19 yards. Brown meets Carolina’s defense, which has allowed an average of 140 rushing yards per game along with the most catches and receiving yards to opposing running backs this season. Opportunity will be knocking, and I believe Brown will answer.
Week 3 Forecast: 120 total yards, TD
WR Brandon Lafell – Steve Smith is not the only Carolina Panther wide receiver deserving attention. Lafell was targeted eight times for six catches for 90 receiving yards in Week 2. Smith may be limited again and Cam Newton will be looking Lafell’s direction against the New York Giants secondary that has surrendered five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers already this season.
Week 3 Forecast: 75 receiving yards, TD
TE Brandon Pettigrew – Pettigrew has not soared to top tight end status yet, but may in the near future as he continues to build chemistry with Matthew Stafford. The Lions tight end struggled in Week 2, but lands a matchup against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. Tennessee is head-and-shoulders the worst defense guarding tight ends. The Titans have allowed five scores and 227 receiving yards through two weeks. Look for Pettigrew to rebound with a big game this week. It should also be noted that Pettigrew caught eight passes for 80 yards and a score in last season’s route of San Diego in Week 16.
Week 3 Forecast: 75 receiving yards, TD
D/ST St. Louis Rams – You may be questioning the suggestion of the Rams defense, especially against a solid Chicago Bears offense led by Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. Thus far, the Cutler-Marshall reunification has yet to shine and Matt Forte will not be playing. In addition, the Bears line has allowed the second-most sacks, while St. Louis is one of the defensive leaders in sacks and quarterback hits. Cutler will be experiencing the St. Louis blues this weekend.
Week 3 Forecast: 11 points
Week 2 Results
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Week 2 Forecast: 250 passing yards, 2 TD (Good Call)
Week 2 Results: 178 passing yards, 2 TD, 34 rushing yards.
RB Adrian Peterson
Week 2 Forecast: 125 total yards, 2 TD (OK Call)
Week 2 Results: 60 rushing yards, 20 receiving yards
WR Nate Burleson
Week 2 Forecast: 75 total yards, TD (Bad Call)
Week 2 Results: 5 rushing yards, 2 receiving yards
TE Fred Davis
Week 2 Forecast: 75 receiving yards, TD (Bad Call)
Week 2 Results: 1 rushing yard, 14 receiving yards
D/ST New England Patriots
Week 2 Forecast: 11 points (typo in original article)
Week 2 Results: 6 points (OK Call)
Good luck this week. Don’t forget to set your lineup for Thursday’s game!