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Week 4: Start of the Bye Weeks

Welcome to week four of the

Brew Crew Corner. It’s the start of the dreaded bye weeks. With injuries and benchings happening, bye weeks begin to add an additional problem to your fantasy team. Prepare yourself but also use your head. Don’t make any rash adds or drops. Remember it’s just one week and you don’t want to drop a player that can help you the rest of the year. In some leagues I’ve started kickers on bye’s when there is nothing of value on the waivers or I swap Kicker for kicker in other leagues where the kicker talent is the same.

Quarterbacks are going down and being benched. If you don’t have a Drew Brees or a Peyton Manning you may want to consider carrying a 3rd QB if you play in a league that has ample roster space. Another strategy I try to employ is trading for players who have had their bye week for a play yet to go on a bye. This works best with WRs where you can cover your bye weeks while forcing another owner to deal with extra ones.

During the preseason I stated some of the rule changes in the NFL such as the discontinued use of the wedge on kick offs and the increase of calls against offense pass interference. So far through 3 weeks we have seen just one kick return. That happened in the Minnesota game by Percy Harvin. In week 3 we saw three crucial offensive pass interference called on Kevin Walters, Michael Jenkins and Muhsin Muhammad.

So far the Raiders, the Rams, the Buccaneers and the Browns are fantasy wastelands.

Teams off on the bye week: Cardinals, Falcons, Panthers and Eagles.

THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS WEEK 3

Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots

Fred Taylor got his 1st 100 yard rushing game since week 3 of last season. Tom Brady remains to be an average fantasy QB. Eli Manning and Jason Campbell, yes Campbell has more fantasy points so far this season. Even though Brady hasn’t been hot, Randy Moss bounced back from a poor week 2 to go over 100 yards. If you own Joey Galloway, drop him and pick up someone who will be more productive.

The Falcons players were held in check as Matt Ryan was held scoreless. Turner had a TD for the second week in a row. Roddy White just isn’t getting it done. He’s averaging just 39 ReYds per game. Michael Jenkins would have had 114 ReYDs and a TD if it were not for the Offensive Pass interference call.

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks

Not having Matt Hasselbeck is hurting this team. Just like in 2008, the Seahawks will be plagued by injuries. Julius Jones is the 8th best RB right now in shark leagues but if the offense can’t get healthy, teams will stack the box forcing Seneca Wallace to throw. Nate Burleson continues to lead the team in receiving as T.J. Houshmandzadeh‘s back injury is limiting him at this time. Edgerrin James had 7 RuYds. He needs to just retire.

The Bears Jay Cutler had his best game of the year and as he improves his timing with his receivers, he will continue to have better games. Matt Forte failed to go over 100 RuYDs and it seems until the passing game is respected, he will continue to struggle with getting yards. However, the team is getting him the ball as he had 21 carries and 6 receptions. If you can swing a trade for Forte, it will pay off later in the season. waiver Wire pick up Johnny Knox was targeted 3 times, one pass was tipped for an interception and he caught one pass that went for a 7 yard TD. Expect inconsistent stats.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

The Browns offense is playing horrible and if you own anyone on this team, you have to be concerned that they will have no value in your line-up or in a trade. The only bright spot that you can take from this team is that the they have named Derek Anderson the starter where he likes to throw to Braylon Edwards but with Josh Cribbs as the other starting WR this team will struggle to move the ball through the air. James Harrison lead the team in rushing with just 52 yards on the ground but giving a good matchup, he could fill in on a bye week.

The Ravens defense continues to dominate and now they have the offense to carry them. I was able to pick up Derek Mason off waivers as he was dropped and he paid dividends. Although I feel that Kelly Washington will lead this team in receiving by the end of the season but keep an eye on his groin injury. Willis McGahee does it again and continues to find the endzone, this time twice.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

The Broncos are playing well but will have to prove they are contenders when they face the Cowboys. The biggest surprise is how good the defense has been playing and they are getting picked up in a number of leagues. I have one question though, where is Eddie Royal? He’s being out played by Jabar Gaffney and that isn’t good. Knowshon Moreno is getting healthy and he put in his best game as a pro. However, Correll Buckhalter is still in the mix so don’t drop Buckhalter yet.

Disaster for Darren McFadden owners. Just 45 RuYds on the day but he fumbled 3 times. Luckily, He only lost one of those fumbles. JaMarcus Russell just isn’t getting it done and they will wish they held on to Jeff Garcia. Darrius Heyward-Bey was thrown to twice which lead to both of Russells interceptions. Somewhere stupidly, Michael Crabtree has something to smile about.

Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams

The Packers get back on track as Aaron Rodgers scores through the air and on the ground. Although Greg Jennings put up two 50+ receptions but that is all he did all game. He was targeted just twice which is a concern as Donald Driver saw 7 passes go his way. Ryan Grant was one yard short of 100 and would have scored but was stopped at the one and then saw John Kuhn run it in.

The Rams lost Mark Bulger to an injury but it is being called a bruise rather than a torn rotator. Kyle Boller has taken over and although he did o.k., the team will struggle. Both TDs went to their fullback Daniel Fells. Laurent Robinson is out for the season. Donnie Avery just isn’t a focus of the offense. Steven Jackson will find it harder to run now.

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals

Kurt Warner did not play bad in this game but you have to be concerned with the Cardinals offense. Give credit to the Colts defense but Larry Fitzgerald has not had a break out game yet. The Arizona run game continues to be a non-factor as Tim Hightower runs for just 22 yards while Chris Wells gets two carees for -2 yards. Steve Breaston is back in the mix.

Peyton Manning is getting back into his TD ways as he continues to pass for over 300+ yards for the 3rd straight week. Joseph Addai is running again but Donald Brown is getting the late touches. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark continue to be tops in the league. Pierre Garcon is filling in well for Anthony Gonzales.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Plenty of scoring in this game which is what we like. Maurice Jones-Drew was the top running back in the league this week putting up monster numbers. For MJD owners, you make want to pick up Mike Thomas as a handcuff. Not much from the rest of the Jaguar players as David Garrard scored on the ground. Mike Sims-Walker lead the team in receiving but lost a fumble which killed his 81 yards. For those who wonder why he’s name is Sims-Walker, he changed in to honor his father, Michael Sims, who died from colon cancer in 2008.

Matt Schaub is looking like the fantasy QB we hoped he could be. We welcome the return of Kevin Walter. Andre Johnson failed to score in this game but still had 86 ReYDs. Steve Slaton had a better game but has yet to reach the end zone. Of the WR3s on NFL teams, Jacoby Jones is one of those that has value, just temper your expectations.

Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles

This was a balanced game for the Eagles as they got the job done through the air, the ground and on defense. Kevin Kolb served well which will give the team confidence to allowing McNabb to heal and for any future time McNabb may miss. No Brian Westbrook in this game but LeSean McCoy filled in well. Hopefully you drafted him if you took Westbrook. DeSean Jackson is the real deal and he is the next stud WR in this league. If Brent Celek is still available in your league. Pick him up. You best chance is now that he is on a bye. Do we really need continuing coverage of Michael Vick? Seriously, he came in a did crap. Can we move on from this story? I blame ESPN for over hyping the situation. Now the rumors are that Vick will be in the Silver and Black next year. I don’t buy the Raiders taking him yet but the Eagles with Kevin Kolb should look to get some type of compensation for Vick.

The Chiefs have one of the worst offensive lines in football. They have allowed 8 sacks so far and are 30th in total yards. Matt Cassel threw just 90 yards and the team might be without Dwayne Bowe do to injury. They are facing the NFC guantlet all in a row and could be 0-5 when they face the Redskins.

Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers

The Dolphins lost Chad Pennington for the season and this could be his career. The team will now look to Chad Henne and at 0-3 they could already be playing for next year. They did make a trade for Tyler Thigpen this week. The rest of the offense struggled for most of this game and they have one of the toughest schedules in the league. Ted Ginn Jr. went statless after posting 108 yards in week 2.

Phillip Rivers failed to throw a TD but he did score a rushing TD and throw for over 300 yards. Big day for Vincent Jackson. Darren Sproles had a pedestrian day and LaDainian Tomlinson is trying to make his way back to the line-up. Since Jackson has emerged Antonio Gates has been serviceable but not elite. He has just two TDs, both scored in the game, over the past 12 games dating back to last season.

New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills

Drew Brees is human. He had a quiet day but then again he didn’t have to do much as the defense and the run game did all the work. Pierre Thomas returned in his first action of the season and he ran well. Big game this weekend as they face the Jets defense. But if anyone can throw on the Jets, it is Brees.

The Bills are a mess on offense and it shows that the firing of Turk Schonert was a sign that things weren’t right at the start of the season. Trent Edwards continues to be an up and down QB as Terrell Owens “Runs the plays that are called” There need to be changes soon or this team will be in big trouble. Fred Jackson had 97 combined yards but failed to score. Marshawn Lynch will return this week from his three game suspension.

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs looked unable to so anything against the Giants defense. Brian Leftwhich played himself out of a starting job and is now the #3 QB. Surprisingly, Josh Johnson not Josh Freeman will get the start. The Bucs put up 86 total yards. It was a flashback to the 1977 team that set the record with 76 total yards. Derrick Ward left the game with an injury. He had just 5 carries for 2 yards, including a drive where he ran the ball three consecutive times with no gain.

The Giants prove to be balanced on all sides and ran the ball all over the Bucs to the tune of 226 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw led the way but has been wearing a protective boot in practice. Eli Manning holds steady as he gets several receivers involved but don’t expect the week 2 stats to happen often.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

The SuperBowl Champs are reeling after losing back to back games. Now they face a tough matchup against the Chargers that could drop them to 1-3 if they lose.

Ben Roethlisberger put in an average day as Santonio Holmes was held to just 1 catch for 18 yards. Mike Wallace continues to stay involved in the offense as he caught 7 passes for 102. Willie Parker ran for 93 yards but failed to punch it in around the goal line.

The Bengals are back in the conversation as they are one wacky play in the Bronco game from being 3-0. The defense played well. Carson Palmer late TD to win the game helped his poor stats as he threw for just 183 yards. A solid day for Cedric Benson as he scored in this one. Good matchup for them this week against Cleveland.

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

Brett Favre does it again. The win fuels the fire for this weeks matchup against the Packers. Favre put in his first 300 yard game as a Viking. Adrian Peterson was held to just 85 yards While Chester Taylor racked up on receiving yards coming out the back field. Percy Harvin scored the first kick return touch down in the NFL this season. Benard Berrian seems to not be in sync with Favre. Visanthe Shiancoe has yet to have a big game.

The 49ers were close to a 3-0 start but Favre’s passed stole that. The story on this side is Vernon Davis with 96 receiving yards and two TDs. Frank Gore carried one time before leaving with the ankle injury that has been bothering him. Glen Coffee ran for just 54 yards but he did get 25 carries. He may carry the load this week. Josh Morgan still has not had a big game.

Tennessee Titans at New York Jets

It was the Jets dressed as the NY Titans and the Titans dressed as the Houston Oilers. Confusing I know.

The Oilers, I mean the Titans (not the Jets) are in a desperate situation. Their matchup this week against The Jaguars will be intense as both teams are looking to keep pace with the Colts as well as avoid a loss in the division but the Titans want to avoid starting 0-4. Chris Johnson had a decent day on the ground but the Jets defense held the passing game in check forceing 4 turnovers. Nate Washington got his first TD with his new team but had just 2 catches for 25 yards.

The Jets are off to a fast start as they are 3-0 behind the rookie. Mark Sanchez needs to take less risk when running in the ball as he could have been injured on the play. Thomas Jones had a poor outing as the Titans defense held him to just 20 yards. It’s good to see Sanchez getting the ball to Jerricho Cotchery as he’s been making plays. The rest of the WR corp. was held in check.

Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions

The Streak is over! The Streak is over! You could just tell by the way the Redskins played in week 2 that it was setting up for a Lions win.

Matthew Stafford played well in his third game but he still isn’t getting the big plays to Calvin Johnson. Bryant Johnson saw more targets then Calvin did this week. The rest of the WRs are not a factor. Kevin Smith rushed for 101 yards but left the game with a shoulder injury and may not play this week. Maurice Morris may be worth picking up as his back up or in deeper leagues.

Jason Campbell had a good game but the loss to the Lions will overshadow it. He passed for 340 yards and 2 TDs. 178 of those yards went to Santana Moss but don’t expect those numbers every week. The rest of the WRs had mediocer stats. The running game was absent, Clinton Portis ran for just 42 yards. He could be out this week with bone spurs. The hot seat is on for them to make up for losing to the Lions. Expect some changes to be made.

Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys

The Panthers played well in the first half leading 7-0 but gave up 21 second half points. Another two INTs for Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith has yet to reach the end zone. The running game was held in check as DeAngelo Williams had 64 yards and Jonathan Steward was held to just -1 yards. Hopefully they can get back on track after the bye week.

The Cowboys relied on the running game to get them going and an INT TD to seal the deal. Tashard Choice carried the bulk of the load with Marian Barber out and Felix Jones leaving with an injury. Roy Williams is just not getting open for Tony Romo to make big plays. Expect Jason Witten to lead this team in receptions and yards.

The Golden Mug Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.

Maurice Jones-Drew- 23 car for 119 RuYds 3 RuTDs and 28 ReYDs. MJD out a smile on his owners face as he made a statement to those who didn’t believe he was worth a top 3 pick in fantasy leagues. He’s currently just 3 FPTs behind Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

Santana Moss- 10 rec for 178 ReYDs and 1 ReTD. After two poor games, Moss had his best game a since week 8 of last year. Of Course it came against the Lions defense. Hopefully he won’t perform this week like he did in week 9 when he had just 14 ReYDs.

Pierre Thomas- 14 car for 126 RuYDs 2 RuTDs. Thomas returned and did most of his damage in the second half. If he’s healthy, he will be a great weapon to have.

The Urinal Cake Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.

Byron Leftwich- 7 for 16 for 22 PaYDs o TDs and 1 INT. Leftwhich had such a bad game that the head coach has pilled the plug on him and he may never see the field again this season.

Tony Gonzales- 1 rec for 16 ReYDs o TDs. After back to back games with 70+ ReYDs and a score, Gonzales was not part of the offense all game only seeing 2 targets.

Donnie Avery- 3 Rec for 12 ReYDs 0 TDs. He has been lost in the shuffle all year and with Kyle Boller under center, it could be awhile before he picks it up.

MATCHUPS

The matchups I like this week for QBs:

Jay Cutler against the Lions. The Lions can’t celebrate the win too long as the division rival Bears come into town and they are still not good on defense. The Lions are allowing 28.7 points per game (28th) as well as giving up 278.7 PaYDs (30th). The Lions have had 10 TDs thrown on them and they are playing on the road.

Jason Campbell against the Buccaneers. The Redskins and Jim Zorn need this game badly. The Bucs defense has played poorly. Giving up more points than the Lions. They are allowing 30.1 points per game (31st) with 245 PaYDs allowed (21st).

Carson Palmer against the Browns. Winning has a way of making a team play better and the Bengals have a chance to kick the Browns while they are down. Palmer can once again be a top QB in fantasy league but he needs to play well against teams he has a good matchup against. The Browns have given up the most points in the league at 31.7 (32nd) and are allowing 228.3 PaYDs (16th).

The Matchups I like this week for RBs:

Glen Coffee against the Rams. You picked him up for games like this. he faces a poor rams team that is dealing with a number of injuries. They are allowing 24.3 points per game (26th) and allowing 148 RuYDs (27th). With Frank Gore out Coffee will have plenty of carries.

Darren McFadden against the Texans. The Texans have had shootouts the last two games they are playing poorly against the run. They are allowing 205 RuYds (32nd) and have given up 8 RuTDs (32nd). The Raiders passing game is not getting it done so McFadden will have to make the most of this matchup.

Joseph Addai/ Donald Brown against the Seahawks. Most of time the Colts will look to Peyton Manning to lead them to victory. In this game, Manning will have to just had the ball off as the RBs run through the holes. The Seahawks are allowing 139.3 RuYDs (25th) and the team is dealing with injuries.

The matchups I don’t like this week for QBs:

Matt Cassel against the Giants. After a tough matchup last week against the Eagles, the Chiefs face another NFC east defense that held the Bucs to just 86 total yards. Kansas City is 28th in PaYDs with 164. The Giants have been tough on pass defense giving up only 124 PaYDs (1st) with 2 PaTDs given up and 5 INTs.

Tony Romo against the Broncos. This is a big game for both teams. The Cowboys want to prove they are contenders and the Broncos want to keep proving their critics wrong. The Broncos have been playing better defense than they have been given credit for. they are allowing just 5.3 points per game (1st) and 136.3 PaYDs. They are the only team in the league to not surrender a PaTD and they have 5 INTs. They also lead the league with 10 sacks.

Ben Roethlisberger against the Chargers. The Steelers offense hasn’t been clicking and they are scoring just 15.7 points per game (9th). They face a tough matchup against a chargers defense that is allowing 179.7 PaYds and have 4 INTs. The Chargers will be looking to get payback for losing in the playoffs to the Steelers.

The matchups I don’t like this week for RBs:

Steven Jackson against the 49ers. With the offense generating just 8 points per game and now having their QB hurt, teams will stack the box hard against Jackson. The 49ers are playing good defense and are allowing just 66.7 RuYDs (4th) and have not surrendered a RuTD. The 49ers see an opportunity to take keep the lead in the division and will bring the house.

Ryan Grant against the Vikings. Minnesota has yet to allow a RuTD and are giving up 92 RUYDs (12th). With Aaron Rodgers vs Brett Favre leading the way, Grant will not get enough touches.

Fred Taylor/ Sammy Morris/ Lawrance Maroney against the Ravens. This is going to be a very tough matchup as the Ravens defense has held teams out of the end zone on the ground and give up just 51.0 RuYDs (1st). Consider this matchup not a good start for New Englands RBs.

Good luck to everyone in week four.

Cheers!

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