The Lions Finally Get a Victory
After going 0-16 last season and starting 2009 off 0-2, the Detroit Lions finally put one in the win column with a 19-14 victory over Washington. Now it wasn’t the most impressive triumph for sure, but the fact is, the Detroit players and fans actually could celebrate. Rookie QB Matthew Stafford wasn’t spectacular, but he was solid enough to get the job done, while RB Kevin Smith ran for 101 yards. Detroit WR Bryant Johnson also emerged as a fantasy sleeper after his four catch, 73 yard, one TD performance on Sunday. The most intriguing stat here is that he was targeted 11 times by Stafford so keep an eye on Johnson. For Washington, WR Santana Moss had a huge game in a losing effort, grabbing 10 balls for 178 yards and a score.
Favre Continues to Win
Brett Favre delivered yet again, this time on a 32-yard touchdown pass with two seconds remaining to beat the 49ers 27-24. It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest Brett Favre fan around, but even I was impressed with the throw he made under pressure to WR Greg Lewis that won the game. The old man continues to silence his critics and the Vikings are now 3-0. Favre threw for 301 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, in what was a very serviceable day for a QB, but I still don’t like him much for fantasy. He has tough matchups in four of the next five weeks, including Green Bay twice, home against Baltimore and at Pittsburgh. It had to be an encouraging game to watch for Minnesota fans seeing that AP didn’t score or rush for over 100 yards and the Vikings still won.
Both New York Teams Start Out 3-0
The Jets and Giants kept it rolling and remained undefeated with victories on Sunday. The Jets took care of Tennessee 24-17 at home where rookie sensation Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes and ran for another. He battled the weather and a tough Titan defense throughout the day as he continues to gain his teammates trust and the league’s respect. The Giants shutout Tampa Bay 24-0 on the road thanks in large part to their running game as they rushed for 226 yards. RB’s Brandon Jacobs (26 carries for 92 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (14 for 104) did most of the damage on the ground. The only bright spot on the Buccaneers was the 14 tackle effort put forth by LB Barrett Ruud.
Bengals Provide Upset of the Day Against Rival Pittsburgh
In what was the surprise of Week 3, the Cincinnati Bengals handed defending Super Bowl champ Pittsburgh its second loss of the season, 23-20. It wasn’t the most productive day fantasy wise for anyone on the Bengals, but they did just enough to pull this one out. RB Cedric Benson continues to impress after a solid day of 76 yards rushing and a TD and QB Carson Palmer remains healthy and is getting back to form week by week. If you take away that Week 1 mess when the Broncos pulled off a miracle, the Bengals would be 3-0 right now.
Manning Puts on a Show as Colts Dominate NFC Champion Arizona
The Colts went into Arizona and embarrassed them 31-10 Sunday night thanks in large part to the play of QB Peyton Manning. Manning picked apart the Cardinal defense, completing 24 of 35 passes for 379 yards with four TD’s and one INT. All of his touchdown throws went to different receivers and that doesn’t even count the 72-yard completion to backup RB Donald Brown. WR Reggie Wayne had another monster day with seven receptions for 126 yards and a score, while TE Dallas Clark, RB Joseph Addai and rookie WR Pierre Garcon had the other TD catches. Arizona QB Kurt Warner had a tough game, throwing for just one TD and two INT’s, with his only score going to WR Anquan Boldin.
LJ’s Best Days are Behind Him
It has now been three weeks of terrible showings for Kansas City RB Larry Johnson. He has totaled 136 yards and no touchdowns on the season and after a horrendous 19 carry 38 yard performance on Sunday, LJ should be relegated to the bench in all leagues. Mean while, back up RB Jamaal Charles is beginning to rack up the yards and impress the coaching staff. Charles is a must hand cuff for any Johnson owners out there and don’t be surprised if he becomes the feature back for the Chiefs in the next month or so.
Pick Up Glen Coffee and Get Him in Your Lineup
With news that 49ers star RB Frank Gore is going to miss at least three weeks with an ankle injury, back up Glen Coffee becomes the top player on the waiver wire right now. Gore sprained his ankle in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against Minnesota causing Coffee’s value to skyrocket. Coffee did a decent job rushing for 54 yards on 25 carries and should see 20 plus carries for the next few games. He should be added in all formats and I think he’s a definite start the next two weeks against St. Louis and Atlanta.
Start Benson in Week Four
Cincinnati Bengal RB Cedric Benson is starting to show signs of productivity and is no longer the joke that he has been the last few years. This is in large part to his 76 yard one TD effort against the Steelers, who have the best defense in the NFL, on Sunday. He is averaging just under 100 yards rushing a game after three weeks and has found the end zone twice. Week four is a favorable matchup for Benson also as he faces the less than impressive Cleveland Brown defense that has allowed 95 points so far in 2009.