FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Under the Numbers: Week 4
Alessandro Miglio
September 25, 2012
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Do you need a distraction from the Replacement Refpocalypse? Take a gander at these handy dandy stats from Week 3.

1. Blaine Gabbert: 9/20, 75 yards at Indianapolis Colts

Those were the numbers Gabbert were stuck on before the Colts screwed the pooch and allowed Cecil Shorts to get behind them for an 80-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the game.

It doesn’t help that his supposedly upgraded receiving corps looks like the corpse it was last season thus far. Well, perhaps Gabbert has something to do with that, but he has simply not looked like the improved quarterback we saw in the preseason.

2. Jamaal Charles: 33 carries, 233 yards, 1 touchdown; 6 receptions, 55 yards at New Orleans Saints

He’s baaaaack.

Without Charles, the Chiefs do not beat the Saints on the road. With him in your lineup, you probably won your fantasy matchup.

Considering the relative ineffectiveness of Peyton Hillis and his recent injury, it looks like taking a chance on Charles will have paid off, despite the slow start. Incidentally, Shaun Draugn is a decent waiver wire pickup.

3. Santonio Holmes: 9 receptions, 147 yards at Miami Dolphins

Holmes had a good game against the Dolphins, who inexplicably stuck their No. 2 cornerback, Richard Marshall, on him for most of the day. This comes a week after he scored his first touchdown of the season against the Steelers on the road?

This is like a double rainbow: what does it all mean? Is Holmes back to fantasy relevance? Or is this all an illusion in the mist?

Considering his running mate, Stephen Hill, has gone two straight games without a catch, bet on the latter.

4. Ramses Barden: 9 receptions, 138 yards at Carolina Panthers

With Hakeem Nicks hobbled during a short week, leading to this line from Barden, who took full advantage of his opportunity. The Panthers seemed keen on shutting Victor Cruz down while allowing Barden to match up against rookie Josh Norman. Barden often found holes in zone coverage as well.

Nicks was not the only receiver out, though. Incumbent No. 3 receiver Domenik Hixon was also out; both are For all intents and purposes, however, Barden is the next Kevin Ogletree.

5. Peyton Manning: 26/52, 330 yards, 2 touchdowns

For all the talk about Manning’s arm strength, his fantasy statistics seem to be doing just fine.

In reality, though, the Broncos have fallen behind two weeks in a row, prompting John Fox and Denver’s offense to pass the ball far more often than they’d like. It is unlikely Manning will have such a poor completion percentage very often, but he is also unlikely to chuck the ball 52 times a game.

6. Pierre Thomas: 6 carries, 11 yards; 4 receptions, 55 yards

This was Darren Sproles’ week to lead Saints rushers, but Thomas did a fine job in the air. He came a replacement referee reversal away from scoring a touchdown on a nifty catch.

Thomas is the most complete back in New Orleans, and the Saints know it. While they have utilized Darren Sproles the most this season, Thomas has easily had the second-most playing time over Mark Ingram.

7. Jake Locker: 29/42, 378 yards, 2 touchdowns; 4 carries, 35 yards vs. Detroit Lions

There is the Jake Locker we were all hoping to see before the season began.

Or is it?

The Titans and Lions waged an epic battle that included a second Music City miracle and a botched, game-ending play from the Lions, and a bunch of big plays sprinkled in. Both of Locker’s touchdown passes came on long passes and great plays by his receivers.

8. Brandon Lloyd: 9 receptions, 108 yards

Lloyd has yet to find the end zone, but he is getting ready for a huge fantasy day. Once again, he paced the Patriots receivers with nine targets, beating out Wes Welker who had eight.

Once Bill Belichick and Tom Brady stop handing out touchdowns to the likes of Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead, Lloyd will get in on the action.

Touchdowns can come in torrents in that offense. The window to buy is closing any week now; grab Lloyd in a trade if you can.

9.  Ryan Williams: 13 carries, 83 yards; 1 reception, 12 yards vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Beanie Wells era is on notice.

Williams has outperformed Wells—not a difficult thing to do (see: Police Plodder below)—despite some fumbling issues. After two weeks where he averaged less than 2.0 YPC, Williams broke out and averaged 6.4 YPC against the Eagles.

The Dolphins will be a tough matchup for Arizona’s run game, but the schedule softens up a bit after that for Williams, who will be a fine RB3 if he can hang onto the football.

10. Greg Olsen: 7 receptions, 98 yards vs. New York Giants                       

The first couple of weeks were a bitter disappointment for any fantasy owners who put their trust in Olsen at tight end. Despite shedding Jeremy Shockey as competition for playing time, Olsen racked up just seven receptions for 69 yards in the first two weeks.

Week 3 was much kinder to Olsen as Cam Newton looked to his tight end often against the Giants. Olsen lined up all over the field, a good sign for his productivity as the Panthers seem to be actively trying to find mismatches for the big tight end out of Miami. He garnered 14 targets, nearly three times as many as the next-highest total on that office.

He did not get into the end zone last week, but he got close.

11. Stevan Ridley: 13 carries, 37 yards

It appears Bill Belichick is back to trolling fantasy football owners. Not only did Ridley get less use than he had in the first two weeks, but the two rushing touchdowns went to Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead.

Woodhead, in particular, got a troubling amount of playing time, toting the football twice more than Ridley.

The second-year running back even had a bad drop in the fourth quarter that could have helped run the clock as the Patriots were trying to preserve a lead. It went by relatively unnoticed, but Bill Belichick doubles as the Eye of Sauron. He sees everything. (Except two hobbits traipsing through his own land trying to destroy his source of power.)

12. Christian Ponder: 21/38, 198 yards, 2 touchdowns; 7 carries, 33 yards, 1 touchdown vs. San Francisco 49ers

It was quite a day for Ponder, who led his team to an improbable victory against the 49ers and that vaunted defense, killing many survivor pool entries in the process.

Can he keep this up? Ponder is an athletic quarterback who can clearly score some points on the ground. He averaged just 5.7 YPA in the game, but still manages a 7.35 average on the year.

It helps that the Kyle Rudolph’s Jedi training is complete, and that Ponder is getting Jerome Simpson back from suspension this week.

13. Mikel Leshoure: 26 carries, 100 yards; 4 receptions, 34 yards at Tennessee Titans

It appears the Lions think little of incumbent starter Kevin Smith.

Leshoure garnered the vast majority of the playing time while Smith was on the field for just five snaps, 17 fewer than Joique Bell. It was not a terribly dynamic review for Leshoure—he did average just  3.85 YPC—but he grabbed the “bell cow” title rather quickly.

Police Plodder

Here are some bonus statistics from Week 3:

Shonn Greene: 19 carries, 40 yards at Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins continue to dominate opposing running backs, allowing 2.1 YPC to Greene. The achievement is less noteworthy considering their opponent—Greene is no Arian Foster or Darren McFadden—but I can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now Bilal Powell is threatening to take serious playing time away from the ever-trudging Greene. He actually made some headway against the Dolphins defense, carrying the ball 10 times for 45 yards for a 4.5 YPC average.

Chris Johnson: 14 attempts, 24 yards; 1 reception, 5 yards vs. Detroit Lions

He went from 0.4 to 2.1 to 1.7 YPC through the first three weeks of the season. He didn’t even contribute in the passing game, accounting for 29 total yards in a game that saw 1,020 combined yards.

It is quite clear Johnson owners are in trouble if they have not found an alternative on the waiver wire.

Michael Turner: 14 carries, 80 yards, 1 touchdown at San Diego Chargers

What’s this? A 5.7 YPC? Surely this is a mistake. Even if you take away Turner’s 25-yard scamper, his YPC is decent at 4.2. It didn’t help his cause that Jaquizz Rodgers played well, and Turner is eventually going to have a game or two without a touchdown.

Oh, and there is that whole DUI thing for which he might see a suspension. This might be the perfect time to sell high.

Mark Ingram: 5 carries, 11 yards vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The worst part about Ingram’s meager output is that the Saints were comfortably leading for a good portion of the game and he could not help them put the game away.

Doug Martin: 19 carries, 53 yards; 2 receptions, 21 yards at Dallas Cowboys

Things are rapidly deteriorating for Doug Martin owners. He might have gotten into the end zone in Week 2, but the rookie is averaging a rather weak 3.4 YPC through three games.

He continues to get the vast majority of the workload, though, and that does not seem like it will change any time soon. That means he could break out on any given Sunday. His paltry average is an area of concern, though.

Beanie Wells: 8 carries, 18 yards

Is there really much to say about this line? It doesn’t help that Wells suffered a toe injury, the latest setback for the oft-injured disappointment out of Ohio State.


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