In the third week of the NFL season we saw the Patriots lose for the first time in the regular season since 2006, Ronnie Brown tally five TDs (four rushing, one passing) and the Bills and Titans stay undefeated. Whether or not you benefited fantasy-wise from these unforeseen occurrences, we will look ahead to week four.
Fantasy game of the week:
Denver at Kansas City
Denver 41, Kansas City 20
Denver will face a Chiefs team that in the last two games has given up 23 points to Oakland and 38 to Atlanta. So I expect Jay Cutler to be airing it out to Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler, making them all strong fantasy plays. Kansas City also has its share of strong fantasy plays, as the Broncos have been in shootouts in each of their last two games. Larry Johnson got back on track last week, rushing for 121 yards and a TD, and Dwayne Bowe has been a solid fantasy wide receiver in his first three games.
Key injuries and solutions
Jeremy Shockey – He had surgery on a sports hernia and is expected to be out three to six weeks. With his and Marques Colston’s absences, Drew Brees will be giving more looks toward Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. Both look to be solid third wide receiver plays as the Saints go up against the 49ers.
Willie Parker – After suffering a knee sprain at the end of last week’s game, Parker has been ruled out against the Ravens. First-round pick Rashard Mendenhall will start in his place. If you’re short at the running back position or are losing one to a bye, Mendenhall would be a solid start.
Brian Westbrook – An ankle injury knocked him out of last weekend’s game. Although he should be ready to go Sunday, Correll Buckhalter has become a must-add for Westbrook owners.
Needs to show something
Michael Turner – Turner leads the league in rushing through the first three games but was shut down in week two by the strong Tampa Bay defense. This week he faces Carolina, which held LaDainian Tomlinson to 97 yards and Adrian Peterson to 77 without allowing either a TD. If you have a solid No. 3 back going against a weak defense this week, Turner might be a good candidate to bench.
Even if you have a solid lineup, don’t forget that this week is the start of teams receiving byes, so remember to replace those bye-week players.
Byes this week: Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, N.Y. Giants and Seattle.
Mat Adams is a mathematics junior and Mustang Daily sports columnist.