BY MITCHELL WESTALL, STAFF WRITER
What we learned:
- Stafford and the Lions are just fine without Megatron. Upon the shocking announcement of wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s retirement this March, pundits figured Detroit’s offense would suffer. This offseason, they signed former Cincinnati wide receiver Marvin Jones to play across fellow wide receiver Golden Tate. Through three weeks, Jones leads all wide-outs in fantasy points and Stafford is third among quarterbacks. Jones and Stafford have gone from fantasy afterthoughts to must-start players through three games this season.
- Pick a Bird. By this point in the season, Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman has actually out-produced Devonta Freeman, also a running back. In week three, Coleman and Freeman exploded for 26.9 and 26.7 points, respectively. Seldom do running backs from the same team finish first and second in scoring for a particular week. Coleman and Freeman are both worth starts going forward, especially in the Flex. Going forward, Coleman may not be able to sustain this production, but he’s still a viable flex option and doesn’t hurt to have on a roster, especially if Freeman sustains an injury.
- DeMarco Murray is back. After his breakout season behind Dallas’s offensive line, perhaps the best in football at that time, DeMarco Murray (currently a running back for the Tennessee Titans) was not re-signed by Dallas, and he instead found himself in Philadelphia. He didn’t fit the offense well, so the Eagles shipped him off to Tennessee. So far this season, he has been the model of consistency. He’s the second leading scorer among running backs behind only Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson. If you drafted Murray in the middle rounds, you got yourself a serious bargain.
- C.J. Anderson (running back, Denver Broncos): the Cincinnati Bengals went into last week’s game knowing the key would be to stop C.J. Anderson. So they stacked the box and forced Denver to throw the ball. Unfortunately, Anderson had no room to run, and Cincinnati was successful in stopping Anderson from beating them. Unfortunately for them, Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian took care of that. Siemian’s success should actually bode well for Anderson in the future, as teams now won’t be able to do what Cincinnati did. Denver is not a one-dimensional team, and defenses can’t treat them as such.
- Kelvin Benjamin (wide receiver, Carolina Panthers): there’s nothing more disappointing than having confidence in a player after two solid weeks bouncing back from a torn ACL, only to see a goose egg in week three. Minnesota’s defense contained the Carolina offense and Benjamin only saw two targets. This game should definitely be an outlier for Benjamin as he is still a solid WR2 in most leagues.
- Randall Cobb (wide receiver, Green Bay Packers): Cobb could have been in this section every week so far. During this season, Cobb has totaled 13.4 points as the second receiver in the pass-heavy Packers offense. He’s primarily been targeted as a check down receiver, which should produce heavy amounts of receptions. Unfortunately, his worst showing of the season came in what was his quarterback’s best. At this point, Cobb is a flex at best option until he starts to put up more yards or find the end zone.
- LeGarrette Blount (running back, New England Patriots): to be clear, the most surprising part about this is that Bill Belichick has stuck with the same running back all season. Blount put up 22.5 points last week and he’s currently the fourth highest scoring running back. Who saw that coming? His production is almost guaranteed to drop as soon as Brady comes back from suspension, but we should give credit where it’s due.
- Jamison Crowder (wide receiver, Washington Redskins): Crowder has just as many targets through three games as New Orleans Saints wide receiver/return specialist Brandin Cooks. So far, Crowder has been one of quarterback Kirk Cousin’s favorite targets, and that trend should continue. Jordan Reed isn’t seeing the same amount of balls as he did down the stretch last season and Desean Jackson is banged up. Crowder is definitely worth a roster spot going forward and may not be a bad flex play in a favorable matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
- Emmanuel Sanders (wide receiver, Denver Broncos): welcome back to relevancy, Emmanuel! As previously mentioned, the Bengals defense forced Trevor Siemian to throw the football, and throw he did. Sanders scored 23.7 points despite having two abysmal weeks. If defenses continue to stack boxes to stop C.J. Anderson, then look for Sanders to continue to be productive.
Picks to Click:
Review of last week’s picks: Kirk Cousins, Frank Gore and Sterling Shepard all clicked, while Jordan Cameron did not.
- Quarterback: Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
- Running back: Matt Jones, Washington Redskins
- Wide receiver: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
- Tight end: Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
Picks to Sit:
Review of last week’s picks: Andy Dalton and Julius Thomas both deserved their spot on the “sit list,” while Jordan Matthews had an average day and LeSean McCoy dominated.
- Quarterback: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Running back: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
- Wide receiver: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tight end: Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions