Fantasy Football Notable Performances, Week 3: James Casey Comes Out Of Nowhere

We break down some of the big fantasy football performances from Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.

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Sidney Rice Fantasy Recap: Strong Performance Emerges From Fantasy Black Hole

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice finally returned from a shoulder injury and made a big impact in his regular season debut. Rice finished the game with eight receptions for 109 yards and made key grabs on all three scoring drives as the Seahawks escaped with a 13-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Seattle had turned into a fantasy black hole through the first two weeks as the offense could get next to nothing going with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. However, Rice could be the cure for what ails the Seahawks offense. The Seahawks host a tough New York Giants team in week four so we'll see if this holds up for another week.

As it currently stands, I would actually argue your best bet is to try and unload Sidney Rice now. He'll likely have some more big games this season, but I'd argue his value is fairly high at this point. Some folks would be smart enough to wait until they see a few consistent performances, but there might be a sucker out there who would deal for Rice after one big game. That sucker might also happen to have Kenny Britt on their roster right now. I'm not saying you'll find a deal, but maybe throw out some bait and see what kind of response you get. Seattle is in an abysmal situation this season and even a big name like Sidney Rice is going to suffer over the course of the season.


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Ryan Fitzpatrick Fantasy Recap: Bills Offense Continues Blowing Up

After two games this season, question marks hung in the air surrounding the Buffalo Bills 2-0 record and offensive performances. They had blown out the Kansas City Chiefs and come back to win a shootout with the Oakland Raiders. Ryan Fitzpatrick had back to back solid games with 492 yards and a 7/1 touchdown to interception ratio. But Fitzpatrick and the Bills would definitely come back down to reality when Tom Brady and the big, bad New England Patriots came to town.

Not so fast. Ryan Fitzpatrick put together another strong performance as he passed for 369 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw a pair of interceptions that likely cost you four points, but he made up for it with the extra 105 yards of passing compared to last week.

Fitzpatrick is starting to emerge on fantasy rosters and if he still happens to be available in your league, he likely will be snatched up off waivers this week. The question is what to do with him if you've got him. The Bills travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals this coming week. The Bengals have played well thus far but did give up 200 yards passing to QB Alex Smith, which is saying something given the 49ers offensive struggles thus far. I'd imagine you have somebody else in place, but if that somebody happens to be say, Michael Vick, Fitzpatrick might be worth a start while Vick recovers from his broken hand.


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Julio Jones Fantasy Recap: Time To Get Him In Your Starting Lineup?

Although the Atlanta Falcons lost 16-13 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Falcons rookie wide receiver Julio Jones stepped up in much the way the team anticipated when they traded a truckload of picks to move up in the draft for him. After seven receptions for 100 yards through his first two games, Jones finished Sunday with six receptions for 115 yards. He remains off the scoreboard but touchdowns should eventually start to come.

Rookie wide receivers are a tough call when it comes to fantasy football starting lineups, but Julio Jones has likely earned himself some time as at least a flex option for now. He's a big play threat and as I said above, the touchdowns will come, at which point his value will skyrocket even further.

At the very least Jones is worth playing against certain matchups. For example, the Falcons travel to Seattle this Sunday and I would get as many Falcons as I can in my starting lineup. The following week Atlanta hosts Green Bay and given the Packers passing game struggles, Jones is likely worth a start then as well. Follow that with a matchup against the Carolina Panthers' sieve-like pass defense and why not go for the hat trick over the next three weeks?


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Torrey Smith Fantasy Recap: Ravens Rookie Receiver Has Record Day

Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith burst on the scene in a big way Sunday as the second round pick hauled in five receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Smith became the first wide receiver to record touchdowns with each of his first three career receptions. Not only that but Smith did it in a first quarter in which he finished with 133 receiving yards and ten rushing yards.

Smith slowed down after the monster first quarter, but the mark was set nonetheless. Smith was starting in place of an injured Lee Evans and potentially earned himself another start next week if Evans is questionable.

Smith is likely on your waiver wire this week, which depending on the style of your league would mean you'd need to place a claim to secure his services. Smith is not a guy that you should be going for in hopes of starting him every week moving forward. He could be a solid depth play given his obvious tremendous upside. As with any rookie you'll see ups and downs, but he could be an interesting bye week option.

And for those of you like me that may have lost Kenny Britt for the season, maybe Smith is the guy to grab for your roster. Week three didn't see many big performances by likely free agents so Smith may be your best bet for a receiver.


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Victor Cruz Fantasy Recap: Worth A Waiver Wire Pickup?

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz came out of nowhere on Sunday and blow up the Philadelphia Eagles with 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Even when the Eagles had him well-covered, Cruz battled through for some fairly ridiculous catches. The Eagles were successful in taking Hakeem Nicks out of the game but the Giants found a way past the Eagles normally elite secondary.

If you find yourself looking for a wide receiver on waivers later this week, it is entirely possible you'll be choosing between Cruz and Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. In the Ravens victory in St. Louis, Smith blew up with three touchdowns in the first half. At this point, I'd suggest waiver claims on both players with Smith being the higher priority of the two. Smith, a rookie, had no prior receptions. Cruz, a second year receiver had two career receptions, both last week.

Over the remainder of this season, it is entirely possible Cruz blows up and Smith disappears off the fantasy radar. It's also possible neither player does anything the rest of the way. However, if I had to choose one, I'd go with Smith. He does have Anquan Boldin on the other side, but that's a little less of a catch problem than a guy like Hakeem Nicks. You might be able to just flip a coin for one or the other, but Smith is my choice for now. Don't tell my fellow owners!


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James Casey Fantasy Recap: Fullback Comes Out Of Nowhere

As we go through each week, there will be numerous notable fantasy football performances to track as you try and adjust your lineup week-to-week. While big games this week by Tom Brady, LeSean McCoy, Wes Welker and Andre Johnson are impressive, you know all about them. There is no league out there where any of those guys is on the waiver wire. The notable performances that really matter in your bid for a fantasy championship are those by the likes of Houston Texans fullback James Casey.

Casey entered Sunday's game with the New Orleans Saints with 17 receptions for 191 yards and zero touchdowns through his 2+ year career. Sunday he blew the gates open as he caught five passes for 126 yards and a touchdown in the Texans 40-33 loss at New Orleans.

This strong performance is not meant to suggest you should waste quality waiver priority this week on Casey. Part of the battle for getting the next big thing is knowing when to use your waiver priority and when NOT to use your priority. Casey is a converted tight end who will probably have a solid game every so often. Even though half his yards Sunday came on one catch, he still had a big day that is worth notice.


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For more on the Texans, check out Battle Red Blog. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.

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