What a crazy day of football. Three morning games went into overtime and we saw the Jets, Bills, Bengals, and Vikings get to two wins before the Steelers, Patriots, Lions, and Panthers. The Cardinals are 3-0. The Saints are 0-3.
This game. I love this damn, crazy, unpredictable, frustrating game.
Here are the wide receiver performances that have the biggest fantasy impact.
Torrey Smith against the Patriots (PHENOMENAL)
I'm not much for pushing sympathy stories. Focus on football and let people be. But good on you, Torrey. Joe Flacco targeted him ten times and he had six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Smith has far surpassed Anquan Boldin as the top receiver in Baltimore.
A lot of bad pub around Welker and the Patriots this year, including whether or not New England would trade their star receiver. That's a lot of yards and catches to just trade away. Tom Brady targeted him ten times and he had eight catches for 142 yards, giving him 251 yards on the season. Brandon Lloyd had 108 yards of his own, making him a likely candidate to go over 1,000 yards this season. The Pats take on the Bills next week.
Jackson was no match against the Cowboys and no match with Josh Freeman as he finished with one catch for 29 yards on seven targets. He had five catches for 128 last week against the Giants but he can be inconsistent and is still a usual start every week. Mike Williams ended with just two catches on six targets for 33 yards himself on a terrible day for Freeman.
Right now Austin looks like the best and most consistent receiver for Tony Romo and he had five catches for 107 yards on nine targets. That gives him 243 yards in three games. Dez Bryant caught six of eight targets and Kevin Ogletree caught five of seven on a day when Romo had zero touchdowns in a 16-10 win. Dallas gets the Bears in Week 4.
Megatron can get it done no matter who his quarterback is and finished with ten catches on twelve targets for 164 yards and a touchdown from Shaun Hill. Even if Matthew Stafford missed time with injury, Johnson should still be considered the number one receiver in the NFL. Nate Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew also had twelve targets, Burleson caught ten for 69 yards and Pettigrew caught eight for 61. Titus Young had 75 yards and a touchdown but we'll have to keep him mind that 46 of them came on a wild hail mary and a lot of luck.
Nate Washington against the Lions (FEW TARGETS, MOST PRODUCTION)
Washington had a breakout 2011 season but he was not even close to being Jake Locker's biggest target on Sunday. Kendall Wright had eleven targets (seven catches for 41 yards) and Kenny Britt also had eleven (six catches for 55.) Meanwhile, Washington got just three looks and finished with three catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Britt is still the top receiver in Tennessee, but Washington should still be able to get his and make a good flex play. They get the tough Texans defense in Week 4, though.
I like Blackmon. I have nothing against the Jaguars. But this offense isn't going anywhere and Blackmon isn't going to get enough opportunities. He had five targets and finished with one catch for seven yards. He has four catches for 31 yards in three games. Laurent Robinson had zero catches on one target and left with a head injury. Cecil Shorts took one of his two targets for a huge 80 yard touchdown catch, his second big catch in as many weeks, but isn't consistent enough to be a fantasy option yet.
T. Y. Hilton against the Jaguars (WHAT? REALLY?)
Thank You Hilton? The third round pick came into the game with one catch for 15 yards but saw eight targets on Sunday and had four catches for 113 yards. It's too early to pick him up, but it's time to start watching because he's surpassed Austin Collie. Donnie Avery previously surpassed Collie, but caught only two of nine targets. Reggie Wayne was the target king for Andrew Luck and caught eight of fifteen for 88 yards.
Stephen Hill against the Dolphins (IT'S TIME TO LET HIM GO)
After a monster Week 1, Hill had no catches in Week 2. He caught zero of seven targets in Week 3. It doesn't get easier with the 49ers and Texans in the next two weeks. Put him back on the waiver wire if you haven't already and see if he does something later on. However, Santonio Holmes had 14 targets and caught nine for 147 yards. While Mark Sanchez is/was terrible, Holmes is a viable WR3.
Saints against the Chiefs (HOW ABOUT THAT CHIEF-ENSE?)
While the Saints are the only 0-3 team in the NFC and can be considered "bad" they should at least be able to throw the ball, right? Well, Jimmy Graham had 16 yards, Marques Colston had 40, Sproles had zero receiving yards, while Lance Moore led the way with four catches for 70 yards. Kansas City got embarrassed by C.J. Spiller in Week 2, they got picked apart by Matt Ryan in Week 1, but when they've got Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson, and the defensive line healthy, they can be pretty good. They'll get tested against the Chargers next week, while the Saints try to get their first win of the season... in Green Bay.
Arguably, Green was already there. But he just keeps getting better, keeps doing it. Green had nine catches for 183 yards on eleven targets. One of those was a 73-yard touchdown pass from Mohamed Sanu, so it doesn't even matter who is throwing the ball this guy is too good. He now has 311 yards on the year with two touchdowns. I think there are no more than a few elite receivers, but Green is probably one of them. He's got the Jags, Browns, and Dolphins coming up.
He came into the game with just 67 yards in two games but was on the same page as Kevin Kolb all day, catching all nine of his targets for 114 yards and a touchdown. Larry has bad games, always has, but he gets 1,400 yards by having more than a few monster games as well. Everything was clicking in Arizona on Sunday and they now must be considered one of the top teams in the NFC and it's Kolb's job to lose. Miami, St. Louis, Buffalo, and Minnesota prove to make a winnable upcoming four game stretch.
Damaris Johnson against the Cardinals (HUH? WHO? WHY DO I DO SO MUCH RESEARCH?)
I study rosters of every team before the season but consider me new to Damaris Johnson, the undrafted rookie who started in place of the injured Jeremy Maclin. Michael Vick didn't treat him like an undrafted free agent rookie, giving him a team-high eleven targets, which turned into five catches for 84 yards. DeSean Jackson got ten targets but only turned that into three catches for 43. When Maclin comes back, then Johnson moves down the depth chart, but he had a good debut start and I'm sure Vick knows that now.
Eric Decker against the Texans (NAILED IT)
Well, too bad the Broncos and Peyton Manning couldn't get much going until the fourth quarter, but Decker finished with eight catches for 136 yards. Going into the season, I preferred Decker to Demaryius Thomas and I still feel good about that since Thomas had just three catches on eleven targets. He came into the game with 188 yards to Decker's 107, but they're much closer now. I don't think that Decker is going to necessarily wind up with more yards, but he'll be more consistent.
Raiders against the Steelers (JUST DON'T DO IT)
Just don't try to guess what Raiders receiver is the best and try to play him, ever. Darrius Heyward-Bey had 14 yards, Denarius Moore had 45, Derek Hagan had 30, Rod Streater had 22. Hell, the guy catching balls that I even like the most is Brandon Myers. There's no consistency, Raiders spread it around too much. DHB is in stable condition in the hospital after suffering from a head injury.
Mike Wallace against the Raiders (STILL GREAT)
In a game that required all sixty minutes to decide the outcome, "Sixty Minutes" himself had his best game of the season, catching eight passes for 123 yards and had a touchdown in his third straight game. Wallace is playing great ball alongside Antonio Bryant (seven for 87 and a TD) and is knocking on the "elite" door. The Steelers have a bye though, so better find a fill-in option. Just not one of the Raiders.
Ramses Barden against the Panthers (THURSDAY ALERT)
In relief of Hakeem Nicks, Barden stepped up for nine catches and 138 yards. Do we have this years "Victor Cruz"? I don't think so, Cruz is still there! But whenever Nicks or Cruz miss a game, Barden the interruption. On the other side of the ball, Brandon Lafell let down fantasy owners everywhere with one catch for 27 yards. I guess he's not an every week starter just yet.
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