Week 3 Fantasy Awards
By Guest Writer John Belaska:
We here at Fanspeak.com will be breaking down the top fantasy performances from each week for the remainder of the 2013 season. We will break down stats from the top performer at each major position, along with busts, sleepers and rookies. We will also have one of these player each week be declared the Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player of the Week. This player was not only the best at his particular position, but also outperformed the next highest player at that position by more than all the other top performers giving the owner most bang for their buck. Did your guy make the list this week? Let’s find out…
Top Quarterback: Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
Anyone could have foreseen Brees having a field day against the Cardinals. Nobody would have imagined that he would grace fantasy owners with not only a nice passing day, which included 342 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, but also a touchdown on the ground as well. Next week the Saints take on the Miami Dolphins at home. Look for Drew to have another good game. Will he earn the top quarterback spot again? I would not count on it against a revamped Dolphins teams but definitely expect a great output from the top tier passer.
Top Running Back: DeMarco Murray (Dallas Cowboys)
The Cowboys went on to stomp all over the St. Louis Rams and DeMarco Murray was leading the attack. Murray owners were smiling from ear to ear while their second running back went on to rush for 175 yards and score a touchdown. He also added 28 receiving yards to put him over 200 total yards. Murray and the Cowboys are traveling to San Diego next week in what could turn out to be a high scoring game. You should not expect this type of output week to week from Murray, but keep him in your line-up at all times because you never know when he is going to put up huge numbers like these.
Top Wide Receiver: Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers)
The Steelers may have lost Sunday night, but Antonio Brown won a lot of fantasy match up for the week. He was mostly drafted as a low-end second to high end third wide receiver in most drafts and here he is put up major numbers. Brown hauled in nine balls for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Next week Brown and the Steelers are going up against a Minnesota Vikings team that has not been looking very good lately. I still would not expect Brown to come anywhere close to the numbers he put up this week.
Top Tight End: Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)
This guy is a stud. It seems like every week this guy’s stats get better and better. Any time your tight end can have a huge day is a good fantasy day and Jimmy Graham has only been having good days so far. Graham hauled in nine catches for 134 yards and 2 scores against the Cardinals. He is going up against the Dolphins next week, but I still expect him to have a monster game. Brees sent 15 passes his way this week and I would imagine the double digit target trend is going to stay throughout the season.
Top Kicker: Ryan Succop (Kansas City Chiefs)
Kicker Ryan Succop really helped Andy Reid get a victory against his former team. Succop had four field goals and two successful point-after attempts. Unfortunately, most fantasy owners did not benefit from his good output as he is not even owned in ten percent of fantasy leagues. Next week he is going up against the Giants. If he has another good game like the one this week, he might be someone who starts gaining some attention in the fantasy world.
Top Team Defense: Chicago Bears
No Urlacher, no problem. The Bears had a field day against Roethelisberger and the Steelers. Fantasy owners cannot ask for a better day than the one the Bears had. Eight turnovers and two touchdowns from your team defense is the equivalent of fantasy gold. The only scuff on the day was allowing 23 points to the Steelers’ offense, but I am sure all Bears’ Team Defense owners are going to forgive them for that. Next week the Bears are going up to the Motor City to take on Calvin Johnson and Lions. Fantasy owners need to taper back their expectations greatly because the Lions offense is loaded with weapons and frankly, the Steelers are not.
Rookie of the Week: Jonathan Franklin (Green Bay Packers)
This was a very tough decision between Franklin and the New England Patriot’s Kembrell Tompkins. At the end of the day, one has to give the edge to Franklin. After James Stark’s went down with a hamstring injury, Jonathan Franklin finally got a chance to shine for the Packers. He had a very nice output tallying 103 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also added 23 receiving yards onto that total. The Packers are going on bye next week. This could be bad news for Franklin because it will give Eddy Lacy more time to recover from his concussion. With Lacy in the line-up, Jonathan Franklin has no real fantasy value.
Sleeper of the Week: Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns)
If you had Gordon in your line-up this week you made one heck of a call. Anyone who would guessed this guy would have a spectacular day after not playing the first two games and have the ball being thrown to him by backup quarter back Brian Hoyer must have true psychic abilities. Josh Gordon proved us all wrong and went on to have a career day posting 146 receiving yards on ten receptions and adding a touchdown. The question now is can we expect Gordon to put up these type of numbers on a regular basis. I would imagine he can. He showed glimpses of potential last year and 2013 might be the year he blossoms into a reliable fantasy option. Next week the Browns take on the Bengals. The Bengals play the pass much better than the Vikings, so this will be a good test to see if Gordon is ready to step it up in Cleveland.
Bust of the Week: Victor Cruz (New York Giants)
Twenty-five receiving yards! Seriously! It looks even worse when you take in consideration he only caught three of the eight passes he was dealt. Victor Cruz had to be taken in the second or early third round if you wanted this top tier wide out on your team. These are not the number you ever want to see from your top receiver. This being said, do not panic. Cruz is still a fantasy stud. Everyone has a bad week now and then; luckily Cruz has the talent to bounce back.
Comeback Player of the Week: Santonio Holmes (New York Jets)
I am sure some fantasy owners were starting to worry about this guy. After two poor performances, including a disgusting week one outing where he only posted one catch for 13 yards, Santonio Holmes finally showed what he can really do with the Jets. This week Holmes hauled in five balls for 154 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy owners will be craving more of those performances from him now, but with so much of Santonio’s value in the hands of rookie Geno Smith, it hard to see him as a reliable week to week starter. Expect Santonio Holmes to be a feast or famine type player and next week against the Falcons could prove to be more of a famine.
And now what you have all been waiting for all along…
Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player: Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Had someone told me last week that a Pittsburgh Steeler would claim the second highest fantasy point total for week three, I would have laughed at them and continued to think the Steelers were down in the trash pits with the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. Then Antonio Brown puts up the best numbers by a wide receiver for week three and I am forced rethink my previous conclusion. Brown did not gain the most fantasy points by a single player this week; however his output was head and shoulders above the rest of the league’s pass catchers. Drew Brees put up the most fantasy point this week, but Cam Newton only trailed him by two points. Antonio Brown scored seven points more than tight end Jimmy Graham and ten points higher than the next best wide receiver, Josh Gordon. Now that is what value is all about. Congratulations to Antonio Brown for proving me wrong about Pittsburgh. I still do not have faith in the Steel Curtain this year, but at least they have somebody on their team with the potential to win some fantasy match ups.