Friday, September 21, 2012

Homer Guide: AFC East Week 3 fantasy glance


The NFL's current top two rushing leaders play out the AFC East. Buffalo Bills breakout star C.J. Spiller and former Heisman Trophy-winner Reggie Bush of the Miami Dolphins are getting it done.

Here's a look at some fantasy football activity in the division entering Week 3:

Thumbs up

C.J. Spiller — 292 yds, 3 TD, 5 rec for 72 yds, 1 Lost Fumble (RB, Bills)
No secret here. Spiller is the best player in most, if not all, fantasy football leagues as they head into Week 3. After Fred Jackson went down, Spiller has done nothing but respond.

Reggie Bush — 241 yds, 2 TD, 9 rec for 71 yds, (RB, Dolphins)
Bush is a revitalized version of his college self, and it’s scary. We wondered if his numbers last season were a one-time fluke, and I think we’ve already got our answer on that subject. This guy is an animal, and he made a big splash last week.

Stevan Ridley — 196 yds, 1 TD, 5 rec for 51 yds (RB, Patriots)
He’s not a No. 1 or 2 (like Spiller and Bush, respectively), but he’s still a top 15-ranked fantasy player. He’ll keep guiding the Patriots running game with Danny Woodhead until Shane Vereen is ready to return and take some of the work off Ridley’s shoulders.

Thumbs down

Shonn Greene — 117 yds, 1 TD (RB, Jets)
We’ve been waiting for true Pro Bowl numbers out of Greene for several years now and we’re still yet to see them consistently. He shows flashes of greatness before nearly becoming irrelevant, before showing what he’s capable of again. His performance last week (23 yards rushing) was the irrelevant type.

Patriots Defense — 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries (DEF, Patriots)
While it didn’t get blown out, and it certainly played better than several games last season, the Patriots’ defense still had some kinks to work out. I have no doubts coach Bill Belichick does just that.


Rob Gronkowski — 12 rec for 135 yds, 2 TD (TE, Patriots)
Why bother drafting the best tight end in the NFL if you’re not going to start him every game? The only TE even close to his number is Saints’ Jimmy Graham.

Stevie Johnson — 6 rec for 111 yds, 2 TD (WR, Bills)
Stevie J. just gets it done. He’s found the end zone in each of the Bills' contests. As quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's top target in a thin receiving corps, expect him to keep that TD streak going for at least a few more games.

Pleasant surprises

Brian Hartline — 12 rec for 161 yds (WR, Dolphins)
Hartline has emerged as the Dolphins' leading wideout. There are plenty of fringe receivers to choose from right now, but if you’re looking to keep your AFC East loyalty and you need a receiver, this is a good guy to give it a shot with.

Steve Chandler — 6 recs for 91 yds, 2 TD (TE, Bills)
It shouldn’t be a surprise. He started last year off much the same way and he’s hauled in touchown passes in both of his first two games. He’s about to break 100 yards receiving on the season. Chandler is a regular red zone target of Fitzpatrick's.

Proceed with caution

Tom Brady — 552 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT (QB, Patriots)
Brady and his teammates looked like bird food last week against the Arizona Cardinals, though. This week he heads to Baltimore for the Sunday Night Football matchup against … more birds. The big, bad Ravens.

Wes Welker — 8 rec for 109 yds (WR, Patriots)
Sat out for the first quarter, had Julian Edelman play snaps over him, and yet to score a touchdown this season — these are not things you expected to hear about one of the most successful Patriots receivers ever. Now it’s all we hear about. End in sight?

Keeping a close eye

Jeremey Kerley — 6 rec for 112 yds, 1 TD, 74 return yds, 1 TD, 1 lost fumble (WR, Jets)
Other than his lost fumble, Kerley had a quiet day last week. Expect him to rebound sooner rather than later. Against the Dolphins is a perfect time.

Stephen Hill — 5 recs for 89 yds, 1 TD (WR, Jets)
The Jets need more consistency out of Hill and Kerley. That would also require more consistency out of quarterback Mark Sanchez, too. Sanchez unsuccessfully targeted Santonio Holmes often last week, so maybe he transfers his attention to Hill.

Ryan Fitzpatrick — 373 yds, 5 TD, 3 INT, 42 rushing yds (QB, Bills)
Fitzpatrick started out the beginning of last year with guns blazin’, then after he signed his contract, he really struggled. He did throw three INTs in the opening game vs. the Texans, but he played better than any other QB in the division in Week 2. He can continue that this week vs. Cleveland.

Waiver watch

Deion Branch (WR, Patriots)
He was just signed back by the team he won a Super Bowl MVP with. Questions?

Lamar Smith (RB, Dolphins)
After gaining 65 yards off 10 carries and finding the end zone in the fourth quarter, Smith showed he has potential and may shed some of the workload from Reggie Bush. He may not get much, but he may keep finding paydirt when Bush is stacked up against.