In the Books: Week 3
By: Chase Wheetley
Week 3 is in the books, and in my opinion the grind of the regular season has begun. We see injuries piling up, and bye weeks start in Week 4. It is now becoming increasingly important to watch injury reports during the week, and if you have multiple leagues managing injuries can be a challenge.
CJ Spiller- Spiller is the biggest injury to come out of this week. There were fears that it was a broken collarbone or major shoulder injury at first, but it appears to be a minor injury and Spiller should only miss a week or two. He’ll have an MRI on Monday to confirm that diagnosis. This does come as good news for Fred Jackson owners, as it appears he may be able to play in Week 4. A week or two without Spiller gives Jackson a chance to remind coaches why he was the starter before his injury.
Reggie Bush- Reggie Bush’s knee injury appears to be minor, and Daniel Thomas split time with Lamar Miller in relief during the second half against the Jets. If you own Thomas, trade him to the Bush owner as an insurance policy, because that’s all he is. It’s a matter of time before Miller is the primary backup. Reggie Bush is playing on an expiring contract, and if he were to leave Miller would be the player to own.
Matthew Stafford- It wasn’t the typical “Matt Stafford season-ending injury” on Sunday, but Stafford’s leg injury may affect his status on Sunday. If you are a Stafford owner and Shaun Hill is available, grab him if you’re in need of an emergency QB2. Hill has proven capable when Stafford has missed time, including a near-comeback on Sunday.
Austin Collie- No concussion for Collie this time, but instead a knee injury that doesn’t look good. Collie was playing behind Donnie Avery and rotating with rookie T.Y. Hilton even when he did play, so his fantasy value was already in question. Things aren’t looking good for Collie, both this year and long-term.
Performance of the Week
Jamaal Charles- Jamaal is back, baby. There were concerns about his health and the type of workload he would receive headed into this week, but there’s nothing to quell the doubts like 33 carries for 233 yards and a touchdown and another six catches for 55 yards. Owners that were patient with Charles will enjoy the ride the rest of the season. Charles carried the ball eight more times than his previous career high and also set a career high for total yards. Peyton Hillis has looked like nothing more than a below average backup, and won’t do enough to cut into Charles’ workload. Charles is a rock solid RB1 in dynasty.
Dud of the Week
Kevin Smith- I faced the decision of starting Kevin Smith or Jamaal Charles in one league, and thought both had good matchups but questionable situations. I went with Charles, and after Smith totaled 0 touches in Mikel Leshoure’s first game, I’m happy to say I made the right decision. I still think Smith will have some value this year, especially if Leshoure misses time, so don’t cut bait. You likely can’t trade him for anything of value, so keep him on your bench until the stars align for him again.
Pierre Garcon- With Garcon missing a couple weeks, now will be your last chance to get RGIII’s top target for a decent price. I don’t own him in enough leagues, but I’m very happy with him in the few I do own him in, and will be trying to pry him from another owner or two this week. He isn’t considered anything more than a dynasty WR2/3, but he will post WR1 numbers playing with RGIII.
Josh Freeman- Freeman is supposed to be better than he was last season, but Sunday he looked even worse. I don’t think Freeman will ever be consistent enough to grow into a startable quarterback. His inconsistency aside, the Buccaneers are a run-heavy team, and it would take a very efficient quarterback to be fantasy relevant while averaging 24 or 25 attempts, and I don’t think Freeman is that guy.
Early Waiver Wire Adds
Andrew Hawkins- I should’ve highlighted Andrew Hawkins before today, but I thought the way he was being used wouldn’t last. Hawkins is lightning quick, and the Bengals are excellentat getting him in space by utilizing short throws, reverses, and passes behind the line of scrimmage. In Week 3 Hawkins got open deep and took it to the house. He’s not guaranteed many targets, but the Bengals are still learning how to use the CFL implant.
Damaris Johnson- Playing for the injured Jeremy Maclin, Johnson had five catches for 84 yards, leading the Eagles in receiving. Johnson also led the team in targets, with 11, and is a sleeper against a weak Giants secondary in Week 4 if Maclin misses another game. Johnson is small (5’8’’ 170 lbs) but I love his skillset, and he can create after the catch.
Ramses Barden- Many dynasty owners still have Barden rostered after picking him in rookie drafts, but if he’s on your waiver wire he is worthy of a pick-up. Barden should take over the WR3 role from Domenik Hixon, but his real value will come if Hakeem Nicks misses anymore games this season. If not, Barden is still worth a roster spot. He’s a free agent after this season and could see looks elsewhere where he may be given a bigger role in the offense.