By Jamie Will, DFW Senior Writer and Co-Owner, @JWill2412

Are you looking for a one-stop shop for all of the big news from an NFL Sunday? Then you’ve come to the right place.  Wake up, get your coffee, and get ready for a positional breakdown of all the noteworthy happenings from the NFL this week. 

Welcome to the Monday Rise and Grind on DFW! 

WEEK THREE

rise-grind

QUARTERBACKS

A Statement by Siemian

Quarterback play in Week 3 brought us a number of big performances from both familiar faces and some surprising sources.  We had six 20+point fantasy games (standard scoring) and that obviously did not include two of the highest rated QBs, who will face off on MNF.  Leading the way, in an absolute shocker, was none other than Trevor Siemian.  Maybe John Elway does know something more than we do about the Quarterback position after all!  Siemian torched a typically formidable Bengals defense for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air with no turnovers, feeding both Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and, more importantly, stretching the field for the first time this season.  It’s a true game-changer if Siemian can keep this up, because he was the only obvious issue with the Broncos’ team, but he was the opposite of a problem today, for sure.

The other five 20+ point scorers were Aaron Rodgers, Jameis Winston, Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, and Dak Prescott.  It was a timely bounce-back effort from Rodgers, whose recent “mortality” was a hot-topic in the fantasy world throughout this week.  He wasted little time throwing TD and TD against the Lions and looking like the Rodgers owners expected when they drafted him.  I personally wished they kept the pedal down, though, instead of sitting back and allowing the Lions to comeback (can’t have everything, I guess…)  Winston continued his Jekyll and Hyde ways, putting up 405 yards and 3:1 TD/INT.  If you can, maybe the perfect set up is to start Winston every other week so you can capitalize on the big yards and 3+ touchdowns, rather than the flip-side with all the picks.  Stafford continued his big start, albeit predominantly in full-fledged comeback mode this week (we don’t discriminate though, in fact we love comeback/garbage points! Right, Brian Hoyer?).  Stafford finished with 385/3/1 on the day, almost all of which came to one target who I will hit in depth a bit later.  Lastly, the two NFC East rookie QB darlings continued their unprecedented duel to break rookie records for efficiency. I’m 1000 percent biased and not ashamed to admit that I am one of the many firmly on the Wentz WagonCarson Wentz shut the mouths of doubters in a big way (Bart Scott, that’s what eating crow tastes like!) by shredding the Steelers with ease, ultimately putting up a 301/2/0 line and, again, making it look easy.  I absolutely love the kid and he has almost single-handedly changed the trajectory of the franchise in the short term (along with the defense, of course! Jim Schwartz for President).  Down in Big D, Dak Prescott would not be outdone, though, as he diced the Bears for 248/1/0 through the air and also added 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground.  Both Prescott and Wentz continue to shatter NFL rookie records for starting their careers without throwing interceptions (99 attempts for Prescott, and 101 for Wentz) while both looking comfortable and confident.  This is just the beginning for both guys… And it is exciting!

Normally I wouldn’t highlight the lowlights in this article, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something about the epic failures of Cam NewtonCarson Palmer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick this week.  Cam, to his credit, did play the studly (and seemingly matchup-proof) Minnesota Vikings defense, but he started off hot just to end up falling off a cliff by throwing three interceptions and contributing no touchdowns through the air (thank God for his running…).  Palmer owners were not as lucky, as the Bills defense forced Palmer into a 287/0/4 line.  That’s the same Bills defense that was previously shredded by Fitzpatrick, who decided to become the Santa Claus of football in giving out gifts to the Chiefs D.  SIX INTERCEPTIONS! SIX! That is really hard to do… And really hard to watch.  Shockingly, in one of my personal leagues, which emphasizes punishing interceptions, a Fitz owner got a -14 spot from him and will STILL win the matchup.  This is a crazy game sometimes…


RUNNING BACKS

Dr. Michael and Mr. Hyde

9565893-christine-michael-nfl-san-francisco-49ers-seattle-seahawks-850x560

The two best rushing performances of Week 3 came from the same NFC west matchup, and were a tale of early domination for one, and garbage time salvation for the other.  Christine Michael continued his redemption tour in a massive way, dropping 106 and 2 touchdowns on SF with 75 yards and both TDs coming in the first quarter.  It was a huge statement by Michael, who continues to stake his claim as the outright leader of the Seahawks’ RB stable while Rawls struggles to come back.  Michael looked decisive and explosive and shows little reason to think he will slow down.  On the other side, Carlos Hyde actually led all RB in standard scoring this week thanks to two garbage-time touchdown runs.  Hyde finished with 103 yards and the two touchdowns, giving owners a nice olive branch after disappearing last week.  It’s a nice sign to see that Chip Kelly’s version of garbage time actually includes running the ball, which is good for Hyde owners and probably not very good for winning real games. 

Otherwise, we had six other 20+ point scorers on the day in standard settings.  LeSean McCoy had a huge game in the surprising destruction of the Arizona Cardinals, posting 110 yards and 2 touchdowns while looking every bit like the McCoy fantasy owners have loved for years.  David Johnson and DeMarco Murray continued their excellent starts to the season, posting lines of 83/2 td and 114/1 td respectively.  The key for both, thus far, has been passing game usage on top of their running, as both Johnson and Murray have routinely caught a number of passes per game in the early going.  We expected that for DJ, but not necessarily for Murray, so it’s a nice early return there.  We also got the gift of two much-needed resurgences for Todd Gurley and Jeremy Hill.  Gurley, much maligned through two weeks, finally got into the end zone (TWICE!) in week 3 during the Rams’ offensive breakout against the Bucs.  Gurley reminded owners why they picked him so early and that they shouldn’t be quick to bail on his talent, despite glaring team weaknesses.  Hill, on the other hand, made a huge statement early against the vaunted Broncos D.  He started the first drive of the game with 65 yards and a touchdown, ultimately ending up with 97 yards and two TDs against the best defense in the league.  It was a much needed explosion for the big guy in Cincinnati, to say the least.


WIDE RECEIVERS

Jones Makes his Bones

636071660792981584-si-20160818-mjm-ai5-02

Another week, and another monstrous statement game for an unsung NFC North receiver.  For many, calling Marvin Jones unsung may seem naive and behind-the-curve, but the fact is that many still didn’t believe Jones was an absolute stud heading into Week 3. That has ALL changed.  Jones absolutely destroyed the Packers’ defense in a furious comeback that almost made it all the way home.  When all was said and done, Jones put up an outrageous 6/205/2 touchdowns line on a solid defense, showing clearly who the man really is in Detroit.  He made big play after big play, all the while showing an increasingly strong rapport with Matthew Stafford.  This looks like just the beginning for Jones and Stafford, and those owners who capitalized on Jones’ value in drafts look like they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with this one.  

Jones was the only player/receiver to break the 30 point barrier in standard scoring this week, but a handful of others topped 20+ and, thus, reserved their spots in this weekly article.  Emmanuel Sanders vented some frustration during the week and followed it up by breaking out in a huge way, catching 9 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals.  Sanders (and Demaryius Thomas) exploited the Bengals down the field as well, which could be a big thing if they can continue to avoid being a dink-and-dunk offense.  Terrelle Pryor truly did it all in Cleveland today with his best Kordell Stewart impression, posting 8/144/0 through the air, 4/21/1 TD on the ground, and even throwing for 35 yards.  With the major QB issues in Cleveland and the injury to Corey Coleman, it looks like Pryor could be a huge multi-dimensional part of this offense going forward. T.Y. Hilton capped off the Colts’ seesaw victory over the Chargers with a 63 yard touchdown, ultimately finishing with a big 8/174/1 touchdown line.  Hilton looked strong against a great secondary, but the fact that it again took Andrew Luck and company so long to get it going is a little worrisome.  Jordy Nelson continued his comeback tour in style, putting up 6/101/2 touchdowns on the Lions and upping his touchdowns on the year to 4 in 3 games.  Jordy looked to be fully back to speed in this one, and thats a great sign.  The last 20+ point scorer was Doug Baldwin, who interestingly did a major chunk of his damage after Russell Wilson had to leave the game.  Baldwin finished with 8/164/1 touchdown, with the score being a long ball from backup Trevone Boykin.  Obviously, a healthy Wilson is much more integral to Baldwin’s success, but it’s nice to see that he did click with Boykin on the chance that Wilson needs to miss some time.  

Last, and certainly not least, a few guys narrowly missed 20 points but still had noteworthy days.  Mike Evans finished with 10 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown and continues to look strong in the early going, even with the roller-coaster nature of Jameis Winston’s start.  Also, Antonio Brown rewarded PPR owners with the quietest 12 catch/140 yard performance I can remember for a while.  He truly is the man.  


TIGHT END

Golden Graham Returns

Jimmy-Graham-Seattle-Seahawks-Tight-End

The tight ends, as a whole, returned to general mediocrity this week… I wish they would’ve heard my rallying cry last week and kept up the good work, but of course that’s just simply not how this all works.  Negativity aside, there were a handful of good performances this week.  The TE leader on the day was a familiar face and a welcomed return to prominence.  Jimmy Graham roared back into the spotlight with a 6 catch, 100 yard game including a touchdown.  It’s great to see a talent like Graham getting back to some of his old ways after so much injury trouble.  It’s important to remember just how great he was for his stretch in New Orleans and, while I would pump the brakes to say things like “HE’S ALL THE WAY BACK! MOVE OVER GRONK!,” it was certainly a great effort and an awesome sight.  I chose to lead with Graham because of the story, but the actual points leader on the week was Zach Miller, who paced the Bears’ feeble comeback attempt on SNF against the Cowboys.  Miller benefited big-time from Brian Hoyer’s presence and made a number of tough catches, including 2 touchdowns.  Miller likely will stick around and be a presence for at least as long as Hoyer is under center.  The other breakout TE for the week was Cameron Brate in Tampa.  After the complete of ASJ’s fall from grace, preseason “darling” Brate wasted no time getting involved, snagging two of Winston’s three touchdown passes.  Brate looks like a legitimate red-zone target who should be here to stay.  To wrap it up, Travis Kelce and Kyle Rudolph scored in double digits and rewarded owners with lines of 6/89/1 TD and 7/70/1 TD respectively.  Solid standard outputs for both with a nice PPR boost on top of it.