Chargers tight end Antonio Gates took a backseat in the offense Sunday, in a 22-10 win over the Bills in Week 4.
Gates, who put together a massive three-touchdown performance a week ago, was targeted just once in the passing game Sunday. He hauled in that pass for an 8-yard gain, his only contribution to the win.
Despite Sunday's subpar outing, Gates has still be a big-time producer through three weeks. He heads into Week 4 against the Jaguars with 14 receptions on 18 targets for 185 yards and three touchdowns.
The Packers DST turned in a solid performance Week 3 against the Lions.
The team did a solid job in the passing game, keeping Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson out of the end zone. The team was hurt by offensive turnovers. The Lions managed to run in a score after an Eddie Lacy fumble early in the contest. Reggie Bush scored the only offensive touchdown against Green Bay.
The Packers had some success with turnovers and pressure. Outside of the two interceptions, Green Bay sacked Stafford twice, and forced one fumble.
They'll look for more next week against the Bears.
Ugly first half plagues Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3 loss
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick rebounded from an ugly first half Sunday at N.Y. Giants, but his strong second-half performance wasn't enough as Houston lost 30-17. Fitzpatrick completed 20 of 34 passes for 289 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, while rushing for 34 yards and one touchdown on seven carries.
Fitzpatrick had a horrendous first half, as he completed just 4 of 13 passes for 39 yards and two interceptions. He had a 0.6 quarterback rating as New York jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead.
Though, the veteran quarterback was much better in the second half, passing for 250 yards, which included a 44-yard touchdown pass to Damaris Johnson in the third quarter that cut the Giants' lead to 17-10. Fitzpatrick added a 1-yard rushing touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Sunday was the 10th time in Fitzpatrick's career he threw at least three interceptions. He had no interceptions in his first two games this season. The Texans are back in action Week 4 vs. Buffalo.
Drew Brees breezes Saints past Vikings with solid game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
Saints quarterback Drew Brees did not need to be his typically explosive self Sunday against the visiting Vikings. He merely required efficiency - and he was certainly efficient in their victory.
Brees carved up the Minnesota defense to the tune of 27 of 35 for 293 yards and two touchdowns. He started and ended hot. He opened the game by completing all five passes on a scoring drive that set the tone for the rest of the game, tossed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill later in the first quarter and hit veteran wideout Marques Colston for an 18-yard TD early in the fourth.
Despite the two scoring drives in the first quarter, Brees did much of his damage after intermission, completing 12 of 16 for 140 yards and the touchdown. He and his Saints will come marching into Dallas for a nationally televised game next Sunday night.
Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal emerged as a red-zone favorite of quarterback Philip Rivers Sunday, in a 22-10 win over the Bills in Week 3.
Royal, who had yet to score a touchdown this season, brought in both of Rivers' touchdown passes Sunday. He scored from 3 and 5 yards out, while finishing the game with four receptions on six targets for 42 yards.
The Chargers have spread the ball around a bunch early on this season, and Royal was the beneficiary Sunday. He has 12 receptions for 131 yards heading into Week 4 against the Jaguars.
Andy Dalton catches touchdown in Week 3 win vs. Titans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton went 15 for 23 for just 169 yards and an interception through the air Sunday but also caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in his team's 33-7 Week 3 win over the Titans.
Dalton's overall numbers were held in check with the Bengals opening up a big lead and shutting the Titans out until the fourth quarter. However, he made the play of the game in the first quarter, pitching the ball to Mohammed Sanu, who took a few steps to the right on an apparent sweep before lofting the ball to Dalton back across the field. Titans cornerback Blidi-Wreh Wilson had a play to make, either on the ball or on Dalton, but made neither, and Dalton motored toward the end zone and dove toward the pylon before the approaching defender could close.
Dalton also went 15 for 23 a week ago but managed to put together enough big plays to throw for 252 yards, averaging more than 10 yards per attempt. He'll get a week off with the team's upcoming bye before heading to New England in what should be a much tougher test in Week 5.
Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd caught just two passes Sunday, but he made them count in a 22-10 win over the Bills in Week 3.
Floyd brought in both of his passes for 49 yards, the two longest plays of the game for either team. He finished with two receptions on four targets for 98 yards.
Floyd has had an inconsistent role through three games, as he failed to catch a pass in Week 2. He has six receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown through three games, with the Chargers set to take on the Jaguars in Week 4.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw a pair of touchdowns, and New York earned its first victory of the season during a 30-17 win Week 3 vs. Houston. Manning completed 21 of 28 passes for 234 yards and no touchdowns, finishing with a 123.2 quarterback rating.
He put New York up 7-0 after connecting with Victor Cruz on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 3:21 left in the second quarter. He then gave the Giants a 27-10 lead in the fourth quarter after connecting with Daniel Fells for a 9-yard touchdown with 9:25 left.
Manning almost had a lengthy touchdown pass late in the first quarter, but Cruz couldn't outrun the defense and was dragged down after a 61-yard gain. On the previous drive, Larry Donnell fumbled down inside the 5-yard line after catching a 6-yard pass from Manning.
Manning didn't throw an interception for the first time in eight games dating back to last season. The Giants are back in action Thursday at Washington.
Some Fantasy football players are big spenders in free agency, while others rummage through their neighbors' recycle bins to find useful pieces. This series is for the latter. So let's take a look at which wideouts got dumped in Week 3.
Riley Cooper(Down 12 percent to 73-percent owned)
Does Cooper lead the league in almost-touchdowns? Feels like he has one of those a game
Before Monday Night's game against the Colts, I advised a friend not to start Cooper because it appeared that Jeremy Maclin was emerging as Nick Foles' go-to guy. The stats certainly showed that to be the case, with Maclin reeling in his second touchdown on 11 targets. But there were two downfield plays drawn up that had Foles attempting to connect with Cooper at the back-left pylon. All three were either broken up or mistimed, but in all fairness to Cooper he was facing a physical and formidable foe in cornerback Vontae Davis.
One of those plays got flagged for pass interference and would have been good for 35 yards a touchdown. Whether Cooper pushed off or Davis held on the play, the fact remains that he was targeted for big plays in one-on-one coverage. The emergence of Zach Ertz combined with the versatility of the Eagles' rushing attack has rendered Cooper's skill set obsolete, but it seems he's still as much a part of the gameplan as before. Yes, those were two of just three targets, but he's a nice middle ground between Ertz's size and Maclin's speed. One of these games, Cooper is going to actually haul in those end zone targets, like he did on Nov. 3 last year in Oakland, when he went off for three touchdowns and 139 receiving yards. He's a risk, but if you're going to gamble on a boom-or-bust WR, why not take a flier on piece of the Chip Kelly offense?
Mike Evans (Down eight percent to 75-percent owned)
When you consider all the success Josh McCown had last season tossing jump balls to Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans seems like the perfect rookie pass catcher to do the same. But that hasn't been the case through two games. In Week 1 he was targeted 10 times in Week 1 and had a fourth quarter touchdown negated because one of his feet touched out of bounds before the catch. McCown only looked his way four times in Week 2, but on two of Tampa's touchdowns McCown (selfishly) tucked and ran it in himself.
I'm no psychic, but I think we can count on Evans learning being more aware of his feet and McCown not pretending to be Cam Newton going forward. If you're not satisfied with your WR depth, Evans has the upside to be a red zone threat once the Bucs pin down their offensive identity.
Jarrett Boykin(Down 12 percent to 43-percent owned)
I wouldn't doubt if that Jarrett Boykin drop in the red zone is the moment that leads to Davante Adams becoming #Packers permanent No. 3 WR.
When Randall Cobb went down last year, Boykin became a viable PPR option for 12-team leagues. But his sleeper-ish status heading into this season hasn't come to fruition. In fact, last week Davante Adams caught five passes on seven targets, making him one of the most added WRs of Week 3. Aaron Rodgers only looked Boykin's way three times against the Jets, and completely ignored him Week 1 thanks to Richard Sherman.
So was Adams' snap count a result of coaches punishing Boykin for his drop, or was it a true recognition of Adams' superiority?
Based on last game, Adams is taking Boykin's job as Green Bay's No. 3 receiver, which would put Boykin's Fantasy relevance completely to bed. You've got to figure one of them will be a nice PPR sleeper in a pass-heavy offense that doesn't feature a standout tight end. Deep PPR leaguers would be wise to monitor this situation closely.
The task of replacing Adrian Peterson will fall on a number of backs but the one who will end up taking the most work is Matt Asiata. You might remember him from his 30-carry, 51-yard, three-score game in place of Peterson last season against the Eagles. Two weeks later he came back from that sluggish-but-effective output (and an injury) and went off for 115 yards on 14 carries against the Lions. So that's a 1.7 rushing average in one game and an 8.2 rush average in the next. That's pretty weird, but also something he duplicated this preseason with two games with a plus 4.0 rush average sandwiched between a game he had 1.9 yards per game against.
The truth is that Asiata isn't exactly a slug. He's a good pass protector and receiver and can be functional as the Vikings' primary rusher. As easy to catch as he seems to be after reviewing some of his games, he's also physical and is not an easy guy to bring down.
The other back who figures to be involved in the Vikings run game is Jerick McKinnon, a rookie from Georgia Southern. He's much smaller than Asiata but also much more explosive -- and much less experienced. In the preseason he averaged 4.9 yards per carry and had over 7 yards per run in his last two preseason matchups. He also is an asset catching passes out of the backfield. He falls short in pass protection and probably won't be trusted with a big part of the game plan since he's coming from such a small school and into the fray of the NFL.
I have Peterson in a few leagues. My first move is to get Asiata either off waivers or via trade. The price tag for Asiata shouldn't be much right now but I'd pony up a decent player in exchange for him since we don't know how long the Vikings will need him as their main back. McKinnon isn't considered as vital and is unlikely at this point to be a major player for Minnesota.
Asiata is also a must-add even if you don't have Peterson. That's because he'll be the Vikings starter on Sunday and could stay in that role for a while. What's happening with Adrian Peterson off the field is irrelevant to Fantasy owners. What matters to us is that he's not going to play in Week 2, and judging how swiftly the Vikings made their decision to deactivate him on Friday, there's no guarantee he'll be back in action for Week 3, either. There's a lot to be uncertain about.
Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week long $250,000 Fantasy Football contest for Week 2. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday, September 14 at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now to join.
Each week we give you six value plays on FanDuel. By using a couple of these cheap players, you can load up the rest of your lineup with studs like Jimmy Graham, LeSean McCoy and Aaron Rodgers.
As a refresher, FanDuel gives you a $60,000 salary cap to spend on a 9-man lineup: QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K and DST. It’s a half-point per reception, with passing touchdowns worth four points. Click here for a quick tutorial.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton vs. Atlanta, $7,800: The 14th-most expensive quarterback, Dalton is dynamite in The Jungle, having thrown 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions over his last five home starts (playoffs excluded) while averaging 267.4 passing yards. Throw in his two rushing scores, and that's 3.8 TDs per start. Now he gets a Falcons defense that, despite playing in front of a raucous, sold-out home crowd, recorded zero sacks or hits on Drew Brees while surrendering 333 passing yards and 7.9 yards per attempt – the same YPA Dalton put up Week 1 against a tougher Ravens defense.
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Philadelphia, $6,400: We all know Hilton is an up-and-down player. His ups tend to come indoors, where he’s averaged 80 receiving yards, scored 10 of his 12 career touchdowns and produced nine of his 10 100-yard receiving games. Eagles-Colts carries Week 2’s highest over/under at 54 – it’s going to be an up-tempo dome shootout. Hilton did little Week 1 (5 catches, 41 yards, 1 drop) but he was targeted 11 times because he gains more separation than any Colts receiver. Andrew Luck will hit him for big plays Monday night.
Browns RB Terrance West vs. New Orleans, $5,300: The 5-10, 225-pound rookie broke seven tackles and gained 66 yards after contact in his 100-yard performance against Pittsburgh, and he’ll start against the Saints with Ben Tate (knee) out. Isaiah Crowell is a threat to vulture goal-line carries, but you can’t beat West’s price. Look for Cleveland to try to control the clock and keep Drew Brees off the field. That means a big workload for West, running behind one of the league’s better O-lines. New Orleans gave up 123 rushing yards to the Falcons, letting the ancient Steven Jackson average 4.3 yards per carry.
Jaguars WR Allen Hurns at Washington, $5,700:Cecil Shorts (hamstring) is out again, so the acrobatic Hurns gets a full complement of snaps to follow up his four-catch, 110-yard, two-touchdown performance. Though undrafted, Hurns (6-3, 195) didn’t come out of nowhere; he was the team’s best receiver this preseason and OC Jedd Fisch, who coached him at the University of Miami, trusts him. Hurns drew nine targets Week 1. If not for two drops his huge game would have been a monster. Against a burnable Redskins secondary, Hurns will prove more than a one-week wonder.
Titans WR Justin Hunter vs. Dallas, $5,700: Hunter led Tennessee with eight targets and 63 receiving yards Week 1, but Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker caught the touchdowns. The Titans’ most athletically gifted wideout should get in on the fun against a depleted Cowboys defense. No Dallas defensive back can match up.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz at Indianapolis, $5,600: Tied for the ninth-most expensive tight end with Jared Cook and Antonio Gates, Ertz has five touchdowns in his last seven games after catching three passes for 77 yards and a score against Jacksonville. Now he plays a Colts defense Julius Thomas obliterated for seven catches, 104 yards and three scores. Ertz is Philly's best red-zone threat, and as mentioned, expect a lot of touchdowns in this game.
You know the saying. One man's trash is another man's Zac Stacy.
Of course not every free agent flier is that successful, but there's a lesson to be learned about playing the Waiver Wire: Sometimes it pays to go against the grain, and sometimes it hurts really bad when you overreact.
Let's preface this post by saying that as recent as last season, Week 1 hasn't been kind to rookie running backs. Eddie Lacy only averaged 2.93 yards per carry in Week 1 of 2013. Giovani Bernard got just four carries, and the aforementioned Stacy only received one. But it's safe to say anyone who dropped one of those three after Week 1 ended up regretting it. With that said, let's look at which rookie runners got dropped after a slow start this season.
The rookie running back pile
First-year Falcon Devonta Freeman headlines this group, as one of CBSSports.com's most dropped players (down eight percent to 70-percent owned). I don't blame anyone for doing so. That Atlanta backfield looks deep and useful for winning football games, which makes for an awful Fantasy situation. Atlanta used four backs in its win over New Orleans, and Freeman only totalled four touches on the day.
Those that dropped him probably did it to pick up someone that fills an immediate need. Freeman looks like the kind of tough, physical runner who would benefit from a possible (perhaps eventual) Steven Jackson injury, but Jacquizz Rodgers and even Antone Smith still hanging around, it's hard to put a lot of faith in Freeman's role. Our resident Falcons' expert Scott White says he thinks they'll treat their RB stable the same way the Saints do theirs, meaning there will be games where Freeman shines, but when that's going to happen is the hard part to predict. But you can see it when he gets the ball: Freeman is quicker than Steven Jackson and more physical than the other two. Plus he has the innate ability to almost always fall forward at the end of each run. This makes him a prime candidate for goal-line carries down the road. His path to playing time is perhaps the toughest, but you could do worse at a shallow position if you wanted to stash someone.
Bishop Sankey also got dropped in a few leagues (down six percent to 86-percent owned). He's another back who could be a late bloomer in Fantasy. Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster got a larger workload than Sankey, with Leon Washington trailing just behind him. Ken Wisenhunt has said the Titans will use four running backs each week, which makes Sankey's scenario similar to Freeman's. And just like Freeman, Sankey is the most well-rounded piece in his team's backfield. This approach worked in Week 1, but if anything changes in the Titans' gameplan down the road, it'll likely be Sankey that benefits.
Jeremy Hill also falls into the "not enough work" group, totalling just four carries in his debut (down four percent to 71-percent owned). Hue Jackson said after the game that he intends to give Hill more work going forward, but it will be pretty tough to take a versatile back like Giovani Bernard off the field. Goal line work for Hill was all the rage int he preseason, and at 6-1, 240, Hill certainly has the size to do what BenJarvus Green-Ellis did last season. Since BJGE is no longer on the roster, Hill seems like a nice handcuff for Gio at the very least.
Basically, the justification for adding guys who get dropped goes as follows: While everyone else in your league clears space to go hard after the trendier names at each position, you're reacting by picking off your favorite among those who got cut. People play the Waiver Wire for different reasons. Some need a short-term bandaid, or they're chasing touchdowns from the week prior. Others know they'll never start Kenny Britt or Rueben Randle over their WR2 and flex options, so they cut bait early and grab a long-term gamble. Think back to your draft to the kinds of deep sleepers or undervalued veterans you wanted, but got snatched up before your turn. Chances are some of them will be falling off rosters in the next few weeks, and snagging one of them might pay off down the road.
Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week long $250,000 Fantasy Football contest for Week 2. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday, September 14 at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now to join.
Last week we gave you six FanDuel bargains for Week 1. These were players you could get cheaply so you could fill the rest of your lineup with stars. Here's how we fared with our picks and the Week 2 outlook for each:
Saints RB Mark Ingram, $5,200: Ingram delivered big-time as he produced 18.6 FanDuel points at Atlanta (13 carries, 60 yards, 2 TDs, 1-yard catch). He keyed many winning lineups. Ingram's price rose to $5,900 for Week 2 at Cleveland. It's still a reasonable cost for a plus matchup. He'll be under consideration again.
Chargers TE Antonio Gates, $4,800: Gates led San Diego in targets (10), catches (6) and receiving yards (81), putting up 11.1 FanDuel points at a rock-bottom price. It could have been a bigger night had Gates not dropped two passes, including one that would gained at least 15 yards. Costing $5,600 Week 2 vs. Seattle, Gates won't be a recommended play.
Saints WR Marques Colston, $5,700: Colston caught five passes for 110 yards, but he lost a fumble and failed to score. Still he outproduced his price with 11.5 FanDuel points and remains a viable Week 2 option, costing $5,600 at Cleveland.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo, $8,300: Romo threw three picks into double and triple coverage in the first 20 minutes and finished with 281 passing yards and one touchdown. After posting a pathetic 12.6 FanDuel points, his price dropped to $7,800 for Week 2 at Tennessee. Staying away, lesson learned.
Bengals RB Jeremy Hill, $5,400: Hill received only 10 snaps against Baltimore, carrying four times for 19 yards. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson promised Hill will get more work moving forward; we'd like to see it first. The matchup is right Week 2 vs. Atlanta, so is the price, $4,900, but it will be hard to pull the trigger.
Titans WR Justin Hunter, $4,800: He led the team with eight targets and 63 receiving yards while playing 52 snaps. Hunter has a chance to go off against the Cowboys, though his price rose to $5,700. He merits Week 2 consideration.
The Ravens run game will move forward with a third-year back who has never broken through, a seven-year back who has never broken through and a rookie burler who has an outside shot to break through. Oh, and an offensive coordinator who has made Fantasy owners throw their hands up in the air in disgust.
Get ready for a mess.
In a review of the Ravens' Week 1 game vs. the Bengals, the team used a definite rotation between Bernard Pierce (the third-year guy) and Justin Forsett (the seventh-year guy). Even before Pierce's first-half fumble Forsett was involved in the Ravens offense, mainly in passing situations.
Pierce looked fine as a physical between-the-tackles runner despite his pre-fumble rushing average. Nothing spectacular but certainly a physical back willing to take on contact and fight for an extra yard. Then he was stripped of the football by Vontaze Burfictand stripped of his workload despite it being his first career fumble. Kubiak's gotta send a message, after all.
Forsett saw most of the work thereafter. He's also nothing spectacular but does have a proven track record of being a capable pass catcher (caught 97 passes for a modest 7.3 yard average over three seasons with the Seahawks). In this particular game he caught five passes but couldn't do much with it (14 yards). But because of the fumble by Pierce, he played 57 of 88 snaps and showed off enough dash as a running back with 70 yards on 11 carries.
The hunch here is that Pierce's first-ever fumble won't cost him a chance to work as the running-downs back for the Ravens. Not after they cut Ray Rice. We might expect to see him play in that run-downs role Thursday against the Steelerson CBS. Forsett should take over in passing downs and potentially the two-minute offense since he's adept enough at pass protection.
Fantasy owners shouldn't be thrilled with either guy because they'll swipe work away from each other. Pierce could score more, Forsett could catch more. It's a tag-team delight on par with the Raiders and Titans. Worse yet, Pierce's physical style contributed to his shoulder woes last season and he could be considered a slight injury risk. Forsett has also missed time over his career.
The wild card and potential long-term X-factor is the Ravens rookie, Lorenzo Taliaferro. If Pierce can't put up numbers consistently in that physical run-downs role, Taliaferro could get a chance. In the preseason he showed off his physical nature -- as well as his lack of a rushing average -- via 243 yards on 65 carries (3.7 avg.) with a 10-yard catch and a touchdown while working mostly with second-teamers. He was a special player at Coastal Carolina and broke a bunch of records there because he was a man among boys playing in the Big South Conference. The jump to the NFL doesn't promise to be as positive.
The bottom line is that the Ravens have a bunch of guys who will take on specific roles and aren't guaranteed to come close to regular must-start Fantasy choices.
Pierce is unowned in 24 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. That number will look like 10-something by Wednesday because someone in every league will take him -- and rightfully so since he has the most appeal.
Forsett is unowned in 100 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Those who had Rice on their rosters should make a bee-line for Forsett, if only as a short-term band-aid. Whether you have Pierce or not, use your first waiver claim. If you have FAAB dollars, spend around 30 percent of your budget if you don't have Pierce and maybe 15 percent if you do.
That's because smart Fantasy owners who don't have a horse in the Ravens backfield shouldn't race to waivers or spend big FAAB bucks on Forsett (Pierce is a different story). He's not a bad pickup but there might be some better choices such as Terrance West, just to name one.
Taliaferro is worth keeping an eye on and potentially adding in leagues with very deep rosters (18-plus spots). The worse Pierce plays, the more likely Taliaferro will get an opportunity down the line. And for whatever it's worth, Taliaferro is the only back on the roster drafted by the current Ravens offensive brain trust. Also, Gary Kubiak has a good track record of making his run game work with unknowns (he unearthed Steve Slaton and Arian Foster, after all).