Well, I know there was plenty of outrage from Monday’s Green Bay-Seattle game, and a lot of football fans saying rash things after the replacement referees did a hatchet job, not only on the final play to change the outcome of a game, but a hatchet job all throughout the fourth quarter of that game, and most of the other games from Week 3. I even saw some fan with the audacity to say that they would boycott the National Football League, and all of their sponsors, until the regular officials are brought. Yeah, good luck with that one, chief. We’ve seen these silly rants and boycotts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. make zero dent into companies like BP, or oil companies in general, and any other flavor-of-the-month topic people are against. I can guarantee it won’t make a difference to ‘The Shield’.
But let’s get back on topic, for those of your fantasy football fans who are sticking around. And, you know you are. I could be officiating the games with my four-year-old, and two-year-old (and, we might do a better job, but I digress), and you would still be watching. It’s too great of a game, regardless of the officials, etc.
Tashard Choice, RB, Buffalo: The fantasy value of Choice really hinges on the healthy of Fred Jackson (knee) and C.J. Spiller (shoulder). The latter suffered an injury to his AC joint. Jackson said earlier this week that if he can get back to 70 to 75 percent healthy, he’ll suit up for Week 4. He is expected to be wearing a custom knee brace when he is able to get back to health. Spiller, on the other hand, was hurt last week in Cleveland, and it appeared to be serious. Now, he isn’t ruling out playing Sunday. Choice is worth plucking from the waiver wire and stashing away just in case. Watch for the official injury report to come out Friday before deciding to go further.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis: (On a bye in Week 4) You’ll notice I made mention that Hilton, the speedster rookie out of Florida International University, is on a bye this weekend. That’s actually good news, as he’ll get two full weeks to get even more acclimated after a mixed bag of results through the first three weeks. Fantasy owners had their heads turned by Hilton’s electrifying performance in Week 3 against Jacksonville when he racked up 113 receiving yards and a touchdown. With WR Austin Collie (knee) done for the year, at worst Hilton will be QB Andrew Luck’s third wideout. Hilton and Donnie Avery are jockeying for the scraps left by the resurgent Reggie Wayne.
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh: (On a bye in Week 4) It’s hard to believe, but the Steel City fan favorite is available in about 60 percent of all fantasy leagues despite at least one score in each of his first three games (four total). He was targeted a whopping 10 times in Week 3 at Oakland, and QB Ben Roethlisberger told the CBS Sports TV crew that he wanted to make Miller a Pro Bowler this season. That’s good enough to pique my interest.
Bilal Powell, RB, N.Y. Jets: Powell appears to have forced his way into at least a timeshare for Gang Green, as he essentially split carries down the middle with the enigmatic Shonn Greene in Week 3 in Miami. Powell had a strong preseason, but really fantasy owners were smart to take a wait-and-see approach. First off, people wanted to see if Greene could finally shake his mediocrity label. He hasn’t. And they wanted to see if Powell could carry the mail with the same effectiveness when the games count for real. He has. Right now, Powell is still more of a speculative pick for fantasy owners, but if he gets a shot as the feature back, and runs with it, wouldn’t it be nice to have gotten in on the ground floor?
Seahawks DST: All of that BS aside from Monday’s Week 3 debacle, how impressive did the Seattle defense look against the high-octane offense of the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks pass rush made it look like the Packers had no offensive line, as QB Aaron Rodgers was treated like a ragdoll all evening long. DL Chris Clemons tied a franchise mark with four sacks (all in the first half), and they finished with a total of eight sacks and a forced fumble. They’ve allowed just 13.0 ppg, and they have allowed a total of 176 rushing yards through the first three games.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota: Simpson is eligible to return from his NFL-imposed suspension in Week 4 in Detroit. The Minnesota Vikings offense has been impressive, but QB Christian Ponder has been missing a legitimate NFL downfield threat. With Simpson, he will get that speedburner that the team has been lacking. Simpson is definitely worth a roll of the dice for fantasy owners in need of wide receiver help, but know that it will likely take at least a game or two to knock off the rust.
Golden Tate, WR, Seattle: Again, putting all of the BS aside from Monday’s game, when really Tate should only have had one receiving score, fantasy owners will look at his stat line and like what they see. With the controversial touchdown on the final play of MNF in Week 3, Tate ended up managing the first multi-TD score of his NFL career. Now, he’ll look to build on that ‘success’ in Week 4 against the St. Louis Rams. Tate had the eyes of QB Russell Wilson for a team-high seven targets Monday, and the duo will look to continue building on that success. It’s interesting that approximately seven percent of fantasy owners own Tate, and about six percent started him. That means there were a small smattering of fantasy fans who quieted watched Monday’s game with a little bit of glee for the way the officials mishandled things.
Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami: With the loss of Reggie Bush (knee) to injury in Week 3, it appears Daniel Thomas will get first crack at first-team reps, with Lamar Miller also in the hunt for a bigger role. The thing to remember about the Dolphins is this: Sure, Bush was looking like a top-notch fantasy back, but he also has world-class speed. The fact of the matter is that Miami is not a good team, and bad teams generally get away from the run when they’re repeatedly down in games in the second half. Unless you’re ‘buying’ the Dolphins as a legitimate NFL team (I’m not), then expect no more than 15 carries per game for Thomas going forward. As such, he is best treated as an RB3 or ‘flex’ play in leagues of 12 or more teams.