It was a wild week three in the National Football League.’ We saw the lowly Detroit Lions win for the first time in 17 consecutive games. We saw old man Brett Favre throw a game winning Hail Mary for the Minnesota Vikings to beat the 49ers. We also got to witness Michael Vick’s debut for the Philadelphia Eagles, which is the first time he has played football in more than two years. The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburg Steelers 23-10 at Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since 2001.
We will now discuss those players who had good games, bad games and those players who got hurt with the good, the bad and the ugly. The Good: Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew showed the fantasy community why he was one of the first running backs selected this year. Jones-Drew ran for 119 yards and scored a remarkable three touchdowns. He also added 28 receiving yards, as he led the Jaguars to a 31-24 victory against the Texans. It is games like this that show why Jones-Drew is as solid of a fantasy back as you are going to get. You should start him always.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was a touchdown machine Sunday night against the Cardinals. Manning threw for 379 yards and four scores. Manning is one of the top three or four quarterbacks in the NFL. You should obviously start Manning every week. Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss had a big game Sunday against the Lions. Moss caught 10 passes for 178 yards adding a score. According to www.cbssportsline.com, Moss has a total of 219 receiving yards this season, so this game was clearly a breakout performance. Moss is a dynamic receiver and a decent option for next against Tampa.
New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas had a very good game Sunday against the Bills. Thomas, who had missed the previous two games with a knee injury, ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas is sharing carries with Reggie Bush this year but since he will take the majority of the carries he should still be looked at as a solid fantasy starter. Favre threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Viking wide receiver Greg Lewis caught Favres 32 yard pass as time expired. Forty-year-old Favre looked like the Favre of old on Sunday. He is a solid number two fantasy quarterback and should even be considered a good starting option when the match-ups are right. The Vikings play Farve’s former team the Green Bay Packers next week. The Bad: San Francisco 49ers stud running back Frank Gore got injured on his very first carry of the game Sunday playing at the Metrodome. According to www.cbssportsline.com, Gore suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least two weeks with this injury. If you are a Gore owner, you need to pick up rookie Glen Coffee immediately. Coffee is expected to take over for Gore while he is hurt. If you do not have sufficient running backs on your bench you may even want to consider starting Coffee next week vs. the Rams who will struggle to defend the run which makes Coffee an option.
Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith left Sunday’s game against the Redskins in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, after running for 100 yards for the first time this season. The Lions do not know the extent of the injury. If you are a Smith owner you should monitor his progress before you decide to start him week four against the Bears.
St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger suffered a bruised right shoulder in week three against Green Bay. Bulger left the game early in the second quarter, according to www.cbssportsline.com. It is still unknown whether or not Bulger will play week four at San Francisco.’ Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington also left Sunday’s game against San Diego. It is not known how serious Pennington’s injury is.
As expected, San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlison (LT) missed week three vs. Miami. The Chargers play a tough Pittsburg defense next week and have a bye week five, so the Chargers may just wait until week six to activate Tomlison, according to www.cbssportsline.com. If you are a LT owner you pretty much have to wait this one out. The Ugly: Reality TV star, Hollywood diva and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens went without a catch Sunday for the first time since his rookie season. Owens ended his streak of 185 consecutive games with a catch. This is obviously a disappointment for fantasy owners but Owens will most likely start a new streak next week against the Dolphins. Owens is in a new offense this year with the Buffalo Bills but he is still a very solid fantasy receiver. You should start him always unless he starts to have games like this more often.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees did not have his greatest game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Brees threw for a season low 172 yards; he also failed to throw a touchdown for the first time in 12 games according to www.cbssportsline.com. Brees will have games like this every now and then. After all he is only human. Brees is arguably the best quarterback in the game. He should always start for your fantasy team because any given week he could explode for six touchdowns.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback situation is ugly: Howard Stern Ugly. First year Browns coach Eric Mangini benched starting quarterback Brady Quinn in favor of Derrick Anderson Sunday after Quinn only threw for 34 yards and an interception Sunday at Baltimore. Mangini will wait a couple of days before he announces who will start week four vs. the Bengals, according to www.cbssportsline.com. If you are an owner of Quinn or Anderson you should probably look for other options at the quarterback position. ‘