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“Amateur Ward” Deep Throat of Defense, Week 3

Roses are red, violets are blue, my first two weeks have been horrible, and I hope yours were not too. Losing because Malcolm Floyd decided to put up a goose egg in Week 2, Yes, Corey you are the luckiest fantasy owner alive from last week, but payback is in order, as I WILL make the playoffs. On to Week 3 where hopefully your team likes you enough to win and not worry about being jacked by a lackluster defense.

One Star Plays

Cameron Heyward (DE/PIT)- This has bad matchup written all over it. The Rams have a solid offensive line, rendering a mere three sacks through two games, and the debut of Todd Gurley could occur this week. Although no fantasy owner should be overly excited about any of their receiving options, nor their offense to date, Gurley should give an underwhelming group of running backs much needed punch as their defense can’t keep the team in competition year round. The question is whether he makes his debut this week or in Week 4? If he does not debut, I would put a little more stock into Heyward’s value, as Foles will need to get rid of the ball quickly or rely on receivers to get open quickly versus a soft Steelers secondary that has already allowed six touchdowns to opposing receivers. Foles has played well in the game manager role for the Rams this season and with a solid offensive line in front of him, it is hard to envision Heyward having a productive game in a tough matchup. (Photo courtesy of pittsburghsportingnews.com)

Jelani Jenkins (LB/MIA)- Ok, I was wrong last week when I predicted the Patriots-Bills game would be a defensive, low scoring game. The Bills can score folks, and they will continue that trend versus Miami this week. Jenkins has been an absolute tackle machine through two games with 23, but zero sacks and extra stats that fantasy gurus look for. The Dolphins have had a ridiculously easy schedule through two games, which is padding their defensive players stats (@ WSH @ JAX, two offenses that are trying to figure things out, but have averaged 142 yards rushing versus Miami this season). Buffalo is no slouch and Miami could be playing catchup, playing their most explosive opponent of the young season. You will get your tackles out of Jenkins, but his production is due to suffer this week, so sit him.

Byron Maxwell (CB/PHI)- If you are in a league that scores passes defensed, you are happy with Maxwell as he is racking up points for you. The reality is he is getting abused by opposing offenses as teams line up their WR1s against him because he is a horrible cover corner, plain and simple. Granted, he was tasked with covering Julio Jones in Week 1 and a very underrated Terrence Williams in week two, but he is liable to get beaten for big plays. Remember Brandon Weeden? Yep, the same Weeden the Browns drafted in first round of the 2012 NFL Draft? He beat Maxwell last week for a game winning touchdown to Williams versus the Eagles in Dallas. This week, Maxwell will likely get to cover Brnadon Marshall with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him, and I’m not thinking Maxwell is going to post any spectacular stats, unless you count getting run over, yet again, by the competition. (Photo courtesy of hngn.com)

Kenny Vaccaro (S/NO)- The Saints are a mess right now, offensively and defensively, and a trip to Carolina is not going to fix those woes. Through two games, Brees has 573 yards passing, but has also been sacked six times, and the loss of Kenny Stills and safety blanket Jimmy Graham looms large. Conversely, the Panthers are not a passing offense, and have limited depth at receiver, leaving Cam and Stewart to move the rock. Do not be fooled. Cam knows how to make timely throws, and while his three to two TD:INT ratio is not pretty, he did account for three touchdowns last week, with 76 yards and a score on the ground on ten carries. Vaccaro struggles against quicker receivers and stopping ball carriers, the latter of which limits his appeal for this week against Cam, who is starting to show signs of his 2011-2013 self. After seeing the Saints exploited by rookie Jameis Winston last week for big plays, Vaccaro will remain a risky play.

Three Star Plays with Upside

Jonathan Babineaux (DT/ATL)- The Falcons defensive tackle is known to be inconsistent, as are most DTs. However, against a Romo-less and Bryant-less Cowboys squad, he makes for a solid play with upside. That leaves Terrence Williams, Joseph Randle, and a fading Jason Witten as the biggest threats on the Cowboys. Weeden will be in his first start for Dallas, meaning he will not have much chemistry with anyone leading on offense, leading to uncertainty and vulnerability. Although Babineaux does not have a sack to date, expect him to record his first of the season this week against a dilapidated Cowboys offense. 

Bruce Irvin (LB/SEA)- Jimmy Clausen will be facing an angry Seahawks defense in Week 3,
and we all saw how pathetic Clausen was last week versus the Cardinals (3.2 QBR). That sets up well for one of the best defenses over the past half-decade plus, especially with the return of Kam Chancellor at safety. The offense will be entirely reliant upon Matt Forte to move the ball with limited receiving options to spread the field with the absence of Jeffery. This gives Irvin a solid baseline play with potential for a nice field day versus a limited Chicago offense.

Michael Brockers (DT/StL)- The Rams defense will be a top 3 defense by season’s end, and Brockers will be good reason why. With opposing offensive lines keying in on stopping Laurinaitis, Quinn, Ogletree, and Donald, Brockers should be presented with ample opportunities at the quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger is not the easiest QB to bring down, but the Rams did start the Seahawks off with an 0-1 record, establishing themselves as a legitimate threat in the NFC West. Despite the return of Le’Veon Bell to the Steelers offense, the Rams defense has proven incredibly tough, and not one to be fooled with. The Steelers are vulnerable to strong defensive lines, as evidenced by Brady’s numbers against the Steelers in Week 1, and a case could be made for the Rams to be the biggest defensive line threat the Steelers have faced this season, leading to more opportunities for Brockers.

5 Star Plays

Kam Chancellor (S/SEA)- He’s back! The Chancellor that is, and he will tee off versus a limited Bears offense in Week 3. Fantasy owners that held onto him through his holdout will be kindly rewarded, as he is a ballhawk and a hard-hitting safety. Those that did not…well..you get what you paid for.

Derrick Morgan (LB/TEN)- There are reports that blame Luck for making the Colts offense worse, but I do not buy it. His supporting cast has undergone significant changes with Reggie Wayne gone and Frank Gore still trying to prove he is the Colts best running option. Yes, the Colts will continue to air it out often as long as the offense struggles, but if they cannot get it done on the ground and fall behind, the Colts do not have an option. The discombobulation of the Colts offense opens up gaps for Morgan to continue his solid season by sacking Luck at least once and wreaking havoc on the Titans offensive line.

Darrelle Revis (CB/NYJ)- It is not often you see a shutdown corner as a virtual must start, but Revis is versus a very error prone Eagles team in New York’s backyard. Bradford is an accurate passer, but looking at the Eagles offense the first two weeks of the season and the dominance of the Jets defense the first two weeks (especially @ IND) leads me to believe that the Jets defense and Revis are about to tee off on the Eagles suspect offense; especially if Bradford plays as poorly as he did last week versus Dallas: a fumble, a sack and two picks. Revis is going to pick off 1-2 passes and have a busy day versus a fast-paced Chip Kelly offense, bank on it. (Photo courtesy of newyorkjets.com)

Standard Leagues

Bucs D/St (@ HOU)- After dominating a lackluster Saints offense in Week 2, the Bucs defense looks to keep the domination up against a questionable Houston QB situation. Speculations are that Mr. Watt could play RB to spark the offense, which would dent the Bucs defensive appeal. But he won’t play main back, meaning the Bucs still have nice appeal in most leagues as long as they do not look like the Saints defense last week in New Orleans. The Bucs defense is definitely a sneaky one to eye heading forward as they look to be a very solid defensive unit as the season wears on.

Cincinnati (vs. BAL)- The Bengals are facing a weak Ravens offense and a defense without Terrell Suggs, meaning that the Bengals can be more aggressive in their play calling on offense and defense. The Ravens rushing game is 21st in rushing and 14th in passing, creating an opportunity for opposing defenses to capitalize on the mediocrity of the Ravens offense and create turnovers. While the Bengals return is not the most lucrative, Adam Jones can occasionally return one to the house.

With Week 3 culminated, hopefully you rip off a streak of consistent wins.

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Major League Fantasy Sports Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday September 27th from 11-12:45pm EST for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. This is a live call in show so feel free to do so at 646-915-8596. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will break down key games of the day and everything fantasy relevant around the league.

Our guests this week are Jeff Nelson and Zak Sauer. Jeff is a defensive coach for White Hall H.S. in PA, a 2 time Major League Fantasy Football champion, and a frequent guest. Zak Sauer is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com, his articles publish every Thursday, and he is the co-host of our Tuesday night show which runs live from 8-10pm EST.
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(Click the BLUE link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Football Weekly: Join Lou Landers and Zak Sauer for Major League Fantasy Football Weekly on Tuesday September 29th from 8-10pm EST. This show is your one-stop shop for a weekly recap and what to focus on for the coming week in fantasy football. We will be discussing key games, and performances from players from the prior week’s games. We will also prepare you for the coming week in regards to waiver wire claims, and a break down of the Thursday night game. This is a live call in show so feel free to do so at 323-870-4395. Press the #1 to speak with the host.Our guests this week are Joe Ciccone, Davin Joseph, and Ryan Bleiweis. Joe is the chief editor with majorleaguefantasysports.com. Davin is a 2-time pro-bowl guard, and first round pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2006. Ryan is a broadcast associate at Rogers Sportsnet in Ontario, CA.

You can also listen to the recorded version of the show afterward if you can not listen live. You can find the podcast on I-Tunes. Search for Major League Fantasy Football Weekly.

I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I'm a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joe Iannone

    September 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I’m disappointed Ben, not only did Lamarcus Joiner only give me 5 points last week after I picked him up based on your article, but when i first saw this article I only saw “Amateur Deep Throat”. Sadly it was about football.

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