In the time it took you to read this intro, the Patriots and Bills just scored 14 points. But not all of this week’s winners and losers came from that game. Here is a look at Week 3’s brightest (and not so bright) stars.
Winner: Joe Flacco
The leading fantasy quarterback this week? Do not be surprised that it was Flacco, who had three touchdowns and 389 passing yards. The most important statistic was that Flacco did not throw an interception, which moved him well ahead of Tom Brady, who had four.
Loser: Philip Rivers
There were concerns that Rivers could have a bad day because the Chargers were going to get out to such a huge lead that the team would just end up running the ball a ton. Nobody imagined that the Chargers would be in a close game and Rivers would only produce 6.44 fantasy points.
Winner: Darren McFadden
Scoring 29.80 fantasy points is rather impressive, but consider that he did it against the once-vaunted Jets defense and those numbers are absolutely mind-boggling. And another case study as to why you never sit your fantasy studs.
Loser: Michael Turner
And then Turner went ahead and proved that maybe you should sit your fantasy studs at times. Maybe it is time to move Turner out of the fantasy-stud class, and go with nice running back. Either way, this was a tough one to take for fantasy enthusiasts playing Turner.
Winner: Ryan Mathews
This was the game that many expected from Mathews last year, after the Chargers moved up in the draft to select the back. Consider this a look into what is expected to come in the future for Mathews. Oh, that Mike Tolbert era was nice, but now is Mathews time.
Loser: DeAngelo Williams
This will likely be a topic debated for a long time, but why exactly did the Panthers give all of that money to Williams this year? Not only did he have a bad game, he just seems to be taking touches away from Jonathan Stewart, who looks like a better option.
Winner: Wes Welker
If you followed our NFL Network draft, I was absolutely morose to be stuck with Welker this season. Not as morose as I was to start Fred Jackson in the flex over Welker, but bummed. Trust me, Welker is going to be starting every game from here on out. (My other receivers were Larry Fitzgerald and Kenny Britt.)
Loser: Hakeem Nicks
Where was this guy in the Giants' big win? It was Victor Cruz - the preseason darling - who grabbed all of the fantasy points. Don't worry, though, the Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills loom on the horizon, so Nicks will be getting you plenty of points.
Winner: Jermichael Finley
You would figure that it would take a herculean effort to knock Rob Gronkowski out of the top spot of fantasy tight ends, and Finley did just that with three touchdowns. This is the kind of performance that everybody has been waiting for.
Loser: Dallas Clark
The most popular question about Clark has been this - when do we drop him? Well, we have held on to Clark this long, so we might as well take another week to see what kind of chemistry he has with QB Curtis Painter. No, I cannot believe that I just typed that last sentence.
Winner: Jason Hanson
When it comes to fantasy starters, always play your Lions. Even the team's kicker led the way with 16 fantasy points. You don't expect your kicker to win you the week, you just ask him to not lose it.
Loser: Josh Brown
Speaking of losing a week, Brown managed just one point as the St. Louis football club managed a single touchdown. Wasn't Baltimore's defense supposed to be vulnerable to the pass? Wasn't Sam Bradford supposed to be good enough to at least get his team into position for field goals? Some fantasy advice seems so sound, but just blows up in your face.
Winners: Ravens defense
Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Ravens defense. Coming off a disappointing start just a week ago against the Titans, the unit was strong on the road at St. Louis, giving those fantasy enthusiasts who panicked and picked the squad in the fifth round some much-needed points.
Losers: Jets defense
First, how is the NFL having a lung epidemic? First it was Tony Romo, and now Antonio Cromartie has a lung injury. And the second is just how did a team led by Jason Campbell just torch the Jets? What is going on here?