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Fantasy football Week 3: Inside the Numbers

Week Three is here, and scoring is the topic of the day for Inside the Numbers. Okay, maybe just the lead topic. But let's get something off the collective chest about this whole scoring deal and everyone going all kittens and rainbows about offensive output.

You'll see some facts and figures showing that more points have been scored through the first two weeks of the NFL season than ever before. In fact, the 1,556 points tallied through two weeks surpassed the previous ALL-TIME high of 1,502 set way back in 2011. Big whoopee. You think rule changes that solely favor the offense have anything to do with that? (I do, and I think that's the only reason.)

That said, let's not get all hot and bothered and rub peanut butter on our chests about this. First off, Houston has only been in the league since 2002, so, basically the 16 NFL games played per week has only been going on for about a decade. One extra game makes for more scoring. Secondly, a staggering 17 defensive and special teams touchdowns have occurred already, which would average out to 136 for the season. Only 114 such touchdowns were recorded last year.

Now looking to Week 3, let's take a glance at Thursday Night's 33-7 Giants romp as well as nine quick-hitter statistical thoughts to help you determine what the heck is going on in the NFL.

1.Cam Newton threw three more interceptions Thursday Night. The Panthers are now 1-12 when Cam-chise has a turnover.

2. For as little as the Texans and 49ers are expected to pass this year - neither are in the top half of the league in pass attempts - they lead the AFC and NFC, respectively, in drops. San Francisco's run-first, play defense second methodology has still suffered through a league-worst NINE dropped balls.

Perhaps running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate will get even more carries in Denver, as would-be Texans wideouts have already let eight balls hit the floor.

3. Speaking of Foster and Tate, don't expect giant numbers from those two, or an automatic win in Denver for the Texans. Through two games the Broncos are allowing a miniscule 2.63 yards per carry.

4.Cowboys "playmaker" Dez Bryant has had almost twice as many games with 40 receiving yards or less (10) as he has with 80 yards or more (6). What a big-time wide receiver.

5. Tennessee has completed four passes of 20 yards or more, tied for third-worst in the NFL. Detroit has allowed the fewest such completions in the NFC with three.

Good luck going vertical, Jake Locker.

6. Chart of the Week...

As good a quarterback as Ben Roethlisberger is, and considering his solid overall numbers (520 pass yards, four touchdowns), the Steelers offense is the worst in the NFL in three-and-out percentage. Simply put, the percentage of drives resulting in three drives and a punt. Take a look at the worst offenses in this category:

Notice that three of the above teams like to run the football with a premium running back. (C.J. Spiller, Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson.) Unfortunately, trying to get those guys going in games can often result in punts. Also, their combined record is a woeful 2-6.

7a. Speaking of running the football, Seattle does it the most...thus quarterback Russell Wilson is not likely to put up big-time numbers anytime soon. The Seahawks are running the ball a staggering 55.6 percent of the time.

b. You know who's second? Washington, with a 55.4 percent run-pass ratio. And yet, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has 20 of the team's 72 runs - the impetus for much of his production (124 rushing yards and two touchdowns).

c. Griffin has rushed for 49 yards more than Chris Johnson (21) and Darren McFadden (54) combined.

d. Washington has run the football nearly twice as many times as its opponents through two games, 72-37.

e. The Redskins face the ailing Bengals, who are giving up a whopping 5.48 yards per rush, worst in the AFC.

8.From the desk of stat man Bill "Sudsy" Sudell...Drew Brees has averaged 329 yards passing per game with 32 touchdowns in his last nine home games. He's only been picked eight times in that span. (in case you're thinking about sitting him in your fantasy league, bear in mind that his opponent - the Chiefs - have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.)

9. Three Thoughts from...

...the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are allegedly a pushover matchup, but there's a reason they leaped in the Power Rankings this week. Well, at least this team is pretty solid on the defensive side of the ball.

i. Miami leads the NFL in allowing the fewest yards per rush at 2.16 (good luck, Shonn Greene).

ii. No dice inside the 20. Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer's Dolphins defense is allowing 1.56 yards per play in the red zone.

iii. Opposing Offenses are converting 27.6 percent of third downs against Miami. That's miniscule.

So, are we sure the Jets defense is the better one in this Week 3 matchup?

10. In case you missed it from that barnburner of a Chiefs-Bills game, nearly half of Dwayne Bowe's 102 yards and both of his touchdowns came with under eight minutes to play in a 35-3, and then 35-10, ballgame. Great for fantasy (especially with the hemorrhaging Saints defense on the horizon), not so great for Chiefs fans.

Bowe lives in that spot in the universe where fantasy and reality don't meet.

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