Week 3 wasn't big on scoring around the NFL. So that means it was a good week for defensive players, right? Well ... yes and no. There were some solid IDP performances across the National Football League, although they might not have come from guys that were on your roster. But without further hoopla, let's get into it.
Is it getting safer to visit Revis Island? Maybe. At least if the Raiders' game plan from Week 3 turns out to be more than a one-week anomaly. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr wasn't afraid to take his shots at the veteran cornerback. Revis was targeted by the Raiders six times on Sunday with five completions for 63 yards.
It certainly wasn't Revis' best game, but I'd slow down before we decide that the island is open to offensive tourism. In New England's two previous games, opposing quarterbacks threw 10 passes to Revis' side of the field with just three completions for 40 yards. Next week, New England travels to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs and their anemic passing game. If after Week 4 we're talking about the huge game Dwayne Bowe had at Revis' expense, I'll be willing to re-evaluate the situation. But for now, this seems like a case of a player having a down week. It happens.
Regardless, this is a good reminder that Revis' fantasy value doesn't come close to matching what he means to his team on the field. As good as he has been throughout his career, he has rarely been a game-changer from a fantasy perspective. His 13.50 fantasy points through three games is a reflection of that.
Meet Jelani Jenkins
The Miami Dolphins' defense hasn't exactly been as advertised in the past couple of weeks, but there have been a number of individual standouts. The defensive line led by Cameron Wake has made things uncomfortable for quarterbacks in the first three games. But one of the bigger surprises is linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
After seeing minimal on-field time as a rookie last season, Jenkins has had an opportunity to start the past two games and has made the most of it. During that stretch, the second-year player has racked up 20 combined tackles with a safety and 1.5 sacks. In case you're not into math, that adds up to 17.00 fantasy points.
Injuries to Koa Misi and Philip Wheeler helped Jenkins find his way into the starting lineup and he's likely to remain there as long one or both of those players are out of action. In a week with six teams on a bye, it could be worth keeping an eye on the Dolphins' injury report and snagging Jenkins if he has another chance to see significant snaps.
» Last season, Tyrann Mathieu was in the midst of a fantastic rookie campaign when a torn ACL ended his season and landed him on the operating table. His return from the injury has been slow with the young defensive back playing just 20 snaps this season and recently admitting that he's still regaining confidence in the surgically-repaired knee. Despite players returning from ACL injuries sooner than in the past, there is still an extended recovery process that comes with it. It might be a full season before Mathieu returns to his previous form.
» Joe Haden's performance so far in 2014 hasn't been as expected and Browns' coach Mike Pettine is doing what he can to motivate his star cornerback. The high-profile defensive back has been beaten a number of times for big plays, most recently giving up a long catch to Steve Smith to set up Baltimore's win in Week 3. Haden has yet to snare an interception and sits outside the top 50 among fantasy defensive backs. It's a problem for both the Browns and fantasy enthusiasts alike.
» Just in case you haven't had enough defensive back news, Seahawks' safety Kam Chancellor said he mulled ankle surgery after the Week 2 loss to the Chargers. Instead the ankle improved enough for Chancellor to play in the Week 3 win against the Broncos. This is still a situation to keep an eye on. If things regress and Chancellor does opt for surgery, he could be out as much as two months.
» James Harrison is back in Pittsburgh. The veteran linebacker has come out of retirement and re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison played last season with the Bengals, but wasn't the dominant defensive player he had been in his youth. He's likely to see plenty of snaps with Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones out with injury, but don't expect big fantasy production.