Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 9/26/12

Week 3 was crazy.

From the frenzied finish in the Detroit-Tennessee game to the inspiring performance of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, this past week of NFL football had it all … plus the debacle that was the end of the Seattle-Green Bay Monday night game.

Jamaal Charles showed he’s back from his injury; Eli Manning and his receiving corps put up some gaudy numbers; A.J. Green had a heck of a day (9-183-1); and the Matts (Ryan and Schaub) stayed undefeated.

On the other side of the coin, the third week of the season was not as friendly, from a fantasy perspective or in real life, for a couple of high-round draft picks.

Cam Newton struggled in prime time; Trent Richardson couldn’t get going against the Bills; and Rob Gronkowski got bullied by Ray Lewis and the Ravens. And then, for the third straight week, there was a pitiful performance from Chris Johnson.

CAM NEWTON

The fact that Newton struggled against one of the league’s best defenses should not be surprising.

Fear not, Cam Newton owners. A bad day against a great defense is not worth getting too worked up over.

He is a player who, even at this level, can rely on his physical superiority to put up impressive fantasy numbers. But on the same token, he’s only a second-year player who can fall victim to an aggressive pass rush, especially when his receivers can’t get open.

Newton finished with a completion percentage just a hair over 50 (16 of 30, 242 yards), but what hurt his fantasy production were the three interceptions. Some were forced, and the Giants did make a great play on another. But like I said, he’s a young quarterback and these things are bound to happen.

He helped his cause with a rushing touchdown, which you can still count on if and when the Panthers get in a goal line situation.

I wouldn’t get too worked up over a bad day from Newton. Even though his team might not be great, he’s still progressing as a young quarterback and will continue to put up the numbers that you hoped for when using a high draft pick on him.

TRENT RICHARDSON

T-Pain found the end zone in the Browns’ 24-14 loss to Buffalo, but that was largely it for his performance.

He averaged well under three yards per carry, finishing his mediocre day with just 27 yards on 12 carries. Cleveland certainly isn’t great (or even good, really), and days like this will happen with Richardson.

He’s pretty much all that the Browns have in the backfield. They committed a high draft pick on him, and he’s going to continue to get work.

Given that the Browns are pretty terrible, days like this will happen with the rookie. If you drafted him as your RB1, that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but that’s the risk when you slot in a rookie as your RB1.

He’ll continue to progress and adapt to NFL defenses, and will average somewhere in the 70-90 yards per game range from here on out.

ROB GRONKOWSKI

Regardless of the fact that the Patriots have lost a few games, they still have one of the league’s best offenses.

Even with Aaron Hernandez hurt, Tom Brady still has plenty of options, one of those being Rob Gronkowski. That’s obvious. But because that’s so obvious, other teams have keyed in on Gronk to try to take him out of the game.

For the Baltimore defense, the way to do that was unleash Ray Lewis on Gronk and see what happens. The result was just two catches for 21 yards, and Brady only threw the ball to #87 three times total.

On the bright side, Brady still threw the ball 41 times, so that passing game isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In potent offenses, players will have bad weeks, even great players like Gronk. He’s still the best option at TE in the league, so don’t worry.

CHRIS JOHNSON

Tennessee and Detroit were in a shootout this weekend. 85 points were scored, with over 1,000 yards of total offense. Want to know how much of that offense Chris Johnson accounted for? 29 yards.

I’m about ready to throw in the towel on this guy.

Three straight weeks of just pitiful performances are enough to cause concern for any owner, especially on a high-round pick like Johnson.

This week, the Titans travel to face one of the league’s best defenses in Houston. Unless you’ve literally got no better options, introduce Johnson to your bench. If you can get anything worthwhile in a trade for him, go right ahead and do so.

You never know when a running back will hit the wall, but it seems to come eventually for most of them. I’m sure all of Nashville is hoping from a fantasy perspective that’s not the case.

Of course, he could bust off a couple of long TDs at any point, but at this juncture of your fantasy season, I see no way you can continue to trust him.

The post Fantasy Football Week 4 Thoughts on Cam Newton, Trent Richardson, Rob Gronkowski, and Chris Johnson (Again) appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


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