Originally posted on The Fake Football  |  Last updated 9/27/13
Week 3 came and went, and unfortunately for the both of us, Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton both let fantasy owners down who were expecting a big day. In fact, they nearly finished with identical totals, as Tannehill posted a 236/2/1 stat line along with 7 rushing yards and a lost fumble, while Andy Dalton finished with a meager 235/2/1 with an added 5 rushing yards and a lost fumble. A few lousy yards gave Tannehill the better output (by less than half a point), so it looks like I won from a numbers standpoint, but this was more of a draw. Tannehill’s day was saved by a comeback drive in the final quarter to give the Dolphins a win, while Dalton was erratic and inconsistent in an upset over Green Bay. Follow @Joe_Siniscalchi Follow @AnthonyOlivetti   JS: My Candidate For Week 4: Terrelle Pryor (vs WAS) Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Tannehill, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco. That’s a list of some of the names that Terrelle Pryor has scored more fantasy points than so far this season. While he has been far from special, from a fantasy standpoint, he’s been producing. He has nearly 200 rushing yards on the season, and surprisingly has only turned the ball over twice through three games. For a team with no offensive line, an ineffective rushing attack, and a dearth of receivers, Pryor has played well. As Denarius Moore’s touchdown vs Denver has shown, this team has some potential to break off a big play or two. While I enjoy Pryor’s skillset for fantasy purposes, I think this matchup makes him a clear must start in all 2 QB leagues. He goes up against a Washington defense that has taken a bigger beating than Rihanna. Washington has allowed nearly 1,000 passing yards through three games, and roughly 1,400 total yards. Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, and Aaron Rodgers all had a field day against the Redskins. I also think this will be a breakout game for RG3, so there could be a bit of a shootout scenario if both defenses struggle. If McFadden runs well, he could set Pryor up for even more big plays. Of course the big thing here is if Pryor will play or not, as he has one more test to pass before Dennis Allen will let him play. It doesn’t seem to be a major problem so far, and if all goes according to plan before Sunday, he has a good chance of playing. If Pryor suits up against Washington, expect him to throw for around 260 yards and 2 TDs, to go along with another 70 rushing yards and a score. In the event Pryor doesn’t play this week, I think Big Ben is a strong start at QB2. The Vikings have been almost as bad as the Redskins, allowing 947 yards through the air through the first three games. Things are looking so bleak, they’ve even promoted a defensive back from the practice squad to the active roster for the game. They’ve also had trouble rushing the passer, mustering up just 4 sacks. The weak pass rush should benefit an awful Steelers line that just lost Maurkice Pouncey to a knee injury. If the Steelers decide to air it out (which they should considering how bad the running game has been, even with the pending return of rookie Le’Veon Bell), look for Ben to cruise to a 300 yard, 2 TD performance. AO: While neither @Joe_Siniscalchi nor myself made a stellar pick last week I have to admit defeat, giving Joe his first victory of the season. Like Joe said, neither Tannehill nor Dalton had particularly good days and they put up essentially identical stat lines. Tannehill just edged out Dalton for points scored, and my dreamlike projected stat line for Dalton fell far short of expectations. With that said it’s time to brush myself off and move on, we still have a long season ahead of us and right now I’m focused on Week 4.   AO: My Candidate For Week 4: Alex Smith (vs NYG) A lot can be said about Alex Smith, both positive and negative. He doesn’t have an arm like Colin Kaepernick, whose success spelled Smith’s demise in San Francisco last season, but he has developed into an accurate passer (he has completed an even 62 percent of his pass attempts since 2009) which helps him compensate. In recent years he has also shown that he can be smart with the football in his hands. From the point that Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach of the 49ers in 2011, his turnovers have decreased dramatically. With that being said let’s look at his matchup against the New York Giants for this upcoming week. The Giants secondary, and their defense as a whole, is plagued by injuries once again. As a result the Giants have given up nearly 37 points per game so far this year. It all came to a head last week when they were shutout 38-0 by the Panthers. Since the Giants defense has been so awful to this point I expect that Andy Reid and the Chiefs will go out and score a ton this week. With only three sacks so far this season they are tied with the Steelers at the bottom of the barrel. This, of course, sets up Smith for a nice fantasy day. Don’t expect gaudy numbers, that’s not in Smith’s repertoire, but I do think that he can exploit the matchups against a badly depleted secondary and hopefully start to click with “star” WR Dwayne Bowe. With the exception of his touchdown total (he’s thrown 2, 2, and 0 in the first three weeks respectively) his statistics have improved throughout all 3 games. His passing yardage has steadily increased, leading to an increased yards per attempt each week. He should be able to bounce back after being held without a touchdown last week and throw for two scores easily this week. Let’s not forget that through three games he has averaged nearly 40 rushing yards per week. Those points add up quickly. I’m expecting 235 yards through the air to go along with a pair of scores, add in another 30 rushing yards and he’ll have himself a good week. I’ll even go so far as to predict that he’ll scamper across the goal line for just the 5th time in his career this week, the guy is due.   JS: The Kansas City Chiefs rank 27th in the NFL in passing yards, ahead of only the Raiders, Jaguars, Titans, Buccaneers, and Panthers). While I do like the Chiefs this season (especially their defense), I think the offense is overachieving somewhat. All it takes is one team to stop Jamaal Charles and force Alex Smith to win the game with his arm and the Chiefs are in hot water. Smith is also averaging just 6.4 yards per attempt, well below the league average. I’m not totally buying into Alex Smith just yet, especially his rushing numbers from the last few games. This game will go one of two ways. The first way is the way is where the Giants pull the typical “we’re backed into a corner and everybody is questioning if Coughlin’s done so we’re going to bounce back” card. Eli and the offense will get it together and the Giants defense will finally start to show signs of life, as they begin sacking the quarterback once again and keeping Smith from getting into a rhythm. The second scenario is the Giants defense is still awful, allowing Andy Reid to just ride Jamaal Charles to a smooth victory. Either way, I don’t think Alex Smith will put up numbers this week that justify starting him over someone who has a matchup like Pryor. Smith should play well simply because he can manage the game so well, but I just don’t think it will always translate to the best numbers for him, even if he gets a juicy matchup like this. Smith should finish with 250 yards and a TD with some rushing yards sprinkled in, giving a decent but not great performance, sort of like Alex Smith’s career.   AO: To this point the Redskins have been awful, and the Raiders have been surprisingly good (by that I mean they aren’t 0-3). And there’s no doubting that Terrelle Pryor has been a huge part of that. But he still isn’t someone that I am going to trust my fantasy fate with, it’s just too early for me. If Pryor plays – and that’s a big if –  he is coming off of a concussion that knocked him out of last week’s game against the Broncos. If he’s smart he’ll limit the risks and hits that he takes in order to protect himself. This would of course mean that his running opportunities would be limited, which of course are his main fantasy asset right now. He’s throwing for an unimpressive 208 yards per game and hasn’t attempted 30 passes in any of the first three weeks. Limit his rushing attempts and you severely limit his upside. Like I said earlier, the ‘Skins defense has been porous this season, but they have faced far stiffer competition than the likes of the Oakland Raiders. All three of Rodgers, Vick, and Stafford have far better options to throw to, and all three teams have far superior men under center. While it is unlikely that the Redskins suddenly figure it out and shutout the Raiders, it is even more unlikely that their abysmal season takes another turn for the worse this week. They should handle the Raiders easily and I expect Pryor to rack up (at most) 230 yards, with one touchdown and two turnovers, a thoroughly unimpressive day for the young quarterback.   The post Take Two: Terrelle Pryor vs. Alex Smith appeared first on Fantasy Football Rankings & more, The Fake Football.
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