Speculation no longer, Bridgewater is taking over in Minnesota.
As always, let’s take a look at who’s below the 50 percent owned in CBS leagues.
Last Week: Cousins, Bridgewater, Manuel
Well, Cousins made it, for one week anyway, and he’s now well owned everywhere (73% and rising). So long, Kirk!
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (12 percent)
From speculation to desperation, Bridgewater is in as the starting QB after Matt Cassel injured his ankle in Week 3. Bridgewater stepped in and averaged 7.5 yards per attempt and tacked on 27 yards rushing. He went from 13% owned to 12% during last week after our recommendation, but I won’t take it personally. He’ll be owned by a lot more after Week 4.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (14 percent)
Bortles looks good at QB…at least compared to Chad Henne. Bortles has good zip on his fastball and touch on the necessary routes. He came into a blowout and made the most of it, averaging a whopping 9.29 yards per attempt. And this with a no-name group of receivers hauling in what Bortles is selling out there. Leagues that heavily penalize for INTs may want to skip out on the rookie, but 2-QB leagues that don’t deduct too much for turnovers should look at Bortles because there will be much passing in Jacksonville, no matter the anonymity of their receivers
But, but, what about?
Austin Davis, St. Louis Rams (2 percent)
We should all be so fortunate to get our first shots at QB versus Tampa Bay and Dallas, which is why the Rams aren’t overreacting and naming Davis the starter the rest of the way. But….I think that the Rams will see that Shaun Hill may not be as talented passing the ball as even Davis. The Rams have already stated Hill will be their starter when they come off their bye week in Week 4, so between the poor defenses and lack of opportunity, at the least in the short term, there are other places to go than Davis.
The Running Backs:
Last week: Rainey, Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson, Donald Brown
Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (37 percent)
Alfred Blue, Houston Texans (43 percent)
Lorenzo Taliaferro, Baltimore Ravens (7 percent)
We touched on Crowell after Week 1 and said that Cleveland fans are reminded of the Earnest Byner/Kevin Mack backfield with Crowell playing the Mack role and Terrance West running as Byner. After two more weeks, nothing has changed. Ben Tate has still been hurt and West/Crowell have run very well. A bye week of rest may provide Tate the opportunity to get back in the lineup, but his availability issues previously as well as this year and the success of the West/Crowell backfield means that in deep leagues, Crowell is worth having as a 10 carry, 45-50 yards and short yardage TD guy.
Alfred Blue got his chance when Arian Foster’s hamstring caused him to be a late Sunday morning scratch. Blue had run well in the preseason and responded to his chance by getting 88 yards on his 14 touches. Foster has also had availability issues, so Blue is an obvious handcuff to Foster owners and a deep roster stash if Foster’s health problems cause long delays in production.
Bernard Pierce couldn’t go Week 3 so Lorenzo Taliaferro had his chance to play Crowell to Justin Forsett’s Terrance West in Baltimore. Taliaferro looked like a Brandon Jacobs redux as a really big back who is quick afoot and landed 18 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Last year Pierce was not very impressive so it’s not a forgone conclusion that Pierce assumes full workload when he’s ready to go again, which makes Taliaferro a good pick as a RB4 or 5 in 12 team leagues based on the plays he can make with the opportunity, which he currently has at least a share of.
All those Reciever type fellows:
Last week: Douglas, James Jones, Quick
Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (39 percent)
Hartline is still a prime target in the Dolphins passing attack, having gotten eight and seven targets the last two weeks. He is not an upside pick, rather, a dependable source of receptions and a solid WR4.
Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (36 percent)
Devonte Adams, Green Bay Packers (13 percent)
On the other hand, Matthews and Adams represent upside, in that Matthews is in a high powered offense, but at a WR3 level on a team with pass catching running backs and two good tight ends. However, should anything happen to oft-injured Jeremy Maclin, Matthews stands in a good place with his solid role production, including an eight-catch, two touchdown Week 3 performance.
Adams had a bigger day in Week 2, but the Packers laid a huge egg in Detroit in Week 3 and Adams suffered the same. Adams, though, has emerged and with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb having some availability issues of their won, Adams is a nice speculation pick as a WR 4 or 5 moving forward, because he’ll immediately jump to WR2 status should anything happen to Nelson/Cobb.