Fantasy Football Insider - Week 3

     by Tim Heaney on September 20, 2008 @ 21:05:53 PDT


KFFL's Fantasy Football Insider for Week 3 is here. Each week, KFFL dishes the dirt with our network of insiders with every NFL team. Along the way, juicy tidbits will emerge to help determine your fantasy football team's lineup for the given week. Here are some of the key fantasy football tidbits that came across our desk for the upcoming week....


Running Backs

  • Expect LaDainian Tomlinson's (toe) injury to be a thorn in your sides. Our sources suggest he won't be truly healthy until the team's Week 9 Bye. LT has denied to reporters that it will be a long-term issue, but the slightest kick or bump to the toe could aggravate it. It's hard to count on LT for an entire game at this point.
  • Look for a similar split to what the Chargers employed against the Denver Broncos in Week 2. Darren Sproles could see 10 to 12 offensive touches while also returning kickoffs. Wide receiver Craig Davis will take his place on punt returns.
  • More bad news: Fantasy owners might have all morning to see if they should play "All Day." The Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson (hamstring) is looking like a true game-time decision. "Your guess is as good as mine," KFFL's whisperer said. One thing is certain: Chester Taylor will receive a good share of touches even if AD plays. Fantasy football players should stay glued to their computers and TVs here, with Taylor atop your list of possible list of lineup changes.
  • If Peterson plays, 12 to 15 touches would be a realistic estimation for him.
  • Tim Hightower has continued to plow in short-yardage duty for the Arizona Cardinals, but a straight carry split isn't likely to happen just yet.
  • The Baltimore Ravens appear to be shoving Willis McGahee (knee) out of the picture. The coaching staff considers him a bit of a slouch in the work ethic department, and they're welcoming a future with Ray Rice in the backfield. McGahee didn't help endear himself to the new regime when he worked out away from the team in the offseason.
  • For those desperate for running back depth in a PPR league, the Buffalo Bills' Fred Jackson would fit the bill; Buffalo's third-down back caught seven passes in Week 2.
  • Carolina Panthers update: A near-50/50 split is likely for this week between starter DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
  • Cleveland Browns back Jamal Lewis (ankle) ran into the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers in his first two games while being slowed by a bum hamstring. It's too soon to give up on him despite his health issues.
  • Don't expect the Cowboys to increase Felix Jones' offensive touches with the way Marion Barber III is playing right now. He'll see eight to 10 utilizations but will continue to receive most of his work on kickoffs.
  • Michael Pittman continues to impress the Denver Broncos staff; they're not just giving him short-yardage touches anymore. Fantasy owners should expect a similar blood-curdling touch split between Pittman, Selvin Young and Andre Hall this week.
  • Don't read too much into the Detroit Lions meeting with Cedric Benson and Shaun Alexander. They work out free agents every Tuesday to build somewhat of an emergency contact list, and these two happened to be the headliners this time around.
  • Rudi Johnson should receive more carries unless the team falls behind early once again.
  • Ryan Grant (hamstring) is not 100 percent yet but should see about 18 touches for the Green Bay Packers this week.
  • The Houston Texans should give 10 to 15 touches to starter Steve Slaton, with Chris Taylor backing him up for Week 3.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) and Fred Taylor (toe) should be in the same touch split this week as they appear ready to go for Week 3. Greg Jones could spell them, but it won't be often unless one half of this dynamic duo goes down.
  • It looks as if Laurence Maroney (shoulder) won't go for the New England Patriots this week, meaning ample touches for Sammy Morris with a sprinkling of Kevin Faulk.
  • Look for more from Deuce McAllister (knee) in the New Orleans Saints offense this week; expect a split nearly one-fourth of the total touches for each he and Pierre Thomas while Reggie Bush makes up the other half.
  • Oakland Raiders back Michael Bush has a good chance to start with Justin Fargas (groin) doubtful and Darren McFadden (toe) possibly limited. McFadden likely won't see the workload he put forth last week, but if he breaks a few long runs, they won't hold him back.
  • Seattle Seahawks back Julius Jones could lock down the starting job if he excels in the remaining games that Maurice Morris (knee) will miss. They would still give Morris situational touches in that setup, though.
  • The St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson should see 20 to 25 carries this week.
  • Update in the Tennessee Titans carries race: Chris Johnson is almost lapping LenDale White - not exactly a hard reality task for the former East Carolina University speedster, but White could strictly become a short-yardage and goal line back soon. Situations will still present themselves that require White to receive a greater load. 

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

  • The Arizona Cardinals neutralized the middle of the field in Week 2, negating Miami Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano. The 'Fins will continue to find ways to incorporate him into the offense.
  • Each matchup will determine how the San Francisco 49ers will use Vernon Davis for the near future. He has excelled as a blocker, and he's not a reliable week-to-week offensive force. His goose egg in the receptions column last week and six utilizations this year buttress that claim.
  • Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Gil Haskell credits John Carlson's success in part to his ability to dominate post routes. The rookie, who is leading the Seahawks with 10 receptions, has been compared to former NFL tight ends Mark Chmura, Brent Jones and Keith Jackson.
  • With the attention the Tennessee Titans wideouts received, it could be awhile before Alge Crumpler becomes a fantasy factor. If you have the roster space, be patient if you need a potential impact backup tight end.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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