NFL Week 3 Hot Takes
Howard Bender gives you the hot takes rundown from all the action fantasy football owners saw during Week 3 of the NFL season.
Just because it’s your first reaction doesn’t mean it’s an overreaction, does it? There’s nothing wrong with going with your gut instincts, right? Okay, maybe in some cases. In others, not so much. After everything that went down in Week 3…and believe me, it’s a lot…it’s time for some hot takes. Some may be considered sensible. Some may not. But what’s most important is that you’re paying attention to everything going on and already starting to think about Week 4. No, not your lineup decisions, stupid. How to react to the news and how you prep your waiver claims as you look ahead.
Let’s take a look at what went down:
Jimmy Grapes Sleeps with the Fishes…and so do the 49ers
First off, Hot Take No. 1 – How much of a douche does the 49ers team doctor look like with that stupid look on his face? What are you smiling at, jackass?
Now the rest…
Easily the biggest news of the week as the 49ers season just went down the drain. Attempting to extend a play and grab a few extra yards, Jimmy Garoppolo caught the ground awkwardly and saw his foot plant while his knee twisted. It was the exact footage of a non-contact knee injury you’ve seen time and time again that usually results in a torn ACL. He is going to have an MRI on Monday, but you heard it in Kyle Shanahan’s voice during the post-game press conference. He is not expecting to have Grapes…now forever known as Jimmy Legs…on the field the rest of the way.
The 49ers will now have to turn to back-up C.J. Beathard and while Shanahan and the rest of the coaches will put up a front and say they are confident in him, this is not going to go well. Beathard was moderately serviceable during his brief stint as the team’s starter during his rookie campaign, but this just isn’t going to go well over the next few weeks. The team would be best served trying to land a veteran to fill the void for the short-term – cue all the annoying Colin Kaepernick talk – but in truth, no one would blame them for just folding up their tents either having lost their starting running back and quarterback before Week 4 of the regular season.
Patrick Mahomes is Still a Golden God
When will it end? Next week against the Broncos? Doubtful. How about Week 5 against the Jaguars defense? Week 6 against the Patriots? How about never? Through three games this season Patrick Mahomes has 13 touchdown passes to zero interceptions. He’s breaking NFL records and all sorts of hearts around the NFL as Andy Reid finally has the weapon he’s coveted since the days of coaching Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. Fantasy pundits everywhere are screaming sell-high, but should you? What would you expect in return? If standing next to you was Zeus holding a thunderbolt, would you get rid of him or would you use him to annihilate your competition? Well, before you get all crazy, let’s just remember how deep the quarterback position is and if someone is willing to give you the sun, the moon and the stars, you cannot be blinded by this early run of games. And besides…aren’t we all just waiting for Reid to find a way to screw this up anyway?
Andrew Luck has No Arm
For all those truthers out there, if you didn’t see the end of the Colts game, then you need to google that crap right now. On the final play of the game, with the Colts needing a Hail Mary tossed about 40-50 yards downfield, head coach Frank Reich pulled Luck from the field and sent out Jacoby Brissett . If that’s not telling you something about Luck’s arm-strength, or lack thereof, then you’re just plain blind and stupid. If that’s the case, take a look at the raw numbers. Before the injury, Luck was averaging over 12 yards per pass. Since returning this year, the average is under seven. Stop saying he’s back and stop saying he’s fine. He is nothing more than your average quarterback these days and anyone telling you he’s fine is lying to you and themselves. I’m not saying he’s done playing football. I’m just saying he’s more Alex Smith right now than he is Patrick Mahomes .
The Patriots are a Dynasty No More
Well, well, well….look who’s sitting at 1-2 right now. You know, if we were to employ the transitive property of mathematics, we could say that if the Jets beat the Lions and the Lions beat the Patriots, the Jets will beat the Patriots and that would certainly put an end to their reign as auto-champs of the AFC East. OK, fine, we won’t get too crazy here, but the Patriots certainly didn’t look like their usual selves during the Sunday night loss and former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who now coaches the Lions, certainly looked like he had Tom Brady ’s number. Perhaps he knew the hand signals?
The Patriots offense looked completely out of sync and failed to build up any momentum. Blame the lack of receivers, because that was certainly a contributing factor. The only healthy wideouts on the roster last night were Phillip Dorset, Chris Hogan and Cordarelle Patterson. Not exactly the most intimidating group and you could see that Brady struggled to connect with them throughout the game. Patricia also took Rob Gronkowski out of the game with his coverage schemes so Brady was truly a man alone on an island. The passing game was shut down, the ground game did nothing of consequence and Brady’s numbers made him look more like Mike Brady than Tom. If Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman don’t inject some life into this offense, it’s going to be a long season.
Kerryon Johnson is the New Barry Sanders
When Kerryon Johnson picked up his final few yards to push him past the century mark, he became the first Lions running back to rush for over 100 yards in 70 games. Yep, 70. The last time the Lions had a 100-yard rusher was Thanksgiving 2013 when Reggie Bush rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown. After the Browns had beaten the Jets on Thursday, it was the longest, most dubious record in need of a thrashing. While it’s nice, in this pass-happy NFL, to have a guy like Matthew Stafford at the helm slinging the rock, it’s really no secret that a strong ground game is the foundation upon which successful offenses are built. Now we just have to see if Patricia is going to recognize the efforts of his running back and continue to feed him the ball. He’s no Barry Sanders, but they didn’t draft him in the second round to give him just 10 carries per game.
Just when you thought the Falcons offense couldn’t use a new weapon…BAM!!! How ‘bout that Calvin Ridley kid? What an insane breakout, right? My hot take actually doesn't have anything to do with Ridley's talent level or what we saw from Julio Jones . It has to do with me and how I missed this opportunity to feed you the proper intel to win at DFS yesterday. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking they were some crazy, genius for calling out Ridley's name this week. The fact of the matter is this -- Julio was sidelined from practice all of last week with a calf injury and there were major concerns as to whether or not he would finish the entire game. So who was Matt Ryan focusing on in practice? Who was he throwing the ball to? Who's routes was he watching more closely in practice? As the Falcons prepared themselves for a major shootout with the Saints, it was Ryan and Ridley all week. Maybe my head was too far up my ass with running back news and hopes for Latavius Murray , Matt Breida and Corey Clement that I completely overlooked this match-up when constructing the Playbook and Optimal Lineups. It's not that I want to take anything away from the rookie's performance. It's that I want you to know you'll be getting these breakout calls from me a lot more this season. This was a drop on my part and it will NEVER happen again.
The Vikings Got Pants’d on the 50-Yard Line at Home
Is there a better way to equate what we just saw on Sunday? The Vikings were that little nerdy kid standing in front of the entire school at the pep rally and the Bills were the football team who snuck up behind him and pulled his pants down in front of the world, laughing hysterically while pointing to his exposed and tiny, little penis. What an embarrassment. Clearly the Vikings weren’t taking their opponents too seriously and they got punched in the mouth every step of the way. Josh Allen looked like a combination of Johnny Unitas and Knute Rockne out there, slinging the rock, hurdling his would-be tacklers and doing some end zone dancing, not one, but twice. From a fantasy perspective, the Vikings had Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph looking decent, but Cousins’ number were pedestrian, Latavius Murray didn’t do squat and the defense was a joke. You can throw around the “any given Sunday” cliché all you want, but we’re still not buying the Bills. Of course, we’re no longer buying the Vikings either with a performance like this, so it’s time to find a new favorite for the NFC Championship.
The Jags Offense are a Bunch of Jags
Really. Is there any excuse for what we just witnessed? If there is, I don’t think anyone wants to hear it. Fantasy owners got douched with the early-morning news that Leonard Fournette wasn’t going to play, we had to try and figure out if T.J. Yeldon ’s ankle was going to be healthy enough to use him and everyone was throwing down a play-on-words for Corey and Carey Grant. What we should have been focusing on was just how bad Blake Bortles can be. There’s a reason when you say his last name that it sounds like your vomiting up last night’s tequila shots. The defense was fine as they held the hapless Titans to just three field goals, but this offense looked atrocious. Maybe they got out-coached, but whatever the case, this was an inexcusable loss and an affront to anyone in fantasy who ridiculously stands by this club and says they’ve got value. Gross!
The Seattle Seahawks are still as bad today as everyone thought they were. What everyone needs to get through that thick candy-shell around their brain is that the Cowboys are even worse. A win over a Giants team that lacks an offensive line does not put them back on the map. In fact, they’re not even on the same map as the rest of the NFL. They’ve got Ezekiel Elliott and that’s it. Nothing else.
A one-legged Aaron Rodgers is not better than most two-legged quarterbacks. Let’s put the myth to bed, shall we? For as long as his knee is going to be a problem, that is how long the Packers are going to struggle. Yes, even when they realize that Jamaal Williams stinks and they should be running Aaron Jones every chance they get.
The Cardinals still stink and David Johnson is going nowhere. Sure he caught a random touchdown pass and sure, we’re all going to get a closer look at Arizona’s savior Josh Rosen , but that doesn’t take away the fact that this offensive line….and well the entire offense for that matter…stinks.
The Miami Dolphins deserved to lose this week and shouldn’t be trusted moving forward. A couple of gimmick plays were the Raiders undoing, but that won’t take the rest of the league by surprise anymore. If Adam Gase hasn’t learned by now that he needs to feed the Drake, he never will and this 3-0 Miami team is going to come crashing back down to Earth like a fiery comet. Until Gase can remove his cranium from his posterior, no one should love the Drake.