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Saturday 23rd Sep 2017

Well, a third week in the NFL season and it seems like things are even more uncertain than ever.

The Bengals went to 3-0 while the Ravens went to 0-3 for the very first time in their existence in a game that was one of the more exciting contests.

Once again, a cluster of names unfamiliar to the NFL mainstream made headlines, for while Carlos Hyde was the next big RB thing after Week 1, and Matt Jones following Week 2, this last Sunday the Falcons' Devonta Freeman banged out 141 rushing yards, good for three TDs, and caught all five passes Matt Ryan threw his way for 193 total yards. 

Across the line, Joseph Randle also bagged three scores with just 87 yards as Dallas put out an early lead over the Falcons but were pretty much destroyed over the second half, meaning Matty Ice and his mates are also 3-0.

This suggests that the Falcons are for real, but also that the Cowboys, sans Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, are seriously vulnerable. Randle still becomes a decent play as Dallas has a great line, but I think Randle makes an iffy play in any contest involving points. If Brandon Weeden is forced to throw because his team is stuck in catch-up, that means Randle's touches will decrease. Couple that with the three scores were good, but the modest 87 yards suggests caution until Romo and Bryant return.

If there was a lesson, however, it was to trust your stars. Andrew Luck iffy, yes, but he threw a pair of scores and 260 yards and he will get into a groove, just like Adrian Peterson and his 126 yards and two scores. A.J. Green and Julio Jones had killer games, as did LeGarrette Blount and all of his Patriot mates. 

 As the season progresses, and teams and players get into their groove, the studs on whom we depended upon on draft day are the ones we need to trust and depend upon week-to-week, irrespective of a game here and there.

This was another rugged week for signal callers with Ben Roethlisberger being the latest injury, and Colin Kaepernick the latest to really live down his Week 1 hype with four picks--two run back for scores--giving him 67 yards of passing. The Niners QB did bag a rushing score and his legs make for an always interesting play, but something bad is happening in Levitown.

However, Luke McCown and brother Josh McCown had solid games, making them better potential bench gambles than Roethlisberger's back-up, the infamous Michael Vick. He does still have some legs, but he is not even close to the passer Big Ben is while the McCown brothers comported themselves with Josh throwing for 341 yards and Luke 310.

It does become tough, though, with players like Kaepernick and Hyde and Jones, who have a big week, then struggle, as how and when to play if they are on your regular season roster is the challenge. In DFS, they can be interesting crap shoots, but for now, on struggling teams, pass.

Finally, after my depressing Week 1 faith in the disappointing Raiders, the Oakland kids have come back with a pair of wins. True, they were against teams apparently even weaker than the Raiders, but the skill I saw in the troika of Derek Carr, Latavius Murray and Amari Cooper, has certainly been validated during those games.

For now, they are again good plays in my view. Carr is a great ball handler, and if his team is behind, that means all the more throws to Cooper and Michael Crabtree and ideally lots of numbers, even if the team cannot yet put away an opponent.

But, watch Carr and Cooper: they are both potential stars who will be among the coveted players in drafts as 2016 sneaks up on us.

In other words, I trust them right now almost as much as Luck, A.P. and Julio Jones. Almost. But, getting there.

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