Same deal as below, only this ranking reflects points scored by ALL secondary backs against a defense — not just one. So if we’re talking about the Cleveland Browns, Jamal Lewis counts as the primary back, while Jerome Harrison and Jason Wright both have their stats count as secondary backs. However, there is one caveat. The primary back each game is the one who gets the most carries. So for situations like Jacksonville, if Maurice Jones-Drew has more carries than Fred Taylor one week, he is the primary back. But if Taylor gets more carries the next week, he is the primary back. And so it goes…

vs. No. 2 Running Backs
Eagles 1.65 Giants 0.783333 Eagles 1.483
Giants 2.09 Eagles 1.816667 Redskins 2.8
Cowboys 3.025 Cowboys 2.35 Patriots 3.433
Cardinals 3.85 Falcons 2.9 Cowboys 3.7
Dolphins 4.54 Bucs 3.216667 Giants 4.05
Seahawks 4.65 Cardinals 3.216667 Cardinals 4.483
Bucs 4.76667 Dolphins 3.325 Seahawks 4.65
Patriots 4.9 Saints 4.3625 Ravens 4.675
Saints 4.975 Seahawks 4.65 Bears 5.325
Ravens 5.3 Chargers 5.05 Dolphins 5.35
Chargers 5.375 Jaguars 5.133333 Packers 5.383
Redskins 5.43 Bills 5.45 Chargers 5.7
Jaguars 5.50833 Vikings 5.466667 Jaguars 5.883
Bears 5.93333 Ravens 5.716667 Browns 5.95
Browns 6.1 Browns 6.2 Saints 6.2
Packers 6.25 Steelers 6.425 Bucs 6.317
Vikings 6.25 Titans 6.866667 Broncos 6.925
Falcons 6.5 Patriots 7.1 Vikings 7.033
Titans 7.52 Packers 7.116667 Colts 7.45
Steelers 7.81 Bears 7.15 Texans 8.25
Panthers 8.275 Bengals 7.65 Panthers 8.417
Bills 8.76 Panthers 8.133333 Titans 8.5
49ers 8.89167 Jets 8.7 Steelers 8.733
Bengals 9.06667 49ers 8.8 Chiefs 9.017
Lions 9.5 Redskins 9.375 49ers 9.075
Chiefs 9.8 Lions 10 Lions 9.167
Jets 9.99 Raiders 10.85 Rams 9.6
Raiders 10.43 Chiefs 10.975 Bengals 9.775
Broncos 11.525 Broncos 13.825 Falcons 10.1
Texans 11.8 Rams 16.9 Raiders 10.15
Rams 12.52 Texans 17.125 Bills 10.97
Colts 16.6833 Colts 21.3 Jets 11.93

Week 3 Fantasy Football Notes

September 23, 2008

With Week 3 now in the bank, we can now begin drawing a few conclusions based on some early trends. The big conclusion one fantasy league has caused me to draw is to trust my brain, not my gut. Despite having Michael Turner ranked higher than Jamal Lewis and Philip Rivers ranked higher than Matt Schaub, I ended up with Lewis and Schaub on my squad when the other player was still on the board at the time. So, I guess the lesson there is to trust your work when you actually take the time to do it rather than make rash decisions based more on perceived value of players by the masses. But, at least Schaub is on my bench with Jay Cutler tearing it up. I can’t say the same for my RB situation…


The biggest trends I like to look at involved defenses – who is giving up what to who. Let’s take a look at a handful of defenses and see what conclusions we can draw:


I’ll start with Buffalo. The surprising Bills are 3-0 and a legit contender in the AFC East. Part of the reason for this success lies on the defensive side of the football. Buffalo has given up just one touchdown to a running back this season and feature backs are averaging less than 50 yards per game on the ground through three games. The passing defense has also been good, giving up just a hair over 170 yards per game and only two scores in three contests. However, I’m more sold on the run ‘D’ than the pass ‘D.’ Seattle has proven its ability to run the ball the last two weeks with Julius Jones (I definitely didn’t see that coming), Oakland can pretty much ONLY run the ball, and Jacksonville’s got arguably the best one-two running back punch in the game. Its to the point now where if I’ve got a borderline starter – Edgerrin James in Week 5, for example, he’s not getting in my lineup. The jury is still out on the pass, though. JaMarcus Russell is awful so far, and Matt Hasselbeck had just Nate Burleson to throw to in Week 1. Plus Jacksonville’s not exactly an aerial assault waiting to happen.


On the other end of the spectrum, I’m starting anyone and everyone against the Lions. A non-feature back has scored in all three games thus far, and Detroit has ceded six rushing touchdowns overall. That’s not to mention the 123+ yards per game feature backs are averaging against the Lions. Matt Forte owners should be licking their chops for Week 5…


As for pass defenses, Tennessee has been the cream of the crop thus far with just one touchdown pass allowed and seven interceptions. The talent the Titans have faced at quarterback can be questioned some, but besides a couple of meetings with a hobbled Peyton Manning, old Brett Favre, new Aaron Rodgers and ordinary Derek Anderson, Tennessee simply doesn’t face much that they can’t handle. In short, this team will continue to be a fantasy force that can score points any week.


The Colts fall into the mirage end of this equation, giving up just 149 passing yards per game without a touchdown allowed through three weeks. But I’m not giving Indy a ton of credit for shutting down Kyle Orton and Tarvaris Jackson. David Garrard is a little better, but the Jags were simply too good on the ground in this one. If the Colts continue to put up good numbers against the pass, its only because they are having so much trouble against the run that no one even tries to pass. I expect Schaub, Rodgers, Kerry Collins, Ben Roethlisberger, Rivers, et al to have a bit more success in the coming weeks.


An under-the-radar iffy pass defense resides in Denver, where the Broncos are giving up 326 yards and two scores per game through three weeks despite being undefeated. Those numbers would be even more inflated if not for the Raiders being included among Denver’s three opponents. Tyler Thigpen likely won’t do much next week, but after that you could probably use Brian Griese, Garrard or even Matt Cassell in the coming weeks as emergency starters should you need one.


That’s enough defense for now, I feel like ragging on the Lions. Jon Kitna is getting progressively worse, and Roy Williams has yet to be good. Sure, he caught a touchdown pass in Week 1, but there is plenty to be worried about here. Roy is catching fewer than three balls per game and has yet to hit the 50-yard mark while Calvin Johnson is emerging as the top target in Detroit. Williams has been a must-start receiver the last few years, but if Roy doesn’t do something against Chicago and Minnesota out of the bye week, he’s simply no longer on that list.