Week 3′s Thursday Night Football tilt promised the same high scoring, action packed fantasy performances that week 2 promised, yet this one delivered…well, one team did. While this game didn’t have the Cutler meltdown flavor of week 2, the Giants’ performance made this installment of Thursday Night Football tolerable even if the Panthers looked like half eaten, warmed over cat vomit. Though the game was severely lopsided, there were numerous notable performances, headlined by Ahmad Bradshaw’s (and his owners’) worst nightmare…
Andre Brown: If your week 3 waiver claim or stack of FAAB dollars earned you Andre Brown, then hop in your Prius and do some donuts on your front lawn. At least fire the cork from a cheap bottle of champagne off your living room ceiling, come on! Brown looked incredible from the start of Thursday night’s game and never let up, turning 20 carries into 113 yards (5.7 ypc!) and 2 touchdowns. Brown even kicked in 3 catches in the passing game to add a nice light layering of sprinkles on this rich fantasy cake. If you own Bradshaw, your running back may be returning to a time share. If you own Brown, keep enjoying the gravy train and hope that Bradshaw takes an extra week or two to heal his neck. Either way, Brown will be a contributor from here on out.
Cam Newton: Cam did mash one touchdown in from the goal line, but his passing stats left a LOT to be desired. 242 yards and 3 picks for Newton on the night, as the Panther offense looked terrible until garbage time rolled around and spewed out some fantasy points. The read option lacked some punch with Williams and certainly did with Tolbert in the backfield. Hopefully the return of Jonathan Stewart will provide a more potent running attack, which should springboard the Carolina passing game. Don’t make any drastic moves with Cam, games like this happen.
Eli Manning: Eli really looked like a professional in this one, as he led the Giants to a victory in easy fashion. Manning didn’t explode with fantasy points, but his 77% completion percentage and 1 td/0 int performance was yet another reminder of how steady this quarterback has become.
Ramses Barden: This moose (6’6”/224) filled in admirably for the injured Hakeem Nicks, racking up 138 yards on 9 catches and was seemingly in Eli’s sights on every important passing down. Unfortunately, Barden’s shelf life will be short, as Nicks will presumably return in week 4. If you are in a very deep league, hold him, but otherwise attempt to dump him in a trade, quickly.
Martellus Bennett: It’s official. The Black Unicorn is here to stay and will be proudly prancing around in fantasy leagues for the remainder of 2012. Prancing may be an odd word choice for a guy who looks as mean as Bennett, but this tight end is for real and Manning obviously loves looking for him in the redzone. If you waited on a tight end, enjoy Bennett. If he is the backup to your Gronk or Graham, get your trade on, son.
Greg Olsen: Olsen was the only Panther receiving target that was involved throughout the game and didn’t beef up on garbage time stats. This was an encouraging performance after Olsen posted a 1 catch, 13 yard effort in week 2 and he will continue to be a lower end TE1 at this point.