Week 3: Player Downgrades
A quarterback that came into the 2014 season as a potential sleeper pick, Tannehill is off to a slow start for the Dolphins. Through two games, he is averaging only 209 yards per, has thrown only three touchdowns while tossing two interceptions, and has a completion percentage barely greater than 60 percent. In the Dolphins' 29-10 loss to Buffalo in Week 2, Tannehill was 5-for-16 on third downs. Tight end Charles Clay let some catchable passes slip through his grasp, and the team's top running back, Knowshon Moreno, is going to be sidelined for at least a month with a dislocated elbow. While he was probably drafted as a bye-week QB or as a potential upside pick, Tannehill can't be used until things start to click for him in this offense.
You have to applaud Ellington's toughness. He's playing though a torn foot muscle and gained more than 100 total yards in Week 2, although he caught only one pass and didn't sniff the end zone. Whether he'll be playing behind backup quarterback Drew Stanton or a less-than-100 percent Carson Palmer, the Cardinals' quarterback situation negatively affects Ellington's value. Jonathan Dwyer appears to be assuming goal-line duties, and the Cardinals' next three opponents, the 49ers, Broncos and Redskins, all rank in the top 10 against the run, so don't be surprised to see Ellington's stock could slip a bit in the next few weeks.
After sitting out Week 2 due to a knee injury, it's looking like Martin could return to action Thursday night when the Buccaneers take on the Atlanta Falcons. However, after a game in which backup running back Bobby Rainey totaled 174 yards, there seems to be a chance that Tampa Bay's backfield may become a full-fledged committee affair. At this point, it looks like Rainey is the more explosive and healthier player. So even with Martin back, they should be stealing touches from one another. Suffice it to say, this isn't what Martin owners want to hear. It is, however, what you need to prepare for.
Hurns injured his ankle during the Jaguars' Week 2 loss to the Redskins and was seen leaving the stadium on crutches. Meanwhile, WR Cecil Shorts, who missed the first two games due to a hamstring injury, is expected to practice this week. 6-foot-3 rookie Allen Robinson is healthy and was more involved in the passing attack versus Washington, catching four of his six targets for 75 yards. Fellow rookie Marqise Lee is still regarded by many as Jacksonville's most talented wideout. They can't all play all the time. The one thing Hurns had working in his favor was that head coach Gus Bradley said he would remain the team's No. 2 receiver when Shorts returns. However, that was Saturday, and things change in the NFL quicker than in probably any other sport. Hurns caught only two of his six targets for just 13 yards last week. He has big-play ability but is not someone who should be used on a weekly basis. His numbers from the preseason and the first quarter of Week 1 were probably more of the exception than the rule.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Sanders has started off his first season with the Broncos quite well. He's been targeted nine times in each of the first two games and has totaled 14 catches for 185 yards. However, with Wes Welker possibly returning this week from his suspension -- pending the agreement of a new drug-testing policy in the league -- Sanders figures to lose some of those valuable targets; Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas will still get theirs. The Broncos also have a tough stretch the next couple weeks. This Sunday, they go on the road to battle the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, who will be upset coming off of a loss. Then Denver will play another good pass defense, the Cardinals. Sanders still has value, especially in PPR formats. But where he was a strong WR2 option with Welker out, Sanders drops to a WR3/flex option, especially for the next couple of games.
Prior to the season, Rudolph was viewed by many as a potential top-five fantasy tight end. The downgrade this week has nothing to do with Rudolph. It has everything to do with what the experts who predicted him as such apparently forgot about his quarterback. Simply, Matt Cassel has been awful. After managing a Week 1 blowout win over the lowly Rams, he came crashing back down to earth against the Patriots. Cassel threw four interceptions in the game, which led the home fans in Minnesota to begin chanting for first-round rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. The silver lining for Rudolph is that he has favorable matchups against the Saints and Falcons coming up. The best thing for his long-term value would be a change toBridgewater since rookies have a tendency to lean on their shorter options in the passing game. As long as Cassel is under center, Rudolph's season-long outlook looks less than inspiring.