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Fantasy Fix: Trust No One . . . Except Zach Miller And Jordan Howard?

Random observations from a week in which almost everything that was supposed to happen didn't happen:

The Bears were supposed have no hope and no one with fantasy value after two weeks, but Zach Miller and Jordan Howard rewrote the script (well, the fantasy part anyway). Okay, the Bears still have no hope (at all) in the real world of the NFL, but TE Miller racked up 78 yards and caught two TD passes from QB Brian Hoyer in Week 3, while RB Howard showcased his rumbling self by running for 45 yards and posting 47 receiving yards after RB mate Jeremy Langford was injured.

Hoyer is known for throwing to TEs, but even if starting QB Jay Cutler returns this week, a bad thumb may limit him to throwing more safe, short passes (read that as TE target opportunities).

Miller wins either way, even if the Bears lose again - and they will lose again (and again).

Howard wins, too, because he will start for at least a couple games with Langford out, and may do enough to be in the RB-2 discussion going forward.

Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN, was supposed to be bottled up by the stingy Denver defense, but he ran right through it. Hill was rated a definite "SIT" by a lot of fantasy experts going into last week, but the experts and anyone who benched him ended up regretting that within the first few minutes of his outing against the Broncos, when he reeled off a 50-yard TD run.

In total, he ran for 97 yards on 17 carries, and two TDs, which, okay, means he had 16 touches for just 47 yards aside from his big first score. Yet, the Bengals seem committed to giving him the ball at least 15 times per game, and its decent offense still ends up near the goal line frequently.

Hill will get those red zone touches this Thursday night against Miami, especially with TE Tyler Eifert out for at least another week.

Trevor Siemian, QB, DEN, was supposed struggle throwing deep with his hungry WRs, but looked like Dan Marino. My pre-season QB sleeper had been just good enough in the first two weeks to help his team win, without showcasing all that much fantasy value. He also seemed unable to get the ball to talented WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

In Week 3, he posted 312 passing yards, four TDs and no INTs, while feeding his wideouts frequently. He showed a new dimension to his game, though you have to wonder is defense will catch on quickly.

I like Siemian as a non-flashy bye week or injury replacement starter who will get you 10-12 fantasy points, but tough to expect too many weeks like this the rest of the way.

Arizona's vaunted air attack was supposed to bomb Buffalo, but it never got off the ground. After the New York Jets lit up the BUF D in Week 2, ARI QB Carson Palmer and star WR trio Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown had to be salivating, but all four were fantasy busts when the two teams matched up in Week 3.

Palmer had a dreadful four INTs and was sacked five times, and only managed to salvage a handful of fantasy points with 287 yards, a lot of it coming in garbage time.

BUF's D now has nine sacks, four INTs, three fumble recoveries and two defensive TDs through three games, so maybe this one says more about the fantasy value of the BUF D ongoing than it suggests problems with ARI's offense.

Atlanta time-share RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were supposed to neutralize one another's fantasy value, but both excelled against the Saints. If you started to write off Freeman as a wasted early round pick and Coleman as little more than a TD vulture, with both backs mitigating one another's potential fantasy greatness, Week 3 might have changed your mind.

We admit, it is not hard to excel against the New Orleans defense, but this was supposed to be a pass-heavy contest. Well, ATL scored 45 points, but a lot of that was thanks to Freeman's 200+ total yards, including 152 on the ground, and one TD catch, while Coleman racked up three TD runs. Freeman still is slightly out-touching Coleman, and the latter has yet to run for 50 yards in a game this year, but ATL seems attuned to riding both of them.


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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Posted on Oct 11, 2021