Fantasy Football Fun: Week 3

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Bear with me for a second. This is very difficult, so I'm just going to say it and move on.

Bill Voth is in first place. I am in last place.

My fellow scribe gives off the impression that he makes his weekly picks in roughly the time it took to type this sentence. Yet those picks in Week 2 made him the first competitor to top 100 points in a single week and vaulted him to the top of the heap.

The NFL.com scoring system, like NFL general managers, richly rewards quarterbacks, and Ben Roethlisberger's 39-point fantasy day keyed Bill's success. That was true even more so for fantasy football analyst John Halpin, the other competitor to take Big Ben in Week 2 and move into second place overall as a result. Take the quarterbacks away, and Halpin would have been ninth in scoring last week. No one else picked a top-10 quarterback.

But aren't quarterbacks not as valued in fantasy leagues? The answer remains yes. That's because over the course of the season, the 12th-best fantasy quarterback and the top one typically aren't separated by as many points as at other positions, and lower drafted quarterbacks (or even undrafted ones) can more easily sustain as starters. No one in our competition is yet to pick one of the quarterbacks currently in the top three in season scoring – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Patrick Mahomes and Kirk Cousins - until now.

Bryan Strickland
Max Henson
Bill Voth
Jordan Gross
Jim Szoke
Total Pts (rank) 102.56 (10th) 140.22 (7th) 174.04 (1st) 106.16 (9th) 150.08 (4th)
Last week 55.68 (9th) 73.48 (4th) 102.68 (1st) 62.22 (8th) 73.34 (5th)
QB R. Fitzpatrick C. Newton P. Mahomes C. Newton P. Mahomes
RB J. Howard A. Kamara A. Kamara J. Ajayi J. Howard
RB T. Coleman T. Coleman E. Elliott C. Thompson M. Breida
WR D. Funchess D. Hopkins D. Funchess E. Sanders DJ Moore
WR M. Evans T. Hill T. Hill C. Kupp S. Diggs
TE J. Cook G. Kittle O.J. Howard G. Kittle R. Gronkowski
Jourdan Rodrigue
Mike Solarte
Kelsey Riggs
Josh Klein
John Halpin
Total Pts (rank) 123.12 (8th) 140.36 (6th) 155.08 (3rd) 141.26 (5th) 156.04 (2nd)
Last week 44.26 (10th) 65.42 (7th) 70.24 (6th) 76.66 (3rd) 77.48 (2nd)
QB R. Fitzpatrick P. Mahomes C. Newton C. Newton C. Newton
RB A. Kamara C. McCaffrey D. Cook T. Gurley T. Coleman
RB C. McCaffrey I. Crowell K. Drake A. Kamara K. Drake
WR M. Evans S. Diggs T. Hill Smith-Schuster T. Hill
WR C. Godwin T.Y. Hilton E. Sanders E. Sanders N. Agholor
TE R. Gronkowski R. Gronkowski R. Gronkowski G. Kittle G. Kittle

This is a season-long competition, and while I've been pretty terrible so far, I haven't yet used anyone typically taken in the first round of 10-team fantasy drafts. The top three in the standings – Voth, Halpin and WCNC-TV sports anchor Kelsey Riggs - have taken six first-rounders between them.

I'm going to steer clear of first-round types for just one more week, but I will drink the hot quarterback Kool-Aid along with others. Half of the panel is going with either Fitzpatrick (my pick) or Mahomes. The other half is going with Cam Newton as their Panther. The Monday Night Football matchup between the Buccaneers and Steelers feels like it could be a first-team-to-30-wins situation, but with me buying in it'll probably be a 13-10 game.

OK, enough of the self-doubt. I feel good at running back, with Tevin Coleman coming off a rare 100-yard game against the Panthers and getting another start against the Saints, while Jordan Howard and the Bears will try to feast against a Cardinals team off to a slow start.

And here's hoping my slow start begins to turn around. This is the week I start to Cook (yes, I'm starting Jared Cook at tight end).

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