Matchup meter: Kolb, Greene face forgiving defenses in Week 3
Defensive back DeAngelo Hall did most of the trash talking this week, but it could be Washington's receivers who do most of the celebrating come Monday night. Pitted against archrival Dallas, the Redskins offense will rely heavily on a passing attack that has accumulated 541 yards (11th most in the league) through two weeks.
The Cowboys secondary, meanwhile, has accumulated nothing but lumps. Having faced a pair of suspect starting quarterbacks (Mark Sanchez and Alex Smith), the 'Boys have allowed a combined 92.4 QB Rating. This is not to say Rex Grossman is any better than Sanchez or Smith, although he did throw for four touchdowns in the teams' last meeting (Dec. 19, 2010). And neither of Dallas' starting cornerbacks is 100 percent (both Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins are expected in the lineup Monday).
The real fantasy winners in this contest could be wide receiver Santana Moss and tight end Fred Davis. In his last eight outings against the Cowboys, Moss has an average stat line of 7.1 catches and 98.4 yards. Davis has pushed Chris Cooley aside as the Redskins' top pass-catching tight end. This week Davis is an attractive play based on Cooley's history against Dallas' pass defense, including a combined 11 catches and 142 yards in last year's two contests.
The Seahawks are one of only three NFL defenses to have allowed just one passing score. Call it a misleading stat. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 74.5 percent of their passes against Seattle's pass defense -- the highest percentage against any unit -- and for an average of 8.6 yards per attempt (26th).
The Jets rank a disappointing 28th in rushing offense (73.0 yards a game) after two substandard performances. This week the unit will feast on a Raiders defense that has allowed a league-worst 7.1 yards per carry. Last week, Buffalo's running game generated 223 yards on just 24 carries, as both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller found success.
The Falcons secondary was vulnerable to big plays against both Chicago and Philadelphia. The Bears completed two passes of 50-plus yards, while the Eagles lit up the skies for 314 yards. Through two weeks the Falcons have allowed 9.1 yards per attempt (30th). Opposing quarterbacks have also completed 69.4 percent of their passes.
While the Bills offense has performed above expectations, the run defense has been as bad as everyone imagined. The unit has allowed three rushing scores and an average of 5.0 yards per carry -- and that's from a pair of Buffalo victories. Just think if a team gets out to an early lead and pounds the football to close out the clock. Actually, just wait for New England to do exactly that on Sunday.
The future looks bright for Eli Manning and New York's cast of receivers based on the team's October slate. The present? Not so much. The Eagles have limited a pair of pretty good quarterbacks (Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan) to a combined 361 yards on 35 of 63 passing. And the Eagles pass rush ranks second in sacks (nine).
The Bears will attack the Packers pass defense for two reasons: (1) Green Bay ranks dead last against the pass, having allowed 800 yards, and (2) the Packers do a pretty good job up front of closing off running lanes. Combined, New Orleans and Carolina averaged 3.6 yards per attempt against Green Bay, with just one score on the ground.
As if the absence of Peyton Manning is not enough to handicap the Colts' receivers, this week they face a Steelers unit that ranks fourth in pass defense. True, Joe Flacco made Pittsburgh look foolish in Week 1, but the Colts don't have a Joe Flacco on their roster.
Cedric Benson's pending three-game suspension will be a distraction to the Top 10 fantasy back this week. So will a San Francisco run defense that's permitted just 2.5 yards per carry this season. The 49ers are also one of just four teams not to have allowed a rushing score.