RAMSES BARDEN A Giant Among Giants

October 01, 2012

When the Giants, looking to replace the rangy Plaxico Burress, took the Cal Poly--San Luis Obispo wideout with a third-round pick in 2009, they envisioned games like last Thursday's. Starting on the outside for an injured Hakeem Nicks, the 6'6", 227-pound Barden caught nine balls for 138 yards, both career highs. Time after time he found himself open against the Panthers as he curled toward the middle of the field, disproving the main knock against him—that he can't create separation between himself and smaller, quicker defensive backs. Barden won't displace Nicks or Victor Cruz anytime soon, but his emergence should provide another weapon for Eli Manning by pushing Domenik Hixon to the fourth-receiver role and sending Cruz to the slot, which makes Barden well worth a pickup.

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ACTION REACTION
After sitting out the last 18 games, Lions RB Mikel Leshoure rushes for 100 yards. Cut Kevin Smith, who got no touches in Week 3 and looks to be no more than a backup.
After a pair of 100-yard games, Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller goes down with a shoulder injury. Buffalo's line is clicking—the Bills are gaining 5.56 yards per run—so grab Tashard Choice (91 yards on 20 runs).
The Bengals feature the Wildcat and generally open up the offense against the Redskins, passing for 401 yards and four TDs. A.J. Green remains elite, but now there's fantasy hope for QB Andy Dalton, TE Jermaine Gresham and undrafted rookie WR Armon Binns.
The always tricky bye weeks begin: The Steelers and Colts are out of action in Week 4. The best QB subs: Dalton (at Jaguars), Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Patriots) and Christian Ponder (at Lions).

RISERS

DANIEL THOMAS

RB, Dolphins

He looked bad on HBO's Hard Knocks but better on Sunday, going for 80 yards from scrimmage and a TD in place of an injured Reggie Bush.

KYLE RUDOLPH

TE, Vikings

The preseason sleeper has three of Minnesota's four receiving touchdowns over the first three games.

KENNY BRITT

WR, Titans

Jake Locker's breakout is a boon to Britt, whose game is rounding into shape (6 catches, 55 yards) after knee surgery and a suspension.

FALLERS

MATTHEW STAFFORD

QB, Lions

He has passed for fewer touchdowns (three) than nonfantasy starters Josh Freeman, Blaine Gabbert, Kevin Kolb and Christian Ponder.

PEYTON HILLIS

RB, Chiefs

Yards from scrimmage for the Kansas City backfield against the Saints: Jamaal Charles, 288; Shaun Draughn, 48; Hillis, 11.

JAY CUTLER

QB, Bears

He failed to reach 200 passing yards in two straight games, during which he has thrown five picks and just one touchdown.

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PHOTOCHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (BARDEN) PHOTOANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (RUDOLPH) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (CUTLER)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)