NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Johnathan Franklin, Brian Hoyer and Week 3 Sunday Surprises 

Week 3 in fantasy football was absolutely crazy. I’m not looking forward to seeing how my rankings grade out because it seemed like every player that previously held a low ranking ended up putting up good numbers.

If you spent your Sunday watching NFL football, you were likely just as surprised as myself considering all of the Sunday surprises that came about.

For example, many of us figured that the Seattle Seahawks would blow out the Jacksonville Jaguars, while likely getting a few rushing touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately for Marshawn Lynch owners, he managed just a measly six fantasy points because Russell Wilson felt the need to throw four touchdowns.

After being embarrassed by the Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers came out and looked absolutely awful against the Indianapolis Colts. Let us not forget that the New York Giants were shut out on the road by the Carolina Panthers defense.

Last, but certainly not least, the Cleveland Browns managed to put up their best offensive performance of the season after deciding to start their third string quarterback to replace the injured Brandon Weeden, and after trading Trent Richardson on Wednesday.

Regardless, this week has been a fantasy nightmare for many, but alas, here are the Week 3 Sunday Surprises.

10. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

Coming off of a suspension, things were not looking on the up for Josh Gordon. Despite doing very well in the preseason, his starting quarterback was injured and replaced by the Browns’ third string quarterback.

Going into the game, there seemed to be no hope for the Cleveland Browns offense, but Gordon was a big time play maker in the win over the Vikings.

Gordon put up great numbers catching 10 of his 19 targets for 146 yards and a touchdown, while adding 22 yards on one rush. If you took a chance on Gordon, you were a satisfied customer with 22 fantasy points.

9. Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets

The Bills and Jets got themselves into a bit of a shootout and one of the beneficiaries of that shootout was Santonio Holmes.

The veteran caught just five Geno Smith passes but managed 154 yards and a touchdown scoring a very nice 21 fantasy points.

Those 21 fantasy points were 15 more than he had in his previous two games combined.

8. Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings

If you drafted Adrian Peterson, today was just not your day. Sure AP had a solid 88 yards and a touchdown, but you never want to see your quarterback vulturing fantasy points from the star running back.

Ponder did very little in the passing game other than racking up 228 yards and throwing an interception. But what he did on the ground with two rushing touchdowns and 46 yards was very solid.

The very few of you who started Ponder this week were awarded with a very nice 21 fantasy points.

7. Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

Locker is full of potential and I really have nothing but good things to say about this up and comer. But he has yet to put it all together and only has managed a combined 19 fantasy points after his first two match-ups.

Facing the San Diego defense today, Locker put on a show completing 23 of his 37 passes, throwing a touchdown and then rushing for 68 yards and another touchdown.

Locker is only owned in 1.7% of ESPN leagues, and started in even less. But those few that started him were rewarded with an exceptional 27 fantasy points.

6. Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

The Jets offensively had a very good day, and we are still not done talking about them after Powell had a very solid performance.

Powell did not score a touchdown, but he still rushed 27 times for 149 yards while catching two more passes for nine yards.

Fantasy owners would have preferred that he get into the end zone, but this is surely an encouraging performance.

5. Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers

We had another Ted Ginn appearance in Carolina today when the Panthers threw up 38 points on the Giants defense.

Ginn caught a touchdown pass in week two and put up nearly identical stats in week three.

The whopping 1.2% of Ginn owners were rewarded with 14 fantasy points after he caught three passes for 71 yards, one touchdown and 11 yards rushing.

4. Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets

Smith rebounded very well after a disappointing three fantasy point performance in week two against the Patriots.

Buffalo just could do nothing as they let Smith complete 16 of 29 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns. Oh yeah, Smith also ran for 14 yards and had another score on the ground.

His two interceptions dropped his point total to 24 which is good for one of the best scores of the week.

3. Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns

It’s important to know that Hoyer threw the ball 54 times in a very close win over the Minnesota Vikings.

In the first quarter, Hoyer was flawless and the Browns looked legitimate. The rest of the game was hit and miss as Hoyer proved he was human throwing three interceptions as well.

The good news is that he still threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns which netted him a very solid 18 fantasy points. Not bad for someone that’s owned in 0.4% of leagues.

2. Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

What do Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, RGIII and Aaron Rodgers have in common? They all scored less fantasy points than Seattle’s backup quarterback.

That’s just plain embarrassing if you ask me. The Jaguars were down big which allowed Jackson to make some plays and get some reps in.

Of course, we did not expect him to put up borderline QB1 statistics. After all, he only threw eight passes, seven which were completed.

What made him special this week was that he had a rushing score as well as one in the air, giving him a solid 15 fantasy points. Oh and he’s owned in 0.3% of fantasy leagues.

1. Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers

I was a big Franklin advocate coming out of the 2013 NFL Draft, but when the Packers drafted him and Eddie Lacy, a lot of people were concerned if he would get much playing time.

Well, Lacy started the season and left week two’s match-up with a concussion. James Starks came in relief of Lacy and had a huge game. Starks started week three, only to leave the game early forcing Franklin in the lineup.

Franklin made the most of it rushing just 13 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. He also added three catches for 23 yards. Unfortunately, he fumbled in the fourth quarter that was recovered for a Cincinnati touchdown which forced the Packers into a loss.

Still, Franklin ran the ball very well outside of his one big mistake. His 16 points were greatly appreciated by all 1.1% of his fantasy owners.

About the author: Keet Bailey

Keet Bailey heads the NFL Draft division of NFL Soup. Bailey’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft scored 12th overall among 112 participants according to The Huddle Report’s Annual Mock Draft scoring contest. An avid Cleveland Browns fan, Keet hails from and resides in Ohio. Follow Keet on Twitter @NFLSoupKeet

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