Brandon Funston

Dissenting Opinions, Week 3: Reggie, Bowe, Gore ... Delhomme?

Roto Arcade

Every Friday during the NFL season we'll review the Yahoo! weekly position ranks. If an expert breaks from the herd, they'l be asked to show their work. We'll focus on names near the start/sit line in public leagues. Let's play the feud…

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Reggie Bush(notes) - Funston's rank 16, composite 23

Last season, Buffalo was below average in fantasy at shutting down running backs via the pass. This season, it is fifth-worst in that department, having allowed 125 receiving yards and a TD to RBs (most of the damage courtesy of Kevin Faulk(notes) and Carnell Williams(notes)). The loss of linebacker Paul Posluszny(notes) to a broken arm in Week 1 certainly hasn’t helped things out. Now Bush, averaging 49 receiving yards, gets his crack at the Bills. And he’ll likely be on the field more than typical this Sunday considering the MCL issues of Mike Bell(notes) and Pierre Thomas(notes) – it’s enough of an issue that the Saints have elevated undrafted rookie Lynell Hamilton(notes) up the depth chart and there’s at least talk that he could see some playing time in Week 3. But the more likely scenario is that Bush and Thomas split 25-30 carries, while letting QB Drew Brees(notes) take care of the rest. Either way, Bush wins, as he’ll be active in both aspects of the offense. This circumstances set up well for Bush to reach 20 touches, which makes him a slam-dunk play in my mind. (Funston)

Frank Gore(notes) - Pianowski's rank 8, composite 13

My colleagues want you to believe that Gore is a RB2 or a flex play this week (depending on your depth) and I gotta put a stop to that theme. I’ve watched every snap from this Minnesota front seven and it’s time to wipe the name brand away; you can run on these guys. Jamal Lewis(notes), of all people, found lanes in the opener and Kevin Smith(notes) had some successful runs last week. Add it all up and the men in purple are handing out 4.0 YPC, nothing to fear at all (the league mean is 4.1). And as Gore reminded us last week against Seattle, he’s capable of steering a fantasy victory all by himself. Put Gore on your every-week start list, no questions asked. (Pianowski)

Roy Williams - Behrens' rank 19, composite 28

Sure, Carolina has only given up 151.0 passing yards per game (third lowest in the NFL), but that's only a small part of the story. They've also allowed five passing touchdowns (tied for second most in the league) and a ridiculous 67.9 completion percentage (fourth highest). The Panthers are 0-2, they've allowed 66 total points, and they were owned by both Donovan McNabb(notes) and Matt Ryan(notes). I'm expecting a big Monday night from Tony Romo(notes) following last week's disastrous loss, and Williams should be seriously involved. He may not be a No. 1 fantasy receiver, but he's still a primary threat in an offense that's averaging 32.5 points and 420.0 yards per game. (Behrens)

Willis McGahee(notes) - Evans' rank 7, composite 14

Grossly overlooked by the expert community, McGahee has emerged as the Ravens rusher to own in the early season. Ranked No. 4 overall in scoring among plowshares, the ultra-confident back has logged back-to-back multi-TD efforts, running with renewed energy and vigor. Gazing through the crystal ball, another double-dose of TD goodness could be in his immediate future. So far, the Cleveland Chihuahuas have been manhandled in the trenches. Over the first two weeks, they've surrendered 5.5 yards per carry, 227 total yards per game and five scores to rushers equal to the second-most fantasy points conceded. Ray Rice(notes) will continue to operate exclusively between the 20s, but the rejuvenated McGahee is the option inside the red zone. Based on the soft opponent, another chapter will be penned in the veteran's riveting comeback story. (Evans)

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Jake Delhomme(notes) - Funston's rank 15, composite 22

There is but one team in the league that has yet to record a sack or an interception. It’s the same team that has allowed an average of 303 passing yards (to Byron Leftwich(notes) and Eli Manning(notes)), nine passing plays of 20-plus yards and a 62.5 completion percentage. If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s your team, America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys. Delhomme is coming off a 300-yard passing game in Week 2, yet still carries the stench with him in fantasy from that 4 INT debacle against Philly in Week 1. However, his matchup at Dallas, for the reasons previously mentioned, smells sweet. It’s also intriguing because I don’t think Carolina’s defense can keep the Cowboys out of the end zone, which should mean more tosses from Delhomme than is usual. I have him down for something in the neighborhood of 250 yards and 1-2 TDs – a borderline starter in 12-14 team leagues. (BF)

Lee Evans(notes) - Pianowski's rank 21, composite 26

I realize he’s been a washout to this point, last week’s touchdown to the side. But sometimes you’re investing in the flow of a game as much as anything else and Sunday’s matchup between the Bills and Saints should feature pinball scoring (the total of 52 is far and away the highest on the card). I like how the Buffalo offense has quickly rallied under new coordinator Alex Van Pelt and this week Evans should get a bigger piece of the pie, especially if Trent Edwards(notes) is forced to throw the ball late (as I suspect he will be). You can make plays against this ordinary New Orleans secondary, trust me. Go where the points are. (Pianow)

Thomas Jones(notes) - Behrens' rank 12, composite 20

When a defense ranks near the top of the league against the run (like Tennessee), but dead-last against the pass (like Tennessee), then it's time to issue a fraud alert. The Titans may look like a run-stuffing team after two weeks – they've allowed only 99 total rushing yards to the Steelers and Texans – but you shouldn't take a defense seriously unless it stops both the run and pass. I'm not giving the non-Haynesworth Titans' D much credit until they deliver a complete game. In Week 3, Tennessee will be challenged by the best offensive line they've seen, and the Jets aren't going to simply abandon the run, Pittsburgh-style. Start Jones, flex Leon Washington(notes). (AB)

Dwayne Bowe(notes) - Evans' rank 30, composite 14

Despite playing in a horrific offense and registering a downturn in looks (10 total targets), Ram-Bowe has performed admirably over the first two weeks, averaging 48 yards with two touchdowns. But matched against an aggressive Philadelphia defense is a daunting task for Todd Haley's sputtering club, and for the standout receiver. As the team's deadliest weapon, Bowe will draw plenty of attention from the Eagles secondary. Asante Samuel(notes) and Co. treated Carolina's Steve Smith similarly Week 1. His end-game line: 13 targets, 3 receptions and 21 yards. Bowe's mysterious leg injury only complicates matters. Though he is expected to suit up, he could be limited somewhat, which only increases his chances of posting dud-worthy numbers. Shallow leaguers should consider more trustworthy alternatives. (Noise)

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Photos via US Presswire

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