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Concerns over Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill and Other Week 3 Fantasy Observations

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck

The big news out of Week 3 was the injury to Ben Roethlisberger. While many fantasy owners were afraid it was a season-ending ACL injury, the news came out that it was "just" a bone bruise and MCL injury. These injuries will still sideline Big Ben for at least four weeks, possibly more.

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But while it is good news that Roethlisberger is not out for the season, another quarterback going down is tough on the fantasy landscape. Michael Vick came in and managed the game as best as he could. The Steelers have a short week as they will face the Ravens on Thursday night, so Vick doesn't have a ton of time to get comfortable running the offense. He's a viable fill-in for Roethlisberger owners, but Thursday night will be a tough start for him.

With Week 3 officially in the books, let's assess what we've learned and what we can question from three full weeks for all teams. And don't forget, the bye weeks start this week. Yes, already!

What's wrong with Andrew Luck?

Sure, you can look at his stat line and not see a problem. In Week 3, he went 18-for-30 for 260 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Not bad. But if you watched the game, you probably came away with a different assessment. For three quarters, Luck looked terrible. His passes were inaccurate, he made terrible decisions and he threw off his back foot. At the end of the third quarter, Indianapolis trailed Tennessee on the road, 27-14. And the Colts' 14 points had come from a defensive touchdown and a Frank Gore rushing touchdown.

Sure, Luck came back in the fourth quarter and was the Luck that fantasy owners were hoping for all year. But if he is only putting it together for a quarter, how much does that help? Luck has seven interceptions on the year through three games. In 2014, he threw 16 picks in the regular season total. It doesn't take a mathematician to know that he is on pace for more than that. Luck needs to reconnect with T.Y. Hilton, who has had just four catches in each of the past two games. Certainly don't give up on Luck, but you can be a little concerned. However, next on the schedule for the Colts are games against Jacksonville, Houston, New England and New Orleans. He should get back on track with some soft defenses in that mix.

What's wrong with the Miami Dolphins?

Instead of just pinpointing the quarterback (see: Luck, Andrew), this is a finger pointed at the entire team. In the preseason, many fantasy analysts were in love with the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill is going to be a top-10 quarterback! Lamar Miller is a RB1! The DST is a must-start!

So far, none of these have come true. While Tannehill has padded his numbers during garbage time, he certainly hasn't looked good. His three interceptions in Week 3 looked awful. He has five touchdowns on the season. While he's been serviceable for fantasy purposes, owners are losing that sense of optimism they may have had at the beginning of the season.

Although, let's share the blame: Jarvis Landry has been decent, with eight receptions in all three games so far this year, but not the breakout WR1 some were hoping for. Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings have been non-existent. Jordan Cameron hasn't had more than four receptions in a game yet. Rishard Matthews has surprisingly been the leading receiver for the Dolphins over the past two weeks with 115 and 113 yards respectively. He's recorded fewer catches than Landry, but Matthews' two touchdowns in Week 3 alone are twice as many as Landry has in the first three games. Landry and Cameron need to be more involved in the passing game in order for the 1-2 Dolphins to turn things around.

Last, Miller has been banged up, but the play calling also has been to blame. Because the Dolphins are chasing points, Miller hasn't had a ton of work. The Fins need to find a way to get their ground game going as well, which will likewise relieve pressure on Tannehill.

The Dolphins play the Jets in London in Week 4 and then have their bye week. England games are tough because of the travel, but hopefully following the bye week, a new and improved Dolphins team will emerge for the sake of their fantasy owners.

Can the Raiders cover any tight ends?

Week 1: Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals, 9/104/2

Week 2: Crockett Gillmore, TE, Baltimore Ravens, 5/88/2

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Week 3: Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns, 6/105/1

Looking at those numbers, it appears the answer to the question is no, Oakland cannot cover tight ends. These numbers end up inflating the value of the tight end (Eifert with a goose egg for fantasy owners in Week 3; Gillmore putting up a 3/40/0 line in Week 3), but the reality is you should start your tight end against Oakland.

Week 4 should be a good week for Martellus Bennett. While the Bears struggled against Seattle (ok, that’s an understatement), look for the receivers to get back on track, slightly, in Week 4. Even if Jimmy Clausen is still the starter, he should be able to connect with Bennett. He targeted him six times on Sunday; look for that number to increase for sure in Week 4.

More Burning Questions

Can we give up on Andre Johnson and Roddy White now?

What's wrong with Colin Kaepernick?

How good IS Dallas' offensive line?

Are Adrian Peterson and Le'Veon Bell owners breathing a sigh of relief?

Are Marshawn Lynch owners worried?

How about LeSean McCoy's owners?

What is Tevin Coleman's role moving forward?

Why can't Tyler Eifert catch the ball in the red zone?

Will Todd Gurley be the star of Week 4?

Why did Brandon Marshall think that play (you know the one) was a good idea?

Do I have to admit to being a Bears fan after that terrible game?

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.