Week 3 of the NFL season was filled with surprise performances (both good and bad). As a general rule of thumb, I think we can safely say that any time the words “Roy Williams” and “top 5 fantasy WR” appear together, you know things didn’t go quite as most expected.
So which experts went out on a limb and pegged the surprise performances before the games occurred? Let’s take a look at the top bold predictions from the experts in week 3 and how well these picks turned out. Note that for our purposes, a bold prediction occurs when an expert is the only person in our field of 30+ experts to rank a particular player above another player.
Bold Predictions: Top Hits
Match-up: Austin Collie (WR #24) over Calvin Johnson (WR #9)
Expert: Fantasy Sharks
Difference in Fantasy Points: +23.3
*Ranks in the Match-up header represent each player’s Expert Consensus Rank (ECR)
- Austin Collie was one of the breakout performers in week 3 and no site did a better job of ranking him than Fantasy Sharks. They had Collie as their 3rd ranked WR and he didn’t disappoint, turning in a monster day of 171 yards receiving and 2 TDs. To put this in perspective, the next highest expert rank for Collie was WR #15 so Fantasy Sharks was truly alone in predicting a big day from Collie. Fantasy Sharks also deserves credit for anticipating that Calvin Johnson (their WR #27) would struggle to put up meaningful numbers against the Vikings.
Match-up: Roy Williams (WR #78) over Chad Ochocinco (WR #15)
Expert: Fantasy Sharks
Difference in Fantasy Points: +20.3
- Ex-Cowboy Michael Irvin best summed up the first few years of Roy Williams’ tenure with the Cowboys when he proclaimed “Dallas was playing 10 vs. 11” with Williams on the field. I’m not sure which is more surprising: the fact that we’re citing a Michael Irvin quote as a voice of reason or that Fantasy Sharks had the intuition to rank Williams ahead of Chad Ochocinco in week 3.
- Now, truthfully, Fantasy Sharks didn’t really predict a breakout day from Williams since he was only their WR #63. They did, however, anticipate a non-existent showing from Ochocinco (their WR #69). They wound up nailing this prediction as Ochocinco finished the weekend at #63 in fantasy points scored by a WR. The end result is that Fantasy Sharks was the only expert to correctly predict that Roy Williams would outperform Chad Ochocinco.
Match-up: Brandon Marshall (WR #10) over Andre Johnson (WR #2)
Difference in Fantasy Points: +16.5
- This prediction might not seem like a huge shock to some but over 85% of the experts we tracked had Andre Johnson as their WR #1 or WR #2 while nobody had Brandon Marshall in their top 2 WRs. KFFL was one of the few expert sites that wasn’t quite as high on Johnson (their WR #7) and they were more confident than most in Brandon Marshall (their WR #6). As things turned out, Johnson never quite got going against the Cowboys (4 catches, 64 yards, 0 TDs) while Marshall had a big day vs. the Jets (10 catches, 166 yards, 1 TD) and finished up exactly where KFFL projected him as the #6 ranked WR.
Match-up: Mike Wallace (WR #38) over Larry Fitzgerald (WR #12)
Expert: Fantasy Sharks
Difference in Fantasy Points: +13.3
- No, that’s not a misprint. Fantasy Sharks is indeed showing up for the 3rd time on this list! They deserve a lot credit for this pick too because they were responsible for correctly going out on a limb and giving Mike Wallace his best rank (WR #14) as well as providing Larry Fitzgerald with his lowest rank (WR #38). This wound up being excellent advice for Fantasy Sharks’ readers as Mike Wallace had a breakout game (100 yards receiving, 2 TDs) while Fitzgerald was held to just 2 catches by Raiders stud CB, Nnamdi Asomugha (or was it ARI QB, Derek Anderson, that stifled Fitz?).
Match-up: Malcolm Floyd (WR #20) over Reggie Wayne (WR #5)
Difference in Fantasy Points: +9.2
- This turned out to be a good pick on two fronts by SI.com. Not only did they correctly rank Malcolm Floyd (their WR #14) higher than the expert consensus but they also gave Reggie Wayne his worst rank at WR #24. Over 70% of the experts we tracked had Wayne in their top 5 WRs so there was an expectation that he would have a strong showing vs. the Broncos. However, Wayne ended up getting largely neutralized by Denver CB, Champ Bailey, which is what SI.com predicted. And Floyd had another solid game for San Diego (6 catches, 97 yards receiving, 1 TD), making this an accurate bold prediction from SI.com.
Match-up: Lance Moore (WR #66) over Donald Driver (WR #21)
Difference in Fantasy Points: +20.8
- It’s safe to say that there weren’t too many people expecting much out of Lance Moore in week 3. In fact, Moore was so lightly thought of that over half of the experts we monitored didn’t even have him ranked. One of the few exceptions to this was FFToolbox who ranked Moore as their WR #35, which is a full 31 spots better than the expert consensus. Moore rewarded this faith with a stellar day tallying 149 yards receiving and 2 TDs. FFToolbox also correctly pegged Donald Driver as an underperformer (their WR #43) relative to his expert consensus rank (WR #21). Driver finished up with just the 40th best WR fantasy point total so FFToolbox was just about right on target with where they ranked him.
- In the end, we can only hope that some of FFToolbox’s readers took note of Moore’s surprise rank and started him in their leagues. Those who did received a huge payoff that many didn’t expect.
Bold Predictions: Top Misses
It’s not easy to go out on a limb and be right so it’s only natural that there are bold predictions that misfire each week. Click on each player match-up below to get an instant profile of the risky predictions that didn’t pan out for the experts in week 3.
- Danny Amendola (WR #57) over Anquan Boldin (WR #13) – Fantasy Sharks
- Joey Galloway (WR #59) over Brandon Marshall (WR #10) – WhatIfSports
- Bernard Berrian (WR #49) over DeSean Jackson(WR #6) – SI.com
- Maurice Stovall (WR #67) over Jeremy Maclin (WR #23) – WhatIfSports
- Earl Bennett (WR #81) over Austin Collie (WR #24) – FantasyFootball.com
- Sammy Morris (RB #53) over Cedric Benson (RB #14) – Fantasy Fanatics
- Brian Westbrook (RB #62) over Jamaal Charles (RB #22) – WhatIfSports
Keep in mind that we’ll be monitoring the experts’ bold predictions all season long so be sure to check back next week for a similar review from week 4 of the NFL season. And if you’re interested in our complete expert accuracy results, stay tuned because we’ll be releasing each expert’s week 3 accuracy scores shortly.
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