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Coffin Corner: Three's a Charm

Ray Flowers

Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: M-F at 5-8 PM EDT), Ray Flowers has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. You can follow Ray on Twitter (@BaseballGuys), he never sleeps, and you can also find more of his musings at BaseballGuys.com.

Coffin Corner: Three's a Charm

"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do."
--- Written by Harry Nilsson and performed by Three Dog Night.
(It became a top-5 hit in 1969 on the Billboard Chart)

I know a music quote is so cliche but I couldn't resist. I know that I'm #1 in your hearts, well at least in my mother's (sorry bro), but I'm not really interested in one this week. I'm also not interested in its close cousin, #2. I'm interested in #3. Some compelling reasons.

I'm the third (named after my grandfather and father). Things often come in three's – trilogies as an example. I watched Saw for Halloween, and there's a tricycle riding clown.

I could go on, but why ruin the symmetry of three I just laid out.

What I'm going to do in this piece, once I get past all the blathering, is to focus on the #3 and how it made so many interesting appearances in Week 9 of the NFL season (itself an obvious multiple of three).

A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE

Take on Ray Flowers. Show me that you've got more football knowledge than the arrogant one. Who wouldn't be interested in doing that? It's easy to do.

Sign up for the Weekly Fanduel.com/BaseballGuys.com NFL Salary Cap Contest. Pick your one week squad based on salary cap levels for players. Finish in the top-15 in Week 10 and you will at least double your $10 investment (all top-20 finishers will receive at least $20). Win the battle and you're looking at a $250 windfall. Simple as that. You interested?

A LOOK BACK AT WEEK 9 and THREE'S

Jason Campbell threw for three scores in Week 9. The last time he tossed three touchdown passes in a game was December 6th, 2009. Yeah, it was a while ago. He has thrown for five scores in his last two starts while also tossing at least 35 passes in each game for the Browns. His ribs should be fine after he rests during the club's Week 10 Bye. He's firmly on the QB2 radar in this pass happy offense.

Just when you were feeling good about trusting him as a weekly TE1 play Charles Clay goes out and catches three passes for 22 yards. Keeping the theme rolling he received, you guessed it, three targets. This was the third time in eight games that he failed to record at least four receptions but it was the second time in three games that he received only three targets. Not exactly a heart warming trend.

Riley Cooper scored three times in Week 9. He scored all of seven times in his first 48 NFL games. He's also had only three games this season with more than two receptions in a game and only twice has eclipsed 30 yards receiving. He cannot be trusted.

Jerricho Cotchery scored three times in Week 9. In his previous 34 NFL games he had four touchdowns. Markus Wheaton is also on the cusp if finally doing something for the Steelers. He cannot be trusted.

With Reggie Wayne out for the year with his knee injury we were expecting T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener to see their roles grow. Hilton's did, he went for triple-digit yards and three scores (see below). Fleener though? How about more of the same maddening inconsistency from the second year tight end out of Stanford. Fleener only caught three passes, the second time in three games he caught three balls. Fleener has also scored three times this season and with 25 receptions in eight games he's average 3.13 receptions a week. Dude has also caught three or fewer passes in five of eight games and only three times has he had 40 yards receiving in a game. He's only played 20 NFL games but the word bust comes to mind when I think of him. Maybe that's not fair, but there it is.

Josh Gordon vanished in Week 9, catching three of seven targets on his way to 44 yards through the air (he had another 10 yards on a carry). That was a disappointing effort after 3-straight games of at least five receptions and 126 yards. Don't worry about Gordon though, he's going to be just fine. He's on a 14 game pace, after missing the first two weeks of the season, for 70 receptions, 1,252 yards and six scores.

Andre Johnson scored three times in Week 9. He hadn't scored a touchdown this season prior to that effort. He's also scored a mere nine times in his last 31 NFL games. He's just not a big end zone threat, but he's still on pace for almost 120 receptions and more than 1,600 yards.

Brian Hartline caught three balls in Week 9 for 39 yards. A year after catching 74 balls for 1,083 yards and one score he's on pace for 76 receptions, 954 yards and four touchdowns. About as boring a 70 reception option as you're every going to find in the fantasy game.

DeAndre Hopkins had three receptions for 54 yards in Week 9 even though his QB threw for 350 yards (more on that below). Hopkins also hauled in three passes in each of his two previous contests. The last time he had more than three receptions was Week 3 (how apropos). He hits the Texans halfway point on pace for 62 catches, 940 yards and four scores. In 12 team leagues that's barely WR3 stuff.

T.Y Hilton scored three times in Week 9. He had scored twice in his first seven games. With Reggie Wayne out of the mix Hilton will be looked at to be a game breaking talent for the Colts, something he flashed in spades on Sunday Night Football. Hilton has picked up 23 targets in his last two games.

If Hilton scored three times that means Andrew Luck threw three scores. This was the second straight three scores effort for Luck who is still only on pace for 26 passing scores this season. He helps out his fantasy cause immensely with his wheels, an after scoring five times last season he's looking at an eight game pace this season that would lead to six rushing scores. Yes, that means he currently has three rushing scores.

Case Keenum threw for 350 yards and three scores in Week 9. After two career starts Keenum is averaging 310.5 yards passing a game and two scores a contests. The Texans would still like to be a run first defense and Matt Schaub has never thrown for 30 scores in a season (29 in 2009) as the Texans just don't have their quarterbacks average two TD passes a game.

David Nelson caught 12 passes for 160 yards the last two games of October for the Jets. So what did he do in his first game in November? How about one catch for 19 yards. Don't think I forgot about the theme of this piece. After 19 targets in his previous two games Nelson was thrown the football three times in Week 9. So much for him having moderate PPR value in Week 9 with six teams on a Bye (Week 9 and six teams... more multiples of three).

Can we pleeeeeease stop the insane Kenny Stills love. Even with Darren Sproles playing one series and Marques Colston out, Stills caught three balls for 35 yards. That was literally half the six reception, 70 yard effort of Lance Moore and Robert Meachem, of all folks, caught four balls for 93 yards. Stills has caught 16 balls on a mere 28 targets through eight games for the Saints. Pierre Garcon has 14 receptions on 22 targets the past two weeks. Stills is nothing more than a hit or miss speed burner who cannot be trusted in the fantasy game. Period.

Ryan Succop made three field goals in Week 9 after making three in Week 8. Hey, it's a crazy numbers week so I threw a kicker up into the mix. Sue me.

Golden Tate got the taste of Revis Island in Week 9 and he clearly didn't like it. After seeing at least seven targets in all four games in October Tate was targeted on only three passes for the Seahawks. He did catch all three for 29 yards, but after back-to-back games of at least 77 yards receiving his Week 9 production was a major disappointment. Can't say you should be shocked though. After all, Russell Wilson has thrown 30 passes only three times in nine starts as Seattle just doesn't pass the football much. You have to worry if you're a Tate owner moving forward too as Percy Harvin inches his way back to returning to game action.

Kendall Wright caught a mere three passes in Week 9. I say mere because he had caught at least five passes in each of his previous six games (he only had five targets in Week 9). Still, he took those three receptions for 69 yards, six more than his average outing this season. The Titans version of Mr. Hartline, Wright is on pace for just about the quietest 86 catch season in recent memory. Perhaps it's because he's also only on pace for 1,004 yards and two scores.

Darrel Young scored three times in Week 9 (on the same play call against a clueless Chargers defense). He scored one time in his first 52 NFL games. Don't pay him a second thought on waivers this week.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.