Our Week 3 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 3 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
I’ve been on this dude the whole time – I think he’s legit. I also think this guy is going to be a hot waiver claim on Wednesday after the QB bloodbath that occurred last Sunday, and he should be starting this Sunday for you if you’re in need. Yeah, the Bills lost, and yeah, he threw three interceptions – Buffalo also put 32 on the scoreboard, and Taylor netted nearly 29 fantasy points. The matchup against Miami looks mediocre, but I think Miami is a bit overrated and has been. They’re a defense averaging less than eight fantasy points per game through the first two weeks, and lest you forget, six of their 15 total points came on a punt return TD. Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson shredded them last week. Maybe not another 29 point explosion from Taylor here, but I think a steady stream of 15-19 point games, with the floor being upgraded due to his rushing ability, are in Taylor’s future.
Can we all agree that we gave the Baltimore defense just a little too much respect coming into the season? They were collectively ranked solidly inside the top 15 by pretty much every publication out there, and inside the top 10 by some. They looked good against a befuddled Denver offense Week 1, but were then absolutely shredded in Oakland Week 2. They’ve now lost Suggs for the year, and have about zero talent or depth in the defensive backfield – this isn’t the Ravens defense of yesteryear. I said all that to say this: I like Andy Dalton here this week. If you lost a QB and need a guy, also consider the Red Rocket. He’s averaged almost 20 fantasy points per game so far, throwing five TDs to zero interceptions for the 2-0 Bengals. There’s always the possibility that ‘Bad Andy’ comes out on Sunday, but you have to like his chances.
I’d be awfully tempted to start Woodhead this week over a bunch of much bigger RB names. Minnesota has given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing RBs thus far, the Chargers coaching staff obviously trust him on both third down and in the red zone, and most of all he has the trust of the Philip Rivers, which Melvin Gordon does not as yet. He has yet to have less than 13 touches in any game, and I think he goes over that here. Start him with confidence.
With Tony Romo out awhile, the Cowboys will have to turn to Brandon Weeden at QB. Since they’re already missing Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten apparently is dealing with multiple sprains, I believe this shifts the passing game into a shorter-range, most West Coast type of offense. This should suit Dunbar just fine, as he’s already entrenched as the pass-catching back to Joseph Randle’s power back. Atlanta should be able to break this game open early, which suggests a ton of catch up time for the Cowboys, which in turn suggests Dunbar will get a ton of work. He might be a PPR monster this week after finishing tied for third last week in targets. I’m not quite ready to recommend him as a full-go start, but he’s a strong sleeper play if you’re desperate.
DC is going gaga over Jones, and rightfully so after he shredded the Rams normally-stout run defense for 123 yards and two TDs on Sunday. He’ll be one of the top waiver claims this week, and I think he’s worth thinking about starting. Here’s why: The Redskins have found a formula they think will win games for them, which is run, run, and run some more. They want to limit what they ask Kirk Cousins to do as much as possible to avoid turnovers. Alfred Morris is still the man here, but Jones has not only shown what he can do, he was drafted by the current Washington front office regime. I’d predict another 10+ touches here for Jones against a Giants defense that can definitely be had both through the air and on the ground.
I’m going to bang the drum for this Jones character one last time. I really believe in him and his connection with Rodgers…but also, I think he’ll be over 50% started this time next week, and thus won’t be a candidate for this piece any longer. KC has given up the most points to opposing WRs so far, and Jones is 2-2 in terms of getting into the end zone in 2015. You have to like the Cheeseheads anytime they’re at home, and in this case I think Jones is a no-doubt WR3 / definite FLEX play with upside.
Yes, the Colts look like an active dumpster fire on wheels so far. I’m a bit worried about Andre Johnson, but not worried at all about the rest of the Colts offense or Moncrief, who looked like the best skill player the Colts had on Monday night. He was targeted all over the field, catching seven of eight for 122 yards and a TD. A healthy Hilton will snag some targets back, but I expect Donte to become an every-week WR3 candidate, with room to grow, from here on out.
Two weeks in. Two touchdowns. Two fantasy weeks over 10 fantasy points. And yet Johnson is still shy of 35% started. Am I missing something here? Minnesota has theoretically given up the second least points to WR so far, but it’s total mirage because in Week 1 the 49ers were so effective at bashing their brains out with Carlos Hyde that they didn’t even both to pass. Last week, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate combined for 160+ yards and a touchdown on 16 receptions – hardly a lockdown performance. I think Minnesota won’t be able to stop San Diego in the air or on the ground, making Johnson a strong starting consideration for almost any team lacking elite options.
I’ve always loved Reed’s talent. He’s a big, quick, natural route-runner with soft hands. He just can’t ever stay healthy…but so far, so good. And I love, love, LOVE him this Thursday against the Giants, who have given up the second most points to opposing TEs so far. They’ve given up a total of 32.50 points to enemy TEs through two games, on 17 total targets (3 TDs). The Redskins will run to set up the pass here, and I think Reed will get at least 5-7 targets, with a couple in the red zone. He looks to be a strong play in virtually any format.
Indy is better than 0-2. They’re going to get a ton of bad press this week, have to answer a lot of awkward questions about how much they suck, and then they’re going to unleash that aggravation on the Titans. One positive for the Colts defense was how effectively they were able to bottle up Chris Ivory, even though he was running downhill with a big lead. The run defense looked solid, and I think that the 47 points given up so far have been as much attributable to bad offense as bad defense. This is also a Titans team that just allowed seven sacks, lost three fumbles, and gave up a return TD to Cleveland, who won’t be mistaken for a defensive juggernaut anytime soon. If the Colts can get shutdown corner Vontae Davis back, it’s just icing on the cake.