Stancil’s Week 3 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are not being started in a majority of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. With that in mind, here are our top fantasy football sleepers for Week 3.
Captain Kirk led the Redskins to their first victory of the season on Sunday in LA to get them atop the NFC East at 1-1. He hopes to follow up that effort back at the friendly confines of FedEx Field in Landover, MD. Don’t get me started with why a Washington, DC team plays their games 30-40 minutes outside of the District of Columbia in Landover, MD, where it’s about a one-mile walk from the metro station and in a pit that makes the Black Hole in Oakland look like a palace. Speaking of, the Raiders will be welcomed to our nation’s capital with a 2-0 record, but with a defense that allowed the Jets lowly QB to throw a couple of TD passes last week. Expect Kirk and his green Michigan State collegiate football pads to eclipse those two TDs on Sunday night, even though it appears Matt Cavanaugh’s new offensive schemes are working less effectively for Cousins than Sean McVay’s more explosive offense. Cousins breaks out of his early season funk against the silver and black in primetime.
Siemian was all the rave after last week’s thrashing of the Cowboys. As the QB of a team with a dominant defense, he is responsible for not making mistakes and playing point guard to tally at least 20 points per game. That amount of scoring will usually do the trick with such a formidable defense, but with a 42 point outburst and four touchdown passes last week there’s reason to believe Siemian is heating up. It’s an early east coast game for the Broncos against the Bills on Sunday afternoon, but if I had the choice to start Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer or Trevor Siemian then I’m going Siemian on Sunday. The way the defense makes turnovers and gets the offense great field position makes starting him more appealing since defense travels on the road. Siemian is a great sleeper in FanDuel lineups and seasonal leagues to pick from among other Top 10 fringe QBs this week.
Back to those Redskins on Sunday Night football and their running back by committee juggernaut. Rob Kelley’s rib injury puts him at very questionable and that opens the door for the fourth round rookie running back out of Oklahoma to play a big role in the offense along with Chris Thompson. Perine has a bowling ball frame, much like Maurice Jones-Drew, and he should be garnering all the goal line carries. As long as Coach Gruden gives Kelley the week off to heal up, it will be the Perine showcase and he should be up to the task of carrying the load.
Duke Johnson Jr.
Duke Johnson may have been a late round flier as a handcuff for Isaiah Crowell, but he’s seeing an expanded role in an underrated offense. Johnson has been operating out of the slot position and should be getting the dump-off passes, screens and 3rd down carries moving forward with injuries to other Browns running backs. The Colts have had a myriad of issues defensively to start the season and this is the type of matchup to capitalize on with Johnson as your flex. Expect Johnson to see over 60% of snaps and if he splits time in the backfield, along with being used heavily in the slot, then he should have a high volume of opportunities to cash in on with all that playing time.
With the 249th pick in the 2017 draft the Seattle Seahawks selected their featured rookie RB Chris Carson this season. It appears that Coach Carroll will give this Oklahoma State Cowboy every opportunity to win the job that Rawls once held on to tight, before getting injured, and a job that a hungry Eddie Lacy could not wrestle away. While C.J. Prosise sees passing downs almost exclusively, it appears Carson is in line for the goal line carries in Tennessee this Sunday. Another strong performance, like his 93 rushing yards last week, could result in him being the Top Pick-Up of the Week for Week 4. The Titans have a strong defensive front, so this week will be a stern test. However, with Wilson and the Seahawks offense looking pretty sluggish out of the gate, they will rely on Carson to help carry the load and he should be in line for a majority of the carries once again.
Hurns was the main beneficiary from the injury suffered to Jaguars wide-out Allen Robinson. While Hurns earned his touchdown last week in garbage time towards the end of the game, fully expect the same type of opportunities this week and for the rest of this season. The Jags are going nowhere fast with Blake Bortles at QB, but someone has to catch his throws so when they get down by multiple touchdowns they will be forced to air it out in the second half of games. This is where Hurns should thrive and get a large volume of targets. The Ravens have played excellent defense to start the season and this could be another rough day at the office for Bortles. Plan for another touchdown with Hurns’ name on it once this game is no longer in the balance, as Jacksonville will air it out to try and get back in the game. He’s a FanDuel bargin and should be claimed off the waiver wire and started in most 12 team leagues with at least three wide receiver options.
It’s all about the Benjamins baby when it comes to playing offensive weapons against the New Orleans Saints. This weekend is no different with the Panthers hosting the Saints and Benjamin coming off a team-high of 77 yards receiving last weekend. The yardage should only go up and expect him to find the end zone in this affair, which should be high-scoring. KB is Carolina’s No. 1 wide receiver in this offense still and after coming back from an Achilles injury a season ago, it’s time for him to deliver on the high expectations as Cam Newton’s top option. Without top tight end Greg Olsen available this week, it’s definitely all about Kelvin Benjamin in this favorable matchup.
Ebron cashed in on Monday Night Football with a touchdown catch from Matt Stafford against the Giants. This could be an outlier or the beginning of a trend and I’m banking on the latter because the Lions are a much improved team this year. They will be tested this week by the NFC champions from last year that choked away the Super Bowl, who are also off to a hot start. The Atlanta offense will force Detroit to keep up with them and the focus will be on spreading the football around to Stafford’s favorite targets. Ebron around the goal line is where the Lions QB looks for Ebron early and often. If you are looking for a good sleeper this week it’s safe to put Ebron in your lineup.
Cleveland plays defense? Oh yeah, the Cleveland Indians have a really good defense that helped them to an epic 22 game winning streak. Wait, we’re talking about the football team that has played more like the poop color of their name over the last couple seasons. The Browns could very well put the finishing touches on Chuck Pagano’s future as the Colts coach with a victory at Indianapolis. Since Andrew Luck is still sidelined, the Browns should have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of QB Jacoby Brissett’s inexperience. It’s just not fair that the Colts have such poor options behind Andrew Luck and while the Browns don’t put fear in any offense, it should be more of the same in the form of turnover city for the Colts. The Browns have a great chance to play like the Cleveland Indians and potentially pitch a shutout on defense.