Week 3 ended with a bang on Monday night as the Falcons and Saints combined for 77 points and plenty of fantasy matchups were decided. Julio Jones (1-16) and Brandin Cooks (2-13) sure didn’t help their teams. On the other hand, Drew Brees threw for 376 with 3 TDs, Devonta Freeman had 217 combined yards with a TD, and Tevin Coleman scored 3 TDs on 89 combined yards. Those are some big fantasy games! The other huge NFL game this week, as far as fantasy impact goes, was the Eagles drubbing of the Steelers. The Philadelphia defense held the mighty Steelers to 3 points in this one. Antonio Brown (12-140 on 18 targets) had the only respectable game for the Steelers. Carson Wentz looked spectacular with his first career 300 yard game, including a 73 yard TD pass to Darren Sproles. And the kid still hasn’t thrown an interception as a pro. It’s getting sunny in Philadelphia!
And now onto the rest of the week 3 fantasy recap…
Week 3 Fantasy Highlights
Trevor Siemian (Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas) – Siemian looked like a long time pro in this one throwing for 312 yards and 4 TDs. His top WRs benefited from the performance with Sanders (9-117-2) and Thomas (6-100-1) both going over 100 yards and combining for 3 TDs.
Matt Stafford (Marvin Jones) – Stafford has started out 2016 looking pretty good. He threw for 385 yards with 3 TDs / 1 Int. Marvin Jones (6-205-2) was the beneficiary in this one going over 200 yards receiving. Jones is filling in the shoes of Megatron nicely! I’d hold on to both of these players until it falls apart.
Aaron Rodgers (Jordy Nelson) – Rodgers threw 4 TDs but for only 205 yards. He hooked up with Nelson (6-101-2) on 2 of them. This tandem may be getting back to form.
Terrelle Pryor – Terrelle “Triple Threat” Pryor put up stats passing, rushing, and receiving. In the passing game, he completed 3 of 5 for 35 yards, but caught 8-144. He chipped in 4 carries for 21 yards and a rushing TD. He’s an okay low-end receiving option, but don’t expect many big games, especially with Josh Gordon returning soon from his suspension.
Carlos Hyde – Hyde (21-103-2) finally went over the century mark this season and doubled his TD total on the year to 4. He will have up and down games that will likely drive you nuts all year. With that said, he’s still a solid RB3 and can easily fill in during bye weeks.
Jeremy Hill – Hill (17-92-2) was the only bright spot for the Bengals when they played a tough Denver defense.
DeMarco Murray – Murray (16-114-1) went over 100 yards but still gives up a decent amount of carries to Derrick Henry (10-45-0). I think this is what we’re going to see as far as the workload split until later in the season when Murray may slow down.
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas was up early in this one and Elliott (30-140-0) ran it home. He also had 2-20 in the receiving game. He’s living up to his RB1 status.
David Johnson – Johnson (19-83-2) is also living up to his first round status with 2 TDs and also caught 3-28.
LeGarrette Blount – Mr. Consistency??? Blount (24-105-2) had another game with 20+ carries and has scored a TD in every game. Ride him while he’s hot (and before Dion Lewis returns from IR)!
LeSean McCoy – McCoy (17-110-2) looked good this week and has been chipping in 3 to 4 catches per game which helps in PPR leagues.
Todd Gurley – This isn’t quite a highlight, but it’s hope. Gurley (27-85-2) scored 2 TDs and the Los Angeles Rams put up 37 points. If the offense can continue to give him this volume, he’s sure to break a few big runs. As of now, he’s a low-end RB1 with all the upside in the world. I would not sell low on him.
Allen Robinson – Robinson (7-57-2) had his first decent game of the year. He hasn’t gone over 75 yards receiving in a game this year, but should be fine as a low-end WR1 / high-end WR2.
Doug Baldwin – Baldwin (8-164-1) had a great game and was targeted 10 times.
Mike Evans – Evans (10-132-1) had a productive day and will continue to be one of the most targeted WRs in the game.
T.Y. Hilton – Hilton (8-174-1) finally woke up in this one. He was targeted 11 times and looks to be the main beneficiary with Donte Moncrief out.
Jimmy Graham – Is this a return to fantasy relevance??? I sure hope so and so do Seahawk fans. Graham (6-100-1) was targeted 9 times in the game. I’m going to wait and see if there’s a repeat performance before I believe.
Cameron Brate – Brate (5-46-2 on 10 targets) has taken over at TE for the recently released Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jenkins has since signed with the New York Jets. I like Brate to be a solid bye week replacement at TE this year. As for Jenkins, he always shows flashes but just can’t get it together; I’m not buying.
Zach Miller – Brian Hoyer targeted Miller (8-78-2) 9 times in the game and he also got 2 TDs. He’ll have a few big games but he’s not consistent enough to start on a weekly basis.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense – The Chiefs intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick 6 times even though they didn’t get any sacks. They only gave up 3 points to the Jets and scored 2 DTDs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – 6 Interceptions! 6 Interceptions??? Yes, 6! The Jets couldn’t get anything going in the game and the offense was shut down by the Kansas City Chiefs defense. He’ll bounce back but he’s only a low-end QB2.
Carson Palmer – While he was respectable with 287 passing yards, 0 TDs and 4 Ints will get you on this list. He’ll rebound but don’t expect the same career year as 2015.
Cam Newton / Kelvin Benjamin – Cam Newton was sacked 8 times and threw 3 Ints with no TDs. Benjamin was blanked and only had 1 target against the vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense. They’ll both bounce back.
Week 4 Injury Replacements
Jeremy Langford – Langford is out 4-6 weeks with a severe ankle sprain and Jordan Howard looked good as his replacement in week 3. He had 9 carries for 45 yards and 4 catches for 47 yards. Ka’Deem Carey has his own hamstring injury but could get some work if active. Howard is the running back to own while Langford is out and should be a hot waiver wire pickup.
Thomas Rawls – Rawls is expected to be out for “a few weeks”. If you’re a Rawls owner and don’t already have Christine Michael, you’re probably too late. In his absence in week 2, Michael (20-106-2) ran for over 100 yards with 2 scores. He looks to carry the load until Rawls returns.
Chris Ivory – In his first game back from an undisclosed injury, Ivory injured his knee and ankle in this week’s game. He’s questionable and we’ll have to see how his practice week progresses. If he’s out, T.J. Yeldon should carry the load against a weak Indianapolis Colts defense.
Shane Vereen – Vereen was placed on IR and will be out the next 8 weeks at minimum. If Rashad Jennings doesn’t return to action this week, Orleans Darkwa (10-53-1) will likely be the lead back. Paul Perkins and the flashy Bobby Rainey could both get some carries.
Ryan Mathews – Wendell Smallwood (17-79-1) carried the load after Mathews left the game after only 2 carries. Kenjon Barner (8-42-1) chipped in as well and Darren Sproles (6-128-1) was used in the passing game.
Words of Wisdom
Through 3 weeks of the fantasy season, we now know where our teams’ strengths and weaknesses are. Bye weeks will be starting in week 4, and depth at all positions is so important. All fantasy players will be tested to roll out competitive lineups with the off days and injuries already piling up. Week 4 will have the return of Le’Veon Bell from suspension. And we expect Tom Brady and Josh Gordon to infuse fantasy teams in week 5. Be active on the waiver wire but don’t just waste pickups on every one week wonder. Remember, that free agent pickup could win you a fantasy championship!