Week 3 of the NFL season is here. There are many 2-0 teams and a ton of 0-2 fantasy squads too, but winning still boils down to one thing – getting the right player in the lineup. Who do we like this week? Which players don’t we like? Find out in the latest edition of Studs, Duds and Sleepers.
Stud: Cam Newton – This should be Newton’s breakout week. Yes, Greg Olsen is injured, but that shouldn’t matter against a dreadful Saints’ defense. Newton is at home and should top 20 fantasy points for the first time this season. If you have interest in trading for Newton, I’d do it before this week, because he should give owners a lot to be excited about.
Dud: Trevor Siemian – Siemian has six touchdown passes in two games. He’s put up QB1 number through two weeks, but I expect his decline to start this week. He’s going on the road to face a Buffalo defense that kept Cam Newton in check last week. The Bills are allowing the 7th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Siemian should be on your bench this week in most leagues and I’m avoiding him in daily games.
Sleeper: Jay Cutler – Cutler has a juicy matchup this week against the worst team in the NFL. The New York Jets are awful. Starting Cutler is always a risk, especially on the road, but I’m plugging him into my lineups this week. He had a great rapport with Jarvis Landry in their first game together and has the arm to get it downfield to Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker. Cutler is a top 12 fantasy quarterback this week and worth a look in daily formats.
Stud: Christian McCaffrey – This is the week to start McCaffrey. The rookie running back hasn’t put up the numbers fantasy owners were expecting, but a matchup against the Saints will help. The Patriots’ running backs had 12 receptions, 137 yards and one touchdown last week against New Orleans. I expected a big day for the eighth overall pick. McCaffrey is an RB2 with upside in PPR leagues.
Dud: Chris Thompson – Thompson was a popular waiver wire claim this week after scoring three touchdowns in two games. He’s worth owning in PPR leagues, but I expect his fantasy points to drop starting this week. He only has 13 touches in two games. It will be nearly impossible for him to be a weekly fantasy commodity, if he doesn’t get more touches. He’s a RB3/flex play this week. The Raiders defense is solid against the run and could limit Thompson’s effectiveness.
Sleeper: Joe Mixon – The Bengals changed offensive coordinators last week. I think that is going to do wonders for the running back rotation they’ve deployed during the first two weeks. This team has their back against the wall and that means they’ll lean on their most talented players. Mixon has watched fellow rookies Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook all reach the 100-yard plateau in a game this season. I expect him to have a breakout game this week. Bengals analyst Dave Lapham believes Mixon should get at least 10 touches in the first half of Sunday’s game against Green Bay.
MORE WEEK 3 ADVICE:
- GSI Cheat Sheet – Rankings
- Listen: Weekly Fantasy Segment on ESPN 1530
- FOX19 Fantasy Friday: Week 3 Lineup Advice
- Week 3 Podcast – Fantasy Happy Hour
- Office Pool Picks: Week 3
Stud: A.J. Green – Green made it clear that he needed to get the ball more. He’s had five receptions in each of the Bengals’ first two games. He hasn’t been targeted in the red zone and the team has yet to score a touchdown. Green should get plenty of targets this week. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers should score plenty of points. I expect Green to get 12+ targets and find the end zone this week. If the Bengals are going to drop to 0-3, they might as well get the ball to their best player. Julio Jones had 108 yards receiving against the Packers last week. I wouldn’t be shocked if Green’s Week 3 numbers were better than Jones’ were last week.
Dud: Alshon Jeffery – Jeffery scored his first touchdown as a member of the Eagles last week. He finished with 92 receiving yards. Those numbers will likely drop against a tough Giants’ secondary. They’ve allowed the eighth fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. They held Dallas and Detroit at bay. I expect more of the same this week. Jeffery is someone you may have to start in season-long leagues, but avoid him in daily formats.
Sleeper: Rashard Higgins – Higgins becomes the Browns number one wide receiver by default. He was on the practice squad a few weeks ago, but he was promoted and former first round pick Corey Coleman broke his hand. Higgins have seven receptions last week and is on the WR3 radar. Couple that with a great matchup with the Colts and we have our sleeper of the week. Indianapolis has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Higgins is worth a look in daily leagues.
Stud: Zach Ertz – The Ertz train should continue to pick up steam after a great start to the 2017 season. He has 13 receptions for 190 yards so far this year. He hasn’t found the end zone yet, but has a good shot to do it this week. The Giants are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends through two games. Jason Witten had a big game against them in Week 1 and so did Eric Ebron. Ertz is a TE1 in all formats this week.
Dud: Jimmy Graham – Graham has a whopping nine receiving yards in two weeks. He’s also dealing with an ankle injury and faces a Titans defense that has held tight ends in check this season. You drafted Graham as your TE1, but he’s far from that this week. Jack Doyle and Ben Watson are worth a look if you need a tight end. Graham may not play this week, but he won’t be in any of my lineups if he does.
Sleeper: Benjamin Watson – Watson thrived against the Browns last week. He led the Ravens in receptions (8) and receving yards (91). Jacksonville has struggled to go up against opposing tight ends. Watson could be Joe Flacco’s main check down target with Danny Woodhead on IR. Watson is a TE2 and gets a boost in PPR leagues.
Stud: Philadelphia – The Eagles have eight sacks this season. They’re at home this week and go up against an awful New York Giants offensive line. They’re a great streaming option. They should force a few turnovers and rack up multiple sacks.
Dud: Seattle – The Seahawks are a different team when they’re on the road. The Titans take care of the ball and rarely turn it over. If you have Seattle in a season-long league, you’ll probably have to start them. Stay away from them in daily leagues. Seattle may not give up many points, but I don’t think they’ll force many turnovers or sacks.
Sleeper: Miami – The Dolphins’ defense wasn’t great last week, but a matchup against the Jets can cure a lot. They’re a legitimate streaming option if you need them and they’re also worth a look in daily games.