Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 3

September 23, 2020

Few things were more “2020” than Week 2 of the NFL season. Blame it on the lack of preseason, blame it on the lack of training camp, blame on just plain bad luck, either way, Week 2 left a lot of fantasy owners scrambling on the Waiver Wire this week.




Cam Newton, NE:

Two weeks in a row I have placed Newton in my ‘Duds’ list. Two weeks in a row now I look like an idiot. Not this week my friends! We now have two weeks of data on Newton, how healthy he is, if he will gel with the new receiving corps and how Belichick plans on using him, and what that data tells me is Belichick is going to ride Cam and his legs. I don’t believe Newton’s body can hold up for 16 games with this level of work, but I am not sure Belichick cares. He is going to ride Cam as far as Cam can take him and that is good news for cam owners.

Kyler Murray, AZ:

Speaking of things I did not see happening right out of the gate, the chemistry Murray has found right away with DeAndre Hopkins and his other receivers is incredible. At this point, Murray looks like a top five quarterback and a hands down QB1.


Others receiving votes:

Aaron Rodgers, GB:

The Packers didn’t help Rodgers at all this offseason. Instead, in a receiver heavy draft, the Packers used their first round pick to draft his replacement. Rodgers did not seem one bit pleased by that move and as a result, is playing like a man possessed.

Russell Wilson, Sea:

Rodgers isn’t the only quarterback playing like a man possessed. Wilson is on pace to have his best season ever (statistically). After a five touchdown performance in Week 2, Wilson owners aren’t complaining.


From The GetSportsInfo Podcast:



Running backs:

Aaron Jones, GB:

Rodgers isn’t the only one playing like a man possessed in Green Bay. Right now, Jones is leading the NFL in yards (234), tied for the lead in yards per carry (6.9) and tied for second in touchdowns (3). Better yet, most who own Jones, were able to land him in the middle or latter parts of round two.

Derrick Henry, Ten:

Other than Jones, only one other running back is averaging 100+ yards per game, and that back? Henry. Unfortunately, it has taken him a league high 56 attempts to get his 200 yards and he has no touchdowns, but that ought to change this week when he gets a surprising week Vikings team which is giving up 164 yards per game on the ground and just lost Anthony Barr for the season.

Others receiving votes:

Leonard Fournette, TB:

Over the years, many have become fed up with Fournette and his lack of consistency – including the Jacksonville Jaguars – but let’s not forget, just three short years ago, this guy was a top four pick and we have yet to see his full potential. In Tampa, given the weapons around him, we may get to see that full potential this year. Week 2 gave us a peak and it looked good….to the tune of 103 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries.

Austin Ekeler, LAC:

Like Henry, Ekeler has yet to find the endzone, but he is fifth in the league with 177 yards rushing and when you are picking up 5.1 yards per carry – like Ekeler is – the endzone drought won’t last for long.


Pass Catchers:

DeAndre Hopkins, AZ:

He has only found the endzone once, but through two weeks, he leads the league in receptions (22), targets (25), and is fifth in yards. The instant connection he and Murray have found during this crazy offseason is remarkable.

Calvin Ridley, Atl:

Speaking of remarkable, who had Ridley tied for the league lead in receiving yards and touchdowns after two weeks? Heck, with the weapons the Falcons have, I don’t think anyone outside of Ridley’s immediate family would have even bet he would be leading his own team in receiving yards, but here we are. Ridley has 22 targets, 16 receptions, 239 yards and a whopping 4 touchdowns through two games.


Others receiving votes:

Julian Edelman, NE:

I had my questions and doubts about Edelman this year, most notably, how would he handle the departure of his buddy Tom Brady? and, would he have the same sort of connection with Cam? I think we got our answers in Week 2. After 11 targets and eight receptions for 179 yards, I think we can surmise Edelman and Newton are working just fine together.

Noah Fant, Den:

Relying on Jeff Driskel is a risky play, but he and Fant clicked very well last week – 7 targets, 4 receptions, 57 yards and 1 touchdown – and against one of the best defenses in the league. With Courtland Sutton out and a more friendly matchup in Week 3, I like Fant.



DeShaun Watson, Hou:

Through two weeks, Watson has just 2 touchdowns, ranks 12 or lower in every major category and is tied for the league lead with 8 sacks. Throw in the fact that he doesn’t have any game-changing weapons on offense, and Watson is a ‘Sit’ in most leagues right now.

Derek Carr, LV:

Carr is actually off to a hot start, is coming off a great Monday night game and has a ton of weapons on offense, I just don’t like any quarterback against Bill Belichick, especially in Foxboro – fans or not.

Others receiving votes:

Teddy Bridgewater, Car:

Bridgewater has put up a lot of yards and is completing more than 70% of his passes, but he has only 1 touchdown to 2 interceptions and now will be playing a tough Chargers pass defense, on the road, without Christian McCaffrey. If you have other options, don’t play Bridgewater this week.

Kirk Cousins, Min:

Can’t imagine many were thinking of playing him this week, but if you were, don’t. Cousins is tied for the league lead in picks (4), is averaging just 186 yards per game and completing less than 60% of his passes. He has been a sneaky play in year’s past. Not so far in 2020.


Running backs:

New York Giants Running Backs:

I get the reasoning, with Barkley out for the year, pick up the Giants backup and play them, right? Wrong. Barkley had just 34 yards on the season (67th), 0 touchdowns and was averaging less than two yards per carry before he went down. That doesn’t bode well for whomever the Giants put back there, because the back(s) they put back there are going to be far less skilled than Barkley.

Carolina Panthers Running Backs:

Unlike Barkley, McCaffrey was having another good year, so there is some hope for his backups, the problem is, no other back can do what McCaffrey can do. So: 1) the same opportunities will not be there, and 2) the opportunities which are there, will likely be split between two backs.


Others receiving votes:

Kareem Hunt, Cle:

Hunt is tied with Jones with a league leading 6.9 yards per carry, and is ninth in yards (158), but the problem is, he splits carries with a guy – Nick Chubb – who is fourth in yards and tied for second with 3 touchdowns. Through two weeks, Hunt and Chubb have both put up RB1/RB2 numbers, but that is unlikely to continue.

Ronald Jones, TB:

Ronald Jones owners were less than enthused to see the number Fournette put up last week. If Fournette is healthy, Jones’ role in the Bucs offense will continue to diminish.


Pass Catchers:

Will Fuller, Hou:

Death, taxes and Will Fuller having hamstring issues. The guy has to have the most fragile hamstrings in NFL history. Regardless, even when his hamstrings are 100%, without Hopkins and no other real threats on this offense, Fuller is a bye week flex at best.

A.J. Green, Cin:

The numbers aren’t the whole story for Green, because plays have been there for the taking, but either Joe Burrow has missed him, or Green has been held, but the fact of the matter is, while he is tied for fifth with 22 targets, he has only pulled in 8 of those for a pedestrian 80 yards and 0 touchdowns. Plus, Green just looks a little off right now. Maybe it is rust. Maybe it is age, Maybe it is injury, Maybe it is his frustration with the franchise tag. Or maybe it is a bit of all of the above, but right now, he is a risky start for fantasy owners.


Others receiving votes:

Rob Gronkowski, TB:

4 targets, 2 catches, 11 yards. Those are his stats thus far. Maybe he is still working his way back from retirement, but right now, he is at best, Tom Brady’s fourth best receiving option, fifth best offensive option and only the second best tight end on the team. At the moment, fantasy owners are holding on to Gronk just hoping he pays off in the second half of the season.

Austin Hooper, Cle:

Like Gronk, Hooper is, at best, the fifth best offensive option on this Browns offense. As a result, he is not a TE1. He is a bye week play only at this point.


Daniel Jones, NYG:

Despite the struggles of the Giants and Saquon Barkley, Jones has actually played ok. Now, with Barkley out, the Giants are not only going to rely more on Jones in the passing game, they may rely on his legs more as well. Jones is a sneaky start this week against a depleted 49ers defensive line.

Gardner Minshew, Jax:

The Jaguars have been a pleasant surprise thus far and Minshew and his sweet mullet/moustache combo are averaging 3 touchdowns and 250+ yards per game, all while completing more than 75% of his passes. How long can he keep this up? Heck if I know, but I like his chances on a short week against a bad Dolphins team.

Drew Brees, NO:

Brees has not looked great thus far in 2020, and with Michael Thomas injured, this may be a risky play if you have a better option, however, in a game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, I could see this turning into a shootout, which could mean big numbers for Brees.


Running backs:

James Robinson, Jax:

If you’re anything like me from five minutes ago, you are wondering ‘who the F$%& is James Robinson?’ Apparently, he is the starting running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars – who knew, right? – and he is off to a hot start! He is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, is eighth in the league with 164 yards on the ground, 1 touchdown and 46 receiving yards to boot. If you drafted this guy, congrats!

Jerick McKinnon, SF:

The 49ers are without their top two backs (Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman), without their top receiver (Deebo Samuel), may be without their starting quarterback and stud tight end, and as a result, someone will have to get the ball, and that someone is likely to be McKinnon.

Melvin Gordon III, Den:

Despite being on a new team with inexperience at quarterback, Gordon has put together two solid weeks against two good defenses. With Lock and Sutton out, I expect Gordon to carry more of the load.


Pass Catchers:

Robby Anderson, Car:

Anderson has always been a boom or bust type play, but so far in Carolina, he and Bridgewater seem to have found something. He has 15 receptions for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns thus far, and with McCaffrey out, he may see even more action.

Corey Davis, Ten:

Hard to believe this guy was a top five pick just three years ago. Up until this year, his career has been pretty uneventful. This season though, he is finally finding some success, with 10 receptions, 137 yards and 1 touchdown through two games, he s a possible Flex play

Drew Sample, Cin:

This is a real deep flyer, and if you are debating Sample, your team may have bigger issues, but… hear me out. Joe Burrow likes throwing to the tight ends and he and C.J. Uzomah had a good connection. Well, with Uzomah out, that leaves Sample as the beneficiary. Uzomah had 6 targets and 4 receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night before suffering a season ending achilles injury. Sample had 9 targets, 7 receptions and 45 yards. That means last week, Burrow looked at his tight ends 15 times, completing 11 of those throws for 87 yards and a touchdown.


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