Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 3

September 23, 2021

With Week 3 getting ready to kickoff in less than 24-hours make sure to check in on this week’s Studs, Duds & Sleepers before setting your lineups!

After the fantasy crap shoot known as Week 1, we are starting to get a little bit clearer picture of what team’s offenses look good and how each player is fitting in with their team this season. If you find yourself still starting guys on the Colts, Jags, Texans or Jets, you may want to start scouring the waiver wire or working on some trades, because it isn’t looking good.



Lamar Jackson, Bal:

Jackson is third in the NFL…in rushing yards (193) and second in rushing touchdowns (2) and will be going up against a Lions team giving up 38 points per game! 

Kyler Murray, AZ:

Murray is tied for the NFL lead with 9 touchdowns, is second in passing yards and gets a Jaguars defense giving up 423.5 yards per game and 30 points per game. I think Murray has another big game against ‘Ol Urb this weekend.

Others receiving votes:

Russell Wilson, Sea:

Wilson hasn’t thrown a pick, is averaging nearly 300 yards per game and has thrown six touchdowns – four of which came against the Colts and what should be a very good defense. The Vikings defense is giving up nearly 300 yards per game and are allowing a passer rating of 123.6 to opposing quarterbacks.


Running backs:

Dalvin Cook, Min:

The Seahawks rank 31st in rushing defense, surrendering 162.5 yards per game, including a 182 yard, three touchdown performance against Derrick Henry. Cook is third amongst running backs with 192 yards, and like Henry, is averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

Christian McCaffrey, Car:

Not surprising, McCaffrey leads the NFL in all-purpose yards (again) with 324, and also not surprising, is top two amongst all running backs in fantasy points per game. 100% healthy or not, he should have a big night on Thursday against a Texans team led by Davis Mills making his first NFL start.   

Others receiving votes:

Austin Ekler, LAC:

Ekler is off to a good start and I like his matchup this week against a Chiefs team that ranks dead last against the run, both in terms of yards per game (202.0) and rushing touchdowns surrendered (7).


Pass Catchers:

DeAndre Hopkins, AZ:

Hopkins hasn’t put up big numbers in terms of receptions (10) or yards (137), but he has three touchdowns, and like Murray, I think he will have a big day against a bad Jaguars team. 

Darren Waller, LV:

The Dolphins have given up ten receptions, 90 yards and a touchdown to tight ends through the first two weeks and now they face a Raiders offense which is putting up more than 400 yards per game in the air and features one of the best tight ends in the league. 

Others receiving votes:

Tyreek Hill, KC:

Despite the Chargers top five ranked pass defense, I could see a shootout this weekend with the Chiefs and usually when the Chiefs are in a shootout, that means big points for Hill.




Jameis Winston, Atl:

If there is one thing we have come to expect in Jameis Winston’s NFL career, it is turnovers and inconsistency and 2021 has been no different. After an impressive five touchdown performance in Week 1, Winston threw two picks, no touchdowns and just 111 yards in Week 2. Through two games, Winston has just 259 yards passing…14 quarterbacks are averaging more than 259 yards per game.  

Jared Goff, Det:

Goff is off to a surprisingly good start to the 2021 season, but I don’t like this matchup against the Ravens. With little receiver depth and a banged up DeAndre Swift, it could be a long day for Goff. 

Others receiving votes:
Baker Mayfield, Cle:

Mayfield only has one touchdown to two interceptions on the season and now faces a really tough Bears defensive front that just gave Joe Burrow and the Bengals wide receivers hell last week. Worse yet, he will be doing it with a bummed shoulder and sans Jarvis Landry. I would sit Baker this week.


Running backs:

Kareem Hunt, Cle:

If you are one of the few who start Hunt despite him being the second running back in the Browns offense, this is not the week to continue that move. The Bears are giving up just 71.5 yards per game on the ground, 3.3 yards per carry and have only surrendered one rushing touchdown. 

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal:

Elliott’s struggles continue. Through two games, Tony Pollard has more rushing yards than Elliott and has two touchdowns to Elliott’s zero…despite having nearly half the carries.

Others receiving votes:

DeAndre Swift, Det:

Despite ranking sixth amongst running backs in fantasy points, I don’t like a banged up Swift against a Ravens defense that gives up just 72 yards per game. 


Pass Catchers:

Anyone on the Jets: 

There are some Jets receivers talented enough to be worthy of starting roles on fantasy teams, but at the moment, their rookie quarterback makes it too risky to rely on them. Through two weeks, Wilson is barely completing 55% of his passes, has thrown five picks to just two touchdowns and will be playing a very good Broncos defense with a banged up groin.

Odell Beckham, Jr., Cle:

It’s going to be tempting for OBJ owners to start him, but like milk on a hot summer day, it’s a bad choice. Mayfield is banged up, Landry is out and the Bears defense is tough.    

Others receiving votes:

Anyone on the Saints:

The Saints don’t have a single wide receiver with more than three receptions and their leading receiver (Deonte Harris?) has just 81 yards….55 of which came on one play. 




Jalen Hurts, Phi:

The Cowboys are giving up more than 400 yards per game and nearly 350 through the air. I don’t see Hurts throwing for 350, but throwing for 250, running for 50 plus and accounting for 2+ touchdowns against this Cowboys defense is completely within the realm of possibilities.

Sam Darnold, Car:

Maybe all Darnold needed was a change of scenery and some talent around him. In Carolina, he is averaging 292 yards per game and has three touchdowns to just one pick and added a rushing touchdown as well. 

Teddy Bridgewater, Den:

Bridgewater is doing what Bridgewater does, he is putting up solid numbers and not turning the ball over. He is averaging 296 yards per game, has four touchdown passes and zero picks. I would expect another 250+ yards and at least two touchdowns this week against the Jets.


Running backs:

Cordarelle Patterson, Atl:

Many owners are still running Mike Davis out there each week, but Patterson is actually the top scoring fantasy player on the Falcons at the moment (at any position). Patterson, the former wide receiver/kick returner, leads the team in touchdowns (2 – one rushing, one receiving), all-purpose yards (136) and yards per carry (4.6).  

Tony Pollard, Dal:

Pollard is currently leading Zeke in yards (123-104), receptions (7-4), receiving yards (60-32) and is averaging nearly twice as many yards per carry as Zeke (7.7 vs 3.9), and it isn’t because of one long run (his longest is 28 yards). Right now, Elliott is still getting about ⅔ of the carries, but if this discrepancy in productivity continues, you have to wonder how much longer before Pollard gets more touches.

James White, NE:

Not surprising, but White leads the Patriots in receptions (12) and receiving yards (94) and is only second to Damien Harris in terms of all-purpose yards. If you are in a PPR league, White is always worthy of a Flex play.



Pass Catchers:

Rondale Moore, AZ:

The Cardinals have two receivers in the top 16 as far as fantasy points are concerned, and the second receiver is not A.J. Green or Christian Kirk, but the diminutive rookie Rondale More. Moore actually leads the Cardinals in targets (13), receptions (11) and yards (182). He only trails Hopkins in terms of touchdowns (1-3). 

DJ Moore, Car:

One of the beneficiaries to Darnold’s solid start is Moore. He leads the Panthers in targets (19) and receiving yards (159) and is tied for the team lead in receptions (14) and receiving touchdowns (1). In fact, Moore has more than twice the number of targets as the next Panthers receiver (Robby Anderson) and more than three times the amount of receptions.

Marvin Jones, Jr., Jax:

Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars are off to a horrid start, but Lawrence and Jones seem to have developed a good connection. The veteran receiver leads the Jags in terms of targets (20), receptions (11), yards (132) and touchdowns (2). There are few Jaguars worth a start at this point in the season, but Jones is one.

  • Categories: NFL

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