Each week there are some obvious starts and sits in fantasy football. Other decisions are not quite so simple. With that in mind, I offer up some not-so-obvious picks with my weekly Studs, Duds & Sleepers. Here are this week’s picks.
QB: Joe Burrow (CIN) vs. MIA: Burrow has shook the rust off after missing most of the preseason due to an appectodomy and seems primed for a Prime Time breakout. Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen have combined for 718 yards and five TD passes the last two weeks vs. Miami. Playing on the road just a few days removed from an emotional home win won’t help the Dolphins’ D rebound here.
RB: Saquan Barkley (NYG) vs. CHI: Barkley is the Giants’ offense right now with 38% of the yards from scrimmage to his credit to go along with a 40% of the TDs. He looked like the Saquan of old on that 36-yard TD scamper and given the volume and the matchup he’s poised for a Top 5 finish.
WR: Courtland Sutton (DEN) at LV: As bad as the Broncos’ offense and in particular Russell Wilson have looked, Sutton has been a bright spot. He has established himself as the top target (27 targets) and that resulted in 15 catches and 219 yards over his last two games. The matchup with the Raiders’ defense might be just what the doctor ordered for Denver’s dismal offensive unit to get healthy in fantasy.
TE Zach Ertz (ARI) at CAR: The target volume continues to be there for Ertz (21 targets over last two games) and with AJ Green now joining the growing list of injured Cardinals’ playmakers, look for Ertz to see potentially even more balls thrown his way. The matchup with the Panthers is better than the numbers would indicate.
Get ready for this week’s NFL action with Dan Clasgens & James Adams…
QB: Tom Brady (TB) vs. KC: The good news is Mike Evans is back and some of Brady’s other weapons are nearing a return from injury, but things just don’t look right now in Tampa. I’m turned off by how the total on this game has dropped and am going to need Brady to play his way back into my fantasy lineup.
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) at TB: Edwards-Helaire’s early-season production seems to be a bit of a mirage. He has yet to get more than eight carries in any contest and may be more TD dependent than fantasy managers realize. The brutal matchup vs. the Bucs this week is making me nervous about endorsing him as a starter.
WR: Adam Thielen (MIN) vs. NO: It was nice to see Adam Thielen get his first TD of the season in Week 3 and a season-best eight targets, but the Saints will provide a stiffer challenge for the veteran. The Vikings are struggling with finding their identity on offense and with Dalvin Cook dinged up they could be down some key cogs. He’s on the edge of my top 40 wide receivers for Week 4.
TE: Tyler Higbee (LAR) at SF: No team has been stingier on tight ends through three weeks than the 49ers, who have yielded just five catches for 23 yards and no scores to the position so far this year. In 10 career starts vs. SF Tyler Higbee is averaging 2.4 catches and 25.8 yards per game with just two trips to the end zone. Higbee lacks any fantasy ceiling and his floor is lower than normal this week.
QB: Marcus Mariota (ATL) vs. CLE: I was surprised to see how high this total was sitting as the week opened, especially given all the low totals on the board. That should put Mariota squarely on fantasy managers’ radar. His high rushing floor is enough to consider him, but after seeing Baker Mayfield and Joe Flacco post solid fantasy numbers vs. the Browns starting Mariota in this one doesn’t seem so silly.
RB: Jamaal Williams (DET) vs. SEA: Williams has been in flex territory all season even when De’Andre Swift was healthy. Now with more carries possible, Williams could emerge as a must-start option in a suddenly potent Lions’ offense. Even if Swift is in the picture Williams could prove to be a valuable fantasy commodity for the long term.
WR: Romeo Doubs (GB) vs. NE: The waiver wire darling of the week in league’s where available, Doubs should be owned in all formats. The hype train got rolling pretty fast in August on the youngster and he’s continued the hot play into the early season.
TE: Evan Engram (JCK) vs. PHI: I am banking on Philly putting points on the board and the Eagles’ D slowing down the Jaguars’ receivers. That could leave Engram as the outlet for Trevor Lawrence as he tries to keep pace.
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