Tough week for a lot of fantasy owners. Adrian Peterson is confirmed to be out for 3-4 months due to his knee injury, opening the door for Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon to get touches. Gronkowski remains out, and Martellus Bennett sure is taking advantage of that. Ameer Abdullah was put on IR, making Theo Riddick’s value skyrocket. The list goes on with names like Doug Martin, Jonathan Stewart, and Danny Woodhead. This makes the fantasy landscape much more interesting. Some new names may enter the Sleeper category, and the true fantasy players will begin to separate from the lackadaisical fantasy players. With that being said, let’s dive into fantasy match ups of Week 3.
Andrew Luck against Chargers
Luck had a rough time last week against the Broncos. As expected for most QBs against the Broncos D in Denver. This match up against the Chargers is hard to pass up, though. Week 1 against the Lions, Luck threw for 4 TDs and put up a 119.5 Passer rating. Numbers like that aren’t far off from his potential against the Chargers, especially with him being at home. The Chargers are not an elite pass defense, ranking in the bottom five against QBs, and after seeing what Alex Smith did to their defense Week 1, Luck is an elite option.
Matt Ryan against Saints
Love seeing the start to the season that Matt Ryan has had. He’s had at least 300 passing yards and two TDs in each game, while also limiting his turnovers to just one. Last week against the Raiders, he connected with 9 different receivers. Ryan seems to have found a real nice groove to start the season. Now, I’m going to ignore the Saints decent job on defense last week against Manning and go in favor of long term history. The Saints will not be able to cover all of the weapons Ryan has, especially Jones who I will discuss later on.
Drew Brees against Falcons
Brees has snuck his way onto my list once again. Why is that? Well, last week I neglected to factor in that the Saints were playing in New York, and historically Brees does not put up his huge games while on the road. Luckily for the Saints, Brees is back at home against a Falcons defense that let Jameis Winston throw four TDs Week 1. So far this season, they are the third worst defense against QBs. With Ryan’s potential, this game looks to be a shootout.
Ryan Tannehill against Browns
Tannehill was driving me nuts last week against the Pats. Granted most of his production came when the Pats defense was merely trying to hold onto the lead, yet Tannehill impressed me. Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker were all over the field, and Tannehill was showing a connection with them I hadn’t seen last season. There’s no hiding the deficiencies the Browns have on defense, so as long they are I’m going to trust the offense on the other side of the ball. This week it’s Tannehill’s turn.
Isaiah Crowell against Dolphins
Crowell is not a sleeper anymore after his performance last week. He torched the Ravens defense for 133 yards rushing and a TD, with his effort going for not after the Browns blew the game. Why do I trust him against the Dolphins? For starters, the Dolphins got exposed by LeGarrette Blount last week, even when it became apparent that the Patriots were definitely going with the run game. Also, the Browns are rolling with an inexperienced QB this week in Cody Kessler. I’m no coach here, but I don’t expect the Browns to be making Kessler sling it every play. I see a more conservative offense for the Browns and Crowell being the workhorse.
Melvin Gordon against Colts
This is where we see injuries become a factor to current fantasy starters. Gordon was already on most radars, especially for the game this week against the Colts. The Woodhead injury could go either way for Gordon. Other teams may just stack the box when they see Gordon with no Woodhead, or Gordon just gets so many touches that it doesn’t even matter what the other team is doing. The Colts have by far been the worst defense against RBs to start the season, so none of that should even matter. Gordon is a lock for a solid game this Sunday.
Mark Ingram against Falcons
Yeah I didn’t realize Ingram was still on the Saints either. As a Heisman winner, he’s definitely doing better than likes of Johnny Manziel, but Ingram has been somewhat of a disappointment in the NFL. Being on the pass heavy Saints doesn’t help either. So what do I see from Ingram this week? I just think something has gotta give with the Saints in the run game. The Giants shut down Brees last week and they didn’t know how to answer that. Ingram is a true sleeper considering he hasn’t even had more than 12 touches in the first two games. The Falcons present an excellent opportunity for Ingram, and hey, maybe there’s a chance for some touches in the red zone. There should be plenty of offense to go around for Ingram to get some work this week.
Julio Jones against Saints
From what I’ve read, the calf injury that Jones suffered last week doesn’t seem to be serious. So, expect him to not only play this week but tear up the Saints. If Matt Ryan is going off this week someone has to benefit from that. Jones is the main option and an elite receiver, enough said right there. Hopefully he gets more looks this week, the fact that eight other receivers took receptions away from him last week does scare me. Julio Jones is still going to go off this week.
Larry Fitzgerald against Bills
What’s up with the Bills defense? Ever since Rex Ryan showed up I think they’ve gotten progressively worse and worse as an overall defense. They are in the top 10 for defense against WRs and RBs which is astonishing to me considering the Ryan family prides themselves on defense. With all that said, Larry Fitzgerald is the ageless wonder. Even after 13 years, Fitzgerald balls harder than most of the younger guys in the league right now. He’s had a strong start to the season, with the three TDs and 158 yards, and it’ll continue Sunday against the Bills.
Travis Benjamin against Colts
Anyone else have Benjamin on their team and not start him last week? Yeah that was a tough pill to swallow. Let’s not make that mistake again because he’s clearly going to try and fill the role Keenan Allen left behind. How consistent will he be though? Travis Benjamin is the prototypical go big or go home receiver, which could largely might be due to how Cleveland decided to use him as that. Rivers and the Chargers may have other plans and I hope that is the case. Also, the Colts are just awful against WRs so that helps too.
Delanie Walker against Raiders
At the moment, Walker is the most consistent option at TE. He had a weak first game against the Vikings, yet followed it up with a great game against the Lions. Mariota definitely has Walker as his prime target in the pass game, which is great but he needs more help than just Walker. If Sharpe is able to situate himself, Walker gets that much better. Until then, the Raiders are still a solid matchup for Walker and wouldn’t hesitate putting him in my lineup.
Jordan Cameron against Browns
Cameron hasn’t been on my radar much. Playing the Seahawks first game definitely didn’t help that. Also, Cameron had a tough first year with the Dolphins, like not even 40 catches and 400 yards for the season tough. That has to change this year now having some experience with Tannehill, and he looked good last week against the Patriots. If you need a TE this week and Cameron is on the waiver wire somehow, I’d take a risk on him. Could pay some dividends, especially if you just pick him up for the week.
TJ – Mike Evans against Rams
Mike Evans and Jameis Winston seem to be growing their chemistry every week and the LA Rams secondary shouldn’t pose too much of a threat. On the season, Evans has 11 receptions for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns, he might put all of that up against the Rams this weekend. Evans is a must play for sure, if he wasn’t already.
Prediction: 9 receptions, 160 yards, 2 TDs
Gabe – Melvin Gordon against Colts
Mike – Odell Beckham Jr. against Redskins
A lot of NFL fans have been waiting for this rematch ever since the first matchup ended. Now, it’s finally here: Norman vs. Beckham 2.0. In my opinion, Norman got the best of Beckham the first time around, but that won’t happen again. I’ve always viewed Norman as overrated, and if he has to follow Beckham around for the entire game, that will only end poorly for Washington. Beckham will own the day and flex his muscles against his biggest rival.
Prediction: 150+ yards, 2+ TD’s.
That’s it for Week 3. Tweet us any picks you may have as well, @N2KSports, I’d love to hear any feedback. Good luck to everyone this week in their fantasy endeavors!