Fantasy Football Sleepers Week Three
Two weeks into the 2017 fantasy football season, the top five overall fantasy scoring leaderboard holds two names that could be amongst the league’s best at their position for years to come. No, I’m not talking about Alex Smith, who lit it up in Week 1 with 31 points. He descended back down to earth in Week 2 with 16.1, yet, remains fantasy’s No. 2 overall producer. The players I’m referring to are Trevor Siemian and Carson Wentz.
Through two games, Siemain is fantasy’s No. 3 overall scorer with 45.3 points while Wentz is at the four-spot with 43.7. They are the QBs two and three respectively behind Smith. While I don’t believe Smith will maintain his early success, both Siemian and Wentz have looked the part through two weeks. They could continue their success, with ups and downs of course, for the duration of the year. The relevance? Both signal callers are considered Fantasy sleepers.
Top Five Offensive Fantasy Scoring Leaders through Week 2
Now, before we take a look at my sleepers for the upcoming slate of games, let’s see how last week panned out. Week 2 Sleepers Recap
|Player||Pos||Rank||Points||PPR Rank||PPR Points|
Five of my Week 2 sleepers accumulated at least 9.3 fantasy points in standard scoring, while five tallied at least 12.3 points in PPR formats.
Entering Week 3, some fantasy owners may be forced to shop the waiver wire due to a handful of notable injuries around the league. With players that include Greg Olsen, Corey Coleman, and Randall Cobb all succumbing to injuries last week, be sure to check out Andrew Erickson’s Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3 to assist you with filling the vacant holes on your fantasy rosters.
Without further ado, here are my Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week Three.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 52.7%
For the second consecutive week, Dak Prescott is headlining my sleepers list. Why? Because he is producing as a top 12 fantasy QB. With 33 points and a 16.5 FPPG average, Prescott is the QB11 through two games. Although he struggled last Sunday against the Broncos, he still accumulated 15.9 fantasy points, completing 30-of-50 passes for 238 yards, two TDs and two INTs. When the Cowboys can’t get Ezekiel Elliott going on the ground, it is proven that they will throw the ball an ample amount, which bodes well for Prescott’s fantasy worth at different points throughout the year.
Prescott is entering a favorable Week 3 matchup against a Cardinals defense that’s allowed 633 total yards and 48 points through the first two games of the year. Moreover, they’ve allowed the fourth most points to fantasy QBs, surrendering 18 FPPG. In a primetime Monday night matchup, the Cowboys’ backs are against the wall. If there is a must-win scenario in the third week of the year, this is it. Look for the Dallas offense and Elliott to bounce back this week. If the 2016 NFL rushing leader plays up to his potential, Arizona will be forced to put an extra man in the box, opening the passing game up for Prescott. The second-year passer could be in line for his best statistical performance of this young season in Week 3.
Looking for Week 3 Start’EM Sit’EM advice? Phil Clark has you .covered right here
ESPN Start-Percentage: 1.3%
In his 2017 Week 2 debut, Jay Cutler threw for 230 yards and a touchdown while completing 72.7 percent of his passes, accumulating 13.1 fantasy points against a young and talented Chargers defense. However, in his upcoming matchup, he is facing a much softer opponent, the New York Jets. Not only did the Jets allow Derek Carr to torch them for 21.2 fantasy points last week, but through two games, their defense has allowed the third most fantasy production to QBs, yielding 20 FPPG.
Against a young secondary and a dismal pass rush, Cutler should have sufficient time to work the field downfield and score a big play to one of his gifted pass-catchers that include Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. Cutler should once again flourish in head coach Adam Gase’s offense if he remains upright and healthy. He is a mid-tiered QB2 streamer for Week 3.
For more streaming options, check out Jason Willan’s Fantasy Football Streaming for Week 3 article right here.
Running Back Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 15.9%
Despite the presence of Christian McCaffrey in Carolina — he is listed as the Panthers’ RB1 — Jonathan Stewart is maintaining his role as the team’s primary early-down/ short-yardage back. In fact, Stewart has out-touched McCaffrey 35-to-30 through the first two weeks of 2017. Although this balance is not expected to continue all season long, Stewart remains a prime fantasy option for this week’s slate of games.
In Week 3, Stewart will face a familiar foe, the NFC South division-rival New Orleans Saints. Thus far in 2017, the New Orleans defense has been atrocious in all aspects. Yes, they are the viewed league’s worst defensive unit allowing 1,025 total yards and 65 points. But from a fantasy perspective, the Saints have allowed the fourth most points to opposing RBs, surrendering 27 FPPG, which bodes well for Stewart’s Week 3 outlook. Moreover, the veteran RB has found success versus New Orleans in recent memory. He’s scored at least one TD in four of his last five meetings against them dating back Dec. 2014. Stewart is a confident Flex play for Week 3.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 15.3%
Through the first two weeks, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are separated by a small margin from a fantasy perspective. Abdullah is the RB28 with 12.7 points and Riddick is the RB30 with 12.3 in standard scoring. However, in PPR, Riddick is the RB24 with 21.3 points whereas Abdullah is the RB36 with 15.7. Obviously, Riddick is the better PPR play of the duo, but in standard, both Lions RBs could be started in 12-team leagues and deeper, especially in a favorable Week 3 matchup against the Falcons. Although Atlanta is playing well, their defense, that’s allowed the 10th most total yards thus far in 2017, is once again their Achilles heel.
If Sunday’s matchup is a shoot-out or gets out of hand in the Falcons’ favor, the Lions may be forced to abandon the run, which works in Riddick’s favor. He is Detriot’s primary receiver out of the backfield. In that scenario, Riddick could thrive facing an Atlanta defense that’s allowed the third most fantasy points to RBs. They are surrendering 27.5 FPPG to the position. Although Abdullah has out-touched Riddick 35-to-19 through the first two matchups, Riddick is the Lions’ RB to start in Week 3.
Need fantasy trade advice? Check out Hunter Gibbon and Matthew Foreman’s Tradespotting podcast here. They’ll give you the inside scoop on when and which players to deal for a maximum return.[the_ad id=”73965″] [the_ad id=”69556″]
Wide Receiver Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 6.3%
Before the start of the 2017 regular season, the Jets acquired Jermaine Kearse from the Seahawks to sure up their depleted wide receiver corps. Although Robby Anderson opened the year as the WR1, it didn’t take long for Kearse to emerge on top of the depth chart. Through two games, Kearse caught 11-of-14 targets for 123 yards and two TDs while averaging 11.2 YPC. He is fantasy’s WR5 with 24.3 points and a 12.2 FPG average. Coming off of a 4-64-2 outing against the Raiders in Week 2, Kearse is poised to continue his success on Sunday afternoon versus the Dolphins. Facing a Miami defense that allowed 30.5 fantasy points to Chargers WRs last week, I’d feel confident starting Kearse in the WR4/ Flex spot in fantasy leagues with 12 teams and deeper.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 0.4%
Rashard Higgins came out of nowhere last week to lead the Browns in receiving. After being promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, Higgins caught 7-of-11 targets for 95 yards while averaging 13.6 YPC against a strong Ravens secondary the following afternoon. Although he only tallied 9.9 standard fantasy points, he put up 16.9 in PPR.
In Week 3, Higgins is facing a Colts defense that is amongst one of the league’s worst units.
Not only have they surrendered the third most passing yards in the league thus far in 2017, but they’ve also yielded the second most fantasy points to opposing wideouts giving up an average of 28.2 FPPG. Although Vontae Davis, who would be a vast upgrade for the Colts’ secondary, may play on Sunday, Higgins remains a quality fantasy option.
With Corey Coleman out for at least the next eight games — he was placed on the short-term injured reserve list this week with a broken bone in his hand — Higgins is on the fast track to emerge as the Browns’ WR1. What about Kenny Britt? Well, the veteran receiver was out-snapped by Higgins 54-to-42 in Week 2. Plus, he’s been invisible this year, only hauling in two targets for 15 yards. In a plus Week 3 matchup, I’d feel comfortable starting Higgins in both standard and PPR scoring formats at the Flex. He is also worth starting as a value DFS play for this week’s slate of games.
Need some more DFS tips? Check out Mike Hauff’s Week 3 Draft Kings primer here.[the_ad id=”72096″] [the_ad id=”66090″]
Tight End Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 0.9%
Although Ben Watson was ineffective in the season opener — he failed to catch his lone target — the 36-year-old fared much better in Week 2. He hauled in all eight of his targets for 91 yards while likely cementing himself as the Ravens’ top pass-catching option at tight end. In Week 3, Watson is heading into a welcoming matchup with a strong, but inconsistent Jaguars defense that’s allowed the third most fantasy production to TEs in 2017. They’ve surrendered 13.6 FPPG to the position.
Already desperate for receiving options on an offense that’s led the NFL in passing attempts in each of the past two seasons, Baltimore could heavily rely on Watson this year, especially since Dennis Pitta, their 2016 TE1, led the team in targets last year with 119. Likely a top waiver wire add entering Week 3, Watson should be started with confidence, more so, however, in PPR scoring formats.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 4.6%
Although Evan Engram is questionable this week with a concussion, he’s practiced in full and remains on track to play on Sunday versus the Eagles. Engram is the lone bright spot on a Giants offense that can’t move out of its own way. Through two games, the rookie is fantasy’s TE9 with 23.3 points with an 8-93-1 stat line.
In Week 3, Engram will face an Eagles defense that’s currently an outstanding matchup for fantasy TEs. They’ve allowed the ninth most fantasy points to the position thus far in 2017 surrendering 10 FPPG. Plus, they are coming off of a Week 2 matchup with Kansas City in which they allowed Travis Kelce to snag eight receptions for 103 yards and a TD. While New York’s pass catchers are a risk — the team’s offensive line struggles are forcing the ball out of Eli Manning‘s hands at a fast rate — I believe Engram is the only playable fantasy option this week on the Giants’ offense other than Odell Beckham Jr.
Two Sleepers If You’re Desperate
ESPN Start-Percentage: 0.4%
With Greg Olsen out for at least the next eight games — he was placed on the short-term injured reserve list this week with a broken foot — Ed Dickson is in line to enter Week 3 as Carolina’s TE1. At a position heavily featured in the Panthers’ passing attack, Dickson makes for a boom or bust fantasy option for Sunday’s matchup with the Saints.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Dickson hasn’t been fantasy-relevant since 2011 in which he produced a 54-528-5 stat line for the Ravens in his second year in the league.” I get it. However, facing a terrible New Orleans defense that’s allowed the fourth-most fantasy production to TEs this year surrendering 13.4 FPPG, Dickson is a quality option despite being viewed touchdown-dependent. Moreover, Kenny Vaccaro, arguably the Saints’ top safety, may not play in the matchup. He was benched last week against New England and could be a healthy scratch on Sunday as a result. If you’re hurting at the tight end position, Dickson will likely be available on the waiver wire. He is desperation start at TE for Week 3.[the_ad id=”66090″]
ESPN Start-Percentage: 3.7%
After beginning the 2017 season with a strong two touchdown performance against the Cardinals, Kenny Golladay faded into an oblivion in Week 2 versus a Giants defense, battling to keep the team afloat. However, in a Week 3 meeting with the Falcons, which opened with a 49.5 over/ under, Golladay is worth a look in deeper league formats, especially in a game that is expected to be a high-scoring affair.
Facing an Atlanta defense that will be without the 2016 league-leader in sacks, Victor Beasley, who is out indefinitely with a slight hamstring tear, Matthew Stafford should have extended time to work the ball downfield to his open receivers, which works in Golladay’s favor. In that scenario, he could get open for the big play, which could ultimately result in a long touchdown. Consider the rookie wideout a desperation Flex play for Week 3 with extreme boom or bust potential.
Thank you for reading about my sleepers for Week 3. I hope you enjoyed it! Want more? Mike Hauff and I debate fantasy football news, notes and yes, sleepers, on our show, the Faceoff, a Gridiron Experts podcast. Check it out.
Oh, and before I forget, we will answer your questions on our show! All you have to do is Tweet us with your question @FFfaceoff.
Anthony Cervino is a lifelong NFL enthusiast, especially of the Dallas Cowboys. He has been infatuated with the game since childhood and was introduced to fantasy football as a young teen. Back then, the league commissioner typed out the weekly newsletter and used the Daily News to tally scores. In a statistic-driven game of fantasy football, Anthony believes that sometimes you have to rely on that good ole gut instinct. Anthony resides in New Jersey where he lives with his wife, son and a pomeranian that is named Roman (after Tony Romo). When Anthony is not immersed in the NFL or fantasy football related activities, he enjoys bodybuilding and spending time with his family. Anthony is committed to giving you his best analysis and most accurate statistics to help you win championships. Don’t hesitate to tweet Anthony @therealnflguru about anything NFL or fantasy-related topics. He will always respond in a timely fashion.