NFL Week 3 Fantasy Recap: What Have We Learned?



Julio Jones Has Elevated The Falcons

Julio Jones is having a monster year.  He currently is tied for first in receptions (22), second in receiving yards (276), tied for second in targets (26), and third in points (39) through three weeks.  Jones single-handedly makes everyone on the Falcons offense more valuable when he is on the field.  Matt Ryan is delivering the ball to his best option on offense often, which is opening up the running game for Devonta Freeman, and Tevin Coleman prior to his Week Two injury.  If I’m an owner of Freeman I may be looking to sell high on him, as his usage will most likely go down when Coleman returns. Overall, as long as Julio Jones is healthy, this entire Atlanta Falcons offense has great plays at all positions.

Tom Brady Is King

Brady continues to dominate in a season we thought he wouldn’t be playing the first few games.  Dominant is almost an understatement for what Brady has done to this point.  He’s leading every statistical passing category, and is the top player in fantasy football this year.  The attack of Julian Edleman, Rob Gronkowski and Dion Lewis seems to be more than enough for Brady to push the ball down the field and have big plays.  Throw in contributions from LeGarrette Blount hammering it home on the ground, and guys like Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, and Brady will remain in the executive group of quarterbacks this year.  If Dion Lewis is someone you can acquire in trade for a guy you are ready to give up on, or you can even pick him up off the waivers still, I would do so.  Also it’s interesting to look at in a deep league picking up Amendola or Dobson.  If Edleman or Gronk go down this year, someone will have to see those targets in a dominant Brady offense.  If you are someone who has Gronk and/or Edleman, and have the bench spot, you can think of handcuffing with Dobson or Amendola.

The Cardinals Killed It

The Arizona Cardinals continue to be fantasy relevant in many ways. In Week Three versus the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona’s defense returned two Colin Kaepernick interceptions for touchdowns; Carson Palmer threw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns; Larry Fitzgerald caught both of those Palmer touchdowns; Chris Johnson had 150 all-purpose yards with two rushing touchdowns.  While Carson Palmer is healthy, this Arizona offense is capable of putting up big numbers.  Fitzgerald continues to have the big numbers, and is the No. 1 option in a deep receiving corps in Arizona.  The next best option who is John Brown, who continues to look explosive in limited opportunities.  He is poised to break out any week, and if injuries to Fitz or Michael Floyd were to occur, his value would boost tremendously.  He’s a good buy low target that I could see being a part of a trade.

Waiver Adds

Ronnie Hillman, RB – Denver Broncos

Neither Hillman or C.J. Anderson has shown enough to be considered the work horse in Denver.  Both have looked good with the opportunities they have been given.  In Week Three, C.J. Anderson had a big helmet to helmet to hit on a rush, and had to be taken back to be tested for a possible concussion.  Anderson was eventually cleared and returned to the game.  Hillman scored a short touchdown in his absence and seems to be someone the Broncos are going to continue to give opportunities to moving forward.  If anything goes wrong for Anderson, Hillman is still right there waiting to become the guy.  There is a chance he is available in your league, he’s worth the add.

Karlos Williams, RB – Buffalo Bills

You better hoped you handcuffed Williams if you drafted McCoy, because if not someone may be adding him this week and you could be in a tough spot.  Williams had 12 carries for 110 yards in the Week Three win against the Miami Dolphins.  The Bills were blowing out the Dolphins in the second half, and with McCoy having hamstring issues, Williams took advantage of the situation.  He broke off a 41-yard touchdown run, giving him a rushing touchdown every week so far this year.  If he is available in your league, pick him up now because he becomes a must start if LeSean McCoy has to miss any time.

Rishard Matthews, WR – Miami Dolphins

Rishard Matthews caught two touchdowns versus the Bills in a blowout loss.  Matthews now has three touchdown catches for the year, and this was the second game he had at least 100 yards receiving. Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills have not been getting the looks the Matthews has, and even trailed the first round pick, Devante Parker, in targets in Week Three.  Matthews has received rave reviews from his quarterback and offensive coordinator since the preseason, and has been one of Tannehill’s favorite targets this year.  Matthews will have to fight to earn looks each week, as the Dolphins have many options to receive targets.  For now though, Matthews is one of the two best Dolphins receiving options.

Marvin Jones, WR – Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton and the entire Bengals offense has looked very impressive so far this year.  Jones is in a deep receiving corps, but now has back to back weeks with touchdown catches.  It’s always a good idea in deep leagues to grab the next guy in line in good offenses, and Jones is just that.

Andy Dalton, QB – Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton has now thrown eight touchdowns and just one interception, while averaging 23 fantasy points per game.  He’s done this in a highly efficient manner, and is on a very capable and talented Bengals offense.  If you had Ben Roethlisberger, Dalton is who you should target on the waiver wire if you want a consistent starter moving forward.

Charles Clay, TE – Buffalo Bills

Clay is on a hot offense right now, led by rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who draws similar Russell Wilson comparisons.  Clay now has back-to-back weeks with a touchdown, and has received a lot of targets from his new quarterback.  Showing off athleticism and good hands this year, Charles Clay is a worth looking add to bolster your roster at tight end.


LeSean McCoy, RB – Philadelphia Eagles

McCoy is banged up, and even admitted he may need to miss a game.  Rex Ryan says “he is playing on one and a half legs.” With the emergence of Karlos Williams, it would make sense for the Bills to sit McCoy, and let him rest next week when they face the New York Giants.  If you have McCoy, grab Williams if you need an immediate option.

Marshawn Lynch, RB – Seattle Seahawks

Lynch has looked bad this year, and a part of that could be offensive line issues, but another part is that he is also banged up.  He entered Week Three questionable with a calf injury, and now has a new hamstring issue.  Thomas Rawls emerged in Week Three, carrying the ball 16 times for 104 yards.  If Lynch continues to be banged up, look for Rawls to have a bigger role in Seattle.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB – Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger went down in Week Three, and has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and bone bruise, and will be out most likely four-to-six weeks.  Horrible news for owners of Big Ben, as well as Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell owners.  Mike Vick will step in, and you can expect a drop off in production for these guys here.  Brown and Bell will remain top options in fantasy, and it is unclear now what to expect from Bryant, who many owners were counting on after he came back from suspension after next week.  If you had Big Ben, look at Tyrod Taylor or Andy Dalton has options off the waiver wire.

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