By: Justin Lynch
Lynch recaps a high-flying week 3 of fantasy football.
Smith’s a gamer and he made play after play in his team’s 28-24 loss to division rival Cincinnati. Smith has put up 23/336/2 the last two weeks. The reason being Joe Flacco doesn’t want to throw to anyone else. Smith was 10th in the league in targets going into this week, and his 17 targets should vault him up the league leaders in that category. Smith’s workload probably won’t get cut into much even when Breshad Perriman is on the field for the Ravens. Especially with the Ravens reeling, Smith should keep seeing high reception and yardage numbers going forward.
Taylor ranked 5th among quarterbacks in standard leagues going into this week, and his 277/3 performance only solidifies his fantasy worthiness. Taylor took a step down in the running game, but surgically destructed (21/29) a Miami defense that ranked 4th in points against through the first two games. Taylor has the weapons around him to help him, and now he no longer has to worry about Rex Ryan going to the pen if he throws a pick or two. Taylor is owned in just 44% of ESPN leagues, expect that number to keep going up.
Cooper is the number one receiver in a really, really good position. Derek Carr is still developing but has shown the ability to get the ball downfield to Cooper. At the same time, the Raiders are nowhere near good enough to put themselves in positions where they’re going to be running the ball for long stretches in order to kill clock. Teams have to pay attention to Crabtree on the other side and Murray in the running game, so they cannot stack up against Cooper. His 7-109-1 was followed up by 8-134-0. We saw an onslaught of rookie WR talent last season, and Cooper is just continuing the trend.
We found him! Graham was looked at early and often in the Seahawks route of the Bears, putting up 7-83-1. Graham not only looked to be settling into his new role, but Wilson was making it a point to find Graham no matter where he was on the field. Graham had 6-51-1 in week 1 before a 1-11-0 performance that sent the country into a frenzy about why the ‘Hawks weren’t using Graham. Apparently they got the message and now Graham should be a top 5 TE for the remainder of the season.
Much hyped coming into the season, it’s starting to be panic time for Stewart. His 3.4 yards/carry through two games was not helped by his 14-52-0 game against the Saints. Stewart is not at all a factor in the receiving game, and he’s not getting it done on the ground. To make matters worse, he’s nursing a knee injury. With his injury history, that’s a big red flag.
After a huge week one that saw him gain 74 rushing yards and record TD’s both on the ground and through the air, Sankey’s done absolutely nothing. He gained 10 yards on five carries against the sorry Colts run defense and seemingly lost his starting job to somebody named Antonio Andrews in the process. Sankey has a bye next week followed by games vs. Buffalo and Miami. That does not sound good for Sankey.
He missed this week with a hamstring injury. Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles both scored touchdowns. Murray is averaging all of 0.5 yards/carry this season. That’s not good.
2 Things to Think About
Freeman exploded for 141-3 rushing and 5-52 receiving in Tevin Coleman’s absence. Coleman is likely out next week, meaning Freeman will see a heavy load next week as well. I was on the Devonta Freeman train last season (which didn’t really work out), and I’m not jumping off this year. However, Coleman and Freeman are in a timeshare. Freeman needs to put together another big day next week to solidify himself as the starter. If not, expect Coleman to continue taking double-digit carries from Freeman. Freeman can provide a big payoff if he’s given the starting role, picking him up is a risk you will have to take if you see upside in him.
Beckham shouldn’t be on anyone’s team right now. He should. however, be on everyone’s radar. The 6’6”, 225 pound Mizzou product has been primarily a red zone threat, scoring the last two weeks. He is not used much outside of goal-to-go situations, and the Titans still have Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker, and Harry Douglas (among others) taking targets. However, it’s not like Beckham can’t play every down. He runs a 4.49 40 time, was one of the best receivers in this year’s draft class and will slowly become more involved. Picking him up depends on if you’re willing to wait.
1 Concluding Thought
If you started the Patriots as your team this week in a PPR league:
Brady: 22 points
D/ST: 7 (that’s the Breakdown’s fantasy league scoring)
Total: 134 points