Sep 20, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws a pass during the second half against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots defeat the Bills 40 to 32. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Last week for fantasy football, I put together a column discussing 5 busts to avoid starting on NFL fantasy teams in Week 2. And I got those picks right for the most part (my apologies to Dion Lewis owners).
This week, I would like to take a more positive approach. Instead of listing players to avoid, the following is a brief list of sleeper players that fantasy owners should absolutely consider starting for Week 3.
Its essential to note that sleeper picks are far from certain studs, and first string offensive players should not be benched. But, if your team has been beset by injuries and you’re desperately scrounging the waiver wire for talent, the following players could be difference makers.
Next: 5. Watch out for this Titan
Sep 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) breaks a tackle in the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Titans defeated the Buccaneers 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans’ wide receiver Kendall Wright has quietly emerged as a solid fantasy player, posting 118 receiving yards and a touchdown over his first two games. His speed and route running allow him to bring a nice dimension on offense.
Cue the Titans’ Week 3 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts’ secondary has been decimated by injuries, culminating in No. 1 cornerback Vontae Davis‘ injury departure (concussion) against the Jets.
The Jets’ wide receivers were dominant against the Colts on Monday night. If Davis is not able to play Week 3, Wright should put up solid numbers.
Next: 4. Johnny Football putting it all together
Sep 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
No one will confuse the NFL’s version of Johnny Manziel with the Heisman-winning collegiate superstar of yesteryear. He still has a ways to go before he can put it all together to translate success in the pros.
Since filling in for the injured Josh McCown, Manziel has failed to post a game with a 55+ completion percentage or 200+ passing yards. That being said, Manziel did manage to throw 2 touchdown passes against the Titans last week. And facing an atrocious Oakland Raiders’ defense that has made Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco look like superstars, Manziel should be money in Week 3.
Note: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is now reporting that Browns quarterback McCown is healthy enough to play Sunday. Fantasy owners looking for a favorable matchup against the Raiders should start McCown instead of Manziel as he’ll more than likely get the nod to start. Keep Manziel around though as there is no guarantee he’ll be able to play the entire game healthy.
Next: 3. The most surprising Buffalo Bill
Sep 20, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws a pass during the first half against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
3. Tyrod Taylor
At first glance, Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor has not wowed as a fantasy option. After failing to throw for 200 yards in Week 1, he posted 3 interceptions against the New England Patriots last Sunday.
That being said, the young signal caller has also thrown 4 touchdown passes and posted a combined completion percentage of 75.5% through his first two games. Taylor has also displayed dual threat ability, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown so far.
Because of his ability to make plays with both his arm and legs, fantasy owners desperate for a quarterback should seriously consider adding Taylor.
Next: 2. Watch out for this Redskin
Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) carries the ball past St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) and Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (55) in the second quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
2. Matt Jones
After only posting 28 rushing yards on 6 carries in Week 1, Washington Redskins’ running back Matt Jones exploded in Week 2 (123 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns). He’s showing he’s more than capable of being a workhorse on offense to keep those chains moving.
Although Alfred Morris has traditionally been the Redskins’ lead back, he received one less carry than Jones in Week 2. Considering the dramatic disparity in their yards/carry averages last week (Jones’ 6.5 vs. Morris’ 3.3), Jones may continue to see the majority of work at running back.
If Jones is still available in your fantasy league, grab him now. This is especially true for Morris owners, who should add Jones as a handcuff option.
Next: 1. This Ram is ready to roll
Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt (18) catches a touchdown pass as Washington Redskins free safety Trenton Robinson (34) and Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall (23) defend in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
1. Kenny Britt
Hopefully it hasn’t come to this. Hopefully you are not in a particularly deep fantasy league, or you drafted a solid bench riddled with starting options. However, if that does not describe your fantasy team and you are in desperate need of a wide receiver for Week 3, might I recommend the Rams’ Kenny Britt?
Britt’s 2015 numbers (4 receptions, 81 receiving yards and a touchdown in 2 games) are far from impressive. However, he does have more receiving yards than any other wide receiver on the Rams. And facing a weak Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense (ranked 27th against the pass), Britt could post respectable numbers.
Don’t expect more than 50 receiving yards and a touchdown from Britt in Week 3. However, for a desperate team, that production could make all the difference.