I am someone who prides themselves on their fantasy knowledge and strategy. No, ESPN isn’t knocking down my door and I don’t analyze stats the way most “experts” will. However I usually have a pretty good handle on what is going on and what to do in case of injury and so on and so forth.
With all that being said I am looking at what has transpired over the last three weeks and I am stunned at how fast this fantasy season has changed. Early injuries and horrible slumps have plagued some of this season’s top picks. The craziest thing is that it is across the board, every position is hurting and it’s drying up the waiver wire real quick. Part of that is injury and maybe part of it is that you’re just catching on, either way this season is about making moves early.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills- 65% Owned
This will be the last time you see this guy on this list. Bills didn’t even pick the starter until the end of the pre-season and even though scouts predicted it would the Taylor no one in fantasy land predicted him to be a top 10 QB. With Romo and Big Ben out for minutes this is the guy you should be targeting. He is 6th overall tied with Carson Palmer in points, that isn’t a bad place to be and really he is within 5pts of being # 3. In his first three starts this season he has thrown 7 TD’s against 3 INT and no fumbles. He has run for almost 100 yards and score. He is a great bye week fill-in as he has posted double digit scoring in all three games going over 20pts in the last 2. My only caution this week is that his team is a little banged up, both Shaddy and Watkins are questionable and could set him back. I still think he will have a good week, if you need a QB he is only 1 of maybe 3 that I would consider picking up this week.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals- 59% Owned
Talk about a guy who can’t get any love. His team is 3-0 and he has posted fantasy scores of 18,21, and 30, and he can’t get picked up. This is the 3rd best QB going into week #4. If you are like me you are just waiting for the other shoe to fall, we have seen Dalton play well for stretches before. He has always been consistent and maybe this is the year he breaks out. He has great weapons around him, definitely enough to keep him fantasy relevant. Can you think of any other teams with the same amount of talent? Dalton has Bernard, Hill, Green, and Eifert to work with, that should get you excited. He would almost have to try to be bad at this point. 8 TD’s vs 1 INT, that’s a guy that needs to be starting somewhere.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders-34% Owned
Carr’s value jumped 18% up to 34% this week so he has not quite won over the critics, but he is your QB bargain of the week. His last two games have been fantasy phenomenal with scores of 20 and 26. Should make you wonder how week #1 would have worked out had he not had the injury. This guy has the potential around him to be a top 15 or maybe even a top 10 this season. For most leagues Carr is player who will still be available and while there is some risk here I wouldn’t hesitate on pulling the Trigger, odds are you couldn’t do any worse.
Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills- 56% Owned
Even before McCoy’s injuries made front page news this guy was making fantasy noise. It is hard to start back up RB’s when you don’t know if they are going to get to play, see John Starks from week #3. But I think Williams is the real deal and if McCoy sits this week Williams becomes a must start, especially if Watkins sits as well. Williams will be the work horse that keeps pushing these Bills forward and the Giants have been known to let teams score allowing 24pts a game so far this season. I think Williams will get his hands on at least 6 of those on Sunday.
Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins-65% Owned
I expected his ownership to be much lower, but like I suspected, you guys are getting smarter. If he is still available you should pick him up. Morris is a work horse but at the end of the season Jones will have more fantasy pts, mark my words. Now if you were freaked out after his horrible game against the Giants you should look at the team as a whole. They were terrible on all fronts not just running. Also the one fumble he had on the box score was in the endzone. Had he hung onto that ball we would have a 10pt swing in the other direction and he would crowned the next big thing. Stick with this kid, he is something special.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos- 49% Owned
It is really the luck of the draw at this point. There is a lot of positive potential with Hillman but we just have not seen it yet. So far this season he is the highest scoring Broncos RB and the healthiest. He is playing with Peyton Manning who gives him an opportunity to be successful and Broncos have a good defense that will keep the offense on the field. He has yet to really score anything worth looking at but he is a good handcuff if Anderson goes down. If you need 5-7pts Hillman is your start.
Ryan Matthews or Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles- 65% Owned
The Eagles have an exciting offense and both of these guys scored some pts in week 3. Both are always a threat to find the endzone in a number of different ways. Matthews will take the bulk of the ground work and Sproles will show up in the passing game. If I had to choose I would go Matthews first but Sproles isn’t far behind. Both could be great starts while Murray is out.
Thomas Rawls, RD, Seattle Seahawks-12% Owned
This could be the sleeper that gets the win this week but you have to watch the injury reports. Last week against the Bears he rushed for 104yds on 16 carries. Those are running back 1 numbers, even if it was against the Bears. If Lynch is no able to take the field this week, Rawls is great start. Going against a Lions team without much bite, Rawls could have a top 15 performance.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins- 44% Owned
Matthews has caught 70% of the passes thrown in his direction and is coming off of his 2nd 100+ yard receiving game. Miami as a whole has been a disappointment but that doesn’t mean the offense can’t move the ball. I predicted Tannehill to be a top 10 QB this year and he has to throw to somebody. With the running game in disarray the ball is going to have to be thrown. Matthews is averaging almost 6 targets a gameand I expect that number to increase as the season progresses.
Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals- 28% Owned
Dalton has been on fire to start the season and Green cannot catch all of the passes so they need somewhere else to go. Jones has benefited from Dalton’s great start, posting back to back double digit fantasy scores. He isn’t targeted a ton but he found the endszone 2 weeks in a row and is catching about 60% of the balls thrown to him. They are going up against KC who has looked horrible the last 2 weeks but is supposed to be good. I would look to Jones this week to get open with KC doubling Green.
Six of one half a dozen of the other, these guys are all the same. None of their QB’s are proven just yet but all have shown the ability to get balls passed to them and to score some fantasy points. At this point you are not going to find a 1 or 2 level WR, but you can grab a level 3 who is able to get level 2 numbers.
Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions-54% Owned
I am not really confident in what the Lions have been able to do this season but usually you get constant production from a TE. Catches most of the balls passed to him, averaging over 50yds per game on a little over 4 targets. Those are not starter number but they are better than nothing. Ebron has shown the skill to be a top TE in the NFL, he just needs Stafford to get him there. He is a great bye guy to have on your team.
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills- 36% Owned
Clay has a great week #3, which is a good sign. If Watkins sits Clay becomes the beneficiary of more passes available. Always on the cusp of fantasy discussion over the year, maybe this is the year the Clay actually gets good. If you need a fill in for Gronk, Clay is the guy.
I know the list seems a little short, if I missed anyone let me know and we talk about it.