Going into week 3, the fantasy football landscape is still settling all around the league, creating some major questions and uncertainties in some places. Such as:
-What’s the deal with Jordan Howard? Is Tarik Cohen the real deal? Which running back should I play? Do either have any value?
-The Cardinals didn’t wait long to hand the keys to Chris Johnson at running back, will he get enough touches to be a productive fantasy player?
-Is Kirk Cousins or any of his receivers worth owning under this offensive scheme?
-Is Marshawn Lynch going to get enough touches this season? Will he continue to get vultured at the goal line by Michael Crabtree?
-Is the Seahawks offensive line so horrendously bad that there are no players from Seattle worthy of a spot on your fantasy roster?
The beginning of this season has created almost no stability in the fantasy football world. With so many injuries and questions surrounding players who are normally considered fantasy starters, finding a “sleeper” and hitting on it is as valuable as ever. Before we get into the guys you should take a look at for this week’s games, let’s see how our sleeper picks from last week performed:
Carson Wentz – 24 points, 333 yards passing, 2 TD
Alex Smith – 16 points, 251 yards passing and a TD
Tarik Cohen – 13 points, had 8 more receptions and is the bears leading receiver
Jacquizz Rodgers – 12 points, 19 carries for 67 yards and a TD
Kendall Wright – 13 points, 7 receptions for 69 yards
Jermaine Kearse – 22 points, 4 receptions for 64 yards and 2 TD
Coby Fleener – 12 points, 3 receptions for 33 yards and a TD
Tyrod Taylor – Only 10 fantasy points, but would have been worse if not for 55 rushing yards.
Charles Clay – Only 3 catches for 23 yards
Jared Cook – 6 points, 4 catches for 25 yards
Cooper Kupp – Only 3 catches for 33 yards
Kerwynn Williams – Lost his grip on the starting job before the first half was over.
We hit on 7 out of 12 players last week, which puts us at 15 out of 24 so far this season.
As for this week, you are going to see a couple recurring names that have been on this list one or both of the last two weeks. Why? Because they are still available in a large percentage of leagues. Remember, when looking at this list, these are players to start if you don’t have a legitimate option ahead of them. The points are for standard PPR leagues, and the owned percentages are based on ESPN Fantasy Football league data.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia
He is currently the number three quarterback in fantasy, and is STILL only owned in 56% of leagues. If he keeps putting up 300-yard games like he has the first two weeks, you will probably keep seeing his name here. He is going up against a good Giants defense this week, but one that is somewhat hobbled with Janoris Jenkins nursing an ankle injury. The Eagles throw the ball enough and Wentz is talented enough, that he should still be able to have a good day from a fantasy standpoint.
Trevor Siemian, Denver
Averaging 22 fantasy points over the first two weeks, Siemian has been a nice surprise early on. He has been very efficient, and the Broncos looked like a machine against the Dallas defense last week. His fantasy ceiling will most likely be somewhat lower this week, going on the road to Buffalo and in a game where both offenses like to run the ball. However, if you are looking for a starting quarterback, he should still have a decent fantasy floor and shouldn’t kill your team.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
He scored 17 fantasy points both Weeks 1 and 2. He has a touchdown to turnover ratio of 4:1 and did this against Denver’s phenomenal passing defense and a Miami team that had two weeks to prepare. Having Keenan Allen back has really seemed to put Rivers in a good spot. Not to mention, the other abundance of weapons (Tyrell Williams, Melvin Gordon, Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, Travis Benjamin) at his disposal. Philip Rivers could be one of the safest quarterback plays every week this season. Yet, he is still only owned in 63.1% of leagues.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago
This guy actually saw his owned percentage drop by 14.4% (to 46.5% overall) this week. Yes, the Bears were horrible running the ball, but Cohen still caught eight passes (on nine targets) for 55 yards. Jordan Howard still appears to be bothered by a shoulder problem, and Cohen becomes an even more intriguing play if he sits. The Steelers should be ahead in this game, meaning Cohen should be on the field more as the Bears play catch up. His ability as a receiver should keep him relevant and provide a nice fantasy floor.
Chris Thompson, Washington
Showing his elite game breaking potential, Thompson has 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just three carries last week. He also added three receptions for 29 receiving yards. He finished the game with 27 fantasy points, after getting 15 in Week 1. Hosting the Raiders this week, it should be a higher scoring game than normal. Given his involvement in the passing game, he is always someone with a higher fantasy floor and that should hold true this weekend. If he is going to get a few more carries a game, his value increases even more.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore
He’s averaging 20 touches a game totaling 173 yards and a touchdown so far through two weeks. That’s hard to find from any running back in today’s NFL. As the team’s 3rd down and main receiving back, he is good for at least a few points every week. Now, with his increased involvement in the running game, his fantasy floor is even higher. It might be a lower scoring game featuring 2 above average defenses, so don’t necessarily expect a monster outing, but he should have a solid day.
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta
Playing second fiddle to Julio Jones, Sanu is actually leading the Falcons in receptions through the first two weeks (11 receptions for 132 yards on 15 targets). A receiver getting that amount of attention from his quarterback, especially with Sanu’s size and skill, should be owned in most leagues. Fortunately for you, he isn’t. Mohamed Sanu is owned in just 34.4% of ESPN fantasy leagues. He is a decent streaming option this week against Detroit, and should provide you with nice depth going forward.
Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets
We spoke about him here last week and he made us look pretty good. Against Oakland, he had four catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He is clearly the number one receiving option for the Jets and has flashed some potential. He should get more attention this week against the Dolphins, so don’t be surprised if he has another impressive day.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland
Subbing in for the injured Corey Coleman, Higgins led the Browns in receiving last week with seven catches for 95 yards. Since Kenny Britt already seems to be underwhelming his new team, Higgins is going to clearly be the number one guy for the moment. Against a bad Colts defense this weekend, Higgins should get plenty of opportunities to put up fantasy points. He has major potential for a big day.
Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
He is clearly the more talented tight end at this point for the Chargers. With Antonio Gates finally catching up to Tony Gonzalez in the record books for career touchdowns by a tight end, Henry may get a little more action going forward. His Week 1 goose egg was an anomaly, while his seven receptions for 80 yards last week is closer to reality. Owned in only 65% of leagues, Henry should be available and is an interesting play this week against the Chiefs.
Coby Fleener, New Orleans
This is the third week in a row that Fleener has been on here, but he is still only owned in 41% of fantasy leagues. Currently he is the seventh highest scoring tight end. The Saints will be traveling to Carolina and should be forced to pass more often than not. The Panthers have been pretty solid against tight ends, but Fleener should still have opportunities to impact the game.
David Njoku, Cleveland
He scored his first career touchdown last week in just his second game. As stated earlier, Cleveland is drastically low on receiving talent at the moment. The Browns used a high draft pick on Njoku and are heavily invested in him. Against a poor defense like the Colts, Njoku might have a few more opportunities than normal to impact the game. He has a high ceiling and a low floor.
Hit up Blake on Twitter @blakegibbs for more picks and tips for your fantasy team.