Fantasy Attack: Week 3
Did you over react to Week 1?
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It’s Week 3 of the Fantasy Attack! How are your teams doing?
Last week I told you not to get discouraged by a poor showing in Week 1. Lesser fantasy players will throw their strategy out the window, panic & make ill-advised trades & waiver wire pickups. The correct thing to do is let things play out. I had a 1-4 record in Week 1, but I didn’t make any rash moves. Sure enough, I was rewarded with a 4-1 record in Week 2. (And a nice little win in a DRAFT Week 2 Auction, thank you very much.)
The only problem? My one loss was in the league I won in Week 1. I got five 1-1 teams, y’all! Just call me Even Steven. Actually, please don’t. It’s not particularly original.
Here’s who will show out, who will no-show, and who will welcome themselves to the show.
Patrick Mahomes (21.8 DRAFT proj.): You didn’t have to look too far to see the hype coming in for Mahomes during the off-season. Numerous people within the NFL & the Chiefs organization had nothing but great things to say about him. Well, we’re two weeks into the season and he’s set the record for touchdowns in the first two games. Sure, the Steelers are a complete mess right now, and the Chargers’ defense is missing some key components. But not just any jabroni off the street can carve those two teams up the way Mahomes did. I saw most of his performance against the Steelers as it happened, and he was getting anything he wanted anytime he wanted. The Chiefs have never relied on homegrown QBs & went decades without drafting one. They’ve got one now, and he’ll run roughshod over the 49ers this week. The San Fran defense hasn’t stopped anybody so far, and they won’t in Week 3.
It won’t be like this every week. I can see him having some issues in Week 4 & 5 against the Broncos & Jaguars, and you know Bill Belichick will have something for him in Week 6. He won’t end the season with the 80 touchdowns that he’s on pace for. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, somebody that will have to be reckoned with in fantasy for years to come. If you drafted him, you’re loving life right now.
T.Y. Hilton (10.4 DRAFT proj.) Hilton’s loving life now that Andrew Luck is back in the saddle. He’s found the end zone in Week 1 against Cincinnati & Week 2 against Washington. He’s been targeted eleven times in each game. Expect more of the same on Sunday against a Philadelphia secondary that got carved up in Week 2 by Ryan Fitzpatrick & DeSean Jackson.
Dalvin Cook (15.5 DRAFT proj.): Cook hasn’t been producing much in the running game. He’s made up for it in the passing game, but has yet to find the end zone. Assuming his hamstring issue at the end of the Packers game was a cramp as he says it was, he’s got a dream matchup in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. Feel free to load up on your Vikings this week, folks. They’ll be mad coming off a tie and playing probably the worst team in the league. Put em all in.
O.J. Howard (6.7 DRAFT proj.): We’ve been waiting over a season for Howard to show the potential that made him a first round draft pick out of Alabama. He didn’t do much his rookie season, but we got a taste of what he can do when he scored a 75-yard touchdown against the Eagles in Week 2. A Buccaneers team that has played lights out offense the first two weeks goes up against a Steelers team in turmoil that has a sorry, no-account secondary. Should work out pretty well for the Juice.
Trey Burton (4.7 DRAFT proj.): Speaking of things that are sorry & no-account, those terms could certainly be used to describe the Chicago Bears’ offense. We’re still not sold on Mitchell Tribusky, but at least he can find his tight end in the red zone. Burton got one of those TDs in Week 2, and he gets an Arizona Cardinals defense that’s let tight ends score on them in each of the first two games. Make it three.
David Johnson (16.8 DRAFT proj.): Johnson looked fine in the preseason, but there’s a reason you can’t trust everything you see in preseason. He hasn’t gone for over fifty rushing yards yet, and he’s got a tough matchup in Week 3 with a Bears defense threatening to bring back that Monsters of the Midway moniker. Things will get better for DJ owners, just not this week.
Russell Wilson (19.3 DRAFT proj.): The Hall of Famer is in a pretty bad situation right now. He’s got nobody to throw the ball to. He’s got nobody to run the ball. He’s got nobody to block for him. The Seattle offense looks like a dumpster fire right now & I don’t expect it to improve in Week 3 against the Cowboys. What the heck has Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer done to get NFL coordinating gigs other than be Marty’s son? Don’t give me Mark Sanchez as an answer, that was over a decade ago. What’s he done since?
A.J. Green (12.7 DRAFT proj.): For once, the Bengals’ offense showed up for a prime time game. A.J. got three touchdowns early on & helped power Cincinnati to a big win & first place in the AFC North. People are excited…kinda. We know the team will let us down eventually, and a road date in Carolina is a good place for that to happen. Carolina’s secondary has done some good work early on & the front seven should be able to pressure Andy Dalton, which leads to bad things for Green’s production. Don’t expect too much this week.
Jared Cook (8.8 DRAFT proj.): Cook had a huge Week 1, but people that have watched his career unfold knew that it wouldn’t last. He caught all of his targets in Week 2, but there were only four of them. Miami has yet to allow a tight end into the end zone, and it won’t happen this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (25% Yahoo owned, 20.0 DRAFT proj.): There’s some FitzMagic brewing in Tampa! He’s always been known as an exceptionally smart QB that doesn’t make mistakes, and he’s got some good toys to play with in that Tampa offense. He’s got a great matchup too, as that Pittsburgh seconday is one of the worst in the league. There shouldn’t be a QB controversy in Tampa Bay when Jameis Winston returns…why would they bench Fitzpatrick for anybody? Especially an emotionally immature goofball like Winston?
Willie Snead IV (3% Yahoo owned, 4.7 DRAFT proj.): The Ravens’ offense isn’t going to break any records this season, but Snead’s carved out a nice little role in the slot as an easy guy for Joe Flacco to find. He went up to eight targets last week from the six he got last week, and I’d expect something in that range against Denver. A guy getting that kind of run only being owned in 3% of leagues seems a little off to me. He gets Pittsburgh in Week 4, so that might be when ownership in his stock picks up.
Cleveland DEF (9% Yahoo owned): Don’t look now, but the Browns defense might actually be a capable unit. Those young players are working pretty well together & have gotten things done against two of the NFL’s most accomplished QBs in Ben Roethlisberger & Drew Brees. Multiple fumble recoveries in each game is always a good thing. It’s a short week for them, as they get the Jets & Sam Darnold on Thursday night. I expect this to be more like a traditional Thursday night game…a low-scoring affair tough on the eyes.
…I also expect the Browns to win, largely due to their defense making life difficult for Darnold.