So Week 2 was awful.
Not only did a ton of running backs suffer serious injuries, but a bunch of almost-guaranteed solid performers left their fantasy owners out to dry. Yes, I’m looking at you Drew Brees. And you Antonio Brown. And, yep, I see you over in the corner A.J. Green. Todd Gurley? Yeah you’re giant man; you can’t hide behind that 3-year old.
Your Week 3 Guide starts...now? No wait. Not yet. Okay now:
1. Carson Wentz: Okay. I believe. According to some tweet I saw this morning, Wentz is the only rookie quarterback to start a season 2-0 without throwing any interceptions. He looked very composed against the Bears on Monday night, and it looks like the sky is the limit.
2. Sam Bradford: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Bradford looked good Sunday night, but I’m going to need to see a bit more consistency before I endorse him as a starter. If you’re in a very deep league with QB problems, he’s worth a look.
1ish. Charles Sims: Sims should be owned already, but if not go snag him. He has value when Doug Martin is healthy, and will absolutely be heavily involved when Martin is out.
1aish. Theo Riddick: Ameer Abdullah has an apparently-minor foot injury. Riddick should have been owned before. Riddick should definitely be owned now.
1. Fozzy Whittaker: Jonathan Stewart suffered a hamstring injury that is supposed to sideline him for a few weeks, and Fizzy Whitaker hopped in and accumulated 100 rushing yards on just 16 carries. I’d assume Whittaker gets the majority of the work, but I think Cameron Artis-Payne will be the guy on the goal line. Only time will tell how this split goes.
2. Jay Ajayi/Kenyan Drake: Arian Foster went down with a groin injury (I’M SO SURPRISED), and Ajayi and Drake stepped into the Dolphins backfield. They didn’t run much as they were behind most of the game (45 passes vs. 16 rushes, and 6 of those rushes were by Ryan Tannehill), so it’s hard to get an idea of who the first guy will be. Ajayi had five carries for 14 yards and four catches for 31, while Drake had two carries for 12 yards and two catches for six, but Drake got the goal-line carry. I don’t hate the idea of adding one of them, I just don’t know which to advise. Back against the wall? Ajayi.
3. Jerick McKinnon: Adrian Robot Peterson suffered a torn meniscus on Sunday, but may play this week apparently (???). If AP sits, McKinnon should see most of the work with Matt Asiata spelling him occasionally and stealing the goal-line work. It goes without saying that McKinnon’s value and production is tied very tightly to Peterson’s health.
4: Jordan Howard: Howard may be here next week as well, but I think it’s best to be ahead of the game. Jeremy Langford has been disappointing this season averaging a hair above three yards per carry, but has saved his fantasy days with touchdowns in both games. After a critical fumble Monday night, I think Langford’s days are numbered. Howard looked the best out of the Bears running backs against the Eagles, and I think his workload should increase in the very near future. I’d grab now and wait a week or two, then brag to your silly league-mates.
1. Quincy Enunwa: Enunwa (say that ten times fast) quietly has 13 receptions on 14 targets thus far in 2016. He left Thursday night’s game with a rib injury, but seems to have standalone value when healthy. In the event that Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker go down, Enunwa’s stock will skyrocket.
2. Michael Thomas: You know I can’t resist my Saints. Thomas is the third option behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead, but he’s been very efficient thus far, catching 10 of his 11 targets for 114 yards. Definitely worth an add in deeper leagues.
3. Phillip Dorsett: Dorsett is currently the third receiver behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, but Moncrief is currently being evaluated for a shoulder injury. If Moncrief is out, Dorsett becomes a great under-the-radar option over the next few weeks, as he faces San Diego, Jacksonville, and Chicago.
4. Jamison Crowder: Crowder is in a bit of a wide receiver rotation with Pierre Garcon and Josh Doctson, but he is currently tied with Jordan Reed for most receptions and targets on the Redskins with 12 and 18, respectively. Crowder has averaged just 8.1 yards per game, so his value is really in PPR formats. Regardless, his involvement is a good sign.
1. Dennis Pitta: The Ravens have always loved their tight ends, and Pitta is no exception. He is currently tied for the league lead among TEs with 12 receptions and is second with 141 yards. It’s not a fluke as long as he can stay healthy.
1. Miami: And the team facing the Browns this week is…
2. Dallas: Dallas never really has a good defense, but the Bears offense looked so atrocious on Monday night that I’d endorse pretty much any defense against them.
Starts of the Week
Alright. You know the drill. Remember to keep an eye on these guys in DFS as well.
1. Marcus Mariota - I really have no idea how this Marcus Mariota obsession surfaced. I feel like I endorse him every week and he ends up doing fine - but nothing special. Oh well. We're at it again. Tennessee plays Oakland this week, and the Raiders defense has given up 34 and 35 points so far this season. That's enough for me.
2. Melvin Gordon - Hi there. Just writing to let you know that Gordon is for real, and I really can't imagine a situation where you can't start him. He looks a trillion times better than last season, Danny Woodhead is out for the season, and the Colts defense is atrocious. The stars hath aligned.
3. Theo Riddick - Similar to Gordon, the stars have aligned for Riddick. He's playing a (usually) very good offense in Green Bay, and Ameer Abdullah got placed on IR with a foot injury. The Lions should be throwing often, which typically means Riddick is very involved. He probably won't get the goal line work because he's a little man, but I'd try to get him in your lineup in PPR leagues especially.
4. Darren Sproles - Sproles is strictly a deeper league play, but I have a feeling that this is going to be a Sproles game. Sproles out-snapped Ryan Mathews 41:21, and the other two backups in Barner and Smallwood combined for 13 - and that was in a game that the Eagles were winning the entire time. I don't expect the same against Pittsburgh. If the Steelers offense does what it's supposed to (aka scores...a lot), Sproles should be on the field while the Eagles try to match the Steelers high octane offense. Again, just a deep league play, but I think he'll be heavily involved.
5. Allen Robinson - If you own ARob, you've probably had a fairly stressful two weeks. Don't bench him. Honestly I'd probably advise you not to bench him regardless of matchup, but he's playing a Ravens defense that made Josh McCown and Corey Coleman look like Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison last week.
6. Phillip Dorsett - I've been waiting for Dorsett to get his chance in this offense since he was drafted in 2015, and now's the time. He's been mildly involved thus far, averaging 62 yards per game, but the real kicker here is that Donte Moncrief is out for 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury. I fully expect the Colts to light it up at home vs. San Diego, and it'll be Dorsett's coming out party.
7. Coby Fleener - Okay. Let's be clear. Fleener isn't a Start of the Week. He's been incredibly frustrating to own, as he only has three catches to start the season on what seems like 88 targets. This is his last chance. The Saints are at home against the Falcons, and these teams should be slinging the ball all over the place. If Fleener's going to come through, it has to be this week. LAST CHANCE, SIR.
We're gonna win $1 trillion this week. As always, here are my favorite DraftKings value picks.
I neglected to mention this before, but my comprehensive projections for all positions for both DraftKings and FanDuel can be found in the DraftCrunch marketplace. Here are some things that cost more than my projections on a monthly basis:
1. McDonald's McChicken sandwich
2. Guacamole at Chipotle
3. An Almond Joy Bar
4. An hour of parking in many major cities
They're $0.99. I literally made them as affordable as possible just for you. Thank me later.
Take note that Darren Sproles (above) is $3700 in DraftKings.
1. Philip Rivers - $6,700: I find myself trying to follow the Colts defense wherever they go, and Rivers is always a good bet to go bonkers. Sign me up.
2. Carson Wentz - $5,500: I think Wentz will be throwing a lot and he is yet to throw an interception, so there's a good chance he returns good value. That's pretty much it.
1. Christine Michael - $5,000: So apparently Thomas Rawls isn't going to play, so Michael should get most of the work. Apparently San Francisco is good against the run, but I'm not buying it. Michael's value grows on me by the minute.
2. Isaiah Crowell - $4,700: I'm not a huge fan of Crowell, and I think he's going to start regressing rapidly. However, this week the Browns are starting Cody Kessler, and I have a feeling they're going to try to run as much as possible. I'm a little worried about the Dolphins defensive line, but Crowell is cheap enough that it's worth the risk.
1. Jarvis Landry - $6,600: Landry is pretty cheap, and he has a great matchup this week. He's targeted constantly and will have a very solid game in DK.
2. Steve Smith Sr. - $4,100: Smith has started slow, but he's always good for a few eruption games. I think this is one.
1. Dennis Pitta - $3,400: Pitta is going to be very highly owned, but he's probably the best value at tight end this week. He should return value, but it may not come at a huge advantage as a result of his high ownership.
Always available here.