By: Jesse Cook (Correspondent)
Week 2 gave us some exciting games and big performances, so who should you pick for your fantasy team in Week 3?
First of all, A.J. Green absolutely went off in the Thursday night game in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He had three first half touchdowns, acquired a total 69 yards on five receptions, and he averaged 13.8 yards per reception. This amounted to an insane 24.9 fantasy points on ESPN Fantasy and NFL Fantasy and 27.4 points on Yahoo Fantasy.
Not to mention that Tyler Boyd attained 91 yards on six receptions, averaging 15.2 yards per play, as well as a touchdown for Cincinnati. He’s a good dark horse pick for their bout with the Carolina Panthers.
Last week, we mainly discounted Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback because he tends not to be consistent, but he passed for over 400 yards for the second week in a row, so it’s time to take a serious look at him for your fantasy team. He passed for 402 yards last week, completed 27 of 33 passes, averaged roughly 14.9 yards per completion, and passed for 4 TDs, which got him 30 fantasy points on ESPN and NFL and 31 on Yahoo.
His 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the 0-1-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, whose defense allowed 42 points to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. This includes 322 passing yards (14.2 yards per completion), 127 rushing yards (5.1 yards per rush), and six passing touchdowns. Fitzpatrick is clearly a strong passer, which should prove troublesome for the suddenly shaky Pittsburgh defense, but should prove beneficial for whichever lucky owner has him on their fantasy team. (Hint: That should be YOU!)
Speaking of Pittsburgh’s loss to KC, Mahomes is looking like an elite QB as he has the most passing touchdowns in his first two games of any QB ever at 10. Mahomes scored 38.8 fantasy points on ESPN and NFL, 38.9 on Yahoo. He’s also facing the San Francisco 49ers who allowed 347 passing yards and three passing TDs to Matthew Stafford, who is arguably one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL thus far. If a cold QB can do that much damage to San Fran, imagine what a hot one can do.
At tight end, look the Travis Kelce route. The KC TE is catching passes from Mahomes against a weak San Fran defense, and last week, the University of Cincinnati alum caught for 109 yards, averaged 15.2 yards per reception, and scored two touchdowns against Pittsburgh. He acquired 22.9 fantasy points on ESPN and NFL and 26.4 on Yahoo.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ T.J. Yeldon had a good game versus the New England Patriots in Jacksonville’s stunning 31-20 victory over the reigning AFC Champs, rushing for 58 yards on 10 attempts, averaging 5.8 yards per play. He also will play the Tennessee Titans this week who allowed 148 rushing yards on 26 attempts (5.7 yards per play), as well as two rushing TDs to the Houston Texans. Yeldon is projected to score 4.7 points this week, but with Leonard Fournette out and an interception-prone Blake Bortles at quarterback, I wouldn’t be surprised if Yeldon takes the rock more often and scores seven or more fantasy points.
Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, as per usual, is not a bad pick because not only did he rush for the fifth most yards in the entire league last week with 78 (4.6 yards per carry with a TD), but he has the 0-2 Seattle Seahawks. Seattle allowed 86 rushing yards to the Chicago Bears on 27 attempts, which averages to about 3.2 yards per rush, which puts them about five FEET from a first down after three downs. This includes 35 yards on 14 attempts (2.5 yards per carry) from Jordan Howard, who is ranked as the 14th best running back in football, full 11 places below Elliott, by ESPN.
Speaking of Chicago, the Bears’ defense surprised everyone Monday night allowing only 17 points to Russell Wilson and his Seahawks, including a pick six. This week they have the Arizona Cardinals, who have scored a total of six points this year… Exactly zero of which came in Week 2. If I were you, I’d look to the Windy City for defense in Week 3.
Lastly, we have the kicker, possibly the most overlooked position. I suggest that you start ol’ reliable, the Pats’ Stephen Gostkowski. He’s playing the Detroit Lions, who have the 17th best ranked defense and allowed 30 points to Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers last week.
Remember, a good kicker is made by his offense, and despite last week’s performance, you shouldn’t bet against an offense with Tom Brady at the helm. Also, Detroit allowed 346 net yards and three touchdowns while allowing SF 23 first downs.
Good luck this week and let’s hope that three proves to be a magic number for all of you.