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Sleeper Watch - QBs, RBs, WRs, & TEs for Week 3
By Matty N
Welcome to the FF Cafe's Sleeper Watch. Got a spot at the end of your bench? Here are some QB, RB, WR and TE sleepers to consider picking up for Week 3. All players below are unowned in a decent percentage of either ESPN or Yahoo Fantasy Leagues. (Ownership percentages are listed next to each player).
Kirk Cousins, Washington Football Team (owned 4.1% ESPN, 4.8% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 250 YDS and 2 TDs in Week 2. There was buzz around camp in Washington that Cousins was outplaying RG3. When Griffin went down, Cousins stepped in and immediately rifled a 20 Yard TD. He looked extremely sharp, throwing lasers around the field and racking up 109.4 Passer Rating on 66.7% completions.
THE BAD: Theoretically, the job could go back to RG3 when he is healthy. I don't see it. The sad truth is that Robert Griffin has never been the player he was his rookie year. Not since he played on that injured knee. Now RG3 has destroyed his ankle. Ugh. There's is, at least, a slight possibility that Robert Griffin III has played his final game for the Washington Professional Football Team.
Geno Smith, Jets (owned 5.6% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 200 total yards and 2 TDs in week 2. Geno's rushing numbers (17 for 64 YDS and 1 TD this season) make him an interesting fantasy play, especially in standard scoring. The Jets played solid football for the first game-and-a-half of the season before stumbling in the 2nd half of last week's Packers game.
THE BAD: Geno has yet to face a particularly good defense. The schedule looks a whole lot tougher going forward.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans (owned 4.5% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 139 YDS and 2 TDs in Week 2. While the yardage total is not great, Fitzpatrick has thrown 3 TDs with zero picks to start the year. His Passer Rating is 118.4, second only to Peyton Manning this season. The Texans soft last place schedule and lousy division makes for some very nice matchup plays. Fitzpatrick has much better weapons around him than he's ever had before in has career.
THE BAD: Ryan Fitzpatrick has murdered more fantasy teams than any current starting QB in the league.
QB HONORABLE MENTIONS: Brian Hoyer, EJ Manuel, Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater
Khiry Robinson, Saints (owned 97% ESPN, 18% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 8 carries for 31 YDS in Week 2. Robinson actually looked better in Week 1 (4.7 YPC and 1 TD) but with Ingram going down, he should get a chance to shine. Strong physical runner. Good at using his blockers. Better suited to running between the tackles than Pierre Thomas.
THE BAD: Robinson put the ball on the ground once in Week 2. Never a good way to curry favor. Pierre Thomas has way more NFL reps than Robinson. Saints D looks bad and the the team may be in shoot outs all year long, limiting RB touches.
Knile Davis, Cheifs (owned 61% ESPN, 18% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 115 total yards & 2 TDs in Week 2. Davis is a big, physical downhill runner with very good speed (runs a 4.3 40). Decent receiving skills as a check-down option over the middle or in the flat. Clearly taking over as feature back with Jamaal Charles injured. 28 touches in Week 2.
THE BAD: Davis had 25 yards on his first carry but was not spectacular the rest of the way, finishing with only 3.6 YPC. The Chiefs offense doesn't look terribly potent.
Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers (owned 4.7% ESPN, 21% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 22 caries for 144 YDS in Week 2. Rainey had a huge game, adding 3 catches for 30 YDS. Could take over the starting spot, even when Doug Martin gets back. Has great burst and runs low with good balance.
THE BAD: Rainey is undersized for an NFL back. Likely to wear down if given 25 touches per game at the NFL level. Doug Martin will be fighting for touches and Martin will very likely split carries with Rainey, if he can go.
Matt Asiata, Vikings (owned 14% ESPN, 42% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 84 total yards & 1 TD in Week 2. Asiata looks like he may get the starting nod for awhile. Somewhat undersized but solid at 229 lbs. Drives his legs. Capable of pushing the pile. Runs through contact.
THE BAD: Lacks big time speed (runs a 4.81 40). Lacks lateral quickness. Most of Asiata's yards last week came on one broken play from the Pats D, who proceeded to destroy the Vikings offense for the remainder of the afternoon.
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (owned 42% ESPN, 18% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 59 total yards & 1 TD in Week 2. The obvious feature back with DeAngelo Williams hurt. Stewart is a versatile runner who has the tools to be an all purpose back. Can run with power and speed. Runs through tackles. Can get to the corner.
THE BAD: We've seen many flashes from Stewart before. They have always ended in disappointment, injury or both. Williams will reclaim the starting gig when he is healthy.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals (owned 1.7% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 3 catches for 84 YDS & 1 TD in Week 2. Also wowed the crowd with a 50 yard pass to Brandon Tate. Whith AJ Green banged up, Sanu should see a nice bump in targets. Has good hands. Fearless going over the middle.
THE BAD: Sanu is somewhat slow off the line and rarely gets behind corners. His big 51 yard catch came on a broken play by the Falcons. Limited upside.
James Jones, Raiders (owned 25% ESPN, 21% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 9 catches for 112 YDS & 1 TD in Week 2. Jones' 9 catches were perhaps less impressive than his 14 targets. He appears to be have established himself as Derek Carr's number one option. Carr has looked fairly good for a rookie.
THE BAD: This Raiders offense is not exactly a juggernaut. They moved the ball reasonably well against a good Texans D but counting on scoring from anyone in the Raiders O seems a gamble at this point.
Jason Avant, Panthers (owned 0.8% ESPN, 0% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 5 catches for 54 YDS & 1 TD in Week 2. Remember how bad the Panthers were supposed to be this year? Well, they are not that bad. With flashy newcomer Kelvin Benjamin drawing lots of defensive attention, Avant had a nice game. He has quietly developed into a very capable slot receiver and should see lots of targets on quick reads from Cam.
THE BAD: Avant is in his ninth season and he has never even approached the 1000 yard plateau (he has gone over 500 four times). Avant needs to elevate play to be worthy of a fantasy start. Is this finally the year? Could Cam make the difference?
Brian Quick, Rams (owned 3.7% ESPN, 16% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 7 catches for 74 YDS in Week 2. It is not just the 99 and 74 YD games in the first two weeks of the season. It is the targets. 9 targets each game for Quick. 7 catches each game. Seems to be the only guy on the Rams showing up on Sundays. Consistent production is one of the most desired fantasy commodities.
THE BAD: Is there any way this Rams offense could possibly be consistent?
Miles Austin, Browns (owned 2% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 6 catches for 44 YDS and 1 TD in Week 2. Austin is a veteran receiver who is capable of putting up respectable numbers. He was a speedster when he came into the league but has lost some of his zip. Good size but rarely goes up high for the ball anymore.
THE BAD: Andrew Hawkins has established himself as Brian Hoyer's favorite target. Brian Hoyer has not turned the ball over and has looked good ok managing the games but he hasn't showed great accuracy. It isn't going to be bombs away in Cleveland. At least not until Josh Gordon is done at the car dealership.
Delanie Walker, Titans (owned 70% ESPN, 64% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 10 catches for 142 YDS and 1 TD in Week 2. Walker got a whopping 14 targets from Jake Locker and was one of few Titans putting up numbers for his home opener. Shows quickness getting into his routes and runs through tackles. Great on underneath routes. Good ability to run after the catch.
THE BAD: The Titans put up under 300 yards in total offense going against one of the league's leanest defenses. If Tennessee can't get its ground game going Locker and the receivers are going to be inconsistent.
Niles Paul, Washington Football Team (0.8% ESPN, 8% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 8 catches for 99 YDS and 1 TD in Week 2. Makes some tough catches. Capable of going up in traffic to get the ball. Looks to have great chemistry with Kirk Cousins.
THE BAD: The possibility that Jordan Reed could come back from injury, possibly next week, limits Paul's value.
Owen Daniels, Ravens (8.6% ESPN, 12% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 5 catches for 28 YDS and 2 TD in Week 2. Daniels has lots of experience in Gary Kubiak's two TE schemes. Good hands. Two years ago he put up 717 YDS and 6TDs.
THE BAD: Pitta is likely going to see more targets. Flacco and Pitta have developed strong chemistry over several seasons. After nine years in the league, Daniels is passing his prime.
Larry Donnell, Giants (8.6% ESPN, 12% Yahoo)
THE GOOD: 7 catches for 81 YDS in Week 2. Not much good to say about the G-men this season. Larry Donell is the exception. 12 catches for 137 yards and a TD through two games on 17 targets. Former college quarterback (Grambling State) who's been a part-time starter at TE the past two years. Has the size (6'6") to go up and get footballs.
THE BAD: Donnell is still fairly raw. Seems unlikely to play to a high level consistently. Anyone operating in this Giants offense has to be considered suspect.
TE HONORABLE MENTIONS: Jacob Tamme, Zack Miller (at home)
View last week's Sleepers here.