QB – Joe Flacco
Flacco is having his most explosive start to a season in recent memory. With the Ravens red zone offense humming, and the Steelers defense giving up 30 points a game, Flacco will continue to roll. Finally, the Ravens have real fantasy football assets.
RB – Kenyan Drake
It’s been a disheartening few weeks for Drake owners, culminating in last week’s performance when he only had five carries against Oakland. He continues to inexplicably share time with Frank Gore, but Miami should have an explosive running attack against New England this week. The Patriots are giving up the second-most yards on the ground this year, at over 140 per game. Drake will punch in a few big runs even if his carries aren’t what you’d hope and he’ll be a good RB2.
RB – James White
With Rex Burkhead headed to the IR, running back duties should be fairly split between White and Sony Michel. White already had a firm grip on pass-catching duties but should see more carries from this point forward as well. Miami is certainly not stingy against running backs and has given up over 200 yards receiving to that position in three weeks.
WR – John Brown
Again, the Steelers defense is really bad. Brown’s connection with Flacco has enhanced the wide receiver’s big-play skills in a ways we haven’t seen from him since 2015. Brown is averaging 18.5 yards per catch and Pittsburgh’s defense gives up the fifth-most yards per catch in the league at 13.7. There will be plenty of opportunities for Brown to go flying downfield.
WR – Mike Williams
So far, Williams leads the Chargers in touchdown receptions with three. With Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin banged up going into a matchup with San Francisco, Williams may be Phillip Rivers’ most viable option.
WR – Sterling Shepard
Cody Latimer and Evan Engram are out this week for the Giants, which narrows the field of passing options for Eli Manning. Any chance this team has of beating the New Orleans Saints will involve heavy amounts of passing. While Odell Beckham Jr draws the attention of Marshon Lattimore, the rest of the Saints’ very vulnerable defense should be easy targeting for Shepard.
TE – Mike Gesicki
The former Nittany Lion will be angered by his alma mater’s loss to Ohio State and take it out on the Patriots defense. In all seriousness, Gesicki’s involvement in the offense has slowly increased over three weeks and the rookie should take a leap forward with fellow tight end, AJ Derby, out this week. Expect Gesicki to get into the endzone even if his yardage is unimpressive.
FLEX – Ted Ginn Jr.
Eli Apple will miss another week due to a groin injury, the Giants’ Janoris Jenkins will be focused on Michael Thomas. This leaves Ginn Jr. in highly exploitable situations. Last week, the Houston Texans’ WR2, Will Fuller, enjoyed a productive day while DeAndre Hopkins was somewhat contained. Ginn Jr. will boom this week and be a worthy flex play.
QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick
Regardless of who starts for Tampa Bay, their offensive explosion is will likely come to a halt against the Bears. We saw a bit of Fitzpatrick’s turnover propensity show itself last week. Speaking of weaknesses, Chicago’s defense doesn’t have many. If the Bucs find themselves in a whole, they won’t be able to throw their way out like they almost did against the Steelers.
RB – James Conner
Conner was contained by Tampa Bay in a shootout last Monday, held under 100 total yards and kept out of the endzone. He has a tougher matchup this week against the Ravens this week. Pittsburgh’s offense uses him like they would LeVeon Bell, but there’s a clear gap in skill between the two running backs. He’s much easier to cover on passing plays, and will find it hard to run against Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce.
RB – Derrick Henry
Barely matching Dion Lewis in the Titans’ running game and obviously irrelevant as a pass-catcher, Henry won’t see any utility against the Eagles this week. Tennessee will find itself playing from behind and naturally in situations that will keep Henry off the field. Averaging only three yards a carry, you can’t expect anything good this week.
WR – Marvin Jones
Both Kenny Golladay and Golden Tate are ahead of Jones in targets, receptions, and yards. Jones is barely holding off Theo Riddick as Matthew Stafford’s third option. The Cowboys are giving up less than 10 yards per reception, showing an ability to take away the big plays for which Jones is known.
WR – Quincy Enunwa
Sam Darnold is very much a rookie, throwing five interceptions through three weeks while heavily targeting Enunwa and making himself fairly predictable. The Jets will probably experience the same offensive inadequacy that they suffered against Cleveland. Enunwa will get targets, but no yards or scores.
WR – Sammy Watkins
Can’t really say much other than that this is a Tyreek Hill/Travis Kelce game. Right now it’s a good idea to have whatever part in Kansas City’s offense you can, but Denver will lock down at least a couple of Patrick Mahomes’ options. The easiest ones to handle are Watkins and Hunt
TE – David Njoku
It’s been a disappointing start to the season for Njoku and Baker Mayfield’s rise may have underwhelming results for the tight end in the near future. As it is, the Oakland Raiders’ defense has played against that position as well as any team in the league. Cleveland may protect their rookie quarterback by exploiting the Raiders’ more obvious weakness on the ground.
FLEX – Jordy Nelson
Don’t allow yourself to be disappointed when Nelson puts up the dismal numbers he had in the first two weeks of this season. Oakland has a tough matchup with the Cleveland Browns defense and Derek Carr will be too busy running from Myles Garrett to afford Nelson a repeat performance. Martavis Bryant is back in the pass-catching picture, along with Amari Cooper and Jared Cook. Let Nelson stay on your bench for now.