Bridgewater, Mariota are Nifty Week 3 Fantasy Football Plays
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Bold new faces were complimented by old reliable ones in the Week 2 Fantasy highlights as Ben Roethlisberger, the rejuvenated Larry Fitzgerald and DeAngelo Williams brought the heat. Breakout stars Travis Benjamin, Allen Robinson and Crockett Gilmore added fuel to the waiver wire fire and could be key pieces for teams as we trudge forward through the season. We were able to pick out Gio Bernard and Chris Johnson in Week 2 to varying success but it may not have helped if you inserted Nick Foles or Mike Wallace into your lineups. In those last two cases, mea culpa.
So, let’s dive deep past the highly-ranked players for Week 3 and find some seemingly less bankable options to exploit a gap in their perceived value. Use these as a way to replace your underperforming players or as a stop gap or short-term injuries like Alshon Jeffrey’s. Here are your sneaky Week 3 Fantasy Football plays:
[caption id="attachment_98531" align="alignright" width="300"] Teddy Bridgewater has a good matchup this week. Photo Credit:imgacademy[/caption]
Teddy Bridgewater vs. Chargers – Through two weeks, Bridgewater has completed 74 percent of his passes, albeit in relatively low-volume passing efforts. While the Vikes are happy to have Adrian Peterson back as the bell cow in their offense, they are facing a San Diego defense that has yielded five TDs through the air thus far. The Chargers currently rank 20th in pass defense efficiency after ranking 25th in the league last season. Bridgewater is being overlooked this week and may be able to look to Peterson and Kyle Rudolph in the red zone as San Diego is struggling to cover those positions early on.
Marcus Mariota vs. Colts – Mariota placed just outside the Top 12 in some rankings but still has enough doubt surrounding him that we consider him to be a sneaky play. The Colts have been a mess early this season, giving extra possessions via turnovers while letting Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick move the ball at will in the first two contests. Mariota’s six touchdowns are an excellent early sign and with three Colts CBs either listed as questionable and/or out, then Kendall Wright and company may have ample room to work. The Titans will have to fix some blocking schemes after allowing seven sacks in Week 2, but we do expect his highest number of passing attempts yet to try to keep pace with Andrew Luck.
Isaiah Crowell vs. Raiders – Crowell has been a frustrating player to have on your roster, of which there is no doubt. However, the Browns have fed him the ball 29 times thus far, resulting in 105 yards from scrimmage along with one score. The Raiders picked up where they left off last season in relating to opposing Fantasy running backs: at the bottom of the league. Oakland has conceded over 200 totals yards through two weeks plus three scores. While everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop and have Duke Johnson take over the job, we recommend taking an opportunity to put Crowell in against a still-shaky defense that could get dominated by Cleveland’s underrated offensive line.
Doug Baldwin vs. Bears – Baldwin has snagged seven passes in each of the Seahawks first two games on only 17 targets, as we are seeing a very high catch rate due to his work in the slot. The much-maligned Bears defense has done nothing to stop their reputation from preceding them so far. Even it is a relatively low-volume passing effort by the ‘Hawks, we expect Baldwin to be a very solid play, especially in PPR formats.
Coby Fleener vs. Titans – We don’t typically focus on two players from the same game, let alone the same team, but the position is particularly thin this week due to a host of injuries. One of those injuries is to Fleener’s counterpart (Dwayne Allen) who will not suit up against Tennessee. Fleener has only seen one target so far, even though he played 46 snaps in Week 2 against the Jets. The Titans have been one of the worst teams in the league in trying to limit tight end production. We expect the Colts to bounce back and Fleener would be a red zone option for Luck as they try to pile on some points.
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