Sunday Update: Final Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings, DeMarco Murray Is OUT
It's the Final Countdo... err... Week 3 Rankiiiinnnngs (still sang it). Updated Sunday morning at 11 AM. I will update for any late scratches, but the ranks also reflect where I'd take the risk on the injured players such as Eddie Lacy, Chris Ivory, etc.
Week 3 Fantasy Fantasy Rankings are updated already as promised. Before we get to them, the previous update, sleepers and more, let's talk about two big names at running back: C.J. Anderson and DeMarco Murray.
What.do.you.do? It's easy to say "buy low" on players - Andrew Luck is the perfect example - but it's harder to give a reason why or maybe even tell you, "Yes, panic and sell him while you can." So what's my advice with Anderson and Murray? Hold and buy.
With Anderson, you need to hold... for one more week. The Broncos offensive line looks shaky, but they could still be acclimating to Gary Kubiak's offense. On top of that, Anderson's toe was an issue the first two weeks. The potential is immense, Anderson was amazing last year over the last nine and Kubiak loves a workhorse option. There is simply too goodness here to bail now. If CJA can't get it going against the Lions though, panic and sell him for whatever you can get. As for Murray, he's a great buy low because - to steal a term from Nando Di Fino - he's in a "Fantasy blind spot." He's been producing but has been far from great, so owners are more likely to think, "Let me see what I can get for him," instead of Luck/CJA owners who are likely saying, "I don't want to sell low because it will come back to bite me." See the difference? With the increased intelligence of league owners these days and "buying low" being too well known for a tactic, you're better offer getting the blind spot player than the obvious buy low option.
And I thought Tuesday of Week 1 was overreaction day of the Fantasy Football season… but wow, this week is even worse. Sure, it doesn’t help that Tony Romo is about done for, Eddie Lacy and Drew Brees have mysterious injuries and DeMarco Murray has less yards than Taiwan Jones.
Nevertheless, even 0-2 teams have legitimate chances at the Fantasy playoffs. Heck, what 11-2 or 12-2 team have you ever seen miss the playoffs? It can all turn around quickly.
Things look bleak if you own C.J. Anderson, Lamar Miller, Dez Bryant, Mike Evans, etc., but again, there is plenty of time to rebound, and there plenty of sleepers that can put a 1 in that win column.
As usual too, join in the DFS fun if your team is already toast... after all, DraftKings is giving a free Millionaire Maker entry to new players. Free lottery ticket? Shaweeeet!
As for the most common Week 3 waiver wire pickups before I get to the Week 3 sleeper picks:
James Starks – Must.own.everywhere!... IF Eddie Lacy misses time. Current reports range from “could play Monday night” to “out for weeks.”
Dion Lewis – If he’s still available and you get any PPR points, pick him up now! Yes, it’s a Patriots running back, but he’s the new, quicker, Shane Vereen.
Devonta Freeman – Another must-own. Tevin Coleman is out for a few weeks and Freeman is a RB2 while Coleman is out.
Matt Jones – Nearly a must-own, but will frustrate a few times due to shared touches with Alfred Morris.
David Johnson – Deeper leagues, especially PPR ones, stash now. Always the most talented running back in Arizona, Bruce Arians can’t be that thickheaded to ignore Johnson’s talent all year (no, not Chris Johnson).
Stevie Johnson – Better PPR option, but receiver options are a bit light in Week 2. Still, Johnson shouldn’t be out there on waivers.
Allen Hurns – Not going to stop complaining about his lack of respect until Hurns’ ownership is at 80 percent.
Cecil Shorts – PPR extraordinaire, Shorts always had the talent, he just needs to stay healthy.
Devin Funchess – Stash option. Could turn into Kelvin Benjamin if he gets acclimated and Cam Newton’s trust.
Jordan Reed and Kyle Rudolph – If they're available in your league, too many owners are asleep at the wheel.
Blake Bortles, JAX – Those hoping for a breakout season are a bit disappointed even though Bortles had a nice Week 2, and that’s the rub in Fantasy… perception. Bortles struggled in Week 1 and threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2, but people are still worried he’ll disappoint this year. Bortles gets a Patriots defense that let Ben Roethliberger throw for 351 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 and Tyrod Taylor to go 23-for-30 with 242 yards, three touchdowns, 43 yards rushing and a score on the ground. Bortles is a great scrambler and will surprise those who gamble on him in Week 3.
Latavius Murray, OAK – Overlooked in the Raiders’ survivor pool busting win was Murray’s second solid game on a per-touch basis. Murray has 109 rushing yards and 48 receiving (10 catches) with a touchdown, so people aren’t fawning over him. Take advantage and even send trade offers, as Murray is averaging 4.36 yards per touch and the Browns just let Dexter McCluster go for 98 yards on 10 carries while chipping in 26 yards on four catches.
C.J. Anderson, DEN – Adrian Peterson blasted the Lions for 134 yards on 29 carries last week right after Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead combined for 93 yards on 26 carries in Week 1. If C.J. Anderson is going to right the ship, Week 3 is it. I’m still buying low, but you can expect a long shower cry, some depressed silence of denial and a few fits of rage if CJA bombs again. Just write off all of my leagues if Anderson doesn’t come through with this matchup.
Ameer Abdullah, DET – The Broncos went from dominating the Ravens run game in Week 1 to letting Jamaal Charles obliterate them in Week 2. Yes, that was a short week, and this game has 10 days in between for the Broncos, but Abdullah is the type of back that can frustrate the Broncos defense. They swarm and are fast, so you need a quick back to get through that first level, and if Abdullah does, you can expect some big plays.
Kendall Wright, TEN – Not surprisingly, the Colts pass defense hasn’t been that good, and that’s where Wright comes in… and where a bounceback game does too. Among the Week 2 overreactions, dropping Wright for one-week wonders is a big one. Wright is still the top option in Tennessee, and Marcus Mariota is going to utilize him more often than not. Yes, it will be inconsistent – after all, Mariota is a rookie – but Wright is still a rather solid PPR option every week.
Allen Hurns, JAX – Overlooked because of the dominant Allen Robinson (which you all know I love), Hurns gets special double-duty in the mentions, as with Bortles, Hurns should have a nice day against the Pats defense.
Doug Baldwin, SEA – Oh yea, that guy! Baldwin is the oft-forgotten receiver in Seattle, and through two games, he has 14 receptions and 127 yards with a touchdown. You want to tell me that has no value in your league? Really…? So Baldwin, a WR1 in Week 2 (both standard and PPR), isn’t worth starting let alone rostering?
Owen Daniels, DEN – Remember when Peyton Manning was done? Oh yea, that was right after Week 1. Have I hammered the point of not overreaction enough yet? Well, Manning looks pretty good after last Thursday, and the Lions have been beat up by opposing tight ends. This week presents Daniels with a nice opportunity for a touchdown.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings
As a reminder, I'll be back to update these rankings plenty of times from now until kickoff Sunday... often daily.
Photo Credit: Jarrett Frazier
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