If you survived Week 2 with all the injuries and off-the-field bad press for the NFL, props to you. We saw big names go down to injury including Jamaal Charles and Robert Griffin III, and Adrian Peterson deactivated. Many of these player situations are carrying over into Week 3, so options may be hard to find. However, Week 3 does brings some great fantasy matchups, so let’s get to it.
Elite, Expensive: Matthew Stafford, DET (Week 3 vs Green Bay)
In Week 3, Stafford gets one of the most favorable matchups on the board. The Green Bay Packers, so far this season, have given up an average of two passing touchdowns and zero interceptions per game. When one of the elite fantasy quarterbacks in the league gets a shot at one of the worst pass defenses in the league, they are a must start.
Middle of the Road: Tony Romo, DAL (Week 3 @ St. Louis)
Tony Romo has been off to a shaky start, but we kind of expected this after coming off of back surgery. This week he gets a juicy matchup against the St. Louis Rams who have yet to put together a good defensive showing. Dallas has a top five offensive line this season, and with the loss of Chris Long, I see Tony Romo having all the time in the world to perform like he is capable of and prove the recent critics wrong.
Cheap, High Upside: Ryan Tannehill, MIA (Week 3 vs Kansas City)
Before the season began, we expected Miami to come out throwing, however, with the loss of Knowshon Moreno, I think they’re going to have to rely even more on the pass. Kansas City has certainly been a disappointment when it comes to the defensive side of the ball, which is likely to continue this week. The more games Tannehill gets with these wide receivers in their new offensive system, the more consistent, better results we’re going to see.
Elite, Expensive: Giovani Bernard, CIN (Week 3 vs Tennessee)
Bernard is proving he should be considered one of the top dual-threat running backs in the league. He leads the Cincinnati Bengals in rushing and receiving yards. In Week 3, he faces Tennessee, who just allowed another great running back DeMarco Murray to post 173 total yards and 1 touchdown against them. Bernard should continue to dominate.
Middle of the Road: Zac Stacy, STL (Week 3 vs Dallas)
Stacy has started the 2014 season slowly. His job looked to be threatened by backup Benny Cunningham, however, in Week 2, Stacy had the majority of the carries with 19 for 71 yards and 1 touchdown. His slow start may have been due to him getting acclimated to the new quarterback Austin Davis. In Week 3, Stacy looks to continue to build his momentum when he plays at home versus Dallas, who has some holes in their defensive front seven.
Cheap, High Upside: Joique Bell, DET (Week 3 vs. Green Bay)
It sure didn’t take long for Bell to take over as lead rusher for Detroit. He beat out Reggie Bush Week 2 finishing with 10 carries, 36 yards and 6 receptions for 61 yards. In what should be a shootout, Detroit is home against another high octane offense, Green Bay. Detroit is a different team on the road and at home, so expect this to be a close, competitive game. When Detroit has the lead and the ball, they will kill the clock utilizing Bell to try to keep Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson off the field.
Elite, Expensive: Jordy Nelson, GB (Week 3 @ Detroit)
Typically, I have issues starting players that come off monster performances. This week I’m make an exception when it comes to Jordy Nelson. We know that Nelson is Rodgers’ favorite target, and against a team that is respectable against the run, we’re going to see Nelson targeted another 10 times this week. Giving Jordy Nelson 10 targets in one game is going to result into another big week.
Middle of the Road: Mike Wallace, MIA (Week 3 vs Kansas City)
As mentioned in a previous article, once Mike Wallace became acclimated with his young quarterback, we knew that the numbers could and should be better than last season. This season we certainly can see the improvement in the connection between Tannehill and Wallace. In Week 3, Wallace gets a secondary that has some question marks, especially in the health department. With Miami looking to throw more, Wallace should certainly be the beneficiary.
Cheap, High Upside: Golden Tate, DET (Week 3 vs Green Bay)
As mentioned earlier, the Detroit Lions get a very favorable matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Golden Tate has had some success against the Packers in the past (FAIL MARY), and I think he continues that success. So far, Tate has been targeted 14 times and has hauled in 11 of those balls for 150 yards, and those were against respectable defenses. I think with this matchup he finally gets into the end zone.
Elite, Expensive: Rob Gronkowski, NE (Week 3 vs Oakland)
After being injured all offseason and preseason, Gronkowski scored a touchdown in Week 1. His Week 2 was subpar with only 4 catches for 32 yards, but New England jumped out to a huge lead, so they decided to run the ball. In Week 3, the home opener for the Patriots, the fans want to see their main-man featured, so expect Tom Brady to target him often with a probable touchdown, maybe two, against a weak Oakland defense.
Middle of the Road: Greg Olsen, CAR (Week 3 vs Pittsburgh)
Olsen remains Cam Newton’s favorite weapon, as evident by Cam’s first game of 2014 in Week 2 targeting Olsen the most of any Panthers receiver. Pittsburgh just allowed two touchdowns to a tight end in Week 2, so Olsen has the opportunity for big yards and a touchdown in Week 3.
Cheap, high upside: Niles Paul, WAS (Week 3 @ Philadelphia)
With Jordan Reed hurt, Paul has stepped up in an offense, run by Jay Gruden, that allows tight ends to flourish. Paul’s breakout game in Week 2 landed him with team-leading 8 receptions, 99 yards and 1 touchdown and that was with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins. In Week 3, Washington plays at division rival Philadelphia in what will be a very competitive game. Expect Cousins to target Paul a lot to keep up with the Eagles.
Cincinnati (Week 3 vs Tennessee)
Cincinnati has one of the best defenses in the league. They just held Week 1 leading quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons to only 10 points. Week 3 bring Tennessee into Cincinnati in what should be another good game for the Bengals defense.
Carolina (Week 3 vs Pittsburgh)
Carolina closed 2013 with one of the best defenses and has shown they have maintained their excellence in 2014. Carolina just held the Detroit Lions, lead by Matthew Stafford and the league’s best wide receiver Calvin Johnson, to 7 points (including under 100 yards receiving for Johnson). In Week 3, Carolina will continue to push and pressure in primetime’s Sunday Night Football at home against Pittsburgh.