I would like to apologize to all of the Wolfpack and the fantasy football community. Anyone that might have read the Week 2 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em, I sincerely apologize for recommending Anthony Miller. Miller’s goose egg ruined many fantasy lineups. However, Miller wasn’t the only recommended start that dropped the ball. Tom Brady, I’m looking at you. Eight points against the Carolina Panthers?! I digress.
Kareem Hunt was a major hit and Carson Wentz and Malcolm Brown were massive flops, as expected. So last week wasn’t a total loss.
Moving on to Week 3! The tireless pursuit of fantasy gridiron glory never sleeps and neither does the Wolfpack!
Also, use our Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings for additional lineup help.
Ryan Tannehill vs Vikings
It’s still weird to trust Tannehill as a legitimate NFL and fantasy football quarterback, even though he lit the world on fire after taking over for Marcus Mariota last season. While Tannehill simmered down a little under the brightest lights during the NFL playoffs, his feet are once again made of flames in 2020.
Through two games, Tannehill has averaged 28 fantasy points per game. He has thrown for nearly 500 yards and six touchdowns with zero interceptions. While the gameplan still starts and ends with Derrick Henry stampeding through defenses, the touchdowns have been connected to Tannehill, so far.
There is nothing about the Minnesota Vikings secondary that gives me cause for pause. Despite not having AJ Brown, who likely will miss Week 3, there are still plenty of viable weapons on this offense. Tannehill should have no trouble picking apart the hapless Vikings secondary.
Honorable Mention: Gardner Minshew, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Drew Brees vs Packers
As legendary Jedi Master, Yoda, once said: “play Drew Brees, you must not.”
It seems asinine to think of not starting Brees in a prime time game against someone like Aaron Rodgers. Just pause, take a deep breath of reality, exhale perspective and accept the truth. Without Michael Thomas to anchor the once heralded Saints aerial assault, Brees looked completely befuddled against the Raiders. His passes were erratic, inaccurate, and sailed eerily similar to Peyton Manning’s last ride in Denver.
Although that ride ended with another ring on the Sheriff’s finger, the Saints have the roster to allow history to repeat itself. However, this isn’t the week to let sexy narratives sway your better judgment. Brees’ receiving core is in shambles and the Packers have more than held their own against Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford.
Brees still has enough crafty veteran magic and a possible shootout narrative to make him fantasy viable. With options like Minshew and Fitzpatrick available, I’m fine not calling Brees’ number this week.
Honorable Mention: Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff
Jerick McKinnon vs Giants
Let me make this plain and simple. In Week 1, Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 5.3 YPC and 119 rush yards against the Giants. In Week 2, David Montgomery rushed for 5.1 YPC and 82 yards and caught all three of his targets for 45 yards and a score. Thus, the Giants have a glaring weakness and it’s stopping the run.
With Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert sidelined with knee injuries, McKinnon is in line to see a healthy workload through both the air and on the ground.
Having battled injuries the last two seasons, McKinnon has been brought along slowly by the 49ers, as he’s seen only six rushing attempts and six targets through the first two games. But, he’s made the most of his opportunities, rushing for 101 yards and catching three of those targets for another 20 yards.
On the flip side, Kyle Shanahan is the king of the dreaded running back by the committee backfield, so Jeff Wilson and JaMychal Hasty figure to help spell McKinnon. Still, Shanahan clearly loves McKinnon and wants him to be a big part of his offense. Since the Giants have proven incapable of stopping slower, less athletic running backs, I see no reason McKinnon can’t produce… even on a limited number of touches.
Honorable Mention: David Montgomery, Leonard Fournette
Todd Gurley vs Bears
Through two games, Gurley has made the Rams look like geniuses for cutting him. Rushing 35 times for 117 yards does nothing to excite fantasy owners. In fact, when Gurley runs, if you listen closely you can hear the sound of tubas trailing him. It has been a sharp decline for the former best running back in football. Gurley no longer resembles the electric running back that anchored the Rams’ explosive offense.
To make matters worse, Brian Hill and Ito Smith have been digging into Gurley’s workload. Not to mention Chicago is fairly stout against running backs, ranking 25th against the position, and Atlanta projects to be at a massive disadvantage in the trenches. If there are other options available, it might be best to fade Gurley for the time being.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Gibson, David Johnson
Diontae Johnson vs Texans
After leading all rookies in receptions last season, Diontae Johnson became a polarizing pick as a breakout candidate. Analytically speaking, Johnson checked every box, but opportunity questions still lingered. Being the team’s leader in targets (23), receptions (14), and air yards (144) have silenced any questions.
Fresh off of a dominant 8 catch, 92 yards, and a touchdown performance against the Broncos, Johnson faces a much softer obstacle against the Texans. While the Texans rank 16th on the year against the position, Johnson’s projected cornerback matchup couldn’t be softer.
Bradley Roby hasn’t had a great start to the season. Allowing 0.82 yards per reception and an 89 percent catch rate doesn’t suggest he will be slowing Johnson down any. In fact, to start the year, Johnson is averaging 2.04 yards per route run (Y/RR) and 0.48 fantasy points per reception, per Pro Football Focus. Next Gen Stats even shows that Johnson is creating 3.5 yards of separation per target. Though Roby does have the advantage in the speed department (4.39 40 yard dash) Johnson’s silky smooth route running should keep Roby at arm’s length most of the game.
Honorable Mention: Corey Davis, CeeDee Lamb
Robby Anderson vs Chargers
I’ll start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. Yes, Tyreek Hill just dropped 99 yards and score on the Chargers. But, Anderson is no Hill. If he were, he would be a set it and forget it style receiver and not worth mentioning in this column. The same logic follows when comparing Teddy Bridgewater and Patrick Mahomes.
The Chargers have a stout secondary, even without Derwin James terrifying opposing receivers. This isn’t to say that Anderson couldn’t leave his defender in the dust and break off a huge catch and run at some point, as Anderson is a great deep threat and capable of that every play. But, Casey Hayward Jr. remains one of the most elite corners in the game and only allows a stifling 45 percent catch rate.
Anderson is still fine as a flex option, but the odds aren’t in his favor this week.
Honorable Mention: Cooper Kupp, Jerry Jeudy
Tight End Streamers:
Hayden Hurst vs Bears
Jonnu Smith vs Vikings
Noah Fant vs Buccaneers