This is going to be a week where many fantasy football managers have to pick someone up off the waiver wire and slide them into their starting lineup. One of those players that you should feel comfortable starting straight off the waiver wire is Mike Davis wasn’t even rostered in one percent of NFL.com leagues last week, but with Christian McCaffrey landing on the IR due to a high ankle sprain, Davis will be fantasy viable in at least the next three weeks.
Davis does have a pretty tough matchup against a strong Chargers defense, but if he is used in the passing game like he was in Week 1, he will be fine. Davis was targeted eight times, catching all of them, for 74 yards. That also happens to be the way to attack the Chargers defense with your backs. They have allowed six receptions per game to RBs this season, which puts them tied for seventh in the NFL. That especially bodes well for Davis if the Panthers are trailing late, cause Teddy Bridgewater has shown he is not afraid to dump it off to the RB in those scenarios. Davis is right on the border of being an RB2 or flex option this week, but either way you should consider starting him.
Another player that fits the mold of right from the waiver wire to your starting lineup is 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon. The 49ers currently rank seventh in rushing yards per game this season with 152.5 per game and will be without Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. It’s a nice matchup as the Giants have also allowed 109 rushing yards per game to RBs this season. The Niners are also expected to be without many of the key pieces of their offense with Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle up in the air and them already missing Deebo Samuel. Plus, Kyle Shanahan has found success throughout the years with a multitude of different RBs. Last season alone there were five 49ers RBs who finished a game as their top scoring fantasy back. Look for Shanahan to keep that going with McKinnon as his lead back this week. He is a fantasy RB2 that you can trust this week.
Joshua Kelley may be the Chargers RB2, but for fantasy football purposes, he is very much so an RB2 in Week 3. Kelley saw 12 touches in Week 1 before that number jumping up to 25 in Week 2. This is a game where the Chargers could be playing with a lead again, so I would expect over 12 touches again this week for Kelley. And he can do a lot of damage with those touches as the Panthers are the best matchup for RBs. They have allowed the most fantasy PPG to RBs this season at 46 per game — no other team is allowing over 40. That is after allowing the most fantasy points to RBs in 2019. They allowed Josh Jacobs to finish as the RB1 in Week 1 and then the Bucs RBs combined for nearly 40 fantasy points against them in Week 2, with both scoring a touchdown. That bodes well for Kelley, who has seen all three of the RB touches inside the five-yard line for the Chargers this season. He is a very solid RB2 this week.
These RBs are my favorite Week 3 sleepers, but there are plenty more at the other positions!
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow had a lot of hype leading into the season, but I am sure even the biggest Burrow supporters did not expect him to lead the league in pass attempts after his first two NFL starts. But that is exactly where we are as Burrow has averaged 48.5 pass attempts per game. He ended up throwing for 316 pass yards and three scores, en route to scoring nearly 25 fantasy points. The Eagles have a stout run defense which means Burrow could once again have to throw a bunch this week. He is sneakily a borderline top-12 QB play this week.
Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
For the second week in a row Trubisky is a sleeper QB featured here. Last week he disappointed but that was partially because the Bears were playing from ahead throughout that game. This week against the Falcons, the Bears will have to put up points against that high-powered offense. It also helps that through two weeks, the Falcons are the best possible matchup for QBs, as they allow a league-high 35.79 fantasy PPG to the position. Trubisky is not on the radar for those in a one-QB league, but he is for those in any two-QB formats or as a value in daily.
N’Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots
N’Keal Harry has a 29% target share this season, that puts him tied with his teammate Julian Edelman for the sixth-highest among all WRs. Harry saw his targets jump from six in Week 1 to 12 last game and it led to his fantasy points more than doubling. Harry finished as the WR25 in Week 2 and could once again surprise against a Raiders defense that has ranked middle of the pack against receivers since 2019. Harry is clearly the second option in the Pats passing game and his volume should be safe moving forward. Due to that, he comes in as a flex option who could make the jump to being a weekly WR3.
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
Corey Davis is currently the WR21 on the year. He has been a nice surprise so far this season and I am expecting that to continue this week against Minnesota. The Vikings have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to receivers this year, at 53.05 per game. They are allowing over 200 receiving yards per game and a league-high five touchdowns to WRs so far. Davis has seen at least five targets in every game and found the end zone last week. This is one of the very best matchups for a receiver and I like Davis as a borderline WR3 or flex option and his value gets a boost if A.J. Brown is unable to suit up this week.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
No Michael Thomas, no problem! Well, maybe not so much. But Tre’Quan Smith did a nice job in Week 2 filling in for Thomas. He finished with five catches for 86 yards on seven targets. He was clearly the top receiving option as only Alvin Kamara had more targets (nine). That volume is one reason he is a sleeper this week. The other is the matchup against the Packers. With this game being in the Superdome, there’s a chance for a lot of points to be scored. Plus, the Packers are allowing nearly 40 fantasy PPG to WRs (11th-most) and have already allowed four scores to the position, which is tied for the second most in the NFL. The opportunity for Smith to surprise this week is very much there. He is a sleeper flex option.
Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Dalton Schultz led the Cowboys with 10 targets in Week 2. That ranked fourth among all tight ends in Week 2. That sort of volume can lead to a big fantasy day in what could be a very high-scoring matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are allowing 423.5 receiving yards per game this season, by far the most in the NFL. There is enough room for Schultz and the receivers to eat in this matchup. For those who drafted Rob Gronkowski or have George Kittle up in the air, or need a tight end for a different reason, Schultz is a player you can nab off the waiver wire and plug into your starting lineup.
The Titans go up against a Vikings team that simply has not been clicking on either side of the ball early on. The Vikings are allowing 10 fantasy PPG to opposing defenses this season, which is tied for the third-highest mark in the NFL. They’ve also turned the ball over four times this season, which puts them in a tie for third most in the NFL. Until the Vikings start to show us something different on offense, you can start defenses against them. The Titans are a great streaming option in Week 3.
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