Nine of the top 12 NFL Fantasy wide receiver scores of Week 3 belonged to the second or third options on their respective teams.
Weeks like that make it harder to pick sleepers. I can’t pick the WR-3 from Atlanta after a 3-touchdown, 100-yard day, can I? The Giants’ forgotten receiver from the first two weeks broke out for 80 yards and a score. Is he still a sleeper in Week 4? My preseason sleeper from Cincinnati has been a top-15 receiver two weeks running.
Sure, I could use them. A more prominent writer than me just included the three of them in his sleeper article. But let’s look a little deeper to see if we can find a real surprise or three for you to consider for your NFL Fantasy roster.
Doug Baldwin is back on the practice field for Seattle. That and the emergence of Chris Carson as a running threat last week has many closing the door on Brandon Marshall.
Marshall is and has been, a touchdown-dependent NFL Fantasy option. If Bryant plays, Tyler Lockett moves out wide, where Patrick Peterson will take away the deep threat.
Baldwin will get some targets but is not 100-percent. Pete Carroll will ramp up the running game like he did against Dallas.
And Brandon Marshall will grab several important passes, including at least one touchdown off a play-action pass in the red zone.
Cleveland’s defense is playing very well and they bring the excitement of their first win since Kenny Stabler ran the Raider offense to Oakland.
Baker Mayfield has enough weapons around him and a poor enough defense across from him to expect the Browns to score some points come Sunday.
Raider’s coach Jon Gruden has not-so-much played to weaknesses as he has played away from strengths. Cleveland has a few strengths. They have a top-ten yards-per-rush rate and the 11th best yards-per-pass rate.
Oakland has to come up with something weird, like targeting Martavis Bryant while the Browns defenders worry about Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson. Their top defense against tight ends makes Jared Cook a bad option.
Besides, each of the other three had a big game already. It’s Bryants’ turn.
Philadelphia presents another challenge to the Titans just one week after they managed only three field goals against Jacksonville. But there are a couple of differences this week.
For one, the Titans have won 10 of their last 12 games at home. Second, I have to believe Mike Vrabel would love to prove to fans and the just-released Rishard Matthews that they don’t need the disgruntled veteran.
Matthews didn’t retire in the middle of a game, but the Titans can’t be happy he failed to show up at practice and basically quit. The fact they released him instead of pursuing a draft pick from any one of several wide receiver-needy teams suggests they couldn’t get rid of him fast enough.
Marcus Mariota is adapting to his elbow injury. He reports he is almost back to full strength. He has to prove it to the Eagles early if they are going to get the offense going. I expect more passing than usual to the young receiving corps against the top rushing defense in the league.
Taylor got 5 targets last week in a ball-control game. Corey Davis is “the man” in Tennessee, but Taylor can slide under the Eagles’ radar and do some damage in Week 4.
What do you think? Any of these guys have a chance to pull your NFL Fantasy team to victory?