Week 3 Fantasy Football Studs

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Welcome back, NFL.  Through the first couple weeks, the NFL was largely underwhelming, both on the field and in the stat sheets.  But Week 3…  Week 3 really brought the goods, with many stud players doing studly things.  The increase in production was evident in the box scores as NFL teams scored 23.8% more points in Week 3 than they did in Week 2 and 24.4% more than in Week 1.  Let’s take a look at which fantasy stud muffins benefitted from the scoring outburst the most.

Make sure you listen to today’s podcast where Andy, Mike, and Jason discuss Week 3’s studs.

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady vs HOU
378 passing yards, 5 TDs, 2pt conv, fumble
Remember way back in Week 1 when Brady looked miserable?  Good times.

Russell Wilson @ TEN
373 passing yards, 4 TDs, 26 rushing yards
The Seahawks are a team that has started slowly with Wilson.  Getting on track Week 3 is a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners as the Seahawks found themselves in a dogfight in Tennessee.

Case Keenum vs TB
369 passing yards, 3 TDs, 18 rushing yards
For those of you who may be thinking something along the lines of, “That helps no one”, I refer you to the Stefon Diggs owner who is doing cartwheels in their living room.

Blake Bortles vs BAL (London)
244 passing yards, 4 TDs, 18 rushing yards
Usually, when Bortles is useful in fantasy, it is because he was really bad for a half or 3 quarters and then fills in with some garbage time.  But not this week.  Bortles was efficient as the Jaguars annihilated the Ravens in jolly ole England.

Eli Manning @ PHI
366 passing yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
What do you call garbage time that results in a 4th quarter comeback but an eventual loss anyway?  That’s right, “garbage time”.

Aaron Rodgers vs CIN
313 passing yards, 3 TDs, INT, 23 rushing yards
You can tell that the Packers want to run the ball more, but they don’t yet trust anyone other than converted WR, Ty Montgomery.  This means that, eventually, the game plan will inevitably become, “Chuck it”.  And when it comes to “chucking it”, it nobody does it better than Mr. Rodgers.

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Jacoby Brissett vs CLE
259 passing yards, TD, 14 rushing yards, 2 TDs
This was the ultimate self-indulgent fantasy day.  No fantasy owner in a single QB league started Brissett, and he kept 2 TDs all to himself.  On the bright side, he revived T.Y. Hilton for those who were still forced to use him.

Brian Hoyer vs LAR
332 passing yards, 2 TDs, INT, 9 rushing yards, TD

Kirk Cousins vs OAK
365 passing yards/ 3TDs

Jared Goff @ SF
292 passing yards, 3 TDs

I want to take a moment to thank the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers for an amazing Thursday Night Football game.  Not only was the game exhilarating to watch, but we didn’t have to watch a “Color Rush” game in which one of the teams were dressed in all white.  Great job all around.  This one was a lot of fun.

Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Running Backs

Todd Gurley @ SF
28 carries, 113 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 5 receptions, 36 receiving yards, TD
Todd Gurley did it all in this game.  He will continue to be an extremely valuable asset in fantasy football based on his workload alone.  33 touches in this one.

Jordan Howard vs PIT
23 carries, 138 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 5 receptions, 26 receiving yards
Howard got healthy in a hurry from his shoulder ailment.  While two TDs is obviously nice and get the job done for fantasy, I am particularly impressed that Howard caught all 5 of his targets.  Until this week Howard only had 32 receptions on 56 career targets.  Hopefully, he’s figured out how to catch.

Dalvin Cook vs TB
27 carries, 97 rushing yards, TD, 5 receptions, 72 receiving yards
While his rushing numbers weren’t terribly efficient, Dalvin Cook is one of the few true featured RBs in the NFL.

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Kareem Hunt @ LAC
17 carries, 172 rushing yards, TD, 1 reception, 10 rushing yards
18 touches for 182 yards from scrimmage.  I don’t know what else you need me to say.

Carlos Hyde vs LAR
25 carries, 84 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 3 receptions, 10 rushing yards
This stat line is especially impressive when you consider that Hyde was in and out of this game due to injury.  He will continue to be a beast for as long as his body holds up.

Devonta Freeman @ DET
21 carries, 106 rushing yards, TD, 3 receptions, 32 receiving yards
Every time I saw Freeman carry the rock he was either ripping off a 10+ yard run, converting a first down, or both.  Tevin Coleman served as nothing more than a backup RB, with only 9 touches.

Duke Johnson Jr. @ IND
2 carries, 23 rushing yards, TD, 6 receptions, 81 receiving yards
I would have a hard time trusting Johnson in a fantasy lineup, but he did lead the Browns in receptions and receiving yards by a sizeable margin.  He also had an unreal TD run that you need to go back and watch on GamePass. While he isn’t a conventional RB, he is putting up fantasy points.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Le’Veon Bell @ CHI
15 carries, 61 rushing yards, TD, 6 receptions, 37 receiving yards
This is it.  This is the end of your buy-low opportunity for Le’Veon Bell.  He has been slowly ramping up after missing offseason activities with his hold-out situation, but Bell is not up to speed and I expect bigger and better things going forward.

DeMarco Murray vs SEA
14 carries, 115 rushing yards, TD, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards
Derrick Henry owners let out a collective groan when they saw that DeMarco was active on Sunday.  Their despair was followed quickly with the joyous sounds of celebrating DeMarco owners.

Chris Thompson vs OAK
8 carries, 38 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 150 receiving yards, TD
Oh. My. Goodness.  Chris Thompson absolutely stole the show on Sunday Night Football!  Even though this outburst came in the absence of Rob Kelley, Gruden likes Thompson, and so do I going forward.

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs vs TB
8 receptions, 173 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 11 targets
If Case Keenum starting for the Vikings didn’t scare you off, Stefon Diggs came through in a big way for your fantasy team.  He was unstoppable in this game.  My condolences to the owners who benched him.

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Brandin Cooks vs HOU
5 receptions, 131 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 7 targets
It is games like this that make it so maddening to own Brandin Cooks.  He was alright and bad in his first two games, but then just when you think you should bench him, he has a blowup game like this on only 5 receptions.  Now, what do you do with him?  Start him, I guess, just in time for him to give you a gooser next week.

Sammy Watkins @ SF
6 receptions, 106 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 7 targets
If Sammy re-signs with Los Angeles after this season, I expect Jared Goff and him to make sweet, sweet music for years to come.  Watkins made an incredible over the shoulder catch in this game that had the perfect touch on it from Goff.

T.Y. Hilton vs CLE
7 receptions, 153 receiving yards, TD, 9 targets
You can’t keep an elite talent like Hilton down forever.  With Brissett’s ability to extend plays and push the ball downfield, Hilton will continue to be a high-risk, high-reward player until Andrew Luck returns.

Odell Beckham Jr. @ PHI
9 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 13 targets
Both of Beckham’s TDs came in the 4th Quarter, but I don’t think his owners mind.

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Sterling Shepard @ PHI
7 receptions, 133 receiving yards, TD, 10 targets
Shepard, like Beckham, benefitted from the furious comeback, that wasn’t meant to be, staged by Eli Manning and the Giants on Sunday.  Maybe Ben McAdoo has figured something out with this offense and we can see more of this going forward.

A.J. Green @ GB
10 receptions, 111 receiving yards, TD, 13 targets
Speaking of figuring things out, all it took was firing their offensive coordinator for the Bengals to figure out that A.J. Green is #goodatfootball.

Antonio Brown @ CHI
10 receptions, 110 receiving yards, TD, 14 targets
#goodatfootball is trending.

Doug Baldwin @ TEN
10 receptions, 105 receiving yards, TD, 15 targets
Doug Baldwin has finished as a top WR each of the last few seasons, and this is how he does it.  On the backs of big games like this one.

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Chris Hogan vs HOU
4 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 6 targets
When you only have 4 receptions, generally that is a mediocre day.  But when you only get tackled on 50% of your receptions… now that’s something.

Jordy Nelson vs CIN
6 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 9 targets
He’s BAAAACK!

Tight Ends

Marcedes Lewis vs BAL
4 receptions, 62 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 5 targets
Move along, move along.  Nothing to see here.

Rob Gronkowski vs HOU
8 receptions, 89 receiving yards, TD, 10 targets
Gronkowski is basically Frankenstein’s monster at this point.  I just hope his stitching holds together.

Zach Ertz vs NYG
8 receptions, 55 receiving yards, TD, 10 targets
Ertz is the NFL leader in targets, receptions, and receiving yards amongst TEs.  And now he has learned how to score TDs.  Look out.

Honorable Mentions

Drew Brees @ CAR
220 passing yards, 3 TDs

DeShone Kizer @ IND
242 passing yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 44 rushing yards, TD

Deshaun Watson @ NE
301 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 41 rushing yards

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Marcus Mariota vs SEA
225 passing yards, 2 TDs, 27 rushing yards

Christian McCaffrey vs NO
4 carries, 16 rushing yards, 9 receptions, 101 receiving yards

Leonard Fournette vs BAL (London)
17 carries, 59 rushing yards, TD, 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards

Michael Thomas @ CAR
7 receptions, 87 receiving yards, TD, 8 targets

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Pierre Garcon vs LAR
7 receptions, 142 receiving yards, 10 targets

Rishard Matthews vs SEA
6 receptions, 87 receiving yards, TD, 10 targets

DeVante Parker @ NYJ
8 receptions, 76 receiving yards, TD, 10 targets

Tyreek Hill @ LAC
5 receptions, 77 receiving yards, TD, 8 targets

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Robby Anderson vs MIA
3 receptions, 95 receiving yards, TD, 6 targets

Vernon Davis vs OAK
5 receptions, 58 receiving yards, TD, 5 targets