Week 3 Fantasy Football Studs and Duds

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We have come to our Week 3 check-in.  How are you and your fantasy team doing?  With one more week until October and one more week before the bye weeks arrive, we are moving into the heart of the season.  The ‘get to know you’ period is over for you and the roster you drafted.  In this series, we look at the best and worst of the week that was.  How many of your players have become regulars in this series?  Are they studs or are they duds? The answer should inform your strategy going forward.


Patrick Mahomes vs SF
314 passing yards, 3 TDs, 7 rushing yards
Last week I referred to this article as the Mahomes-Bradford Index.  It’s only fitting for Mahomes to lead of the studs section again.  Scroll down to see if Bradford upheld his end of the bargain.

Drew Brees @ ATL
396 passing yards, 3 TDs, 7 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs
In an absolute scorcher in Atlanta, Drew Brees did everything you want from a QB in his prime.  He connected with his playmakers on accurate, timely passes and he even put his body on the line in crunch time to get game-saving yards and a TD.

Matt Ryan vs NO
374 passing yards, 5 TDs, 12 rushing yards
This was the shootout of the week.  Two high-powered offenses playing in a dome is what fantasy owners drool over. However, Ryan didn’t get his work done with his primary weapons as Brees did.  Matty Ice took the road less traveled and hooked up with rookie WR, Calvin Ridley for 3 scores.

Josh Allen @ MIN
196 passing yards, TD, 39 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs
Allen was going to be brushed aside as an honorable mention, but he has earned his place in the spotlight this week.  The rookie signal-caller went on the road against one of the leagues toughest defenses and performed well.  He got (a lot of) help from his defense, but still… Well done, Rook!

Running Backs

Alvin Kamara @ ATL
16 carries, 66 rushing yards, 15 receptions, 124 receiving yards
I was wrong.  I didn’t think Kamara could maintain this level of efficiency.  I also didn’t think he would hold up under increased volume in the wake of the Ingram suspension.  Super Kamario has proven me wrong, and for that, I’m sorry.

Adrian Peterson vs GB
19 carries, 120 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Old man Peterson sure showed those young whippersnappers a thing or two this week.  Peterson really turned back the clock in this one.  His mark of 6.3 ypc was his most efficient performance since November 15, 2015.  That was 1,044 days ago.

Carlos Hyde vs NYJ
23 carries, 98 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 2 receptions, 5 receiving yards

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Todd Gurley vs LAC
23 carries, 105 rushing yards, TD, 5 receptions, 51 receiving yards
As stated above, this is the Mahomes-Bradford Index.  But if the league wasn’t so QB-driven, this could easily by the Gurley-Henry Index.

Christian McCaffrey vs CIN
28 carries, 184 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards
Looking at McCaffrey’s line of 185 rushing yards, it’s almost disappointing that he only scored 19-21 fantasy points.  How on earth did he only catch two balls and not score with yardage like this?  Impressive.

Saquon Barkley @ HOU
17 carries, 82 rushing yards, TD, 5 receptions, 35 receiving yards
You know how its custom for the QB to take his offensive line out to dinner?  The Giants offensive line should pay for Barkley’s dinner.  For life.  He’s making them appear to be just regular bad, instead of horrendous.

Chris Carson vs DAL
32 carries, 102 rushing yards, TD, 2 receptions, 22 receiving yards
For a guy who got winded last week from covering a few punts, Carson sure handled 34 total touches pretty well in this contest.

Wendell Smallwood vs IND
10 carries, 56 rushing yards, TD, 3 receptions, 35 receiving yards
Because you started Corey Clement, didn’t you?  Somewhere, Doug Pederson is cackling in a high-backed swivel chair and petting a cat.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Ridley vs NO
7 receptions, 146 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 8 targets
Rookie WRs, am I right?

Robert Woods vs LAC
10 receptions, 104 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 11 targets
When Robert Woods plays in the Coliseum, where he also played for USC, he is averaging 20 yards more per game than when on the road (77.4 to 57.6).

Jordy Nelson @ MIA
6 receptions, 173 receiving yards, TD, 8 targets
This week the Raiders’ receiver roulette landed on Jordy Nelson.  Previously, it landed on Jared Cook and Amari Cooper.  Good luck projecting this offense for Week 4.

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Tyler Boyd @ CAR
6 receptions, 132 receiving yards, TD, 7 targets
Boyd appears to have wrestled the WR2 position on this team from John Ross.  He is worth a look on waivers, especially if AJ Green’s injury turns out to be more serious than he is letting on.

Mike Williams @ LAR
4 receptions, 81 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 7 targets
Before the season, I projected Williams to catch 8 or more TD passes this season.  Being Philip Rivers top option in the red zone goes a long way to achieving that goal.

Albert Wilson vs OAK
2 receptions, 74 receiving yards, TD, 2 targets, 52 passing yards, 1 passing TD

Jakeem Grant vs OAK
2 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 3 targets

While the pair of Dolphins WRs made for some spectacular TV on Sunday, I’m afraid this information is not actionable.  Nothing to see here.

Michael Thomas @ ATL
10 receptions, 129 receiving yards, 10 targets
Ho hum, just another 10-reception game for Michael Thomas.  This brings his three-game total to 38 receptions.  Thirty-Eight! In Three Games! It is the most ever to start a season and puts him on a blistering pace for 202 catches.  The NFL record is 143.

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert vs IND
7 receptions, 73 receiving yards, TD, 7 targets
There were whispers in the bushes that Goedert would be more involved as the Eagles are lacking healthy playmakers outside of Ertz and Agholor.  The bushes are wise.

Travis Kelce vs SF
8 receptions, 114 receiving yards, 10 targets
Start your Chiefs.  All of them, until further notice.

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Kyle Rudolph vs BUF
5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, TD, 6 targets
When Rudolph scores, his owners are happy.

George Kittle @ KC
5 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 7 targets
Many called for the Kittle breakout in the preseason.  He is well on his way, though he may have to forge ahead without his QB.

Tyler Eifert @ CAR
6 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 8 targets
Eifert usually falls in the Rudolph camp of “he’s good when he scores”.  However, this week, he didn’t score, and you know what?  I don’t think his owners will mind given the current TE climate in the league.


Sam Bradford vs CHI
157 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
The TDs might technically save Bradford from classification as a “dud” but he got benched for a rookie QB in a one-possession game.  Consider Sammy Biscuit’s big boy pants “revoked”.

Tom Brady @ DET
133 passing yards, TD, INT, 2 rushing yards
It’s an annual ritual at this point in September, so I might as well get it out of the way.  “Is this the end for Belichick and Brady in New England?”

Kirk Cousins vs BUF
296 passing yards, TD, INT, 2 fumbles
What?  Seriously, what am I seeing?

Running Backs

Kenyan Drake vs OAK
5 carries, 3 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 7 receiving yards
A home game against a West Coast team traveling East for an early game, that had been gashed on the ground in two straight weeks.  The stars were aligned for Drake to go off.  He didn’t.  The worst kind of poop is the unexpected poop in the pants.

Phillip Lindsay @ BAL
4 carries, 20 rushing yards, ejection
It is common courtesy to spare players who get injured from this article.  They got hurt, they can’t help it.  Phillip Lindsay is an idiot, so he will not be spared.  Though I suppose he can’t help that either…

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Chris Thompson vs GB
6 carries, 17 rushing yards, 1 reception, 0 receiving yards
Thompson had been on fire this season, but the game script called for a Peterson game and Peterson answered the call.

Latavius Murray vs BUF
2 carries, 1 rushing yard, 5 receptions, 30 receiving yards
See Kirk Cousins #analysis.

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs vs BUF
4 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 10 targets
See Latavius Murray #analysis.

Pierre Garcon @ KC
1 reception, 11 receiving yards, 4 targets
Through 3 games, Garcon has 7 receptions for 89 yards and no scores.  Bench him.  Or if it makes you feel better, cut him.

Larry Fitzgerald vs CHI
2 receptions, 9 receiving yards, 2 targets
Oddly enough, this became a Christian Kirk game.  Not that you could’ve expected big things from Larry anyway, after how Bradford played in Week 2.

Randall Cobb @ WAS
4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 11 targets, fumble
Off day for Cobb and the Pack.  Better days will come.

Amari Cooper @ MIA
2 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 5 targets
As mentioned above, Jordy Nelson operated as the #1 receiving threat for the Raiders this week.  It is hard to tell if this is just the way the game turned out, or if Gruden is specifically game planning for these big performances from specific receivers.  Time will tell.

Keenan Allen @ LAR
3 receptions, 44 receiving yards, 7 targets, fumble
Allen isn’t the only show in town for the Chargers passing game anymore.  He will still have great games, but they might not all be great as Mike Williams becomes a threat.

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Nelson Agholor vs IND
4 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 5 targets
Whenever a team goes through a QB change, the targets get redistributed.  In Carson Wentz‘s return, the targets went to the TEs, Ertz, and Goedert.

Chris Hogan @ DET
3 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 4 targets
Abandon ship!  Hogan has been a roller coaster of inconsistency through 3 weeks.  To make matters worse, the Patriots figure to add Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman to this passing attack.

Tight Ends

Will Dissly vs DAL
1 reception, 4 receiving yards, 3 targets
Are we doing this?  Are we now expecting big games from “Big Montana”, the rookie TE?

David Njoku vs NYJ
2 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 2 targets
Stay tuned.  This offense is going to look very different now that Baker Mayfield has been named the starter.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs TEN
3 receptions, 18 receiving yards, 5 targets
The Bills-Vikings contest will obviously go down as the big surprise of the weekend, but Titans-Jaguars has to be 2nd on that list.

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