Blog Entry

Week 3 extended sleeper list

Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:04 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 1:28 am
 


Every week I'll dive into some sleepers beyond what we write in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em to help some of you in deeper leagues. Some weeks will have more guys than others, but this should be helpful for those owners in 14- and 16-team leagues.

QUARTERBACK

Sam Bradford (vs. WAS): You're not going to start Bradford in the majority of standard leagues, but he is a good option in formats where you start two quarterbacks. The Redskins have been abused through the air to start the season with 779 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception against Tony Romo and Matt Schaub. Granted, those are two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but Bradford could finish as a Top 20 Fantasy quarterback this week. So far this season, Bradford has 420 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions against Arizona and Oakland, and this is another game where he can continue to improve in his rookie year.

Kyle Orton (vs. IND): I don't view Orton as a Top 12 Fantasy quarterback this week, but he should be considered a Top 15 option since he could be throwing a lot against the Colts. Through two games, Orton has passed for 602 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and his receiving corps has been a pleasant surprise with Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd. The Colts secondary hasn't been tested yet, and that could happen in this matchup. Orton passed for 277 yards, two touchdowns and one interception last year, and we'll find out this week if he can do it again.

RUNNING BACK

Willis McGahee (vs. CLE): McGahee, like most of his teammates, have struggled so far on offense this year, but they faced difficult opponents with the Jets and Bengals. This week, things get a lot easier with the Browns, and McGahee can be used in garbage time or near the goal line. He only has 2 total yards from scrimmage and a touchdown against the Jets in Week 1, but he has a solid history against the Browns. He has four touchdowns in his past five games with the Browns and at least 64 rushing yards over that span. Ray Rice remains the starter in Baltimore, but McGahee can be considered a flex option in Week 3.

Donald Brown (at DEN): Joseph Addai showed up on the injury report with a knee injury, although he's expected to play. But he might not be 100 percent, which could open the door for Brown to see an increase in touches. He played well in Week 2 against the Giants with 88 total yards and a touchdown, and the Colts appear willing to share carries with Addai and Brown. Even if Addai is at full strength you can still consider Brown a flex option with this matchup.

Darren Sproles (at SEA): It looks like Ryan Mathews (ankle) is out for this game, which means Mike Tolbert and Sproles will see an increase in touches. Tolbert is the running back to target in standard leagues, but Sproles will be a quality running back in leagues where receptions count. He played well in Week 2 against Jacksonville with five carries for 37 yards and four catches for 63 yards. He's capable of that type of performance most weeks as long as Mathews is out, and this ankle injury could linger.

Correll Buckhalter (vs. IND): With Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) out, this opens the door for Buckhalter to start, and he has a favorable matchup against the Colts. The Colts have struggled in run defense with Arian Foster's big game in Week 1 (231 rushing yards and three touchdowns), and Ahmad Bradshaw ran well against them last week with 17 carries for 89 yards. Buckhalter, who scored a touchdown against Seattle last week, is expected to share carries with Laurence Maroney, but Buckhalter is the running back to target if you're adding one off the waiver wire. He has the potential to be a No. 2 Fantasy running back this week in deeper leagues and a flex option in standard formats, especially if you're without Moreno.

WIDE RECEIVER

Dez Bryant (at HOU): As we said in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em, we're fond of Bryant this week as long as his ribs are OK since he has a great matchup. The Texans have allowed four wide receivers in two games to gain at least 88 yards receiving with Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss and Joey Galloway. The Cowboys are struggling to run the ball so look for Tony Romo to come out throwing to Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Bryant. We would use him as a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver in deep leagues, and he's a definite starter in leagues where you start three receivers.

Louis Murphy (at ARI): Murphy had a great game in Week 2 against the Rams with six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, but the best thing was he was targeted 10 times. He should play well with Bruce Gradkowski as the starter, and Gradkowski is even a sleeper in deeper formats. The Cardinals have already allowed three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and three receivers -- Mark Clayton, Roddy White and Brian Finneran -- have reached at least nine Fantasy points. Murphy is a good No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver or flex option this week.

Johnny Knox (vs. GB): Knox is a solid No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week, and he played well against the Packers last year. In two games, Knox had seven catches for 165 yards and a touchdown, and he's started off playing well this season with seven catches for 138 yards. The Bears passing offense is clicking right now, and Knox is the most consistent wide receiver. Look for him to play well since Charles Woodson will likely line up against Devin Hester. That should take pressure off Knox, and Jay Cutler will probably feed him plenty of targets.

Category: NFL
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